Which came first?The majority was correct.
- The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? (56 votes)
- The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children? (2 votes)
Mary Ellen was being maltreated by her adoptive parents. The child was being beaten regularly and was seriously malnourished. Interested church workers were unable to convince local authorities to take legal action against the parents. The right of parents to chastise their own children was still sacred, and there was no law under which any agency could interfere, to protect a child like her. The church workers were not discouraged; rather, they appealed to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which promptly took action. They were able to have Mary Ellen removed from her parents on the grounds that she was a member of the animal kingdom and that therefore her case could be included under the laws against animal cruelty. As a direct result of this incident the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was founded in New York City in 1871. Following the example of the New York Society, many other societies with similar objectives were formed in different parts of the country.
This week's question is at the top left. Enjoy!