1913 AHES Pamphlet

This double-sided folded pamphlet published by the American Humane Education Society (AHES) focuses specifically on Band of Mercy activities. In the centre of the pamphlet is a black and white photograph taken at a large Band of Mercy meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. According to this pamphlet, over 25,000 children were in attendance at this meeting.

American Humane Education Society Pamphlet, 1913. Collection of MSPCA Angell.

The importance of visual imagery in spreading the word of Humane Education and Band of Mercy activities is underscored in the text accompanying this picture: “We have already printed over 500,000 copies of this picture, and intend to print constantly for wide distribution.” In other words, Francis Rowley, President of the AHES, recognized the power of an image like this in bringing even more children to the Band of Mercy movement. The graphic renderings of the Band of Mercy logos and buttons on either side of this photograph ensure that even those who take the most casual glances at the central photograph recognize that this crowd of children is assembled under the Band of Mercy banner.

On the reverse side of the pamphlet is a reprint of a story that ran in the San Francisco Call. The article, entitled “Does It Pay?,” chronicles the transformation of the Jefferson School district in San Francisco, from a “unsafe” neighbourhood where “skinned faces, black eyes and broken noses, as well as bruised hands and lame legs, were not rare things,” to one of the “most orderly” in the city. The writer attributes this change to the presence of Bands of Mercy. The article concludes with the following observation: “When children are taught the creed of kindness at the start, the odds are strongly in favour of their making better men and women.”

Return to Bands of Mercy


  1. Debra Flores says:

    I like the creed of kindness

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