Chapter

Societies For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children

John E. B. Myers

in Child Protection in America

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169355
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893348 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169355.003.0002
Societies For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children

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The year 1875 gave birth to organized child protection. The previous year, Etta Wheeler, a religious missionary to the poor in New York City, discovered a little girl named Mary Ellen who was cruelly beaten and neglected by her guardians. Wheeler decided to rescue Mary Ellen, but there was no agency responsible for child protection. Wheeler convinced Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, to assist Mary Ellen. With Bergh's assistance, Mary Ellen was rescued. The next year, Bergh and his attorney, Elbridge Gerry, founded the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the world's first organization dedicated specifically to protecting children from maltreatment. Non-governmental child protection societies spread across America.

Keywords: Mary Ellen; Henry Bergh; Elbridge Gerry; child protection; child protection societies

Chapter.  7920 words.  Illustrated.

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