Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Green Meadow Club Pledge

Starting in 1914 the Green Meadow Club page in the People's Home Journal occasionally included a little membership form.
Here it is below in the context of a typical page (Jan 1915)

You may find the text difficult to read. I've transcribed it below.
I promise to learn all I can about the little wild people about me; to try to make them my friends; never to believe ill of them until I am sure of it; never to harm or frighten them needlessly, to do all I can to protect our song and insectivorous birds; to be gentle and merciful to all animals.
Carefully worded language. First, clear anthropomorphization--"little wild people"/"friends." Second, somewhat qualified promises--one is free to believe ill of animals if one is sure of it (rats and house sparrows) and one doesn't need to protect game birds. Nevertheless, the general rule is for kindness and against cruelty. This pledge was required in order to be a member of this community.

Thousands signed the pledge and returned it, nevertheless, there were occasional direct solicitations. On this page (lower right) one finds the following question.

Here's the transcription
Thousands of the boys and girls in THE PEOPLE'S HOME JOURNAL's big family have already joined the Green Meadow Club. Scores of pledges are being signed and sent to us every day. We want every one of our boys and girls to enroll as a member. All that is necessary is to sign the little pledge printed on this page and mail it to us. This will make you a full fledged member of what promises to be the greatest organization in the world for the protection of our birds and animals. SEND PLEDGE TODAY!
The ambition is grand--nothing less than the "greatest organization in the world" for wildlife protection.

The club would achieve this goal, in at least one respect.

Tomorrow: The Green Meadow Club Bird Sanctuary Campaigns

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