The Mary Ellen Wilson Child Abuse Case and the Beginning of Children's Rights in 19th Century America

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McFarland, 2005. 1. 1. - 247페이지
As recently as 1874, no laws yet existed in the United States for the protection of children. That year, the widely publicized case of Mary Ellen Wilson - a nine-year-old girl who had been a prisoner in her tenement home, enduring unimaginable cruelty - drew national attention to child abuse and to the notion that children are entitlted to humane treatment. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) founder Henry Bergh and his attorney, Elbridge T. Gerry, intervened on behalf of the abused little girl.
This examination of the case begins with a look at Mary Ellen Wilson's life and the events surrounding the case. It draws upon, and reproduces, numerous primary sources. Mary Ellen's famous court testimony, queries urging Henry Bergh's ASPCA to continue work on behalf of children, articles describing the courtroom scene, pleas from Mary Ellen's family appealing for her custody and published documentation of the trial itself are all offered here for the first time.
 

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Acknowledgments
1
Foreword from the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Elbridge T Gerry III and Elbridge T Gerry Jr with Joseph Gleason
3
Introduction
7
Americas First Abused Child
11
Mary Ellens Family
20
Henry Bergh Elbridge T Gerry and the ASPCA
28
Mr Bergh Wont You Help the Children?
52
Press Coverage April 10
69
Berghs Petition and Judge Lawrences Response
112
Testimony of Mary Connolly
115
Testimony of Alonzo S Evans
131
Testimony of Christian B McDougal
137
Testimonies of Thomas Dusenbury Charlotte Fiehling and Catherine Kemp
141
Testimonies of Mary Studer Margaret Bingham
148
Testimony of George Kellock
170
Where to Put the Child?
187

Press Coverage April 11
77
Press Coverage April 1214
87
Press Coverage April 22December 27
94
Family Letters and Affidavits
102
Sheet Music for Songs About Mary Ellen
225
Bibliography
241
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Stephen Lazoritz is the Vice President for Medical Affairs of Children's Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, and teaches at both Creighton University and the University of Nebraska.

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