Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Mitchell, Mary N.

Second Advisor

Atkinson, Connie

Third Advisor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael


Prior to the streetcar lines being electrified in the late 1800s, equines pulled the cars. The quadrupeds that pulled the horsecars in New Orleans, Louisiana, were area specific: New Orleans had mules, not horses. The mule in the South is typically associated with the rural South; however, in nineteenth century urban New Orleans the mule played an integral part in daily commerce and society. New Orleanians admiration for the animals turned into concern when the rigors of work became apparent to the public, as mules suffered from the abuses of drivers, the seedy practices of street railway companies, malnutrition, and exhaustion. As a direct result, the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established and many New Orleanians took to defending the voiceless laborers. Animal rights, not the drive for more modernity, was the central factor to convince the city to electrify the street railway


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