Benton, Joel: Life of Phineas T. Barnum



Family and Birth--School Life--His First Visit to New York City--A Landed Proprietor--The Ethics of Trade--Farm Work and Keeping Store--Meeting-house and Sunday-school--"The One Thing Needful."

Death of his Grandmother and Father--Left Penniless and Bare-footed--Work in a Store--His First Love--Trying to buy Russia--Uncle Bibbin's Duel

Removal to Brooklyn--Smallpox--Goes Home to Recover His Health--Renewed Acquaintance with the Pretty Tailoress--First Independent Business Venture--Residence in New York--Return to Bethel--Anecdotes

Visit to Pittsburg--Successful Lottery Business--Marriage--First Editorial Venture--Libel Suit--Imprisonment and Liberation--Removal to New York--Hard Times--Keeping a Boarding House

Finding His True Vocation--The Purchase of Joice Heth--Evidence as to Her Age--Her Death--Signor Vivalla--Visit to Washington--Joining a Travelling Circus--Controversies with Ministers--The Victim of a Practical Joke

CHAPTER VI. INCIDENTS OF A CIRCUS TOUR. Beating a Landlord--A Joke on Turner--Barnum as a Preacher and as a Negro Minstrel--A Bad Man with a Gun--Dealing with a Sheriff--"Lady Hayes"--An Embarrassed Juggler--Barnum as a Matrimonial Agent

Advertising for a Partner--"Quaker Oats"--Diamond the Dancer--A Dishonest Manager--Return to New York--From Hand to Mouth--The American Museum

Advertising Extraordinary--A Quick-witted Performer--Niagara Falls with Real Water--Other Attractions--Drummond Light

CHAPTER IX. INCREASED POPULARITY OF THE MUSEUM. The American Flag and St. Paul's--St. Patrick's Day--The Baby Show--Grand Buffalo Hunt--N. P. Willis--The First Wild West Show

Science for the Public--Mesmerism Extraordinary--Killing off a Rival--The Two Giants--Discovery of "Tom Thumb"--Seeking Other Worlds to Conquer--First Visit to England

An Aristocratic Visitor--Calling at Buckingham Palace and Hobnobbing with Royalty--Getting a Puff in the "Court Circular"--The Iron Duke--A Great Social and Financial Success

Arrival in Paris--Visit to the Tuilleries--Longchamps--"Tom Ponce" all the Rage--Bonaparte and Louis Phillipi--Tour through France--Barnum's Purchase

Presented to King Leopold and the Queen--The General's Jewels stolen--The Field of Waterloo--An Accident--An Expensive Equipage--The Custom of the Country

Egyptian Hall and the Zoological Garden--The Special Relics--Purchase of the Happy Family--Return to America

Partnership with Tom Thumb--Visit to Cuba--Iranistan, his Famous Palace at Bridgeport--Barnum's Game-Keeper and the Great Game Dinner--Frank Leslie

A Daring Venture--Barnum's Ambassador--Unprecedented Terms offered--Text of the Contract--Hard Work to Raise the Guarantee Fund--Educating the American Mind to receive the Famous Singer

First Meeting with Barnum--Reception in New York--Poems in Her Honor--A Furore of Public Interest--Sale of Tickets for the First Concert--Barnum's Change in Terms--Ten Thousand Dollars for Charity--Enormous Success of the First Concert

Successful Advertising--The Responsibilities of Riches--Visit to Iranistan--Ovations at Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington--Visit to Mt. Vernon--Charleston--Havana--Fredericka Brerner

Conquest of the Habaneros--The Italian and his Dog--Mad Bennett--A Successful Ruse--Return to New Orleans--Ludicrous Incident--Up the Mississippi--Legerdemain

CHAPTER XX. THE TRIALS OF AN IMPRESSARIO. St Louis--The Secretary's Little Game--Legal Advice--Smooth Waters Again--Barnum's Efforts Appreciated--An Extravagant Encomium

April Fool Jokes at Nashville--A Trick at Cincinnati--Return to New York--Jenny Lind Persuaded to Leave Barnum--Financial Results of the Enterprise

The Expedition to Ceylon--Harnessing an Elephant to a Plow--Barnum and Vanderbilt--The Talking Machine--A Fire at Iranistan--Mountain Grove Cemetery

CHAPTER XXIII. SOME DOMESTIC ENTERPRISES. Putting a Pickpocket on Exhibition--Traveling Incognito--The Pequonnock Bank--The New York Crystal Palace--A Poem on an Incident at Iranistan

CHAPTER XXIV. THE JEROME CLOCK COMPANY. Founding East Bridgeport--Growth of the City--The Jerome Clock Bubble--A Ruined Man--Paying Honest Debts--Down in the Depths

False and True Friends--Meeting of Bridgeport Citizens--Barnum's Letter--Tom Thumb's Offer--Shillaber's Poem--Barnum's Message to the Creditors of the Jerome Clock Company--Removal to New York--Beginning Life Anew at Forty-six

Annoying Persecutions of Creditors--Summer on Long Island--The Black Whale Pays the Board Bill--The Wheeler & Wilson Company Remove to East Bridgeport--Setting Sail for England

His Successful Pupil--Making Many Friends in London--Acquaintance with Thackeray--A Comedy of Errors in a German Custom House--Aristocratic Patronage at Fashionable Resorts--Barnum's Impressions of Holland and the Dutch

A Jolly Voyage--Mock Trial on Shipboard--Barnum on Trial for His Life--Discomfited Witnesses and a Triumphant Prisoner--Fair Weather Friends--The Burning of Iranistan

CHAPTER XXIX. THE ART OF MONEY GETTING. The Lecture Field--Success--Cambridge--Oxford--An Unique Entertainment--Barnum Equal to the Occasion--Invited to Stay a Week

CHAPTER XXX. AN ENTERPRISING ENGLISHMAN. A New Friend--Dinner to Tom Thumb and Commodore Nutt--Measuring the Giant--The Two Engines

The Clock Debts Paid--The Museum once more under Barnum's Management--Enthusiastic Reception--His Speech--Two Poems

CHAPTER XXXII. THE STORY OF "GRIZZLY ADAMS." Barnum's Partnership with the Famous Bear Hunter--Fooling Him with the "Golden Pigeons"--Adams Earns $500 at Desperate Cost--Tricking Barnum out of a Fine Hunting Suit--Prosperity of the Museum--Visit of the Prince of Wales

At Home Once More--Growth of East Bridgeport--Barnum's Offer to Men Wanting Homes of Their Own--Remarkable Progress of the Place--How the Streets were Named

CHAPTER XXXIV. A GREAT YEAR AT THE MUSEUM. Capturing and Exhibiting White Whales--Newspaper Comments--A Touching Obituary--The Great Behemoth--A Long "Last Week"--Commodore Nutt--Real Live Indians on Exhibition

CHAPTER XXXV. GENERAL AND MRS. TOM THUMB. Miss Lavinia Warren--The Rivals--Miss Warren's Engagement to Tom Thumb--The Wedding--Grand Reception--Letter From a Would-be Guest, and Dr Taylor's Reply

Barnum Becomes a Republican--Illuminating the House of a Democrat--The Peace Meeting--Elected to the Legislature--War on the Railroads--Speech on the Amendment

CHAPTER XXXVII. BURNING OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM. How Barnum Received the Tidings--Humorous Description of the Fire--A Public Calamity--Greeley's Advice--Intention to Re-establish the Museum--Speech at Employees' Benefit

In the Connecticut Legislature--The Great Railroad Fight--Barnum's Effective Stroke--Canvassing for a United States Senator--Barnum's Congressional Campaign--A Challenge that was not Accepted

Disposing of the Lease of the Museum Site--The Bargain with Mr. Bennett--Barnum's Refusal to Back Out--A Long and Bitter War with "The Herald"--Action of the Other Managers--The Return of Peace

The Fight for the Establishment of Seaside Park--Laying out City Streets--Impatience with "Old Fogies"--Building a Seaside Home--Waldemere--A Home in New York City

Second Marriage--The King of Hawaii--Elected Mayor of Bridgeport--Successful Tour of the Hippodrome--Barnum's Retirement from Office



Among the names of great Americans of the nineteenth century there is scarcely one more familiar to the world than that of the subject of this biography. There are those that stand for higher achievement in literature, science and art, in public life and in the business world. There is none that stands for more notable success in his chosen line, none that recalls more memories of wholesome entertainment, none that is more invested with the fragrance of kindliness and true humanity. His career was, in a large sense, typical of genuine Americanism, of its enterprise and pluck, of its indomitable will and unfailing courage, of its shrewdness, audacity and unerring instinct for success.

Like so many of his famous compatriots, Phineas Taylor Barnum came of good old New England stock. His ancestors were among the builders of the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut. His father's father, Ephraim Barnum, was a captain in the War of the Revolution, and was distinguished for his valor and for his fervent patriotism. His mother's father, Phineas Taylor, was locally noted as a wag and practical joker. His father, Philo Barnum, was in turn a tailor, a farmer, a storekeeper, and a country tavernkeeper, and was not particularly prosperous in any of these callings.

Philo Barnum and his wife, Irena Taylor, lived at Bethel, Connecticut, and there, on July 5, 1810, their first child was born. He was named Phineas Taylor Barnum, after his maternal grandfather; and the latter, in return for the compliment, bestowed upon his first grandchild at his christening the title-deeds of a "landed estate," five acres in extent, known as Ivy Island, and situated in that part of, Bethel known as the "Plum Trees." Of this, more anon.

In his early years the boy led the life of the average New England farmer's son of that period. He drove the cows to and from the pasture, shelled corn, weeded the garden, and "did up chores." As he grew older he rode the horse in plowing corn, raked hay, wielded the shovel and the hoe, and chopped wood. At six years old he began to go to school--the typical district school. "The first date," he once said, "I remember inscribing upon my writing-book was 1818." The ferule, or the birch-rod, was in those days the assistant schoolmaster, and young Barnum made its acquaintance. He was, however, an apt and ready scholar, particularly excelling in mathematics. One night, when he was ten years old, he was called out of bed by his teacher, who had made a wager with a neighbor that Barnum could calculate the number of feet in a load of wood in five minutes. Barnum did it in less than two minutes, to the delight of his teacher and the astonishment of the neighbor.

At an early age he manifested a strong development of the good old Yankee organ of acquisitiveness. Before he was five years old he had begun to hoard pennies and "fourpences," and at six years old he was able to exchange his copper bits for a whole silver dollar, the possession of which made him feel richer than he ever felt afterward in all his life. Nor did he lay the dollar away in a napkin, but used it in business to gain more. He would get ten cents a day for riding a horse before the plow, and he would add it to his capital. On holidays other boys spent all their savings, but not so he. Such days were to him opportunities for gain, not for squandering. At the fair or training of troops, or other festivity, he would peddle candy and cakes, home-made, or sometimes cherry rum, and by the end of the day would be a dollar or two richer than at its beginning. "By the time I was twelve years old," he tells us, "I was the owner of a sheep and a calf, and should soon, no doubt, have become a small Croesus had not my father kindly permitted me to purchase my own clothing, which somewhat reduced my little store."

At ten years of age, realizing himself to be a "landed proprietor" through the christening gift of his waggish grandsire, young Barnum set out to survey his estate, which he had not yet seen. He had heard much of "Ivy Island." His grandfather had often, in the presence of the neighbors, spoken of him as the richest child in the town, since he owned the whole of Ivy Island, the richest farm in the State. His parents hoped he would use his wealth wisely, and "do something for the family" when he entered upon the possession of it; and the neighbors were fearful lest he should grow too proud to associate with their children.

The boy took all this in good faith, and his eager curiosity to behold his estate was greatly increased, and he asked his father to let him go thither. "At last," says Barnum, "he promised I should do so in a few days, as we should be getting some hay near 'Ivy Island.' The wished-for day arrived, and my father told me that as we were to mow an adjoining meadow. I might visit my property in company with the hired man during the 'nooning.' My grandfather reminded me that it was to his bounty I was indebted for this wealth, and that had not my name been Phineas I might never have been proprietor of 'Ivy Island.' To this my mother added:

" 'Now, Taylor, don't become so excited when you see your property as to let your joy make you sick, for remember, rich as you are, that it will be eleven years before you can come into possession of your fortune.'

"She added much more good advice, to all of which I promised to be calm and reasonable, and not to allow my pride to prevent me from speaking to my brothers and sisters when I returned home.

"When we arrived at the meadow, which was in that part of the 'Plum Trees' known as 'East Swamp,' I asked my father where 'Ivy Island' was.

" 'Yonder, at the north end of this meadow, where you see those beautiful trees rising in the distance.'

"All the forenoon I turned grass as fast as two men could cut it, and after a hasty repast at noon, one of our hired men, a good-natured Irishman, named Edmund, took an axe on his shoulder and announced that he was ready to accompany me to 'Ivy Island.' We started, and as we approached the north end of the meadow we found the ground swampy and wet and were soon obliged to leap from bog to bog on our route. A mis-step brought me up to my middle in water, and to add to the dilemma a swarm of hornets attacked me. Attaining the altitude of another bog I was cheered by the assurance that there was only a quarter of a mile of this kind of travel to the edge of my property. I waded on. In about fifteen minutes more, after floundering through the morass, I found myself half-drowned, hornet-stung, mud covered, and out of breath, on comparatively dry land.

" 'Never mind, my boy,' said Edmund, 'we have only to cross this little creek, and ye'll be upon your own valuable property.'

"We were on the margin of a stream, the banks of which were thickly covered with alders. I now discovered the use of Edmund's axe, for he felled a small oak to form a temporary bridge to my 'Island' property. Crossing over, I proceeded to the centre of my domain. I saw nothing but a few stunted ivies and straggling trees. The truth flashed upon me. I had been the laughing-stock of the family and neighborhood for years. My valuable 'Ivy Island' was an almost inaccessible, worthless bit of barren land, and while I stood deploring my sudden downfall, a huge black snake (one of my tenants) approached me with upraised head. I gave one shriek and rushed for the bridge.

"This was my first and last visit to 'Ivy Island.' My father asked me 'how I liked my property?' and I responded that I would sell it pretty cheap."

The year 1822 was a memorable one in his childhood's history. He was then about twelve years old. One evening, late in January, Daniel Brown, a cattle-drover, of Southbury, Connecticut, arrived at Bethel and stopped for the night at Philo Barnum's tavern. He had with him some fat cattle, which he was driving to the New York markets; and he wanted both to add to his drove of cattle and to get a boy to help him drive them. Our juvenile hero heard him say this, and forthwith made application for the job. His father and mother gave their consent, and a bargain was quickly closed with the drover.

"At daylight next morning," Barnum himself has related, "I started on foot in the midst of a heavy snow-storm to help drive the cattle. Before reaching Ridgefield I was sent on horseback after a stray ox, and, in galloping, the horse fell and my ankle was sprained. I suffered severely, but did not complain lest my employer should send me back. We arrived at New York in three or four days, and put up at the Bull's Head Tavern, where we were to stay a week while the drover disposed of his cattle. It was an eventful week for me. Before I left home my mother had given me a dollar, which I supposed would supply every want that heart could wish."

His first outlay was for oranges. "I was told," he says, "that they were four pence apiece, and as four pence in Connecticut was six cents, I offered ten cents for two oranges, which was of course readily taken; and thus, instead of saving two cents, as I thought, I actually paid two cents more than the price demanded. I then bought two more oranges, reducing my capital to eighty cents. Thirty-one cents was the charge for a small gun which would 'go off' and send a stick some little distance, and this gun I bought. Amusing myself with this toy in the bar-room of the Bull's Head, the arrow happened to hit the bar-keeper, who forthwith came from behind the counter and shook me, and soundly boxed my ears, telling me to put that gun out of the way or he would put it into the fire. I sneaked to my room, put my treasure under the pillow, and went out for another visit to the toy shop.

"There I invested six cents in 'torpedoes,' with which I intended to astonish my schoolmates in Bethel. I could not refrain, however, from experimenting upon the guests of the hotel, which I did when they were going in to dinner. I threw two of the torpedoes against the wall of the hall through which the guests were passing, and the immediate results were as follows: two loud reports--astonished guests--irate landlord--discovery of the culprit, and summary punishment--for the landlord immediately floored me with a single blow with his open hand, and said:

" 'There, you little greenhorn, see if that will teach you better than to explode your infernal fire-crackers in my house again.'

"The lesson was sufficient if not entirely satisfactory. I deposited the balance of the torpedoes with my gun, and as a solace for my wounded feelings I again visited the toy shop, where I bought a watch, breastpin and top, leaving but eleven cents of my original dollar.

"The following morning found me again at the fascinating toy shop, where I saw a beautiful knife with two blades, a gimlet, and a corkscrew--a whole carpenter shop in miniature, and all for thirty-one cents. But, alas! I had only eleven cents. Have that knife I must, however, and so I proposed to the shop-woman to take back the top and breastpin at a slight deduction, and with my eleven cents to let me have the knife. The kind creature consented, and this makes memorable my first 'swap.' Some fine and nearly white molasses candy then caught my eye, and I proposed to trade the watch for its equivalent in candy. The transaction was made, and the candy was so delicious that before night my gun was absorbed in the same way. The next morning the torpedoes 'went off' in the same direction, and before night even my beloved knife was similarly exchanged. My money and my goods all gone, I traded two pocket-handkerchiefs and an extra pair of stockings I was sure I should not want for nine more rolls of molasses candy, and then wandered about the city disconsolate, sighing because there was no more molasses candy to conquer."

During that first visit to the metropolis the boy doubtless many times passed the corner of Ann street and Broadway, where, in after years, his famous museum stood. After a week in town he returned to Bethel, riding with Brown in his sleigh, and found himself a social lion among his young friends. He was plied with a thousand questions about the great city which he had visited, and no doubt told many wondrous tales. But at home his reception was not altogether glorious. His brothers and sisters were disappointed because he brought them nothing, and his mother, discovering that during his journey he had lost two handkerchiefs and a pair of stockings, gave him a spanking and put him to bed.

A settled aversion to manual labor was strongly developed in the boy as he grew older, which his father considered simple laziness. Instead of trying to cure him of his laziness, however, the father decided to give up the farm, and open a store, hoping that the boy would take more kindly to mercantile duties. So he put up a building in Bethel, and in partnership with one Hiram Weed opened a "general store," of dry goods, hardware, groceries, etc., and installed young Phineas as clerk. They did a "cash, credit and barter" business, and the boy soon learned to drive sharp bargains with women who brought butter, eggs, beeswax and feathers to exchange for dry goods, and with men who wanted to trade oats, corn, buckwheat, axehelves, hats and other commodities for ten-penny nails, molasses or New England rum. It was a drawback upon his dignity that he was obliged to take down the shutters, sweep the store and make the fire. He received a small salary for his services and the perquisites of what profit he could derive from purchasing candies on his own account to sell to their younger customers, and, as usual, his father insisted that he should clothe himself.

There was much to be learned in a country store, and principally, as he found, this: that sharp tricks, deception and dishonesty are by no means confined to the city. More than once, in cutting open bundles of rags, brought to be exchanged for goods, he found stones, gravel or other rubbish wrapped up in them, although they were represented to be "all pure linen or cotton." Often, too, loads of grain were brought in, warranted to contain so many bushels, but on measuring them they were found five or six bushels short.

In the evenings and on stormy days the store was a general meeting place for the idlers of the village, and young Barnum derived much amusement from the story-telling and joke-playing that went on among them. After the store was closed at night he would generally go with some of the village boys to their homes for an hour or two of sport, and then, as late, perhaps, as eleven o'clock, would creep slyly home and make his way upstairs barefooted, so as not to wake the rest of the family end be detected in his late hours. He slept with his brother, who was sure to report him if he woke him up on coming in, and who laid many traps to catch Phineas on his return from the evening's merry-making. But he generally fell fast asleep and our hero was able to gain his bed in safety.

Like almost every one in Connecticut at that time he was brought up to go regularly to church on Sunday, and before he could read he was a prominent member of the Sunday-school. His pious mother taught him lessons in the New Testament and Catechism, and spared no efforts to have him win one of those "Rewards of Merit" which promised "to pay to the bearer One Mill." Ten of them could be exchanged for one cent, and by securing one hundred of them, which might be done by faithful attendance and attention every Sunday for two years, the happy scholar could secure a book worth ten cents!

There was only one church or "meeting-house" in Bethel, and it was of the Presbyterian faith; but every one in town attended it, whatever their creed. It was a severely plain edifice, with no spire and no bell. In summer it was comfortable enough, but in winter it was awful! There was no arrangement for heating it, and the congregation had to sit in the cold, shivering, teeth chattering, noses blue. A stove would have been looked upon as a sacrilegious innovation. The sermons were often two hours long, and by the time they were ended the faithful listeners well deserved the nickname of "blue-skins" which the scoffers gave to them. A few of the wealthier women carried "foot-stoves" from their homes to their pews. A "foot-stove" was simply a square tin box in a wooden frame, with perforations in the sides. In it was a small square iron dish, which contained a few live coals covered with ashes. These stoves were usually replenished just before meeting time at some neighbor's near the meeting-house.

After many years of shivering and suffering, one of the brethren had the temerity to propose that the church should be warmed with a stove. His impious proposition was voted down by an overwhelming majority. Another year came around, and in November the stove question was again brought up. The excitement was immense. The subject was discussed in the village stores and in the juvenile debating club; it was prayed over in conference; and finally in general "society's meeting," in December, the stove was carried by a majority of one and was introduced into the meeting-house. On the first Sunday thereafter two ancient maiden ladies were so oppressed by the dry and heated atmosphere occasioned by the wicked innovation that they fainted away and were carried out into the cool air, where they speedily returned to consciousness, especially when they were informed that owing to the lack of two lengths of pipe no fire had yet been made in the stove. The next Sunday was a bitter cold day, and the stove, filled with well-seasoned hickory, was a great gratification to the many, and displeased only a few.

During the Rev. Mr. Lowe's ministrations at Bethel he formed a Bible class, of which young Barnum was a member. They used to draw promiscuously from a hat a text of Scripture and write a composition on the text, which compositions were read after service in the afternoon to such of the congregation as remained to hear the exercises of the class. Once Barnum drew the text, Luke x. 42: "But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her." Question, "What is the one thing needful?" His answer was nearly as follows:

"This question, 'What is the one thing needful?' is capable of receiving various answers, depending much upon the persons to whom it is addressed. The merchant might answer that 'the one thing needful' is plenty of customers, who buy liberally, without beating down, and pay cash for all their purchases.' The farmer might reply that 'the one thing needful is large harvests and high prices.' The physician might answer that 'it is plenty of patients.' The lawyer might be of opinion that 'it is an unruly community, always engaging in bickerings and litigations.' The clergyman might reply, 'It is a fat salary, with multitudes of sinners seeking salvation and paying large pew rents.' The bachelor might exclaim, 'It is a pretty wife who loves her husband, and who knows how to sew on buttons.' The maiden might answer, 'It is a good husband, who will love, cherish and protect me while life shall last.' But the most proper answer, and doubtless that which applied to the case of Mary, would be, 'The one thing needful is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, follow in his footsteps, love God and obey His commandments, love our fellowman, and embrace every opportunity of administering to his necessities.' In short, 'the one thing needful' is to live a life that we can always look back upon with satisfaction, and be enabled ever to contemplate its termination with trust in Him who has so kindly vouchsafed it to us, surrounding us with innumerable blessings, if we have but the heart and wisdom to receive them in a proper manner."

The reading of a portion of this answer occasioned some amusement in the congregation, in which the clergyman himself joined, and the name of "Taylor Barnum" was whispered in connection with the composition; but at the close of the reading Barnum had the satisfaction of hearing Mr. Lowe say that it was a well-written answer to the question, "What is the one thing needful?"



In August, 1825, the aged grandmother met with an accident in stepping on the point of a rusty nail, which shortly afterwards resulted in her death. She was a woman of great piety, and before she died sent for each of her grandchildren--to whom she was devoted--and besought them to lead a Christian life. Barnum was so deeply impressed by that death-bed scene that through his whole life neither the recollection of it, nor of the dying woman's words, ever left him.

The elder Barnum was a man of many enterprises and few successes. Besides being the proprietor of a hotel he owned a livery-stable, ran a sort of an express, and kept a country store. Phineas was his confidential clerk, and, if he did not reap much financial benefit from his position, he at least obtained a good business education.

On the 7th of September, 1825, the father, after a six months' illness, died at the age of forty-eight, leaving a wife and five children and an insolvent estate. There was literally nothing left for the family; the creditors seized everything; even the small sum which Phineas had loaned his father was held to be the property of a minor, and therefore belonging to the estate. The boy was obliged to borrow money to buy the shoes he wore to the funeral. At fifteen he began the world not only penniless but barefooted.

He went at once to Grassy Plain, a few miles northwest of Bethel, where he managed to obtain a clerkship in the store of James S. Keeler and Lewis Whitlock, at the magnificent salary of six dollars a month and his board. He had chosen his uncle, Alanson Taylor, as his guardian, but made his home with Mrs. Jerusha Wheeler and her two daughters; Mary and Jerusha. He worked hard and faithfully, and so gained the esteem of his employers that they afforded him many opportunities for making money on his own account. His small speculations proved so successful that before long he found himself in possession of quite a little sum.

"I made," says Barnum, "a very remarkable trade at one time for my employers by purchasing, in their absence, a whole wagon-load of green glass bottles of various sizes, for which I paid in unsalable goods at very profitable prices. How to dispose of the bottles was then the problem, and as it was also desirable to get rid of a large quantity of tin-ware which had been in the shop for years and was con-siderably 'shop worn,' I conceived the idea of a lottery, in which the highest prize should be twenty-five dollars, payable in any goods the winner desired, while there were to be fifty prizes of five dollars each, payable in goods, to be designated in the scheme. Then there were one hundred prizes of one dollar each, one hundred prizes of fifty cents each, and three hundred prizes of twenty-five cents each. It is unnecessary to state that the minor prizes consisted mainly of glass and tin-ware; the tickets sold like wildfire, and the worn tin and glass bottles were speedily turned into cash."

Mrs Barnum still continued to keep the village hotel at Bethel, and Phineas went home every Saturday night, going to church with his mother on Sunday, and returning to his work Monday morning. One Saturday evening Miss Mary Wheeler, at whose house the young man boarded, sent him word that she had a young lady from Bethel whom she desired him to escort home, as it was raining violently, and the maiden was afraid to go alone. He assented readily enough, and went over to "Aunt Rushia's," where he was introduced to Miss Charity ("Chairy," for short) Hallett. She was a very pretty girl and a bright talker, and the way home seemed only too short to her escort. She was a tailoress in the village, and went to church regularly, but, although Phineas saw her every Sunday for many weeks, he had no opportunity of the acquaintance that season.

Mrs. Jerusha Wheeler and her daughter Jerusha were familiarly known, the one as "Aunt Rushia," and the other as "Rushia." Many of the store customers were hatters, and among the many kinds of furs sold for the nap of hats was one known to the trade as "Russia." One day a hatter, Walter Dibble, called to buy some furs. Barnum sold him several kinds, including "beaver" and "cony," and he then asked for some "Russia." They had none, and as Barnum wanted to play a joke upon him, he told him that Mrs. Wheeler had several hundred pounds of "Rushia."

"What on earth is a woman doing with 'Russia?' " said he.

Barnum could not answer, but assured him that there were one hundred and thirty pounds of old Rushia and one hundred and fifty pounds of young Rushia in Mrs. Wheeler's house, and under her charge, but whether or not it was for sale he could not say. Off he started to make the purchase and knocked at the door. Mrs. Wheeler, the elder, made her appearance.

"I want to get your Russia," said the hatter.

Mrs. Wheeler asked him to walk in and be seated. She, of course, supposed that he had come for her daughter "Rushia."

"What do you want of Rushia?" asked the old lady.

"To make hats," was the reply.

"To trim hats, I suppose you mean?" responded Mrs. Wheeler.

"No, for the outside of hats," replied the hatter.

"Well, I don't know much about hats," said the old lady, "but I will call my daughter."

Passing into another room where "Rushia" the younger was at work, she informed her that a man wanted her to make hats.

"Oh, he means sister Mary, probably. I suppose he wants some ladies' hats," replied Rushia, as she went into the parlor.

"This is my daughter," said the old lady.

"I want to get your Russia," said he, addressing the young lady.

"I suppose you wish to see my sister Mary; she is our milliner," said young Rushia.

"I wish to see whoever owns the property," said the hatter.

Sister Mary was sent for, and, as she was introduced, the hatter informed her that he wished to buy her "Russia."

"Buy Rushia!" exclaimed Mary, in surprise; I don't understand you."

"Your name is Miss Wheeler, I believe," said the hatter, who was annoyed by the difficulty he met with in being understood.

"It is, sir."

"Ah! very well. Is there old and young Russia in the house?"

"I believe there is," said Mary, surprised at the familiar manner in which he spoke of her mother and sister, who were present.

"What is the price of old Russia per pound?" asked the hatter.

"I believe, sir, that old Rushia is not for sale," replied Mary, indignantly.

"Well, what do you ask for young Russia?" pursued the hatter.

"Sir," said Miss Rushia the younger, springing to her feet, "do you come here to insult defenceless females? If you do, sir, our brother, who is in the garden, will punish you as you deserve."

"Ladies!" exclaimed the hatter, in astonishment, "what on earth have I done to offend you? I came here on a business matter. I want to buy some Russia. I was told you had old and young Russia in the house. Indeed, this young lady just stated such to be the fact, but she says the old Russia is not for sale. Now, if I can buy the young Russia I want to do so--but if that can't be done, please to say so, and I will trouble you no further."

"Mother, open the door and let this man go out; he is undoubtedly crazy," said Miss Mary.

"By thunder! I believe I shall be if I remain here long," exclaimed the hatter, considerably excited. "I wonder if folks never do business in these parts, that you think a man is crazy if he attempts such a thing?"

"Business! poor man!" said Mary soothingly, approaching the door.

"I am not a poor man, madam," replied the hatter. "My name is Walter Dibble; I carry on hatting extensively in Danbury; I came to Grassy Plain to buy fur, and have purchased some 'beaver' and 'cony,' and now it seems I am to be called 'crazy' and a 'poor man,' because I want to buy a little 'Russia' to make up my assortment."

The ladies began to open their eyes; they saw that Mr. Dibble was quite in earnest, and his explanation threw considerable light upon the subject.

"Who sent you here?" asked sister Mary.

"The clerk at the opposite store," was the reply.

"He is a wicked young fellow for making all this trouble," said the old lady; "he has been doing this for a joke."

"A joke!" exclaimed Dibble, in surprise, "have you no Russia, then?"

"My name is Jerusha, and so is my daughter's," said Mrs. Wheeler, "and that, I suppose, is what he meant by telling you of old and young Rushia."

Mr. Dibble, without more words, left the house and made for the store. "You young villain!" he cried, as he entered, "what did you mean by sending me over there to buy Russia?"

"I didn't," answered the young villain, with a perfectly solemn face, "I thought you were a widower or a bachelor who wanted to marry Rushia."

"You lie," said the discomfited Dibble, laughing in spite of himself; "but never mind, I'll pay you off some day." And gathering up his furs he departed.

On another occasion this sense of humor and love of joking was turned to very practical account. Among the customers at the store were a half a dozen old Revolutionary pensioners, who were permitted to buy on credit, leaving their pension papers as security. One of these pensioners was a romancing old fellow named Bevans--more commonly known as "Uncle Bibbins." He was very fond of his glass, and fonder still of relating anecdotes of the Revolution, in which his own prowess and daring were always the conspicuous features. His pension papers were in the possession of Keeler & Whitlock, but it was three months before the money was due, and they grew very weary of having him for a customer. They tried delicately suggesting a visit to his relatives in Guilford, but Uncle Bibbins steadily refused to take the hint. Finally young Barnum enlisted the services of a journeyman hatter named Benton, and together they hit on a plan. The hatter was inspired to call Uncle Bibbins a coward, and to declare his belief that if the old gentleman was wounded anywhere it must have been in the back. Barnum pretended to sympathize with the veteran's just indignation, and finally fired him up to the pitch of challenging the hatter to mortal combat. The challenge was promptly accepted, and the weapons chosen were muskets and ball, at a distance of twenty feet. Uncle Bibbins took his second (Barnum, of course) aside, and begged him to see that the guns were loaded only with blank cartridges. He was assured that it would be so, and that no one would be injured in the encounter.

The ground was measured back of the store, the principals and seconds took their places, and the word of command was given. They fired, Uncle Bibbins, of course, being unhurt, but the hatter, with a fearful yell, fell to the ground as if dead. Barnum rushed up to the frightened Bevans and begged him to fly, promising to let him know when it was safe for him to return. The old fellow started out of town on a run, and for the next three months remained very quietly at Guilford. At the end of that time his faithful second sent for him, with the assurance that his late adversary had not only recovered from his wound but had freely forgiven all. Uncle Bibbins then returned and paid up his debts. Meeting Benton on the street some days later, the two foes shook hands, Benton apologizing for his insult. Uncle Bibbins accepted the apology, "but," he added, "you must be careful after this how you insult a dead-shot."



In the fall of 1826, Oliver Taylor, who had removed from Danbury to Brooklyn, induced Barnum to leave Grassy Plain, offering him a clerkship in his grocery store, which offer was accepted, and before long the young man was intrusted with the purchasing of all goods for the store. He bought for cash, going into lower New York in search of the cheapest market, frequenting auction sales of merchandise, and often entering into combines with other grocers to bid off large lots, which were afterward divided between them. Thus they were enabled to buy at a much lower rate than if the goods had passed through the hands of wholesale dealers, and Barnum's reputation for business tact and shrewdness increased.

The following summer he was taken ill with smallpox, and during his long confinement to the house his stock of ready money became sadly di-minished. As soon as he was able to travel he went home to recover his strength, and while there had the happiness of renewing the acquaintance, so pleasantly begun, with the pretty tailoress, Charity Hallett.

His health fully restored he returned to Brooklyn, but not to his old position. Pleasant as that had been, it no longer contented the restless, ambitious Barnum. He opened a "porter-home," but sold out a few months later, at a good profit, and took another clerkship, this time at 29 Peck Slip, New York, in the store of a certain David Thorp. He lived in his employer's family, with which he was a great favorite, and where he had frequent opportunities of meeting old friends, for Mr. Thorp's place was a great resort for Bethel and Danbury hatters and combmakers.

At this time Barnum formed his first taste for the theatre. He went to the play regularly and soon set up for a critic. It was his one dissipation, however. A more moral young fellow never existed; he read his Bible and went to church as regularly as ever, and to the day of his death was wont to declare that he owed all that was good in his character to his early observance of Sunday.

In the winter of 1898 his grandfather offered to him, rent free, his carriage-house, which was situated on the main street, if he would come back to Bethel. The young man's capital was one hundred and twenty dollars; fifty of this was spent in fixing up his store, and the remainder he invested in a stock of fruit and confectionery. Having arranged with fruit dealers of his acquaintance in New York to receive his orders, he opened his store on the first of May--in those times known as "training day." The first day was so successful that long before noon the proprietor was obliged to call in one of his old schoolmates to assist in waiting on customers. The total receipts were sixty-three dollars, which sum was promptly invested in a stock of fancy goods --pocket-books, combs, knives, rings, beads, etc. Business was good all summer, and in the fall oysters were added to the list of attractions. The old grandfather was delighted at the success of the scheme, and after a while induced Barnum to take an agency for lottery tickets on a commission of ten per cent. Lotteries in those days were looked upon as thoroughly respectable, and the profit gained from the sale of the tickets was regarded as perfectly legitimate by the agent; his views on the subject changed very materially later on.

The store soon became the great village resort, the centre of all discussions and the scene of many practical jokes.

The following scene, related by Barnum himself, makes a chapter in the history of Connecticut, as the State was when "blue laws" were something more than a dead letter:

"To swear in those days was according to custom, but contrary to law. A person from New York State, whom I will call Crofut, who was a frequent visitor at my store, was equally noted for his self-will and his really terrible profanity. One day he was in my little establishment engaged in conversation when Nathan Seelye, Esq., one of our village justices of the peace, and a man of strict religious principles, came in, and hearing Crofut's profane language he told him he considered it his duty to fine him one dollar for swearing.

"Crofut responded immediately with an oath, that he did not care a d----n for the Connecticut blue laws.

" 'That will make two dollars,' said Mr. Seelye.

"This brought forth another oath.

" 'Three dollars,' said the sturdy justice.

"Nothing but oaths were given in reply, until Esquire Seelye declared the damage to the Connecticut laws to amount to fifteen dollars.

"Crofut took out a twenty-dollar bill and handed it to the justice of the peace, with an oath.

" 'Sixteen dollars,' said Mr. Seelye, counting out four dollars to hand to Mr. Crofut as his change.

" 'Oh, keep it, keep it,' said Crofut, 'I don't want any change; I'll d----n soon swear out the balance.' He did so, after which he was more circumspect in his conversation, remarking that twenty dollars a day for swearing was about as much as he could stand."

About this time Barnum appeared, on at least one occasion, in the role of lawyer. A man charged with assault and battery was brought before the justice of the peace, Barnum's grandfather, for trial. A medical student, Newton by name, had volunteered to defend the prisoner, and Mr. Couch, the grand juryman, in irony, offered Phineas a dollar to represent the State. The court was crowded. The guilt of the prisoner was established beyond a doubt, but Newton, undaunted, rose to make his speech. It consisted of a flood of invective against the grand juryman, Couch; the court listened for five minutes, and then interrupted a magnificent burst of eloquence by informing the speaker that Mr. Couch was not the plaintiff in the case at all.

"Not the plaintiff!" stammered Newton; "well, then, your honor, who is?"

"The State of Connecticut," was the answer.

The young man dropped into his seat, speechless, and the prosecuting attorney arose and in an elaborate speech declared the guilt of the prisoner shown beyond question, adding that he was astonished that both the prisoner and his counsel had not pleaded guilty at once. In the midst of his soarings the grandfather interrupted with--"Young man, will you have the kindness to inform the court which side you represent--the plaintiff or the defendant?"

The orator stared helplessly at the justice for a moment, and then sat down. Amid peals of laughter from the spectators the prisoner was bound over to the county court for trial.

But Phineas did not often come out so ingloriously in encounters with his grandfather. The old gentleman was always ready to lend his grandson any of his turnouts except one, and this one Phineas especially desired one day for a sleighing party, in which he was to escort the fair Charity Hallett. So he boldly went to the grandfather and asked if he might take Arabian and the new sleigh.

"Oh, yes," said the old man, jokingly, "if you have twenty dollars in your pocket."


"Yes, really."

Whereupon Phineas showed the money, and putting it back in his pocket, remarked, "You see; I am much obliged for the sleigh."

Of course, the grandfather had meant to ask an impossible price for the horse and sleigh; but being caught up so suddenly, there was nothing to do but to consent, and Phineas and "Chairy" had the finest turnout of the party.

There was a young fellow in the town, Jack Mallett, whose education was rather deficient, and who had been somewhat unsuccessfully paying his addresses to a fair but hard-hearted maiden, named Lucretia. One Sunday evening she cruelly refused to accept his escort after church, and added insult to injury by walking off before his very eyes with another man. Accordingly, he determined to write her a letter of remonstrance, and enlisted the aid of Phineas and another young blade known as "Bill" Shepherd. The joint effort of the three resulted in the following:

"BETHEL,----, 18--.

"MISS LUCRETIA: I write this to ask an explanation of your conduct in giving me the mitten on Sunday night last. If you think, madam, that you can trifle with my affections, and turn me off for every little whipper-snapper that you can pick up, you will find yourself considerably mistaken. [We read thus far to Mallett, and it met his approval. He said he liked the idea of calling her "madam," for he thought it sounded so "distant," it would hurt her feelings very much. The term "little whipper-snapper" also delighted him. He said he guessed that would make her feel cheap. Shepherd and myself were not quite so sure of its aptitude, since the chap who succeeded in capturing Lucretia, on the occasion alluded to, was a head and shoulders taller than Mallett. However, we did not intimate our thoughts to Mallett, and he desired us to "go ahead and give her another dose."] You don't know me, madam, if you think you can snap me up in this way. I wish you to understand that I can have the company of girls as much above you as the sun is above the earth, and I won't stand any of your impudent nonsense no how. [This was duly read and approved. "Now," said Mallett, "try to touch her feelings. Remind her of the pleasant hours we have spent together;" and we continued as follows:] My dear Lucretia, when I think of the many pleasant hours we have spent together--of the delightful walks which we have had on moonlight evenings to Fenner's Rocks, Chestnut Ridge, Grassy Plain, Wild Cat and Puppy Town--of the strolls which we have taken upon Shelter Rocks, Cedar Hill--the visits we have made to Old Lane, Wolfpits, Toad Hole and Plum Trees[1]--when all these things come rushing on my mind, and when; my dear girl, I remember how often you have told me that you loved me better than anybody else, and I assured you that my feelings were the same as yours, it almost breaks my heart to think of last Sunday night. ["Can't you stick in some affecting poetry here?" said Mallett. Shepherd could not recollect any to the point, nor could I; but as the exigency of the case seemed to require it, we concluded to manufacture a verse or two, which we did, as follows:]

[1] These were the euphonious names of localities in the vicinity of Bethel.

Lucretia, dear, what have I done,
That you should use me thus and so,
To take the arm of Tom Beers' son,
And let your dearest true love go?

Miserable fate, to lose you now,
And tear this bleeding heart asunder!
Will you forget your tender vow?
I can't believe it--no, by thunder.

[Mallett did not like the word "thunder," but being informed that no other word could be substituted without destroying both rhyme and reason, he consented that it should remain, provided we added two more stanzas of a softer nature; something, he said, that would make the tears come, if possible, We then ground out the following:]

Lucretia, dear, do write to Jack,
And say with Beers you are not smitten; And thus to me in love come back,
And give all other boys the mitten.

Do this, Lucretia, and till death
I'll love you to intense distraction;
I'll spend for you my every breath,
And we will live in satisfaction.

["That will do very well," said Mallett. "Now I guess you had better blow her up a little more." We obeyed orders as follows:] It makes me mad to think what a fool I was to give you that finger-ring and bosom-pin, and spend so much time in your company, just to be flirted and bamboozled as I was on Sunday night last. If you continue this course of conduct, we part forever, and I will thank you to send back that jewelry. I would sooner see it crushed under my feet than worn by a person who abused me as you have done. I shall despise you forever if you don't change your conduct towards me, and send me a letter of apology on Monday next. I shall not go to meeting to-morrow, for I would scorn to sit in the same meeting-house with you until I have an explanation of your conduct. If you allow any young man to go home with you to-morrow night, I shall know it, for you will be watched, ["There," said Mallett, "that is pretty strong. Now, I guess, you had better touch her feelings once more, and wind up the letter." We proceeded as follows:] My sweet girl, if you only knew the sleepless nights which I have spent during the present week, the torments and sufferings which I endure on your account; if you could but realize that I regard the world as less than nothing without you, I am certain you would pity me. A homely cot and a crust of bread with my adorable Lucretia would be a paradise, where a palace without you would be a hades. ["What in thunder is hades?" inquired Jack. We explained. He considered the figure rather bold, and requested us to close as soon as possible.] Now, dearest, in bidding you adieu, I implore you to reflect on our past enjoyments, look forward with pleasure to our future happy meetings, and rely upon your affectionate Jack in storm or calm, in sickness, distress or want, for all these will be powerless to change my love. I hope to hear from you on Monday next, and, if favorable, I shall be happy to call on you the same evening, when in ecstatic joy we will laugh at the past, hope for the future, and draw consolation from the fact that "the course of true love never did run smooth." This from your disconsolate but still hoping lover and admirer,


"P. S.--On reflection I have concluded to go to meeting to-morrow. If all is well, hold your pocket-handkerchief in your left hand as you stand up to sing with the choir--in which case I shall expect the pleasure of giving you my arm to-morrow night.

"J. M."

The effect of this letter upon Lucretia was not as favorable as could have been desired. She declined to remove her handkerchief from her right hand, and she returned the "ring and bosom-pin" to her disconsolate admirer, while, not many months after, Mallett's rival led Lucretia to the altar. As for Mallett's agreement to pay Shepherd and Barnum five pounds of carpet-rags and twelve yards of broadcloth "lists" for their services, owing to his ill success, they compromised for one-half the amount.



About this time Barnum, with a Mr. Samuel Sherwood, of Bridgeport, started for Pittsburg, where they proposed to open a lottery office. On reaching New York, however, and talking over the scheme with friends, the venture was abandoned and the two men took, instead, a pleasure trip to Philadelphia. They stayed a week, at the end of which time they returned to New York, with exactly twenty-seven cents between them. Sherwood managed to borrow two dollars--enough to take him to Newark, where he had a cousin, who obligingly loaned him fifty dollars. The two friends remained in New York on the strength of their newly acquired wealth for several days, and then went home considerably richer in experience at least.

Barnum now went into the lottery business exclusively, taking his uncle, Alanson Taylor, into partnership. They established a number of agencies throughout the country, and made good profits from the sale of tickets. Several of the tickets sold by them took prizes and their office came to be considered "lucky."

The young man was prospering also in another direction. The fair tailoress smiled on him as sweetly as ever, and in the summer of 1827 they became formally engaged. In the fall Miss Hallett went "on a visit" to her uncle, Nathan Beers, in New York. A month later her lover followed, "to buy goods," and on the 8th of November, 1829, there was a wedding in the comfortable house at No. 3 Allen street. Having married at the age of nineteen, Barnum always expressed his disapproval of early marriages, although his own was a very happy one.

Returning to Bethel, Mr. and Mrs. Barnum, after boarding for a few months, moved into their own house, which was built on a three acre plat purchased from the grandfather.

The lottery business still prospered, but it was mostly in the hands of agents, in Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford and Middletown, and Barnum began to look around for some field for his individual energies. He tried travelling as a book auctioneer, but found it uncongenial and quit the business. In July, 1831, with his uncle Alanson Taylor, he opened a grocery and general store, but the venture was not particularly successful, and in the fall the partnership was dissolved, Barnum buying his uncle's interest.

The next enterprise was an important one, it being the real beginning of Phineas T. Barnum's public career.

In a period of strong political excitement, he wrote several communications for the Danbury weekly paper, setting forth what he conceived to be the dangers of a sectarian interference which was then apparent in political affairs. The publication of these communications was refused, and he accordingly purchased a press and types, and October 19, 1831, issued the first number of his own paper, The Herald of Freedom.

"I entered upon the editorship of this journal," says Mr. Barnum, "with all the vigor and vehemence of youth. The boldness with which the paper was conducted soon excited widespread attention and commanded a circulation which extended beyond the immediate locality into nearly every State in the Union. But lacking that experience which induces caution, and without the dread of consequences, I frequently laid myself open to the charge of libel, and three times in three years I was prosecuted. A Danbury butcher, a zealous politician, brought a civil suit against me for accusing him of being a spy in a Democratic caucus. On the first trial the jury did not agree, but after a second trial I was fined several hundred dollars. Another libel suit against me was withdrawn. The third was sufficiently important to warrant the following detail:

"A criminal prosecution was brought against me for stating in my paper that a man in Bethel, prominent in church, had 'been guilty of taking USURY of an orphan boy,' and for severely commenting on the fact in my editorial columns. When the case came to trial the truth of my statement was substantially proved by several witnesses and even by the prosecuting party. But 'the greater the truth, the greater the libel,' and then I had used the term 'usury,' instead of extortion, or note-shaving, or some other expression which might have softened the verdict. The result was that I was sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred dollars and to be imprisoned in the common jail for sixty days.

"The most comfortable provision was made for me in Danbury jail. My room was papered and carpeted; I lived well; I was overwhelmed with the constant visits of my friends; I edited my paper as usual and received large accessions to my subscription list; and at the end of my sixty days' term the event was celebrated by a large concourse of people from the surrounding country. The court room in which I was convicted was the scene of the celebration. An ode, written for the occasion, was sung; an eloquent oration on the freedom of the press was delivered; and several hundred gentlemen afterwards partook of a sumptuous dinner followed by appropriate toasts and speeches. Then came the triumphant part of the ceremonial, which was reported in my paper of December 12, 1832, as follows:

" 'P. T. Barnum and the band of music took their seats in a coach drawn by six horses, which had been prepared for the occasion. The coach was preceded by forty horsemen, and a marshal, bearing the national standard. Immediately in the rear of the coach was the carriage of the orator and the President of the day, followed by the committee of arrangements and sixty carriages of citizens, which joined in escorting the editor to his home in Bethel.

" 'When the procession commenced its march amidst the roar of cannon, three cheers were given by several hundred citizens who did not join in the procession. The band of music continued to play a variety of national airs until their arrival in Bethel (a distance of three miles), when they struck up the beautiful and appropriate tune of "Home, Sweet Home!" After giving three hearty cheers, the procession returned to Danbury. The utmost harmony and unanimity of feeling prevailed throughout the day, and we are happy to add that no accident occured to mar the festivities of the occasion.' "

The editorial career continued as it had begun. In 1830 The Herald of Freedom was sold to Mr. George Taylor.

The mercantile business was also sold to Horace Fairchild, who had been associated with it as partner since 1831, and a Mr. Toucey, who formed a partnership under the name of Fairchild & Co. Barnum had lost considerable money in this store; he was too speculative for ordinary trade, too ready, also to give credit, and his ledger was full of unpaid accounts when he finally gave up business.

In 1835 he removed his family to New York, taking a house in Hudson street. For a time he tried to get a position in a mercantile house, not on a fixed salary, but so as to derive a commission on his sales, trusting to his ability to make more money in this way than an ordinary clerk could be expected to receive. Failing in this he acted as a "drummer" for several stores until spring, when he was fortunate enough to receive several hundred dollars from his agent at Bethel. In May he opened a private boarding-house at 52 Frankfort street, which was well patronized by his Connecticut acquaintances as often as they visited the metropolis. This business not occupying his entire time, he bought an interest in a grocery store at 156 South street.

Although the years of manhood brought cares, anxieties, and struggles for a livelihood, they did not change Barnum's nature, and the jocose element was still an essential ingredient of his being. He loved fun, practical fun, for itself and for the enjoyment which it brought. During the year he occasionally visited Bridgeport, where he almost always found at the hotel a noted joker, named Darrow, who spared neither friend nor foe in his tricks. He was the life of the bar-room, and would always try to entrap some stranger in a bet and so win a treat for the company. He made several ineffectual attempts upon Barnum, and at last, one evening, Darrow, who stuttered, made a final trial, as follows:

"Come, Barnum, I'll make you another proposition; I'll bet you hadn't got a whole shirt on your back." The catch consists in the fact that generally only one-half of that convenient garment is on the back; but Barnum had anticipated the proposition --in fact he had induced a friend, Mr. Hough, to put Darrow up to the trick--and had folded a shirt nicely upon his back, securing it there with his suspenders. The bar-room was crowded with customers who thought that if Barnum made the bet he would be nicely caught, and he made presence of playing off and at the same time stimulated Darrow to press the bet by saying:

"That is a foolish bet to make; I am sure my shirt is whole because it is nearly new; but I don't like to bet on such a subject."

"A good reason why," said Darrow, in great glee; "it's ragged. Come, I'll bet you a treat for the whole company you hadn't got a whole shirt on your b-b-b-back!"

"I'll bet my shirt is cleaner than yours," Barnum replied.

"That's nothing to do w-w-with the case; it's ragged, and y-y-you know it."

"I know it is not," Barnum replied, with pretended anger, which caused the crowd to laugh heartily.

"You poor ragged f-f-fellow, come down here from D-D-Danbury, I'm sorry for you," said Darrow tantalizingly.

"You would not pay if you lost," Barnum remarked.

"Here's f-f-five dollars I'll put in Captain Hinman's (the landlord's) hands. Now b-b-bet if you dare, you ragged c-c-creature, you."

Barnum put five dollars in Captain Hinman's hands, and told him to treat the company from it if he lost the bet.

"Remember," said Darrow, "I b-b-bet you hadn't got a whole shirt on your bob-back!"

"All right," said Barnum, taking off his coat and commencing to unbutton his vest. The whole company, feeling sure that he was caught, began to laugh heartily. Old Darrow fairly danced with delight, and as Barnum laid his coat on a chair he came running up in front of him, and slapping his hands together, exclaimed:

"You needn't t-t-take off any more c-c-clothes, for if it ain't all on your b-b-back, you've lost it."

"If it is, I suppose you have!" Barnum replied, pulling the whole shirt from off his back!

Such a shriek of laughter as burst forth from the crowd was scarcely ever heard, and certainly such a blank countenance as old Darrow exhibited it would be hard to conceive. Seeing that he was most incontinently "done for," and perceiving that his neighbor Hough had helped to do it, he ran up to him in great anger, and shaking his fist in his face, exclaimed:

"H-H-Hough, you infernal r-r-rascal, to go against your own neighbor in favor of a D-D-Danbury man. I'll pay you for that some time, you see if I d-d-don't."

All hands went up to the bar and drank with a hearty good will, for it was seldom that Darrow got taken in, and he was such an inveterate joker they liked to see him paid in his own coin. Never till the day of his death did he hear the last of the "whole shirt."



Barnum was now satisfied that he had not yet found his proper level. He had not yet entered the business for which nature had designed him. There was only a prospect of his going on from this to that, as his father had done before him, trying many callings but succeeding in none. He had not yet discovered that love of amusement is one of the strongest passions of the human heart. This, however, was a lesson that he was soon to learn; and he was to achieve both fame and fortune as a caterer to the public desire for entertainment.

Philosophizing on this theme in later years, Mr. Barnum once said: "The show business has all phases and grades of dignity, from the exhibition of a monkey to the exposition of that highest art in music or the drama which entrances empires and secures for the gifted artist a worldwide fame which princes well might envy. Men, women and children, who cannot live on gravity alone, need something to satisfy their gayer, lighter moods and hours, and he who ministers to this want is in a business established by the Author of our nature. If he worthily fulfils his mission, and amuses without corrupting, he need never feel that he has lived in vain."

In the summer of 1835, Mr. Barnum was visited by Mr. Coley Bartram, of Reading, Connecticut, who told him that he had owned an interest in a remarkable negro woman, who was confidently believed to be one hundred and sixty-one years old and to have been the nurse of Washington. Mr. Bartram showed him a copy of an advertisement in The Pennsylvania Inquirer for July 15, 1835, as follows:

"CURIOSITY.--The citizens of Philadelphia and its vicinity have an opportunity of witnessing at the Masonic Hall one of the greatest natural curiosities ever witnessed, viz.: JOICE HETH, a negress, aged 161 years, who formerly belonged to the father of General Washington. She has been a member of the Baptist Church one hundred and sixteen years, and can rehearse many hymns, and sing them according to former custom. She was born near the old Potomac River in Virginia, and has for ninety or one hundred years lived in Paris, Kentucky, with the Bowling family.

"All who have seen this extraordinary woman are satisfied of the truth of the account of her age. The evidence of the Bowling family, which is respectable, is strong, but the original bill of sale of Augustine Washington, in his own handwriting, and other evidences which the proprietor has in his possession, will satisfy even the most incredulous.

"A lady will attend at the hall during the afternoon and evening for the accommodation of those ladies who may call."

Mr. Bartram told him, moreover, that he had sold out his interest in the woman to R. W. Lindsay, of Jefferson county, Kentucky, who was then exhibiting her as a curiosity, but was anxious to sell her. Mr. Barnum had seen in some of the New York papers an account of Joice Heth, and was so much interested in her that he at once proceeded to Philadelphia to see her and Mr. Lindsay. How he was impressed by her he has himself told. "Joice Heth," he says, "was certainly a remarkable curiosity, and she looked as if she might have been far older than her age as advertised. She was apparently in good health and spirits, but from age or disease, or both, was unable to change her position; she could move one arm at will, but her lower limbs could not be straightened; her left arm lay across her breast and she could not remove it; the fingers of her left hand were drawn down so as nearly to close it, and were fixed; the nails on that hand were almost four inches long and extended above her wrist; the nails on her large toes had grown to the thickness of a quarter of an inch; her head was covered with a thick bush of grey hair; but she was toothless and totally blind, and her eyes had sunk so deeply in the sockets as to have disappeared altogether.

"Nevertheless she was pert and sociable, and would talk as long as people would converse with her. She was quite garrulous about her protege, 'dear little George,' at whose birth she declared she was present, having been at the time a slave of Elizabeth Atwood, a half-sister of Augustine Washington, the father of George Washington. As nurse she put the first clothes on the infant, and she claimed to have 'raised him.' She professed to be a member of the Baptist Church, talking much in her way on religious subjects, and she sang a variety of ancient hymns.

"In proof of her extraordinary age and pretensions, Mr. Lindsay exhibited a bill of sale, dated February 5, 1727, from Augustine Washington, county of Westmoreland, Virginia, to Elizabeth Atwood, a half-sister and neighbor of Mr. Washington, conveying 'one negro women named Joice Heth, aged fifty-four years, for and in consideration of the sum of thirty-three pounds lawful money of Virginia.' It was further claimed that she had long been a nurse in the Washington family; she was called in at the birth of George and clothed the newborn infant. The evidence seemed authentic, and in answer to the inquiry why so remarkable a discovery had not been made before, a satisfactory explanation was given in the statement that she had been carried from Virginia to Kentucky, had been on the plantation of John S. Bowling so long that no one knew or cared how old she was, and only recently the accidental discovery by Mr. Bowling's son of the old bill of sale in the Record Office in Virginia had led to the identification of this negro woman as 'the nurse of Washington.' "

Everything seemed to Barnum to be entirely straightforward, and he decided, if possible, to purchase the woman. She was offered to him at $1,000, although Lindsay at first wanted $3,000. Barnum had $500 in cash, and was able to borrow $500 more. Thus he secured Joice Heth, sold out his interest in the grocery business to his partner, and entered upon his career as a showman. He afterward declared that the least deserving of all his efforts in the show line was this one which introduced him to the business; it was a scheme in no sense of his own devising; but it was one which had been for some time before the public, and which he honestly and with good reason believed to be genuine. He entered upon his new work with characteristic enterprise, resorting to posters, transparencies, advertisements, newspaper paragraphs, and everything else calculated to attract the attention of the public, regardless of expense. He exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Albany, and many other places, where his rooms were thronged and much money made. But in the following February Joice Heth died of old age, and was buried at Bethel. A postmortem examination was made by a surgeon and some medical students, who were inclined to doubt if she really was as old as Lindsay had said.

Thus ended Barnum's first enterprise as a showman. It had been profitable to him, and had pointed out to him the path of success. His next venture was entirely genuine and straightforward. He engaged an Italian, who called himself Signor Antonio, and who was a skilful performer on stilts, on the tight rope and at juggling. Barnum engaged him for a year at $12 a week and his expenses, and got him to change his stage name to Signor Vivalla. He then resorted to his former means of advertising, and started on his tour. For Vivalla's first week of performances Barnum received $50, and for the second week three times as much. At the close of the first performance, in response to loud applause, Barnum appeared upon the stage and made a speech to the audience, a performance which he repeated thousands of times in after years. This engagement was at the Franklin Theatre in New York.

