John E. Cecil

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hayter, Earl W. (Earl Wiley), 1901-1994||Sewell, Richard H.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of History




This paper is a careful analysis of the horse-and-buggy era of the nineteenth century disclosing limited factors of horse transportation, and comparing these with services provided by other draft animals, chiefly oxen and mules. Futhermore, evaluation is made of the position which draft animal transportation held in relation to competing methods, especially those of boats on waterways and steam railroads. Study has also been made of uses of horses in four principal occupations, namely agriculture, commerce, the military services, and racing, with attention given to the requirements of various pursuits. Considerable attention is given to nineteenth century practices of veterinary science, and to reasons for its retardation in the United States, compered to the more advance veterinary practices in certain European countries. Another topic which this paper explores in detail is the taming and training techniques employed for purposes of domesticating horses. Reasons for the widespread development of vicious horses are analyzed, along with the practices of professional horse tamers. At a time when much of the population was isolated and illiterate, and when individual farmers and stockhandlers sought to domesticate draft animals according to widely varying personal notions and superstitions, the treatments accorded to livestock often caused those creatures to react in violent ways. Understanding the basic needs and natures of brutes would have brought about, in many cases, gentle and obedient temperments in beasts of burden. But many stockhandlers sought remedies for the rebellious traits of horses in the magical "secrets" of horse-tamers, who glibly advertised "sure-fire" one lesson treatments which they guaranteed as cures for all equine behavioral problems. Throughout most of the nineteenth century, only a relatively small portion of horsemen relied on scientific methods of analyzing the domestication processes, and determining more adequate methods of training. Finally, aspects of market dealings of the horse industry are studied, with revelations of the goods and services provided, and the natures of the business transactions involved. Evidently, many deceitful trading practices were commonly employed by some horse traders in their buying and selling activities, although many traders employed reputable practices.


Includes bibliographical references.


iv, 95 pages




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