Beautiful Jim Key

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Beautiful Jim Key was a famous performing horse around the turn of the twentieth century.[1] His promoters claimed that the horse could read and write, make change, do arithmetic for "numbers below thirty," and cite Bible passages "where the horse is mentioned."[2]

William Key

Beautiful Jim's trainer, "Dr." William Key, was a former slave, a self-trained veterinarian, and a patent medicine salesman.[3] Key emphasized that he used only patience and kindness in teaching the horse, and never a whip.[4] Beautiful Jim became a celebrity thanks to the aggressive promotion of A. R. Rogers. The horse performed at large venues from Atlantic City to Chicago.[5]

Tours[edit]

Beautiful Jim Key and his trainer periodically toured the United States in a special railroad car to promote the fledgling cause of the humane treatment of animals. They performed in the best venues in most of the larger American cities, including New York’s Madison Square Garden. The horse was among the most popular attractions at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

President William McKinley saw Beautiful Jim Key perform at an exposition in Tennessee and declared, “This is the most astonishing and entertaining exhibition I have ever witnessed.” The President also commented that it was an example of what “kindness and patience” could accomplish.[6]

Cruelty to Animals[edit]

The horse was made an honorary member of George Thorndike Angell's American Humane Association.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hunt, Paula (July 17, 2005). "Accepting author swallows incredible horse's tale". San Antonio Express-News. 
  2. ^ Rogers, Albert R. (1901). The Story of Beautiful Jim Key. 
  3. ^ Hunt, Paula (July 17, 2005). "Accepting author swallows incredible horse's tale". San Antonio Express-News. 
  4. ^ "Beautiful Jim Key". Boston Daily Globe (proquest historical newspapers). October 24, 1901. p. 3. 
  5. ^ Hunt, Paula (July 17, 2005). "Accepting author swallows incredible horse's tale". San Antonio Express-News. 
  6. ^ Mim Eichler Rivas (2005). Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World's Smartest Horse. William Morrow. p. 155. 
  7. ^ Mim Eichler Rivas (2005). Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of the World's Smartest Horse. William Morrow. p. 197. 
  • “A Tribute to Jim Key,” Atlanta Constitution, December 23, 1898
  • “Jim Key Does Sums for 8,000 People,” Minneapolis Journal, April 4, 1906
  • Rivas, Mim Eichler (2005). Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World. William Morrow. ISBN 9780060567040.

External links[edit]