The show next appeared in Boston, with great success. Next it went to Washington and had a most disastrous week, for every night was stormy. Indeed Barnum found himself literally stranded there, with not enough money to get away. He was driven to pawn his watch and chain for $35, and then met a friend who helped him out of his dilemma.

"As this was my first visit to Washington, I was much interested," says Barnum, "in visiting the capitol and other public buildings. I also satisfied my curiosity in seeing Clay, Calhoun, Benton, John Quincy Adams, Richard M. Johnson, Polk, and other leading statesmen of the time. I was also greatly gratified in calling upon Anne Royall, author of the Black Book, publisher of a little paper called 'Paul Pry,' and quite a celebrated personage in her day. I had exchanged The Herald of Freedom with her journal, and she strongly sympathized with me in my persecutions. She was delighted to see me, and although she was the most garrulous old woman I ever saw, I passed a very amusing and pleasant time with her. Before leaving her I manifested my showman propensity by trying to hire her to give a dozen or more lectures on 'Government' in the Atlantic cities, but I could not engage her at any price, although I am sure the speculation would have been a very profitable one. I never saw this eccentric woman again; she died at a very advanced age, October 1, 1854, at her residence in Washington."

From Washington the show went to Philadelphia and appeared at the Walnut Street Theatre. The audiences were small and it was evident that something must be done to arouse public interest. "And now," says Barnum, "that instinct which can arouse a community and make it patronize one, provided the article offered is worthy of patronage, an instinct which served me greatly in later years, astonishing the public and surprising me, came to my relief, and the help, curiously enough, appeared in the shape of an emphatic hiss from the pit!

"This hiss, I discovered, came from one Roberts, a circus performer, and I had an interview with him. He was a professional balancer and juggler, who boasted that he could do all Vivalla had done and something more. I at once published a card in Vivalla's name, offering $1,000 to any one who would publicly perform Vivalla's feats at such place as should be designated, and Roberts issued a counter card accepting the offer. I then contracted with Mr. Warren, treasurer of the Walnut Street Theatre, for one-third of the proceeds, if I should bring the receipts up to $400 a night--an agreement he could well afford to make as his receipts the night before had been but seventy-five dollars. From him I went to Roberts, who seemed disposed to 'back down,' but I told him that I should not insist upon the terms of his published card, and ask him if he was under any engagement? Learning that he was not I offered him thirty dollars to perform under my direction one night at the Walnut, and he accepted. A great trial of skill between Roberts and Vivalla was duly announced by posters and through the press. Meanwhile, they rehearsed privately to see what tricks each could perform, and the 'business' was completely arranged.

"Public excitement was at fever heat, and on the night of the trial the pit and upper boxes were crowded to the full. The 'contest' between the performers was eager, and each had his party in the house. So far as I could learn, no one complained that he did not get all he paid for on that occasion. I engaged Roberts for a month, and his subsequent 'contests' with Vivalla amused the public and put money in my purse."

In the spring of 1836 Barnum joined his show with Aaron Turner's travelling circus, himself acting as ticket seller, secretary and treasurer, at thirty dollars a month and one-fifth of the total profits, while Vivalla was to get fifty dollars a month. Barnum was himself paying Vivalla eighty dollars a month, so that he really had left for himself only his one-fifth share of the profits. The combined show set out from Danbury, Connecticut, for West Springfield, Massachusetts, on April 26. On the first day, Barnum relates, instead of stopping for dinner, Turner simply distributed to the company three loaves of rye bread and a pound of butter, which he bought at a farmhouse for fifty cents. On April 28 they began their performances at West Springfield, and as their band of music had not arrived from Providence, as expected, Barnum made a speech to the audience in place of it, which seemed to please everybody. The engagement was successful, and the tour was continued during the summer through numerous towns and cities in New England, the Middle States, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

Many incidents, humorous and otherwise, marked their progress. At Cabotville, Massachusetts, on going to bed one night one of the company threw a lighted cigar stump into a box of sawdust, and the result was that, an hour or two later, they all narrowly escaped suffocation from the smoke. At Lenox, Massachusetts, they spent Sunday and Barnum went to church as usual. The sermon was directed against the circus, denouncing it in very abusive terms as an immoral and degrading institution. "Thereupon," says Barnum, "when the minister had read the closing hymn, I walked up the pulpit stairs and handed him a written request, signed 'P. T. Barnum, connected with the circus, June 5, 1836,' to be permitted to reply to him. He declined to notice it, and after the benediction I lectured him for not giving me an opportunity to vindicate myself and those with whom I was connected. The affair created considerable excitement, and some of the members of the church apologized to me for their clergyman's ill behavior. A similar affair happened afterward at Port Deposit, on the lower Susquehanna, and in this instance I addressed the audience for half an hour, defending the circus company against the attacks of the clergyman, and the people listened, though their pastor repeatedly implored them to go home. Often have I collected our company on Sunday and read to them the Bible or a printed sermon, and one or more of the men frequently accompanied me to church. We made no pretense of religion, but we were not the worst people in the world, and we thought ourselves entitled to at least decent treatment when we went to hear the preaching of the Gospel."

Turner, the proprietor of the circus, was a self-made man. He had made himself rich through industry, as he believed any other man with common sense could do, and he was very proud of the fact. He was also an inveterate practical joker, and once, at Annapolis, Maryland, he played upon Barnum a trick which came very near having a serious result. They got there on Saturday night, and the next morning Barnum went out for a walk, wearing a fine new suit of black clothes. As he passed through the bar-room and out of the hotel Turner said to some bystanders, who did not know Barnum:

"I think it very singular that you permit that rascal to march your streets in open day. It wouldn't be allowed in Rhode Island, and I suppose that is the reason the scoundrel has come down this way."

"Why, who is he?" they demanded.

"Don't you know? Why, that is the Rev. E. K. Avery, the murderer of Miss Cornell."

Instantly there was a rush of the whole crowd to the door, eager to get another look at Barnum, and uttering threats of vengeance. This man Avery had only lately been tried in Rhode Island for the murder of Miss Cornell, whose dead body was discovered in a stack-yard, and though he was acquitted by the court everybody believed him guilty. Accordingly, Barnum soon found himself overtaken and surrounded by a mob of one hundred or more and his ears saluted with such remarks as "the lecherous old hypocrite," "the sanctified murderer," "the black-coated villain," "lynch him," "tar and feather him," and others still more harsh and threatening. Then one man seized him by the collar, while others brought a fence rail and some rope.

"Come," said the man who collared him, "old chap, you can't walk any further; we know you, and as we always make gentlemen ride in these parts, you may just prepare to straddle that rail!"

His surprise may be imagined. "Good heavens!" he exclaimed, as they all pressed around, "gentlemen, what have I done?"

"Oh, we know you," exclaimed half a dozen voices; "you needn't roll your sanctimonious eyes; that game don't take in this country. Come, straddle the rail, and REMEMBER THE STACK-YARD!"

He grew more and more bewildered; he could not imagine what possible offence he was to suffer for, and he continued to exclaim, "Gentlemen, what have I done? Don't kill me, gentlemen, but tell me what I have done."

"Come, make him straddle the rail; we'll show him how to hang poor factory girls," shouted a man in the crowd.

The man who had him by the collar then remarked "Come, MR. AVERY, it's no use; you see, we know you, and we'll give you a touch of lynch law, and start you for home again."

"My name is NOT Avery, gentlemen; you are mistaken in your man," he exclaimed.

"Come, come, none of your gammon; straddle the rail, Ephraim."

The rail was brought and Barnum was about to be placed on it, when the truth flashed upon him.

"Gentlemen," he exclaimed, "I am not Avery; I despise that villain as much as you can; my name is Barnum; I belong to the circus which arrived here last night, and I am sure Old Turner, my partner, has hoaxed you with this ridiculous story."

"If he has we'll lynch him," said one of the mob.

"Well, he has, I'll assure you, and if you will walk to the hotel with me, I'll convince you of the fact."

This they reluctantly assented to, keeping, however, a close hand upon him. As they walked up the main street, the mob received a re-enforcement of some fifty or sixty, and Barnum was marched like a malefactor up to the hotel. Old Turner stood on the piazza ready to explode with laughter. Barnum appealed to him for heaven's sake to explain this matter, that he might be liberated. He continued to laugh, but finally told them "he believed there was some mistake about it. The fact is," said he, "my friend Barnum has a new suit of black clothes on and he looks so much like a priest that I thought he must be Avery."

The crowd saw the joke and seemed satisfied. Barnum's new coat had been half-torn from his back, and he had been very roughly handled. But some of the crowd apologized for the outrage, declaring that Turner ought to be served in the same way, while others advised Barnum to "get even with him." Barnum was very much offended, and when the mob-dispersed he asked Turner what could have induced him to play such a trick.

"My dear Mr. Barnum," he replied, "it was all for our good. Remember, all we need to insure success is notoriety. You will see that this will be noised all about town as a trick played by one of the circus managers upon the other, and our pavilion will be crammed to-morrow night."

It was even so; the trick was told all over town, and every one came to see the circus managers who were in a habit of playing practical jokes upon each other. They had fine audiences while they remained at Annapolis, but it was a long time before Barnum forgave Turner for his rascally "joke."



At almost every place visited by the travelling company, some notable incident occurred. At Hanover Court House, Virginia, for example, it was raining so heavily that they could not give a performance, and Turner therefore decided to start for Richmond immediately after dinner. Their landlord, however, said that as their agent had engaged three meals and lodgings for the whole troupe, the whole bill must be paid whether they went then or stayed until next morning. No compromise could be made with the stubborn fellow, and Turner was equally stubborn in his determination both to go at once and also to have the worth of his money. The following programme was accordingly carried out, Turner insisting upon every detail:

Dinner was ordered at twelve o'clock and was duly prepared and eaten. As soon as the table was cleared, supper was ordered, at half past twelve. After eating as much of this as their dinner had left room for, the whole company went to bed at one o'clock in the afternoon. Each man insisted upon taking a lighted candle to his room, and the whole thirty-six of them undressed and went to bed as though they proposed to stay all night. Half an hour later they arose and dressed again and went down to breakfast, which Turner had ordered served at two o'clock sharp. They could eat but little of this meal, of course, but they did the best they could, and at half past two in the afternoon were on their way to Richmond. Throughout the whole absurd proceedings the landlord was furiously angry. Turner was as solemn as a corpse, and the rest of the company were convulsed with laughter.

After the performance one evening at Richmond, Barnum tried to pay Turner for that practical joke about the Rev. Mr. Avery. A score of the company were telling stories and singing songs in the sitting room of the hotel. Presently somebody began propounding some amusing arithmetical problems. Then Turner proposed one, which was readily solved. Barnum's turn came next, and he offered the following, for Turner's especial benefit:

"Suppose a man is thirty years of age, and he has a child one year of age; he is thirty times older than his child. When the child is thirty years old, the father, being sixty, is only twice as old as his child. When the child is sixty the father is ninety, and therefore only one-third older than the child. When the child is ninety the father is one hundred and twenty, and therefore only one-fourth older than the child. Thus you see, the child is gradually but surely gaining on the parent, and as he certainly continues to come nearer and nearer, in time he must overtake him. The question therefore is, suppose it was possible for them to live long enough, how old would the father be when the child overtook him and became of the same age?"

The company generally saw the catch; but Turner was very much interested in the problem, and although he admitted he knew nothing about arithmetic, he was convinced that as the son was gradually gaining on the father he must reach him if there was time enough--say, a thousand years, or so--for the race. But an old gentleman gravely remarked that the idea of a son becoming as old as his father while both were living, was simply nonsense, and he offered to bet a dozen of champagne that the thing was impossible, even "in figures." Turner, who was a betting man, and who thought the problem might be proved, accepted the wager; but he was soon convinced that however much the boy might relatively gain upon his father, there would always be thirty years difference in their ages. The champagne cost him $25, and he failed to see the fun of Barnum's arithmetic, though at last he acknowledged that it was a fair offset to the Avery trick.

From Richmond they went to Petersburg, and thence to Warrenton, North Carolina, and there, on October 30, Barnum and Turner separated, Barnum's engagement having expired with a clear profit to himself of about $1,200. Barnum took Vivalla, a negro singer and dancer named James Sandford, several musicians, horses and wagons, and a small canvas tent. With these he proposed to carry on a travelling show of his own. His first stop was on Saturday, November 12, 1836, at Rocky Mount Falls, North Carolina. The next day, being Sunday, Barnum set out for church. "I noticed," he says, "a stand and benches in a grove near by, and determined to speak to the people if I was permitted. The landlord who was with me said that the congregation, coming from a distance to attend a single service, would be very glad to hear a stranger, and I accordingly asked the venerable clergyman to announce that after service I would speak for half an hour in the grove. Learning that I was not a clergyman, he declined to give the notice, but said that he had no objection to my making the announcement, which I did, and the congregation, numbering about three hundred, promptly came to hear me.

"I told them I was not a preacher, and had very little experience in public speaking, but I felt a deep interest in matters of morality and religion, and would attempt in a plain way, to set before them the duties and privileges of man. I appealed to every man's experience, observation and reason, to confirm the Bible doctrine of wretchedness in vice and happiness in virtue. We cannot violate the laws of God with impunity, and He will not keep back the wages of well-doing. The outside show of things is of very small account. We must look to realities and not to appearances. 'Diamonds may glitter on a vicious breast,' but 'the soul's calm sunshine and the heart-felt joy is virtue's prize.' The rogue, the passionate man, the drunkard, are not to be envied even at the best, and a conscience hardened by sin is the most sorrowful possession we can think of."

Barnum proceeded in this strain with various scriptural quotations and familiar illustrations, for three-quarters of an hour. At the end of his address several persons came up to shake hands with him, saying that they had been greatly pleased and edified by his remarks and asking to know his name. He went away feeling that possibly he had done some good by means of his impromptu preaching.

The negro singer and dancer, Sandford, abruptly deserted the show at Camden, South Carolina, and left Barnum in a bad plight. An entertainment of negro songs had been advertised, and no one was able to fill Sandford's place. Barnum was determined, however, that his audience should not be disappointed, and so he blackened his own face and went on the stage himself, singing a number of plantation melodies. His efforts were received with great applause, and he was recalled several times. This performance was repeated for several evenings.

One night after thus personating a negro, Barnum heard a disturbance outside the tent. Hastening to the spot he found a man quarreling with one of his company. He interfered, whereupon the man drew a pistol and pointing it at Barnum's head, exclaimed, "you black scoundrel! How dare you use such language to a white man?" He evidently took Barnum for a real negro, and in another moment would have blown his brains out. But quick as a flash the showman exclaim, "I am as white as you!" and at the same moment rolled up his sleeves showing the white skin of his arm. The other man dropped his pistol in consternation and humbly begged Barnum's pardon.

"On four different occasions in my life," said Mr. Barnum not long before his death, "I have had a loaded pistol pointed at my head and each time I have escaped death by what seemed a miracle. I have also often been in deadly peril by accidents, and when I think of these things I realize my indebtedness to an all-protecting Providence. Reviewing my career, too, and considering the kind of company I kept for years and the associations with which I was surrounded and connected, I am surprised as well as grateful that I was not ruined. I honestly believe that I owe my preservation from the degradation of living and dying a loafer and a vagabond, to the single fact that I was never addicted to strong drink. To be sure, I have in times past drank liquor, but I have generally wholly abstained from intoxicating beverages, and for many years, I am glad to say, I have been a strict 'teetotaller.' "

At Camden, Barnum also lost one of his musicians, a Scotchman named Cochran. This man was arrested and, in spite of Barnum's efforts to save him, imprisoned for many months for advising a negro barber who was shaving him to run away to the Free States or to Canada. To fill up his ranks Barnum now hired Bob White, a negro singer, and Joe Pentland, a clown, ventriloquist, comic singer, juggler, and sleight-of-hand performer, and also bought four horses and two wagons. He called this enlarged show "Barnum's Grand Scientific and Musical Theatre."

At Raleigh, North Carolina, Barnum had sold a half interest in his show to a man called Henry,--not his real name. The latter now acted as treasurer and ticket taker. When they reached Augusta, Georgia, the Sheriff served a writ upon Henry for a debt of $500. As Henry had $600 of the Company's money in his pockets, Barnum at once secured a bill of sale of all his property in the exhibition. Armed with this he met Henry's creditor and his lawyer, who demanded the key of the stable, so that they might levy on the horses and wagons. Barnum asked them to wait a little while until he could see Henry, to which they agreed. Henry was anxious to cheat his creditor, and accordingly was glad to sign the bill of sale. Then Barnum returned and told the creditor and his lawyer that Henry would neither pay nor compromise the claim. The Sheriff thereupon demanded the stable key, so that he might attach Henry's share of the property. "Not yet," said Barnum, pulling out the bill of sale, "I am in possession as entire owner of this property. I have already purchased it, and you have not yet levied on it. You will touch my property at your peril."

The creditor and the sheriff were thus baffled, but they immediately arrested Henry and took him to prison. The next day Barnum learned that Henry really owed $1,300, and that he had promised his creditor that he would pay him $500 of the company's money and a bill of sale of his interest in the show at the end of the Saturday night performance, in consideration of which the creditor was to allow him to take one of the horses and run away, leaving Barnum in the lurch. Learning this, Barnum was not disposed to help Henry any further. Finding that Henry had intrusted the $500 to Vivalla, to keep it from the sheriff, Barnum secured it from Vivalla on Henry's order, under pretense of securing bail for the prisoner. Then he paid the creditor the full amount obtained from Henry as the price of his half-interest and received in return an assignment of $500 of the creditor's claim and a guarantee that he should not be troubled by Henry for it. Thus his own promptness rescued Barnum from one of the most unpleasant situations in which he was ever placed.

After this they got into one of the most desolate parts of Georgia. One night their advance agent, finding it impossible to reach the next town, arranged for the whole show to spend the night at a miserable and solitary hovel owned by an old woman named Hayes. The horses were to be picketed in a field, and the company were to sleep in the tent and the out houses. Posters were scattered over the country, announcing that a performance would be given there the next day, the agent thinking that, as a show was a rarity in that region, a considerable number of small farmers would be glad to attend.

"Meanwhile," says Barnum, "our advertiser, who was quite a wag, wrote back informing us of the difficulty of reaching a town on that part of our route, and stating that he had made arrangements for us to stay over night on the plantation of 'Lady Hayes,' and that although the country was sparsely settled, we could doubtless give a profitable performance to a fair audience.

"Anticipating a fine time on this noble 'plantation,' we started at four o'clock in the morning so as to arrive at one o'clock, thus avoiding the heat of the afternoon. Towards noon we came to a small river where some men, whom we afterwards discovered to be down-east Yankees, from Maine, were repairing a bridge. Every flooring plank had been taken up, and it was impossible for our teams to cross. 'Could the bridge be fixed so that we could go over?' I inquired. 'No; it would take half a day, and meantime, if we must cross, there was a place about sixteen miles down the river where we could get over. 'But we can't go so far as that; we are under engagement to perform on Lady Hayes's place to-night, and we must cross here. Fix the bridge and we will pay you handsomely.'

"They wanted no money, but if we would give them some tickets to our show they thought they might do something for us. I gladly consented, and in fifteen minutes we crossed that bridge. The cunning rascals had seen our posters and knew we were coming; so they had taken up the planks of the bridge and had hidden them till they had levied upon us for tickets, when the floor was re-laid in a quarter of an hour.

"Towards dinner-time we began to look out for the grand mansion of 'Lady Hayes,' and seeing nothing but little huts we quietly pursued our journey. At one o'clock--the time when we should have arrived at our destination--I became impatient, and riding up to a poverty-stricken hovel and seeing a ragged, bare-footed old woman, with her sleeves rolled up to her shoulders, who was washing clothes in front of the door, I inquired--" 'Hello! can you tell me where Lady Hayes lives?'

"The old woman raised her head, which was covered with tangled locks and matted hair, and exclaimed--" 'Hey?'

" 'No, Hayes, Lady Hayes; where is her plantation?'

" 'This is the place,' she answered; 'I'm Widder Hayes, and you are all to stay here to-night.'

"We could not believe our ears or eyes; but after putting the dirty old woman through a severe cross-examination she finally produced a contract, signed by our advertiser, agreeing for board and lodging for the company, and we found ourselves booked for the night. It appeared that our advertiser could find no better quarters in that forlorn section, and he had indulged in a joke at our expense by exciting our appetites and imaginations in anticipation of the luxuries we should find in the magnificent mansion of 'Lady Hayes.'

"Joe Pentland grumbled, Bob White indulged in some very strong language, and Signor Vivalla laughed. He had travelled with his monkey and organ in Italy and could put up with any fare that offered. I took the disappointment philosophically, simply remarking that we must make the best of it and compensate ourselves when we reached a town next day.

"The next forenoon we arrived at Macon, and congratulated ourselves that we had reached the regions of civilization.

"In going from Columbus, Ga., to Montgomery, Ala., we were obliged to cross a thinly-settled, desolate tract, known as the 'Indian Nation,' and as several persons had been murdered by hostile Indians in that region, it was deemed dangerous to travel the road without an escort. Only the day before we started, the mail stage had been stopped and the passengers murdered, the driver alone escaping. We were well armed, however, and trusted that our numbers would present too formidable a force to be attacked, though we dreaded to incur the risk. Vivalla alone was fearless and was ready to encounter fifty Indians and drive them into the swamp.

"Accordingly, when we had safely passed over the entire route to within fourteen miles of Montgomery, and were beyond the reach of danger, Joe Pentland determined to test Vivalla's bravery. He had secretly purchased at Mt. Megs, on the way, an old Indian dress with a fringed hunting shirt and moccasins and these he put on, after coloring his face with Spanish brown. Then shouldering his musket he followed Vivalla and the party, and, approaching stealthily leaped into their midst with a tremendous whoop.

"Vivalla's companions were in the secret, and they instantly fled in all directions. Vivalla himself ran like a deer and Pentland after him, gun in hand and yelling horribly. After running a full mile the poor little Italian, out of breath and frightened nearly to death, dropped on his knees and begged for his life. The 'Indian' leveled his gun at his victim, but soon seemed to relent, and signified that Vivalla should turn his pockets inside out--which he did, producing and handing over a purse containing eleven dollars. The savage then marched Vivalla to an oak, and with a handkerchief tied him in the most approved Indian manner to the tree, leaving him half dead with fright.

"Pentland then joined us, and washing his face and changing his dress, we all went to the relief of Vivalla. He was overjoyed to see us, and when he was released his courage returned; he swore that after his companions left him, the Indian had been re-inforced by six more, to whom, in default of a gun or other means to defend himself, Vivalla had been compelled to surrender. We pretended to believe his story for a week, and then told him the joke, which he refused to credit, and also declined to take the money which Pentland offered to return, as it could not possibly be his since seven Indians had taken his money. We had a great deal of fun over Vivalla's courage, but the matter made him so cross and surly that we were finally obliged to drop it altogether. From that time forward, however, Vivalla never boasted of his prowess."

At the end of February, 1837, they reached Montgomery, and there Barnum sold a half interest in his show to Henry Hawley, a sleight-of-hand performer. He was a very clever fellow and was never known to be non-plussed or embarrassed in his tricks, except upon one occasion. This was when he was performing the well-known egg and bag trick, which he did with great success, taking egg after egg from the bag and finally breaking one to show that they were genuine. "Now," said he "I will show you the old hen that laid them." But it happened that the negro boy to whom had been intrusted the duty of supplying "properties," had made a slight mistake. The result was that Hawley triumphantly produced not "the old hen that laid the eggs," but a most palpable and evident rooster. The audience roared with laughter, and Hawley, completely taken aback, fled in confusion to his dressing room, uttering furious maledictions upon the boy who was the author of his woe.

The show visited various places in Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, and finally disbanded at Nashville in May, 1837. Vivalla went to New York and gave some performances on his own account before sailing for Cuba. Hawley remained in Tennessee, and Barnum went home to his family. Early in July, however, he formed a new company and went back to rejoin Hawley. But they were not successful, and in August they parted again, Barnum forming a new partnership with one Z. Graves. He then went to Tiffin, Ohio, where he re-engaged Joe Pentland and got together the nucleus of a new company.

During his short stay at Tiffin, Barnum got into a discussion with various gentlemen on religious subjects, and in response to their invitation lectured, or preached, in the school-house on Sunday afternoon and evening. He also went to the neighboring town of Republic and delivered two lectures.

On his way back to Kentucky, just before he reached Cincinnati, he met a drove of hogs. One of the drivers made an insolent remark because the circus wagons interfered with the driving of the hogs, and Barnum responded angrily. Thereupon the fellow jumped from his horse, pointed a pistol at Barnum's breast and swore he would shoot him if he did not apologize. Barnum asked permission to speak first to a friend in the next wagon, after which, he said, he would give the man full satisfaction. The "friend" proved to be a loaded double barrelled gun, which Barnum leveled at the hog-driver's head, saying:

"Now, sir, you must apologize, or have your brains blown out. You drew a weapon upon me for a careless remark. You seem to hold human life at a cheap price. Now you have the choice between a load of shot and an apology."

The man apologized promptly, a pleasant conversation ensued, and they parted excellent friends.

On this tour they exhibited at Nashville, where Barnum visited General Jackson at the Hermitage; at Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Vicksburg and various other places, generally doing well. At Vicksburg they bought a steamboat and went down the river, stopping at every important landing to exhibit. At Natchez their cook deserted them, and Barnum set out to find another. He found a white woman who was willing to go, only she expected to marry a painter in that town, and did not want to leave him. Barnum went to see the painter and found that he had not fully made up his mind whether to marry the woman or not. Thereupon the enterprising showman told the painter that if he would marry the woman the next morning he would hire him for $25 a month as painter, and his bride at the same wages as cook, give them both their board and add a cash bonus of $50. There was a wedding on the boat the next day, and they had a good cook and a good dinner.

During one evening performance at Francisville, Louisiana, a man tried to pass Barnum at the door of the tent, claiming that he had paid for admittance. Barnum refused him entrance; and as he was slightly intoxicated, he struck Barnum with a slung shot, mashing his hat and grazing what phrenologists call "the organ of caution." He went away and soon returned with a gang of armed and half-drunken companions, who ordered the showmen to pack up their "traps and plunder" and to get on board their steamboat within an hour. The big tent speedily came down. No one was permitted to help, but the company worked with a will, and within five minutes of the expiration of the hour they were on board and ready to leave. The scamps who had caused their departure escorted them and their last load, waving pine torches, and saluted them with a hurrah as they swung into the stream.

The New Orleans papers of March 19th, 1838, announced the arrival of the "Steamer Ceres, Captain Barnum, with a theatrical company." After a week's performance, they started for the Attakapas country. At Opelousas they exchanged the steamer for sugar and molasses; the company was disbanded, and Barnum started for home, arriving in New York. June 4th, 1838.



Looking around now for some permanent business, Barnum at last resorted to the expedient of advertising for a partner, stating that he had $2,500 to invest, and was willing to add his entire personal attention to the business. He was immediately overwhelmed with answers, the most of them coming from sharpers. One was a counterfeiter who wanted $2,500 to invest in paper, ink, and dies.

One applicant was a sedate individual dressed in sober drab; he proposed to buy a horse and wagon and sell oats in bags, trusting that no one would be particular in measuring after a Quaker.

"Do you mean to cheat in measuring your oats?" asked Barnum.

"Well," said the Quaker, with a significant leer, "I shall probably make them hold out."

Finally Barnum decided to go into business with a good-looking, plausible German, named Proler, who was a manufacturer of paste-blacking, cologne, and bear's grease. They opened a store at No. 101 1/2 Bowery, where Proler manufactured the goods, and Barnum kept accounts and attended to sales in the store. The business prospered, or appeared to, until the capital was exhausted, and early in 1840 Barnum sold out his interest to Proler, taking the German's note for $2,600, which was all he ever got, Proler shortly afterward running away to Rotterdam.

Barnum had formed the acquaintance of a very clever young dancer named John Diamond, and soon after leaving the paste-blacking enterprise, he gathered together a company of singers, etc., which, with the dancer, Diamond, he placed in the hands of an agent, not caring to have his name appear in the transaction. He hired the Vauxhall Garden Saloon in New York and gave a variety of performances. This, however, proved unprofitable, and was abandoned after a few months.

Much as Barnum dreaded resuming the life of an itinerant showman, there seemed nothing else to be done, so January 2d, 1841, found him in New Orleans, with a company consisting of C. D. Jenkins, an excellent Yankee character artist; Diamond, the dancer; a violinist, and one or two others. His brother-in-law, John Hallett, acted as advance agent. The venture was fairly successful, though after the first two weeks in New Orleans, the manager and proprietor of the show was obliged to pledge his watch as security for the board-bill. A dancing match between Diamond and a negro from Kentucky put nearly $500 into Barnum's pocket, and they continued to prosper until Diamond, after extorting as much money as possible from his manager, finally ran away. The other members of the troop caused considerable trouble later. Jenkins, the Yankee character man, went to St. Louis, and having enticed Francis Lynch, an orphan protege of Barnum's into the scheme, proceeded to the Museum, where he exhibited Lynch as the celebrated dancer, John Diamond. Barnum poured out his wrath at this swindler in a letter, for which Jenkins threatened suit, and actually did instigate R. W. Lindsay to bring an action against Barnum for a pipe of brandy, alleged to have been included in his contract. Being among strangers, Barnum had some difficulty in procuring the $500 bond required, and was committed to jail until late in the afternoon. As soon as he was released, he had Jenkins arrested for fraud, and then went on his way rejoicing.

After an absence of eight months Barnum found himself back in New York, resolved never again to be a traveling showman. Contracting with the publisher, Robert Sears, for five hundred copies of "Sear's Pictorial Illustrations of the Bible," and accepting the United States agency for the book, he opened an office at the corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets. He advertised widely, had numerous agents, and sold thousands of books, but for all that, lost money.

While engaged in this business the Vauxhall Saloon was re-opened, under the management of John Hallett, Mrs. Barnum's brother. At the end of the season they had cleared about $200. This sum was soon exhausted, and for the rest of the winter Barnum managed to eke out a living by writing for the Sunday papers, and getting up unique advertisements for the Bowery Amphitheatre.

His ambition received a stimulus at last from a friend in Danbury, who held a mortgage on a piece of property owned by Mr. Barnum. Mr. Whittlesey wrote that as he was convinced of Mr. Barnum's inability to lay up money, he thought he might as well demand the five hundred dollars then as at any time. Barnum's flagging energies were aroused, and he began in earnest to look for some permanent investment.

In connection with the Bowery Amphitheatre, the information came to him that the collection of curiosities comprising Scudder's American Museum, at the corner of Broadway and Ann Streets, was for sale. The original proprietor had spent $50,000 on it, and at his death had left a large fortune as the result of the speculation. It was now losing money and the heirs offered it for sale, at the low price of $15,000. Realizing that with tact, energy, and liberality, the business might be made as profitable as ever, Barnum resolved to buy it.

"You buy the American Museum!" exclaimed a friend to whom he confided the scheme. "What will you buy it with?"

"With brass," answered Barnum, "for silver and gold have I none."

And buy it with brass he did, as the story of the transaction testifies.

The Museum building belonged to Mr. Francis W. Olmsted, a retired merchant, to whom he wrote, stating his desire to buy the collection, and that although he had no means, if it could be purchased upon reasonable credit, he was confident that his tact and experience, added to a determined devotion to business, would enable him to make the payments when due. Barnum therefore asked him to purchase the collection in his own name; to give a writing securing it to Barnum, provided he made the payments punctually, including the rent of his building; to allow Barnum twelve dollars and a half a week on which to support his family; and if at any time he failed to meet the installment due, he would vacate the premises, and forfeit all that might have been paid to that date. "In fact, Mr. Olmsted." Barnum continued, earnestly, "you may bind me in any way, and as tightly as you please--only give me a chance to dig out, or scratch out, and I will do so or forfeit all the labor and trouble I may have incurred."

In reply to this letter, which Barnum took to his house himself, Mr. Olmsted named an hour when he could call on him. Barnum was there at the exact moment, and Olmsted was pleased with his punctuality. He inquired closely as to Barnum's habits and antecedents, and the latter frankly narrated his experiences as a caterer for the public, mentioning his amusement ventures in Vauxhall Garden, the circus, and in the exhibitions he had managed at the South and West.

"Who are your references?" Olmsted inquired.

"Any man in my line," Barnum replied, "from Edmund Simpson, manager of the Park Theatre, or William Niblo, to Messrs. Welch, June, Titus, Turner, Angevine, or other circus or menagerie proprietors; also Moses Y. Beach, of the New York Sun."

"Can you get any of them to call on me?"

Barnum told him that he could, and the next day Mr. Niblo rode down and had an interview with Mr. Olmsted, while Mr. Beach and several other gentlemen also called. The following morning Barnum waited upon him for his decision.

"I don't like your references, Mr. Barnum," said Mr. Olmsted, abruptly, as soon as he entered the room.

Barnum was confused, and said, "he regretted to hear it."

"They all speak too well of you," Olmsted added, laughing; "in fact, they all talk as if they were partners of yours, and intended to share the profits."

"Nothing could have pleased me better," says Barnum. "He then asked me what security I could offer in case he concluded to make the purchase for me, and it was finally agreed that, if he should do so, he should retain the property till it was entirely paid for, and should also appoint a ticket-taker and accountant (at my expense), who should render him a weekly statement. I was further to take an apartment hitherto used as a billiard-room in his adjoining building, allowing therefor $500 a year, making a total rental of $3,000 per annum, on a lease of ten years. He then told me to see the administrator and heirs of the estate, to get their best terms, and to meet him on his return to town a week from that time.

"I at once saw Mr. John Heath, the administrator, and his price was $15,000. I offered $10,000, payable in seven annual installments, with good security. After several interviews, it was finally agreed that I should have it for $12,000, payable as above --possession to be given on the 15th of November. Mr. Olmsted assented to this, and a morning was appointed to draw and sign the writings. Mr. Heath appeared, but said he must decline proceeding any further in my case, as he had sold the collection to the directors of Peale's Museum (an incorporated institution) for $15,000, and had received $1,000 in advance.

"I was shocked, and appealed to Mr. Heath's honor. He said that he had signed no writing with me; was in no way legally bound, and that it was his duty to do the best he could for the heirs. Mr. Olmsted was sorry but could not help me; the new tenants would not require him to incur any risk, and my matter was at an end.

"Of course I immediately informed myself as to the character of Peale's Museum Company. It proved to be a band of speculators who had bought Peale's collection for a few thousand dollars, expecting to unite the American Museum with it, issue and sell stock to the amount of $50,000, pocket $30,000 profits, and permit the stockholders to look out for themselves.

"I went immediately to several of the editors, including Major M. M. Noah, M. Y. Beach, my good friends West, Herrick, and Ropes, of the Atlas, and others, and stated my grievances. 'Now,' said I, 'if you will grant me the use of your columns, I'll blow that speculation sky-high.' They all consented, and I wrote a large number of squibs, cautioning the public against buying the Museum stock, ridiculing the idea of a board of broken-down bank directors engaging in the exhibition of stuffed monkeys and gander-skins; appealing to the case of the Zoological Institute, which had failed by adopting such a plan as the one now proposed; and finally, I told the public that such a speculation would be infinitely more ridiculous than Dickens's 'Grand United Metropolitan Hot Muffin and Crumpit-baking and Punctual Delivery Company.'

"The stock was 'as dead as a herring!' I then went to Mr. Heath and asked him when the directors were to pay the other $14,000.' On the 26th day of December, or forfeit the $1,000 already paid,' was the reply. I assured him that they would never pay it, that they could not raise it, and that he would ultimately find himself with the Museum collection on his hands, and if once I started off with an exhibition for the South, I could not touch the Museum at ANY price. 'Now,' said I, 'if you will agree with me confidentially, that in case these gentlemen do not pay you on the 26th of December I may have it on the 27th for $12,000, I will run the risk, and wait in this city until that date.' He readily agreed to the proposition, but said he was sure they would not forfeit their $1,000.

" 'Very well,' said I; 'all I ask of you is, that this arrangement shall not be mentioned.' He assented. 'On the 27th day of December, at ten o'clock A. M., I wish you to meet me in Mr. Olmsted's apartments, prepared to sign the writings, provided this incorporated company do not pay you $14,000 on the 26th. He agreed to this, and by my request put it in writing.

"From that moment I felt that the Museum was mine. I saw Mr. Olmsted, and told him so. He promised secrecy, and agreed to sign the document if the other parties did not meet their engagement. This was about November 15th, and I continued my shower of newspaper squibs at the new company, which could not sell a dollar's worth of its stock. Meanwhile, if any one spoke to me about the Museum, I simply replied that I had lost it."

This newspaper war against the Peales was kept up unceasingly until one morning in December, "I received a letter from the secretary of that company (now calling itself the 'New York Museum Company'), requesting me to meet the directors at the Museum on the following Monday morning. I went, and found the directors in session. The venerable president of the board, who was also the ex-president of a broken bank, blandly proposed to hire me to manage the united museums, and though I saw that he merely meant to buy my silence, I professed to entertain the proposition, and in reply to an inquiry as to what salary I should expect, I specified the sum of $3,000 a year. This was at once acceded to, the salary to begin January 1st, 1842, and after complimenting me on my ability, the president remarked: 'Of course, Mr. Barnum, we shall have no more of your squibs through the newspapers.' To which I replied that I should 'ever try to serve the interests of my employers,' and I took my leave.

"It was as clear to me as noonday that, after buying my silence so as to appreciate their stock, these directors meant to sell out to whom they could, leaving me to look to future stockholders for my salary. They thought, no doubt, that they had nicely entrapped me, but I knew I had caught them.

"For, supposing me to be out of the way, and having no other rival purchaser, these directors postponed the advertisement of their stock to give people time to forget the attacks I had made on it, and they also took their own time for paying the money promised to Mr Heath, December 26th--indeed, they did not even call on him at the appointed time. But on the following morning, as agreed, I was promptly and hopefully at Mr. Olmsted's apartments with my legal adviser, at half-past nine o'clock; Mr. Heath came with his lawyer at ten, and before two o'clock that day I was in formal possession of the American Museum. My first managerial act was to write and dispatch the following complimentary note:

" 'AMERICAN MUSEUM, NEW YORK, Dec. 27th, 1841. " 'To the President and Directors of the New York Museum:

" 'GENTLEMEN: It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you are placed upon the Free List of this establishment until furthur notice.

" 'P. T. BARNUM, Proprietor.'

"It is unnecessary to say that the 'President of the New York Museum' was astounded, and when he called upon Mr. Heath, and learned that I had bought and was really in possession of the American Museum, he was indignant. He talked of prosecution, and demanded the $1,000 paid on his agreement, but he did not prosecute, and he justly forfeited his deposit money."



With great hopes for the success of his project, Barnum entered upon the management of the Museum. It was a new epoch in his career, he felt that the opportunity of his life had presented itself--in the show business, to be sure, but in a permanent, substantial phase of it.

He must pay for the establishment within the stipulated time, or forfeit all he had paid on account. A rigid plan of economy was determined upon, his wife agreeing to support the family on $600 a year, or even on four hundred if necessary. Barnum himself made every possible personal retrenchment. One day, some six months after the purchase had been made, Mr. Olmsted happened into the ticket office, while the proprietor was eating his lunch of cold corned beef and bread.

"Is that all you eat for dinner?" asked Mr. Olmsted.

"I have not eaten a warm dinner, except on Sundays, since I bought the Museum," was the reply, "and I don't intend to, until I am out of debt."

"That's right," said Mr. Olmsted, heartily, "and you'll pay for the Museum before the year is out."

And he was right.

The nucleus of this establishment, Scudder's Museum, was formed in 1810. It was begun in Chatham Street, and was afterward transferred to the old City Hall, and from small beginnings, by purchases, and to a considerable degree by presents, it had grown to be a large and valuable collection. People in all parts of the country had sent in relics and rare curiosities. Sea captains for years had brought and deposited strange things from foreign lands; and besides all these gifts, the previous proprietor had actually expended, as was stated, $50,000 in making the collection, which valuable as it was when Barnum bought it, was only the beginning of its subsequent greatness. In 1842 the entire contents of Peale's Museum was purchased, and in 1850 the Peale collection of Philadelphia was added. In 1865 the space occupied for museum purposes was more than twice as large as in 1842. The Lecture Room, originally narrow, ill-contrived, and inconvenient, was so enlarged and improved that it became one of the most commodious and beautiful amusement halls in the city of New York. At first the attractions and inducements were merely the collection of curiosities by day, and an evening entertainment, consisting of such variety performances as were current in ordinary shows. Then Saturday afternoons and, soon afterward, Wednesday afternoons, were devoted to entertainments, and the popularity of the Museum grew so rapidly that it was presently found expedient and profitable to open the great Lecture Room every afternoon, as well as every evening, on every weekday in the year. The first experiments in this direction more than justified expectations, for the day exhibitions were always more thronged than those of the evening.

Holidays, of course, were made the most of, and there is a record of twelve performances, to as many audiences, being given in one day.

By degrees the character of the stage performances were changed. The transient attractions of the Museum were constantly diversified, and educated dogs, industrious fleas, automatons, jugglers, ventriloquists, living statuary, tableaux, gypsies, Albinoes, fat boys, giants, dwarfs, rope-dancers, live "Yankees," pantomime, instrumental music, singing and dancing in great variety, dioramas, panoramas, models of Niagara, Dublin, Paris, and Jerusalem; Hannington's dioramas of the Creation, the Deluge, Fairy Grotto, Storm at Sea; the first English Punch and Judy in this country, Italian Fantoceini, mechanical figures, fancy glass-blowing, knitting machines, and other triumphs in the mechanical arts; dissolving views, American Indians, who enacted their warlike and religious ceremonies on the stage--these, among others, were all exceedingly successful.

No man ever understood the art of advertising better than Barnum. Knowing that mammon is ever caught with glare, he took pains that his posters should be larger, his transparencies more brilliant, his puffing more persistent than anybody elses. And if he resorted to hyperbole at times in his advertisements, it was always his boast that no one ever went away from his Museum, without having received the worth of his money. It used to amuse Mr. Barnum later in life, to relate some of the unique advertising dodges which his inventive genius devised. Here is a fair sample, as he once told it:

"One morning a stout, hearty-looking man came into my ticket-office and begged some money. I asked him why he did not work and earn his living? He replied that he could get nothing to do, and that he would be glad of any job at a dollar a day. I handed him a quarter of a dollar, told him to go and get his breakfast and return, and I would employ him, at light labor, at a dollar and a half a day. When he returned I gave him five common bricks.

" 'Now,' said I, 'go and lay a brick on the sidewalk, at the corner of Broadway and Ann Street; another close by the Museum; a third diagonally across the way, at the corner of Broadway and Vesey Street, by the Astor House; put down the fourth on the sidewalk, in front of St. Paul's Church opposite; then, with the fifth brick in hand, take up a rapid march from one point to the other, making the circuit, exchanging your brick at every point, and say nothing to any one.'

" 'What is the object of this?' inquired the man.

" 'No matter,' I replied: 'all you need to know is that it brings you fifteen cents wages per hour. It is a bit of my fun, and to assist me properly you must seem to be as deaf as a post; wear a serious countenance; answer no questions; pay no attention to any one; but attend faithfully to the work, and at the end of every hour, by St. Paul's clock, show this ticket at the Museum door; enter, walking solemnly through every hall in the building; pass out, and resume your work.' "

With the remark that "it was all one to him, so long as he could earn his living," the man placed his bricks, and began his round. Half an hour afterward, at least five hundred people were watching his mysterious movements. He had assumed a military step and bearing, and, looking as sober as a judge, he made no response whatever to the constant inquiries as to the object of his singular conduct. At the end of the first hour, the sidewalks in the vicinity were packed with people, all anxious to solve the mystery. The man, as directed, then went into the Museum, devoting fifteen minutes to a solemn survey of the halls, and afterward returning to his round. This was repeated every hour until sundown, and whenever the man went into the Museum a dozen or more persons would buy tickets and follow him, hoping to gratify their curiosity in regard to the purpose of his movements. This was continued for several days--the curious people who followed the man into the Museum considerably more than paying his wages--till finally the policeman, to whom Barnum had imparted his object, complained that the obstruction of the sidewalk by crowds, had become so serious that he must call in his "brick man." This trivial incident excited considerable talk and amusement; it advertised Barnum; and it materially advanced his purpose of making a lively corner near the Museum.

Barnum realized above all that to have people pleased with his attractions was the best advertisement he could possibly have, and he tried honestly to keep the Museum supplied with every novelty. A curiosity which possessed some merit, and considerable absurdity was the celebrated model of Niagara, "with real water."

One day the enterprising proprietor was called before the Board of Water Commissioners, and informed that he must pay a large extra compensation for the immense amount of water that supplied his Niagara. To the astonishment of the Board Mr. Barnum gave his assurance that a single barrel of water per month served to run the machine.

Apropos of this wonderful model, Barnum used to tell how he got even with his friend, Louis Gaylord Clark, editor of the Knickerbocker, an inveterate joker, and who was fond of guying the Museum. The first time Clark viewed "Niagara" he assumed great admiration.

"Well, Barnum, I declare, this is quite an idea; I never saw the like of this before in all my life."

"No?" inquired Barnum, quite pleased.

"No," said Clark, fervently, "and I hope to the Lord, I never will."

Barnum might have forgiven this, but Clark's next joke was too much to bear. He came in one day and asked Barnum if he had the club with which Captain Cook was killed. The Museum boasted a large collection of Indian curiosities, and Barnum showed one warlike weapon which he assured Clark was the identical club and he had all the documents to prove it.

"Poor Cook! Poor Cook!" said Clark, musingly. "Well, Mr. Barnum," he continued, with great gravity, at the same time extending his hand, "I am really very much obliged to you for your kindness. I had an irrepressible desire to see the club that killed Captain Cook, and I felt quite confident you could accommodate me. I have been in half a dozen smaller museums, and as they all had it, I was sure a large establishment like yours would not be without it."

But Barnum's turn came. A few weeks afterward, he wrote to Clark that if he would come to his office he was anxious to consult him on a matter of great importance. He came, and Barnum said:

"Now, I don't want any of your nonsense, but I want your sober advice."

Clark assured him that he would serve him in any way in his power, and Barnum proceeded to tell him about a wonderful fish from the Nile, offered for exhibition at $100 a week, the owner of which was willing to forfeit $5,000, if, within six weeks, this fish did not pass through a transformation in which the tail would disappear and the fish would then have legs.

"Is it possible!" asked the astonished Clark.

Barnum assured him that there was no doubt of it.

Thereupon Clark advised Barnum to engage the wonder at any price; that it would startle the naturalists, wake up the whole scientific world, draw in the masses, and make $20,000 for the Museum. Barnum told him that he thought well of the speculation, only he did not like the name of the fish.

"That makes no difference whatever," said Clark; "what is the name of the fish?"

"Tadpole," Barnum replied, with becoming gravity, "but it is vulgarly called 'pollywog.' "

"Sold, by thunder!" exclaimed Clark, and he left.

Another story is illustrative of some of the trials incident to theatrical management.

An actor named La Rue presented himself as an imitator of celebrated histrionic personages, including Macready, Forrest, Kemble, the elder Booth, Kean, Hamblin, and others. Taking him into the green-room for a private rehearsal, and finding his imitations excellent, Barnum engaged him. For three nights he gave great satisfaction, but early in the fourth evening he staggered into the Museum so drunk that he could hardly stand, and in half an hour he must be on the stage! Barnum called an assistant, and they took La Rue and marched him up Broadway as far as Chambers Street, and back to the lower end of the Park, hoping to sober him. At this point they put his head under a pump and gave him a good ducking, with visible beneficial effect, then a walk around the Park and another ducking, when he assured them that he should be able to give his imitations "to a charm."

"You drunken brute," said Barnum, "if you fail, and disappoint my audience, I will throw you out of the window."

He declared that he was "all right," and Barnum led him behind the scenes, where he waited with considerable trepidation to watch his movements on the stage. La Rue began by saying:

"Ladies and gentlemen: I will now give you an imitation of Mr. Booth, the eminent tragedian."

His tongue was thick, his language somewhat incoherent, and Barnum had great misgivings as he proceeded; but as no token of disapprobation came from the audience, he began to hope he would go through with his parts without exciting suspicion of his condition. But before he had half finished his representation of Booth, in the soliloquy in the opening act of Richard III, the house discovered that he was very drunk, and began to hiss. This only seemed to stimulate him to make an effort to appear sober, which, as is usual in such cases, only made matters worse, and the hissing increased. Barnum lost all patience, and, going on the stage and taking the drunken fellow by the collar, apologized to the audience, assuring them that he should not appear before them again. Barnum was about to march him off, when he stepped to the front, and said:

"Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Booth has often appeared on the stage in a state of inebriety, and I was simply giving you a truthful representation of him on such occasions. I beg to be permitted to proceed with my imitations."

The audience at once supposed it was all right, and cried out, "go on, go on"; which he did, and at every imitation of Booth, whether as Richard, Shylock, or Sir Giles Overreach, he received a hearty round of applause. Barnum was quite delighted with his success; but when he came to imitate Forrest and Hamblin, necessarily representing them as drunk also, the audience could be no longer deluded; the hissing was almost deafening, and Barnum was forced to lead the actor off. It was his last appearance on that stage.

Barnum always denied that the "Feejee Mermaid," which attained such lasting notoriety, was an invention of his own. It was first exhibited in London in 1822, where it was purchased by Mr. Moses Kimball, of the Boston Museum, who sold it to Barnum. The creature was really most ingeniously constructed, probably by some Japanese. It drew like magic, and afterward served as a good advertisement, sent throughout the country for exhibition, the posters reading, "From Barnum's Great American Museum, New York."

Barnum believed in making his place of exhibition as attractive as possible, and the building was decorated with flags and banners, the posters were of the most sensational character, and the first "Drummond Lights" ever seen in New York were placed on top of the Museum, flooding the streets around with brilliance.



The fame of the American Museum rose higher and higher. It is doubtful if any place of entertainment ever attracted such enthusiastic crowds. It was the first place visited by strangers in the city.

The small Lecture Room had been converted into a large and beautiful theatre, and in it many afterward celebrated actors and actresses made their first appearance; Sothern, Barney Williams, and the charming Mary Garmon. On holidays there were lecture performances every hour. The actors kept on their stage clothes from eleven o'clock in the morning until ten at night, their meals were served in the green-room, and the company received extra pay.

The 4th of July, 1842, was a great day in the history of the Museum. Barnum had planned a magnificent display of American flags, as one of the outside attractions, and applied to the vestrymen of St. Paul's Church, opposite the Museum, for permission to attach his flag-rope to a tree in the church-yard. Their reply was an indignant refusal. Returning to the Museum, Barnum directed that his original order concerning the disposition of the flags be carried out to the letter.

The morning dawned, and the crowds on Broadway were admiring the display, when two representatives of the baffled vestry rushed into the office and demanded that the ropes be taken down. "The Church of St. Paul's, where Washington worshiped, attached to a Museum! Sacrilege!"

Barnum assumed a conciliatory tone, reminding them that he always stopped his band playing during their week-day services, and suggesting the fairness of the obligation being made mutual.

"If those flags are not down in ten minutes," cried one of the vestrymen, "I will cut them down."

Then Barnum sprang to his feet and exclaimed loudly enough for the crowd to hear:

"Well, Mister, I should just like to see you dare to cut down the American flag on the Fourth of July; you must be a 'Britisher' to make such a threat as that; but I'll show you a thousand pairs of Yankee hands in two minutes, if you dare to attempt to take down the Stars and Stripes on this great birthday of American freedom!"

"What's that John Bull a-saying?" asked a brawny fellow, placing himself in front of the irate vestryman. "Look here, old fellow," he continued, "if you want to save a whole bone in your body, you had better slope, and never dare to talk again about hauling down the American flag in the city of New York."

Throngs of excited, exasperated men crowded around, and the vestryman, seeing the effect of the ruse, smiled faintly and said, "Oh, of course it is all right," and he and his companion quietly edged out of the crowd.

By one o'clock that day, the Museum was so densely packed that no more visitors could be admitted, and the proprietor saw with despair the crowds being turned away from the door. Rushing down-stairs, he directed the carpenter to cut down the partition and floor in the rear and to put in a temporary flight of stairs. The egress was ready by three o'clock, and people poured out into Ann Street, while the crowd from Broadway poured in. After that, the egress was always ready on holidays. One of Barnum's most amusing reminiscences related to this egress.

"Early in the following March I received notice from some of the Irish population that they meant to visit me in great numbers on 'St. Patrick's day in the morning.' 'All right,' said I to my carpenter, 'get your egress ready for March 17th;' and I added, to my assistant manager: 'If there is much of a crowd, don't let a single person pass out at the front, even if it were St. Patrick himself; put every man out through the egress in the rear.' The day came, and before noon we were caught in the same dilemma as we were on the Fourth of July; the Museum was jammed, and the sale of tickets was stopped. I went to the egress and asked the sentinel how many hundreds had passed out?

" 'Hundreds,' he replied, 'why only three persons have gone out by this way, and they came back, saying that it was a mistake and begging to be let in again.'

" 'What does this mean?' I inquired; 'surely thousands of people have been all over the Museum since they came in.'

" 'Certainly,' was the reply; 'but after they have gone from one saloon to another, and have been on every floor, even to the roof, they come down and travel the same route over again.'

"At this time I espied a tall Irish woman with two good-sized children whom I had happened to notice when they came in early in the morning.

" 'Step this way, madam,' said I, politely; 'you will never be able to get into the street by the front door without crushing these dear children. We have opened a large egress here, and you can thus pass by these rear stairs into Ann Street, and thus avoid all danger.'

" 'Sure,' replied the woman, indignantly, 'an' I'm not going out at all, at all, nor the children either, for we've brought our dinners and we are going to stay all day.'

"Further investigation showed that pretty much all of the visitors had brought their dinners with the evident intention of literally 'making a day of it.' No one expected to go home till night; the building was overcrowded, and hundreds were waiting at the front entrance to get in when they could. In despair, I sauntered upon the stage behind the scenes, biting my lips with vexation, when I happened to see the scene-painter at work, and a happy thought struck me. 'Here,' I exclaimed, 'take a piece of canvas four feet square and paint on it, as soon as you can, in large letters,

{pointing finger} TO THE EGRESS.'

"Seizing his brush, he finished the sign in fifteen minutes, and I directed the carpenter to nail it over the door leading to the back stairs. He did so, and as the crowd, after making the entire tour of the establishment, came pouring down the main stairs from the third-story, they stopped and looked at the new sign, while some of them read audibly: 'To the Aigress.'

" 'The Aigress,' said others, 'sure that's an animal we haven't seen,' and the throng began to pour down the back-stairs only to find that the 'Aigress ' was the elephant, and that the elephant was all out o' doors, or so much of it as began with Ann Street. Meanwhile, I began to accommodate those who had long been waiting with their money at the Broadway entrance."

Barnum had planned to expend the entire profits of the first year in advertising, but so fast did the money pour in, that he was often embarrassed to devise means to get rid of it, according to his first idea. One of the most expensive advertisements consisted of a large number of oil paintings of every animal in zoology. These paintings were prepared secretly, and were put between the windows of the building at night. The town was paralyzed with astonishment, and the daily receipts took an upward jump of nearly a hundred dollars.

Flower shows, dog shows, poultry and bird shows, with prizes to the best specimens, had long been features of the Museum, and at last Barnum rashly decided on a baby show. There was a prize of one hundred dollars attached, and a committee of ladies were appointed to decide on the best baby. The unsuspecting Barnum stepped into the circle and announced the prize winner, but to his astonishment the verdict did not suit anybody but the mother of one baby. The other ninety-nine indignant mothers "jumped on" to Mr Barnum and the committee, and denounced the whole proceeding as impartial and unjust. Barnum offered to let them select a new committee, and even agreed to give another hundred dollar prize, but the storm raged with unabating fury. There were baby shows after that, but the verdict was delivered in writing, and Mr. Barnum never gave the prize in person.

In June, 1843, a herd of yearling buffaloes was on exhibition in Boston. Barnum bought the lot, brought them to New Jersey, hired the race-course at Hoboken, chartered the ferry-boats for one day, and advertised that a hunter had arrived with a herd of buffaloes, and that august 31st there would be a "Grand Buffalo Hunt" on the Hoboken race-course--all persons to be admitted free of charge.

The appointed day was warm and delightful, and no less than twenty-four thousand people crossed the North River in the ferry-boats to enjoy the cooling breeze and to see the "Grand Buffalo Hunt." The hunter was dressed as an Indian, and mounted on horseback; he proceeded to show how the wild buffalo is captured with a lasso, but unfortunately the yearlings would not run till the crowd gave a great shout, expressive at once of derision and delight at the harmless humbug. This shout started the young animals into a weak gallop and the lasso was duly thrown over the head of the largest calf. The crowd roared with laughter, listened to the balcony band, which was also furnished "free," and then started for New York, little dreaming who was the author of this sensation, or what was its object.

Mr. N. P. Willis, then editor of the Home Journal, wrote an article illustrating the perfect good nature with which the American public submit to a clever humbug. He said that he went to Hoboken to witness the buffalo hunt. It was nearly four o'clock when the boat left the foot of Barclay Street, and it was so densely crowded that many persons were obliged to stand on the railings and hold on to the awning-posts. When they reached the Hoboken side a boat equally crowded was coming out of the slip. The passengers just arriving cried out to those who were coming away, "Is the buffalo hunt over?" To which came the reply, "Yes, and it was the biggest humbug you ever heard of!" Willis added that passengers on the boat with him instantly gave three cheers for the author of the humbug, whoever he might be.

After the public had enjoyed their laugh over the Buffalo hunt, Barnum let it become known that he was the author of the joke. Of course, their cry of "charlatan," "humbug," and "swindler" was louder than ever from that time, but Barnum never objected to being celled names. The more advertising the better.

About this time Barnum engaged a band of Indians from Iowa.

The party comprised large and noble specimens of the untutored savage, as well as several very beautiful squaws, with two or three interesting "papooses." They lived and lodged in a large room on the top floor of the Museum, and cooked their own victuals in their own way. They gave their war-dances on the stage in the Lecture Room with great vigor and enthusiasm, much to the satisfaction of the audiences. But these wild Indians seemed to consider their dances as realities. Hence, when they gave a real war-dance, it was dangerous for any parties, except their manager and interpreter to be on the stage, for the moment they had finished their war-dance, they began to leap and peer about behind the scenes in search of victims for their tomahawks and scalping knives! Indeed, lest in these frenzied moments they might make a dash at the orchestra or the audience, Barnum had a high rope barrier placed between them and the savages on the front of the stage.

Barnum counted one incident in connection with his Indian show as notable, being one of the few occasions when he played the losing card.

"After they had been a week in the Museum," he said, "I proposed a change of performance for the week following by introducing new dances. Among these was the Indian wedding dance. At that time I printed but one set of posters (large bills) per week, so that whatever was announced for Monday was repeated every day and evening during that week. Before the wedding dance came off on Monday afternoon, I was informed that I was to provide a large, new, red woolen blanket, at a cost of ten dollars, for the bridegroom to present to the father of the bride. I ordered the purchase to be made, but was considerably taken aback when I was informed that I must have another new blanket for the evening, inasmuch as the savage old Indian chief, father-in-law to the bridegroom, would not consent to his daughter's being approached with the wedding dance unless he had his blanket present,

"I undertook to explain to the chief, through the interpreter, that this was only a 'make believe' wedding; but the old savage shrugged his shoulders, and gave such a terrific 'Ugh!' that I was glad to make my peace by ordering another blanket. As we gave two performances per day, I was out of pocket $120 for twelve 'wedding blankets' that week."

