The urban gray squirrel was an invention of the late nineteenth century—the result of an intentional choice by urban residents in the United States and elsewhere to introduce the animals to centrally located parks, from which they eventually spread throughout the entire urban landscape. Many urban reformers saw feeding, protecting, and providing nest-boxes for squirrels as ways of promoting the values of charity and compassion in public spaces, while harming them was seen an offense against the community and its moral standards. This represented a dramatic turn-about from earlier times, when squirrels had been seen as pests, pets, or game to be hunted. By examining why squirrels were released in cities and how they were able to thrive there, we can learn something about how American understandings of nature, cities, community, and human-animal relationships, as well as the material conditions of urban life, changed over time.
“Teaching the JAH” uses online tools to bridge the gap between the latest scholarly research in U.S. history and the practice of classroom teaching. JAH authors demonstrate how featured articles might be taught in a U.S. history survey course.
Oil for Living
Terrorism and the American Experience
When the “Jungle” Met the Forest: Public Work, Civil Defense, and Prison Camps in Postwar California
“The Specter of Environmentalism”: Wilderness, Environmental Politics, and the Evolution of the New Right
—James Morton Turner
“Worth a Lot of Negro Votes”: Black Voters, Africa, and the 1960 Presidential Campaign
—James H. Meriwether
Reconfiguring the Old South: “Solving the Problem of Slavery,” 1787–1838
Houses Divided: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Political Landscape of 1858
—Allen C. Guelzo
The Army in the Marketplace: Recruiting an All-Volunteer Force