Download Full Text (39.2 MB)

Download Introduction (747 KB)

Download Chapter I -- The Antebellum Antecedents of Animal Protection (4.5 MB)

Download Chapter II -- Cruelty to Animals, the Urban Environment, and the Rise of Organized Humane Work (1.9 MB)

Download Chapter III -- Challenging Cruelty and its Perpetrators (2.5 MB)

Download Chapter IV -- Caroline Earle White, the Women's Branch of the PSPCA, and the Animal Shelter (1.8 MB)

Download Chapter V -- George Angell and the Promotion of Kindness to Animals (2.3 MB)

Download Chapter VI -- The Nationalization of Animal Protection (2.3 MB)

Download Chapter VII -- The Indivisibility of Cruelty and the Complementarity of Humane Reform (5.7 MB)

Download Chapter VIII -- Class, Conscience, and Privileged Cruelties (3.4 MB)

Download Chapter IX -- Emotional Bonds, Religious Morality, and Evolutionary Kinship (4.8 MB)

Download Chapter X -- American Meat (3.9 MB)

Download Chapter XI -- The Passing of the Horse (3.1 MB)

Download Chapter XII -- Animal Control, the Shelter, and the Companion Animal (4.4 MB)

Download Chapter XIII -- Character Formation and the Killing of Wild Animals (3.1 MB)

Download Chapter XIV -- Fur, Feathers, and the Use of Animals in Entertainment (3.3 MB)

Download Chapter XV -- Humane Education and Character Formation in the Early Twentieth Century (4.1 MB)

Download Chapter XVI -- Humane Reform and the Problem of Vivisection (6.1 MB)

Download Conclusion (2.2 MB)

Download Bibliography (2.9 MB)


This study situates organized concern for animals in relation to other postCivil War reforms--including temperance and child protection. It explains the rise of humane work in light of antebellum trends in law, education, philosophy, and religion, and the perception that animals were at the heart of many sanitary and public health concerns. It qualifies interpretations that reduce animal protection to an exercise in social control. It denies the importance of the Darwinian assertion that humans were animals to the movement's formation. Finally, it disputes claims that concern for animals served a "displacement" function until some human reforms became socially acceptable.

Publication Date



American University


Washington, DC


Animal Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Politics and Social Change


Submitted to the Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences of American University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History.

The Quality of Mercy: Organized Animal Protection in the United States 1866-1930