One of the beautiful squaws named Do-humme died in the Museum. She had been a great favorite with many ladies. Do-humme was buried on the border of Sylvan Water, at Greenwood Cemetery, where a small monument erected by her friends, designates her last resting-place. The poor Indians were very sorrowful for many days, and desired to get back again to their Western wilds. The father and the betrothed of Do-humme cooked various dishes of food and placed them upon the roof of the Museum, where they believed the spirit of their departed friend came daily for its supply; and these dishes were renewed every morning during the stay of the Indians at the Museum.



Barnum would never submit to being outdone by a rival. In "poker" parlance, he would "see him and go one better." His chief competitor now was Peale, who was running Peale's Museum, and proudly proclaiming it to be a more scientific institution than Barnum's. Thus, he said, he was catering to a higher class of patrons.

"Science, indeed!" said Barnum. "I'll give him science to his heart's content!"

Mesmerism was then a great novelty, and Peale was given exhibitions of it. He had one subject on whom he operated daily, with most surprising results; though at times she was unimpressionable, and the people who had paid to come in and see her performances complained loudly that they were being swindled. Barnum saw here a great opportunity to squelch a rival and increase his own fame at a single stroke. He engaged a bright little girl who was exceedingly susceptible to such mesmeric influences as he could induce. That is, she learned her lesson thoroughly, and when he had apparently put her to sleep with a few passes and stood behind her, she seemed to be duly "impressed," as he desired; raised her hands as he willed, fell from her chair to the floor; and if he put candy or tobacco into his own mouth, she was duly delighted or disgusted. She never failed in these routine performances. Strange to say, believers in mesmerism used to witness her performances with the greatest pleasure, and adduce them as positive proofs that there was something in mesmerism, and they applauded tremendously--up to a certain point.

That point was reached when, leaving the girl "asleep," Barnum called up some one in the audience, promising to put him "in the same state" within five minutes, or forfeit fifty dollars. Of course, all his "passes" would not put a man in the mesmeric state; at the end of three minutes he was as wide awake as ever.

"Never mind," Barnum would say, "looking at his watch; "I have two minutes more, and meantime, to show that a person in this state is utterly insensible to pain, I propose to cut off one of the fingers of the little girl who is still asleep." He would then take out a knife and feel of the edge, and when he turned around to the girl whom he left on the chair, she had fled behind the scenes, to the intense amusement of the greater part of the audience, and to the amazement of the mesmerists who were present.

"Why! where's my little girl?" he asked, with feigned astonishment.

"Oh! she ran away when you began to talk about cutting off fingers."

"Then she was wide awake, was she?"

"Of course she was, all the time."

"I suppose so; and, my dear sir, I promised that you should be 'in the same state' at the end of five minutes, and as I believe you are so, I do not forfeit fifty dollars."

Barnum kept up this performance for several weeks, till he quite killed Peale's "genuine" mesmerism in the rival establishment. At the end of six months he bought Peale's Museum, and the whole, including the splendid gallery of American portraits, was removed to the American Museum, and he immediately advertised the great card of a "Double Attraction," and "Two Museums in One," without extra charge.

Barnum was now devoting all his attention and energy to this enterprise, and was achieving great success. He made everything contribute to its popularity. When a politician asked him for what candidate he was going to vote, he would answer, "For the American Museum;" and this was an index of his whole demeanor.

Among the genuine and literally "great" features of his show were several giants. They often gave both the showman and his patrons food for much amusement as well as wonder. The Quaker giant, Hales, was quite a wag in his way. He went once to see the new house of an acquaintance who had suddenly become rich, but who was a very ignorant man. When he came back he described the wonders of the mansion, and said that the proud proprietor showed him everything from basement to attic; parlors, bed-rooms, dining-room, and, said Hales, "what he calls his 'study'--meaning, I suppose, the place where he intends to study his spelling-book!"

He had at one time two famous men, the French giant, M. Bihin, a very slim man, and the Arabian giant, Colonel Goshen. These men generally got on together very well, though, of course, each was jealous of the other, and of the attention the rival received, or the notice he attracted. One day they quarreled, and a lively interchange of compliments ensued, the Arabian calling the Frenchman a "Shanghai," and receiving in return the epithet of "Nigger." From words both were eager to proceed to blows, and both ran to the collection of arms, one seizing the club with which Captain Cook, or any other man, might have been killed, if it were judiciously wielded, and the other laying hands on a sword of the terrific size which is supposed to have been conventional in the days of the Crusades.

The preparations for a deadly encounter, and the high words of the contending parties, brought a dozen of the Museum attaches to the spot, and these men threw themselves between the gigantic combatants. Hearing the disturbance, Barnum ran from his private office to the dueling ground, and said:

"Look here! This is all right; if you want to fight each other, maiming and perhaps killing one or both of you, that is your affair; but my interest lies here: you are both under engagement to me, and if this duel is to come off, I and the public have a right to participate. It must be duly advertised, and must take place on the stage of the Lecture Room. No performance of yours would be a greater attraction, and if you kill each other, our engagement can end with your duel."

This proposition, made in apparent earnest, so delighted the giants that they at once burst into a laugh, shook hands, and quarreled no more.

From giants to dwarfs. None of Barnum's attractions has been more famous than "Tom Thumb." The story of his discovery and engagement is dated in November, 1842. Barnum was then at Bridgeport, Conn. One day he heard that there belonged in one of the families of the place a phenomenally small child, and he got his brother, Philo F. Barnum, to bring the little fellow to his hotel. "He was," Barnum afterward said, "not two feet high; he weighed less than sixteen pounds, and was the smallest child I ever saw that could walk alone; he was a perfectly formed bright-eyed little fellow, with light hair and ruddy cheeks, and he enjoyed the best of health. He was exceedingly bashful, but after some coaxing, he was induced to talk with me, and he told me that he was the son of Sherwood E. Stratton, and that his own name was Charles S. Stratton. After seeing him and talking with him, I at once determined to secure his services from his parents and to exhibit him in public. I engaged him for four weeks, at three dollars a week, with all traveling and boarding charges for himself and his mother at my expense. They came to New York Thanksgiving day, December 8th, 1842, and I announced the dwarf on my Museum bills as 'General Tom Thumb.' "

Barnum took the greatest pains to educate and train the diminutive prodigy, devoting many hours to the task by day and by night, and he was very successful, for the boy was an apt pupil, with a great deal of native talent, and a keen sense of the ludicrous. Barnum afterward re-engaged him for one year, at seven dollars a week with a gratuity of fifty dollars at the end of the engagement, and the privilege of exhibiting him anywhere in the United States, in which event his parents were to accompany him and Barnum was to pay all traveling expenses. He speedily became a public favorite, and long before the year was out, Barnum voluntarily increased his weekly salary to twenty-five dollars, and he fairly earned it.

For two years Barnum had been the owner of the Museum. He had enjoyed great prosperity. Long ago he had paid every dollar of the purchase-money out of the profits of the place. All rivals had been driven from the field. He was out of debt, and had a handsome balance in the bank. The experimental stage was passed, and the enterprise was an established success. It was, indeed, in such perfect order that Barnum felt safe in leaving it to his lieutenants, while he went forth to seek new realms of conquest. Accordingly he made an agreement for General Tom Thumb's services for another year, at fifty dollars a week and all expenses, with the privilege of exhibiting him in Europe. He proposed to test the curiosity of men and women on the other side of the Atlantic.

After arranging his business affairs for a long absence, and making every preparation for an extended foreign tour, on Thursday, January 18th, 1844, he went on board the new and fine sailing ship "Yorkshire," Captain D. G. Bailey, bound for Liverpool. The party included General Tom Thumb, his parents, his tutor, and Professor Guillaudeu, a French naturalist. They were accompanied by several personal friends, and the City Brass Band kindly volunteered to escort them to Sandy Hook.

They were met at Liverpool by a large crowd of sight-seers, who had been attracted thither by the fame of "Tom Thumb." The curiosity of the populace was not gratified, however, for Barnum had the child smuggled ashore unseen, under his mother's shawl.

"My letters of introduction," said the showman, many excellent families, and I was induced to hire a hall and present the General to the public, for a short season in Liverpool. I had intended to proceed directly to London, and begin operations at 'headquarters,' that is, in Buckingham Palace, if possible; but I had been advised that the royal family was in mourning for the death of Prince Albert's father, and would not permit the approach of any entertainments. Meanwhile, confidential letters from London informed me that Mr. Maddox, Manager of Princess's Theatre, was coming down to witness my exhibition, with a view to making an engagement. He came privately, but I was fully informed as to his presence and object. A friend pointed him out to me in the hall, and when I stepped up to him, and called him by name, he was 'taken all aback,' and avowed his purpose in visiting Liverpool. An interview resulted in an engagement of the General for three nights at Princess's Theatre. I was unwilling to contract for a longer period, and even this short engagement, though on liberal terms, was acceded to only as a means of advertisement. So soon, therefore, as I could bring my short, but highly successful, season in Liverpool to a close, we went to London."



The first public appearance of Tom Thumb in London occurred soon after the arrival of the party there, at the Princess's Theatre. A short engagement only had been made, but it was exceedingly successful. The spectators were delighted, the manager overjoyed, and Barnum himself pleased beyond measure. This brief engagement answered his purpose, in arousing public interest and curiosity. That was all the shrewd showman wanted for the present. Accordingly, when the manager of the theatre urged a renewal of the engagement, at a much higher price, Barnum positively declined it. He had secured the desired advertising; now he would exhibit on his own account and in his own way.

He therefore took a splendid mansion in Grafton Street, Bond Street, in the fashionable and aristocratic West End of London. Lord Talbot had lived in it, and Lord Brougham lived close by. It was an audacious stroke for the Yankee showman to invade this select and exclusive region, but it was successful. In response to his invitations members of the nobility came eagerly flocking to the house to see the wonderful child. Barnum showed himself as exclusive as any of them, for he gave orders to his servants that no callers were to be received who did not present cards of invitation. This procedure he afterward explained, was entirely proper. He had not yet announced himself as a public showman. He was simply an American citizen visiting London, and it was incumbent upon him to maintain the dignity of his position! His servants, of course, exercised proper tact, and no offense was given, although many of the nobility and gentry, who drove to his door in carriages adorned with crests and coats of arms, were thus turned away.

Among the early callers was the Hon. Edward Everett, the American minister to England. He was much pleased with Mr. Barnum and his tiny ward, and had them dine with him the next day. He also promised that they should, if possible, be received by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

A few evenings afterward the Baroness Rothschild sent her carriage for them. They were received by a half a dozen servants, and were ushered up a broad flight of marble stairs to the drawing-room, where they met the Baroness and a party of twenty or more ladies and gentlemen. In this sumptuous mansion of the richest banker in the world, they spent about two hours, and when they took their leave a well-filled purse was quietly slipped into Mr. Barnum's hand. The golden shower had begun to fall.

Mr. Barnum now thought the time ripe for beginning his public exhibitions. He engaged Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, and announced that Tom Thumb was to be seen there. The rush of visitors was tremendous. The aristocracy of London thronged the hall night after night, and a phenomenal success was assured. Barnum did not look beyond such work. True, Everett had spoken of an audience with the Queen, but Barnum had no idea that it would ever be granted. One day, however, he met Mr. Murray, Master of the Queen's Household, at Everett's at breakfast, and that gentleman asked him what were his plans for the future. Barnum replied that he expected presently to go to the Continent, but he would most gladly stay in London if he could get the favor of an audience with Her Majesty.

Mr. Murray kindly offered his good offices in the case, and the next day one of the Life Guards, a tall, noble-looking fellow, bedecked as became his station, brought a note, conveying the Queen's invitation to General Tom Thumb and his guardian Mr. Barnum, to appear at Buckingham Palace on an evening specified. Special instructions were the same day orally given by Mr. Murray, by Her Majesty's command, to suffer the General to appear before her, as he would appear anywhere else, without any training in the use of the titles of royalty, as the Queen desired to see him act naturally and without restraint.

Determined to make the most of the occasion, Mr. Barnum put a placard on the door of the Egyptian Hall: "Closed this evening, General Tom Thumb being at Buckingham Palace by command of Her Majesty."

When they arrived at the palace, a Lord-in-Waiting met them, and began "coaching" them on points of court etiquette. Mr. Barnum, especially, was told that he must in no event speak directly to Her Majesty, but through the medium of the aforesaid Lord. He must also keep his face constantly turned toward the Queen, and so, in retiring from the royal presence, must walk backward. Having thus been instructed in the ways of royalty, Mr. Barnum and the diminutive General were led to the presence of the Queen.

They passed through a long corridor to a broad flight of marble steps, which led to the picture gallery, and there the Queen and Prince Albert, the Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Wellington, and others were awaiting their arrival. They were standing at the further end of the room when the doors were thrown open, and the General walked in, looking like a wax doll gifted with the power of locomotion. Surprise and pleasure were depicted on the countenances of the royal circle at beholding this remarkable specimen of humanity so much smaller than they had evidently expected to find him.

The General advanced with a firm step, and, as he came within hailing distance, made a very graceful bow, and exclaimed, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen."

A burst of laughter followed this salutation. The Queen then took him by the hand, led him about the gallery, and asked him many questions, the answers to which kept the party in an uninterrupted strain of merriment. The General familiarly informed the Queen that her picture gallery was "first-rate," and told her he should like to see the Prince of Wales. The Queen replied that the Prince had retired to rest, but that he should see him on some future occasion. The General then gave his songs, dances, and imitations, and after a conversation with Prince Albert, and all present, which continued for more than an hour, they were permitted to depart.

But before this Mr. Barnum had broken the instructions in etiquette which had been so carefully impressed upon him by the Lord-in-Waiting. When the Queen began asking him questions, he answered her, as she addressed him, through the lordly medium, as he had been told. That was inconvenient and irksome, however, and presently Barnum addressed his reply directly to her. The Lord-in-Waiting was horror-struck, but the Queen did not appear to be displeased, for she instantly followed her guest's example, and spoke thereafter directly to him. In a few minutes Her Majesty and the Yankee showman were talking together with the greatest ease and freedom.

"I felt," said Mr. Barnum afterward, "entirely at ease in her presence, and could not avoid contrasting her sensible and amiable manners with the stiffness and formality of upstart gentility at home or abroad.

"The Queen was modestly attired in plain black, and wore no ornaments. Indeed, surrounded as she was by ladies arrayed in the highest style of magnificence, their dresses sparkling with diamonds, she was the last person whom a stranger would have pointed out in that circle as the Queen of England.

"The Lord-in-Waiting was perhaps mollified toward me when he saw me following his illustrious example in retiring from the royal presence. He was accustomed to the process, and therefore was able to keep somewhat ahead (or rather aback) of me, but even I stepped rather fast for the other member of the retiring party. We had a considerable distance to travel in that long gallery before reaching the door, and whenever the General found he was losing ground, he turned around and ran a few steps, then resumed his position of backing out, then turned around and ran, and so continued to alternate his methods of getting to the door, until the gallery fairly rang with the merriment of the royal spectators. It was really one of the richest scenes I ever saw; running, under the circumstances, was an offense sufficiently heinous to excite the indignation of the Queen's favorite poodle dog, and he vented his displeasure by barking so sharply as to startle the General from his propriety. He, however, recovered immediately, and with his little cane, commenced an attack on the poodle, and a funny fight ensued, which renewed and increased the merriment of the royal party.

"This was near the door of exit. We had scarcely passed into the ante-room, when one of the Queen's attendants came to us with the expressed hope of her Majesty that the General had sustained no damage, to which the Lord-in-Waiting playfully added, that in case of injury to so renowned a personage, he should fear a declaration of war by the United States!"

The visitors were then escorted about the Palace, and treated to refreshments. Before leaving Mr. Barnum bethought him of the "Court Circular," in which the doings of the Royal Family were chronicled to the world. Would his reception by the Queen be mentioned in it? Certainly. Well, then, would it not be possible to secure something more than mere mention; some words of special commendation; a "free advertisement" in fact? He would try it! So he inquired where he could find the gentleman who prepared the circular, and was informed that that functionary was in the Palace at that very moment.

"He was sent for," related Mr. Barnum, "by my solicitation, and promptly acceded to my request for such a notice as would attract attention. He even generously desired me to give him an outline of what I sought, and I was pleased to see afterward, that he had inserted my notice verbatim.

"This notice of my visit to the Queen wonderfully increased the attraction of 'Gen. Tom Thumb,' and compelled me to obtain a more commodious hall for my exhibition. I accordingly moved to a larger room in the same building."

On their second visit to the Queen, they were received in what is called the Yellow Drawing Room, a magnificent apartment. It is on the north side of the gallery, and is entered from that apartment. It was hung with drapery of rich yellow satin damask, the couches, sofas, and chairs being covered with the same material. The vases, urns, and ornaments were all of the most exquisite workmanship. The room was panelled in gold, and the heavy cornices beautifully carved and gilt. The tables, pianos, etc., were mounted with gold, inlaid with pearl of various hues, and of the most elegant designs.

They were ushered into this gorgeous drawing-room before the Queen and royal circle had left the dining-room, and, as they approached, the General bowed respectfully, and remarked to Her Majesty, "that he had seen her before," adding, "I think this is a prettier room than the picture gallery; that chandelier is very fine."

The Queen smilingly took him by the hand, and said she hoped he was very well.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied, "I am first-rate."

"General," continued the Queen, "this is the Prince of Wales."

"How are you, Prince?" said the General, shaking him by the hand, and then standing beside the Prince, he remarked, "the prince is taller than I am, but I feel as big as anybody," upon which he strutted up and down the room as proud as a peacock, amid shouts of laughter from all present.

The Queen then introduced the Princess Royal, and the General immediately led her to his elegant little sofa, which he took with him, and with much politeness sat down beside her. Then, rising from his seat, he went through his various performances, and the Queen handed him an elegant and costly souvenir, which had been expressly made for him by her order, for which, he told her, "he was very much obliged, and would keep it as long as he lived." The Queen of the Belgians (daughter of Louis Philippe) was present on this occasion. She asked the General where he was going when he left London.

"To Paris," he replied.

"Whom do you expect to see there?" she continued.

Of course all expected he would answer, "the King of the French," but the little fellow replied.

"Monsieur Guillaudeu."

The two queens looked inquiringly, and when Mr. Barnum informed them that M. Guillaudeu was his French naturalist, they laughed most heartily.

On their third visit to Buckingham Palace, Leopold, King of the Belgians, was also present. He was highly pleased, and asked a multitude of questions. Queen Victoria desired the General to sing a song, and asked him what song he preferred to sing.

"Yankee Doodle," was the prompt reply.

This answer was as unexpected to Mr. Barnum as it was to the royal party. When the merriment it occasioned had somewhat subsided, the Queen good-humoredly remarked, "that is a very pretty song, General, sing it, if you please." The General complied, and soon afterward retired.

The Queen sent to Barnum a handsome fee for each of his visits, but that was only a small part of the benefits which his acquaintance with her brought to him. Such was the force of Court example that it was now deemed unfashionable, almost disloyal, not to have seen Tom Thumb. Carriages of the nobility, fifty or sixty at a time, were to be seen at Barnum's door in Piccadilly. Egyptian Hall was crowded at every exhibition, and the net profits there were on the average more than $500 per day from March 20th to July 20th. Portraits of the tiny General were for sale everywhere, and were eagerly purchased by thousands. Musical compositions were dedicated to him, and songs were sung in his honor. Week after week he was the subject of Punch's wittiest cartoons; and of course all this was just so much free advertising. Besides his three public performances per day, the little General attended three or four private parties per week, for which they were paid eight to ten guineas each. Frequently he would visit two parties in the same evening, and the demand in that line was much greater than the supply. The Queen Dowager Adelaide requested the General's attendance at Marlborough House one afternoon. He went in his court dress, consisting of a richly embroidered brown silk-velvet coat and short breeches, white satin vest with fancy colored embroidery, white silk stockings and pumps, wig, bagwig, cocked hat, and dress sword.

"Why, General," said the Queen Dowager, "I think you look very smart to-day."

"I guess I do," said the General, complacently.

A large party of the nobility were present. The old Duke of Cambridge offered the little General a pinch of snuff, which he declined. The General sang his songs, performed his dances, and cracked his jokes, to the great amusement and delight of the distinguished circle of visitors.

"Dear little General," said the kind-hearted Queen, taking him upon her lap, "I see you have no watch. Will you permit me to present you with a watch and chain?"

"I would like them very much," replied the General, his eyes glistening with joy as he spoke.

"I will have them made expressly for you," responded the Queen Dowager; and at the same moment she called a friend and desired him to see that the proper order was executed. A few weeks thereafter they were called again to Marlborough House. A number of the children of the nobility were present, as well as some of their parents. After passing a few compliments with the General, Queen Adelaide presented him with a beautiful little gold watch, placing the chain around his neck with her own hands.

This watch, also, served the purpose of an advertisement, and a good one, too. It was not only duly heralded, but was placed upon a pedestal in the hall of exhibition, together with the presents from Queen Victoria, and covered with a glass vase. These presents, to which were soon added an elegant gold snuff-box mounted with turquois, presented by his grace the Duke of Devonshire, and many other costly gifts of the nobility and gentry, added to the attraction of the exhibition.

The Duke of Wellington called frequently to see the little General at his public levees. The first time he called, the General was personating Napoleon Bonaparte, marching up and down the platform, and apparently taking snuff in deep meditation. He was dressed in the well-known uniform of the Emperor. Barnum introduced him to the "Iron Duke," who inquired the subject of his meditations. "I was thinking of the loss of the battle of Waterloo," was the little General's immediate reply. This display of wit was chronicled throughout the country, and was of itself worth thousands of pounds to the exhibition.

General Tom Thumb had visited the King of Saxony and also Ibrahim Pacha, who was then in London. At the different parties he attended, he met, in the course of the season, nearly all of the nobility. Scarcely a nobleman in England failed to see General Tom Thumb at his own house, at the house of a friend, or at the public levees at Egyptian Hall. The General was a decided pet with some of the first personages in the land, among whom were Sir Robert and Lady Peel, the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham, Duke of Bedford, Duke of Devonshire, Count d'Orsay, Lady Blessington, Daniel O'Connell, Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, Lord Chesterfield, and many other persons of distinction They had the free entree to all the theatres, public gardens, and places of entertainment, and frequently met the principal artists, editors, poets, and authors of the country. Albert Smith wrote a play for the General, entitled "Hop o' my Thumb," which was presented with great success at the Lyceum Theatre, London, and in several of the provincial theatres.

Thus the London visit and the tour of England were successful beyond all anticipation, and it was with an overflowing purse that Barnum set out with his charge for the French capital.



Barnum having returned from a preliminary trip to France, in which all arrangements, even to starting the first paragraphs in the Paris papers were made, now went back accompanied by Tom Thumb. They reached Paris some days before the exhibition was opened, but on the day following their arrival, a special command reached them to appear at the Tuileries on the next Sunday evening.

At the appointed hour the General and his manager were ushered into the presence of the King, the Queen, the Count de Paris, Prince de Joinville, the Duchess d'Orleans, and a dozen more distinguished persons, among whom was the editor of the Journal des Debats.

At the close of the General's performances, which he went through with to the evident delight of all present, the King gave him a large emerald and diamond brooch, at the same time saying to Mr. Barnum: "You may put it on the General, if you please." Which command was obeyed, to the gratification of the King and the immense delight of the General.

The King was so condescending and affable that Mr. Barnum at length ventured to ask a favor of him. The Longchamps celebration was close at hand--a day once devoted to religious ceremony, but now conspicuous for the display of court and fashionable equipages in the various drives and parks--and after the King had conversed with Mr. Barnum on various topics in a familiar manner, the diplomatic showman remarked that he had hastened his arrival in Paris for the express purpose of taking part in the Longchamps celebration. The General's carriage, he explained, with its ponies and little coachman and footman, was so small that it would be in great danger in the crowd unless the King would graciously permit it to appear in the avenue reserved for the court and the diplomatic corps

The King smiled, and after a few minutes' consultation with one of the officers of his household. said: "Call on the Prefect of Police to-morrow afternoon and you will find a permit ready for you."

After a two hours' visit they retired, the General loaded with presents.

The next morning all the newspapers chronicled the royal audience, the Journal des Debats giving a full account of the interview and of the General's performances.

Thus all Paris knew that Tom Thumb, in all his glory, was in the city.

Longchamps day arrived, and conspicuous among the splendid equipages on the grand avenue, Tom Thumb's beautiful little carriage, with four ponies and liveried and powdered coachman and footman, rode along in the line of carriages bearing the ambassadors to the Court of France. The air was fairly rent with cheers for "le General Tom Ponce."

The first day's receipts were 5,500 francs--over three hundred dollars, and this sum might have been doubled had there been room for more visitors. The elite of Paris flocked to the exhibition. There were afternoon and evening performances, and seats were reserved in advance at an extra price for the entire two months.

The papers were full of praises for the performance; Figaro gave a picture of an immense mastiff running away with the General's horse and carriage in his mouth.

Statuettes and pictures of "Tom Ponce" appeared everywhere; a cafe on one of the boulevards took the name of "Tom Ponce," with a life-size statue of the General for a sign. Eminent painters here, as in London, asked to paint his portrait, but the General's engagements were so pressing that he had little time to sit to artists. All the leading actors and actresses came to see him, and he received many fine presents from them. The daily receipts continued to increase, and the manager had to take a cab to carry home the silver at night.

Twice more was the General summoned to appear before the royal family at the Tuileries, and on the King's birthday a special invitation was sent him to view the display of fireworks in honor of the anniversary.

The last visit to the Court was made at St. Cloud. The papers, in speaking of the General's characterizations, mentioned that there was one costume which Tom Thumb wisely kept at the bottom of his trunk. This was the uniform of Napoleon Bonaparte, and by special request of the King, it was worn at St. Cloud. The affair was quite sub rosa, however, none of the papers mentioning it.

At the end of the visit each of the royal company gave the General a magnificent present, overwhelmed him with kisses, wishing him a safe journey through France, and a long and happy life. After making their adieux they retired to another part of the palace to permit the General to change his costume and to partake of a collation which was served them. As they were leaving the palace they passed the sitting-room where the royal family were spending the evening. The door was open, and some one spying the General there was a call for him to come in and shake hands once more. They went in, finding the Queen and her ladies engaged in embroidering, while one young lady read aloud. They all kissed and petted the General many times around before finally permitting him to depart.

After leaving Paris they made a most profitable tour, including the cities of Rouen, Orleans, Brest, and Bordeaux, where they were invited to witness a review of 20,000 soldiers by the Dukes de Nemours and d'Aumale. Thence to Toulon, Montpelier, Nismes, Marseilles, and many other less important places. At Nantes, Bordeaux, and Marseilles the General appeared in the theatres in a part written for him in a French play called "Petit Poncet."

During their stay in Paris, Barnum made a characteristically profitable investment. A Russian Prince, who had lived in great splendor in Paris, died suddenly, and his household effects were sold at auction. There was a magnificent gold tea-set, a dinner service of silver, and some rare specimens of Sevres china, the value of which were impaired by the Prince's initials being on them. The initials were "P. T ," and Mr. Barnum bought them, and adding "B." to the other letters, had a very fine table service appropriately marked.



The day after the arrival of the party in Brussels they were summoned to the palace. The king and queen had seen the General in London, but they wished their children and the distinguished people of the court to have the same pleasure.

After a delightful visit they came away, the General, as usual, laden with gifts.

The following day the exhibition opened, and from the first was crowded by throngs of the best people in the city. One day, in the midst of the exhibition, it was discovered that the case containing all the valuable presents Tom Thumb had received from royalty' etc., was missing.

The alarm was instantly given, and the police notified. A reward was offered of 2,000 francs, and, after a day or two, the thief was captured and the jewels returned. After that the case of presents was more carefully guarded.

Everyone who goes to Brussels is supposed to visit the field of Waterloo; so, before they left, the entire party--Tom Thumb, Barnum, Prof. Pinte (tutor), and Mr. Stratton (father of the General), and Mr. H. G. Sherman, went together.

After visiting the church in the village of Waterloo and viewing the memorial tablets there, they passed to the house where Lord Uxbridge--Marquis of Anglesey--had had his leg amputated. There is a little monument in the garden over the shattered limb, and a part of the boot that covered it was seen in the house. Barnum procured a three-inch bit of the boot for his Museum, at the same time remarking, that if the lady in charge was as liberal to all visitors, that boot had held out wonderfully since 1815.

On approaching the ground they were beset by a dozen or more guides, each one professing to know the exact spot where every man had stood, and each claiming to have himself taken part in the struggle, although most of them were less than twenty-five, and the battle had been fought some thirty years before. They finally accepted one old man, who at first declared that he had been killed in the front ranks, but afterward acknowledged that he had only been wounded and left on the field for dead three days.

After having the location of Napoleon's Guard, the Duke of Wellington, the portion of the field where Blucher entered with the Prussian army, pointed out to them, and the spots where fell Sir Alexander Gordon and other celebrities, they asked the guide if he knew where Captain Tippitiwichet, of Connecticut, was killed? "Oh, oui, Monsieur," replied the guide confidently. After pointing out the precise spots where fictitious friends from Coney Island, New Jersey, Cape Cod and Saratoga had received their death-wounds, they paid the old humbug and dismissed him.

Upon leaving the field they were met by another crowd of peasants with relics of the battle for sale. Barnum bought a large number of pistols, bullets, brass French eagles, buttons, etc., for the Museum, and the others were equally liberal in their purchases. They bought also maps, guide-books and pictures, until Mr. Stratton expressed his belief that the "darned old battle of Waterloo" had cost more since it was fought than it ever did before.

Some months afterwards, while they were in Birmingham, they made the acquaintance of a firm who manufactured and sent to Waterloo barrels of these "relics" every year.

Four or five miles on the road home they had the misfortune to break the axle-tree of the carriage. It was past one o'clock, and the exhibition was advertised to commence in Brussels at two. Of course, they could not expect to walk the distance in less than three hours, and Barnum was disposed to give up the afternoon performance altogether. But Mr. Stratton could not bear the idea of losing six or eight hundred francs, so, accompanied by the interpreter, Prof. Pinte, he rushed down the road to a farm-house, followed leisurely by the rest of the party.

Mr. Stratton asked the old farmer if he had a carriage. He had not. "Have you no vehicle?" he inquired.

"Yes, I have that vehicle," he replied, pointing to an old cart filled with manure, and standing in his barnyard.

"Thunder! is that all the conveyance you have got?" asked Stratton. Being assured that it was, Stratton concluded that it was better to ride in a manure-cart than not to get to Brussels in time.

"What will you ask to drive us to Brussels in three-quarters of an hour?" demanded Stratton.

"It is impossible," replied the farmer; "I should want two hours for my horse to do it in."

"But ours is a very pressing case, and if we are not there in time we lose more than five hundred francs," said Stratton.

The old farmer pricked up his ears at this, and agreed to get them to Brussels in an hour for eighty francs. Stratton tried to beat him down, but it was of no use.

"Oh, go it, Stratton," said Sherman; "eighty francs you know is only sixteen dollars, and you will probably save a hundred by it, for I expect a full house at our afternoon exhibition to-day."

"But I have already spent about ten dollars for nonsense," said Stratton, "and we shall have to pay for the broken carriage besides."

"But what can you do better?" chimed in Professor Pinte.

"It is an outrageous extortion to charge sixteen dollars for an old horse and cart to go ten miles. Why, in old Bridgeport, I could get it done for three dollars," replied Stratton, in a tone of vexation

"It is the custom of the country," said Professor Pinte, "and we must submit to it."

"Well, it's a thundering mean custom, anyhow," said Stratton, "and I won't stand such imposition."

"But what shall we do?" earnestly inquired Mr. Pinte. "It may be a high price, but it is better to pay that than to lose our afternoon performance and five or six hundred francs."

This appeal to the pocket touched Stratton's feelings; so, submitting to the extortion, he replied to our interpreter, "Well, tell the old robber to dump his dung-cart as soon as possible, or we shall lose half an hour in starting."

The cart was "dumped" and a large, lazy-looking Flemish horse was attached to it with a rope harness. Some boards were laid across the cart for seats, the party tumbled into the rustic vehicle, a red-haired boy, son of the old farmer, mounted the horse, and Stratton gave orders to "get along." "Wait a moment," said the farmer, "you have not paid me yet." "I'll pay your boy when we get to Brussels, provided he gets there within the hour," replied Stratton.

"Oh, he is sure to get there in an hour," said the farmer, "but I can't let him go unless you pay in advance." The minutes were flying rapidly, the anticipated loss of the day exhibition of General Tom Thumb flitted before his eyes, and Stratton, in very desperation, thrust his hand into his pocket and drew forth sixteen five-franc pieces, which he dropped, one at a time, into the hand, of the farmer, and then called out to the boy, "There now, do try to see if you can go ahead."

The boy did go ahead, but it was with such a snail's pace that it would have puzzled a man of tolerable eyesight to have determined whether the horse was moving or standing still. To make it still more interesting, it commenced raining furiously. As they had left Brussels in a coach, and the morning had promised a pleasant day, they had omitted umbrellas. They were soon soaked to the skin, but they "grinned and bore it" a while without grumbling. At length Stratton, who was almost too angry to speak, desired Mr. Pinte to ask the red haired boy if he expected to walk his horse all the way to Brussels.

"Certainly," replied the boy; "he is too big and fat to do anything but walk. We never trot him."

Stratton was terrified as he thought of the loss of the day exhibition; and he cursed the boy, the cart, the rain, the luck, and even the battle of Waterloo itself. But it was all of no use; the horse would not run, but the rain did--down their backs.

At two o'clock, the time appointed for the exhibition, they were yet some seven miles from Brussels. The horse walked slowly and philosophically through the pitiless storm, the steam majestically rising from the old manure-cart, to the no small disturbance of their unfortunate olfactories. "It will take two hours to get to Brussels at this rate," growled Stratton. "Oh, no," replied the boy; "it will only take about two hours from the time we started."

"But your father agreed to get us there in an hour," answered Stratton.

"I know it," responded the boy, "but he knew it would take more than two."

"I'll sue him for damages, by thunder!" said Stratton.

"Oh, there would be no use in that," chimed in Mr. Pinte, "for you could get no satisfaction in this country."

"But I shall lose more than a hundred dollars by being two hours instead of one," said Stratton.

"They care nothing about that; all they care for is your eighty francs," remarked Pinte.

"But they have lied and swindled me," replied Stratton.

"Oh, you must not mind that; it is the custom of the country."

The party arrived in Brussels precisely two hours and a half from the time they left the farmer's house. Of course it was too late for the afternoon performance, and hundreds of people had been turned away disappointed.



In London the General again opened his levees in Egyptian Hall, with increased success. His unbounded popularity on the Continent, and his receptions by King Louis Philippe, of France, and King Leopold, of Belgium, had added greatly to his prestige and fame. Those who had seen him when he was in London months before came to see him again, and new visitors crowded by thousands to the General's levees.

Besides giving these daily entertainments, the General appeared occasionally for an hour, during the intermissions, at some place in the suburbs; and for a long time he appeared every day at the Surrey Zoological Gardens, under the direction of the proprietor, Mr. W. Tyler. This place subsequently became celebrated for its great music hall, in which Spurgeon, the sensational preacher, first attained his notoriety. The place was always crowded, and when the General had gone through with his performances on the little stage, in order that all might see him, he was put into a balloon, which, secured by ropes, was then passed around the ground, just above the people's heads. Some forty men managed the ropes and prevented the balloon from rising; but, one day, a sudden gust of wind took the balloon fairly out of the hands of half the men who had hold of the ropes, while others were lifted from the ground, and had not an alarm been instantly given, which called at least two hundred to the rescue, the little General would have been lost.

In October Barnum made a flying visit to America, remaining long enough to renew the lease of the Museum building, and to attend to various other business matters. When he returned he was accompanied by his wife and daughters. They took a furnished house, which, during all their three months' residence, was the scene of constant hospitality, all the distinguished people in London being entertained there.

When the engagement at Egyptian Hall expired they made an extensive tour through England and Scotland, going as far north as Aberdeen. The General's Scotch costumes, his national dances and the "bit of dialect" which he had acquired had long been a feature of the performance and was especially admired in Scotland. The party travelled much of the time in Barnum's own carriage, the General's carriage, ponies and other properties being conveyed in a huge van. They found this way of travelling more comfortable than the other, besides enabling them to visit out of the way places, where often the most successful exhibitions were given.

There was one occasion when their carriage broke down, and, as they had advertised a performance in Rugby that evening, they decided to take the cars; but on arriving at the station they found the last train gone. Barnum immediately looked up the superintendent and told him that they must have an extra train for Rugby, without an instant's delay.

"Extra train?" said he, with surprise and a half-sneer, "extra train? why you can't have an extra train to Rugby for less than sixty pounds."

"Is that all? well, get up your train immediately, and here are your sixty pounds. What in the world are sixty pounds to me, when I wish to go to Rugby, or elsewhere, in a hurry."

The astonished superintendent took the money, bustled about, and the train was soon ready. He was greatly puzzled to know what distinguished person--he thought he must be dealing with some prince, or, at least, a duke--was willing to give so much money to save a few hours of time, and he hesitatingly asked whom he had the honor of serving.

"General Tom Thumb."

The performance at Rugby netted L160, which not only covered expenses but left a handsome margin.

When they were in Oxford, a dozen or more of the students came to the conclusion that, as the General was a little fellow, the admission fee to his entertainments should be paid in the smallest kind of money. They accordingly provided themselves with farthings, and as each man entered, instead of handing in a shilling for his ticket, he laid down forty-eight farthings. The counting of these small coins was a great annoyance to Mr. Stratton, the General's father, who was ticket-seller, and after counting two or three handfuls, vexed at the delay which was preventing a crowd of ladies and gentlemen from buying tickets, Mr. Stratton lost his temper, and cried out:

"Blast your quarter-pennies! I am not going to count them! you chaps who haven't bigger money can chuck your copper into my hat and walk in."

Mr. Stratton was a genuine Yankee, and thoroughly conversant with the Yankee vernacular which he used freely. In exhibiting the General, Barnum often said to visitors that Tom Thumb's parents, and the rest of the family, were persons of the ordinary size, and that the gentleman who presided in the ticket-office was the General's father. This made poor Stratton an object of no little curiosity, and he was pestered with all sorts of questions; on one occasion an old dowager said to him:

"Are you really the father of General Tom Thumb?"

"Wa'al," replied Stratton, "I have to support him!"

This evasive answer is common enough in New England, but the literal dowager had her doubts, and promptly rejoined:

"I rather think he supports you!"

Although Barnum was in Europe on business, he made the most of his opportunities for sight-seeing, and in his few leisure hours managed to visit nearly every place of interest both in England and on the continent.

While in Birmingham, with his friend Albert Smith, then author and afterwards a successful showman, he visited Stratford-on-Avon, where lived and wrote the greatest of English poets--Shakespeare.

While breakfasting at the Red House Inn, at Stratford, they called for a guide-book of the town, and to Barnum's great delight the volume proved to be Washington Irving's "Sketch-book." His pleasure was even more increased when he discovered, on reading the vivid and picturesque description of Stratford, that Irving had stopped at the very same hotel where they were awaiting breakfast.

After visiting the house as well as the church where is the tomb of the poet, they took a post-chaise for Warwick Castle, fourteen miles away.

The Earl of Warwick and his family being absent, the visitors were shown through the apartments. One guide took them over the Castle, another escorted them to the top of "Guy's Tower," another showed them the famous Warwick Vase. They were congratulating themselves on not being called upon for any more tips, when the old porter at the lodge informed them that for a consideration he could show them more interesting things connected with the Castle than any they had yet seen. They tossed him his fee, and he produced what purported to be Guy of Warwick's sword, shield, helmet, breastplate, walking-staff, etc. The armor must have weighed two hundred pounds and the sword alone one hundred. Barnum listened, and gazed in silence at the horse-armor, large enough for an elephant, and a pot called "Guy's porridge-pot," which could have held seventy gallons, but when the old man produced the ribs of a mastodon which he declared had belonged to a huge dun cow, which had done much injury to many persons before being slain by the dauntless Guy, he drew a long breath, and feelingly congratulated the old porter on his ability to concentrate more lies than anyone had ever before heard in so small a compass.

"I suppose," said Barnum, "that you have told these marvellous tales so often that you almost believe them yourself."

"Almost," answered the old man, with a broad grin.

"Come now, old fellow," continued Barnum, "what will you take for the entire lot of these old traps? I want them for my Museum in America."

"No money would buy these priceless relics of a bygone age," replied the porter, leering.

"Never mind," exclaimed the showman; "I'll have them duplicated for my Museum, so that Americans can see them without coming here, and in that way I'll burst up your old show."

The porter was paralyzed with astonishment at this threat, and Albert Smith was convulsed with laughter. He afterwards told Barnum that he first derived his idea of becoming a showman from this day at Warwick, and Barnum's talk about his doings and adventures in the business.

They visited that same day Kenilworth and Coventry, in which latter place Barnum discovered the exhibition known as the "Happy Family," about two hundred birds and animals of opposite natures, dwelling in one cage in perfect harmony. He was so delighted with it that he bought it on the spot, and hired the manager to accompany the exhibition to New York, where it became a famous feature of the Museum.

Albert Smith afterwards published a chapter in Bentley's Magazine, entitled "A Day with Barnum," in which he said they accomplished business with such rapidity that, when he attempted to write out the accounts of the day, he found the whole thing so confused in his brain that he came near locating "Peeping Tom" in the house of Shakespeare, while Guy of Warwick WOULD stick his head above the ruins of Kenilworth, and the Warwick Vase appeared in Coventry.

With the exception of two brief trips to America, Barnum had been abroad with General Tom Thumb three years. The season had been one of unbroken pleasure and profit. They had visited nearly every city and town in France, Belgium, England, Scotland, and the cities of Belfast and Dublin in Ireland. After this truly triumphant tour, they set sail in February, 1847, for New York.

Barnum was a man who never could bear to see injustice done. On one of his business trips to America he took passage on a Cunard steamer, commanded by a Captain Judkins. Among the passengers was the celebrated preacher, Robert Baird. One Sunday after dinner Barnum asked Mr. Baird if he would be willing to preach to the passengers in the forward cabin. The captain had read the Episcopal service that morning, but it was done as a mere matter of form, without the slightest suggestion of devotion in its observance.

Mr. Baird consented to preach, and Barnum, after mentioning it to the other passengers, who were delighted at the prospect, went to the captain and said: "Captain, the passengers desire to have Dr. Baird conduct a religious service in the forward cabin. I suppose there is no objection?" The rest of the story may as well be told in Barnum's own words. To his inquiry, the captain replied gruffly:

"Decidedly there is, and it will not be permitted."

"Why not?"

"It is against the rules of the ship."

"What! to have religious services on board?"

"There have been religious services once to-day, and that is enough. If the passengers do not think that is good enough, let them go without," was the captain's hasty and austere reply.

"Captain," Barnum replied, "do you pretend to say you will not allow a respectable and well-known clergyman to offer a prayer and hold religious services on board your ship at the request of your passengers?"

"That, sir, is exactly what I say. So, now, let me hear no more about it."

By this time a dozen passengers were crowding around his door, and expressing their surprise at his conduct. Barnum was indignant, and used sharp language.

"Well," said he, "this is the most contemptible thing I ever heard of on the part of the owners of a public passenger ship. Their meanness ought to be published far and wide."

"You had better 'shut up,' " said Captain Judkins, with great sternness.

"I will not 'shut up,' " he replied; "for this thing is perfectly outrageous. In that out-of-the-way forward cabin you allow, on week-days, gambling, swearing, smoking and singing till late at night; and yet on Sunday you have the impudence to deny the privilege of a prayer-meeting, conducted by a gray-haired and respected minister of the gospel. It is simply infamous!"

Captain Judkins turned red in the face; and, no doubt feeling that he was "monarch of all he surveyed," exclaimed in a loud voice:

"If you repeat such language, I will put you in irons."

"Do it, if you dare," said Barnum, feeling his indignation rising rapidly. "I dare and defy you to put your finger on me. I would like to sail into New York harbor in handcuffs, on board a British ship, for the terrible crime of asking that religious worship may be permitted on board. So you may try it as soon as you please; and, when we get to New York, I'll show you a touch of Yankee ideas of religious intolerance."

Turning on his heel, he walked over to Mr. Baird and told him how matters stood, adding, with a laugh:

"Doctor, it may be dangerous for you to tell of this incident when you get on shore; for it would be a pretty strong draught upon the credulity of many of my countrymen if they were told that my zeal to hear an orthodox minister preach was so great that it came near getting me into solitary confinement. But I am not prejudiced, and I like fair play."

The old doctor replied: "Well, you have not lost much; and, if the rules of this ship are so stringent I suppose we must submit."

The captain afterwards came to Barnum and apologized for the rude manner in which he had carried out the rules of the ship. Barnum was not at the time a teetotaler, and the two men "washed down" their differences in a bottle of champagne, and were excellent friends from that moment.



One of Barnum's principal objects in returning to America at this time was to insure the permanence of his "American Museum." He had a lease of the property, which had yet three years to run. But he wanted to make sure of it after that term had expired. Mr. Olmsted, the former owner, was now dead, and It was not certain that the new proprietor would renew the lease. If not, another home for the great show must be secured, and Barnum decided that in that event he would buy land on Broadway and erect a building to suit him. The new owner of the old property was persuaded, however, to renew the lease for a term of twenty-five years. The building covered an area of fifty-six by one hundred feet and was four stories high. Barnum agreed to pay for it a rental of $10,000 a year in addition to the taxes and all assessments. Then, as the place was not large enough for his purposes, he rented and connected with it the upper floors of several adjacent buildings. The Museum was at this time enormously prosperous, and was thronged with visitors from morning to late at night.

Tom Thumb's European reputation was of course a great advertisement, and it was "worked for all it was worth." He appeared at the Museum daily for four weeks, and drew such crowds of visitors as had never been seen there before. He afterwards spent a month in Bridgeport with his kindred. To prevent being annoyed by the curious, who would be sure to throng the houses of his relatives, he exhibited two days at Bridgeport, and the receipts, amounting to several hundred dollars, were presented to the Bridgeport Charitable Society.

Barnum's contract with Tom Thumb had expired on January 1, 1845, while they were in England, and they had then formed a partnership, dividing equally between them the profits of their enterprise; excepting during the first four weeks of their return to New York, during which time the General waived his partnership rights and exhibited himself for a salary of $50 a week. Mr. Stratton, Tom Thumb's father, was now a rich man, and he settled a handsome fortune upon his tiny son.

Soon a tour of America was arranged, the party consisting of Mr. Barnum and Tom Thumb and his parents. They began at Washington, in April, 1847, where they visited President and Mrs. Polk at the White House. Thence they went to Richmond, to Baltimore, and to Philadelphia, where they took in $5,594.91 in twelve days. Next they visited Boston and Lowell; Providence, where they received nearly $1,000 in a day; New Bedford, Fall River, Salem, Worcester, Springfield, Albany, Troy, Niagara Falls, Buffalo and various other places. During the whole year's tour their receipts averaged from $400 to $500 per day, and their expenses only from $25 to $30. On their way back to New York they stopped at all large towns along the Hudson river, and then went to New Haven, Hartford, Portland and some other New England cities.

Absence did not make them forgotten in New York, however, but only increased public interest in them. When he returned to his Museum Mr. Barnum found that he himself had come to be regarded as one of its chief curiosities. "If I showed myself about the Museum, or wherever else I was known, I found eyes peering and fingers pointing at me, and could frequently overhear the remark, 'There's Barnum.' On one occasion, soon after my return, I was sitting in the ticket-office, reading a newspaper. A man came and purchased a ticket of admission. 'Is Mr. Barnum in the Museum?' he asked. The ticket-seller, pointing to me, answered, 'This is Mr. Barnum.' Supposing the gentleman had business with me, I looked up from the paper. 'Is this Mr. Barnum?' he asked. 'It is,' I replied. He stared at me for a moment, and then, throwing down his ticket, exclaimed, 'It's all right; I have got the worth of my money;' and away he went, without going into the Museum at all."

In the fall of 1847 they went South, visiting and giving exhibitions at Charleston, Columbia, Augusta, Savannah, Milledgeville, Macon, Columbus, Montgomery, Mobile and New Orleans. At the last-named place they spent three weeks, including the Christmas holidays. After New Year's they went to Cuba, and were received at Havana by the Captain-General and the aristocracy of the city. For a month they gave exhibitions in Havana and Matanzas with great success. The only serious drawback was the hotels, which they did not find good; indeed, it was difficult for them to get enough to eat. The Washington House, at Havana, where they lived for some time, was characterized by Mr. Barnum as "first-rate bad!"

From Cuba they returned to New Orleans, and thence to New York by way of the Mississippi river, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburg. And then, in May, 1848, it was agreed that Barnum should travel no more with the little General. "I had," says Barnum, "competent agents who could exhibit him without my personal assistance, and I preferred to relinquish a portion of the profits rather than continue to be a travelling showman. I had now been a straggler from home most of the time for thirteen years, and I cannot describe the feelings of gratitude with which I reflected that, having by the most arduous toil and deprivations succeeded in securing a satisfactory competence, I should henceforth spend my days in the bosom of my family."

Barnum had selected the city of Bridgeport, Conn., for his home, and thither he now repaired. He wanted to be near New York, and he considered the northern shore of Long Island Sound the most beautiful country he had ever seen. Bridgeport was about the right distance from New York, and was well situated. It was also an enterprising place, with the promise of a prosperous future. Some three or four years before this time Barnum had purchased seventeen acres of land at the western side of the city, and for two years had been building a palace upon it, the famous "Iranistan," which was now nearly ready for him to occupy.

In telling how he came to erect this gorgeous and eccentric home, Barnum once said that in visiting Brighton, England, he had been greatly pleased with the pavilion built there by George IV. It was at that time the only specimen of Oriental architecture in England, and the style had not been introduced into America. "I concluded to adopt it, and engaged a London architect to furnish me a set of drawings after the general plan of the pavilion, differing sufficiently to be adapted to the spot of ground selected for my homestead. On my second return visit to the United States, I brought these drawings with me and engaged a competent architect and builder, giving him instructions to proceed with the work, not 'by the job' but 'by the day,' and to spare neither time nor expense in erecting a comfortable, convenient, and tasteful residence. The work was thus begun and continued while I was still abroad, and during the time when I was making my tour with General Tom Thumb through the United States and Cuba. Elegant and appropriate furniture was made expressly for every room in the house. I erected expensive water-works to supply the premises. The stables, conservatories and out-buildings were perfect in their kind. There was a profusion of trees set out on the grounds. The whole was built and established literally 'regardless of expense,' for I had no desire even to ascertain the entire cost."

Into this splendid place he moved on November 14, 1848, nearly a thousand fellow-citizens of Bridgeport, rich and poor alike, participating in the "housewarming" as his guests. The estate was called, in reference to its Oriental appearance, Iranistan, which being interpreted means "a Persian home." This name was the subject of many a joke, as the place itself was of much wonderment and admiration.

The next two years were spent by Mr. Barnum chiefly at home with his family, though he paid frequent visits to his various places of business and amusement; business for him, amusement for the world. He had for several years a fine Museum in Baltimore, which was afterward the property of John E. Owens, the actor. In 1849 he also opened a Museum in Philadelphia, at the corner of Chestnut and Seventh streets. He spent some time in Philadelphia, until the Museum was profitably established, and then turned it over to a manager. Two years later he sold it for a good price. While he was running it, however, his old rival, Peale, conducted a strong opposition show in Masonic Hall, near by. The competition between them proved disastrous to Peale, who failed and was sold out by the sheriff. Barnum and his friend, Moses Kimball, purchased most of his effects and divided them between Barnum's American Museum in New York and Kimball's Museum in Boston.

Barnum took an active interest in the affairs of Bridgeport and of the State of Connecticut. In 1848, soon after settling in Iranistan, he was elected President of the Fairfield County Agricultural Society. He was not much of a practical farmer, although he had bought a hundred or more acres of farm land near his residence and felt a deep interest in agricultural affairs. He had imported a lot of choice livestock, which he had at Iranistan, and had gone pretty deeply into fancy poultry raising. So he was considered eligible to the office of President of the Agricultural Society.

In 1849 the Society insisted that he should deliver the annual address. "I begged to be excused on the ground of incompetency," he said, "but my excuses were of no avail, and as I could not instruct my auditors in farming, I gave them the benefit of several mistakes which I had committed. Among other things, I told them that in the fall of 1848 my head-gardener reported that I had fifty bushels of potatoes to spare. I thereupon directed him to barrel them up and ship them to New York for sale. He did so, and received two dollars per barrel, or about sixty-seven cents per bushel. But, unfortunately, after the potatoes had been shipped, I found that my gardener had selected all the largest for market, and left my family nothing but 'small potatoes' to live on during the winter. But the worst was still to come. My potatoes were all gone before March, and I was obliged to buy, during the spring, over fifty bushels of potatoes, at $1.25 per bushel! I also related my first experiment in the arboricultural line, when I cut from two thrifty rows of young cherry-trees any quantity of what I supposed to be 'suckers,' or 'sprouts,' and was thereafter informed by my gardener that I had cut off all his grafts!"

A friend of Barnum's, Mr. J. D. Johnson, had a fine place near Iranistan; and Barnum owned a couple of acres just beyond and adjoining his property. This plot Barnum presently converted into a deer park, stocking it with fine animals from the Rocky Mountains. From its location, however, everybody supposed it to be a part of Johnson's estate, and to confirm this notion--in a waggish spirit--a member of Johnson's family put up in the park a conspicuous sign, which every passer-by on the street could read:

"All persons are forbid trespassing on these grounds, or disturbing the deer.


Barnum "acknowledged the corn," and was much pleased with the joke. Johnson was delighted, and bragged considerably of having got ahead of Barnum, and the sign remained undisturbed for several days. It happened, at length, that a party of friends came to visit him from New York, arriving in the evening. Johnson told them that he had got a capital joke on Barnum; he would not explain, but said they should see it for themselves the next morning. Bright and early he led them into the street, and, after conducting them a proper distance, wheeled them around in front of the sign. To his dismay he discovered that I had added directly under his name the words "Game-keeper to P. T. Barnum."

Thereafter Mr. Johnson was known among his friends and acquaintances as "Barnum's gamekeeper."

Johnson had his revenge, however. Some time afterward Barnum became president of the Pequonnock Bank, and gave each year a grand dinner at Iranistan to the directors. In preparing for these banquets he would send to the West for some boxes of prairie chickens and other choice game. So, one day, Johnson saw a big case at the railroad station, addressed to Barnum, and marked "Game."

"See here," said he to the station-master, "I am Mr. Barnum's game-keeper, and I'll take charge of that!"

And he did so, taking it to his house, and then notifying Barnum that it could only be redeemed at cost of a new hat. He knew very well that Barnum would rather give him a dozen hats than lose the box; and he added that unless he got the hat very soon he would give a game dinner on his own account! Barnum sent an order for the hat in a hurry, and recovered his game, enjoying the whole joke as much as Johnson did.

In 1848, Mr. Frank Leslie, afterward famous as a publisher, came to America, bringing letters of introduction to Barnum from friends in England, and Barnum gave him a start in business by employing him to prepare an elaborate illustrated catalogue of the American Museum. This he did in an admirable manner, and hundreds of thousands of copies of it were distributed throughout the country.



The next enterprise undertaken by Barnum was an entirely new departure. It was justly regarded by him as bold in its conception, complete in its development, and astounding in its success. To the end of his days he looked upon it with pride and satisfaction. Probably it did more than anything else in all his career to give him a permanent and supreme position in the esteem of the public.

This enterprise was the bringing of Jenny Lind to America for a concert tour.

Miss Lind, often called the "Swedish Nightingale," was one of the most remarkable singers of the world, in that or any generation. All Europe was enraptured by her art, and her fame had encircled the globe. Barnum had never heard her, as she had not visited London until a few weeks after his return to America. But her reputation was enough to determine him to engage her, if possible, for an American tour. So he sent Mr. J. H. Wilton, an English musician, who was visiting New York, back to London to negotiate terms with her. Barnum agreed to pay Wilton his expenses if he had to return without her; but a handsome sum if he succeeded in bringing the songstress to America with him. He told Wilton to engage her on shares if possible. If not, to engage her for any sum up to a thousand dollars a night, for any number of nights up to 150, besides paying all her expenses, including servants, carriages, etc., and not more than three musical assistants. He also offered to secure her by placing the whole $150,000 in the hands of her London bankers in advance!

Wilton went to London, had some correspondence with her, and then went to Lubeck, where she was singing. She told him frankly that she had, since he first wrote to her, been busy making inquiries about Barnum's character, trustworthiness, etc., and that she was perfectly satisfied with what she had found out. There were, however, four other men negotiating with her to the same end. One of these gentlemen was a well-known opera manager in London; another, a theatrical manager in Manchester; a third, a musical composer and conductor of the orchestra of Her Majesty's Opera in London; and the fourth, Chevalier Wyckoff, who had conducted a successful speculation some years previously by visiting America in charge of the celebrated danseuse, Fanny Ellsler.

She also insisted that, under whatever auspices she should go to America, she should have as an accompanist Mr.--afterwards Sir--Julius Benedict, the composer, and Signor Belletti, an eminent Italian singer.

Finally, on January 9, 1850, Wilton succeeded in his mission. Miss Lind agreed to come to America under Barnum's management, and an elaborate contract was drawn up and signed This historic document was as follows:

MEMORANDUM of an agreement entered into this ninth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty, between John Hall Wilton, as agent for PHINEAS T. BARNUM, of New York, in the United States of North America, of the one part, and Mademoiselle JENNY LIND, Vocalist, of Stockholm, in Sweden, of the other part, wherein the said Jenny Lind doth agree:

First. To sing for the said Phineas T. Barnum in one hundred and fifty concerts, including oratorios within (if possible) one year or eighteen months from the date of her arrival in the city of New York--the said concerts to be given in the United States of North America and Havana. She, the said Jenny Lind, having full control as to the number of nights or concerts in each week, and the number of pieces in which she will sing in each concert, to be regulated conditionally with her health and safety of voice, but the former never less than one or two, nor the latter less than four; but in no case to appear in operas.

Second. In consideration of said services, the said John Hall Wilton, as agent for the said Phineas T. Barnum, of New York, agrees to furnish the said Jenny Lind with a servant as waiting-maid, and a male servant to and for the sole service of her and her party; to pay the travelling and hotel expenses of a friend to accompany her as a companion; to pay also a secretary to superintend her finances; to pay all her and her party's travelling expenses from Europe, and during the tour in the United States of North America and Havana; to pay all hotel expenses for board and lodging during the same period; to place at her disposal in each city a carriage and horses with their necessary attendants, and to give her in addition the sum of two hundred pounds sterling, or one thousand dollars, for each concert or oratorio in which the said Jenny Lind shall sing.

