Daily Citizen & News, May 7, 1873
Public Meeting – Formation of the Humane Society

The meeting in Huntington Hall last evening, in the interest of a Humane Society, was quite well attended, a large part of the audience being women. At a few minutes past eight o’clock, the platform was occupied by Governor Washburn, President Angell and Secretary Fay of the state society, Mayor Jewett, Hon. E. B. Patch, and others. After a selection by the French Band, kindly volunteering their services for the occasion, Major Jonathan Ladd opened the meeting with brief remarks, after which prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Street. George Stevens, esq., was then introduced and remarked that about a year ago, at a small meeting of citizens, to take steps for the organization of a society, a committee, of which he was appointed chairman, was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, and to report at a future time. In compliance with instructions he submitted a constitution and form of organization, with the following named persons as officers for the society, which were accepted and adopted:

At this point, Mr. Patch, the president was introduced, and in accepting the office said that his hearty sympathies were in the work, and it would be his endeavor to do what he might for the success of the society.

Governor Washburn was next introduced, and remarked that he was most happy to be present, to lend encouragement to the good work here organized. It was well known that in this day and country every enterprise that might hope to be successful needed some organization, and he believed this was eminently needed to help forward the cause of these humane associations. This combined effort, by bringing minds together for counsel, by working shoulder to shoulder, was not to be too highly estimated. And yet, while he valued organization, he would not have it take the place of individual effort. He was pleased to know that the ladies interested themselves in the new society, with determination, and he knew what they were interested in the community at large would endorse. He was especially pleased to know that the children had become interested. The more he came to know the world, the more was he convinced that the labors for any good cause, to be successful, must take in the children. If a man grows up harsh, moves among men as an austere, cold and stiff person all pleadings with him will likely be unsuccessful. If, on the other hand, you would make true men, keenly alive to the interests of humanity, your labor must be among the children. They must be made to be kind and loving to every living object, and then we shall hope for the improvement of society.

The chairman apologized for the absence of Gen. Butler, who he said had made his appearance in the ante-room, but was too ill to remain.

Mr. Angell, president of the state society, was next introduced, and read an interesting essay. In commencing he spoke of the love of man generally, for birds, horses and other animals, and cited several anecdotes illustrating their intelligence and affection, but he claimed that in many parts of Europe and in Oriental nations our dumb beasts were treated much better than in America. This state of affairs was mostly due to the great number of humane societies there. In Europe, there were between one and two hundred of them in the principal cities and towns, and the number was increasing. They are composed largely of the eminent men and women in their respective countries. The society in London gives prizes to pupils who write the best essays on kindness to animals, thus calling the attention of hundreds of thousands of children to the subject. These societies have done much to protect public health by getting good meats, etc.

In this country there are now about fifty societies, still many good people do not yet understand, and were asking their use, which Mr. Angell explained was two-fold, first to protect animals, and second to protect men. The speaker proceeded to show that the present forms of transportation were bringing to eastern markets meats of diseased animals, which cannot be easily detected, the consumption of which is attended with dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences. Mr. Angell spoke of abuses to the horse. There was no remedy for these but through organized action. In conclusion, the speaker, in answer to the question, “Is it not more important to form societies for the protection of men than animals?” said that from the first dawning of civilization to the present day, the great study of mankind, in all nations, had been how best to protect men. Around the forty millions of our human population is thrown the whole protection of church and state, laws, courts, magistrates, public and private charities, while for more than four hundred millions of our animal population until within the last few years, not a single effective law had ever been enacted, or a single voice raised, publicly, in their behalf. Yet all of them were created by the same God who created us, and as they depended on our mercy, so we depend on His.

Mr. Morrill was now introduced and read the following names of scholars of the public schools entitled to prizes for essays on “Kindness to Animals”...The prizes are now in the hands of Dr. Wood, who will present them. As about three hundred children had written competitive compositions, it was voted, as a mark of recognition of their efforts, that all be made associate members.

Mr. Fay addressed the ladies as to the work demanded of them. Time was when a lady remonstrated with a cruel driver that she would be asked, “Who is driving this horse, you or me?” But whatever was said about woman’s rights, generally, it was now conceded that she had a right to interfere with a brutal driver.

Samuel Beck added a few words as to the importance of the work, and what had been done in this city, after which the band played, and the audience separated.

Mr. S. V. Spaulding furnished some beautiful flowers for the occasion.