Third. And the said John Hall Wilton, as agent for the said Phineas T. Barnum, doth further agree to give the said Jenny Lind the most satisfactory security and assurance for the full amount of her engagement, which will be placed in the hands of Messrs. Baring Brothers, of London, previous to the departure, and subject to the order of the said Jenny Lind, with its interest due on its current reduction by her services in the concerts or oratorios.

Fourth. And the said John Hall Wilton, on the part of the said Phineas T. Barnum, further agrees, that should the said Phineas T. Barnum, after seventy-five concerts, have realized so much as shall, after paying all current expenses, have returned to him all the sums disbursed, either as deposits at interest, for securities of salaries, preliminary outlay, or moneys in any way expended consequent on this engagement, and in addition, have gained a clear profit of at least fifteen thousand pounds sterling, then the said Phineas T. Barnum will give the said Jenny Lind, in addition to the former sum of one thousand dollars current money of the United States of North America, nightly, one-fifth part of the profits arising from the remaining seventy-five concerts or oratorios, after deducting every expense current and appertaining thereto; or the said Jenny Lind agrees to try, with the said Phineas T. Barnum, fifty concerts or oratorios on the aforesaid and first-named terms, and if then found to fall short of the expectations of the said Phineas T. Barnum, then the said Jenny Lind agrees to reorganize this agreement, on terms quoted in his first proposal, as set forth in the annexed copy of his letter; but should such be found necessary, then the engagement continues up to seventy-five concerts or oratorios, at the end of which, should the aforesaid profit of fifteen thousand pounds sterling have not been realized, then the engagement shall continue as at first--the sums herein, after expenses for Julius Benedict and Giovanni Belletti, to remain unaltered, except for advancement.

Fifth. And the said John Hall Wilton, agent for the said Phineas T. Barnum, at the request of the said Jenny Lind, agrees to pay to Julius Benedict, of London, to accompany the said Jenny Lind, as musical director, pianist, and superintendent of the musical department, also to assist the said Jenny Lind in one hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios, to be given in the United States of North America and Havana, the sum of five thousand pounds (L5,000) sterling, to be satisfactorily secured to him with Messrs. Baring Brothers, of London, previous to his departure from Europe, and the said John Hall Wilton agrees further, for the said Phineas T. Barnum, to pay all his travelling expenses from Europe, together with his hotel and travelling expenses during the time occupied in giving the aforesaid one hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios--he, the said Julius Benedict, to superintend the organization of oratorios if required.

Sixth. And the said John Hall Wilton, at the request, selection, and for the aid of the said Jenny Lind, agrees to pay to Giovanni Belletti, barytone vocalist, to accompany the said Jenny Lind during her tour and in one hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios in the United States of North America and Havana, and in conjunction with the aforesaid Julius Benedict, the sum of two thousand five hundred pounds (L2,500) sterling, to be satisfactorily secured to him previous to his departure from Europe, in addition to all his hotel and travelling expenses.

Seventh. And it is further agreed that the said Jenny Lind shall be at full liberty to sing at any time she may think fit for charitable institutions, or purposes independent of the engagement with the said Phineas T. Barnum, with a view to mutually agreeing as to the time and its propriety, it being understood that in no case shall the first or second concert in any city selected for the tour be for such purpose, or wherever it shall appear against the interests of the said Phineas T. Barnum.

Eighth. It is further agreed that should the said Jenny Lind, by any act of God, be incapacitated to fulfil the entire engagement before mentioned, that an equal proportion of the terms agreed upon shall be given to the said Jenny Lind, Julius Benedict, and Giovanni Belletti, for services rendered to that time.

Ninth. It is further agreed and understood, that the said Phineas T. Barnum shall pay every expense appertaining to the concerts or oratorios before mentioned, excepting those for charitable purposes, and that all accounts shall be settled and rendered by all parties weekly.

Tenth. And the said Jenny Lind further agrees that she will not engage to sing for any other person during the progress of this said engagement with the said Phineas T. Barnum, of New York, for one hundred and fifty concerts or oratorios, excepting for charitable purposes as before mentioned; and all travelling to be first and best class.

In witness hereof to the within written memorandum of agreement we set hereunto our hand and seal.

[L. S.] JOHN HALL WILTON, Agent for Phineas

T. Barnum, of New York, U. S.




In the presence of C. ACHILLING, Consul of His Majesty the King of Sweden and Norway.

Extract from a letter addressed to John H. Wilton by Phineas T. Barnum, and referred to in paragraph No. 4 of the annexed agreement:

NEW YORK, November 6, 1849.


Sir. In reply to your proposal to attempt a negotiation with Mlle. Jenny Lind to visit the United States professionally, I propose to enter into an arrangement with her to the following effect: I will engage to pay all her expenses from Europe, provide for and pay for one principal tenor, and one pianist, their salaries not exceeding together one hundred and fifty dollars per night; to support for her a carriage, two servants, and a friend to accompany her and superintend her finances. I will furthermore pay all and every expense appertaining to her appearance before the public, and give her half of the gross receipts arising from concerts or operas. I will engage to travel with her personally, and attend to the arrangements, provided she will undertake to give not less than eighty, nor more than one hundred and fifty concerts, or nights' performances.


I certify the above to be a true extract from the letter.


There was no Atlantic cable in those days, and Barnum did not know the result of Wilton's embassy until the latter returned to America. Barnum was in Philadelphia when Wilton landed in New York, on February 19. Wilton at once telegraphed to him that he had secured the singer, who was to come over and begin her concerts in September. The great showman was startled, and felt pretty nervous; and as so long a time was to elapse before she came over, he thought it best to keep the whole matter a secret for a time.

When we reflect how thoroughly Jenny Lind, her musical powers, her character, and wonderful successes, were subsequently known by all classes in this country as well as throughout the civilized world, it is difficult to realize that, at the time this engagement was made, she was comparatively unknown on this side the water. We can hardly credit the fact that millions of persons in America had never heard of her, that other millions had merely read her name, but had no distinct idea of who or what she was. Only a small portion of the public were really aware of her great musical triumphs in the Old World, and this portion was confined almost entirely to musical people, travellers who had visited the Old World, and the conductors of the press.

Barnum telegraphed to Wilton to keep the matter secret, and next morning set out for New York. But it was too late. When he got to New York, he found the news of the engagement in full in all the papers. Everybody was talking about it, and wondering who Jenny Lind was, and Barnum soon perceived that he must improve the time, from then to September, in educating the public up to an approximate appreciation of her worth.

His first act was to send, as per agreement, the sum of $187,000 to Miss Lind's bankers in London. It was not altogether easy for him to do this. After he had scraped together all his available cash he was still short a large sum. He had plenty of securities in the form of second mortgages that were perfectly good, but no one in Wall street would lend him a dollar on them.

In his extremity, he at last went to the president of the bank where he had transacted his business for the past eight years. "I offered him," said Barnum afterward, "as security for a loan, my second mortgages, and, as additional security, I offered to make over to him my contract with Jenny Lind, with a written guaranty that he should appoint a receiver, who, at my expense, should take charge of all the receipts over and above $3,000 per night, and appropriate them toward the payment of my loan He laughed in my face, and said: 'Mr. Barnum, it is generally believed in Wall street that your engagement with Jenny Lind will ruin you. I do not think you will ever receive so much as $3,000 at a single concert.' I was indignant at his want of appreciation, and answered him that I would not at that moment take $150,000 for my contract; nor would I. I found, upon further inquiry, that it was useless in Wall street to offer the 'Nightingale' in exchange for 'Goldfinches.' I finally was introduced to Mr. John L. Aspinwall, of the firm of Messrs. Howland & Aspinwall, and he gave me a letter of credit from his firm on Baring Brothers, for a large sum on collateral securities, which a spirit of genuine respect for my enterprise induced him to accept.

"After disposing of several pieces of property for cash, I footed up the various amounts, and still discovered myself $5,000 short. I felt that it was indeed the last feather that breaks the camel's back.' Happening casually to state my desperate case to the Rev. Abel C. Thomas, of Philadelphia, for many years a friend of mine, he promptly placed the requisite amount at my disposal. I gladly accepted his proffered friendship, and felt that he had removed a mountain-weight from my shoulders."

And now nothing remained to do but to arouse public curiosity and interest. Barnum was a master-hand at that work, and never did he show himself more of a master than on this occasion. He kept the press literally teeming with notices in one form or another. Here is a sample of the strain in which he wrote:

"Perhaps I may not make any money by this enterprise; but I assure you that if I knew I should not make a farthing profit, I would ratify the engagement, so anxious am I that the United States should be visited by a lady whose vocal powers have never been approached by any other human being, and whose character is charity, simplicity, and goodness personified.

"Miss Lind has great anxiety to visit America. She speaks of this country and its institutions in the highest terms of praise. In her engagement with me (which includes Havana), she expressly reserves the right to give charitable concerts whenever she thinks proper.

Since her debut in England, she has given to the poor from her own private purse more than the whole amount which I have engaged to pay her, and the proceeds of concerts for charitable purposes in Great Britain, where she has sung gratuitously, have realized more than ten times that amount."

And so it came to pass that, before September rolled around, curiosity, interest and enthusiasm over the great singer were at fever heat, and New York thought and dreamed only of her coming.

Never, in the history of music or in the history of entertainments in America, has the advent of a foreign artist been hailed with so much enthusiasm.

A large share of this public interest was natural and genuine, and would, in any event, have been accorded to Miss Lind. But a considerable portion of it was due to the shrewd and energetic advertising of Mr. Barnum. Under any auspices the great singer's tour in America would have been successful; but under no other management would it have approximated to what it was under Barnum.



Jenny Lind sailed for America on Wednesday morning, August 21, 1850. She was accompanied by Messrs. Benedict and Belletti, Mr. Wilton, her two cousins, and three or four servants. She also brought with her a piano for her use. Mr. Barnum had engaged the necessary accommodations for the company on the steamship Atlantic, and their departure from England was an event of great public interest. In America their coming was looked upon much as the visit of a royal personage would have been. It was expected that the steamer would reach New York on Sunday, September 1st. Mr. Barnum, however, determined to be on hand to meet his distinguished guest at no matter what time she reached the port. He, therefore, went on Saturday to Staten Island, and spent the night at the house of his friend, Dr. Doane, the health officer of the port.

The steamship was sighted just before noon on Sunday, and soon afterward Mr. Barnum, who went out with the health officer, was standing on the deck where, for the first time, he met the famous singer. After they had shaken hands and uttered a few commonplace words of greeting Miss Lind asked him when and where he had heard her sing.

"I never had the pleasure of seeing you before in my life," he replied.

"How is it possible that you dared risk so much money on a person whom you never heard sing?" she asked in great surprise.

"I risked it," answered Barnum, "on your reputation, which in musical matters I would much rather trust than my own judgment."

The fact was that, although Barnum did rely largely upon Miss Lind's reputation as an artist, he also took into account her equally great reputation for benevolence, generosity and general loveliness of disposition. He knew that these traits of character would appeal with a special force to the warm-hearted and enthusiastic American public. Indeed, he afterward confessed that had it not been for this peculiarity of her disposition, he never would have ventured to make the engagement with her; and he always believed that as many people came to see and hear her on this account as on account of her skill as a singer.

Seldom has any visitor to New York received a more remarkable greeting than did the "Swedish Nightingale." Mr. Barnum's efforts to arouse public interest in her had not been in vain. The whole city was anxious to get the first possible glimpse of her. But beside this bona fide interest in her, Mr. Barnum had seen to it that her landing was made all possible use of as an advertisement. On the wharf at which she landed a bower of green trees, decorated with flags, had been prepared. There were also two handsome triumphal arches, on one of which was inscribed, "Welcome, Jenny Lind!" and on the other, "Welcome to America!"

Probably the singer thought, and possibly some of the general public also imagined, that these decorations had been erected by the city government, or at least by some committee of public-spirited citizens. Mr. Barnum, however, never found fault with any one for suspecting that he was chiefly responsible for them, and there is every reason to believe that the cost of them was to be found entered in his books, charged to the account of advertising.

Thousands of people were thronged along the water front, on the piers and on the shipping, to greet the Atlantic as it reached its dock. So great was the rush to see the illustrious guest that one man was crowded overboard, an incident which Miss Lind herself witnessed, and at which she was much alarmed. He was rescued with no other harm than a thorough wetting. Barnum's carriage was in waiting for Miss Lind, and the great showman himself, after placing her within it, mounted the box at the driver's side. He took that seat as a legitimate advertisement, and his presence there aided those who filled the windows and sidewalks along the entire way to the Irving House, and there were many thousands of them, in coming to the conclusion that Jenny Lind had really arrived.

Five minutes after Miss Lind had entered the hotel, Barnum invited her to look out of a window opening on Broadway. When she did so she saw a throng of not less than twenty thousand persons gathered to do her honor. And there that throng remained all the rest of the afternoon and until late in the evening. At her request Barnum took dinner with her that afternoon. According to the European custom she offered to pledge his health in a glass of wine, and was doubtless much surprised at his response. He said to her: "Miss Lind, I do not think you can ask any other favor on earth which I would not gladly grant. But I am a teetotaler, and must beg to be permitted to drink to your health and happiness in a glass of cold water."

Late that night Miss Lind was serenaded by the New York Musical Fund Society, which numbered, on that occasion, two hundred musicians. They were escorted to the hotel by about three hundred firemen, clad in their picturesque uniform and bearing flaming torches. Fully thirty thousand spectators were at this hour gathered about the hotel, and in response to their vociferous calls Miss Lind stepped upon the balcony and bowed to them.

Such was the great singer's first day in America, and for several weeks thereafter the public interest in her was scarcely less demonstrative. Her rooms were thronged by visitors, among whom were the most notable people in society, in the learned professions and in public life. The street before the hotel was almost blocked day after day by the carriages of fashionable people, and Barnum's only anxiety was lest the aristocratic part of the community should monopolize her altogether, and thus mar his interest by cutting her off from the sympathy she had excited among the common people. The shop-keepers of the city showered their attentions upon her, sending her cart-loads of specimens of their most valuable wares, for which they asked no other return than her acceptance and her autograph acknowledgment. Gloves, bonnets, shawls, gowns, chairs, carriages, pianos, and almost every imaginable article of use or ornament was named for her. Songs and musical compositions were dedicated to her, and poems were published in her honor. Day after day and week after week her doings formed the most conspicuous news in the daily journals.

Some weeks before Miss Lind's arrival in America Barnum had offered a prize of two hundred dollars for the best ode, to be set to music and sung by her at her first concert. Its topic was to be, "Greeting to America." In response several hundred poems were sent in, mostly pretty poor stuff; though several of them were very good. After a great deal of hard work in reading and considering them, the Prize Committee selected as the best the one offered by Bayard Taylor. It was set to music by Julius Benedict, and was as follows:



I greet with a full heart the Land of the West,

Whose Banner of Stars o'er a world is unrolled; Whose empire o'ershadows Atlantic's wide breast,

And opens to sunset its gateway of gold! The land of the mountain, the land of the lake,

And rivers that roll in magnificent tide--Where the souls of the mighty from slumber awake,

And hallow the soil for whose freedom they died!

Thou Cradle of empire! though wide be the foam

That severs the land of my fathers and thee, I hear, from thy bosom, the welcome of home,

For song has a home in the hearts of the Free! And long as thy waters shall gleam in the sun,

And long as thy heroes remember their scars, Be the hands of thy children united as one,

And Peace shed her light on thy Banner of Stars!

This award gave general satisfaction, although a few disappointed competitors complained. This remarkable competition and the other features of Miss Lind's reception in America, attracted so much attention in England that the London Times in one day devoted several columns of space to the subject.

Of course the American press literally teemed with matter about Miss Lind and Barnum. The poetical competition demanded much attention, and presently a witty pamphlet was published, entitled "Barnum's Parnassus; being Confidential Disclosures of the Prize Committee on the Jenny Lind Song." It pretended to give all or most of the poems that had been offered in the competition, though of course none of them were genuine. Many of them, however, contained fine satirical hits on the whole business; such, for example, as the following:



When to the common rest that crowns his days,

Dusty and worn the tired pedestrian goes, What light is that whose wide o'erlooking blaze

A sudden glory on his pathway throws?

'Tis not the setting sun, whose drooping lid

Closed on the weary world at half-past six; 'Tis not the rising moon, whose rays are hid

Behind the city's sombre piles of bricks.

It is the Drummond Light, that from the top

Of Barnum's massive pile, sky-mingling there, Dart's its quick gleam o'er every shadowed shop,

And gilds Broadway with unaccustomed glare.

There o'er the sordid gloom, whose deep'ning tracks

Furrow the city's brow, the front of ages, Thy loftier light descends on cabs and hacks,

And on two dozen different lines of stages!

O twilight Sun, with thy far darting ray,

Thou art a type of him whose tireless hands Hung thee on high to guide the stranger's way,

Where, in its pride, his vast Museum stands.

Him, who in search of wonders new and strange,

Grasps the wide skirts of Nature's mystic robe Explores the circles of eternal change,

And the dark chambers of the central globe.

He, from the reedy shores of fabled Nile,

Has brought, thick-ribbed and ancient as old iron, That venerable beast, the crocodile,

And many a skin of many a famous lion.

Go lose thyself in those continuous halls,

Where strays the fond papa with son and daughter; And all that charms or startles or appals,

Thou shalt behold, and for a single quarter.

Far from the Barcan deserts now withdrawn,

There, huge constrictors coil their scaly backs; There, cased in glass, malignant and unshorn,

Old murderers glare in sullenness and wax.

There many a varied form the sight beguiles,

In rusty broadcloth decked and shocking hat, And there the unwieldy Lambert sits and smiles,

In the majestic plenitude of fat.

Or for thy gayer hours, the orang-outang

Or ape salutes thee with his strange grimace, And in their shapes, stuffed as on earth they sprang,

Thine individual being thou canst trace!

And joys the youth in life's green spring, who goes

With the sweet babe and the gray headed nurse, To see those Cosmoramic orbs disclose

The varied beauties of the universe.

And last, not least, the marvellous Ethiope,

Changing his skin by preternatural skill, Whom every setting sun's diurnal slope

Leaves whiter than the last, and whitening still.

All that of monstrous, scaly, strange and queer,

Has come from out the womb of earliest time, Thou hast, O Barnum, in thy keeping here,

Nor is this all--for triumphs more sublime

Await thee yet! I, Jenny Lind, who reigned

Sublimely throned, the imperial queen of song, Wooed by thy golden harmonies, have deigned

Captive to join the heterogeneous throng.

Sustained by an unfaltering trust in coin,

Dealt from thy hand, O thou illustrious man, Gladly I heard the summons come to join

Myself the immeasurable caravan.

A number of complimentary greetings in verse were also sent in to Miss Lind by various writers of more or less eminence, among them being the following from Mrs. Lydia H. Sigourney:



Blest must their vocation be
Who, with tones of melody,
Charm the discord and the strife
And the railroad rush of life,

And with Orphean magic move
Souls inert to life and love.
But there's one who doth inherit
Angel gift and angel spirit,
Bidding tides of gladness flow
Through the realms of want and woe;
'Mid lone age and misery's lot,
Kindling pleasures long forgot,
Seeking minds oppressed with night,
And on darkness shedding light,
She the seraph's speech doth know,
She hath done their deeds below;
So, when o'er this misty strand
She shall clasp their waiting hand,
They will fold her to their breast,
More a sister than a guest.

The first concert was announced for the evening of September 11th, and it was to take place in the great hall of Castle Garden, afterward famous as the landing-place for emigrants at New York. The tickets for this occasion were sold at auction, and the first one was bid up to the extraordinary figure of $225. This was bid and the ticket was secured by John N. Genin, a hatter; and the public notice which was thereby attracted to him was such a great advertisement for his business that within a few years thereafter he amassed a fortune. It was afterward stated that Mr. Genin was Barnum's brother-in-law, and that his high bid for this ticket was a pre-arranged job; but there was no truth in this whatever. The auction itself was regarded as an occasion of such public interest that the proprietors of the Garden, where it was held, charged a shilling admission fee to it. No less than 3,000 persons paid this fee and attended the auction, and the first day's sale aggregated 1,000 tickets, which brought a total sum of $10,141.

A few days after her arrival Barnum told Miss Lind that it would be desirable to make a change in the terms of their contract, if she would consent. She was startled at this, and asked him what the change was to be. "I am convinced," replied Barnum, "that this enterprise will be far more successful than either of us anticipated. So I wish to stipulate that you shall receive not only $1,000 for each concert, beside all expenses, but also that, after taking out $5,500 per night for expenses and for my services, the balance shall be equally divided between you and me."

She looked at him in utter bewilderment, unable to understand his proposition. He repeated it, and at last made her realize what it was that he proposed to do. Then she grasped him by the hand and exclaimed: "Mr. Barnum, you are a gentleman of honor; you are generous; it is just as I was told. I will sing for you as long as you please. I will sing for you in America--in Europe--anywhere!"

The day before the first concert Mr. Barnum told Miss Lind that, judging by appearances, her portion of the proceeds of the first concert, over and above her fee of $1,000, would amount to at least $10,000. She immediately resolved to devote every dollar of it to charity, and forthwith sent for the Mayor of the city, under whose advice she acted in selecting the various institutions among which it was to be distributed.

The amount of money actually received for tickets for the first concert was $17,864.05. So it appeared that Barnum's estimate had been a little too high, and Miss Lind's portion was too small to realize the $10,000 which she was to give to charity. Barnum therefore proposed to make a similar arrangement for the second concert, and to count neither of these first two in the regular engagement. To this she agreed. The second concert was given on September 13th, and the receipts, which amounted to $14,203.03, were disposed of as before, and she was thus enabled to give the $10,000 to charity. The third concert, which was the first of the regular series, was given on September 17th.

Barnum's arrangements of the concert-room for the singer's appearance were very complete. One hundred ushers, adorned with rosettes and carrying wands tipped with ribbons, looked after the seating of the audience. In order to prevent confusion the doors were opened at five o'clock, although the concert was not to commence until eight. The result was that the five thousand persons who attended made their entry without crowding and without confusion.

The reception of Jenny Lind, on her first appearance, in point of enthusiasm, was probably never before equalled. As Mr. Benedict led her towards the footlights, the entire audience rose to their feet and welcomed her with three cheers, accompanied by the waving of thousands of hats and handkerchiefs. This was perhaps the largest audience to which Jenny Lind had ever sung. She was evidently much agitated, but the orchestra commenced, and before she had sung a dozen notes of "Casta Diva," she began to recover her self-possession, and long before the scena was concluded she was as calm as if she was in her own drawing-room. Towards the last portion of the cavatina, the audience were so completely carried away by their feelings, that the remainder of the air was drowned in a perfect tempest of acclamation. Enthusiasm had been wrought to its highest pitch, but the musical powers of Jenny Lind exceeded all the brilliant anticipations which had been formed, and her triumph was complete. At the conclusion of the concert Jenny Lind was loudly called for, and was obliged to appear three times before the audience could be satisfied. Then they called vociferously for "Barnum," and he "reluctantly" responded to their demand.

On this first night Julius Benedict firmly established with the American people his European reputation as a most accomplished conductor and musical composer; while Signor Belletti inspired an admiration which grew warmer and deeper in the minds of the public, to the end of his career in this country.

"The Rubicon was passed," says Barnum. "The successful issue of the Jenny Lind enterprise was established. I think there were a hundred men in New York, the day after her first concert, who would have willingly paid me $200,000 for my contract. I received repeated offers for an eighth, a tenth, or a sixteenth, equivalent to that price. But mine had been the risk, and I was determined mine should be the triumph."

The triumph of Jenny Lind is a legitimate part of Barnum's history, and it will be of interest to the present generation to read what the musical critics of that day thought of that wonderful singer. Here is the New York Tribune's account of her opening concerts in America:

"Jenny Lind's first concert is over, and all doubts are at an end. She is the greatest singer we have ever heard and her success is all that was anticipated from her genius and her fame. As this is something of an era in our history of art, we give a detailed account of all that took place on the occasion.

"All the preparatory arrangements for the concert were made with great care, and from the admirable system observed, none of the usual disagreeable features of such an event were experienced. Outside of the gate there was a double row of policemen extending up the main avenue of the Battery grounds. Carriages only were permitted to drive up to the gate from the Whitehall side, and pass off into Battery-place. At one time the line of carriages extended to Whitehall and up State street into Broadway. Everything was accomplished in a quiet and orderly manner. The chief of police, with about sixty men, came on the ground at 5 o'clock, and maintained the most complete order to the end.

"Mr. Barnum, according to promise, had put up a substantial frame-work, and thrown an immense awning over the bridge, which is some 200 feet in length. This was brilliantly lighted, and had almost the appearance of a triumphal avenue on entering the gate.

"There was an immense crowd on the Battery, clustering around the gates during the whole evening, but no acts of disorder occurred. When Jenny Lind's carriage came, but very few persons knew it, and no great excitement followed. The principal annoyance was occasioned by a noisy crowd of boys in boats, who gathered around the outer wall of the castle, and being by their position secure from the police, tried to disturb those within by a hideous clamor of shouts and yells, accompanied by a discordant din of drums and fifes. There must have been more than 200 boats and a thousand persons on the water. They caused some annoyance to that portion of the audience in the back seats of the balcony, but the nuisance was felt by none in the parquet. By 10 o'clock they had either become tired or ashamed of the contemptible outrage they were attempting, and dispersed. We may here remark that if the river police asked for by Chief Matsell had been in existence this attempt could not have been made.

"On entering the castle, a company of ushers, distinguished by their badges, were in readiness to direct the visitors to that part of the hall where their seats were located. Colored lamps and hangings suspended to the pillars indicated at a glance the different divisions, and the task of seating the whole audience of near seven thousand persons was thus accomplished without the least inconvenience. The hall was brilliantly lighted, though from its vast extent the stage looked somewhat dim. The wooden partition which was built up in place of the drop-curtain, is covered with a painting representing the combined standards of America and Sweden, below which are arabesque ornaments in white and gold. Considering the short time allowed for these improvements, the change was remarkable. The only instance of bad taste which we noticed was a large motto, worked in flowers, suspended over the pillars of the balcony directly in front of the stage. 'Welcome, Sweet Warbler' (so ran the words), was not only tame and commonplace, but decidedly out of place.

"The sight of the grand hall, with its gay decoration, its glittering lamps, and its vast throng of expectant auditors, was in itself almost worth a $5 ticket. We were surprised to notice that not more than one-eighth of the audience were ladies. They must stay at home, it seems, when the tickets are high, but the gentlemen go, nevertheless. For its size, the audience was one of the most quiet, refined and appreciative we ever saw assembled in this city. Not more than one-third were seated before 7 o'clock, and when the eventful hour arrived they were still coming in. A few of the seats were not taken when the orchestra had assembled, and Mr. Benedict, who was greeted with loud cheers on his appearance, gave the first flourish of his baton.

"The musical performance commenced with Jules Benedict's overture to his opera, The Crusaders, himself conducting the orchestra of 60 instruments. It was an admirably balanced and effective orchestra, and notwithstanding that we had to listen as it were round a corner, we felt the unity and full force of its strong chords, and traced the precise and delicate outline of its melodies with a distinctness which proved that a clear musical idea was there, too clearly embodied to be lost even in that vast space. We liked the first half of the composition best; it had the dark shading and wild vigor and pathos of Von Weber; the allegro which set in upon it was more in the light popular manner of Auber and the French. Yet Mr. Benedict has proved his mastery in this work, which the vast audience acknowledged with very hearty plaudits.

"Signor Belletti was the next mark of expectation. In one of Rossini's most ornate and florid bravura songs (from Maometto Secondo) he produced a barytone of such warm, rich, solid, resonant and feeling quality as we perhaps have never heard in this country (though without closer observation from the less remote position in which a barytone naturally requires to be heard, we hardly dare to place it above Badiali's); while in refinement of conception and of execution he left little to be desired.

"Now came a moment of breathless expectation. A moment more, and Jenny Lind, clad in a white dress, which well became the frank sincerity of her face, came forward through the orchestra. It is impossible to describe the spontaneous burst of welcome which greeted her. The vast assembly rose as one man, and for some minutes nothing could be seen but the waving of hands and handkerchiefs, nothing heard but a storm of tumultuous cheers. The enthusiasm of the moment, for a time beyond all bounds, was at last subdued after prolonging itself by its own fruitless efforts to subdue itself, and the divine songstress, with that perfect bearing, that air of all dignity and sweetness, blending a child-like simplicity and half-trembling womanly modesty with the beautiful confidence of genius and serene wisdom of art, addressed herself to song, as the orchestral symphony prepared the way for the voice in Casta Diva. A better test-piece could not have been selected for her debut. Every soprano lady has sung it to us; but nearly every one has seemed only trying to make something of it, while Jenny Lind WAS the very music of it for the time being. We would say no less than that; for the wisest and honestest part of criticism on such a first hearing of a thing so perfect, was to give itself purely up to it, without question, and attempt no analysis of what too truly fills one to have yet begun to be an object of thought.

"If it were possible, we would describe the quality of that voice, so pure, so sweet, so fine, so whole and all-pervading, in its lowest breathings and minutest fioriture as well as in its strongest volume. We never heard tones which in their sweetness went so far. They brought the most distant and ill-seated auditor close to her. They WERE tones, every one of them, and the whole air had to take the law of their vibrations. The voice and the delivery had in them all the good qualities of all the good singers. Song in her has that integral beauty which at once proclaims it as a type for all, and is most naturally worshipped as such by the multitude.

"Of those who have been before her we were most frequently reminded of Madame Bishop's quality (not quantity) of voice. Their voices are of metal somewhat akin. Jenny Lind's had incomparably more power and more at all times in reserve; but it had a shade of that same veiled quality in its lowest tones, consistently with the same (but much more) ripeness and sweetness, and perfect freedom from the crudeness often called clearness, as they rise. There is the same kind of versatile and subtile talent, too, in Jenny Lind, as appeared later in the equal inspiration and perfection of her various characters and styles of song. Her's is a genuine soprano, reaching the extra high notes with that ease and certainty which make each highest one a triumph of expression purely, and not a physical marvel. The gradual growth and sostenuto of her tones; the light and shade, the rhythmic undulation and balance of her passages; the bird-like ecstacy of her trill; the faultless precision and fluency of her chromatic scales; above all, the sure reservation of such volume of voice as to crown each protracted climax with glory, not needing a new effort to raise force for the final blow; and indeed all the points one looks for in a mistress of the vocal art were eminently her's in Casta Diva. But the charm lay not in any POINT, but rather in the inspired vitality, the hearty, genuine outpouring of the whole--the real and yet truly ideal humanity of all her singing. That is what has won the world to Jenny Lind; it is that her whole soul and being goes out in her song, and that her voice becomes the impersonation of that song's soul if it have any, that is, if it BE a song. There is plainly no vanity in her, no mere aim to effect; it is all frank and real and harmoniously earnest.

"She next bewitched all by the delicate naivete and sparkling espieglerie, interchanged with true love pathos, of her duet with Belletti, from Rossini's I Turchi in Italia, the music being in the same voice with that of his 'Barber of Seville.' The distinct rapidity, without hurry, of many passages, was remarkable in both performers. But perhaps the most wonderful exhibition of her vocal skill and pliancy and of her active intimacy with nature was in the Trio Concertante, with two flutes, from Meyerbeer's 'Camp of Silesia.' Exquisitely her voice played in echo between the tasteful flute-warblings of Messrs. Kyle and Siede.

"But do not talk of her flute-like voice; the flute-tone is not one a real voice need cultivate; except where it silvers the edges of a dark mass of orchestral harmony, the flute's unmitigated sweetness must and should contrast with the more clarionet and reed-like quality of a voice as rich and human as that of Jenny Lind.

"Naturally the favorites of the evening were the two national songs. Her Swedish 'Herdsman's Song' was singularly quaint, wild and innocent. The odd musical interval (a sharp seventh) of the the echo, as if her singing had brought the very mountains there, were extremely characteristic. This was loudly encored and repeated; and when again encored was of course answered with her 'Greeting to America,' the National Prize Song, written by Bayard Taylor, and set to a vigorous and familiar style of music, well harmonizing with the words, by Benedict. The greeting had a soul in it coming from those lips.

"We have but now to acknowledge the fine style of Belletti's Largo al Factotum (though the gay barber's song always requires the stage) and the admirable orchestra performance of Weber's Overture to Oberon.

"We are now sure of Jenny Lind, the singer and the artist. Last night she was herself, and well accompanied, and gloriously responded to. But we have yet to hear her in the kind of music which seems to us most to need and to deserve such a singer--in the Agatha of Der Freyschutz, and in Mozart and the deep music of the great modern German operas.

"At the close the audience (who made no movement to leave till the last note had been uttered) broke out in a tempest of cheers, only less vehement than those which welcomed her in Casta Diva. She came forward again, bowed with a bright, grateful face, and retired. The cheers were now mingled with shouts of 'Barnum!' who at last came forward, and with some difficulty obtained sufficient order to speak. 'My friends,' said he, 'you have often heard it asked, 'Where's Barnum?" Amid the cheers and laughter which followed, we only caught the words: 'Henceforth, you may say, 'Barnum's nowhere!' '

"Mr. Barnum, after expressing his gratification at the splendid welcome which had been given Mdlle. Lind, stated that he would disclose a piece of news which he could no longer keep secret, and which would show how well that welcome was deserved. Mdlle. Lind on Monday morning informed him that it was her intention to give her share of the net proceeds of the present concert, amounting to considerable more than $10,000, to the various charities in the city.

"The announcement was a signal for another storm. We did not count the number of cheers given, but we never witnessed such a pitch of enthusiasm. Mr. Barnum then proceeded to read the list of her donations, interrupted at every name by a fresh burst of applause:

To the Fire Department Fund . . . . . . . . . $3,000

Musical Fund Society. . . . . . . . . . . .2,000

Home for the Friendless . . . . . . . . . . .500

Society for the Relief of Indigent Females. .500

Dramatic Fund Association . . . . . . . . . .500

Home for Colored and Aged Persons . . . . . .500

Colored and Orphan Association. . . . . . . .500

Lying-in Asylum for Destitute Females . . . .500

New York Orphan Asylum. . . . . . . . . . . .500

Protestant Half-Orphan Asylum . . . . . . . .500

Roman Catholic Half-Orphan Asylum . . . . . .500

Old Ladies' Asylum. . . . . . . . . . . . . .500

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10,000

"In case the money coming to her shall exceed this sum, she will hereafter designate the charity to which it is to be appropriated. Mr. Barnum was then about retiring, when there was a universal call for Jenny Lind. The songstress, however, had already taken her departure, and the excited crowd, after giving a few more cheers, followed her example, and slowly surged out of the castle door, and down the canopied bridge, in a glow of good-humor and admiration. A few disorderly vagrants collected on the bridges leading to the Bath Houses, hooted at the throng as it passed out, but everybody went home quietly, with a new joy at his heart, and a new thought in his brain.

"Jenny Lind's second concert was in every respect as complete a triumph as the first. The audience numbered upward of SEVEN THOUSAND, filling the vast amphitheatre to the topmost circles of the gallery. The sight of that dense sea of heads, from either extremity of the balcony, reminded us of one of Martin's grand, gloomy pictures, and the resemblance was further increased by the semi-oriental appearance of the hall, with its long, light pillars dropping from the centre, as well as by the dimness of its illumination, the lamps, many and bright as they were, being lost in the immense area of the building.

"The concert was a repetition of the first, with the only difference that the orchestra volunteered the "Wedding March," from Mendelssohn's "Midsummer Night's Dream," whose short, crackling blaze of harmony received full justice from the sure and well-tempered brass instruments. Weber's overture to "Oberon" was finely rendered, and the composition is as fine a specimen of musical fairy-land as could be found before young Mendelssohn dreamed Shakspere's dream over in his own way.

"In Jenny Lind we still feel that it is not easy to separate the singer from the person. She sings herself. She does not, like many skilful vocalists, merely recite her musical studies, and dazzle you with splendid feats unnaturally acquired; her singing, through all her versatile range of parts and styles, is her own proper and spontaneous activity--integral, and whole. Her magnificent voice, always true and firm, and as far beyond any instrument as humanity is beyond nature, seems like the audible beauty of her nature and her character. That she is an artist in the highest sense is a question long since settled, and any little incidental variation from the bold and perfect outline of success in any special effort, as the faltering of her voice from natural embarrassment in the commencing of Casta Diva that first night, could not to a true listener at all impede the recognition of the wonderful art which could afford a little to humanity on so trying an occasion. For she was as it were beginning her career anew; literally to her was this a new world; and she felt for a moment as if in her first blushing maidenhood of song. This second time the hesitation of the voice in that commencement was not felt. The note began soft and timid and scarce audible, as the prayer of Norma might have done; but how it gradually swelled with the influx of divine strength into the soul! The grand difficulty in the opening andante movement of Casta Diva lies in its broad, sustained phrasing, in the long, generous undulation of its rhythm, which with most singers drags or gets broken out of symmetry. Jenny Lind conceived and did it truly. The impassioned energy of the loud-pleading syncopated cries in which the passage attains its climax; the celestial purity and penetrating sweetness of that highest note afterward; the exquisite cadenza to the andante; and the inspiring eloquence of the allegro: Ah! bello a me ritorna, were far beyond anything WE have had the fortune hitherto to hear.

"They that sat, or even stood, in Castle Garden, may mark down a white day in their calendar. In point of audience, programme, execution and inspiration, it was the greatest concert, so far. If anything more had been needed to confirm the impression which Jenny Lind had previously made on an American public, and to place her continued success beyond the possibility of doubt, last night's experience certainly supplied it.

"It was foreseen in the morning that the attendance would be greater even than on Friday night. The American Museum and Hall's Music Store were besieged through the whole day and up to the very hour of commencement. At the former place the crowding for tickets was tremendous, the very sidewalk in front being blockaded most of the time. At seven o'clock, when we took up the line of march for Castle Garden, both sides of Broadway were thronged, and the main avenue of the Battery was filled with a steady stream of persons pressing into the Castle gate. As on the first night, a double line of policemen had been formed, which effectually prevented all disorder. A few more lamps were introduced into the hall, rendering its aspect much more light and cheerful. By eight o'clock the vast hall was crowded to overflowing. Scarcely a foot of space was unoccupied; from the very edge of the ceiling to the orchestral platform in the centre, around the immense span of the building, there was but one dense mass of heads. We should, at a rough guess, estimate the number in the auditory at SEVEN THOUSAND. A much larger proportion than on former nights were ladies, and for the first time we caught glimpses of the fashionable society from above Bleecker. It is worthy of note, that the first and second concerts, immense as they were, were composed almost entirely of the intelligent and appreciative middle class.

"Some disturbance was created by a rush to obtain seats, made by those who had promenade tickets for the balcony, the moment the orchestra began to collect. This proceeding, in violation of the specified arrangements, was most disgraceful. The ushers did all they could to prevent it, but in spite of all their efforts many persons who arrived before the hour of commencement were deprived of their seats. It would be a good plan to have a few policemen in the balcony on future occasions.

"The orchestra commenced with Rossini's Overture to "William Tell"--perhaps the finest piece of instrumental picture music since Haydn's Creation and the Pastoral Symphony of Beethoven. Its fresh and vivid coloring, its atmospheric changes, its smart Alpine vigor and heroic ensemble, were made as present and as real as any sixty instruments could make them. Exquisitely did those three violoncellos sketch the first scene of soft, cool sunset on the unruffled lake; the mellow Corno Anglaise, male partner to the oboe, sweetly woke the flute-like mountain echoes; the low moan and whistle of the storm rose life like in the crescendo of the violins, and as it died away the startling quick-step of liberty leaped strong and simultaneous from such a tutti as we have hardly heard from any orchestra. We can believe that Mr. Benedict was quite sincere in telling them he had not conducted a better orchestra in Europe. The other Overture to Masaniello was also splendidly played, but the composition is, to our taste, too hackneyed to fill out the programme of a Jenny Lind before the largest audience in the world. The accompaniments to the singing were usually given with sympathetic precision, and subdued shading or vigorous seconding, as the case required. We cannot speak too well of M. Benedict's control of his forces.

"The second piece was the Viravviso ("As I View Now") from La Somnambula, delivered in the richest and most vibrating barytone that WE Americans have heard, by Sig. Belletti. Now that we have heard him from a nearer position, we have not a doubt left of his superiority in voice, style, execution to all our Italian favorites of the same register hitherto. He absolutely glorified the cavatina which rapidly grew commonplace with Brough, and had but half recovered even in the hands of the worthy Italian artists who have since sung it on the stage for us. His crowning achievement last night, however, was the actual singing of a Tarentella by Rossini--a kind of movement which we have hitherto heard only from instruments--a whirling, spinning, delirious, top-like movement in which the singer seems galvanized and tyrannized by one too happy and all-mastering idea in spite of himself. The audience too, in spite of themselves, were sucked into its whirling ecstacy, and it was imperatively encored. In Mozart's Non piu Andrai the chaster prototype of Rossini's Largo al factotum, his vocalization was elastic, spirited and elegant, but the effect of such a piece was necessarily lost upon the outer circles of so vast an auditory.

"For other variety there was a brilliant show duett on themes from La Somnambula for piano and violin by Messrs. Benedict and Noll, and a solo on the pianoforte by that most promising young artist, Hoffman. For this he chose De Meyer's fantasy on Semiramide, decidedly of the modern monster school of pianoforte composition, though quite a vigorous, graceful and redeeming specimen thereof.

"And now for the 'Queen of Song'--or, if so qualifying it will better suit the Italians, the NORTHERN Queen of Song.

"She commenced with one of the most tender and graceful, and hereabouts least hackneyed airs of Bellini--the Qui la Voce from I Puritani. Her liquid purity of voice and graceful gliding through its flowery labyrinthine passages was to us not more remarkable than the true but quiet fervor which animated it. Jenny Lind shows no feeling! and excites none! draws no tears! True Art supplies the place of tears by touching the emotions which are deeper and serener, and not a whit less human. But of this more fully when we have room.

"The splendid song from Mozart's 'Magic Flute,' Non Paventar, brought into play the salient diamonds of her highest voice, which arches like the tall shaft of a fountain sparkling in the sun. The introduction, a bold, exhorting strain, in grandiose style, full of large intervals, was given with a glorious fervor, and no lark ever carolled more blithely or more at ease than her voice as it soared to F in alt! Benedict's English ballad, 'Take this Lute,' she sang with a simplicity and pathos that won the audience completely; and no part seemed more genuine or more expressive than the difficult cadenza at its close.

"The romanza from Robert le Diable was perhaps the most fascinating of her more studied performances. This, like all her brilliant things, if not impassioned in the cheaper superficial sense, was at all events vital, and from the soul. She is never mechanical, whatever you may say about want of passion. Is any tragic pathos, such as is ready on the smallest occasion, or on none, more admirable and more inspiring, more from the inmost soul, than is that gushing up of a full, glad, true heart which is her native mood of song, and which was so glorious last night in the Ah! non Giunge from Somnambula? The rapturous encore to this was answered by the Swedish 'Herdsman's Song.'

"It was in the song from Mozart's 'Magic Flute' that we first fully KNEW the voice and art and soul of Jenny Lind. She warmed to that music. It is narrow criticism which imprisons such a singer within the partial scope, albeit classical, of the Italian School; ignores that vital part of her which may exceed the conventional requirements of such a School, and condemns whatever in her is most characteristic, and in contrast with its models. It has been well said by those who make the most intelligent reference to those models and that school, that the style of the Swedish Nightingale is sui generis, as marked as her own personality. True, you would not say of her, in the conventional Italian sense of the word, what is often said in first acknowledgment of a good singer: 'She has STYLE'--meaning the one style which is assumed as the standard. If we are to limit style to that sense, Mdlle. Lind has more than style; she has genius--Northern genius, to be sure, which is precisely what she should have to make her greatness genuine. Song is original in her; and from her singing we drink in new life, after long satiety of such passion-sweets as have become habits rather than fresh inspirations in the delightful--we may almost say perfected--but yet confined music of the Italians.

"It is, perhaps, too late to await the advent of a Queen of Song from the warm South. The South has had its turn; it has fulfilled its mission; the other end of the balance now comes up. The Northern Muse must sing her lesson to the world. Her fresher, chaster, more intellectual, and (as they only SEEM to some) her colder strains come in due season to recover our souls from the delicious languor of a Music which has been so wholly of the Feelings, that, for the want of some intellectual tonic and some spiritual temper, Feeling has degenerated into mere Sensibility and a very cheap kind of superficial, skin-deep excitability that usurps the name of Passion.

"We admire and feel and love the Melody of Italy. We reverence her native gift of song, her popular sensibility to it. We have been again and again transported by her best vocal artists who have visited these shores, and they are not THE best--the world-wide celebrities, we have to confess, are only traditions to us--traditions, however, to which we yield ourselves in full faith. From what we HAVE heard and experienced of Italian singing, we know, as well as if we had heard Grisi, Pasta and Rubini, that it is not IN the genius of the Italian School to produce or hardly to appreciate such a new revelation of song as this human nightingale or canary of Sweden.

"Is this underrating the Italian music? By no means. That is an established fact, and has its characteristic worth. Equally so, but in a contrasted way has the music of the North, which, till this Nightingale appeared, had found its utterance mainly through instruments and orchestras. Now it finds worthy utterance in song. But of its peculiar characteristic we must take another time to speak."



All of Barnum's inventive powers were called into play effectually to advertise his song-bird. Biographies of Jenny Lind were circulated. "Foreign correspondence" raved over her talents, narratives of her benevolence filled the papers; her pictures and her name were seen everywhere. So when she made her first appearance, it was before an audience already wrought up to a high pitch of enthusiasm in her behalf. Never before, or after for that matter, was any singer so lauded by the press. The following editorial from the New York Herald of September 10th, 1850, is a fair sample:

"What ancient monarch was he, either in history or in fable, who offered half his kingdom (the price of box-tickets and choice seats in those days) for the invention of an original sensation, or the discovery of a fresh pleasure? That sensation--that pleasure which royal power in the Old World failed to discover--has been called into existence at a less price, by Mr. Barnum, a plain republican, and is now about to be enjoyed by the sovereigns of the New World.

"Jenny Lind, the most remarkable phenomenon in the musical art which has for the last century flashed across the horizon of the Old World, is now among us, and will make her debut to-morrow night to a house of nearly ten thousand listeners, yielding in proceeds by auction, a sum of forty or fifty thousand dollars. For the last ten days our musical reporters have furnished our readers with every matter connected with her arrival in this metropolis, and the steps adopted by Mr. Barnum in preparation for her first appearance. The proceedings of yesterday, consisting of the sale of the remainder of the tickets, and the astonishing, the wonderful sensation produced at her first rehearsal on the few persons, critics in musical art, who were admitted on the occasion, will be found elsewhere in our columns.

"We concur in everything that has been said by our musical reporter, describing her extraordinary genius--her unrivalled combination of power and art. Nothing has been exaggerated, not an iota. Three years ago, more or less, we heard Jenny Lind on many occasions, when she made the first great sensation in Europe, by her debut at the London Opera House. Then she was great in power--in art--in genius; now she is greater in all. We speak from experience and conviction. Then she astonished, and pleased, and fascinated the thousands of the British aristocracy; now she will fascinate, and please, and delight, and almost make mad with musical excitement, the millions of the American democracy. To-morrow night, this new sensation--this fresh movement--this excitement excelling all former excitements--will be called into existence, when she pours out the notes of Casta Diva, and exhibits her astonishing powers--her wonderful peculiarities, that seem more of heaven than of earth--more of a voice from eternity, than from the lips of a human being.

"We speak soberly--seriously--calmly. The public expectation has run very high for the last week--higher than at any former period of our past musical annals. But high as it has risen, the reality--the fact--the concert--the voice of Jenny Lind--will far surpass all past expectations. Jenny Lind is a wonder, and a prodigy in song--and no mistake."

Barnum had not hoped to manage such an enormous enterprise as this one, without some trouble and anxiety, but he soon discovered that in this case, realization far exceeded anticipation. He often declared that from the first concert, September 11th, 1850, until the ninety-third concert, June 9th, 1851, he did not experience a single waking moment that was free from care.

Miss Lind was utterly unprepared for the enthusiasm of her American audience, and it is scarcely to be wondered at that she should appear to listen at first to the dishonorable counsels of some of her friends, who constantly besought her to break her contract with Barnum, who, they urged, was "coining money out of her genius," and to take the enterprise into her own hands. But whether Miss Lind realized that Mr. Barnum's management was largely responsible for her triumph, or whether she was simply too high-minded to consider such a breach of honor, certain it is that she continued to stand by her contract. John Jay, her lawyer, took every occasion to interfere, and Barnum suffered much from his unreasonable intrusions. The following letter, written to Mr. Joshua Bates of Baring Bros. & Co., London, will show the difficulties which beset the perplexed manager:

"NEW YORK, October 23, 1850.


"Dear Sir: I take the liberty to write you a few lines, merely to say that we are getting along as well as could reasonably be expected. In this country you are aware that the rapid accumulation of wealth always creates much envy, and envy soon augments to malice. Such are the elements at work to a limited degree against myself, and although Miss Lind, Benedict and myself have never, as yet, had the slightest feelings between us, to my knowledge, except those of friendship, yet I cannot well see how this can long continue in the face of the fact that, nearly every day they allow persons (some moving in the first classes of society) to approach them, and spend hours in traducing me; even her attorney, Mr. John Jay, has been so blind to her interests, as to aid in poisoning her mind against me, by pouring into her ears the most silly twaddle, all of which amounts to nothing and less than nothing--such as the regret that I was a showman, exhibiter of Tom Thumb, etc., etc.

"Without the elements which I possess for business, as well as my knowledge of human nature, acquired in catering for the public, the result of her concerts here would not have been pecuniarily one-half as much as the present--and such men as the Hon. Edward Everett, G. G. Howland, and others, will tell you that there is no charlatanism or lack of dignity in my management of these concerts. I know as well as any person, that the merits of Jenny Lind are the best capital to depend upon to secure public favor, and I have thus far acted on this knowledge. Everything which money and attention can procure for their comfort, they have, and I am glad to know that they are satisfied on this score. All I fear is, that these continued backbitings, if listened to by her, will, by and by, produce a feeling of distrust or regret, which will lead to unpleasant results.

"The fact is, her mind ought to be as free as air, and she herself as free as a bird, and being satisfied of my probity and ability, she should turn a deaf ear to all envious and malevolent attacks on me. I have hoped that by thus briefly stating to you the facts in the case, you might be induced for her interests as well as mine to drop a line of advice to Mr. Benedict and another to Mr. Jay on this subject. If I am asking or expecting too much, I pray you to not give it a thought, for I feel myself fully able to carry through my rights alone, although I should deplore nothing so much as to be obliged to do so in a feeling of unfriendliness. I have risked much money on the issue of this speculation--it has proved successful. I am full of perplexity and anxiety, and labor continually for success, and I cannot allow ignorance or envy to rob me of the fruits of my enterprise.

"Sincerely and gratefully yours,

Miss Lind's benevolence had been so largely extolled that it was not surprising that she should have been continually beset by applicants for charity.

In almost all cases she gave liberally in sums varying from $20 to $1,000, and to one Swedish friend, it is said, she actually gave $5,000.

On her return from Boston to New York the whole party stopped at Iranistan, Mr. Barnum's Bridgeport place. The next morning Miss Lind was escorted over the grounds, the beauty of which delighted her. "Do you know, Mr. Barnum," she said, "that if you had not built Iranistan, I should never have come to America for you?" Mr. Barnum, much surprised, asked her to explain.

"I had received several applications to visit the United States," she continued, "but I did not much like the appearance of the applicants, nor did I relish the idea of crossing 3,000 miles of ocean; so I declined them all. But the first letter which Mr. Wilton, your agent, addressed me, was written upon a sheet headed with a beautiful engraving of Iranistan. It attracted my attention. I said to myself, a gentleman who has been so successful in his business as to be able to build and reside in such a palace cannot be a mere 'adventurer.' So I wrote to your agent, and consented to an interview, which I should have declined, if I had not seen the picture of Iranistan."

"That, then, fully pays me for building it," replied Barnum.

The night after Miss Lind's arrival in Boston, there was a display of fireworks, in her honor, in front of the Revere House, which was followed by a torchlight procession by the Germans of the city. At Philadelphia, they were met by such a dense throng of people that it was with the greatest difficulty that they pressed through the crowds to their hotel. Jenny was suffering from a very severe headache and retired at once to her rooms. Outside, the streets were packed with the thousands that had followed them to the door, and were now clamoring for Jenny Lind.

Knowing that the noise would seriously disturb the sensitive songstress, Barnum tried to induce the crowd to disperse; but they declared they would not until Miss Lind appeared on the balcony. In despair he finally put Jenny's bonnet and shawl on her companion, Miss Ahmansen, who went out on the balcony and bowed gracefully to the multitude, who gave three hearty cheers and dispersed.

Miss Lind hated crowds, and always wished her arrival in any city kept secret, so as to avoid the excitement of a public reception, but Barnum knew that the success of the enterprise depended in a large measure on this very excitement.

One day Miss Lind remarked to Mr. Barnum, "I have just heard that you and I are to be married. Now how do you suppose such a report ever originated?"

"Probably from the fact that we are 'engaged,' suggested Barnum, the inveterate punster.

Miss Lind always went to church when she could do so without attracting too much attention, always inquiring for the Swedish church wherever it could be found.

One Sunday in Baltimore, Miss Caroline Barnum, now Mrs. David W. Thompson, of New York, went with a friend of hers who resided in the city, into the choir, where she joined in the singing.

A number of people in the audience had seen her with her father the day previous and supposed her to be Jenny Lind. Like lightning the news that Jenny Lind was in the choir, flew through the church, and when Miss Barnum, whose voice was not at all extraordinary, rose with the rest to sing, the congregation listened breathlessly. "Heavenly!" "Exquisite!" "Angelic!" sighed the excited audience. The two young ladies, all unconscious of the furore they had inspired were utterly astonished when, after church, the crowd pressed round them so closely that they had the greatest difficulty in reaching their carriage.

The day after their appearance in Washington, President Fillmore called, and left his card, Miss Lind being out. Jenny was very much flurried when she returned, and was prepared to call at the White House immediately, as would have been proper had Mr. Fillmore been the head of any European country. Barnum assured her, however, that etiquette was not so strict in America, and she postponed her visit until the next day, when with Benedict, Belletti and Mr. Barnum she spent several delightful hours in the President's family.

The President, the Cabinet and nearly every member of Congress attended both concerts. The great Statesman Webster was so pleased with one of her songs that he drew himself up to his full height and bowed profoundly, to Miss Lind's great gratification. Of all the distinguished men who called upon her in Washington, none impressed her like Webster. She walked up and down in great excitement after he had gone, exclaiming: "Ah! Mr. Barnum, what a man! I have never before seen such a man!"

Miss Lind was escorted through both Houses of Congress and through the Capitol and grounds, by Hon. C. F. Cleveland, Representative from Connecticut. She was very much pleased with everything and asked innumerable questions about the American Government.

During their stay in Washington, they were invited by Colonel Washington, then owner of Mt. Vernon, to visit the home and the tomb of the first President.

The party first visited the tomb and then proceeded to the house where they were introduced to Mrs. Washington and several other ladies.

Much interest was shown by Miss Lind in examining the various mementos of the great man, and when before leaving, Mrs. Washington presented her with a book from the library with Washington's autograph on the title page, she was overwhelmed with emotion.

Miss Lind had been through so much excitement in the North that she determined to see no callers during her stay in the South. One young lady, the daughter of a wealthy planter, was so determined to see her, that she bribed a maid to lend her her cap and apron, and let her carry in Miss Lind's tea. This incident amused Barnum immensely, but Miss Lind was much vexed, declaring the young lady's motive to be curiosity rather than admiration. The voyage from Wilmington to Charleston had been very rough, the trip requiring over thirty-six hours. When they arrived at last, the vessel had been given up for lost and the wreck had been telegraphed all over the country. The voyage to Havana was very much pleasanter, however.

Arriving there, they found the house which Mr. Barnum had sent a man on to provide for them, anything but comfortable. Miss Lind, especially, was much displeased, and, hiring a carriage, she drove off, accompanied by an interpreter. She was gone four hours, to the great alarm of the rest of the party. Returning, she announced that she had hired a charming house in the suburbs, and invited the whole company to be her guests during their stay in Havana. It is needless to say they accepted her invitation.

There, freed from all care and annoyance and away from the too zealous counsellors, she spent a delightful month, seeing no callers, coming and going as she pleased, and romping like a schoolgirl in the great court-yard back of the house. She used to force Mr. Barnum to play ball with her until he was exhausted and fain to beg off. Then she would laugh and say: "Oh, Mr. Barnum! you are too fat and lazy; you cannot stand it to play ball with me."

The celebrated Swedish authoress, Fredericka Bremer, spent a few days with them in their Havana retreat.



Soon after arriving at Havana, Barnum made a discovery. The Habaneros, not accustomed to the high prices which opera tickets command in the States, had determined that they would force Barnum to lower the admission fee. This the manager refused to do, and it soon became evident that although they attended the concerts, they were not disposed to show the singer the least favor. It was, therefore, with much inward trepidation that Barnum watched the curtain rise on the first concert. The following account of that concert is taken from the New York Tribune:

"Jenny Lind soon appeared, led on by Signor Belletti. Some three or four hundred persons clapped their hands at her appearance, but this token of approbation was instantly silenced by at least two thousand five hundred decided hisses. Thus having settled the matter that there should be no forestalling of public opinion, and that it applause was given to Jenny Lind in that house it should first be incontestably earned, the most solemn silence prevailed. I have heard the Swedish Nightingale often in Europe as well as in America, and have ever noticed a distinct tremulousness attending her first appearance in any city. Indeed this feeling was plainly manifested in her countenance as she neared the foot-lights; but when she witnessed the kind of reception in store for her--so different from anything she had reason to expect--her countenance changed in an instant to a haughty self-possession, her eyes flashed defiance, and, becoming immovable as a statue, she stood there perfectly calm and beautiful. She was satisfied that she now had an ordeal to pass and a victory to gain worthy of her powers. In a moment her eye scanned the immense audience, the music began and then followed--how can I describe it?--such heavenly strains as I verily believe mortal never breathed except Jenny Lind, and mortal never heard except from her lips. Some of the oldest Castilians kept a frown upon their brow and a curling sneer upon their lips; their ladies, however, and most of the audience began to look surprised. The gushing melody flowed on, increasing in beauty and glory. The caballeros, the senoras and senoritas began to look at each other; nearly all, however, kept their teeth clenched and their lips closed, evidently determined to resist to the last. The torrent flowed deeper and faster, the lark flew higher and higher, the melody grew richer and grander; still every lip was compressed. By and by, as the rich notes came dashing in rivers upon our enraptured ears, one poor critic involuntarily whispered a 'brava.' This outbursting of the soul was instantly hissed down. The stream of harmony rolled on till, at the close, it made a clean sweep of every obstacle, and carried all before it. Not a vestige of opposition remained, but such a tremendous shout of applause as went up I never before heard.

"The triumph was most complete. And how was Jenny Lind affected? She who stood a few moments previous like adamant, now trembled like a reed in the wind before the storm of enthusiasm which her own simple notes had produced. Tremblingly, slowly, and almost bowing her face to the ground, she withdrew. The roar and applause of victory increased. 'Encore! encore! encore!' came from every lip. She again appeared, and courtesying low, again withdrew; but again, again and again did they call her out and at every appearance the thunders of applause rang louder and louder. Thus five times was Jenny Lind called out to receive their unanimous and deafening plaudits."

With tears of joy rolling down his cheeks, Barnum rushed behind the scenes, and met her as she was withdrawing after the fifth encore.

"God bless you, Jenny," he cried, "you've settled them!"

"Are you satisfied?" said the singer, throwing her arms around his neck and weeping for joy. This was the first she had known of the opposition, all hint of it having been kept from her by Mr. Barnum, but she fully sympathized with him in his determination not to lower the prices.

The papers continued to cry out for a reduction, and this caused many people to stay away from the concerts, expecting Barnum to yield. But when, after three concerts, it was announced that the next one, devoted to charity, was also to be Miss Lind's farewell, they became very much excited. Committees waited on them to request more concerts, which resulted only in refusals: some of the leading Dons offered to guarantee them $25,000, for three concerts, but Barnum assured them that there was not money enough in the Island of Cuba to induce him to consent.

The proceeds of the fourth concert were distributed between two hospitals and a convent, besides giving $500 to Barnum's old protege Vivalla, the little Italian plate-dancer, whom they had met in Havana. The poor fellow's fortunes were at a very low ebb, having lost the use of his left side from paralysis. He supported himself by exhibiting a performing dog, which turned a spinning wheel and did several other tricks. Miss Lind had heard of his case and was very anxious that part of the benefit money should be given him.

The morning after the concert the bell rang and Barnum found, on going to the door, a procession of children from the convent which had received a large sum of money from Miss Lind. The children were attended by ten or twelve priests in rich vestments. They had come to see the songstress and to thank her in person. But Jenny shrank from appearing before such a stately deputation: "Tell them I cannot see them," she exclaimed. "They have nothing to thank me for. If I have done good it was no more than my duty." And the grand procession with its wreaths and banners, were obliged to depart.

The same day, Vivalla called and brought her a basket of fruit. With tears of joy, he called down every blessing on the head of the benevolent lady. "I shall go back to Italy! I shall see my brothers and sisters again!" he cried. Miss Lind had gone for a drive, but Barnum promised to give her the fruit and the message. As he was passing out the door he hesitated end said: "Mr. Barnum, I should like so much to have the good lady see my dog turn a wheel. It is very nice; he can spin very good; shall I bring the dog and the wheel for her? She is such a good lady, I wish to please her very much." Mr. Barnum told the grateful fellow that Miss Lind had refused to see the priests from the convent that morning, because she never received thanks for favors, and that he was quite welcome to the money.

When Miss Lind returned and heard the story, she exclaimed: "Poor man, poor man, do let him come; its all the good creature can do for me;" then with tears rolling down her face--"I like that, I like that; do let him come and bring his dog. It will make him so happy."

"God bless you, it WILL make him happy," said Barnum. "He shall come to-morrow." And he went himself to tell Vivalla that Jenny Lind would see his dog perform, the next day at four precisely.

"I will be punctual," said Vivalla, quite overcome with emotion, "but I was SURE she would like to see my dog perform."

For full half an hour before the time appointed did Jenny Lind sit in her window on the second floor and watch for Vivalla and his dog. A few minutes before the appointed hour, she saw him coming. "Ah, here he comes! here he comes!" she exclaimed in delight, as she ran down stairs and opened the door to admit him. A negro boy was bringing the small spinning-wheel, while Vivalla led the dog. Handing the boy a silver coin, she motioned him away, and taking the wheel in her arms, she said, "This is very kind of you to come with your dog. Follow me. I will carry the wheel up stairs." Her servant offered to take the wheel, but no, she would let no one carry it but herself. She called the whole party to her parlor, and for one full hour did she devote herself to the happy Italian. She went down on her knees to pet the dog and to ask Vivalla all sorts of questions about his performances, his former course of life, his friends in Italy, and his present hopes and determinations. Then she sang and played for him, gave him some refreshments, finally insisted on carrying his wheel to the door, and her servant accompanied Vivalla to his boarding-house.

Poor Vivalla! He was probably never so happy before, but his enjoyment did not exceed that of Miss Lind. A few months later, however, the Havana correspondent of the New York Herald announced the death of Vivalla, and stated that the poor Italian's last words were about Jenny Lind and Mr. Barnum.

In the party which accompanied Barnum to Havana was a man who had formerly kept the Peale Museum in New York, afterwards managing the establishment for Mr. Barnum. At present he was acting as ticket-taker.

He was a curious fellow, at times full of fun and gayety and at other times melancholy to the verge of insanity. Madness ran in his family, and one of his brothers, in a moment of frenzy had blown his brains out. Barnum knew of Bennett's tendency to melancholy and watched him constantly. When they were on board the steamer "Falcon" on their way back to New Orleans, a thrilling incident occurred which Barnum afterwards related in this way:

Mr. James Gordon Bennett, editor of the New York Herald, and his wife, were also passengers. After permitting one favorable notice in his paper, Bennett had turned around, as usual, and had abused Jenny Lind and bitterly attacked me. I was always glad to get such notices, for they served as inexpensive advertisements to my museum.

"Ticket-taker Bennett, however, took much to heart the attacks of Editor Bennett upon Jenny Lind. When Editor Bennett came on board the 'Falcon,' his violent name-sake said to a by-stander:

" 'I would willingly be drowned if I could see that old scoundrel go to the bottom of the sea.'

"Several of our party overheard the remark and I turned laughingly to Bennett and said: Nonsense; he can't harm any one, and there is an old proverb about the impossibility of drowning those who are born for another fate.'

"That very night, however, as I stood near the cabin door, conversing with my treasurer and other members of my company, Henry Bennett came up to me with a wild air, and hoarsely whispered:

" 'Old Bennett has gone forward alone in the dark--and I am going to throw him overboard!'

"We were all startled, for we knew the man, and he seemed terribly in earnest. Knowing how most effectively to address him at such times, I exclaimed:

" 'Ridiculous! you would not do such a thing.'

" 'I swear I will,' was his savage reply. I expostulated with him, and several of our party joined me.

" 'Nobody will know it,' muttered the maniac, 'and I shall be doing the world a favor.'

"I endeavored to awaken him to a sense of the crime he contemplated, assuring him that it could not possibly benefit any one, and that from the fact of the relations existing between the editor and myself, I should be the first to be accused of his murder. I implored him to go to his stateroom, and he finally did so, accompanied by some of the gentlemen of our party. I took pains to see that he was carefully watched that night, and, indeed, for several days, till he became calm again. He was a large, athletic man, quite able to pick up his name-sake and drop him overboard. The matter was too serious for a joke, and we made little mention of it; but more than one of our party said then, and has said since, what I really believe to be true, that 'James Gordon Bennett would have been drowned that night had it not been for P. T. Barnum.' "

Bennett's end was tragic, as might be expected. Sometime after the Havana journey Barnum sent him to London. He conducted the business successfully, wrote up the accounts to a penny, then handing the papers to a mutual friend with directions to give them to Barnum when he should arrive, he went to his lodgings and committed suicide.

"In New Orleans the wharf was crowded by a great concourse of persons, as the steamer "Falcon" approached. Jenny Lind had enjoyed a month of quiet, and dreaded the excitement which she must now again encounter.

"Mr Barnum, I am sure I can never get through that crowd," she said in despair.

"Leave that to me. Remain quiet for ten minutes, and there shall be no crowd here," replied Barnum.

Taking his daughter on his arm, she drew her vail over her face and they descended the gangway.

"That's Barnum, I know him," called out several persons at the top of their voices.

"Open the way, if you please for Mr. Barnum and Miss Lind!" cried Le Grand Smith over the railing of the ship, the deck of which he had just reached from the wharf.

"Don't crowd her, if you please, gentlemen," said Barnum, and so pushing and squeezing they reached the carriage and drove to Miss Lind's apartments. A few minutes later Jenny and her companion came quietly in a carriage and were in the house before the ruse was discovered. In answer to the calls of the crowd she appeared on the balcony, and bowed to the throng, which gave her three cheers and dispersed.

A very funny incident occurred in New Orleans. Next to the theatre where the concerts were given, was an exhibition in the large open lots of mammoth hogs, grizzly bears and other animals.

A gentleman had a son about twelve years old, who had a wonderful ear for music. He could whistle or sing any tune after hearing it once. His father did not know nor care for a single note, but so anxious was he to please his son, that he paid thirty dollars for two tickets to the concert.

"I liked the music better than I expected," said he the next day, "but my son was in raptures. He was so perfectly enchanted that he scarcely spoke the whole evening, and I would on no account disturb his delightful reveries. When the concert was finished we came out of the theatre. Not a word was spoken. I knew that my musical prodigy was happy among the clouds, and I said nothing. I could not help envying him his love of music, and considered my thirty dollars as nothing, compared to the bliss which it secured to him. Indeed, I was seriously thinking of taking him to the next concert, when he spoke. We were just passing the numerous shows upon the vacant lots. One of the signs attracted him, and he said, 'Father, let us go in and see the big hog!' The little scamp! I could have horse-whipped him!' said the father, who loving a joke, could not help laughing at the ludicrous incident.

The party took passage to Cairo, Illinois, in the beautiful river steamer "Magnolia." They had made arrangements with the captain to delay in Natchez and in Memphis where concerts were given.

The time on board the steamer was pleasantly spent in reading and watching the scenery. One day they had a musicale in the ladies' cabin for the gratification of the passengers, at which Miss Lind volunteered to sing. Barnum amused the passengers with his inexhaustible fund of anecdotes and stories, and the tricks of legerdemain, which he had learned and used in the South under rather different circumstances. Among other tricks, he made a silver piece disappear so mysteriously that the negro barber who witnessed the feat, came to the conclusion that the great man must be in league with the devil. "The next morning," says Mr. Barnum, "I seated myself in the barber's chair and the darkey began to talk:

" 'Beg pardon, Mr. Barnum, but I have heard a great deal about you, and I saw more than I wanted to see last night. Is it true that you have sold yourself to the devil, so that you can do what you've a mind to?'

" 'Oh, yes," was my reply, 'that is the bargain between us.'

" 'How long did you agree for?' was the question next in order.

" 'Only nine years,' said I. 'I have had three of them already. Before the other six are out, I shall find a way to nonplus the old gentleman, and I have told him so to his face.'

"At this avowal, a larger space of white than usual was seen in the darkey's eyes, and he inquired, 'Is it by this bargain that you get so much money?'

" 'Certainly. No matter who has money, nor where he keeps it, in his box or till, or anywhere about him, I have only to speak the words and it comes.'

"The shaving was completed in silence, but thought had been busy in the barber's mind, and he embraced the speediest opportunity to transfer his bag of coin to the iron safe in charge of the clerk.

The movement did not escape me, and immediately a joke was afoot. I had barely time to make two or three details of arrangement with the clerk, and resume my seat in the cabin, ere the barber sought a second interview, bent on testing the alleged powers of Beelzebub's colleague.

" 'Beg pardon, Mr. Barnum, but where is my money? Can you get it?'

" 'I do not want your money,' was the quiet answer. 'It is safe.'

" 'Yes, I know it is safe--ha! ha!--it is in the iron safe in the clerk's office--safe enough from you?'

" 'It is not in the iron safe!' said I. This was said so quietly, yet positively, that the colored gentleman ran to the office, and inquired if all was safe. 'All right,' said the clerk. 'Open, and let me see,' replied the barber. The safe was unlocked and lo! the money was gone!

"In mystified terror the loser applied to me for relief. 'You will find the bag in your drawer,' said I, and there it was found!

"His curiosity was still great. 'Please do another trick,' said he.

" 'Very well,' I replied, 'stand perfectly still.'

"He did so, and I commenced muttering some mysterious words, as if performing an incantation.

" 'What are you doing?' said the barber.

" 'I am changing you into a black cat,' I replied, 'but don't be afraid; I will change you back again, if I don't forget the words to do it with.'

"This was too much for the terrified darkey; with an awful screech he rushed to the side of the boat resolved to drown rather than undergo such a transformation.

"He was captured and brought back to me, when I dispelled his fright by explaining the way in which I had tricked him. Relieved and reassured, he clapped his hands and executed an impromtu jig, exclaiming, 'Ha! ha! when I get back to New Orleans won't I come de Barnum ober dem niggers!' "



The concerts at Natchez and Memphis were extremely successful. The sixty-first concert was given in St. Louis, and on the morning of their arrival in the city Miss Lind's secretary came to Mr. Barnum, commissioned, as he claimed, by the singer, and told the Manager that as sixty concerts had already been given, Miss Lind proposed to avail herself of one of the conditions of the contract and cancel the engagement next morning. Much startled by this sudden complication, but outwardly undisturbed, Barnum asked if Miss Lind had authorized the notice. "I so understand it," was the secretary's reply. Thinking that it might be another scheme of her advisers and that Miss Lind herself might possibly know nothing of it, Barnum told the secretary that he would see him again in an hour. He then proceeded to his old friend Sol Smith for legal advice. They went over the contract together, Barnum telling his friend of the annoyances he had suffered from Miss Lind's advisers, and they both agreed that if she broke the contract thus suddenly, she was bound to pay back all that she had received over the stipulated $1000, for each concert. As she had been paid $137,000, for sixty concerts, this extra money amounted to something like $77,000.

Barnum then went back to the secretary and told him that he was ready to settle with Miss Lind and to close the engagement.

"But," said he, evidently much surprised, "you have already advertised concerts in Louisville and Cincinnati, have you not?"

"Yes," answered Barnum calmly, "but you may take the contracts for halls and printing off my hands at cost." He further offered the assistance of his agent and his own personal services to give Miss Lind a good start on her own account.

The secretary emboldened by this liberality then made a proposition so extraordinary that Barnum at once saw that Miss Lind could have had nothing to do with the scheme.

"Now suppose," he asked, "Miss Lind should wish to give some fifty concerts in this country, what would you charge as manager?"

"A million dollars a concert," answered Barnum promptly; then he added, "Now see here; I don't believe Miss Lind has authorized you to make this proposition. If she has, just bring me a line to that effect, over her own signature, and her check for the amount due me by the terms of our contract, some $77,000, and we will close our business connection at once."

"But why not make a new arrangement," persisted the secretary, "for fifty more concerts, by which Miss Lind will pay you liberally, say $1,000 a concert?"

"For the simple reason that I hired Miss Lind, and not she me," replied Barnum, "and because I ought never to take a farthing less for my risk and trouble than the contract gives me. I have voluntarily given Miss Lind more than twice as much as I originally contracted to give her, or as she expected to receive when she engaged with me. Now if she is not satisfied I wish to settle instantly and finally. If you do not bring me her decision to-day, I shall ask her for it in the morning."

The next morning Barnum asked him again for the written communication from Miss Lind; the secretary replied that it was all a "joke," and that he merely wanted to see what the manager would say to the proposition. He begged that nothing would be said to Miss Lind concerning it. So it is altogether likely that she knew nothing of it. The four concerts at St. Louis were given and the program as arranged for the other cities was carried out, with no more troublous incidents occurring.

To show that Barnum's efforts as manager of the Jenny Lind enterprise were appreciated, we copy the dedication of Sol Smith's Autobiography published in 1854. Smith was one of the characters of his time, being celebrated as a comedian, an author, a manager and a lawyer:


"Great Impressario. Whilst you were engaged in your grand Jenny Lind speculation, the following conundrum went the rounds of the American newspapers:

" 'Why is it that Jenny Lind and Barnum will never fall out?' Answer: 'Because he is always for-getting, and she is always for-giving.'

"I have never asked you the question directly, whether you, Mr. Barnum, started that conundrum, or not; but I strongly suspect that you did. At all events, I noticed that your whole policy was concentrated into one idea--to make an angel of Jenny, and depreciate yourself in contrast.

"You may remember that in this city (St. Louis), I acted in one instance as your 'legal adviser,' and as such, necessarily became acquainted with all the particulars of your contract with the so-called Swedish Nightingale, as well as the various modifications claimed by that charitable lady, and submitted to by you after her arrival in this country; which modifications (I suppose it need no longer be a secret) secured to her--besides the original stipulation of one thousand dollars for every concert, attendants, carriages, assistant artists, and a pompous and extravagant retinue, fit (only) for a European princess--one-half of the profits of each performance. You may also remember the legal advice I gave you on the occasion referred to, and the salutary effect of your following it. You must remember the extravagant joy you felt afterwards, in Philadelphia, when the 'Angel' made up her mind to avail herself of one of the stipulations in her contract, to break off at the end of a hundred nights, and even bought out seven of that hundred--supposing that she could go on without your aid as well as with it. And you cannot but remember, how, like a rocket-stick she dropped, when your business connection with her ended, and how she 'fizzed out' the remainder of her concert nights in this part of the world, and soon afterwards retired to her domestic blissitude in Sweden.

"You know, Mr. Barnum, if you would only tell, which of the two it was that was 'for-getting,' and which 'for-giving;' and you also know who actually gave the larger portion of those sums which you heralded to the world as the sole gifts of the 'divine Jenny.'

"Of all your speculations--from the negro centenarian, who didn't nurse General Washington, down to the Bearded Woman of Genoa--there was not one which required the exercise of so much humbuggery as the Jenny Lind concerts; and I verily believe there is no man living, other than yourself, who could, or would, have risked the enormous expenditure of money necessary to carry them through successfully--travelling, with sixty artists; four thousand miles, and giving ninety-three concerts, at an actual cost of forty-five hundred dollars each, is what no other man would have undertaken --you accomplished this, and pocketed by the operation but little less than two hundred thousand dollars! Mr. Barnum, you are yourself, alone!

"I honor you, oh! Great Impressario, as the most successful manager in America or any other country. Democrat, as you are, you can give a practical lesson to the aristocrats of Europe how to live. At your beautiful and tasteful residence, 'Iranistan' (I don't like the name, though), you can and do entertain your friends with a warmth of hospitality, only equalled by that of the great landed proprietors of the old country, or of our own 'sunny South.' Whilst riches are pouring into your coffers from your various 'ventures' in all parts of the world, you do not hoard your immense means, but continually 'cast them forth upon the waters,' rewarding labor, encouraging the arts, and lending a helping hand to industry in all its branches. Not content with doing all this, you deal telling blows, whenever opportunity offers, upon the monster Intemperance. Your labors in this great cause alone should entitle you to the thanks of all good men, women and children in the land. Mr. Barnum, you deserve all your good fortune, and I hope you may long live to enjoy your wealth and honor.

"As a small installment towards the debt, I, as one of the community, owe you, and with the hope of affording you an hour's amusement (if you can spare that amount of time from your numerous avocations to read it), I present you with this little volume, containing a very brief account of some of my 'journey-work' in the South and West; and remain, very respectfully,

"Your friend, and affectionate uncle,

"NOV. 1, 1854."

Although Barnum never acknowledged it, there was a vast deal of truth in Mr. Smith's statements.

Whenever Miss Lind sang for charity she gave what she might have earned at a regular concert; Barnum always insisted upon paying for the hall, orchestra, printing and other expenses. But Miss Lind received the entire credit for liberality and benevolence.

It is but just to say, however, that she frequently remonstrated with Barnum and declared that the expenses ought to be deducted from the proceeds of the concert, but he always insisted on doing what he called his share.



Five concerts were given at St. Louis, and then they went to Nashville, Tenn., where the sixty-sixth and sixty-seventh of the series were given. At the latter place, Jenny Lind, accompanied by Barnum and his daughter, Mrs. Lyman, visited "The Hermitage," where Barnum himself had years before seen "Old Hickory" Jackson. While there, the prima donna heard, for the first time in her life, wild mocking birds singing in the trees, and great was her delight thereat.

They spent the first of April, 1851, at Nashville. In the forenoon of the day, the various members of the party amused themselves by playing little "April Fool" jokes on Barnum, and after dinner he took his revenge upon them. Securing a supply of telegraph blanks and envelopes, he set to work preparing messages full of the most sensational and startling intelligence, for most of the people in the party. Almost every one of them presently received what purported to be a telegraphic despatch. Barnum's own daughter did not escape. She was informed that her mother, her cousin, and several other relatives, were waiting for her in Louisville, and various other important and extraordinary items of domestic intelligence were communicated to her. Mr. Le Grand Smith was told by a despatch from his father that his native village in Connecticut, was in ashes, including his own homestead, etc. Several of Barnum's employees had most liberal offers of engagements from banks and other institutions at the North. Burke, and others of the musical professors, were offered princely salaries by opera managers, and many of them received most tempting inducements to proceed immediately to the World's Fair in London.

One married gentleman received the gratifying intelligence that he had for two days been the father of a pair of bouncing boys (mother and children doing well), an event which he had been anxiously looking for during the week, though on a somewhat more limited scale. In fact, nearly every person in the party engaged by Barnum received some extraordinary telegraphic intelligence; and, as the great impressario managed to have the despatches delivered simultaneously, each recipient was for some time busily occupied with his own personal news.

By and by each began to tell his neighbor his good or bad tidings; and each was, of course, rejoiced or grieved, according to circumstances. Several gave Mr. Barnum notice of their intention to leave him, in consequence of better offers; and a number of them sent off telegraphic despatches and letters by mail, in answer to those received.

The man who had so suddenly become the father of twins, telegraphed to his wife to "be of good cheer," and that he would "start for home to-morrow." And so cleverly did Barnum manage the whole business that his victims did not discover how they had been fooled until next morning, when they read the whole story in a local newspaper, to which it had been given by Barnum himself.

From Nashville, Jenny Lind and a few of the party went to the Mammoth Cave, and thence to Louisville, the others going directly to the latter point by steamer. There they were joined by Signor Salvi, whom Barnum had engaged at Havana. Three concerts were given at Louisville, and they then proceeded to Cincinnati, accompanied by George D. Prentice, the famous editor of The Louisville Journal. A stop was made at Madison long enough to give one concert, and they reached Cincinnati the next morning. There was a tremendous crowd on the wharf, and Barnum was afraid that an attempt to repeat the ruse he had played with his daughter at New Orleans would not work here, as an account of it had been published in the Cincinnati papers, and everyone would be suspecting it. But he was fertile in expedients, and quickly devised another scheme.

So he took Miss Lind on his arm and boldly started to walk down the gang-plank in the face of the crowd. As he did so, Le Grand Smith, who was in the plot, called out from the deck of the boat, as if he had been one of the passengers, "That's no go, Mr. Barnum; you can't pass your daughter off for Jenny Lind this time." The remark elicited a peal of merriment from the crowd, several persons calling out, "that won't do, Barnum! You may fool the New Orleans folks, but you can't come it over the 'Buckeyes.' We intend to stay here until you bring out Jenny Lind!" They readily allowed him to pass with the lady whom they supposed to be his daughter, and in five minutes afterwards the Nightingale was complimenting Mr. Coleman upon the beautiful and commodious apartments which were devoted to her in the Burnett House.

A concert was given at Wheeling, and another at Pittsburg, and then, early in May, the company returned to New York. There they gave fourteen concerts, partly at Castle Garden and partly at Metropolitan Hall, making ninety-two of the regular series.

Miss Lind now came within the influence of various legal and other advisers, who seemed intent on creating trouble between her and her manager. Barnum soon discovered this state of affairs, but was little troubled by it. Indeed he really hoped that they would persuade her to stop at the hundredth concert, for he was already worn out with the constant excitement and unremitting exertions of the tour. He thought that perhaps it would be well for Miss Lind to try giving a few concerts on her own account, or under some other manager, in order to disprove what her friends had told her, namely, that Mr. Barnum had not managed the enterprise as successfully as he might have done.

Accordingly he was much pleased when, after the eighty-fifth concert, she told him that she had decided to pay the forfeit of $25,000, and terminate the concert tour after the one hundredth performance. After the second series of concerts in New York, they went to Philadelphia, where Barnum had advertised the ninety-third and ninety-fourth concerts. As he did not care enough for the probable profits of the last seven of the hundred concerts to run the risk of disturbing the very friendly relations which had so far existed between him and Miss Lind, he now offered to relinquish the engagement, if she desired it, at the end of the ninety-third concert. The only terms he required were that she would allow him $1,000 for each of the remaining seven concerts, besides the $25,000 forfeit already agreed upon. She accepted this offer, and the engagement was forthwith ended.

After parting with Barnum, Miss Lind gave a number of concerts, with varied success. Then she went to Niagara Falls for a time, and afterward to Northampton, Massachusetts. While living at the latter place she visited Boston, and was there married to Otto Goldschmidt. He was a German composer and pianist, who had studied music with her in Germany, and to whom she had long been much attached. He had, indeed, travelled with her and Barnum during a portion of their tour, and had played at several of the concerts.

After the end of their engagement, Barnum and Miss Lind met on several occasions, always in the friendliest manner. Once, at Bridgeport, she complained rather bitterly to him of the unpleasant experiences she had had since leaving him. "People cheat me and swindle me very much," said she, "and I find it very annoying to give concerts on my own account."

"I was always," said Mr. Barnum, sometime afterward, "supplied with complimentary tickets when she gave concerts in New York, and on the occasion of her last appearance in America I visited her in her room back of the stage, and bade her and her husband adieu, with my best wishes. She expressed the same feeling to me in return. She told me she should never sing much, if any more, in public; but I reminded her that a good Providence had endowed her with a voice which enabled her to contribute in an eminent degree to the enjoyment of her fellow beings, and if she no longer needed the large sums of money which they were willing to pay for this elevating and delightful entertainment, she knew by experience what a genuine pleasure she would receive by devoting the money to the alleviation of the wants and sorrows of those who needed it."

"Ah! Mr. Barnum," she replied, "that is very true; and it would be ungrateful in me to not continue to use, for the benefit of the poor and lowly, that gift which our kind Heavenly Father has so graciously bestowed upon me. Yes, I will continue to sing so long as my voice lasts, but it will be mostly for charitable objects, for I am thankful to say that I have all the money which I shall ever need."

It is pleasant to add that this noble resolution was carried out. A large proportion of the concerts which she gave after her return to Europe and during the remainder of her entire public career, were devoted to objects of charity. If she consented, for example, to sing for a charitable object in London, the fact was not advertised at all, but the tickets were readily disposed of in private for from $5 to $10 each.

As for Mr. Barnum, he was glad to enjoy a season of rest and quiet after such an arduous campaign. After leaving Miss Lind, in Philadelphia, therefore, he went to Cape May for a week and then to his home Iranistan, where he spent the remainder of the summer.

It is interesting, as a matter of record, to review at this point, the financial results of this notable series of concerts. The following recapitulation is entirely accurate, being taken from Mr. Barnum's own account books:



New York .............. $17,864.05
" .............. 14,203.03
No. 1. "................ 12,519.59
2. "................ 14,266.09
3. "................ 12,174.74
4. "................ 16,028.39
5. Boston............ 16,479.50
6. "................ 11,848.62
7. "................ 8,639 92
8. "................ 10,169.25
9. Providence........ 6,525.54
10. Boston............ 10,524.87
11. "................ 5,240.00
12. "................ 7,586.00
13. Philadelphia...... 9,291.25
14. "................ 7,547.00
15. "................ 8,458.65
16. New York.......... 6,415.90
17. "................ 4,009.70
18. "................ 5,982.00
19. "................ 8,007.10
20. "................ 6,334.20
21. "................ 9,429.15
22. "................ 9,912.17
23. "................ 5,773.40
24. "................ 4,993.50
25. "................ 6,670.15
26. "................ 9,840.33
27. "................ 7,097.15
28. "................ 8,263.30
29. "................ 10,570.25
30. "................ 10,646.45
31. Philadelphia...... 5,480.75
32. "................ 5,728.65
33. "................ 3,709.88
34. "................ 4,815.48
35. Baltimore......... 7,117.00
36. "................ 8,357.05
37. "................ 8,406.50
38. "................ 8,121.33
39. Washington City... 6,878.55
40. "................ 8,507.05
41. Richmond.......... 12,385.21
42. Charleston........ 6,775.00
43. "................ 3,653.75
44. Havana............ 4,666.17
45. "................ 2,837.92
46. Havana............ 2,931.95
47. New Orleans....... 12,599.85
48. "................ 10,210.42
49. "................ 8,131.15
50. "................ 6,019.85
51. "................ 6,644.00
52. "................ 9,720.80
53. "................ 7,545.50
54. "................ 6,053.50
55. "................ 4,850.25
56. "................ 4,495.35
57 "................ 6,630.35
58. "................ 4,745.10
59. Natchez........... 5,000.00
60. Memphis........... 4,539.56
61. St. Louis......... 7,811.85
62. "................ 7,961.92
63. "................ 7,708.70
64. "................ 4,086.50
65. "................ 3,044.70
66. Nashville......... 7,786.30
67. "................ 4,248.00
68. Louisville........ 7,833.90
69. "................ 6,595.60
70. "................ 5,000.00
71. Madison........... 3,693.25
72. Cincinnati........ 9,339.75
73. "................ 11,001.50
74. "................ 8,446.30
75. "................ 8,954.18
76. "................ 6,500.40
77. Wheeling.......... 5,000.00
78. Pittsburg......... 7,210.58
79. New York.......... 6,858.42
80. "................ 5,453.00
81. "................ 5,463.70
82. "................ 7,378.35
83. "................ 7,179.27
84. "................ 6,641.00
85. "................ 6,917.13
86. New York.......... 6,642.04
87. "................ 3,738.75
88. "................ 4,335.28
89. "................ 5,339.23
90. "................ 4,087.03
91. "................ 5,717.00
92. "................ 9,525.80
93. Philadelphia...... 3,852.75
Of Miss Lind's half receipts of the first two Concerts she devoted $10,000 to charity in New York. She afterwards gave Charity Concerts in Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, Havana, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia, and donated large sums for the like purposes in Richmond, Cincinnati and elsewhere. There were also several Benefit Concerts, for the Orchestra, Le Grand Smith, and other persons and objects.


New York 35 Concerts. Receipts, $286,216.64 Average, $8,177.50

Philadelphia 8 " " 48,884,41 " 6,110 55
Boston 7 " " 70,388.16 " 10,055.45
Providence 1 " " 6,525.54 " 6,525.54
Baltimore 4 " " 32,101.83 " 8,000.47
Washington 2 " " 15,385 60 " 7,692.80
Richmond 1 " " 12,385.21 " 12,385.21
Charleston 2 " " 10,428.75 " 5,214.37
Havana 3 " " 10,436.04 " 3478.68
New Orleans l2 " " 87,646.12 " 7,303.84
Natchez 1 " " 5,000.00 " 5,000.00
Memphis 1 " " 4,539.56 " 4,539.56
St. Louis 5 " " 30,613.67 " 6,122.73
Nashville 2 " " 12,034 30 " 6,017.15
Louisville 3 " " 19,429.50 " 6,476.50
Madison 1 " " 3,693.25 " 3,693.25
Cincinnati 5 " " 44,242.13 " 8,848.43
Wheeling 1 " " 5,000.00 " 5,000.00
Pittsburg 1 " " 7,210.58 " 7,210.58

Total 95 Concerts. Receipts, $712,161.34 Average, $7,496.43


From the Total Receipts of Ninety-five Concerts.....$712,161.34 Deduct the receipts of the first two, which, as between P. T. Barnum and Jenny Lind were aside from the contract, and are not numbered in the table.....32,067.08

Total Receipts of Concerts from No. 1 to No. 93....$680,094.26 Deduct the Receipts of the 28 Concerts, each of which fell short

of $5,500.....$123,311.15 Also deduct $5,500 for each of the
remaining 65 Concerts.........................357,500.00


Leaving the total excess, as above....$199,283.11 Being equally divided, Miss Lind's portion was....$99,641.55 Barnum paid her $1,000 for each of the 93 Concerts.....93,000.00 Also one-half the receipts of the first two Concerts...16,033.54

Amount paid to Jenny Lind.....................$208,675.09 She refunded to Barnum as forfeiture, per contract, in case she withdrew after the 100th Concert..........$25,000 She also paid him $1,000 each for the seven concerts
relinquished..........................7,000 $32,000.00

JENNY LIND'S net avails of 95 concerts................$176,675.09 P. T. BARNUM'S gross receipts, after paying Miss Lind ....535,486.25

TOTAL RECEIPTS of 95 Concerts $712,161.34

The highest prices paid for tickets were at auction, as follows: John N. Genin, in New York, $225; Ossian E. Dodge, in Boston, $625; Col. William C. Ross, in Providence, $650; M. A. Root, in Philadelphia, $625; Mr. D'Arcy, in New Orleans, $240; a keeper of a refreshment saloon in St. Louis, $150; a Daguerrotypist, in Baltimore, $100. After the sale of the first ticket the premium usually fell to $20, and so downward in the scale of figures. The fixed price of tickets ranged from $7 to $3. Promenade tickets were from $2 to $1 each.



The great showman did not allow even so great an enterprise as the Jenny Lind concerts to monopolize his attention. In 1849 he planned the formation of a great travelling show, combining the features of a museum, a menagerie and a circus. In this he associated with himself Mr. Seth B. Howes, who was already a noted and successful showman, and also Mr. Stratton, the father of Tom Thumb. In order to procure a supply of novelties for this show they chartered the ship "Regatta," and sent it from New York in May, 1850, to Ceylon. The object of this voyage, was to procure, either by purchase or by capture, a number of living elephants and other wild animals. To make sure of a sufficient supply of fodder for them, nearly a thousand tons of hay were purchased in New York and taken out aboard the ship. Five hundred tons of it were left at the Island of St. Helena, to be taken up on the return trip, and a great supply of staves and hoops were also left there for the construction of water casks.

This extraordinary mission was successful. In almost exactly a year from the day of sailing the ship returned to New York. Its novel cargo was unloaded, the ten elephants which had been secured were harnessed in pairs to a gigantic chariot, and the whole show paraded up Broadway past the Irving House. It was reviewed from the window of that hotel by Jenny Lind, who was stopping there on her second visit to New York. An elaborate outfit of horses, wagons, tents, etc., was added, the whole costing over $100,000, and then the show went on the road under the nominal leadership of Tom Thumb. It was called, "Barnum's Great Asiatic Caravan, Museum and Menagerie;" it travelled about the country for four years, and yielded to its proprietors enormous profits.

At the end of this tour Barnum sold out the entire establishment, including animals, cages, chariots and everything else, excepting one elephant. This huge brute he took to his farm at Bridgeport, for advertising purposes. It occurred to him that if he should keep the animal there for a time and put him to some novel use, such as working on the farm, it would set people to talking and greatly add to public curiosity and interest in his American Museum.

He accordingly took the elephant to Bridgeport and put him in charge of a competent keeper, who was dressed in a striking Oriental costume. A six acre field close by the New York and New Haven railroad track was set apart for their use. Barnum gave the keeper a time-table of the road and directed him to make a point, whenever trains were passing, always to be busily engaged with the elephant at plowing or other agricultural work as close to the track as possible. Of course the passengers noticed the strange spectacle, items concerning it appeared in the newspapers, extending even to the press of foreign lands, and thousands of people came from all parts of the country to witness the strange sight. Every mail brought numerous letters inquiring about it. Many of these were from the officers of agricultural societies in all parts of the United States, making serious and earnest inquiry as to the utility of the elephant as an agricultural animal. These letters were greatly diversified in tone, but the substance of their inquires was about as follows:
1. "Is the elephant a profitable agricultural animal?"
2. "How much can an elephant plow in a day?"
3. "How much can he draw?"
4. "How much does he eat?"--this question was invariably asked, and was a very important one.
5. "Will elephants make themselves generally useful on a farm?"
6. "What is the price of an elephant?"
7. "Where can elephants be purchased?"

Then would follow a score of other inquiries, such as, whether elephants were easily managed; if they would quarrel with cattle; if it was possible to breed them; how old calf elephants must be before they would earn their own living; and so on indefinitely.

Barnum presently began to be alarmed lest some one should buy an elephant and thus share the fate of the man who drew one in a lottery and did not know what to do with him. "Accordingly," he says, "I had a general letter printed, which I mailed to all my anxious inquirers. It was headed 'strictly confidential,' and I then stated, begging my correspondents 'not to mention it,' that to me the elephant was a valuable agricultural animal, because he was an excellent advertisement to my museum; but that to other farmers he would prove very unprofitable for many reasons. In the first place, such an animal would cost from $3,000 to $10,000; in cold weather he could not work at all; in any weather he could not earn half his living; he would eat up the value of his own head, trunk and body every year; and I begged my correspondents not to do so foolish a thing as to undertake elephant farming."

The result of this experiment in advertising was highly successful. Newspaper correspondents sent highly colored accounts of it all over the world, and numerous pictures of the elephant harnessed to a plow appeared in the illustrated papers and magazines. After the field had been plowed over fifty or sixty times, Barnum concluded that the elephant had been "worked for all he was worth," and sold him to Van Amburgh's menagerie.

In 1851 Mr. Barnum became a part owner of the steamship "North America," which he proposed to run between America and Ireland as a passenger and freight vessel. This idea was presently abandoned, and the ship was sent around Cape Horn to San Francisco and put into service on the Pacific Mail Line, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt having purchased a one-half interest in it and Mr. Barnum retaining one-third interest in the remaining half. After she had made several trips Barnum called upon Mr. Vanderbilt at his office and introduced himself. It was their first meeting, and this is Barnum's own account of the interview:

" 'Is it possible you are Barnum?' exclaimed the Commodore, in surprise, 'why, I expected to see a monster, part lion, part elephant, and a mixture of rhinoceros and tiger! Is it possible,' he continued, 'that you are the showman who has made so much noise in the world?'

"I laughingly replied that I was, and added that if I too had been governed in my anticipation of his personal appearance by the fame he had achieved in his line, I should have expected to have been saluted by a steam whistle, and to have seen him dressed in a pea jacket, blowing off steam, and crying out 'all aboard that's going.'

" 'Instead of which,' replied Mr. Vanderbilt, 'I suppose you have come to ask me to walk up to the Captain's office and settle.'

"After this interchange of civilities, we talked about the success of the 'North America' in having got safely around the Horn, and of the acceptable manner in which she was doing her duty on the Pacific side.

" 'We have received no statement of her earnings yet,' said the Commodore, 'but if you want money, give your receipt to our treasurer, and take some.'

"A few months subsequent to this, I sold out my share in the steamship to Mr. Daniel Drew."

Numerous smaller enterprises also marked this stage of Mr. Barnum's career. Some of these were connected with his museum, while others were entirely independent of it. Thus in 1844, in Paris, besides purchasing Robt. Houdin's ingenius automatic writer and other costly curiosities for the museum, he had made at great expense, a huge panorama of the funeral of Napoleon Bonaparte. This gigantic picture showed every event of that pageant, beginning with the embarkation of the body at St. Helena and ending with its final entombment at the Hotel des Invalides. This exhibition, after having had its day at the American Museum, was sold, and extensively and profitably exhibited elsewhere. While Barnum was in London, during the same year, he engaged a company of "Campanalogians, or Lancashire Bell Ringers," then performing in Ireland, to make an American tour. They were really admirable performers, and by means of their numerous bells of various sizes, they produced the most delightful music. They attracted much attention in various parts of the United States, in Canada, and in Cuba.

After the loss of the bell ringers to the English public Barnum secured and sent thither a party of sixteen North American Indians, who were widely exhibited. On his return to America after his first visit to Europe he engaged an ingenious workman to construct an automatic orator. This was a life-size and remarkably life-like figure, and when worked from a key-board similar to that of a piano it actually uttered words and sentences with surprising distinctness. It was exhibited for several months in London and elsewhere in England, but though it was really a wonderful machine and attracted the earnest attention of some people, it was not a popular success. The Duke of Wellington visited it several times, and at first he thought that the "voice" proceeded from the exhibiter, whom he assumed to be a skilful ventriloquist. He was asked to touch the keys with his own fingers, and, after some instruction in the method of operating, he was able to make the machine speak, not only in English but also in German, with which language the Duke seemed familiar. Thereafter, he entered his name on the exhibiter's autograph book, and certified that the "Automaton Speaker" was an extraordinary production of mechanical genius.

Barnum also secured duplicates of the models of machinery exhibited at the Royal Polytechnic Institution in London and a great many interesting panoramas and pictures. These were all exhibited at his museum in New York and afterwards sold to other travelling showmen who exhibited them throughout the country. In the summer of 1850 he added to the museum his famous Chinese collection, including a Chinese family of two men, two "small footed" women, and two children.

Few of his curiosities attracted more attention than the performances of the "Scotch Boys." One of these was securely blindfolded, and then, in answer to questions put by the other, accurately described any objects presented by persons who attended the surprising exhibition. The mystery, which was merely the result of patient practice, consisted wholly in the manner in which the question was propounded; in fact, the question invariably carried its own answer; for instance:

"What is this?" meant gold; "Now what is this?" silver; "Say, what is this?" copper; "Tell me what this is?" iron; "What is the shape?" long; "Now, what shape?" round; "Say what shape?" square; "Please say what this is," a watch; "Can you tell what is in this lady's hand?" a purse; "Now, please say what this is?" a key; "Come now, what is this?" money; "How much?" a penny; "Now, how much?" sixpence; "Say how much," a quarter of a dollar; "What color is this?" black; "Now, what color is this?" red; "Say what color?" green; and so on, ad infinitum. To such perfection was this brought that it was almost impossible to present any object that could not be quite closely described by the blindfolded boy.

In 1850, the celebrated Bateman children acted for several weeks at the American Museum, and in June of that year Barnum sent them to London with their father and Mr. Le Grand Smith, where they played in the St. James Theatre, and afterwards in the principal provincial theatres. The elder of these children, Miss Kate Bateman, subsequently attained the highest histrionic distinction in America and abroad, and reached the head of her profession.

Miss Catharine Hayes and Herr Begnis were engaged by Barnum in the fall of 1852 to give a series of sixty concerts in California, and the enterprise proved highly profitable, although Mr. Barnum intrusted its execution to his agents, not caring himself to travel so far. Before she set out for California Miss Hayes, with her mother and sister, spent several days at Iranistan to attend the marriage of Barnum's eldest daughter, Caroline, to Mr. David W. Thompson.

The wedding was to take place in the evening, and on the afternoon of that day Mr. Barnum went to Bridgeport to get shaved for the occasion. While he was lying in the barber's chair, half of his face shaved and the other half covered with lather, his prospective son-in-law, Mr. Thompson, drove up to the door of the shop and rushed in, exclaiming excitedly, "Mr. Barnum, Iranistan is in flames!" Barnum jumped up from the chair and, half shaved and with the lather still on his face, jumped into the wagon and started for home with the horse on a run. "I was greatly alarmed," he afterward said, "for the house was full of visitors who had come from a distance to attend the wedding, and all the costly presents, dresses, refreshments, and everything prepared for a marriage celebration to which nearly a thousand guests had been invited, were already in my house. Mr. Thompson told me he had seen the flames bursting from the roof, and it seemed to me that there was little hope of saving the building.

"My mind was distressed, not so much at the great pecuniary loss which the destruction of Iranistan would involve, as at the possibility that some of my family or visitors would be killed or seriously injured in attempting to save something from the fire. Then I thought of the sore disappointment this calamity would cause to the young couple, as well as to those who were invited to the wedding. I saw that Mr. Thompson looked pale and anxious.

" 'Never mind!' said I; 'we can't help these things; the house will probably be burned; but if no one is killed or injured, you shall be married to-night, if we are obliged to perform the ceremony in the coach-house.'

"On our way, we overtook a fire company, and I implored them to 'hurry up their machine.' Arriving in sight of Iranistan, we saw huge volumes of smoke rolling out from the roof and many men on the top of the house were passing buckets of water to pour upon the fire. Fortunately, several men had been engaged during the day in repairing the roof, and their ladders were against the house. By these means and with the assistance of the men employed upon my grounds, water was passed very rapidly, and the flames were soon subdued without serious damage. The inmates of Iranistan were thoroughly frightened; Catherine Hayes and other visitors, packed their trunks and had them carried out on the lawn; and the house came as near destruction as it well could and escape."

While Miss Hayes was at Bridgeport she gave, at Barnum's request, a concert for the benefit of "Mountain Grove Cemetery," and the large proceeds were devoted to the erection of the stone tower and gateway that now adorn the entrance to that beautiful resting place of the dead. Barnum had bought the eighty acres of land for this cemetery a few years before from several farmers. He had been in the habit of tramping over it, gunning, and while thus engaged, had observed its admirable fitness for the purposes of a cemetery. After the title deeds for the property were secured, it was offered for a cemetery, and at a meeting of citizens, several lots were subscribed for. enough. indeed, to cover the amount of the purchase money. Thus was begun the "Mountain Grove Cemetery," which is now beautifully laid out and adorned with many tasteful and costly monuments. Among these are Barnum's own substantial granite monument, the family monuments of Harral, Bishop, Hubbell, Lyon, Wood, Loomis, Wordin, Hyde, and others, and General Tom Thumb erected a tall marble shaft which is surmounted by a life-size statue of himself. There is no more charming burial-ground in the whole country; yet when the project was suggested, many persons preferred an intermural cemetery to this rural resting-place for their departed friends; though now all concur in considering it fortunate that this adjunct was secured to Bridgeport before the land could be permanently devoted to other purposes.

Mr. Dion Boucicault also lectured at Bridgeport for the benefit of this cemetery and Tom Thumb gave an entertainment for the same object. At Barnum's request and under his management, Tom Thumb and his wife, and Commodore Nutt and his wife, gave several exhibitions and entertainments for the benefit of the Bridgeport Charitable Society, the Bridgeport Library, and other local institutions.



In the summer of 1853 Alfred Bunn, formerly manager of Drury Lane Theatre, London, arrived in Boston. He was then one of the most notable figures in the theatrical world. It was he who had made the first engagement with Jenny Lind to appear in London. She had been induced to break this engagement, however, through the solicitations of Mr. Lumley, of Her Majesty's Theatre, with the result that Mr. Lumley had to pay to Mr. Bunn heavy damages for the breach of contract. Barnum and Bunn had never met, though they knew each other well by reputation, and indeed Bunn labored under the delusion that he had met Barnum, for soon after his arrival he hastened to New York and entered Barnum's private office at the Museum with the exclamation, "Well, Barnum, do you remember me?"

Barnum was confident that he had never seen him before, and indeed did not really know who he was. But, quick as a flash, he thought that the ex-manager of Drury Lane must be the only living Englishman with presumption enough to accost him in this way. So he answered without hesitation, "Why, this is Mr. Bunn, isn't it?"

"Ah, my boy," said Bunn, slapping him familiarly on the back, "I thought you would remember me. Well, Barnum, how have you been since I last saw you?"

Barnum replied in a manner that encouraged his impression that they were old acquaintances, and during the next two hours they had much gossip about men and affairs in London. Bunn called upon Barnum several times after that, and probably never realized that Barnum really had been in London two or three years without making his acquaintance. When Barnum went to London again in 1858 he renewed his acquaintance with Bunn and they became great chums.

The years 1851, 1852 and 1853 were mostly spent at Bridgeport, with frequent visits to New York of a day or two each. In the last-named year he resigned the office of President of the Fairfield County Agricultural Society, but in accepting his resignation the society insisted that it should not go into effect until after the annual fair of 1854 His administration of the affairs of the society had been very successful, especially in relation to the fairs and cattle shows.

The manner in which Barnum turned every circumstance to account in the interest of these fairs is well shown in his dealings with a pickpocket at the fair of 1853. The man was caught in the act of taking a pocket-book from a country farmer, and on arrest was found to be a notorious English thief. He had already victimized many other visitors to the fair, and there was almost a state of panic among the visitors. The fair was to close the next day.

Early the next morning the thief was taken before a justice, legally examined, and was bound over for trial. Barnum then obtained consent from the Sheriff that the fellow should be put on the fair grounds, for the purpose of giving those who had been robbed an opportunity of identifying him. For this purpose he was handcuffed and placed in a conspicuous position, where of course he was "the observed of all observers." Then Barnum papered the country round about with handbills, stating that, for the last day of the fair, the managers had secured an extraordinary attraction. They would, he said, exhibit, safely handcuffed, and without extra charge, a live pickpocket, who had on the day preceding been caught in the act of robbing an honest farmer. Crowds of people rushed in to see the show, parents for miles around brought their children to see the awful example of iniquity, and great was the profit to the treasury of the fair.

At the close of his presidency in 1854 Barnum was asked to deliver the opening speech at the County Fair at Stamford. He did so, delivering simply a portion of his lecture on "The Philosophy of Humbug." The next morning, as he was being shaved in the village barber's shop, which was at the time crowded with customers, the ticket-seller to the fair came in. Here is Barnum's own account of what followed:

"What kind of a house did you have last night?" asked one of the gentlemen in waiting.

"Oh, first-rate, of course. Barnum always draws a crowd," was the reply of the ticket-seller, to whom I was not known.

Most of the gentlemen present, however, knew me, and they found much difficulty in restraining their laughter.

"Did Barnum make a good speech?" I asked.

"I did not hear it. I was out in the ticket-office. I guess it was pretty good, for I never heard so much laughing as there was all through his speech. But it makes no difference whether it was good or not," continued the ticket-seller, "the people will go to see Barnum."

"Barnum must be a curious chap," I remarked.

"Well, I guess he is up to all the dodges."

"Do you know him?" I asked.

"Not personally," he replied; "but I always get into the Museum for nothing. I know the doorkeeper, and he slips me in free."

"Barnum would not like that, probably, if he knew it," I remarked.

"But it happens he don't know it," replied the ticket-seller, in great glee.

"Barnum was on the cars the other day, on his way to Bridgeport," said I, "and I heard one of the passengers blowing him up terribly as a humbug. He was addressing Barnum at the time, but did not know him. Barnum joined in lustily, and indorsed everything the man said. When the passenger learned whom he had been addressing, I should think he must have felt rather flat."

"I should think so, too," said the ticket-seller.

This was too much, and we all indulged in a burst of laughter; still the ticket-seller suspected nothing. After I had left the shop, the barber told him who I was. I called into the ticket-office on business several times during the day, but the poor ticket-seller kept his face turned from me, and appeared so chapfallen that I did not pretend to recognize him as the hero of the joke in the barber's shop.

There were many incidents similar to the foregoing in Barnum's career. One occurred on board a steamboat, going from New York to Bridgeport. As they entered the harbor of the latter city a stranger asked the great showman to point out "Barnum's house" from the deck. Barnum did so, and then another bystander remarked, "I know all about that house, for I did a lot of painting there for several months while Barnum was in Europe." He went on to say that it was the meanest and worst contrived house he ever saw, and added, "It will cost old Barnum a mint of money and not be worth two cents after it is finished." "I suppose from that that old Barnum didn't pay you very punctually," observed Barnum himself. "Oh, yes; he pays promptly every Saturday night," said the other; "there's no trouble about that. He has made half a million by exhibiting a little boy whom he took from Bridgeport and whom we never thought any great shakes until Barnum took him and trained him."

Presently one of the other passengers told this man who Barnum was, and nothing more was seen of him.

On another occasion, says Barnum, I went to Boston by the Fall River route. Arriving before sunrise, I found but one carriage at the depot. I immediately engaged it, and, giving the driver the check for my baggage, told him to take me directly to the Revere House, as I was in great haste, and enjoined him to take in no other passengers, and I would pay his demands. He promised compliance with my wishes, but soon afterwards appeared with a gentleman, two ladies, and several children, whom he crowded into the carriage with me, and, placing their trunks on the baggage-rack, started off. I thought there was no use in grumbling, and consoled myself with the reflection that the Revere House was not far away. He drove up one street and down another for what seemed to me a very long time, but I was wedged in so closely that I could not see what route he was taking.

After half an hour's drive he halted, and I found we were at the Lowell Railway Depot. Here my fellow-passengers alighted, and after a long delay the driver delivered their baggage, received his fare, and was about closing the carriage door preparatory to starting again. I was so thoroughly vexed at the shameful manner in which he had treated me, that I remarked:

"Perhaps you had better wait till the Lowell train arrives; you may possibly get another load of passengers. Of course my convenience is of no consequence. I suppose if you land me at the Revere House any time this week, it will be as much as I have a right to expect."

"I beg your pardon," he replied, "but that was Barnum and his family. He was very anxious to get here in time for the first train, so I stuck him for $2, and now I'll carry you to the Revere House free."

"What Barnum is it?" I asked.

"The Museum and Jenny Lind man," he replied.

The compliment and the shave both having been intended for me, I was of course mollified, and replied, "You are mistaken, my friend, I am Barnum."

"Coachee" was thunderstruck, and offered all sorts of apologies.

"A friend at the other depot told me that I had Mr. Barnum on board," said he, "and I really supposed he meant the other man. When I come to notice you, I perceive my mistake, but I hope you will forgive me. I have carried you frequently before, and hope you will give me your custom while you are in Boston. I never will make such a mistake again."

The Pequonnock Bank of Bridgeport was organized in the spring of 1851. Barnum had no interest whatever in it, not holding a single share of the stock. He was, however, unanimously elected President of it. He accepted the office, but as he knew he could not devote much time to it, requested that Mr. Hubbell, then Mayor of Bridgeport, should be made Vice-President.

Mr. Barnum also invested $20,000, as special partner, in a company for the publication of an illustrated weekly newspaper in New York. This was The Illustrated News. The first number was issued on the 1st of January, 1853, and within a month it had seventy thousand circulation. Various complications arose, which greatly annoyed Barnum, and at the end of the first year the whole concern was sold out without loss.

He was earnestly urged, in February, 1854, to accept the presidency of the Universal Exposition, which was held in New York in the famous Crystal Palace. At first he positively declined. But the matter was persistently urged upon him by many influential gentlemen, who represented to him that the success of the enterprise depended upon his acceptance of the position. The result was that at last he did accept it, and he entered upon its duties with all the vigor he could command. The concern was almost bankrupt, and to save it from utter ruin Barnum advanced large sums of money from his own purse. By this means and by various other efforts, such as the re-inauguration, the famous Jullien concerts, etc., here stored a semblance of prosperity. But it was uphill work, and after a time he resigned the presidency and abandoned the institution to its fate.

A little incident which occurred at Iranistan, in the winter of 1852, was observed by a lady from Philadelphia who was visiting there at the time. She afterward made it the subject of a poem, which Mr. Barnum prized highly. It was as follows:



The poor man's garden lifeless lay

Beneath a fall of snow;
But Art in costly greenhouses,

Keeps Summer in full glow.
And Taste paid gold for bright bouquets,

The parlor vase that drest,
That scented Fashion's gray boudoir,

Or bloomed on Beauty's breast.

A rich man sat beside the fire,

Within his sculptured halls;
Brave heart, clear head, and busy hand

Had reared those stately walls.
He to his gardener spake, and said

In tone of quiet glee--
"I want a hundred fine bouquets--

Canst make them, John, for me?

John's eyes became exceeding round,

This question when he heard;
He gazed upon his master,

And he answered not a word.
"Well, John," the rich man laughing said,

"If these too many be,
What sayest to half the number, man?

Canst fifty make for me?"

Now John prized every flower, as 'twere

A daughter or a son;
And thought, like Regan--"What the need

Of fifty, or of one?"
But, keeping back the thought, he said,

"I think, sir, that I might;
But it would leave my lady's flowers

In very ragged plight."

"Well, John, thy vegetable pets

Must needs respected be;
We'll halve the number once again--

Make twenty-five for me.
And hark ye, John, when they are made

Come up and let me know;
And I'll give thee a list of those

To whom the flowers must go,"

The twenty-five bouquets were made,

And round the village sent;
And to whom thinkest thou, my friend,

These floral jewels went?
Not to the beautiful and proud--

Not to the rich and gay--
Who, Dives-like, at Luxury's feast

Are seated every day.

An aged Pastor, on his desk

Saw those fair preachers stand;
A Widow wept upon the gift,

And blessed the giver's hand.
Where Poverty bent o'er her task,

They cheered the lonely room;
And round the bed where sickness lay,

They breathed Health's fresh perfume

Oh! kindly heart and open hand--

Those flowers in dust are trod,
But they bloom to weave a wreath for thee,

In the Paradise of God.
Sweet is the Minstrel's task, whose song

Of deeds like these may tell;
And long may he have power to give,

Who wields that Dower so well!



In the year 1851 Mr. Barnum had purchased from William H. Noble, of Bridgeport, Conn., the undivided half of his late father's homestead--fifty acres of land on the east side of the river, opposite the city of Bridgeport. Together they bought the one hundred and seventy-four acres adjoining, and laid out the entire property in regular streets, and lined them with trees. A beautiful grove of eight acres was reserved for a park. This they intended for a nucleus of a new city, to be known as East Bridgeport.

They then commenced selling alternate lots, at the same price as the land had cost them by the acre, always on condition that a suitable dwelling-house, store or manufactory should be erected on the ground within a year; that every building should be placed at a certain distance from the street; that the style of architecture should be approved by the sellers; that the grounds be inclosed with suitable fences, and that in all respects the locality should be kept desirable for respectable residents.

A new foot-bridge was built across the river, connecting the new town with the city of Bridgeport, and a public toll-bridge, which belonged to Barnum and Noble, was thrown open to the public free. They also erected a covered drawbridge at a cost of $16,000, which was made free to the public for several years.

They built and leased to a union company of young coach-makers a large manufactory, which was one of the first buildings erected in the town, and which went into operation on the first day of the year 1852.

In addition to the inducements of low prices for the lots, the owners advanced one-half, two-thirds, and sometimes all the funds to erect buildings, permitting the purchasers to repay them in small sums at their own convenience. The town, under such favorable auspices, began to develop and to grow with great rapidity.

No one of Barnum's schemes had ever interested him as this one did. He was willing to listen to any one who thought they had a project favorable to the advancement of the new city. It was the man's weak spot, and it was this weak spot which was destined to be touched once too often.

There was a small clock factory in the town of Litchfield, in which Barnum was a stockholder. Thinking always of his beloved enterprise, it occurred to him at length that if the Litchfield clock company could be transferred to East Bridgeport, it would necessarily bring with it numerous families to swell the population. A new stock company was formed, under the name of the "Terry and Barnum Manufacturing Company," and in 1852 a factory was built in East Bridgeport.

It will be seen how recklessly the owners of the site were spending money. They looked for their profits wholly from the sale of the reserved lots, which they felt sure would bring high values.

In 1855 Mr. Barnum was visited by the President of the Jerome Clock Company, Mr. Chauncey Jerome, with a proposition that the concern, which was reputed to be very wealthy, should be removed to East Bridgeport. Negotiations were opened, and at last Barnum was offered a transfer of the great manufactory with its seven hundred to one thousand employees, if he would lend his name as security for $110,000 in aid of the company.

He was shown an official report of the directors of the company, exhibiting a capital of $400,000 with a surplus of $187,000. They were in need of money to tide over a dull season and a market glutted with goods. The company also was represented as being extremely loth to dismiss any of their employees, who would suffer greatly if their means of livelihood were taken from them. The company was reputed to be rich; the President, Mr. Chauncey Jerome, had built a church in New Haven, at a cost of $40,000, and proposed to present it to a congregation; he had given a clock to a church in Bridgeport, and these things showed that he, at least, thought he was wealthy. The Jerome clocks were for sale all over the world, even in China, where the Celestials were said to take out the "movements," and use the cases for little temples for their idols, "Thus proving that faith was possible without 'works,' " as Mr. Barnum said.

Further testimony came in the form of a letter from the cashier of one of the New Haven banks, expressing the highest confidence in the financial strength of the company. Barnum afterwards learned that his correspondent represented a bank which was one of the largest creditors of the concern.

Barnum finally agreed to lend the clock company his notes for a sum not to exceed $50,000, and to accept drafts to an amount not to exceed $60,000. He also received the written guarantee of the President, Chauncey Jerome, that in no event should he lose by the loan, as he would be personally responsible for the repayment. Mr. Barnum was willing that his notes should be taken up and renewed an indefinite number of times just so the maximum of $110,000 was not exceeded. Upon the representation that it was impossible to say exactly when it would be necessary to use the notes, Barnum was induced to put his name to several notes for $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000, leaving the date of payment blank, it being stipulated that the blanks should be filled to make the notes payable in five, ten, or even sixty days from date. On the other hand, it was agreed that the Jerome Company should exchange its stock with the Terry and Barnum stockholders, thus absorbing that concern, and unite the whole business in East Bridgeport.

Three months later Barnum's memoranda showed that the entire $110,000 had been used. He was then solicited by the New York agent of the company for five additional notes for $5,000 each. The request was refused unless they would return an equal amount of his own cancelled notes, since the agent assured him that they were cancelling these notes "every week." The cancelled notes were brought him next day and he renewed them. This he did afterwards very frequently, until at last his confidence in their integrity became so firmly established that he ceased to ask to see the notes that had been taken up, but furnished new paper as often as it was desired.

But gradually the rumor that the banks were hesitating about discounting his paper came to Barnum's ears. Wondering at this, he made a few inquiries, which resulted in the startling discovery that his notes had never been taken up, as represented by the Jerome Company, and that some of the blank-date notes had been made payable in twelve, eighteen and twenty-four months. Further investigation revealed the fact that he had indorsed for the company to the amount of over half a million dollars, and that most of the notes had been exchanged for old Jerome Company notes due to the banks and other creditors.

Barnum simply went to work, paid every debt he owed in the world, and--failed!

The Jerome Company also failed, and in addition to absorbing Barnum's fortune, was able to pay only about fifteen per cent. of its own obligations. Of course it never removed to East Bridgeport at all.

The failure was a nine-days' wonder all over the country. Never had Barnum achieved such notoriety. As he expressed it, he was taken to pieces, analyzed, put together again, kicked, "pitched into," tumbled about, preached to, preached about, and made to serve every purpose to which a sensation loving world could put him.

Barnum declared that he could stand the abuse, the cooling of false friends and even the loss of fortune, but it made him furious to read and hear the moralizings over the "instability of ill-gotten gains." His fortune, if made quickly, had been honestly worked for and honorably acquired, though envious people pretended not to believe it.



But while misfortune reveals a man his foes, it also shows him his friends. Barnum was overwhelmed with offers of assistance, funds were declared at his disposal, both for the support of his family and to re-establish him in business. "Benefits" by the score were offered him, and there was even a proposition among leading citizens of New York to give a series of benefits.

Every one of these offers Barnum declined on his unvarying principle of never accepting a money favor. The following correspondence is taken from the New York papers of the time, and will show the stand he took in the matter:

NEW YORK, June 2d, 1856.


Dear Sir. The financial ruin of a man of acknowledged energy and enterprise is a public calamity. The sudden blow, therefore, that has swept away, from a man like yourself, the accumulated wealth of years, justifies, we think, the public sympathy. The better to manifest our sincere respect for your liberal example in prosperity, as well as exhibit our honest admiration of your fortitude under overwhelming reverses, we propose to give that sympathy a tangible expression by soliciting your acceptance of a series of benefits for your family, the result of which may possibly secure for your wife and children a future home, or at least rescue them from the more immediate consequences of your misfortune.

Freeman Hunt, E. K. Collins, Isaac V. Fowler, James Phalen, Cornelius Vanderbilt, F. B. Cutting, James W. Gerard, Simeon Draper, Thomas McElrath, Park Godwin, R. F. Carman, Gen. C. W. Sanford, Philo Hurd, President H. R. R.; Wm. Ellsworth, President Brooklyn Ins. Co.; George S. Doughty, President Excelsior Ins. Co.; Chas. T. Cromwell, Robert Stuyvesant, E. L. Livingston, R. Busteed, Wm. P. Fettridge, E. N. Haughwout, Geo. F. Nesbitt, Osborne Boardman & Townsend, Charles H. Delavan, I. & C. Berrien, Fisher & Bird, Solomon & Hart, B. Young, M. D., Treadwell, Acker & Co., St. Nicholas Hotel; John Wheeler, Union Square Hotel; S. Leland & Co., Metropolitan Hotel; Albert Clark, Brevoort House; H. D. Clapp, Everett House; John Taylor, International Hotel; Sydney Hopman, Smithsonian Hotel; Messrs. Delmonico, Delmonico's; Geo. W. Sherman, Florence's Hotel; Kingsley & Ainslee, Howard Hotel; Libby & Whitney, Lovejoy's Hotel; Howard & Brown, Tammany Hall; Jonas Bartlett, Washington Hotel; Patten & Lynde, Pacific Hotel; J. Johnson, Johnson's Hotel, and over 1,000 others.

To this gratifying communication he replied as follows:

LONG ISLAND, Tuesday, June 3d, 1856.

GENTLEMEN: I can hardly find words to express my gratitude for your very kind proposition. The popular sympathy is to me far more precious than gold, and that sympathy seems in my case to extend from my immediate neighbors, in Bridgeport, to all parts of our Union.

Proffers of pecuniary assistance have reached me from every quarter, not only from friends, but from entire strangers. Mr. Wm. E. Burton, Miss Laura Keene, and Mr. Wm. Niblo have in the kindest manner tendered me the receipts of their theatres for one evening, Mr. Gough volunteered he proceeds of one of his attractive lectures; Mr. James Phalon generously offered me the free use of the Academy of Music; many professional ladies and gentlemen have urged me to accept their gratuitous services. I have, on principle, respectfully declined them all, as I beg, with the most grateful acknowledgments (at least for the present), to decline yours--not because a benefit, in itself, is an objectionable thing, but because I have ever made it a point to ask nothing of the public on personal grounds, and should prefer, while I can possibly avoid that contingency, to accept nothing from it without the honest conviction that I had individually given it in return a full equivalent.

While favored with health, I feel competent to earn an honest livelihood for myself and family. More than this I shall certainly never attempt with such a load of debt suspended in terrorem over me. While I earnestly thank you, therefore, for your generous consideration, gentlemen, I trust you will appreciate my desire to live unhumiliated by a sense of dependence, and believe me, sincerely yours,


To Messrs. FREEMAN HUNT, E. K. COLLINS, and others.

And with other offers of assistance from far and near, came the following from a little gentleman who did not forget his old friend and benefactor in the time of trial:


MY DEAR MR. BARNUM: I understand your friends, and that means "all creation," intend to get up some benefits for your family. Now, my dear sir, just be good enough to remember that I belong to that mighty crowd, and I must have a finger (or at least a "thumb") in that pie. I am bound to appear on all such occasions in some shape, from "Jack the Giant killer," Up-stairs, to the door-keeper down, whichever may serve you best; and there are some feats that I can perform as well as any other man of my inches. I have just started out on my Western tour, and have my carriage, ponies, and assistants all here, but I am ready to go on to New York, bag and baggage, and remain at Mrs. Barnum's service as long as I, in a small way, can be useful. Put me into any "heavy" work, if you like. Perhaps I can not lift as much as some other folks, but just take your pencil in hand and you will see I can draw a tremendous load. I drew two hundred tons at a single pull to-day, embracing two thousand persons, whom I hauled up safely and satisfactorily to all parties, at one exhibition. Hoping that you will be able to fix up a lot of magnets that will attract all New York, and volunteering to sit on any part of the loadstone, I am, as ever, your little but sympathizing friend,


All the prominent papers published editorials and paragraphs full of sympathy for the great man's misfortune, the Saturday Evening Gazette of Boston breaking out in the following poem.



BARNUM, your hand! Though you are "down,"

And see full many a frigid shoulder, Be brave, my brick, and though they frown,

Prove that misfortune makes you bolder. There's many a man that sneers, my hero,

And former praise converts to scorning, Would worship--when he fears--a Nero,

And bend "where thrift may follow fawning."

You humbugged us--that we have seen,

WE GOT OUR MONEY'S WORTH, old fellow, And though you thought our MINDS were GREEN,

We never thought your HEART was YELLOW. We knew you liberal, generous, warm,

Quick to assist a falling brother, And, with such virtues, what's the harm

All memories of your faults to smother?

We had not heard the peerless Lind,

But for your spirit enterprising,
You were the man to raise the wind,

And make a coup confessed surprising. You're reckoned in your native town

A friend in need, a friend in danger, You ever keep the latch-string down,

And greet with open hand the stranger.

Stiffen your upper lip. You know

Who are your friends and who your foes now; We pay for knowledge as we go;

And though you get some sturdy blows now, You've a fair field--no favors crave--

The storm once passed will find you braver--In virtue's cause long may you wave,

And on the right side, never waver.

The editor of the paper was Mr. B. P. Shillaber, better known as "Mrs. Partington," and to him Barnum years later wrote to find out the author of this effusion. Mr. Shillaber replied as follows:

CHELSEA, April 25th, 1868.

MY DEAR MR. BARNUM: The poem in question was written by A. Wallace Thaxter, associate editor with Mr. Clapp and myself, on the Gazette--since deceased, a glorious fellow--who wrote th poem from a sincere feeling of admiration for yourself. Mr. Clapp (Hon. W. W. Clapp) published it with his full approbation. I heard of your new trouble, in my sick chamber, where I have been all winter, with regret, and wish you as ready a release from attending difficulty as your genius has hitherto achieved under like circumstances.

Yours, very truly

The manifestations of sympathy from his fellow-citizens in Bridgeport gratified Barnum more than all the rest. The Mayor headed and more than 300 leading citizens signed a call for a mass meeting of sympathy.

At the hour appointed for the meeting a large assemblage crowded Washington Hall, the principal hall of the city. Many people thronged the door, unable to gain entrance.

Mr. Charles B. Hubbell, President of the Pequonnock Bank, was appointed President; Messrs. Charles Foote, Cashier of the Connecticut Bank; Stephen Tomlinson, President of the Farmers' Bank; Samuel F. Hurd, President of the Bridgeport City Bank, Hanford Lyon, Dwight Morris, E. Ferris Bishop, A. P. Houston, and Wm. H. Noble, Vice-Presidents, and Messrs. Samuel M. Chesney and Julius L. Hanover, Secretaries.

Mr. Dwight Morris said that they had met for the purpose of expressing their sympathy with their former fellow-citizen, P. T. Barnum, in his pecuniary reverses. It was well known how much Mr. Barnum had done for Bridgeport. He had expended large sums to build up their city, had accommodated many of them with the means of securing themselves homes, and it was principally to him that they owed their present beautiful resting-place for the dead. [Applause.] The citizens of Bridgeport hoped that his misfortunes would soon pass away, and that he would ere long resume his position in Bridgeport, and among the citizens of Fairfield County. [Prolonged applause.]

Mr. Wm. H. Noble read the following resolutions.

WHEREAS, Our late neighbor and friend, P. T. Barnum, has become involved in financial misfortune which seems likely to be irretrievable, and to prevent his again residing in our vicinity--Resolved, That we as citizens of Bridgeport deem it an act of justice no less than a slight return for the many acts of liberality, philanthropy, and public spirit in our midst, which have marked his prosperity, to offer him our tribute of respect and sympathy in this the hour of his trouble.

Resolved, That in his intercourse with us in the private and social relations of life, Mr. Barnum is remembered as a man of upright dealings and honorable sentiments--a kind and genial neighbor, and exemplary character, a beneficent philanthropist, and a most generous friend.

Resolved, That in his more extended capacity as a citizen he has enduringly associated his name with numerous objects, which remain as monuments among us, connected with the institutions of religion, education, and commercial prosperity--with the advancement of the mechanical, agricultural, and other useful arts and sciences--with the spirit of public improvement and public morals; and that so long as these remain to us matters of interest, we shall never forget that he has been of them all among the foremost, most liberal, and most efficient promoters.

Resolved, That we hereby express to him our heartfelt sympathy in his misfortunes, our unshaken confidence in his integrity, and our admiration of the dignified fortitude and composure with which he has met the reverses into which he has been dragged, through no fault of his own, except a too generous confidence in pretended friends, and our earnest hope that he may yet return to that wealth which he has so nobly employed and to the community he has so signally benefited.

Resolved, That copies of these resolutions, signed by the President and other officers of this meeting, be transmitted to Mr. Barnum, and also to the press of this city.

Mr. E. B. Goodsell said that Mr. Barnum had been the friend of the poor, and his hospitalities had been extended to men of every State in the Union. The citizens of Bridgeport should be proud to claim as one of their citizens P. T. Barnum. His name was written upon every charity in their city, and the temples of God bore its impress. By a few fell strokes of an ugly pen, he has been drawn into that whirlpool of destruction to himself and almost destruction to many in the city. In the midst of his prosperity, while he was building up a city on the east side of their little harbor, he had fallen by the hand of traitors. He hoped that he might survive his misfortunes and come back to live in their midst. He did not expect that he could ever return with that "pocketful of rocks" which he used to talk so much about; but, if he would come, he for one was ready to pledge himself that he should never starve in the city of Bridgeport. [Loud and prolonged applause.]

Mr. Oakley was loudly called for. He said that he had deep regard for Mr. Barnum in his distress. He was one of the very few people in Bridgeport who had never received any aid from Mr. Barnum, but he was ready to join in any expression of sympathy, and saw no reason why it should not assume a material form [loud applause]. He would only allude to Mr. Barnum's unostentatious benevolence. To one of the churches of the city Mr. Barnum gave $500--to one of their churches in which he felt no interest beyond his interest for Bridgeport, and this was but a specimen of his munificence. Nobody could say that Mr. Barnum had not made the best and most benevolent use of his money [Applause]. He had been the means of adding a large number to the population of Bridgeport. He never yet had found a man who was more eminently the friend of the poor man than P. T. Barnum [Cheers]. He had alleviated the sufferings of many a broken heart, and he had aided many a young man to start in business. If Mr. Barnum had erred, it was only an error of judgment [Cheers]. He sympathized with Mr. Barnum. He had talents which would cope with those of most of the human race. He did not believe that there was a man in the city who had so little soul as to begrudge a tear to him in his misfortune [loud applause]. They should at least send him assurance that there were thousands of hearts in his own city which appreciated his noble benevolence, and loved and honored his character.

Mr. Noble read the following letter from Mr. Barnum:

"NEW YORK, April 25th, 1856. "DEAR SIR: I have just received a slip containing a call for a public meeting of the citizens of Bridgeport, to sympathize with me in my trouble. It is headed by his Honor the Mayor, and is signed by most of our prominent citizens, as well as by many more who by hard labor earn their daily bread, and who appreciate a calamity which at a single blow strips a man of his fortune, his dear home, and all the worldly comfort which years of diligent labor has acquired. It is due to truth to say that I knew nothing of this movement until your letter informed me of it. In misfortune, the true sympathy of neighbors is more consoling and precious than anything which money can purchase. This voluntary offering of my fellow-citizens, though it thrills me with painful emotions and causes tears of gratitude, yet it imparts renewed strength and fills my heart with thankfulness to Providence for raising up to my sight, above all this wreck, kind hearts which soar above the sordid atmosphere of 'dirty dollars.' I can never forget this unexpected kindness from my old friends and neighbors. I trust I am not blind to my many faults and shortcomings; I, however, do feel great consolation in believing that I never used money or position to oppress the poor or wrong my fellowmen, and that I never turned empty away whom I had the power to assist. My poor sick wife, who needs the bracing air which our dear home (made beautiful by her willing hand) would now have afforded her, is driven by the orders of her physician to a secluded spot on Long Island, where the sea-wind lends its healthful influence, and where I have also retired for the double purpose of consoling her and recruiting my own constitution, which, through the excitement of the last few months, has most seriously failed me. In our quiet and humble retreat that which I most sincerely pray for is tranquillity and contentment. I am sure that the remembrance of the kindness of my Bridgeport friends will aid me in securing these cherished blessings. No man who has not passed through similar scenes, can fully comprehend the misery which has been crowded into the last few months of my life; but I have endeavored to preserve my integrity, and I humbly hope and believe that I am being taught humility and reliance upon Providence, which will yet afford a thousand times more peace and true happiness than can be acquired in the dire strife and turmoil, excitements and struggles of this money-worshiping age. The man who coins his brain and blood into gold, who wastes all of his time and thought upon the almighty dollar, who looks no higher than blocks of houses and tracts of lands, and whose iron chest is crammed with stocks and mortgages, tied up with his own heart-strings, may console himself with the idea of safe investments; but he misses a pleasure which I firmly believe this lesson was intended to secure to me, and which it will secure, if I can fully bring my mind to realize its wisdom. I think I hear you say,

When the devil was sick,
The devil a saint would be,
But when the devil got well,
The devil a saint was he.'

"Granted, but after all the man who looks upon the loss of money as anything compared to the loss of honor, or health, or self-respect, or friends; a man who can find no source of happiness except in riches, is to be pitied for his blindness. I certainly feel that the loss of money, of home and my home comforts, is dreadful; that to be driven again to find a resting place away from the friends that I loved, and from where I had fondly hoped I was to end my days. And when I had lavished time, money, and everything to make my descent to the grave placid and pleasant, is indeed a severe lesson; but after all I firmly believe it is for the best, and though my heart may break I will not repine. I regret, beyond expression, that any man should be a loser for having trusted to my name; it would not have been so if I had not myself been deceived. As it is, I am gratified in knowing that all my individual obligations will be met. It would have been much better if clock creditors had accepted the best offers that it was in my power to make them. But it was not so to be, it is now too late, and as I willingly give up all I possess, I can do no more. Wherever my future lot may be cast, I shall ever fondly cherish the kindness which I have always received from the citizens of Bridgeport. I am, my dear sir,

"Truly yours, P. T. BARNUM."

The reading of the letter excited much sensation, applause, and laughter.

The resolutions were re-read and passed unanimously.

Mr. William Bishop said it was unusual for citizens to meet together to express sympathy with one who had lost his fortune. It was very common for the people and the press to eulogize a man when he was beyond the reach of human sympathy. He thought it was far better to tender a man the marks of approval while he was yet alive and could appreciate it. [Applause] For along time in this city they were accustomed to bury their dead among the living. Mr. Barnum had done more than any other man to secure to this city the most beautiful-cemetery in Connecticut. He alone had secured to the city what it had never had before--a public square. On the east side of the river he had almost completed a school-house, a thing which could be said of no other man. [Loud cheering.] If material aid were needed, he should be proud to assist in raising it. There was one clause in the resolutions which he did not believe. He did not believe that "in all probability he could ever retrieve" his fortune. [Prolonged cheering.]

Mr. J. E. Dunham made a brief but earnest speech. He hoped this meeting would put down the sneers which were in circulation in relation to Mr. Barnum's sincerity, by showing that those estimated him most who knew him best.

Mr. Nathaniel Greene and Mr. Bowles made short but effective speeches.

The meeting was characterized throughout by the greatest enthusiasm, and adjourned with three loud cheers for Barnum.

Nor was sympathy all his neighbors offered him; shortly after this meeting a number of gentlemen in Bridgeport offered him a loan of $50,000, if that sum would meet the exigency.

Little by little the magnitude of the fraud practiced upon Barnum's too confiding nature dawned upon him. Not only had his notes been used to five times the amount stipulated, but the money had been applied, not to relieving the temporary embarrassment of the company, but almost entirely to the redemption of the old claims of years gone by. Barnum sent two of his friends to New Haven to ask for a meeting of the creditors, authorizing them to say for him in substance:

"GENTLEMEN: This is a capital practical joke! Before I negotiated with your clock company at all, I was assured by several of you, and particularly by a representative of the bank which was the largest creditor of the concern, that the Jerome Company was eminently responsible, and that the head of the same was uncommonly pious. On the strength of such representations solely, I was induced to agree to indorse and accept paper for that company to the extent of $110,000--no more. That sum I am now willing to pay for my own verdancy, with an additional sum of $40,000 for your 'cuteness, making a total of $150,000, which you can have if you cry 'quits' with the fleeced showman and let him off."

Many of the old creditors favored this proposition; but it was found that the indebtedness was so scattered it would be impracticable to attempt a settlement by an unanimous compromise of the creditors.

Barnum therefore turned over his Bridgeport property to Connecticut assignees, moved his family to New York, and made an assignment there of all his other property, real estate and personal effects.

About this time he received a letter from Philadelphia proffering the loan of $500 in case he really was in need. The wording of the letter made Barnum suspicious that it was a trick to ascertain whether he really had any property or if he made an honest settlement to the best of his ability. To this letter Barnum replied that he did need $500, and as he had expected the money never came.

But the Philadelphia banks which were holding the Jerome paper for a higher percentage, at once acceded to the terms which Mr. Barnum had announced himself able to pay,

Every dollar which he owed on his own account he had already paid, and for the liabilities incurred by the swindle which had involved him he offered such a percentage which he thought his estate, when sold, would eventually pay. Mrs. Barnum also gave up certain portions of her own property to redeem such notes as could be secured upon these terms.

They went to live in a hired furnished house in New York, the landlady and her family boarding with them. At forty-six Barnum found himself once more at the foot of the ladder--beginning life anew.

"The situation is disheartening," he said, "but I have experience, energy, health, and hope."



In the summer of 1855 Barnum had sold the American Museum to Messrs. John Greenwood, Jr., and Henry D. Butler. They paid nearly twice as much for the collection as it had originally cost, giving notes for nearly the entire amount, securing the notes by a chattel mortgage, and hiring the premises from Mrs. Barnum, who owned the Museum property lease, and on which, by agreement of the lessees, she realized something like $19,000 a year. The chattel mortgage was, of course, turned over to the New York assignees with the other property.

Barnum's widespread reputation for shrewdness was, in his present difficulties, destined to be the cause of considerable annoyance to him. Certain outside creditors who had bought clock notes at a tremendous discount, believing that Barnum's means were still ample, made up their minds that they must be paid at once without waiting for the sale of the property by assignees.

They, therefore, took what is known as "supplementary proceedings," by which is meant an examination before a judge, compelling the debtor to disclose, under oath, everything in regard to his property, his present means of living, and so on.

"Putting Barnum through a course of sprouts," as they expressed it, came to be a very frequent occurrence. One creditor after another hauled him up, and the attorneys would ask the same questions which had already been answered a dozen times.

This persistent and unnecessary annoyance created a great deal of sympathy for the man, the papers took his part, and even the judges before whom he appeared, personally sided with him, although they were obliged to administer the law. After a while, the judges ruled that he need not answer any questions propounded by an attorney, if he had already answered the same question in any previous examination.

In fact, one of the judges lost all patience on one occasion, and said sharply to the examining attorney:

"This, sir, has become simply a case of persecution. Mr. Barnum has many times answered every question that can properly be put to him, to elicit the desired information; and I think it is time to stop these examinations. I advise him not to answer one interrogatory which he has replied to under any previous inquiries.

One consequential little lawyer commenced his examination in behalf of a note-shaver, who held a thousand dollar note which he had bought for seven hundred. After the oath had been administered, he arranged his pen, ink, and paper, and in a loud tone of voice asked:

"What is your name, sir?"

The answer was given, and the next question delivered in a louder, more peremptory tone was:

"What is your business?"

"Attending bar," answered Barnum.

"Attending bar!" exclaimed the lawyer; "attending bar! Why, I thought you were a teetotaler."

"So I am," declared the witness.

"And yet, sir, you have the audacity to assert that you peddle rum all day, and drink none yourself?"

"That is not a relevant question," said Barnum.

"I will appeal to his Honor the Judge if you don't answer it instantly," said the lawyer, gleefully.

"Very well; I do attend bar, and yet never drink intoxicating liquors."

"Where do you attend bar, and for whom?" pursued the lawyer.

"I attend the bar of this court nearly every day, for the benefit of two-penny lawyers and their greedy clients," replied the disgusted Barnum.

On another occasion a young lawyer who had been pushing his inquiries to a great length, said in a half-laughing tone of apology:

"You see, Mr. Barnum, I am searching after the small thing; I am willing to take even the crumbs that fall from the rich man's table."

"Which are you, then, Lazarus or one of the dogs?" asked Barnum, wearily.

"I guess a blood-hound would not smell out much on this trial," returned the lawyer, good-naturedly, adding that he had no more questions to ask.

On account of Mrs. Barnum's continued ill-health, the family spent the summer in a farm-house at Westhampton, Long Island. The farm lay close to the ocean, and the place was very cool and delightful. The respite from active life, and the annoyance attendant to his financial troubles was of the greatest benefit to Mr. Barnum, who spent the time shooting, fishing, and driving.

One morning they discovered that the waves had thrown up on the beach a young black whale, nearly twelve feet long. The animal was dead, but still hard and fresh, and Barnum bought it for a few dollars from the man who claimed it by right of discovery. He sent it at once to the Museum, where it was exhibited in a huge refrigerator for a few days, where crowds came to see it. The managers very properly gave Barnum a share of the profits, which amounted to a sum sufficient to pay the board-bill of the family for the entire season.

"Well," said the amazed landlord, when he heard of it, "you do beat all for luck. Here you come and board for four months with your family, and when the time is nearly up and you're getting ready to leave, out rolls a big black whale on our beach, a thing never heard of before in this vicinity, and you take that whale and pay your board-bill with it!"

Shortly after his return to New York an unforeseen event occurred which Barnum realized was likely to extricate him from his difficulties.

The new city which had led him into ruin now promised to be his redemption.

The now gigantic Wheeler & Wilson Sewing-Machine Company was then doing a comparatively small yet rapidly growing business at Watertown, Connecticut. The Terroy & Barnum clock factory was standing idle, almost worthless, in East Bridgeport, and Wheeler & Wilson saw in the empty building, the situation, the ease of communication with New York, and other advantages, precisely what they wanted, provided they could procure the premises at a rate which would compensate them for the expense and trouble of removing their establishment from Watertown. The clock factory was sold for a trifle and the wheeler & Wilson Company moved into it and speedily enlarged it.

This important occurrence gave Barnum great hope for the increased value of the land belonging to his estate. And moreover Mr. Wheeler offered him a loan of $5,000 without security, which sum Barnum accepted, and devoted it, together with Mrs. Barnum's money, to purchasing the East Bridgeport property at the assignees' sale and also taking up such clock notes as could be purchased at a reasonable percentage. Though this new plan did eventually result in putting more money in his pocket than the Jerome complication had taken out, yet the process was a slow one. But Barnum concluded to let it work itself out, and meanwhile, with the idea of doing something to help out the accumulation and even saving something to add to the amount, he made up his mind to go to Europe again.

He set sail in 1857, taking with him Tom Thumb and little Cordelia Howard, who had attained celebrity for her artistic rendering of juvenile characters,



Years ago Barnum had known Albert Smith in London as a dentist, literary "hack," occasional writer for Punch and various magazines, etc., not achieving notable success in any of these undertakings. He now found him the most eminent and successful showman in the city, occupying Barnum's old quarters in Egyptian Hall. The chief attraction of his show was a panorama of Mont Blanc, accompanying which he gave a lecture, descriptive of the mountain and relating his own experiences in climbing it. When Barnum called upon him he found him just as unassuming and cordial as ever; he was forthwith entered on the free list at all of Smith's entertainments, and the two often dined together at the Garrick Club.

The first time Barnum attended Smith's exhibition, the latter gave him a sly wink from the stage at the moment of his describing a scene in the golden chamber of St. Ursula's church in Cologne, where the old sexton narrating the story of the ashes and bones to the eleven thousand innocent virgins, who, according to tradition, were sacrificed on a certain occasion. One of the characters whom he pretended to have met several times on his trip to Mont Blanc, was a Yankee, whom he named "Phineas Cutecraft." The wink came at the time he introduced Phineas in the Cologne church, and made him say at the end of the sexton's story about the virgins' bones:

"Old fellow, what will you take for that hull lot of bones? I want them for my museum in America!"

When the question had been interpreted to the old German, he exclaimed in horror, according to Albert Smith:

"Mine Gott! it is impossible! We will never sell the virgins' bones!"

"Never mind," replied Phineas Cutecraft, "I'll send another lot of bones to my museum, swear mine are the real bones of the Virgins of Cologne, and burst up your show!"

This always excited the heartiest laughter; but Mr. Smith knew very well that Barnum would at once recognize it as a paraphrase of the scene wherein they, too, had figured in 1844, at the porter's lodge of Warwick Castle. "In the course of the entertainment," says Barnum, "I found he had woven in numerous anecdotes I had told him at that time, and many incidents of our excursion were also travestied and made to contribute to the interest of his description of the ascent of Mont Blanc."

When they dined together at the club that day, Smith introduced Barnum to several of his acquaintances as his teacher in the show business. He also remarked to Barnum that he must have recognized as old friends many of the incidents and jokes in the lecture. Barnum replied that he did. "Well," said Smith, "of course you as a showman, know very well that, to win popular success. we have to appropriate and adapt to our uses everything of the sort that we can get hold of."

By thus engrafting his various experiences upon this Mont Blanc entertainment, Albert Smith succeeded in serving up a salmagundi feast which was relished alike by royal and less distinguished palates.

When William Makepeace Thackeray first visited this country, he brought a letter of introduction to Barnum, from Albert Smith, and called on the showman at his New York museum. He spent an hour or more there, asking much advice of Barnum in regard to the management of the course of lectures on "The English Humorists of the Eighteenth Century," which he proposed to deliver, as he did afterwards, with very great success, in the principal cities of the Union. Barnum gave him the best advice he could as to management, and the cities he ought to visit, for which he was very grateful, and he called on Barnum whenever he was in New York. Barnum also saw him repeatedly when he came to America the second time with his lectures on "The Four Georges," which, it will be remembered, he delivered in the United States in the season of 1855-56, before he read them to audiences in Great Britain. Barnum's relations with this great novelist were cordial and intimate; and now, when he called upon him, in 1857, at his own house, Thackeray grasped him heartily by the hand, and said:

"Mr. Barnum, I admire you more than ever I have read the accounts in the papers of the examinations you underwent in New York courts; and the positive pluck you exhibit under your pecuniary embarrassments is worthy of all praise. You would never have received credit for the philosophy you manifest if these financial misfortunes had not overtaken you."

Barnum thanked him for his compliment, and he continued:

"But tell me, Barnum, are you really in need of present assistance? For if you are you must be helped."

"Not in the least," the showman replied, laughing "I need more money in order to get out of bankruptcy, and I intend to earn it; but so far as daily bread is concerned, I am quite at ease, for my wife is worth L30,000 or L40,000."

"Is it possible!??" he exclaimed, with evident delight; "well, now, you have lost all my sympathy; why, that is more than I ever expect to be worth; I shall be sorry for you no more."

During his stay in London, Barnum met Thackeray several times, and on one occasion dined with him. He repeatedly expressed his obligations to Barnum for the advice and assistance he had given him on the occasion of his first lecturing visit to the United States.

Soon after Barnum arrived in London he was visited by Mr. Otto Goldschmidt, who had married Jenny Lind. They were then living in Dresden, but Madame Goldschmidt had insisted on his hurrying over to England to see her old manager, and ascertain whether he really was in want. Barnum assured him that he was getting on comfortably, though he had to exercise economy, and that his family would presently come over and live with him in London. Goldschmidt urged him to come to Dresden to live. "It is much cheaper living there," he said, "and my wife will be so glad to find a suitable house for you." But Barnum declined the offer. His business prospects would be better in London than in Dresden.

Barnum's old friends, Julius Benedict and Signor Belletti, also called on him frequently, and made him feel much at home. Among others whom he met in London, some of them quite frequently at dinners, were Mr. George Augustus Sala, Mr. Edmund Yates, Mr. Horace Mayhew, Mr. Alfred Bunn, Mr Lumley, of Her Majesty's Theatre; Mr. Buckstone; of the Haymarket; Mr. Charles Kean, our princely countryman; Mr. George Peabody, Mr. J. M. Morris, the manager, Mr. Bates, of Baring Brothers & Co.; Mr. Oxenford, dramatic critic of the London Times, Dr. Ballard, the American dentist, and many other eminent persons.

He had numerous offers from professional friends on both sides of the Atlantic, who supposed him to be in need of employment. Mr. Barney Williams, who had not then acted in England, proposed, in the kindest manner, to make him his agent for a tour through Great Britain, and to give him one-third of the profits which he and Mrs. Williams might make by their acting. Mr. Pettengill, of New York, the newspaper advertising agent, offered him the fine salary of $10,000 a year to transact business for him in Great Britain. He wrote: "When you failed in consequence of the Jerome clock notes, I felt that your creditors were dealing hard with you; that they should have let you up and give you a chance, and they would have fared better, and I wish I was a creditor, so as to show what I would do." These offers, both from Mr. Williams and Mr. Pettengill, Barnum felt obliged to decline.

Mr. Lumley, manager of Her Majesty's Theatre, used to send him an order for a private box for every opera night, and Barnum frequently availed himself of his courtesy.

Meanwhile the showman was by no means idle. Cordelia Howard as "Little Eva," with her mother as the inimitable "Topsy," were highly successful in London and other large cities, while General Tom Thumb, returning after so long an absence, drew crowded houses wherever he went. These were strong spokes in the wheel that was moving slowly but surely in the effort to get Barnum out of debt, and, if possible, to save some portion of his real estate. Of course, it was not generally known that he had any interest whatever in either of these exhibitions; if it had been, possibly some of the clock creditors would have annoyed him; but he busied himself in these and in other ways, working industriously and making much money, which he constantly remitted to his trusty agent at home.

Barnum spent some weeks in London and then went to Germany. He was accompanied by Tom Thumb, and they went by the way of Paris, Strasburg, and Baden-Baden. At the frontier they had a terrible time with the thick-headed customs-inspector. This was at Kehl, near Strasburg. "I knew," said Barnum in telling the story, "that I had no baggage which was rightfully subject to duty, as I had nothing but my necessary clothing, and the package of placards and lithographs, illustrating the General's exhibitions. As the official was examining my trunks, I assured him in French, that I had nothing subject to duty; but he made no reply and deliberately handled every article in my luggage. He then cut the strings to the large packages of show-bills. I asked him in French, whether he understood that language. He gave a grunt, which was the only audible sound I could get out of him, and then laid my show-bills and lithographs on his scales as if to weigh them. I was much excited. An English gentleman, who spoke German, kindly offered to act as my interpreter.

" 'Please to tell him,' said I, 'that those bills and lithographs are not articles of commerce; that they are simply advertisements.'

"My English friend did as I requested; but it was of no use; the custom-house officer kept piling them upon his scales. I grew more excited.

" 'Please tell him I give them away,' I said. The translation of my assertion into German did not help me; a double grunt from the functionary, was the only response. Tom Thumb, meanwhile, jumped about like a little monkey, for he was fairly delighted at my worry and perplexity. Finally, I said to my new found English friend: 'Be good enough to tell the officer to keep the bills if he wants them, and that I will not pay duty on them, any how.'

"He was duly informed of my determination, but he was immovable. He lighted his huge Dutch pipe, got the exact weight, and, marking it down, handed it to a clerk, who copied it on his book, and solemnly passed it over to another clerk, who copied it on still another book; a third clerk then took it, and copied it on to a printed bill, the size of a half letter sheet, which was duly stamped in red ink with several official devices. By this time I was in a profuse perspiration; and, as the document passed from clerk to clerk, I told them they need not trouble themselves to make out a bill, for I would not pay it; they would get no duty and they might keep the property.

"To be sure, I could not spare the placards for any length of time, for they were exceedingly valuable to me as advertisements, and I could not easily have duplicated them in Germany; but I was determined that I would not pay duties on articles which were not merchandise. Every transfer, therefore, of the bill to a new clerk, gave me a fresh twinge, for I imagined that every clerk added more charges, and that every charge was a tighter turn to the vise which held my fingers. Finally, the last clerk defiantly thrust in my face the terrible official document, on which were scrawled certain cabalistic characters, signifying the amount of money I should be forced to pay to the German government before I could have my property. I would not touch it but resolved I would really leave my packages until I could communicate with one of our consuls in Germany, and I said as much to the English gentleman who had kindly interpreted for me.

"He took the bill, and, examining it, burst into a loud laugh, 'Why, it is but fifteen kreutzers!' he said.

" 'How much is that?' I asked, feeling for the golden sovereigns in my pocket.

" 'Sixpence!' was the reply.

"I was astonished and delighted, and, as I handed out the money, I begged him to tell the officials that the custom-house charge would not pay the cost of the paper on which it was written. But this was a very fair illustration of sundry red-tape dealings in other countries as well as in Germany."

Baden-Baden was found to be an uncommonly pleasant place, the neatest and cleanest little city he had ever seen, Barnum thought. As soon as they were fairly settled there, Tom Thumb began driving out on the streets in his tiny carriage, with his ponies and liveried coachmen and footmen. Public curiosity was greatly excited. The place was thronged with visitors, it being one of the most popular resorts in Europe. There were kings and queens, and minor royalties and members of the nobility without number. All these soon forgot their other amusements and entertainments in their interest in the little General. They crowded his rooms at his reception every day, and Barnum, seeing the quality of his patrons, put the entrance fee higher than it ever was at any other place. Their stay at this resort was exceedingly profitable.

Thence they proceeded to the other German watering places, such as Ems, Weisbaden and Hamburg. They saw that it paid to strike for high game. No matter how high their fee, the crowned, titled, rich, aristocratic throng came to their show by thousands. Among them was the King of Holland, who was particularly interested in Tom Thumb. So profitable was the tour, that Barnum was able to send many thousands of dollars to his agents in America, to buy back his real estate and settle up the remains of the disastrous clock business.

Other German cities visited were Frankfort-on-the-Main, Mayence and Cologne. At the latter place, they remained for some time, seeing as well as giving shows. Then they went on to Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

The shrewd and enterprising Yankee was much impressed by the thrift and industry of Holland. "It gave me," he afterwards said, "more genuine satisfaction than any other foreign country I have ever visited, if I except Great Britain. Redeemed as a large portion of the whole surface of the land has been from the bottom of the sea, by the wonderful dykes, which are monuments of the industry of whole generations of human beavers, Holland seems to me the most curious, as well as interesting country in the world. The people, too, with their quaint costumes, their extraordinary cleanliness, their thrift, industry and frugality, pleased me very much. It is the universal testimony of all travellers, that the Hollanders are the neatest and most economical people among all nations. So far as cleanliness is concerned, in Holland it is evidently not next to, but far ahead of godliness. It is rare, indeed, to meet a ragged, dirty, or drunken person. The people are very temperate and economical in their habits; and even the very rich--and there is a vast amount of wealth in the country--live with great frugality, though all of the people live well.

"As for the scenery, I cannot say much for it, since it is only diversified by thousands of windmills, which are made to do all kinds of work, from grinding grain to pumping water from the inside of the dykes back to the sea again. As I exhibited the General only in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and to no great profit in either city, we spent most of our time in rambling about to see what was to be seen. In the country villages it seemed as if every house was scrubbed twice and whitewashed once every day in the week, excepting Sunday. Some places were almost painfully pure, and I was in one village where horses and cattle were not allowed to go through the streets and no one was permitted to wear their boots or shoes in the houses. There is a general and constant exercise of brooms, pails, floor-brushes and mops all over Holland, and in some places, even, this kind of thing is carried so far, I am told, that the only trees set out are scrub-oaks."

Barnum thought that the reason why his exhibitions were not better patronized here was that the people were too frugal to spend much money for mere amusements. "But they and their habits and ways afforded us so much amusement, that we were quite willing they should give our entertainment the 'go by,' as they generally did. We were in Amsterdam at the season of 'Kremis,' or the annual fair, which is held in all the principal towns, and where shows of all descriptions are open, at prices for admission ranging from one to five pennies, and are attended by nearly the whole population. For the people generally, this one great holiday seems all-sufficient for the whole year. I went through scores of booths, where curiosities and monstrosities of all kinds were exhibited, and was able to make some purchases and engagements for the American Museum. Among these was the Albino family, consisting of a man, his wife, and son, who were by far the most interesting and attractive specimens of their class I had ever seen.

"We visited the Hague, the capital and the finest city in Holland. It is handsomely and regularly laid out, and contains a beautiful theatre, a public picture gallery, which contains some of the best works of Vandyke, Paul Potter, and other Dutch masters, while the museum is especially rich in rarities from China and Japan. When we arrived at the Hague, Mr. August Belmont, who had been the United States Minister at that court, had just gone home, but I heard many encomiums passed upon him and his family, and I was told some pretty good stories of his familiarity with the king, and of the 'jolly times' these two personages frequently enjoyed together. I did not miss visiting the great government museum, as I wished particularly to see the rich collection of Japan ware and arms, made during the many years when the Dutch carried on almost exclusively the entire foreign trade with the Japanese. I spent several days in minutely examining these curious manufactures of a people who were then almost as little known to nations generally as are the inhabitants of the planet Jupiter."

On the first day of his visits to this museum, Barnum stood for an hour before a large case containing a most unique and extraordinary collection of fabulous animals, made from paper and other materials, and looking as natural and genuine as the stuffed skins of any animals in the American Museum. There were serpents two yards long, with a head and a pair of feet at each end; frogs as large as a man, with human hands and feet; turtles with three heads; monkeys with two heads and six legs; scores of equally curious monstrosities; and at least two dozen mermaids, of all sorts and sizes. Looking at these "sirens" he easily divined from whence the Feejee mermaid originated.

After a delightful visit in Holland, he went back to England; and proceeding to Manchester, opened his exhibition. For several days the hall was crowded to overflowing at each of the three, and sometimes four, entertainments they gave every day. By this time, his wife and two youngest daughters had come over to London, and he hired furnished lodgings in the suburbs where they could live within the strictest limits of economy. It was necessary now for him to return for a few weeks to America, to assist personally in forwarding a settlement of the clock difficulties. So leaving the little General in the hands of trusty and competent agents to carry on the exhibitions in his absence, he set his face once more towards home and the west, and took steamer at Liverpool for New York.



Barnum made in his life many voyages across the Atlantic, but none, perhaps, pleasanter than this. On every such trip he got under rest and relief from his multitudinous business cares and arduous labors; and he always contrived to organize plenty of merry-making among his fellow-passengers. On this occasion he felt in uncommonly good spirits because he was so rapidly retrieving his well-nigh fallen fortunes. The feature of the voyage was a series of mock trials, in which a judge was selected, jurymen drawn, prisoners arraigned, counsel employed, and all the formalities of a court established. "I have the vanity to think," said he, afterwards, in telling in his own inimitable way the story of this voyage, "that if my good fortune had directed me to that profession, I should have made a very fair lawyer for I have always had a great fondness for debate and especially for the cross-examination of witnesses, unless that witness was P. T. Barnum in examination under supplementary proceedings at the instance of some note shaver, who had bought a clock note at a discount of thirty-six per cent. In this mock court, I was unanimously chosen as prosecuting attorney, and, as the court was established expressly to convict, I had no difficulty in carrying the jury and securing the punishment of the prisoner. A small fine was generally imposed, and the fund thus collected was given to a poor sailor boy who had fallen from the mast and broken his leg."

"After several of these trials had been held, a dozen or more of the passengers secretly put their heads together and resolved to place the 'showman' on trial for his life. An indictment, covering twenty pages, was drawn up by several legal gentlemen among the passengers, charging him with being the Prince of Humbugs, and enumerating a dozen special counts, containing charges of the most absurd and ridiculous description. Witnesses were then brought together, and privately instructed what to say and do. Two or three days were devoted to arranging this mighty prosecution, 'When everything was ready, I was arrested, and the formidable indictment read to me. I saw at a glance that time and talent had been brought into requisition, and that my trial was to be more elaborate than any that had preceded it. I asked for half an hour to prepare for my defense, which was granted. Meanwhile, seats were arranged to accommodate the court and spectators, and extra settees were placed for the ladies on the upper deck, where they could look down, see and hear all that transpired. Curiosity was on tip-toe, for it was evident that this was to be a long, exciting and laughable trial. At the end of half an hour the judge was on the bench the jury had taken their places; the witnesses were ready; the counsel for the prosecution, four in number, with pens, ink, and paper in profusion, were seated, and everything seemed ready. I was brought in by a special constable, the indictment read, and I was asked to plead guilty, or not guilty. I rose and In a most solemn manner, stated that I could not conscientiously plead guilty or not guilty; that I had, in fact, committed many of the acts charged in the indictment, but these acts, I was ready to show, were not criminal, but on the contrary, worthy of praise. My plea was received and the first witness called.

"He testified to having visited the prisoner's museum, and of being humbugged by the Feejee mermaid; the nurse of Washington; and by other curiosities, natural and unnatural. The questions and answers having been all arranged in advance, everything worked smoothly. Acting as my own counsel, I cross-examined the witness by simply asking whether he saw anything else in the museum besides what he had mentioned.

" 'Oh! yes, I saw thousands of other things.'

" 'Were they curious?'

" 'Certainly; many of them very astonishing.'

" 'Did you ever witness a dramatic representation in the museum?'

" 'Yes, sir, a very good one.'

" 'What did you pay for all this?'

" 'Twenty-five cents.'

" 'That will do, sir; you can step down.'

"A second, third and fourth witness were called, and the examination was similar to the foregoing. Another witness then appeared to testify in regard to another count in the indictment. He stated that for several weeks he was the guest of the prisoner, at his country residence Iranistan and he gave a most amusing description of the various schemes and contrivances which were there originated for the purpose of being carried out at some future day in the museum.

" 'How did you live there?' asked one of the counsel for the prosecution.

" 'Very well, indeed, in the daytime,' was the reply; 'plenty of the best to eat and drink except liquors. In bed, however, it was impossible to sleep. I rose the first night, struck a light, and on examination found myself covered with myriads of tattle bugs, so small as to be almost imperceptible. By using my microscope I discovered them to be infantile bedbugs. After the first night I was obliged to sleep in the coach-house in order to escape this annoyance.'

"Of course this elicited much mirth. The first question put on the cross-examination was this:

" 'Are you a naturalist, sir?'

"The witness hesitated. In all the drilling that had taken place before the trial, neither the counsel nor witnesses had thought of what questions might come up in the cross-examination, and now, not seeing the drift of the question, the witness seemed a little bewildered, and the counsel for the prosecution looked puzzled.

"The question was repeated with some emphasis.

" 'No, sir,' replied the witness, hesitatingly, 'I am not a naturalist.'

" 'Then, sir, not being a naturalist, dare you affirm that those microscopic insects were not humbugs instead of bedbugs'--(here the prisoner was interrupted by a universal shout of laughter, in which the solemn judge himself joined)--land if they were humbugs, I suppose that even the learned counsel opposed to me will not claim that they were out of place.

" 'They may have been humbugs,' replied the witness.

" 'That will do, sir; you may go,' said I; and at the same time, turning to the array of counsel, I remarked, with a smile, 'You had better have a naturalist for your next witness, gentlemen.'

" 'Don't be alarmed, sir, we have got one, and we will now introduce him,' replied the counsel.

"The next witness testified that he was a planter from Georgia, that some years since the prisoner visited his plantation with a show, and that while there he discovered an old worthless donkey belonging to the planter, and bought him for five dollars. The next year the witness visited Iranistan, the country seat of the prisoner, and, while walking about the grounds, his old donkey, recognizing his former master, brayed; 'whereupon,' continued the witness, 'I walked up to the animal and found that two men were engaged in sticking wool upon him, and this animal was afterwards exhibited by the prisoner as the woolly horse.'

"The whole court--spectators, and even the 'prisoner' himself--were convulsed with laughter at the gravity with which the planter gave his very ludicrous testimony.

" 'What evidence have you,' I inquired, 'that this was the same donkey which you sold to me?'

" 'The fact that the animal recognized me, as was evident from his braying as soon as he saw me.'

" 'Are you a naturalist, sir?'

" 'Yes, I am,' replied the planter, with firm emphasis, as much as to say, you can't catch me as you did the other witness.

" 'Oh! you are a naturalist, are you? Then, sir, I ask you, as a naturalist, do you not know it to be a fact in natural history that one jackass always brays as soon as he sees another?'

"This question was received with shouts of laughter, in the midst of which the nonplussed witness backed out of court, and all the efforts of special constables, and even the high sheriff himself, were unavailing in getting him again on the witness stand.

"This trial lasted two days, to the great delight of all on board. After my success with the 'naturalist,' not one-half of the witnesses would appear against me. In my final argument I sifted the testimony, analyzed its bearings, ruffled the learned counsel, disconcerted the witnesses, flattered the judge and jury, and when the judge had delivered his charge, the jury acquitted me without leaving their seats. The judge received the verdict, and then announced that he should fine the naturalist for the mistake he made, as to the cause of the donkey's braying, and he should also fine the several witnesses, who, through fear of the cross-fire, had refused to testify."

The trial afforded a pleasant topic of conversation for the rest of the voyage; and the morning before arriving in port, a vote of thanks was passed to Barnum, in consideration of the amusement he had intentionally and unintentionally furnished to the passengers during the voyage.

The treatment to which Barnum was subjected on his arrival in New York, was in strange and discreditable contrast to that which he had enjoyed abroad. He sometimes spoke of it in later life, though without any bitterness. He was too much of a philosopher to take it to heart. "After my arrival," he would say, "often, in passing up and down Broadway, I saw old and prosperous friends coming, but before I came anywhere near them, if they espied me, they would dodge into a store, or across the street, or opportunely meet some one with whom they had pressing business, or they would be very much interested in something that was going on over the way, or on top of the City Hall. I was delighted at this, for it gave me at once a new sensation and a new experience. 'Ah, ha!' I said to myself, 'my butterfly friends, I know you now; and, what is more to the point, if ever I get out of this bewilderment of broken clock-wheels, I shall not forget you;' and I heartily thanked the old clock concern for giving me the opportunity to learn this sad but most needful lesson. I had a very few of the same sort of experiences in Bridgeport, and they proved valuable to me."

One of Barnum's assignees was his neighbor and quondam "gamekeeper," Mr. Johnson, and he it was who had written to Barnum to return to America, to facilitate the settlement of his affairs. He now told him that there was no probability of disposing of Iranistan at present, and that therefore he might as well move back into his old home. That was August. In September, Barnum's family followed him to America, and they decided to take Mr. Johnson's advice and re-occupy Iranistan. They went to Bridgeport, to superintend arrangements, and there Barnum's second daughter, Helen, was married to Mr. S. W. Hurd, on October 20, 1857.

"Meanwhile, Iranistan, which had been closed and unoccupied for more than two years, was once more opened to the carpenters and painters whom Mr. Johnson sent there to put the house in order. He agreed with Barnum that it was best to keep the property as long as possible, and in the interval, till a purchaser for the estate appeared, or till it was forced to auction, to take up the clock notes, whenever they were offered. The workmen who were employed in the house were specially instructed not to smoke there, but nevertheless, it was subsequently discovered that some of the men were in the habit occasionally of going into the main dome to eat their dinners which they brought with them, and that they stayed there awhile after dinner to smoke their pipes. In all probability, one of these lighted pipes was left on the cushion which covered the circular seat in the dome and ignited the tow with which the cushion was stuffed. It may have been days and even weeks before this smouldering tow fire burst into flame.

Barnum was staying at the Astor House, in New York, when, on the morning of December 18, 1857, he received a telegram from his brother, Philo F. Barnum, dated at Bridgeport, and informing him that Iranistan was burned to the ground that morning. The alarm was given at eleven o'clock on the night of the 17th, and the fire burned till one o'clock on the morning of the 18th.

This was, of course, a considerable loss to Barnum's estate, for the house had cost about $150,000. It was also generally regarded as a public calamity. This house had been the only building in its peculiar style of architecture of any pretension in America, and many persons had visited Bridgeport every year expressly to see it. The insurance on the mansion had usually been about $62,000, but Barnum had let some of the policies expire without renewing them, so that at the time of the fire there was only $28,000 insurance on the property. Most of the furniture and pictures were saved, generally in a damaged state.

Subsequently, the assignees sold the grounds and outhouses of Iranistan to Elias Howe, Jr., the inventor of the sewing-machine. The property brought $50,000, which, with the $28,000 insurance went into Barnum's assets to satisfy clock creditors. It was Mr. Howe's intention to erect a splendid mansion on the estate, but his untimely and lamented death prevented the fulfilment of the plan.



Seeing the necessity of making more money to assist in extricating his affairs from financial disorder, Barnum went back to England, taking with him Tom Thumb, whom he exhibited in all the principal places of England, Scotland and Wales; this was early in 1858.

The tour was a profitable one, and the money, as fast as it came in, was remitted to his agents and assignees in America.

At the suggestion of some of his American friends In London, Barnum next appeared on the lecture platform. The subject chosen was "The Art of Money Getting," although Barnum told his friends that in the light of recent events he felt more competent to speak on the art of money losing. But they assured him that his name having been associated with the Jenny Lind concerts and other great money-making enterprises, the lecture would undoubtedly prove both attractive and profitable.

The lecture was widely advertised, of course, and at the appointed time the great St. James' Hall, Regent Street, Piccadilly, was completely filled. It was the evening of December 29, 1858. We subjoin extracts from the lecture, which was closely listened to and well received by many more audiences than the one which heard it first at St. James' Hall.

Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only to set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done. But however easy it may be found to make money, I have no doubt many of my hearers will agree it is the most difficult thing in the world to keep it. The road to wealth is, as Dr. Franklin truly says, "as plain as the road to mill." It consists simply in expending less than we earn; that seems to be a very simple problem. Mr. Micawber, one of those happy creations of the genial Dickens, puts the case in a strong light when he says that to have an income of twenty pounds per annum, and spend twenty pounds and sixpence, is to be the most miserable of men; whereas, to have an income of only twenty pounds, and spend but nineteen pounds and sixpence, is to be the happiest of mortals. Many of my hearers may say, "we understand this; this is economy, and we know economy is wealth; we know we can't eat our cake and keep it also." Yet I beg to say that perhaps more cases of failure arise from mistakes on this point than almost any other. The fact is, many people think they understand economy when they really do not.

True economy is misapprehended, and people go through life without properly comprehending what that principle is. One says, "I have an income of so much, and here is my neighbor who has the same; yet every year he gets something ahead and I fall short; why is it? I know all about economy." He thinks he does, but he does not. There are many who think that economy consists in saving cheese-parings and candle-ends, in cutting off twopence from the laundress' bill and doing all sorts of little mean, dirty things. Economy is not meanness. The misfortune is, also, that this class of persons let their economy apply in only one direction. They fancy they are so wonderfully economical in saving a half-penny where they ought to spend twopence, that they think they can afford to squander in other directions. A few years ago, before kerosene oil was discovered or thought of, one might stop over night at almost any farmer's house in the agricultural districts and get a very good supper, but after supper he might attempt to read in the sitting-room, and would find it impossible with the inefficient light of one candle. The hostess, seeing his dilemma, would say: "It is rather difficult to read here evenings; the proverb says 'you must have a ship at sea in order to be able to burn two candles at once;' we never have an extra candle except on extra occasions." These extra occasions occur, perhaps, twice a year. In this way the good woman saves five, six, or ten dollars in that time; but the information which might be derived from having the extra light would, of course, far outweigh a ton of candles.

But the trouble does not end here. Feeling that she is so economical in tallow candles, she thinks she can afford to go frequently to the village and spend twenty or thirty dollars for ribbons and furbelows, many of which are not necessary. This false economy may frequently be seen in men of business, and in those instances it often runs to writing-paper. You find good business men who save all the old envelopes and scraps, and would not tear a new sheet of paper, if they could avoid it, for the world. This is all very well; they may in this way save five or ten dollars a year, but being so economical (only in note-paper), they think they can afford to waste time; to have expensive parties, and to drive their carriages.

True economy consists in always making the income exceed the out-go. Wear the old clothes a little longer if necessary; dispense with the new pair of gloves; mend the old dress; live on plainer food if need be; so that, under all circumstances, unless some unforeseen accident occurs, there will be a margin in favor of the income. A penny here, and a dollar there, placed at interest, goes on accumulating, and in this way the desired result is attained. It requires some training, perhaps, to accomplish this economy, but when once used to it, you will find there is more satisfaction in rational saving than in irrational spending. Here is a recipe which I recommend; I have found it to work an excellent cure for extravagance, and especially for mistaken economy: When you find that you have no surplus at the end of the year, and yet have a good income, I advise you to take a few sheets of paper and form them into a book and mark down every item of expenditure. Post it every day or week in two columns, one headed "necessaries" or even "comforts," and the other headed "luxuries," and you will find that the latter column will be double, treble, and frequently ten times greater than the former. The real comforts of life cost but a small portion of what most of us can earn.

The foundation of success in life is good health; that is the substratum of fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick. He has no ambition; no incentive; no force. Of course, there are those who have bad health and cannot help it; you cannot expect that such persons can accumulate wealth; but there are a great many in poor health who need not be so.

If, then, sound health is the foundation of success and happiness in life, how important it is that we should study the laws of health, which is but another expression for the laws of nature! The closer we keep to the laws of nature the nearer we are to good health, and yet how many persons there are who pay no attention to natural laws, but absolutely transgress them, even against their own natural inclination. We ought to know that the "sin of ignorance" is never winked at in regard to the violation of nature's laws; their infraction always brings the penalty. A child may thrust its finger into the flames without knowing it will burn, and so suffers; repentance, even, will not stop the smart. Many of our ancestors knew very little about the principle of ventilation. They did not know much about oxygen, whatever other "gin" they might have been acquainted with; and consequently, they built their houses with little seven-by-nine feet bedrooms, and these good old pious Puritans would lock themselves up in one of these cells, say their prayers and go to bed. In the morning they would devoutly return thanks for the "preservation of their lives" during the night, and nobody had better reason to be thankful. Probably some big crack in the window, or in the door, let in a little fresh air, and thus saved them.

Many persons knowingly violate the laws of nature against their better impulses, for the sake of fashion. For instance, there is one thing that nothing living except a vile worm ever naturally loved, and that is tobacco; yet how many persons there are who deliberately train an unnatural appetite, and overcome this implanted aversion for tobacco, to such a degree that they get to love it. They have got hold of a poisonous, filthy weed, or rather that takes a firm hold of them. Here are married men who run about spitting tobacco-juice on the carpet and floors, and sometimes even upon their wives besides. They do not kick their wives out-of-doors like drunken men, but their wives, I have no doubt, often wish they were outside of the house. Another perilous feature is that this artificial appetite, like jealousy, "grows by what it feeds on;" when you love that which is unnatural, a stronger appetite is created for the hurtful thing than the natural desire for what is harmless. There is an old proverb which says that "habit is second nature," but an artificial habit is stronger than nature. Take, for instance, an old tobacco-chewer; his love for the "quid" is stronger than his love for any particular kind of food. He can give up roast beef easier than give up the weed.

These remarks apply with tenfold force to the use of intoxicating drinks. To make money, requires a clear brain. A man has got to see that two and two make four; he must lay all his plans with reflection and forethought, and closely examine all the details and the ins and outs of business. As no man can succeed in business unless he has a brain to enable him to lay his plans, and reason to guide him in their execution, so, no matter how bountifully a man may be blessed with intelligence, if the brain is muddled, and his judgment warped by intoxicating drinks, it is impossible for him to carry on business successfully. How many good opportunities have passed, never to return, while a man was sipping a "social glass" with his friend! How many foolish bargains have been made under the influence of the "nervine," which temporarily makes its victim think he is rich. How many important chances have been put off until to-morrow, and then forever, because the wine-cup has thrown the system into a state of lassitude, neutralizing the energies so essential to success in business. Verily, "wine is a mocker." The use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage is as much an infatuation as is the smoking of opium by the Chinese, and the former is quite as destructive to the success of the business man as the latter. It is an unmitigated evil, utterly indefensible in the light of philosophy, religion or good sense. It is the parent of nearly every other evil in our country.

The safest plan, and the one most sure of success for the young man starting in life, is to select the vocation which is most congenial to his tastes. Parents and guardians are often quite too negligent in regard to this. It is very common for a father to say, for example: "I have five boys. I will make Billy a clergyman; John a lawyer; Tom a doctor, and Dick a farmer." He then goes into town and looks about to see what he will do with Sammy. He returns home, and says: "Sammy, I see watchmaking is a nice, genteel business; I think I will make you a goldsmith." He does this, regardless of Sam's natural inclinations or genius.

We are all, no doubt, born for a wise purpose. There is as much diversity in our brains as in our countenances. Some are born natural mechanics, while some have great aversion to machinery. Let a dozen boys of ten years get together, and you will soon observe two or three are "whittling" out some ingenious device; working with locks or complicated machinery. When they were but five years old their father could find no toy to please them like a puzzle. They are natural mechanics; but the other eight or nine boys have different aptitudes I belong to the latter class; I never had the slightest love for mechanism; on the contrary, I have a sort of abhorrence for complicated machinery. I never had ingenuity enough to whittle a cider-tap so it would not leak. I never could make a pen that I could write with, or understand the principle of a steam-engine. If a man was to take such a boy as I was, and attempt to make a watchmaker of him, the boy might, after an apprenticeship of five or seven years be able to take apart and put together a watch; but all through life he would be working uphill and seizing every excuse for leaving his work and idling away his time. Watchmaking is repulsive to him.

Unless a man enters upon the vocation intended for him by nature, and best suited to his peculiar genius, he cannot succeed. I am glad to believe that the majority of persons do find their right vocation. Yet we see many who have mistaken their calling from the blacksmith up (or down) to the clergyman. You will see, for instance, that extraordinary linguist, the "learned blacksmith," who ought to have been a teacher of languages; and you may have seen lawyers, doctors and clergymen who were better fitted by nature for the anvil or the lapstone.

Avoid debt. Young men starting in life should avoid running into debt. There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt. It is a slavish position to get in, yet we find many a young man, hardly out of his "teens," running in debt. He meets a chum, and says, "Look at this: I have got trusted for a new suit of clothes." He seems to look upon the clothes as so much given to him; well, it frequently is so, but, if he succeeds in paying and then gets trusted again, he is adopting a habit which will keep him in poverty through life. Debt robs a man of his self-respect, and makes him almost despise himself. Grunting and groaning and working for what he has eaten up or worn out, and now when he is called upon to pay up he has nothing to show for his money; this is properly termed "working for a dead horse." I do not speak of merchants buying and selling on credit, or of those who buy on credit in order to turn the purchase to a profit. The old Quaker said to his farmer son, "John, never get trusted; but if thee gets trusted for anything, let it be for 'manure,' because that will help thee pay it back again."

Mr. Beecher advised young men to get in debt if they could to a small amount in the purchase of land in the country districts. "If a young man," he says, "will only get in debt for some land and then get married, these two things will keep him straight, or nothing will." This may be safe to a limited extent, but getting in debt for what you eat and drink and wear is to be avoided. Some families have a foolish habit of getting credit at "the stores," and thus frequently purchase many things which might have been dispensed with.

It is all very well to say, "I have got trusted for sixty days, and if I don't have the money the creditor will think nothing about it." There is no class of people in the world who have such good memories as creditors. When the sixty days run out you will have to pay. If you do not pay, you will break your promise, and probably resort to a falsehood. You may make some excuse or get in debt elsewhere to pay it, but that only involves you the deeper.

A good-looking, lazy young fellow, was the apprentice boy, Horatio. His employer said, "Horatio, did you ever see a snail?" "I--think--I--have," he drawled out. "You must have met him, then, for I am sure you never overtook one," said the "boss." Your creditor will meet you or overtake you and say, "Now, my young friend, you agreed to pay me; you have not done it, you must give me your note." You give the note on interest and it commences working against you; "it is a dead horse." The creditor goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning better off than when he retired to bed, because his interest has increased during the night, but you grow poorer while you are sleeping, for the interest is accumulating against you.

Among the maxims of the elder Rothschild was one, an apparent paradox: "Be cautious and bold." This seems to be a contradiction in terms, but it is not, and there is great wisdom in the maxim. It is, in fact, a condensed statement of what I have already said. It is to say, "you must exercise your caution in laying your plans, but be bold in carrying them out." A man who is all caution will never dare to take hold and be successful; and a man who is all boldness is merely reckless, and must eventually fail. A man may go on "'change" and make fifty or one hundred thousand dollars in speculating in stocks at a single operation. But if he has simple boldness without caution, it is mere chance, and what he gains to-day he will lose to-morrow. You must have both the caution and the boldness to insure success.

The Rothschilds have another maxim: "Never have anything to do with an unlucky man or place." That is to say, never have anything to do with a man or place which never succeeds, because, although a man may appear to be honest and intelligent, yet if he tries this or that thing and always fails, it is on account of some fault or infirmity that you may not be able to discover, but nevertheless which must exist.

There is no such thing in the world as luck. There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street to-day, and another to-morrow, and so on, day after day. He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it. "Like causes produce like effects." If a man adopts the proper methods to be successful, "luck" will not prevent him. If he does not succeed, there are reasons for it, although, perhaps, he may not be able to see them.

We all depend, more or less, upon the public for our support. We all trade with the public--lawyers, doctors, shoemakers, artists, blacksmiths, showmen, opera singers, railroad presidents, and college professors. Those who deal with the public must be careful that their goods are valuable; that they are genuine, and will give satisfaction. When you get an article which you know is going to please your customers, and that when they have tried it they will feel they have got their money's worth, then let the fact be known that you have got it. Be careful to advertise it in some shape or other, because it is evident that if a man has ever so good an article for sale, and nobody knows it, it will bring him no return. In a country like this, where nearly everybody reads, and where newspapers are issued and circulated in editions of five thousand to two hundred thousand, it would be very unwise if this channel was not taken advantage of to reach the public in advertising. A newspaper goes into the family, and is read by wife and children, as well as the head of the house; hence hundreds and thousands of people may read your advertisement, while you are attending to your routine business. Many, perhaps, read it while you are asleep. The whole philosophy of life is, first "sow," then "reap." That is the way the farmer does; he plants his potatoes and corn, and sows his grain, and then goes about something else, and the time comes when he reaps. But he never reaps first and sows afterwards. This principle applies to all kinds of business, and to nothing more eminently than to advertising. If a man has a genuine article, there is no way in which he can reap more advantageously than by "sowing" to the public in this way. He must, of course, have a really good article, and one which will please his customers; anything spurious will not succeed permanently, because the public is wiser than many imagine. Men and women are selfish, and we all prefer purchasing where we can get the most for our money; and we try to find out where we can most surely do so.

You may advertise a spurious article, and induce many people to call and buy it once, but they will denounce you as an impostor and swindler, and your business will gradually die out and leave you poor. This is right. Few people can safely depend upon chance custom. You all need to have your customers return and purchase again. A man said to me, "I have tried advertising and did not succeed; yet I have a good article."

I replied, "My friend, there may be exceptions to a general rule. But how do you advertise?"

"I put it in a weekly newspaper three times, and paid a dollar and a half for it." I replied: "Sir, advertising is like learning--'a little is a dangerous thing!' "

A French writer says that "The reader of a newspaper does not see the first insertion of an ordinary advertisement; the second insertion he sees, but does not read; the third insertion he reads; the fourth insertion, he looks at the price; the fifth insertion, he speaks of it to his wife; the sixth insertion, he is ready to purchase, and the seventh insertion, he purchases." Your object in advertising is to make the public understand what you have got to sell, and if you have not the pluck to keep advertising, until you have imparted that information, all the money you have spent is lost.

Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now. The old proverb is full of truth and meaning: "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor for life, because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.

Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself. It won't do to spend your time like Mr. Micawber, in waiting for something to "turn up." To such men one of two things usually "turns up:" the poor-house or the jail; for idleness breeds bad habits, and clothes a man in rags. The poor spendthrift vagabond said to a rich man:

"I have discovered there is money enough in the world for all of us, if it was equally divided; this must be done, and we shall all be happy together."

"But," was the response, "if everybody was like you, it would be spent in two months, and what would you do then?"

"Oh! divide again; keep dividing, of course!"

I was recently reading in a London paper an account of a like philosophic pauper, who was kicked out of a cheap boarding-house because he could not pay his bill, but he had a roll of papers sticking out of his coat pocket, which, upon examination, proved to be his plan for paying off the national debt of England without the aid of a penny. People have got to do as Cromwell said: "Not only trust in Providence, but keep the powder dry." Do your part of the work, or you cannot succeed. Mahomet, one night, while encamping in the desert, overheard one of his fatigued followers remark: "I will loose my camel, and trust it to God." "No, no, not so," said the prophet; "tie thy camel, and trust it to God." Do all you can for yourselves, and then trust to Providence, or luck, or whatever you please to call it, for the rest.

Some men have a foolish habit of telling their business secrets. If they make money they like to tell their neighbors how it was done. Nothing is gained by this, and ofttimes much is lost. Say nothing about your profits, your hopes, your expectations, your intentions. And this should apply to letters as well as to conversation. Goethe makes Mephistophiles say: "Never write a letter nor destroy one." Business men must write letters, but they should be careful what they put in them. If you are losing, money, be specially cautious and not tell of it or you will lose your reputation.

Preserve your integrity. It is more precious than, diamonds or rubies. The old miser said to his sons: "Get money; get it honestly, if you can, but get money." This advice was not only atrociously wicked, but it was the very essence of stupidity. It was as much as to say, "if you find it difficult to obtain money honestly, you can easily get it dishonestly. Get it in that way." Poor fool! Not to know that the most difficult thing in life is to make money dishonestly! not to know that our prisons are full of men who attempted to follow this advice; not to understand that no man can be dishonest without soon being found out, and that when his lack of principle is discovered, nearly every avenue to success is closed against him forever. The public very properly shun all whose integrity is doubted. No matter how polite and pleasant and accommodating a man may be, none of us dare to deal with him if we suspect "false weights and measures." Strict honesty not only lies at the foundation of all success in life (financially), but in every other respect. Uncompromising integrity of character is invaluable. It secures to its possessor a peace and joy which cannot be attained without it--which no amount of money, or houses and lands, can purchase. A man who is known to be strictly honest, may be ever so poor, but he has the purses of all the community at his disposal--for all know that if he promises to return what he borrows, he will never disappoint them. As a mere matter of selfishness, therefore, if a man had no higher motive for being honest, all will find that the maxim of Dr. Franklin can never fail to be true--that "honesty is the best policy."

I hold that no man ought ever to indorse a note or become security for any man, be it his father or brother, to a greater extent than he can afford to lose and care nothing about, without taking good security. Here is a man that is worth twenty thousand dollars; he is doing a thriving manufacturing or mercantile trade; you are retired and living on your money; he comes to you and says:

"You are aware that I am worth twenty thousand dollars, and don't owe a dollar: if I had five thousand dollars in cash, I could purchase a particular lot of goods and double my money in a couple of months; will you indorse my note for that amount?"

You reflect that he is worth twenty thousand dollars, and you incur no risk by indorsing his note; you like to accommodate him, and you lend your name without taking the precaution of getting security. Shortly after, he shows you the note with your indorsement cancelled, and tells you, probably truly, "that he made the profit that he expected by the operation;" you reflect that you have done a good action, and the thought makes you feel happy. By and by the same thing occurs again and you do it again; you have already fixed the impression in your mind that it is perfectly safe to indorse his notes without security.

But the trouble is, this man is getting money too easily. He has only to take your note to the bank, get it discounted, and take the cash. He gets money for the time being without effort; without inconvenience to himself. Now mark the result. He sees a chance for speculation outside of his business. A temporary investment of only $10,000 is required. It is sure to come back before a note at the bank would be due. He places a note for that amount before you. You sign it almost mechanically. Being firmly convinced that your friend is responsible and trustworthy, you indorse his notes as a "matter of course."

Unfortunately the speculation does not come to a head quite so soon as was expected, and another $10,000 note must be discounted to take up the last one when due. Before this note matures the speculation has proved an utter failure and all the money is lost. Does the loser tell his friend, the indorser, that he has lost half of his fortune? Not at all. He don't even mention that he has speculated at all. But he has got excited; the spirit of speculation has seized him; he sees others making large sums in this way (we seldom hear of the loser), and, like other speculators, he "looks for his money where he loses it." He tries again. Indorsing notes has become chronic with you, and at every loss he gets your signature for whatever amount he wants. Finally you discover your friend has lost all of his property and all of yours. You are overwhelmed with astonishment and grief, and you say "it is a hard thing; my friend here has ruined me," but, you should add, "I have also ruined him." If you had said in the first place, "I will accommodate you, but I never indorse without taking ample security," he could not have gone beyond the length of his tether, and he would never have been tempted away from his legitimate business. It is a very dangerous thing, therefore, at any time, to let people get possession of money too easily; it tempts them to hazardous speculations, if nothing more. Solomon truly said, "He that hateth suretiship is sure."

We sometimes see men who have obtained fortunes suddenly become poor. In many cases this arises from intemperance, and often from gaming and other bad habits. Frequently it occurs because a man has been engaged in "outside operations" of some sort. When he gets rich in his legitimate business, he is told of a grand speculation where he can make a score of thousands. He is constantly flattered by his friends, who tell him that he is born lucky, that everything he touches turns into gold. Now if he forgets that his economical habits, his rectitude of conduct and a personal attention to a business which he understood, caused his success in life, he will listen to the siren voices. He says:

"I will put in twenty thousand dollars. I have been lucky, and my good luck will soon bring me back sixty thousand dollars."

A few days elapse, and it is discovered he must put in ten thousand dollars more; soon after he is told "it is all right," but certain matters not foreseen require an advance of twenty thousand dollars more, which will bring him a rich harvest; but before the time comes around to realize the bubble bursts, he loses all he is possessed of, and then he learns what he ought to have known at the first, that however successful a man may be in his own business, if he turns from that and engages in a business which he don't understand, he is like Samson when shorn of his locks--his strength has departed, and he becomes like other men.

If a man has plenty of money, he ought to invest something in everything that appears to promise success, and that will probably benefit mankind; but let the sums thus invested be moderate in amount, and never let a man foolishly jeopardize a fortune that he has earned in a legitimate way by investing it in things in which he has had no experience.

When a man is in the right path he must persevere. I speak of this because there are some persons who are "born tired;" naturally lazy and possessing no self-reliance and no perseverance. But they can cultivate these qualities, as Davy Crockett said:

"This thing remember, when I am dead,
Be sure you are right, then go ahead."

It is this go-aheaditiveness, this determination not to let the "horrors" or the "blues" take possession of you, so as to make you relax your energies in the struggle for independence, which you must cultivate.

How many have almost reached the goal of their ambition, but, losing faith in themselves, have relaxed their energies, and the golden prize has been lost forever.

It is, no doubt, often true, as Shakespeare says:

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."

If you hesitate, some bolder hand will stretch out before you and get the prize. Remember the proverb of Solomon: "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich."

Perseverance is sometimes but another word for self-reliance. Many persons naturally look on the dark side of life, and borrow trouble. They are born so. Then they ask for advice, and they will be governed by one wind and blown by another, and cannot rely upon themselves. Until you can get so that you can rely upon yourself, you need not expect to succeed. I have known men, personally, who have met with pecuniary reverses, and absolutely committed suicide, because they thought they could never overcome their misfortune. But I have known others who have met more serious financial difficulties, and have bridged them over by simple perseverance, aided by a firm belief that they were doing justly, and that Providence would "overcome evil with good."

Learn something useful. Every man should make his son or daughter learn some trade or profession, so that in these days of changing fortunes--of being rich to-day and poor to-morrow--they may have something tangible to fall back upon. This provision might save many persons from misery, who by some unexpected turn of fortune have lost all their means.

Let hope predominate, but be not too visionary. Many persons are always kept poor because they are too visionary. Every project looks to them like certain success, and therefore they keep changing from one business to another, always in hot water, always "under the harrow." The plan of "counting the chickens before they are hatched" is an error of ancient date, but it does not seem to improve by age.

Do not scatter your powers. Engage in one kind of business only, and stick to it faithfully until you succeed, or until your experience shows that you should abandon it. A constant hammering on one nail will generally drive it home at last, so that it can be clinched. When a man's undivided attention is centred on one object, his mind will constantly be suggesting improvements of value, which would escape him if his brain was occupied by a dozen different subjects at once. Many a fortune has slipped through a man's fingers because he was engaged in too many occupations at a time. There is good sense in the old caution against having too many irons in the fire at once.

Be systematic. Men should be systematic in their business. A person who does business by rule, having a time and place for everything, doing his work promptly, will accomplish twice as much and with half the trouble of him who does it carelessly and slipshod. By introducing system into all your transactions, doing one thing at a time, always meeting appointments with punctuality, you will find leisure for pastime and recreation; whereas the man who only half does one thing, and then turns to something else, and half does that, will have his business at loose ends, and will never know when his day's work is done, for it never will be done. Of course, there is a limit to all these rules. We must try to preserve the happy medium, for there is such a thing as being too systematic. There are men and women, for instance, who put away things so carefully that they can never find them again. It is too much like the "red-tape" formality at Washington, and Mr. Dick-ens' "Circumlocution Office,"--all theory and no result.

To get rich is not always equivalent to being successful. "there are many rich poor men," while there are many others, honest and devout men and women, who have never possessed so much money as some rich persons squander in a week, but who are nevertheless really richer and happier than any man can ever be while he is a transgressor of the higher laws of his being.

The inordinate love of money, no doubt, may be and is "the root of all evil," but money itself, when properly used, is not only a "handy thing to have in the house," but affords the gratification of blessing our race by enabling its possessor to enlarge the scope of human happiness and human influence. The desire for wealth is nearly universal, and none can say it is not laudable, provided the possessor of it accepts its responsibilities, and uses it as a friend to humanity.

The history of money-getting, which is commerce, is a history of civilization, and wherever trade has flourished most, there, too, have art and science produced the noblest fruits. In fact, as a general thing, money-getters are the benefactors of our race. To them in a great measure, are we indebted for our institutions of learning and of art, our academies, colleges and churches. It is no argument against the desire for, or the possession of, wealth, to say that there are sometimes misers who hoard money only for the sake of hoarding, and who have no higher aspiration than to grasp everything which comes within their reach. As we have sometimes hypocrites in religion, and demagogues in politics, so there are occasionally misers among money-getters. These, however, are only exceptions to the general rule. But when, in this country, we find such a nuisance and stumbling block as a miser, we remember with gratitude that in America we have no laws of primogeniture, and that in the due course of nature the time will come when the hoarded dust will be scattered for the benefit of mankind. To all men and women, therefore, do I conscientiously say, make money honestly, and not otherwise, for Shakespeare has truly said, "He that wants money, means and content, is without three good friends."

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master. When you have it mastering you; when interest is constantly piling up against you, it will keep you down in the worst kind of slavery. But let money work for you, and you have the most devoted servant in the world. It is no "eye-servant." There is nothing animate or inanimate that will work so faithfully as money when placed at interest, well secured. It works night and day, and in wet or dry weather.

Do not let it work against you; if you do, there is no chance for success in life so far as money is concerned. John Randolph, the eccentric Virginian, once exclaimed in Congress, "Mr. Speaker, I have discovered the philosopher's stone: pay as you go." This is, indeed, nearer to the philosopher's stone than any alchemist has ever yet arrived.

Barnum and the newspapers had always been on the best of terms, and in nearly every instance the press praised the lecture in most unqualified terms. The following extract from the London Times is a fair sample of many notices which he received:

"We are bound to admit that Mr. Barnum is one of the most entertaining lecturers that ever addressed an audience on a theme universally intelligible. The appearance of Mr. Barnum, it should be added, has nothing of the 'charlatan' about it, but is that of the thoroughly respectable man of business; and he has at command a fund of dry humor that convulses everybody with laughter, while he himself remains perfectly serious. A sonorous voice and an admirably clear delivery complete his qualifications as a lecturer, in which capacity he is no 'humbug,' either in a higher or lower sense of the word."

During the year 1859 he delivered this lecture nearly one hundred times in London and in different parts of England, always with great success.

Remembering his experiences with Tom Thumb at Oxford and Cambridge, and knowing the fondness of the college men for joking, Barnum made up his mind to endure any amount of friendly chaff when he visited their cities.

He commenced at Cambridge, where he was greeted with a crowded house, composed largely of under-graduates. Soon after he began to speak, one of the young men called out: "Where is Joice Heth?" to which Barnum replied: "Young gentleman, please to restrain yourself till the close of the lecture, when I shall take great pleasure in affording you all the information I possess concerning your deceased relative."

This turned the laugh against the youthful inquirer, and kept the students quiet for a few moments. Questions of a similar character were occasionally propounded and as promptly answered, and on the whole the lecture was interrupted less than Barnum had anticipated, while the receipts were over one hundred pounds sterling.

At Oxford the hall was filled to suffocation half an hour before the time announced for the lecture to begin, and the sale of tickets was stopped.

Barnum therefore stepped upon the platform, and said: "Ladies and gentlemen: as every seat is now occupied and the ticket-office is closed, I propose to begin my lecture now and not keep you waiting till the advertised hour."

"Good for you, old Barnum,"--"Time is money,"--"Nothing like economy," yelled the audience. Holding up his hand for silence, Barnum proceeded:

"Young gentlemen, I have a word or two to say, in order that we may have a thorough understanding between ourselves at the outset. I see symptoms of a pretty jolly time here this evening, and you have paid me liberally for the single hour of my time, which is at your service. I am an old traveller and an old showman, and I like to please my patrons. Now, it is quite immaterial to me; you may furnish the entertainment for the hour, or I will endeavor to do so, or we will take portions of the time by turns --you supplying a part of the amusement and I a part--as we say sometimes in America, 'you pays your money, and you takes your choice.' "

This frankness pleased the students, who agreed to this unique proposition unhesitatingly.

The lecture proceeded for fifteen minutes, when a voice called out: "Come, old chap! you must be tired by this time. Hold up now till we sing Yankee Doodle." Whereupon they all joined in that honorable song with lusty good-will, Barnum meanwhile sitting down comfortably, to show them that he was quite satisfied with their manner of passing the time. When the song was concluded, the leader of the party said: "Now, Mr. Barnum, you may go ahead again."

The lecture went on, or rather A lecture, for Barnum began to adapt his remarks to the occasion. Every few minutes would come some interruption, which was always as much enjoyed by Barnum as by the audience. When the entertainment concluded, the young men crowded to the platform to shake hands with the speaker, declaring that they had had a "jolly good time," while the leader said: "Stay with us a week, Barnum, and we'll dine you, wine you, and give you full houses every night."

Barnum would have accepted the invitation had he not been announced to lecture in London the next evening, and he told the students so. They asked him all sorts of questions about America, the Museum and other shows, and expressed the hope that he would come out of his troubles all right.

At least a score of them invited him to breakfast with them the next morning, but he declined, until one young gentleman insisted on personal grounds. "My dear sir," said he, "you must breakfast with me. I have almost split my throat here to-night, and it is only fair for you to repay me by coming to see me in the morning." This appeal was irresistible, and Barnum agreed to come.

The boys were pleased with his nerve and good nature, but they confided to him that they liked better to get people angry. A few weeks before Howard Paul had left them in disgust, because they insisted on smoking when his wife was on the stage. They added that the entertainment was excellent, and Howard Paul might have made a thousand pounds if he had kept his temper.

Some time later Barnum was offered L1,200, or $6,000, for the copyright of his lecture; the offer was, however, refused.



The morning after the lecture in Manchester a gentleman named John Fish called at the hotel where Barnum was staying. He said that he had attended the lecture the evening before, and added that he was pretty well acquainted with the lecturer, having read his autobiography. He went on to say that he was joint proprietor with another gentleman in a cotton-mill near Manchester, "although," he said, "a few years ago I was working as a journeyman, and probably should have been at this time had I not read your book."

Observing Mr. Barnum's surprise, he continued:

"The fact is, Mr. Barnum, upon reading your autobiography, I thought I perceived you tried to make yourself out worse than you really were; for I discovered a pleasant spirit and a good heart under the rougher exterior in which you chose to present yourself to the public; but," he added, "after reading your life, I found myself in possession of renewed strength, and awakened energies and aspirations, and I said to myself, 'Why can't I go ahead and make money, as Barnum did? He commenced without money and succeeded; why may not I?' In this train of thought," he continued, "I went to a newspaper office and advertised for a partner with money to join me in establishing a cotton-mill. I had no applications, and, remembering your experiences when you had money and wanted a partner, I spent half a crown in a similar experiment. I advertised for a partner to join a man who had plenty of capital. Then I had lots of applicants ready to introduce me into all sorts of occupations, from that of a banker to that of a horsejockey or gambler, if I would only furnish the money to start with. After a while, I advertised again for a partner, and obtained one with money. We have a good mill. I devote myself closely to business, and have been very successful. I know every line in your book; so, indeed, do several members of my family; and I have conducted my business on the principles laid down in your published 'Rules for Money-making.' I find them correct principles; and, sir, I have sought this interview in order to thank you for publishing your autobiography, and to tell you that to that act of yours I attribute my present position in life."

"Your statement is certainly flattering," said Mr. Barnum, "and I am glad if I have been able in any manner, through my experiences, to aid you in starting in life. But I presume your genius would have found vent in time if I had not written the book."

"No, indeed, it would not," he replied, in an earnest tone; "I am sure I should have worked as a mill-hand all my life if it had not been for you. Oh, I have made no secret of it," he continued; "the commercial men with whom I deal know all about it; indeed, they call me 'Barnum' on 'change here in Manchester."

On one occasion, when General Tom Thumb exhibited in Bury, Mr. Fish closed his mill, and gave each of his employees a ticket to the exhibition; out of respect, as he said, to Barnum. On a subsequent occasion, when the little General visited England the last time, Mr. Fish invited him, his wife, Commodore Nutt, Minnie Warren, and the managers of "the show," to a splendid and sumptuous dinner at his house, which the distinguished little party enjoyed exceedingly.

Soon after his return to America, Barnum read an account of a French giant then exhibiting in Paris, and said to be over eight feet in height. As this was considerably taller than anything that the showman had ever beheld, he wrote to his friend Fish, who had expressed a wish to do him any service in his power, and requested him to go to Paris, and, by actual measurement, find out the exact height of the giant. He inclosed an offer, arranging the prices on a sliding scale, commencing at eight feet, and descending to seven feet two inches, for if he were not taller than that he was not to be desired.

Mr. Fish put a two-foot rule in his pocket, and started for Paris, where, after several days' delay and much trouble beside, he finally succeeded in gaining an interview. The giant was shown Barnum's letter, and read the tempting offers made for his services, provided he measured eight feet, or within six inches of that height.

"Oh, I measure over eight feet," said he.

"Very likely," responded Mr. Fish, "but you see my orders are to measure you."

"There's no need of that; you can see for yourself," stretching himself up a few inches by aid of a peculiar knack which giants and dwarfs possess to increase or diminish their apparent stature.

"No doubt you are right," persisted Mr. Fish, "but you see I must obey orders, and if I am not permitted to measure you I shall not engage you."

"Well," said the giant, "if you can't take my word for it, look at that door. You see my head is more than two feet above the top (giving his neck a severe stretch); just measure the door."

But Mr. Fish refused. The giant was now desperate, and, stretching himself up to his full height, exclaimed: "Well, be quick! Put your rule to my feet and measure me; but hurry up, please!"

Mr. Fish regarded him coolly. "Look here!" said he, "this sort of thing won't do, you know. I don't understand this contrivance around the soles of your boots, but it seems to me you've got a set of springs there which aids your height when you desire it. Now I will not stand any more nonsense. If I engage you at all, you must first take off your boots, and lie flat upon your back in the middle of the floor."

The giant protested, but Mr. Fish was firm, and at last he slowly took off his coat and lay down on the floor. Mr. Fish applied his rule, and to his own astonishment and the giant's indignation the latter proved to be barely seven feet one and one-half inches. So he was not engaged at all.

Some time afterwards Barnum wrote to his friend and asked his permission to put him into a new book then in course of preparation. He wrote in return the following characteristic letter:

Had I made a fortune of L100,000 I should have been proud of a place in your Autobiography; but as I have only been able to make (here he named a sum which in this country would be considered almost a fortune), I feel I should be out of place in your pages; at all events, if you mention me at all, draw it mildly, if you please.

The American war has made sad havoc in our trade, and it is only by close attention to business that I have lately been at all successful. I have built a place for one thousand looms, and have, as you know, put in a pair of engines, which I have named "Barnum" and "Charity." Each engine has its name engraved on two large brass plates at either end of the cylinder, which has often caused much mirth when I have explained the circumstances to visitors. I started and christened "Charity" on the 14th of January last, and she has saved me L12 per month in coals ever since. The steam from the boiler goes first to "Charity" (she is high pressure), and "Barnum" only gets the steam after she has done with it. He has to work at low pressure (a condensing engine), and the result is a saving. Barnum was extravagant when he took steam direct, but since I fixed Charity betwixt him and the boiler, he can only get what she gives him. This reminds me that you state in your "Life" you could always make money, but formerly did not save it. Perhaps you never took care of it till Charity became Chancellor of Exchequer. When I visited you at the Bull Hotel, in Blackburn, you pointed to General Tom Thumb, and said: "That is my piece of goods; I have sold it hundreds of thousands of times, and have never yet delivered it!" That was ten years ago, in 1858. If I had been doing the same with my pieces of calico, I must have been wealthy by this time; but I have been hammering at one (cotton) nail several months, and, as it did not offer to clinch, I was almost tempted to doubt one of your "rules," and thought I would drive at some other nail; but, on reflection, I knew I understood cotton better than anything else, and so I back up your rule and stick to cotton, not doubting it will be all right and successful.

Mr. Fish was one of the large class of English manufacturers who suffered seriously from the effects of the rebellion in the United States. As an Englishman, he could not have a patriot's interest in the progress of that terrible struggle; but he made a practical exhibition of sympathy for the suffering soldiers, in a pleasant and characteristic manner.

At the great Sanitary Fair in New York, during the war, Mr. Fish sent two monster "Simuel cakes," covered with miniature forts, cannon, armies, and all the panoply of war, which attracted great attention from every one present.



In 1859, Barnum returned to the United States. During his trip abroad he had secured many novelties for the Museum, the Albino Family, Thiodon's Mechanical Theatre, and others.

These afforded him a liberal commission, and he had beside made considerable money from the Tom Thumb exhibitions and his lectures.

All this, his wife's income, as well as a large sum derived from the sale of some of her property, was faithfully devoted to the one object of their lives--paying off the clock debts.

Mrs. Barnum and her daughter, Pauline, had either boarded in Bridgeport or lived in a small house in the suburbs during the entire four years of struggle. The land purchased by Mrs. Barnum at the assignee's sale in East Bridgeport had increased in value meanwhile, and they felt justified in borrowing on it, some of the single lots were sold, and all this money went toward the discharge of the debts.

At last, in March, 1860, all the clock indebtedness was extinguished, except $20,000, which Barnum bound himself to take up within a certain time, his friend James D. Johnson guaranteeing his bond to that effect.

On the seventeenth day of March, Messrs. Butler and Greenwood signed an agreement to sell and deliver to Barnum on the following Saturday their entire good-will and interest in the Museum collection. This fact was thoroughly circulated, and blazing posters, placards, and advertisements announced that "Barnum is on his feet again." It was furthermore stated that the Museum would be closed for one week, opening March 31st, under the management and proprietorship of its original owner. It was also promised that Barnum would address the audience on the night of closing.

The Museum, decked in its holiday dress of flags and banners, was crowded to its utmost capacity when Barnum made his appearance. His reception was an enthusiastic one, cheers and shouts rent the air, and tears filled the showman's eyes as he thought of this triumphant conclusion of his four years' struggle.

Recovering himself, he bowed his acknowledgments for the reception, and addressed the audience as follows:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I should be more or less than human, if I could meet this unexpected and overwhelming testimonial at your hands, without the deepest emotion. My own personal connection with the Museum is now resumed, and I avail myself of the circumstance to say why it is so. Never did I feel stronger in my worldly prosperity than in September, 1855. Three months later I was so deeply embarrassed that I felt certain of nothing, except the uncertainty of everything. A combination of singular efforts and circumstances tempted me to put faith in a certain clock manufacturing company, and I placed my signature to papers which ultimately broke me down. After nearly five years of hard struggle to keep my head above water, I have touched bottom at last, and here to-night I am happy to announce that I have waded ashore. Every clock debt of which I have any knowledge has been provided for. Perhaps, after the troubles and turmoils I have experienced, I should feel no desire to re-engage in the excitements of business; but a man like myself, less than fifty years of age, and enjoying robust health, is scarcely old enough to be embalmed and put in a glass case in the Museum as one of its million of curiosities. 'It is better to wear out than rust out.' Besides, if a man of active temperament is not busy, he is apt to get into mischief. To avoid evil, therefore, and since business activity is a necessity of my nature, here I am, once more, in the Museum, and among those with whom I have been so long and so pleasantly identified. I am confident of a cordial welcome, and hence feel some claim to your indulgence while I briefly allude to the means of my present deliverance from utter financial ruin. Need I say, in the first place, that I am somewhat indebted to the forbearance of generous creditors. In the next place, permit me to speak of sympathizing friends, whose volunteered loans and exertions vastly aided my rescue. When my day of sorrow came, I first paid or secured every debt I owed of a personal nature. This done, I felt bound in honor to give up all of my property that remained toward liquidating my 'clock debts.' I placed it in the hands of trustees and receivers for the benefit of all the 'clock' creditors. But at the forced sale of my Connecticut real estate, there was a purchaser behind the screen, of whom the world had little knowledge. In the day of my prosperity I made over to my wife much valuable property, including the lease of this Museum building--a lease then having about twenty-two years to run, and enhanced in value to more than double its original worth. I sold the Museum collection to Messrs. Greenwood & Butler, subject to my wife's separate interest in the lease, and she has received more than $80,000 over and above the sums paid to the owners of the building. Instead of selfishly applying this amount to private purposes, my family lived with a due regard to economy, and the savings (strictly belonging to my wife) were devoted to buying in portions of my estate at the assignees' sales and to purchasing 'clock notes' bearing my indorsements. The Christian name of my wife is Charity. I may well acknowledge, therefore, that I am not only a proper 'subject of charity,' but that 'without Charity, I am nothing.'

"But, ladies and gentlemen, while Charity thus labored in my behalf, Faith and Hope were not idle. I have been anything but indolent during the last four years. Driven from pillar to post, and annoyed beyond description by all sorts of legal claims and writs, I was perusing protests and summonses by day, and dreaming of clocks run down by night. My head was ever whizzing with dislocated cog-wheels and broken main-springs; my whole mind (and my credit) was running upon tick, and everything pressing on me like a dead weight.

"In this state of affairs I felt that I was of no use on this side of the Atlantic, so, giving the pendulum a swing, and seizing time by the forelock, I went to Europe. There I furtively pulled the wires of several exhibitions, among which that of Tom Thumb may be mentioned for example. I managed a variety of musical and commercial speculations in Great Britain, Germany, and Holland. These enterprises, together with the net profits of my public lectures, enabled me to remit large sums to confidential agents for the purchase of my obligations. In this manner, I quietly extinguished, little by little, every dollar of my clock liabilities. I could not have achieved this difficult feat, however, without the able assistance of enthusiastic friends--and among the chief of them let me gratefully acknowledge the invaluable services of Mr. James D. Johnson, a gentleman of wealth, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Other gentlemen have been generous with me. Some have loaned me large sums without security, and have placed me under obligations which must ever command my honest gratitude "but Mr. Johnson has been a 'friend in deed,' for he has been truly a 'friend in need.'

"You must not infer, from what I have said, that I have completely recovered from the stunning blow to which I was subjected four years ago. I have lost more in the way of tens of thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands, than I care to remember. A valuable portion of my real estate in Connecticut, however, has been preserved, and as I feel all the ardor of twenty years ago, and the prospect here is so flattering, my heart is animated with the hope of ultimately, by enterprise and activity, obliterating unpleasant reminiscences, and retrieving the losses of the past. Experience, too, has taught me not only that, even in the matter of money, 'enough is as good as a feast,' but that there are, in this world, some things vastly better than the Almighty Dollar! Possibly I may contemplate, at times, the painful day when I said 'Othello's occupation's gone'; but I shall the more frequently cherish the memory of this moment, when I am permitted to announce that Richard's himself again.'

"Many people have wondered that a man considered so acute as myself should have been deluded into embarrassments like mine, and not a few have declared, in short meter, that 'Barnum was a fool.' I can only reply that I never made pretensions to the sharpness of a pawnbroker, and I hope I shall never so entirely lose confidence in human nature as to consider every man a scamp by instinct, or a rogue by necessity. 'It is better to be deceived sometimes, than to distrust always,' says Lord Bacon, and I agree with him.

"Experience is said to be a hard schoolmaster, but I should be sorry to feel that this great lesson in adversity has not brought forth fruits of some value. I needed the discipline this tribulation has given me, and I really feel, after all, that this, like many other apparent evils, was only a blessing in disguise. Indeed, I may mention that the very clock factory which I built in Bridgeport for the purpose of bringing hundreds of workmen to that city, has been purchased and quadrupled in size by the Wheeler & Wilson Sewing-Machine Company, and is now filled with intelligent New England mechanics, whose families add two thousand to the population, and who are doing a great work in building up and beautifying that flourishing city. So that the same concern which prostrated me seems destined as a most important agent toward my recuperation. I am certain that the popular sympathy has been with me from the beginning; and this, together with a consciousness of rectitude, is more than an offset to all the vicissitudes to which I have been subjected.

"In conclusion, I beg to assure you and the public that my chief pleasure, while health and strength are spared me, will be to cater for your and their healthy amusement and instruction. In future, such capabilities as I possess will be devoted to the maintenance of this Museum as a popular place of family resort, in which all that is novel and interesting shall be gathered from the four quarters of the globe, and which ladies and children may visit at all times unattended, without danger of encountering anything of an objectionable nature. The dramas introduced in the Lecture Room will never contain a profane expression or a vulgar allusion; on the contrary, their tendency will always be to encourage virtue and frown upon vice.

"I have established connections in Europe, which will enable me to produce here a succession of interesting novelties otherwise inaccessible. Although I shall be personally present much of the time, and hope to meet many of my old acquaintances, as well as to form many new ones, I am sure you will be glad to learn that I have re-secured the services of one of the late proprietors, and the active manager of this Museum, Mr. John Greenwood, Jr. As he is a modest gentleman, who would be the last to praise himself, allow me to add that he is one to whose successful qualities as a caterer for the popular entertainments, the crowds that have often filled this building may well bear testimony. But, more than this, he is the unobtrusive one to whose integrity, diligence, and devotion I owe much of my present position of self-congratulation. Mr. Greenwood will hereafter act as assistant manager, while his late co-partner, Mr. Butler, has engaged in another branch of business. Once more, thanking you all for your kind welcome, I bid you, till the re-opening, 'an affectionate adieu.' "

The speech was received with wild enthusiasm, and after the re-opening of the Museum the number of visitors was at once almost doubled.

Among the many newspaper congratulations he received, none gave Barnum more pleasure than a poem from his old admirer on the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette.


Barnum, your hand! The struggle o'er,

You face the world and ask no favor; You stand where you have stood before,

The old salt hasn't lost its savor. You now can laugh with friends, at foes'

Ne'er heeding Mrs. Grundy's tattle; You've dealt and taken sturdy blows,

Regardless of the rabble's prattle.

Not yours the heart to harbor ill

'Gainst those who've dealt in trivial jesting; You pass them with the same good will

Erst shown when they their wit were testing. You're the same Barnum that we knew,

You're good for years, still fit for labor, Be as of old, be bold and true,

Honest as man, as friend, as neighbor.

At about this period, the following poem was published in a Pottsville, Pa., paper, and copied by many journals of the-day:


Companions! fill your glasses round

And drink a health to one
Who has few coming after him,

To do as he has done;
Who made a fortune for himself,

Made fortunes, too, for many,
Yet wronged no bosom of a sigh,

No pocket of a penny.
Come! shout a gallant chorus,

And make the glasses ring,
Here's health and luck to Barnum!

The Exhibition King.

Who lured the Swedish Nightingale

To Western woods to come?
Who prosperous and happy made

The life of little Thumb?
Who oped Amusement's golden door

So cheaply to the crowd,
And taught Morality to smile

On all HIS stage allowed?
Come! shout a gallant chorus,

Until the glasses ring--
Here's health and luck to Barnum!

The Exhibition King.

And when the sad reverses came,

As come they may to all,
Who stood a Hero, bold and true,

Amid his fortune's fall?
Who to the utmost yielded up

What Honor could not keep,
Then took the field of life again

With courage calm and deep?
Come! shout a gallant chorus,

Until the glasses dance--
Here's health and luck to Barnum,

The Napoleon of Finance

Yet, no--OUR hero would not look

With smiles on such a cup;
Throw out the wine--with water clear,

Fill the pure crystal up
Then rise, and greet with deep respect,

The courage he has shown,
And drink to him who well deserves

A seat on Fortune's throne.
Here's health and luck to Barnum!

An ELBA he has seen,
And never may his map of life

Display a ST HELENE!

It is of interest to observe that the phrase "Napoleon of Finance," which has in recent years been applied to several Wall Street speculators, was first coined in honorable description of Phineas T. Barnum, because of his honesty as well as his signal success.



The famous old American Museum was now the centre of Barnum's interests, and he devoted himself to its development with such energy as never before. His enterprise in securing new curiosities, and his skill in presenting them to the public in the most attractive light, surpassed all previous efforts. To his office, as to their Mecca, flocked all the "freaks" of the land, and all who possessed any objects of rare or marvelous nature. Foremost among these visitors was one veteran frontiersman, who had attained--and well deserved--much fame as a fighter of the most savage wild beasts. His name was James C. Adams, but he was universally known as "Grizzly Adams," from the fact that he had captured a great many grizzly bears at the risk and cost of fearful encounters and perils. He was brave, and with his bravery there was enough of the romantic in his nature to make him a real hero. For many years a hunter and trapper in the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains, he acquired a recklessness, which, added to his natural invincible courage, rendered him one of the most striking men of the age, and he was emphatically a man of pluck. A month after Barnum had re-purchased the Museum, Adams arrived in New York with his famous collection of California animals, captured by himself, consisting of twenty or thirty immense grizzly bears, at the head of which stood "Old Samson," together with several wolves, half a dozen different species of California bears, California lions, tigers, buffalo, elk, and "Old Neptune," the great sea-lion from the Pacific.

Old Adams had trained all these monsters so that with him they were as docile as kittens, though many of the most ferocious among them would attack a stranger without hesitation, if he came within their grasp. In fact, the training of these animals was no fool's play, as Old Adams learned to his cost, for the terrific blows which he received from time to time, while teaching them "docility," finally cost him his life.

Adams called on Barnum immediately on his arrival in New York. He was dressed in his hunter's suit of buckskin, trimmed with the skins and bordered with the hanging tails of small Rocky Mountain animals; his cap consisting of the skin of a wolf's head and shoulders, from which depended several tails, and under which appeared his stiff bushy, gray hair and his long, white, grizzly beard; in fact, Old Adams was quite as much of a show as his beasts. They had come around Cape Horn on the clipper ship "Golden Fleece," and a sea voyage of three and a half months had probably not added much to the beauty or neat appearance of the old bear-hunter. During their conversation Grizzly Adams took off his cap, and showed Barnum the top of his head. His skull was literally broken in. It had, on various occasions, been struck by the fearful paws of his grizzly students; and the last blow, from the bear called "General Fremont," had laid open his brain so that its workings were plainly visible. Barnum remarked that he thought it was a dangerous wound and might possibly prove fatal.

"Yes," replied Adams, "that will fix me out. It had nearly healed; but old Fremont opened it for me, for the third or fourth time, before I left California, and he did his business so thoroughly, I'm a used-up man. However, I reckon I may live six months or a year yet." This was spoken as coolly as if he had been talking about the life of a dog.

This extraordinary man had come to see Barnum about the "California Menagerie," of which he, Adams, was the owner. Barnum had shortly before, however, purchased one-half interest in it from a man who had claimed to be Adams's equal partner. This Adams disputed, declaring that he had merely borrowed from the man some money on the security of the show, that the man was not his partner, and that he had no right to sell one-half or any portion of the menagerie. As a matter of fact, however, the man did have a bill of sale for one-half of the show, and Adams was soon convinced that Barnum's purchase was entirely legitimate. The result was that Barnum and Adams formed a regular partnership, the former to attend to all business affairs, the latter to exhibit the animals. The show was opened in a huge canvas tent on Broadway, at the corner of Thirteenth Street.

On the morning of opening, a band of music preceded a procession of animal cages down Broadway and up the Bowery, old Adams, dressed in his hunting costume, heading the line, with a platform wagon on which were placed three immense grizzly bears, two of which he held by chains, while he was mounted on the back of the largest grizzly, which stood in the centre and was not secured in any manner whatever. This was the bear known as "General Fremont," and so docile had he become that Adams said he had used him as a pack-bear, to carry his cooking and hunting apparatus through the mountains for six months, and had ridden him hundreds of miles. But apparently docile as were many of these animals, there was not one among them that would not occasionally give Adams a sly blow or a sly bite when a good chance offered; hence old Adams was but a wreck of his former self, and expressed pretty nearly the truth when he said:

"Mr. Barnum, I am not the man I was five years ago. Then I felt able to stand the hug of any grizzly living, and was always glad to encounter, single handed, any sort of an animal that dared present himself. But I have been beaten to a jelly, torn almost limb from limb, and nearly chawed up and spit out by these treacherous grizzly bears. However, I am good for a few months yet, and by that time I hope we shall gain enough to make my old woman comfortable, for I have been absent from her some years."

His wife came from Massachusetts to New York and nursed him. Dr. Johns dressed his wounds every day, and not only told Adams he could never recover, but assured his friends that probably a very few weeks would lay him in his grave. But Adams was as firm as adamant and as resolute as a lion. Among the thousands who saw him dressed in his grotesque hunter's suit, and witnessed the seeming vigor with which he "performed" the savage monsters, beating and whipping them into apparently the most perfect docility, probably not one suspected that this rough, fierce-looking, powerful semi-savage, as he appeared to be, was suffering intense pain from his broken skull and fevered system, and that nothing kept him from stretching himself on his death-bed but his most indomitable and extraordinary will.

Adams was an inveterate story-teller, and often "drew the long bow" with daring hand. He loved to astonish people with extraordinary tales, which were sheer inventions, but which no one could disprove. He pretended, too, to have been everywhere and to have seen everything. This weakness made him good game for Barnum, who determined to expose his foibles to him at the first opportunity. The opportunity soon came. One day, amid the innumerable caravan of cranks that moved to the weird realm of Barnum's wonder-house, there appeared a fat, stolid German, carrying in his hand a small basket, which he guarded with jealous care.

"I have come," he said, "to see if you would not like some golden pigeons to buy?"

"Yes," Barnum replied, "I would like a flock of golden pigeons, if I could buy them for their weight in silver; for there are no 'golden pigeons' in existence, unless they are made from the pure metal."

"You shall some golden pigeons alive see," he replied, at the same time entering the office, and closing the door after him. He then removed the lid from the basket, and sure enough, there were snugly ensconced a pair of beautiful, living ruff-necked pigeons, as yellow as saffron, and as bright as a double-eagle fresh from the Mint.

Barnum was somewhat staggered at this sight, and quickly asked the man where those birds came from. A dull, lazy smile crawled over the sober face of the German visitor, as he replied in a slow, guttural tone of voice:

"What you think yourself?"

Catching his meaning, Barnum quickly replied:

"I think it is a humbug."

"Of course, I know you will so say; because you 'forstha' such things; so I shall not try to humbug you; I have them myself colored."

It then came out that the man was a chemist, and that he had invented a process by which he could dye the feathers of living birds any color he pleased, retaining at the same time all the natural gloss of the plumage. Barnum at once closed a bargain with him for the birds, for ten dollars, and then put them in his "Happy Family" at the Museum. He marked them "Golden Pigeons, from California," and then gleefully awaited Adams' next visit, feeling sure that the old fellow would be completely taken in.

Sure enough, next morning Adams came along, saw the pigeons, looked at them earnestly for a few minutes, and then went straight to the office.

"Mr. Barnum," said he, "you must let me have those California pigeons."

"I can't spare them," said Barnum.

"But you must spare them. All the birds and animals from California ought to be together. You own half of my California menagerie, and you must lend me those pigeons."

"Mr. Adams, they are too rare and valuable a bird to be hawked about in that manner."

"Oh, don't be a fool," replied Adams. "Rare bird, indeed! Why, they are just as common in California as any other pigeon! I could have brought a hundred of them from San Francisco, if I had thought of it."

"But why did you not think of it?" with a suppressed smile.

"Because they are so common there," said Adams. "I did not think they would be any curiosity here."

Barnum was ready to burst with laughter to see how readily Adams swallowed the bait, but, maintaining the most rigid gravity, he replied:

"Oh! well, Mr. Adams, if they are really so common in California, you had probably better take them, and you may write over and have half a dozen pairs sent to me for the Museum."

A few weeks later Barnum, being in the California Menagerie, noticed that something ailed the pigeons. They had a sadly-mottled appearance. Their feathers had grown out, and they were half white. Adams had not yet noticed it, being too busy with his bears. But Barnum called him at once to the pigeon cage.

"Look here, Adams," he said, "I'm afraid you are going to lose your Golden Pigeons. They must be very sick. Just see how pale they look! Good thing they're so common in California, so you can easily get some more, eh?"

Adams looked at them a moment in astonishment, then turning to Barnum, and seeing that he could not suppress a smile, he indignantly exclaimed:

"Blast the Golden Pigeons! You had better take them back to the Museum. You can't humbug me with your painted pigeons!"

This was too much, and Barnum laughed till he cried, to witness the mixed look of astonishment and vexation which marked the grizzly features of old Adams.

After the exhibition on Thirteenth Street and Broadway had been open six weeks, the doctor insisted that Adams should sell out his share in the animals and settle up his worldly affairs, for he assured him that he was growing weaker every day, and his earthly existence must soon terminate. "I shall live a good deal longer than you doctors think for," replied Adams, doggedly; and then, seeming after all to realize the truth of the doctor's assertion, he turned and said: "Well, Mr. Barnum, you must buy me out."

A bargain was soon concluded. Arrangements had been made to exhibit the bears in Connecticut and Massachusetts during the summer, in connection with the Museum, and Adams insisted that Barnum should engage him to travel for the season and manage the bears. He offered to do it for $60 a week and expenses. Barnum replied that he would gladly make such an arrangement, but he feared Adams was not strong enough to stand it.

"You are growing weaker every day," he said; "and would better go to your home and rest."

"What will you give me extra if I will travel and exhibit the bears every day for ten weeks?" added old Adams, eagerly.

"Five hundred dollars."

"Done!" exclaimed Adams, "I will do it, so draw up an agreement to that effect at once. But mind you, draw it payable to my wife, for I may be too weak to attend to business after the ten weeks are up, and if I perform my part of the contract, I want her to get the $500 without any trouble."

Barnum drew up a contract to pay him $60 per week for his services, and if he continued to exhibit the bears for ten consecutive weeks, to hand him, or his wife, $500 extra.

"You have lost your $500!" exclaimed Adams on taking the contract; "for I am bound to live and earn it."

"I hope you may, with all my heart, and a hundred years more if you desire it," replied Barnum.

"Call me a fool if I don't earn the $500!" exclaimed Adams, with a triumphant laugh.

The "show" started off in a few days, and at the end of a fortnight Barnum met it at Hartford, Connecticut.

"Well" said he, "Adams, you seem to stand it pretty well. I hope you and your wife are comfortable?"

"Yes," he replied with a laugh; "and you may as well try to be comfortable, too, for your $500 is a goner."

"All right," Barnum replied, "I hope you will grow better every day."

But the case was hopeless. Adams was dying. When Barnum met him three weeks later at New Bedford his eyes were glassy and his hands trembling, but his courage and will were strong as ever.

"This hot weather tells on me," he said, "but I'll last the ten weeks and more, and get your $500."

Barnum urged him to quit work, to take half of the $500 and go home. But, no. He would not listen to it. And he did actually serve through the whole ten weeks, and got the $500; remarking, as he pocketed the cash,

"Barnum, it's too bad you're a teetotaler, for I'd like to stand treat with you on this."

When Adams set out on this last tour, Barnum had a fine new hunting-suit made of beaver-skins. He had procured it for Herr Driesbach, the animal tamer, whom he had engaged to take Adams' place whenever the latter should give out. Adams had asked him to loan him the suit, to wear occasionally when he had great audiences, as his own suit was badly worn. Barnum did so; and at the end of the engagement, as he received the $500, Adams said:

"Mr. Barnum, I suppose you are going to give me this new hunting-dress."

"Oh, no," Barnum replied, "I got that for your successor, who will exhibit the bears to-morrow, besides, you have no possible use for it."

"Now, don't be mean, but lend me the dress, if you won't give it to me, for I want to wear it home to my native village."

Barnum could not refuse the poor old man anything, and he therefore replied:

"Well, Adams, I will lend you the dress, but you will send it back to me?"

"Yes, when I have done with it," he replied, with an evident chuckle of triumph.

Barnum thought, "he will soon be done with it," and replied: "That's all right."

A new idea evidently struck Adams, for, with a brightening look of satisfaction, he said:

"Now, Barnum, you have made a good thing out of the California menagerie, and so have I; but you will make a heap more. So if you won't give me this new hunter's dress, just draw a little writing, and sign it, saying that I may wear it until I have done with it."

Barnum knew that in a few days, at longest, he would be "done" with this world altogether, and, to gratify him, he cheerfully drew and signed the paper.

"Come, old Yankee, I've got you this time--see. if I hadn't!" exclaimed Adams, with a broad grin, as he took the paper.

Barnum smiled, and said:

"All right, my dear fellow; the longer you live the better I shall like it,"

They parted, and Adams went to Charlton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, where his wife and daughter lived. He took at once to his bed, and never rose from it again. The excitement had passed away, and his vital energies could accomplish no more, The fifth day after arriving home, the physician told him he could not live until the next morning. He received the announcement in perfect calmness, and with the most apparent indifference; then, turning to his wife, with a smile he requested her to have him buried in the new hunting-suit. "For," said he, "Barnum agreed to let me have it until I have done with it, and I was determined to fix his flint this time. He shall never see that dress again." That dress was indeed the shroud in which he was entombed.

After Adams' death, Barnum incorporated the California Menagerie with the American Museum, for a time, but afterward sold most of the animals. The Museum was now most prosperous, and Barnum was making steady progress toward paying off the debts that burdened him.

In the fall of 1860 the Museum was visited by the Prince of Wales and his suite, in response to an invitation from Barnum. Unfortunately, Barnum himself had gone to Bridgeport that very morning, the invitation not having been accepted until about an hour before the visit. Mr. Greenwood, the manager, when he heard that the Prince was coming, caused the performance in the lecture-room to be commenced half an hour before the usual time, so as to clear the floors of a portion of the crowd, in order that he might have a better opportunity to examine the curiosities. When the Prince arrived, there was a great crowd outside the Museum, and hundreds more were soon added to the numbers assembled within the building. He was received by Mr. Greenwood, and immediately conducted to the second story, where the first object of interest pointed out was the "What Is It?" in which his Royal Highness manifested much curiosity. In compliance with his wish, the keeper went through the regular account of the animal. Here, also, the party were shown the Albino family, concerning whom they made inquiries. The Siamese twins, the sea-lions, and the seal were also pointed out, and some of the animals were fed in the presence of the Prince at his own request. He was conducted through the building, and his attention was called to many objects of special interest. At the close of a short visit, the Prince asked for Mr. Barnum, and regretted that he had not an opportunity of seeing him also. "We have," he said, "missed the most interesting feature of the establishment."

A few days later Barnum called on the Prince in Boston and was cordially received. The Prince was much interested and amused at Barnum's reminiscences of the visits to Buckingham Palace with Tom Thumb. He told Barnum that he had been much pleased with the Museum, and had left his autograph there as a memento of his visit.



It was now about five years since Barnum had had a settled home. The necessities of his business combined with the adversities of fortune had kept him knocking about from pillar to post. Sometimes they lived in boarding-houses, and sometimes they kept house in temporary quarters. Mr. and Mrs. Barnum were now alone, two of their daughters being married and the third being away at a boarding-school. Mrs. Barnum's health was much impaired, and it was desirable that she should have a comfortable and permanent home. Accordingly, in 1860, Barnum built a pleasant house at Bridgeport, next to that of his daughter Caroline and not far from the ruins of Iranistan.

His unfortunate enterprise in the clock business had not discouraged him from further business ventures. His pet city, East Bridgeport, was growing rapidly. An enormous sewing-machine factory had been built, employing a thousand workmen. Other large factories were springing up, many private residences were being erected, and there was a great demand for houses of all kinds, but especially for small cottages suitable for mechanics and other laboring men. The farm-land which Barnum had purchased only a few years before was rapidly becoming a city.

It was characteristic of Barnum to place himself in the forefront in this city-building movement, and in the double role of speculator and public benefactor. The enterprise which he undertook was calculated both to help those who were willing to help themselves to obtain independent homes, and at the same time to pay a handsome profit to Mr. Barnum. His scheme was described by himself as follows in the Bridgeport Standard:


"There is a demand at the present moment for two hundred more dwelling-houses in East Bridgeport. It is evident that if the money expended in rent can be paid towards the purchase of a house and lot, the person so paying will in a few years own the house he lives in, instead of always remaining a tenant. In view of this fact, I propose to loan money at six per cent. to any number, not exceeding fifty, industrious, temperate and respectable individuals, who desire to build their own houses.

"They may engage their own builders, and build according to any reasonable plan (which I may approve), or I will have it done for them at the lowest possible rate, without a farthing profit to myself or agent, I putting the lot at a fair price and advancing eighty per cent. of the entire cost; the other party to furnish twenty per cent. in labor, material, or money, and they may pay me in small sums weekly, monthly, or quarterly, any amount not less than three per cent. per quarter, all of which is to apply on the money advanced until it is paid.

"It has been ascertained that by purchasing building materials for cash, and in large quantities, nice dwellings, painted, and furnished with green blinds, can be erected at a cost of $1,500 or $1,800, for house, lot, fences, etc., all complete, and if six or eight friends prefer to join in erecting a neat block of houses with verandas in front, the average cost need not exceed about $1,300 per house and lot. If, however, some parties would prefer a single or double house that would cost $2,500 to $3,000, I shall be glad to meet their views.

"P. T. BARNUM. "February 16, 1864."

On this the editor of the paper commented as follows:

"AN ADVANTAGEOUS OFFER.--We have read with great pleasure Mr. Barnum's advertisement, offering assistance to any number of persons, not exceeding fifty, in the erection of dwelling-houses. This plan combines all the advantages and none of the objections of building associations. Any individual who can furnish in cash, labor, or material, one-fifth only of the amount requisite for the erection of a dwelling-house, can receive the other four-fifths from Mr. Barnum, rent his house, and by merely paying what may be considered as only a fair rent, for a few years, find himself at last the owner, and all further payments cease. In the meantime, he can be making such inexpensive improvements in his property as would greatly increase its market value, and besides have the advantage of any rise in the value of real estate. It is not often that such a generous offer is made to working men. It is a loan on what would be generally considered inadequate security, at six per cent., at a time when a much better use of money can be made by any capitalist. It is therefore generous. Mr. Barnum may make money by the operation. Very well, perhaps he will, but if he does, it will be by making others richer, not poorer; by helping those who need assistance, not by hindering them, and we can only wish that every rich man would follow such a noble example, and thus, without injury to themselves, give a helping hand to those who need it. Success to the enterprise. We hope that fifty men will be found before the week ends, each of whom desires in such a manner to obtain a roof which he can call his own."

A considerable number of men immediately availed themselves of Barnum's offer, and succeeded after a time in paying for their homes without much effort. There were many others, however, who did not fully accept his proposals. They would not sign the temperance pledge, and they would not give up the use of tobacco. The result was, that they continued month after month and year after year to pay rent on hired tenements. "The money they have expended for whiskey and tobacco," remarked Mr. Barnum, moralizing upon this topic, "would have given them homes of their own if it had been devoted to that object, and their positions, socially and morally, would have been far better. How many infatuated men there are in all parts of the country who could now be independent, and even owners of their own carriages, but for their slavery to these miserable habits!"

This East Bridgeport land was originally purchased by Barnum at an average cost of about $200 per acre. A few years after the above-described enterprise, a considerable part of it was assessed in the tax list at from $3,000 to $4,000 per acre. It was presently annexed to the city, and connected with it by three bridges across the river. A horse-railroad was also built, of which Mr. Barnum was one of the original stockholders.

This part of the city was laid out by General Noble and Mr. Barnum, and various streets were named after members of the two families. Hence there are Noble street, Barnum street, William street (General Noble's first name), Harriet street (Mrs. Noble's name), Hallett street (Mrs. Barnum's maiden name), and Caroline street, Helen street, and Pauline street, the names of Barnum's three daughters. A public school was also named for Mr. Barnum. The streets were lined with beautiful shade trees, set out by thousands by Barnum; and Noble, and the same gentlemen gave to the city its beautiful Washington Park of seven acres.



The year 1861 was notable in the history of the American Museum. Barnum heard that some fishermen at the mouth of the St. Lawrence river had captured alive a fine white whale. He was also told that such an animal, if packed in a box filled with sea-weed and salt water, could be transported over land a considerable distance without danger to its life or health. He accordingly determined to secure and place on exhibition in his Museum a couple of live whales. So he built in the basement of the building a tank of masonry, forty feet long and eighteen feet wide, to contain them. Then he went to the St. Lawrence river on a whaling expedition. His objective point was the Isle au Coudres, which was populated by French Canadians. There he engaged a party of twenty-four fishermen, and instructed them to capture for him, alive and unharmed, a couple of the white whales which at almost any time were to be seen in the water not far from the island.

The plan decided upon was to plant in the river a "kraal," composed of stakes driven down in the form of a V, leaving the broad end open for the whales to enter. This was done in a shallow place, with the point of the kraal towards shore; and if by chance one or more whales should enter the trap at high water, the fishermen were to occupy the entrance with their boats, and keep up a tremendous splashing and noise till the tide receded, when the frightened whales would find themselves nearly "high and dry," or with too little water to enable them to swim, and their capture would be next thing in order. This was to be effected by securing a slip-noose of stout rope over their tails, and towing them to the sea-weed lined boxes in which they were to be transported to New York.

Many times fine whales were seen gliding close by the entrance to the trap, but they did not enter it, and the patience of Barnum and his fishermen was sorely tried. One day one whale did enter the kraal, and the fishermen proposed to capture it, but Barnum was determined to have two, and while they waited for the second one to enter the first one went out again. After several days of waiting, Barnum was aroused early one morning by the excited and delighted shouts of his men. Hastily dressing, he found that two whales were in the trap and were sure of being captured. Leaving the rest of the task to his assistants, he hurried back to New York. At every station on the route he gave instructions to the telegraph operators to take off all whaling messages that passed over the wires to New York, and to inform their fellow-townsmen at what hour the whales would pass through each place.

The result of these arrangements may be imagined; at every station crowds of people came to the cars to see the whales which were travelling by land to Barnum's Museum, and those who did not see the monsters with their own eyes, at least saw some one who had seen them, and thus was secured a tremendous advertisement, seven hundred miles long, for the American Museum.

Arrived in New York, dispatches continued to come from the whaling expedition every few hours. These were bulletined in front of the Museum and copies sent to the papers. The excitement was intense, and, when at last, these marine monsters arrived and were swimming in the tank that had been prepared for them, anxious thousands literally rushed to see the strangest curiosities ever exhibited in New York.

Barnum's first whaling expedition was thus a great success. Unfortunately he did not know how to feed or take care of the animals. A supply of salt water could not be obtained, so they were put into fresh water artificially salted, and this did not agree with them. The basement of the Museum building was also poorly ventilated and the air was unwholesome. As the result of these circumstances the whales died within a week, although not until they had been seen by thousands of people. Barnum immediately resolved to try again. In order to secure a better home for his pets, he laid an iron pipe under the streets of the city, from his Museum clear out into New York bay. Through this, by means of a steam-engine, he was able to secure a constant supply of genuine sea-water. In order that the whales should have good air to breathe, he constructed for them another tank on the second floor of the Museum building. This tank had a floor of slate, and the sides were made of French plate-glass, in huge pieces six feet long, five feet wide, and one inch thick. These plates were imported by Barnum expressly for the purpose. The tank was twenty-four feet square. Two more white whales were soon caught in the same manner as before, and were conveyed in a ship to Quebec and thence by rail to New York.

Barnum was always proud of this enterprise, and it yielded him handsome profits. The second pair of whales, however, soon died. Barnum remarked that their sudden and immense popularity was too much for them. But a third pair was quickly secured to take their place. Envious and hostile critics declared that they were not whales at all, but only porpoises, but this did no harm. Indeed, Barnum might well have paid them to start these malicious reports, for much good advertising was thereby secured. The illustrious Agassiz was appealed to. He came to see the animals, gave Barnum a certificate that they were genuine white whales, and this document was published far and wide.

The manner in which the showman advertised his curiosities may be seen from the following, taken from one of the daily papers of the time:


in capturing and transporting them from that part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence nearest Labrador, the Manager is enabled to offer his visitors


a male and a female. Everybody has heard of WHALES


everybody has read of WHALES in story, song, and history, and everybody


and now they have the opportunity. Barnum has


has built a small ocean in his Museum, filled it from the briny deep, and there


measuring respectively fifteen and twenty feet in length, may be seen at all hours sporting in their native element. Who will miss the opportunity of seeing them? Another may not offer in a lifetime. Embrace this ere it be too late. See Mr. Barnum's card below.


The Colored Steward and German Sailor of the


Who slew three of the piratical prize crew, and rescued themselves and the vessel from their power.



In the Lecture-Room, a great Dramatic Novelty is offered,

EMBRACING FARCE, VAUDEVILLE and BURLETTA, with a brilliant and talented company, including LITTLE LOLA, THE INFANT WONDER,

Mr. and Mrs. C. B. REYNOLDS;


The favorite Juvenile Danseuse, always popular.


With a laughable farce, every day at 3 and 7 3/4 o'clock. Admission to all, 25 cents; Children under 10, 15 cents. -------------------------------------------------------------A CARD FROM P. T. BARNUM.--LIVING WHALES on exhibition.--Having learned from fishermen and eminent naturalists, including the written statement of the celebrated Prof. Agassiz, that the White Whale could be found in that portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence nearest to Labrador, I made a journey there in June last, accompanied by my agent. I remained there a fortnight, and made every arrangement for capturing and keeping alive two of these monsters. This arrangement included the service of thirty-five men, beside my special agent. I then returned and had erected in the Museum a reservoir fifty feet in length and twenty-five feet in width, in which was placed sea-water, and arrangements made for a continual fresh supply. I also made arrangements with steamers and railroads to convey these leviathans to New York at the fastest possible speed, without regard to the expense.

I am highly gratified in being able to assure the public that they have arrived safe and well, a MALE and FEMALE, from 15 to 20 feet long, and are now swimming in the miniature ocean in my Museum, to the delight of visitors. As it is very doubtful whether these wonderful creatures can be kept alive more than a few days, the public will see the importance of seizing the first moment to see them.


AMERICAN MUSEUM, Thursday, August 8, 1861.

"A real live whale," said an editorial writer in the New York Tribune of that date, "is as great a curiosity as a live lord or prince, being much more difficult to catch, and far more wonderful in its appearance and habits. After all people are people, and have much the same ways of feeling and doing. But when we get among the whales, we catch glimpses of a new and neat thing in nose, recall the narrative of Jonah without throwing a shadow of a doubt upon its authenticity, and appreciate keenly the difficulties with which mermaid society must have to contend.

"We owe the presence of two whales in our midst to the enterprise of Mr. P. T. Barnum. He has had them in tow for a long while, but has kept his secret well, and it was not until his own special whaler telegraphed from Troy that he had come so far into the bowels of the earth with his submarine charge, and all well, that he felt warranted in whispering whale to the public. The public was delighted, but not surprised, because it feels that the genius that is equal to a What Is It is also equal to the biggest thing, and would experience no unusual thrill of wonder if a real iceberg, or a section of the identical North Pole, should be announced on the bills of the Museum.

"But flocks of the public sought the Museum yesterday, and were not disappointed. They saw not, as Polonius, something 'very like a whale,' but the original animal in its original element. The bears, and the anacondas, the hatchet, and the seal, sank into merited insignificance, although they will have their day again if the whales should expire. The transfer of the fish was neatly effected. They travelled the whole distance in first-class hermetical boxes, filled with water and thickly lined with seaweed, and were landed, if the expression may be used, in the new and excellent tank provided for them in the basement of the Museum. This tank is fifty feet deep and twenty-five in width, has seven feet of sea-water in it, and seems to suit the whales eminently. Mr. Barnum has fears that the pets will have but a brief, if brilliant, career, in their new quarters, but we prefer to predict for them a long and happy one.

"These are white whales, and were taken near the Labrador coast by a crew of thirty-five men. The largest has attained the extreme size reached by this species, and is about 22 feet long; the other is 18 feet long. Their form and motion are graceful, and their silver backs and bellies show brightly through the water. A long-continued intimacy has endeared them to each other, and they go about quite like a pair of whispering lovers, blowing off their mutual admiration in a very emphatic manner. Just at present they are principally engaged in throwing their eyes around the premises, and pay small attention to visitors, upon whom, indeed, the narrative of Jonah has a strong hold. And yet neither of these whales could make a single mouthful of a man of ordinary size. Even if one of them should succeed in swallowing a man, he could just stand up with the whale, and make it, at least, as uncomfortable as himself.

"Here is a real 'sensation.' We do not believe the enterprise of Mr. Barnum will stop at white whales. It will embrace sperm whales and mermaids, and all strange things that swim or fly or crawl, until the Museum will become one vast microcosm of the animal creation. A quarter seems positively contemptible weighed against such a treat."

And this was the public tribute, from the same pen, to the first of the cetaceans that died through too much publicity:

"The community was shocked to hear of the death of one of Barnum's whales yesterday morning. Death apparently loves a shining mark. It seems but yesterday--in fact it was the day before--we gazed upon the youthful form, instinct with life, and looking forward to a useful and pleasant career. The whale shared not the forebodings of its friends. Mr. Barnum was possessed with a strange presentiment of calamity, and summoned the public to either a house of mourning or a house of joy, he knew not which, but at all events to be quick. At daybreak, we believe, the great natural curiosity passed away.

"The blow is a severe one. To Mr. Barnum it must be a shocking reminder of the emptiness of all human plans. Enterprise, liberal expenditure, courage--what are they all before the fell destroyer? Even whales have their time to sink and rise no more. To the dear companion of all the joys and sorrows of the troubled life of the deceased the bereavement must be sore indeed. Delicacy forbids that we should lay bare such sorrows. No twenty-five cent ticket should admit to them, including the lecture-room. Such as witnessed the tender endearments between these white whales, and saw how they had hearts that beat as one, and how they were not happy when they were not pretty near each other in the tank, may, perhaps, realize the anguish of their separation. We are not surprised to learn, indeed, that the affliction has borne so heavily upon the survivor that there may be tidings at any moment of the flight of its spirit also. May both whales meet again in the open seas of immortality! The loss of the public is great, although not irreparable. The world moves on, and many natural curiosities remain to fill up the gaps caused by death. Mr. Barnum's spirit, although saddened, is not broken. He sees the objects of his care and best management snatched from him, and yet he announces that he will immediately send on for two more whales of the same sort. We shall soon forget the lost whales in contemplation of the new. Such is life, it is well known.

"The decease may be attributed in a great measure to bear. It is true that there might have been something injurious to the health of the fish in a long overland journey. 'A fish out of water' is a case that tries the utmost skill of the faculty. If a man were confined in the most comfortable of water-tight boxes and carried, under the care of a special agent, hundreds of miles beneath the water, we should not be startled to hear that his constitution was much shattered at the end of the journey. And yet we are more encouraged to think that the whale owed his death to other causes than the overland transportation, because the sea lion does so well, and the fishes in the aquaria appear to be so hearty and contented. To bear, then, we must attribute our loss. This animal abounded in the basement where the tank is, and whether through jealousy of the fame of the new-comers, or through some settled antipathy between flesh and fish, or simply through his natural beastliness, he communicated effluvia to the atmosphere that were perfectly unendurable by whale, which promptly expired from want of good breath.

"This agent of destruction will be removed from the premises before the next whales arrive, and suitable measures will be taken to guard against such a mournful catastrophe. There is a whale in Boston whose health is so good that it never requires medical attendance.

"The deceased was about sixty years of age. It bore an excellent character. Its patience and sweet disposition under the most trying circumstances will long be remembered. The remains, weighing not less than twenty-six hundred pounds, will be suitably disposed off. While the public mourns it may also console itself with the reflection that there are plenty more where it came from, and that the energy of Barnum is not to be abated by any of the common disasters of life, and may hopefully anticipate a speedy announcement of an entirely new whale. Vale! Vale!"

The tank in the basement of the Museum was now devoted to a yet more interesting exhibition. On August 12, 1861, Barnum placed in it the first live hippopotamus that had ever been seen in America. The brute was advertised most extensively and ingeniously as "the great behemoth of the Scriptures," and thousands of scientific men, biblical students, clergymen and others, besides the great host of the common people, flocked to see it. There was fully as much excitement in New York over this wonder in the animal creation as there was in London when the first hippopotamus was placed in the Regent's Park "Zoo."

Barnum began by advertising that the animal was on exhibition for a short time only. Then he announced the "last week" of the novel show. Then, "by special request," another week was added. And thus the "last week of the hippopotamus" was prolonged through many months. The following is a fair sample of the advertisements with which the daily papers literally teemed:



The history of this animal is full of interest, and to every class, especially the educated and intelligent, but above all to the biblical student, who has read with interest the glowing description of


in the Book of Job. He is strictly an


living in the water and out of it; under the water, or on the top of it, floats on its surface with perfect ease, or beneath the surface, midway between the top and the bottom. In their natural state these animals are wild and ferocious; though on the land, they are not very formidable, but when pursued they fly to the rivers,


frequently appearing on the opposite side without the least indication of their course on the surface of the stream. If exasperated by assaults, in the water they are the most


their gigantic proportions and herculean strength, giving them power over every opposing force, frequently destroying whole boat-loads of men and their boats, crushing with their huge jaws everything that comes in their way. In the Museum the specimen here exhibited has an


where he is to be seen in all his natural peculiarities, floating on, and swiming beneath the surface, walking on the bottom several feet beneath, exhibiting, in short, all the peculiarities of his nature; and to perfect the scene, native


who is himself a curiosity as a specimen of that historic tribe of men, who exhibits all the stolidity and Arabian dignity of that Oriental race; the only man who can control or exhibit his hippopotamiship, is in constant attendance. They are both to be seen at all hours, DAY and EVENING.

This is the


ever seen in America. He is engaged at a cost of many thousand of dollars, and will remain


Also just obtained at great expense, and now to be seen swimming in the large tank in the Aquarial Hall,


beside a great variety of other living Fish, Turtles, &c., &c.


The Lecture-Room Entertainments embrace PETITE DRAMA, VAUDEVILLE, BURLETTA and FARCE. By a company of rare musical and dramatic talent. Miss DAWRON, DOUBLE-VOICED VOCALIST, Mlle. MATILDA E. TOEDT,

The Talented Young Violinist, &c.

Admission to all, 25 cents; Children under 10, 15 cents.

Nor did the monster fail to receive much other notice in the press. Said one writer: "Nothing discomfitted by the sudden death that overtook the gentle and loving whales, Mr. Barnum has again invested untold heaps of money in a tremendous water-monster. The great tank has again a tenant, and the great public have huge amphibious matter for their wonderment. The new curiosity comes to us staggering under the unwieldy name of Hippo-potamus. He is a comely gentleman, fair and beauteous to look upon; and the strange loveliness of his countenance cannot fail to captivate the crowd. His youth, too, gives him a special claim to the consideration of the ladies, for he is a little darling of only three years--a very baby of a hippopotamus in fact, who, only a few months ago, daily sucked his few gallons of lacteal nourishment from the fond bosom of mamma Hippo, at the bottom of some murmuring Egyptian river. The young gentleman is about as heavy as an ox, and gives you the idea that he is the result of the amalgamation of a horse, a cow, two pigs, a seal, a dozen India-rubber blankets, and an old-fashioned horse-hide covered trunk. Big as he is, unwieldy as he is, strange, uncouth, and monstrous as he is, he appears after all to be most mild and even-tempered. In truth, he is no more vicious than a good-natured muley cow; and if by chance he should hurt anybody, he would have to achieve it much in the same manner that such a cow would, by running against him, or rolling over upon him. So that the red-breeched individual, who so valiantly gets over the railing and stands by the side of young Hippo, doesn't, after all, do a deed of such superhuman daring, for all he does it with such an air of reckless sacrifice of self for the public good. The hippopotamus is certainly one of the most interesting and attractive of all the strange creatures ever yet caught by Mr. Barnum, and offered for the delectation of the paying public. He is well worth a visit, and an hour's inspection. He receives daily, from 9 A.M. to some time after dark."

Having now a good supply of salt water Barnum greatly enlarged his aquarium, which was the first show of the kind ever seen in America. He exhibited in it living sharks, porpoises, sea-horses and many rare fishes. For several seasons he kept a boat cruising the ocean in search of marine novelties. In this way he secured many of the beautiful angel fishes and others that never had been seen in New York before. He also purchased the Aquarial Gardens in Boston, and removed the entire collection to his Museum.

The story of another of Barnum's greatest hits must be told in his own words: "In December, 1861," he related, "I was visited at the Museum by a most remarkable dwarf, who was a sharp, intelligent little fellow, with a deal of drollery and wit. He had a splendid head, was perfectly formed, and was very attractive, and, in short, for a 'showman,' he was a perfect treasure. His name, he told me, was George Washington Morrison Nutt, and his father was Major Rodnia Nutt, a substantial farmer, of Manchester, New Hampshire. I was not long in dispatching an efficient agent to Manchester, and in overcoming the competition with other showmen who were equally eager to secure this extraordinary pigmy. The terms upon which I engaged him for three years were so large that he was christened the $30,000 Nutt; I, in the meantime, conferring upon him the title of Commodore. As soon as I engaged him, placards, posters and the columns of the newspapers proclaimed the presence of 'Commodore Nutt' at the Museum. I also procured for the Commodore a pair of Shetland ponies, miniature coachman and footman, in livery, gold-mounted harness, and an elegant little carriage, which, when closed, represented a gigantic English walnut. The little Commodore attracted great attention, and grew rapidly in public favor. General Tom Thumb was then travelling in the South and West. For some years he had not been exhibited in New York, and during these years he had increased considerably in rotundity and had changed much in his general appearance. It was a singular fact, however, that Commodore Nutt was almost a fac-simile of General Tom Thumb, as he looked half-a-dozen years before. Consequently, very many of my patrons, not making allowance for the time which had elapsed since they had last seen the General, declared that there was no such person as 'Commodore Nutt;' but that I was exhibiting my old friend Tom Thumb under a new name.

"Commodore Nutt enjoyed the joke very much. He would sometimes half admit the deception, simply to add to the bewilderment of the doubting portion of my visitors.

"It was evident that here was an opportunity to turn all doubts into hard cash, by simply bringing the two dwarf Dromios together, and showing them on the same platform. I therefore induced Tom Thumb to bring his Western engagements to a close, and to appear for four weeks, beginning with August 11, 1862, in my Museum. Announcements headed 'The Two Dromios,' and 'Two Smallest Men, and Greatest Curiosities Living,' as I expected, drew large crowds to see them, and many came especially to solve their doubts with regard to the genuineness of the 'Nutt.' But here I was considerably nonplussed, for, astonishing as it may seem, the doubts of many of the visitors were confirmed! The sharp people who were determined 'not to be humbugged, anyhow,' still declared that Commodore Nutt was General Tom Thumb, and that the little fellow whom I was trying to pass off as Tom Thumb, was no more like the General than he was like the man in the moon. It is very amusing to see how people will sometimes deceive themselves by being too incredulous.

"In 1862 I sent the Commodore to Washington, and, joining him there, I received an invitation from President Lincoln to call at the White House with my little friend. Arriving at the appointed hour, I was informed that the President was in a special Cabinet meeting, but that he had left word if I called to be shown in to him with the Commodore. These were dark days in the rebellion, and I felt that my visit, if not ill-timed, must at all events be brief. When we were admitted, Mr. Lincoln received us cordially, and introduced us to the members of the Cabinet. When Mr. Chase was introduced as the Secretary of the Treasury, the little Commodore remarked:

" 'I suppose you are the gentleman who is spending so much of Uncle Sam's money?'

" 'No, indeed,' said the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, very promptly; 'I am spending the money.'

" 'Well,' said Commodore Nutt, 'it is in a good cause, anyhow, and I guess it will come out all right.'

"His apt remark created much amusement. Mr. Lincoln then bent down his long, lank body, and taking Nutt by the hand, he said:

" 'Commodore, permit me to give you a parting word of advice. When you are in command of your fleet, if you find yourself in danger of being taken prisoner, I advise you to wade ashore.'

The Commodore found the laugh was against him, but placing himself at the side of the President, and gradually raising his eyes up the whole length of Mr. Lincoln's very long legs, he replied:

" 'I guess, Mr. President, you could do that better than I could.' "

In no place did extremes ever meet in a more practical sense than in the American Museum. Commodore Nutt was the shortest of men; and at the same time the Museum contained the tallest of women. Her name was Anna Swan, and she came from Nova Scotia. Barnum first heard of her through a Quaker, who was visiting the Museum. This visitor came to Barnum's office, and told him of a wonderful girl, only seventeen years old, who lived near him at Pictou. Barnum soon sent an agent up there, who brought the young lady back to New York. She was an intelligent girl, and, despite her enormous stature, was decidedly good-looking. For a long time she was a leading attraction at Barnum's Museum, and afterwards went to England and attracted great attention there.

For many years Barnum had been in the habit of engaging parties of American Indians from the far West to exhibit at the Museum. He had also sent several parties of them to Europe, where they were regarded as extraordinary curiosities.

In 1864 ten or twelve chiefs, of as many different tribes, visited the President of the United States, at Washington. By a pretty liberal outlay of money, Barnum succeeded in inducing the interpreter to bring them to New York, and to pass some days at the Museum. Of course, getting these Indians to dance, or to give any illustration of their games or pastimes, was out of the question. They were real chiefs of powerful tribes, and would no more have consented to give an exhibition of themselves than the chief magistrate of our own nation would have done. Their interpreter could not therefore promise that they would remain at the Museum for any definite time; "for," said he, "you can only keep them just so long as they suppose all your patrons come to pay them visits of honor. If they suspected that your Museum was a place where people paid for entering," he continued, "you could not keep them a moment after the discovery."

On their arrival at the Museum, therefore, Barnum took them upon the stage and personally introduced them to the public. The Indians liked this attention from him, as they had been informed that he was the proprietor of the great establishment in which they were invited and honored guests. His patrons were of course pleased to see these old chiefs, as they knew they were the "REAL thing," and several of them were known to the public, either as being friendly or cruel to the whites. After one or two appearances on the stage, Barnum took them in carriages and visited the Mayor of New York in the Governor's room at the City Hall. Here the Mayor made them a speech of welcome, which, being interpreted to the savages, was responded to by a speech from one of the chiefs, in which he thanked the "Great Father" of the city for his pleasant words, and for his kindness in pointing out the portraits of his predecessors hanging on the walls of the Governor's room.

On another occasion Barnum took them by special invitation to visit one of the large public schools up town. The teachers were pleased to see them, and arranged an exhibition of special exercises by the scholars, which they thought would be most likely to gratify their barbaric visitors. At the close of these exercises, one old chief arose, and simply said: "This is all new to us. We are mere unlearned sons of the forest, and cannot understand what we have seen and heard."

On other occasions he took them to ride in Central Park, and through different portions of the city. At every street-corner which they passed they would express their astonishment to each other, at seeing the long rows of houses which extended both ways on either side of each cross-street. Of course, after each of these outside visits Barnum would return with them to the Museum, and secure two or three appearances upon the stage to receive the people who had there congregated "to do them honor."

As they regarded him as their host, they did not hesitate to trespass upon his hospitality. Whenever their eyes rested upon a glittering shell among his specimens of conchology, especially if it had several brilliant colors, one would take off his coat, another his shirt, and insist that he should exchange the shell for the garment. When he declined the exchange, but on the contrary presented the coveted article, he soon found he had established a dangerous precedent. Immediately they all commenced to beg for everything in the vast collection which they happened to take a liking to. This cost Barnum many valuable specimens, and often "put him to his trumps" for an excuse to avoid giving them things which he could not part with.

The chief of one of the tribes one day discovered an ancient shirt of chain-mail which hung in one of the cases of antique armor. He was delighted with it, and declared he must have it. Barnum tried all sorts of excuses to prevent his getting it, for it had cost a hundred dollars, and was a great curiosity. But the old man's eyes glistened, and he would not take "no" for an answer. "The Utes have killed my little child," he said through the interpreter; and now he must have this steel shirt to protect himself; and when he returned to the Rocky Mountains he would have his revenge. Barnum remained inexorable until the chief finally brought a new buckskin Indian suit, which he insisted upon exchanging. Barnum then felt compelled to accept his proposal; and never did anyone see a man more delighted than the Indian seemed to be when he took the mailed shirt into his hands. He fairly jumped up and down with joy. He ran to his lodging-room, and soon appeared again with the coveted armor upon his body, and marched down one of the main halls of the Museum, with folded arms, and head erect, occasionally patting his breast with his right hand, as much as to say, "Now, Mr. Ute, look sharp, for I will soon be on the war-path!"

Among these Indians were War Bonnet, Lean Bear, and Hand-in-the-water, chiefs of the Cheyennes; Yellow Buffalo, of the Kiowas; Yellow Bear, of the same tribe; Jacob, of the Caddos; and White Bull, of the Apaches. The little wiry chief known as Yellow Bear had killed many whites as they had travelled through the "far West." He was a sly, treacherous, bloodthirsty savage, who would think no more of scalping a family of women and children than a butcher would of wringing the neck of a chicken. But now he was on a mission to the "Great Father" at Washington, seeking for presents and favors for his tribe, and he pretended to be exceedingly meek and humble, and continually urged the interpreter to announce him as a "great friend to the white man." He would fawn about Barnum, and although not speaking or understanding a word of our language, would try to convince him that he loved him dearly.

In exhibiting these Indian warriors on the stage, Barnum explained to the large audiences the names and characteristics of each. When he came to Yellow Bear he would pat him familiarly upon the shoulder, which always caused him to look up with a pleasant smile, while he softly stroked Barnum's arm with his right hand in the most loving manner. Knowing that he could not understand a word he said, Barnum pretended to be complimenting him to the audience, while he was really saying something like the following:

"This little Indian, ladies and gentlemen, is Yellow Bear, chief of the Kiowas. He has killed, no doubt, scores of white persons, and he is probably the meanest black-hearted rascal that lives in the far West." Here Barnum patted him on the head, and he, supposing he was sounding his praises, would smile, fawn upon him, and stroke his arm, while he continued: "If the bloodthirsty little villain understood what I was saying, he would kill me in a moment; but as he thinks I am complimenting him, I can safely state the truth to you, that he is a lying, thieving, treacherous, murderous monster. He has tortured to death poor, unprotected women, murdered their husbands, brained their helpless little ones; and he would gladly do the same to you or to me, if he thought he could escape punishment. This is but a faint description of the character of Yellow Bear." Here Barnum gave him another patronizing pat on the head, and he, with a pleasant smile, bowed to the audience, as much as to say that the words were quite true, and that he thanked Barnum very much for the high encomiums he had so generously heaped upon him.

After the Indians had been at the Museum about week they discovered the real character of the place. They found they were simply on exhibition, and that people paid a fee for the privilege of coming in and gazing at them. Forthwith there was an outcry of discontent and anger. Nothing would induce them again to appear upon the stage. Their dignity had been irretrievably offended, and Barnum was actually fearful lest they should wreak vengeance upon him with physical violence. It was with a feeling of great relief that he witnessed their departure for Washington the next day.

In the fall of this year Barnum produced at his Museum a dramatization of Dickens's "Great Expectations." On the opening night of the play, before the curtain rose, the great showman himself went upon the stage and made this poetical address of welcome to the audience:


"That Prince of Humbugs, Barnum," so it appears Some folks have designated me for several years. Well, I don't murmur; indeed, when they embellish it, To tell the truth, my friends, I rather relish it, Since your true humbug's be, who as a host, For the least money entertains you most. In this sense I'm a "humbug," I succumb! Who as a "General" thing brought out Tom Thumb? Who introduced (you can't say there I sinned) The Swedish Nightingale, sweet Jenny Lind? Who brought you Living Whales from Labrador? The Hippopotamus from Nilus's shore,
The Bearded Lady with her (h)airs and graces, The Aztec Children with their normal faces, The Twins of Siam--rarest of dualities--Two ever separate, ne'er apart realities? The Family of Albinos? the Giraffe?
The famous Baby Show that made you laugh? The Happy Family--cats, rats, doves, hawks, harmonious? Their voices blend in tones euphonious. The great Sea Lion from Pacific's coast, The "Monarch of the Ocean," no empty boast; Old Adam's Bears, cutest of brute performers, In modern "peace meetings" models for reformers. That living miracle, the Lightning Calculator, Those figures confound Hermann the "Prestidigitator." The Grand Aquaria, an official story
Of life beneath the waves ill all its glory; The curious "What is It?" which you, though spunky, Won't call a man and cannot call a monkey. These things and many more time forbids to state, I first introduced, if I did not originate; "The World's Seven Wonders," pooh! let them invite you, Here "seven" saloons all wonder-full delight you. To call this "humbug" admits of no defence, For all is shown for five and twenty cents. And now, good friends, to use less rhyme than reason, To-day re-opens our dramatic season;
Therefore I welcome you! And though we're certain To raise "Great Expectations" with the curtain, And "play the Dickens" afternoon and nightly, I bid you welcome none the less politely, To these my "quarters," merry and reliable, That yours are always welcome 'tis undeniable! And Patrick Henry like I say, I boast of it, If that be "humbug," gentlemen, "make the most of it."

The foregoing address may be correctly said to have as much truth as poetry. It is a graceful summary of the curiosities which Barnum had brought before the world up to his sixtieth year. It does not include the Sacred White Elephant of Siam, the mammoth Jumbo and other wonders of nature which he was yet to reveal to astonished and delighted millions. Nor does it indicate that grand genius of aggregation by which in later years he surpassed all his previous performances--masterly as they were. Not till the veteran had reached the age of seventy--the allotted span of life--did he gather and create "The Greatest Show on Earth."

In connection with the dramatization of Dickens' novel, it seems surprising that the Great Showman had little intercourse with the Great Novelist. He was on intimate terms with Thackeray and gave him useful hints for his lecturing tour in the United States, by which the humorist duly profited. But Dickens, who reached the popular heart as Barnum did their senses, seems to have held aloof from one whose knowledge of men rivalled his own.



In 1862 Mr. Barnum heard of an extraordinary dwarf girl named Lavinia Warren, who was living at Middleboro, Massachusetts, and sent an invitation to her and her parents to visit him at Bridgeport: they came, and Barnum found her to be a very intelligent and refined young lady. He immediately made a contract with her for several years, she agreeing to visit the Old World.

He purchased a splendid wardrobe for her, including many elegant dresses, costly jewels and everything else that could add to her naturally charming person. She was placed on exhibition at the Museum, and from the first was a great success. Commodore Nutt was exhibited with her, and although he was several years her junior, he at once took a violent fancy to her. One day Mr. Barnum gave Miss Warren a diamond and emerald ring, and as it did not exactly fit her finger, he offered to get her another one just like it, and told her to present this one to Commodore Nutt in her own name. She did so, and the Commodore, who possessed a full proportion of masculine vanity, construed the gift to be a love token, and poor Lavinia was much distressed, for she considered herself quite a woman, and the Commodore only "a nice boy." Still she did not like to offend him, and continued to treat him kindly, while not actually encouraging his attentions.

At the time Tom Thumb was not on exhibition at the Museum; he was taking a vacation at his home in Bridgeport. One day he came to New York quite unexpectedly, and naturally called on Mr. Barnum at the Museum. Lavinia was holding one of her levees when he came in, and he was presented to her.

After a short interview with her he went directly to Mr. Barnum's private office and asked to see him alone. The door was closed and the General sat down. His first question gave Mr. Barnum a slight inkling of the object of the interview. The General wanted to know all about the family of Lavinia Warren. Mr. Barnum gave him all information, and the General said, earnestly, "That is the most charming little lady I ever saw, and I believe she was created to be my wife. Now, Mr. Barnum, you've always been a friend of mine, and I want you to say a good word for me to her. I've got plenty of money and I want to marry and settle down, and I really feel as though I must marry that young lady."

Mr. Barnum laughed, and recalling his ancient joke, said: "Lavinia is already engaged, General."

"To whom? Commodore Nutt?" asked Tom Thumb, jealously.

"No, to me."

"Oh!" laughed the General, much relieved. "Never mind; you may exhibit her for a while, and then give up the engagement; but I do hope you will favor my suit with her."

"Well, General," replied Barnum, "I will not oppose your suit, but you must do your own courting. I will tell you, however, that Commodore Nutt will be jealous of you, and more than that, Miss Warren is nobody's fool, and you will have to proceed very cautiously if you succeed in winning her."

The General promised to be very discreet. A change now came over him. He had been very fond of his country home at Bridgeport, where he spent all his leisure time with his horses and his yacht, for he had a great passion for the water; but now he was constantly running down to the city, and the horses and yacht were sadly neglected. He had a married sister living in New York, and his visits to her multiplied to such an extent that his mother, who lived in Bridgeport, remarked that Charles had never before shown so much brotherly affection, nor so much fondness for city life.

His visits to the Museum were frequent, and it was very amusing to watch his new relations with Commodore Nutt, who strutted around like a bantam rooster whenever the General approached Lavinia. One day the rivals got into a friendly scuffle in the dressing-room, and the Commodore laid the General very neatly on his back.

But while the Commodore was performing on the stage, and on Sunday afternoons and evenings, the General found plenty of opportunities to talk to Lavinia, and it was evident that his suit was progressing.

Finally, Tom Thumb returned to Bridgeport, and privately begged Mr. Barnum to bring Lavinia up the next Saturday evening, and also to invite him to the house.

His immediate object was that his mother might see Miss Warren. Mr. Barnum agreed to the proposition, and on the following Friday, while Miss Warren and the Commodore were sitting in the green-room, he said:

"Lavinia, would you like to go up to Bridgeport with me to-morrow, and stay until Monday?"

"I thank you," she replied, "it will be a great relief to get into the country for a couple of days."

"Mr. Barnum," said the Commodore, "I should like to go up to Bridgeport to-morrow."

"What for?" asked Barnum.

"I want to see my ponies; I have not seen them for several months;" he replied.

Mr. Barnum remarked that he was afraid he could not spare the Commodore from the Museum, but he said:

"Oh! I can perform at half past seven o'clock and then jump on the evening train and go up by myself, reaching Bridgeport at eleven, and return early Monday morning."

Fearing a clash of interests between the two little men, but wishing to please the Commodore, Mr. Barnum consented, especially as Miss Warren seemed to favor it.

The Commodore had made his feelings almost as plain to the manager as had General Tom Thumb, but Lavinia Warren's secret was her own. She kept up a wonderful self-possession under the circumstances, for she must have known the reason of the General's frequent visits to the Museum. Barnum was afraid that she intended to reject Tom Thumb, and he told him as much; the General was nervous but determined; hence his anxiety to have Lavinia meet his mother, and also to see the extent of his possessions in Bridgeport.

The General met his lady-love and Mr. Barnum at the station Saturday morning, and drove them to the latter's house in his own carriage--the coachman being tidily dressed, with a broad velvet ribbon and a silver buckle on his hat, especially for the occasion.

After resting for a half hour at Lindencroft, he came back and took Lavinia out to drive. They stopped at his mother's house, where she saw the apartments which had been built for him and filled with the most gorgeous furniture, all corresponding to his diminutive size. Then he took her to East Bridgeport, and undoubtedly took occasion to point out all of the houses which he owned, for he depended much on his wealth making an impression on her.

He stayed to lunch at Lindencroft, and was much pleased when Lavinia expressed her opinion that "Mr. Barnum or Tom Thumb owned about all Bridgeport."

The General took his leave and returned to five o'clock dinner, accompanied by his mother, who was delighted with Lavinia. The General took Mr. Barnum aside and begged him for an invitation to stay all night, "For," said he, "I intend to ask her to marry me before the Commodore arrives."

After tea Lavinia and the General sat down to play backgammon. By and by the rest went to their separate rooms, but Tom Thumb had volunteered to sit up for the Commodore, and persuaded Miss Warren to keep him company.

The General was beaten at backgammon, and after sitting a few minutes, he evidently thought it time to put a clincher on his financial abilities. So he drew from his pocket a policy of insurance and handed it to Lavinia, asking her if she knew what it was.

Examining it, she replied, "It is an insurance policy. I see you keep your property insured."

"But the beauty of it is, it is not my property," replied the General, "and yet I get the benefit of the insurance in case of fire. You will see," he continued, unfolding the policy, "this is the property of Mr. Williams, but here, you will observe, it reads 'loss, if any, payable to Charles S. Stratton, as his interest may appear.' The fact is, I loaned Mr. Williams three thousand dollars, took a mortgage on his house, and made him insure it for my benefit. In this way, you perceive, I get my interest, and he has to pay the taxes."

"That is a very wise way, I should think," remarked Lavinia.

"That is the way I do all my business," replied the General, complacently, as he returned the huge insurance policy to his pocket. "You see," he continued, "I never lend any of my money without taking bond and mortgage security, then I have no trouble with taxes; my principal is secure, and I receive my interest regularly."

The explanation seemed satisfactory to Lavinia, and the General's courage began to rise. Drawing his chair a little nearer to hers, he said:

"So you are going to Europe, soon?"

"Yes," replied Lavinia, "Mr. Barnum intends to take me over in a couple of months."

"You will find it very pleasant," remarked the General; "I have been there twice, in fact I have spent six years abroad, and I like the old countries very much."

"I hope I shall like the trip, and I expect I shall," responded Lavinia; "for Mr. Barnum says I shall visit all the principal cities, and he has no doubt I will be invited to appear before the Queen of England, the Emperor and Empress of France, the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Austria, and at the courts of any other countries which we may visit. Oh! I shall like that, it will be so new to me."

"Yes, it will be very interesting indeed. I have visited most of the crowned heads," remarked the General, with an evident feeling of self-congratulation. "But are you not afraid you will be lonesome in a strange country?" asked the General.

"No, I think there is no danger of that, for friends will accompany me," was the reply.

"I wish I was going over, for I know all about the different countries, and could explain them all to you," remarked Tom Thumb.

"That would be very nice," said Lavinia.

"Do you think so?" said the General, moving his chair still closer to Lavinia's.

"Of course," replied Lavinia, coolly, "for I, being a stranger to all the habits and customs of the people, as well as to the country, it would be pleasant to have some person along who could answer all my foolish questions."

"I should like it first rate, if Mr. Barnum would engage me," said the General.

"I thought you remarked the other day that you had money enough, and was tired of traveling," said Lavinia, with a slightly mischievous look from one corner of her eye.

"That depends upon my company while traveling," replied the General.

"You might not find my company very agreeable."

"I would be glad to risk it."

"Well, perhaps Mr. Barnum would engage you, if you asked him," said Lavinia.

"Would you really like to have me go?" asked the General, quietly insinuating his arm around her waist, but hardly close enough to touch her.

"Of course I would," was the reply.

The little General's arm clasped the waist closer as he turned his face nearer to hers, and said:

"Don't you think it would be pleasanter if we went as man and wife?"

And after a little hesitation she agreed that it would.

A moment later a carriage drove up to the door, the bell rang and the Commodore entered.

"You here, General?" said the Commodore as he espied his rival.

"Yes," said Lavinia, "Mr. Barnum asked him to stay, and we were waiting for you."

"Where is Mr. Barnum?" asked the Commodore.

"He has gone to bed," answered Tom Thumb, "but a supper has been prepared for you."

"I am not hungry, thank you," said the Commodore petulantly, "What room does Mr. Barnum sleep in?"

He was answered, and immediately went to Mr. Barnum whom he found reading in bed.

"Mr. Barnum," he said sarcastically, "does Tom Thumb BOARD here?"

"No," said Mr. Barnum, "Tom Thumb does not BOARD here. I invited him to stop over night, so don't be foolish, but go to bed."

"Oh, it's no affair of mine. I don't care anything about it. Only I thought he'd taken up his residence here." And off he went to bed, in a very bad humor.

Ten minutes after, Tom Thumb rushed into the room in the greatest excitement, and cried joyfully: "We're engaged, Mr. Barnum! We're engaged!"

"Is that possible?" said Barnum.

"Yes sir, indeed it is," responded the General, "but you must'nt mention it. We've agreed to tell no one, so don't say a word. I'm going to ask her Mother's consent Tuesday."

Barnum swore secrecy, and the General went off radiant with happiness.

The next day the family plied Lavinia with all sorts of questions, but not a breath passed her lips that would give the slightest indication as to what had transpired. She was most amiable to the Commodore, and as the General concluded to go home the next morning, the Commodore's happiness and good humor were fully restored. The General made a call Sunday evening and managed to have an interview with Lavinia. The next morning she and the Commodore returned to New York, without Mr. Barnum.

The General called on Monday to tell Mr. Barnum that he had concluded to send his letter to Lavinia's mother by his friend, Mr. Wells, who had consented to go to Middleboro' the next day, and to urge the General's suit if necessary.

The General went to New York on Wednesday to wait there for Mr. Wells's return. That same day he and Lavinia came to Mr. Barnum, and Tom Thumb said: "Mr. Barnum, I want somebody to tell the Commodore that Lavinia and I are engaged, for I'm afraid there will be a row when he hears of it."

"Why don't you do it yourself, General?" asked Barnum.

"Oh!" said the General, almost shuddering, "I would not dare do it, he might knock me down."

"I will do it myself," said Lavinia. So the General retired and the Commodore was sent for. When he had joined them, Mr. Barnum began by saying, "Commodore, do you know what this little witch has been doing?"

"No, I don't," he answered.

"Well, she has been cutting up the greatest prank you ever heard of. She almost deserves to be shut up for daring to do it. Can't you guess what it is?"

He mused a moment, and then said in a low tone, and looking full at her, "Engaged?"

"Yes," said Barnum, "actually engaged to be married to General Tom Thumb. Did you ever hear of such a thing?"

"Is it so, Lavinia?" he asked, earnestly.

"Yes," said Lavinia, "it is really so."

The Commodore turned pale, choked a little, and turning on his heel, he said, in a broken voice:

"I hope you may be happy."

As he passed out the door a tear rolled down his cheek. "That's pretty hard," said Barnum.

"Yes it is hard," said Lavinia, "and I am very sorry. Only I couldn't help it. It was all the fault of your emerald and diamond ring."

Half an hour later the Commodore returned to the office and said:

"Mr. Barnum do you think it would be right for Miss Warren to marry Charlie Stratton if her mother should object?"

"No, indeed," replied Mr. Barnum.

"Well, she says she will marry him anyway; that she gives her mother the chance to consent, but if she objects, she will have her way and marry him."

"On the contrary," said Barnum, "I will not permit it. She is engaged to go to Europe with me, and I will not release her if her mother does not consent to her marriage."

The Commodore's eyes glistened, and he said: "Between you and me, Mr. Barnum, I don't believe she will consent."

But she did, although at first she had objected, thinking that it might be merely a money-making scheme; but after she read Tom Thumb's letter, and heard Mr. Barnum's assurance that he would release her from her engagement with him, in event of the marriage, she consented.

After the Commodore heard the news Mr. Barnum said to him:

"Never mind, Commodore; Minnie Warren is a better match for you anyhow. She is two years younger than you, and Lavinia is older."

But the Commodore replied grandly; "Thank you sir, but I would not marry the best woman living. I don't believe in women."

Barnum then suggested that he stand with Minnie, as groom and bridesmaid, but he declined. A few weeks later, however, he told Barnum that Tom Thumb had asked him to stand with Minnie, and that he was going to do so.

"And when I asked you, you refused," said Barnum.

"It was not your business to ask me," said the Commodore pompously, "when the proper person asked me, I accepted."

The approaching wedding was announced and created an immense excitement. Lavinia's levees were crowded and she not infrequently sold three hundred dollars' worth of photographs in a day. The General was engaged to exhibit and his own photograph was largely in demand. The Museum was so well attended, the daily receipts being nearly three thousand dollars, that Barnum offered them fifteen thousand dollars if they would postpone their wedding for a month and continue the levees.

"No sir," said the General excitedly, "not for fifty thousand dollars."

"Good for you Charlie," said Lavinia, "only you should have said one hundred thousand."

It was suggested to Barnum to have the wedding take place in the Academy of Music and charge a good admission.

But Barnum refused.

Grace Church, at Broadway and Tenth St., was the scene of this historic wedding, which occurred at noon of Tuesday, Feb. 10, 1863. Long before the hour designated the entire neighborhood was thronged by expectant and smiling crowds awaiting the arrival of the happy pair with their attendants, and looking with ill-concealed envy upon the scores of carriages that bore to the scene of action the fortunate possessors of cards of invitation. At the entrance the ubiquitous Brown was to be seen, bland and smiling, looking more like an honest Alderman of yore than a sexton, and recognizing in each new deposit of youth or beauty or wealth another star to shed lustre upon the extraordinary occasion.

Excellent police arrangements, no less than the self-respect and decorum that always characterizes an American crowd, secured the utmost quiet and order. The truth was that an outsider could only have discovered the marriage to have been one of peculiar interest from the snatches of feminine gossip that met the ear, in which small-sized adjectives were profusely employed.

The church was crowded with a gay assemblage of ladies and gentlemen, the former appearing in full opera costume, and the latter in dress coats and white neck-cloths. In front of the altar a platform three feet high covered with Brussels carpet had been erected. Pending the arrival of the wedding cortege, Mr. Morgan performed a number of operatic selections on the organ.

At high noon the murmuring of the swarming throng outside and the turning of all heads townward presaged the arrival of the bridal party; its undoubted arrival was announced by the arrival of Barnum himself.

The bridal party quickly entered the church, and proceeding up the middle aisle, took proper positions upon the platform. Commodore Nutt acting as groomsman, and Miss Minnie Warren as bridesmaid.

After several operatic performances on the organ, the marriage services were commenced, the Rev. Dr. Taylor and the Rev. Junius M. Willey officiating. The petite bride was given away by the Rev. Mr. Palmer, at the request of her parents. Dr. Taylor pronounced the marital benediction, when the party left the church and were rapidly driven to the Metropolitan Hotel, the street, stoops, buildings and windows in the neighborhood of which were crowded with men, women and children.

At 1 o'clock the reception commenced, the bride and groom, attended by the Commodore and Miss Minnie Warren, occupying a dais in one of the front parlors. The crowd soon resolved into a perfect jam, and for some time great confusion prevailed. After a time, certain arrangements were made by which the company were enabled to pay their respects to the little couple.

The graceful form of Mrs. Charles S. Stratton was shown to advantage in her bridal robe, which was composed of plain white satin, the skirt en traine, being decorated with a flounce of costly point lace, headed by tulle puffings; the berthe to match. Her hair, slightly waved, was rolled a la Eugenie, and elaborately puffed in noeuds behind, in which the bridal veil was looped: natural orange blossoms breathed their perfume above her brow, and mingled their fragrance with the soft sighs of her gentle bosom. Roses and japonicas composed a star-shaped bouquet, which she held in her just-bestowed hand.

Her jewels consisted of diamond necklace, bracelets, earrings, and a star-shaped ornament en diadem, with brooch to match.

Mr. Stratton was attired in a black dress coat and a vest of white corded silk, with an undervest of blue silk.

The Commodore was similarly attired, and Miss Minnie Warren appeared in a white silk skirt, with a white illusion overdress, trimmed half way up the skirt with bouillonnes of the same material, dotted with pink rosebuds. The corsage was decollete, with berthe to match.

At 3 o'clock the bridal party left the reception room, and retired to their private parlor, when the company soon after dispersed. Upon leaving the hotel the guests were supplied with wedding cake, over two thousand boxes being thus distributed. In a parlor adjoining that used for the reception were exhibited the bridal presents.

The jewelry and silverware were displayed in glass cases.

That night, at 10 o'clock, the New York Excelsior Band serenaded the bridal party at the Metropolitan, when Mr. Stratton appeared upon the balcony and made the following speech to the large assemblage in front of the hotel:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN--I thank you most sincerely for this and many other tokens of kindness showered upon me to-day. After being for more than twenty years before the public, I little expected at this late day, to attract so much attention. Indeed if I had not become a family man I should never have known how high I stood in public favor, and I assure you I appreciate highly and am truly grateful for this evidence of your esteem and consideration. I am soon off for foreign lands, but I shall take with me the pleasant recollection of your kindness to-day. But, ladies and gentlemen, a little woman in the adjoining apartment is very anxious to see us, and I must, therefore, make this speech, like myself, short. I kindly thank the excellent band of music for its melody, the sweetness of which is only exceeded by my anticipations of happiness in the new life before me. And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, wishing you all health and happiness, I bid you all a cordial good-night." [Applause.]

The following entirely authentic correspondence, the only suppression being the name of the person who wrote to Dr. Taylor, and to whom Dr. Taylor's reply is addressed, shows how a certain would-be "witness" was not a witness of the famous wedding. In other particulars the correspondence speaks for itself.


Sir: The object of my unwillingly addressing you this note is to inquire what right you had to exclude myself and other owners of pews in Grace Church from entering it yesterday, enforced, too, by a cordon of police for that purpose. If my pew is not my property, I wish to know it; and if it is, I deny your right to prevent me from occupying it whenever the church is open, even at a marriage of mountebanks, which I would not take the trouble to cross the street to witness.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W*** S***

804 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 1863.

MR. W*** S***

Dear Sir: I am sorry, my valued friend, that you should have written me the peppery letter that is now before me. If the matter of which you complain be so utterly insignificant and contemptible as "a marriage of mountebanks, which you would not take the trouble to cross the street to witness," it surprises me that you should have made such strenuous, but ill-directed efforts to secure a ticket of admission. And why, permit me to ask, in the name of reason and philosophy, do you still suffer it to disturb you so sadly? It would, perhaps, be a sufficient answer to your letter, to say that your cause of complaint exists only in your imagination. You have never been excluded from your pew. As rector, I am the only custodian of the church, and you will hardly venture to say that you have ever applied to me for permission to enter, and been refused.

Here I might safely rest, and leave you to the comfort of your own reflections in the case. But as you, in common with many other worthy persons, would seem to have very crude notions as to your rights of "property" in pews, you will pardon me for saying that a pew in a church is property only in a peculiar and restricted sense. It is not property, as your house or horse is property. It vests you with no fee in the soil; you cannot use it in any way, and in every way, and at all times, as your pleasure or caprice may dictate; you cannot put it to any common or unhallowed uses; you cannot remove it, nor injure it, nor destroy it. In short, you hold by purchase, and may sell the right to, the undisturbed possession of that little space within the church edifice which you call your pew during the hours of divine service. But even that right must be exercised decorously, and with a decent regard for time and place, or else you may at any moment be ignominiously ejected from it.

I regret to be obliged to add that, by the law of custom, you may, during those said hours of divine service (but at no other time) sleep in your pew; you must, however, do so noiselessly and never to the disturbance of your sleeping neighbors; your property in your pew has this extent and nothing more. Now, if Mr. W*** S*** were at any time to come to me and say, "Sir, I would that you should grant me the use of Grace Church for a solemn service (a marriage, a baptism, or a funeral, as the case may be), and as it is desirable that the feelings of the parties should be protected as far as possible from the impertinent intrusion and disturbance of a crowd from the streets and lanes of the city, I beg that no one may be admitted within the doors of the church during the very few moments that we expect to be there, but our invited friends only,"--it would certainly, in such a case, be my pleasure to comply with your request, and to meet your wishes in every particular; and I think that even Mr. W*** S*** will agree that all this would be entirely reasonable and proper. Then, tell me, how would such a case differ from the instance of which you complain? Two young persons, whose only crimes would seem to be that they are neither so big, nor so stupid, nor so ill-mannered, nor so inordinately selfish as some other people, come to me and say, sir, we are about to be married, and we wish to throw around our marriage all the solemnities of religion. We are strangers in your city, and as there is no clergyman here standing in a pastoral relation to us, we have ventured to ask the favor of the bishop of New York to marry us, and he has kindly consented to do so; may we then venture a little further and request the use of your church in which the bishop may perform the marriage service? We assure you, sir, that we are no shams, no cheats, no mountebanks; we are neither monsters nor abortions; it is true we are little, but we are as God made us, perfect in our littleness. Sir, we are simply man and woman of like passions and infirmities with you and other mortals. The arrangements for our marriage are controlled by no "showman," and we are sincerely desirous that everything should be ordered with a most scrupulous regard to decorum. We hope to invite our relations and intimate friends, together with such persons as may in other years have extended civilities to either of us; but we pledge ourselves to you most sacredly that no invitation can be bought with money. Permit us to say further, that as we would most gladly escape from the insulting jeers, and ribald sneers and coarse ridicule of the unthinking multitude without, we pray you to allow us, at our own proper charges, so to guard the avenues of access from the street, as to prevent all unseemly tumult and disorder.

I tell you, sir, that whenever, and from whomsoever, such an appeal is made to my Christian courtesy, although it should come from the very humblest of the earth, I would go calmly and cheerfully forward to meet their wishes, although as many W*** S***'s as would reach from here to Kamtschatka, clothed in furs and frowns, should rise up to oppose me.

In conclusion, I will say, that if the marriage of Charles S. Stratton and Lavinia Warren is to be regarded as a pageant, then it was the most beautiful pageant it has ever been my privilege to witness. If, on the contrary, it is rather to be thought of as a solemn ceremony, then it was as touchingly solemn as a wedding can possibly be rendered. It is true the bishop was not present, but Mr. Stratton's own pastor, the Rev. Mr. Willey, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, read the service with admirable taste and impressiveness, and the bride was given away by her mother's pastor and her own "next friend," a venerable Congregational clergyman from Massachusetts. Surely, there never was a gathering of so many hundreds of our best people, when everybody appeared so delighted with everything; surely it is no light thing to call forth so much innocent joy in so few moments of passing time; surely it is no light thing, thus to smooth the roughness and sweeten the acerbities which mar our happiness as we advance upon the wearing journey of life. Sir, it was most emphatically a high triumph of "Christian civilization!"

Respectfully submitted, by your obedient servant,

Not long after the wedding, a lady called at Barnum's office and called his attention to a little six-paged pamphlet which she said she had written. It was called "Priests and Pigmies," and she asked Barnum to read it. He glanced at the title, and at once estimating the character of the publication, promptly declined to devote any portion of his valuable time to its perusal.

"But you had better look at it, Mr. Barnum; it deeply interests you, and you may think it worth your while to buy it."

"Certainly, I will buy it, if you desire," said he, tendering her a sixpence, which he supposed to be the price of the little pamphlet.

"Oh! you quite misunderstand me; I mean buy the copyright and the entire edition, with the view of suppressing the work. It says some frightful things, I assure you," urged the author.

He lay back in his chair and fairly roared at this exceedingly feeble attempt at blackmail.

"But," persisted the lady, "suppose it says that your Museum and Grace Church are all one, what then?"

"My dear madam," he replied, "you may say what you please about me or about my Museum; you may print a hundred thousand copies of a pamphlet stating that I stole the communion service, after the wedding, from Grace Church altar, or anything else you choose to write; only have the kindness to say something about me, and then come to me and I will properly estimate the money value of your services to me as an advertising agent. Good morning, madam,"--and she departed.



While he had always taken an active interest in politics, it was many years before Barnum consented to run for any office. In 1852 he was strongly urged to submit his name to the State Convention, as a candidate for the office of Governor, and although the Democratic party (to which he then belonged) was in the ascendancy, and the nomination was equivalent to election, he still refused.

In 1860 his political convictions were changed, and he identified himself with the Republican party. During the exciting campaign of that year, which resulted in Lincoln's first election to the presidency, it will be remembered that the "Wide-Awake" associations, with their uniforms and torchlight processions, were organized in every city, town and village throughout the North.

One day Mr. Barnum arrived home from New York and learned that the Bridgeport "Wide Awakes?" were to parade that evening and intended to march out to Lindencroft. Ordering two boxes of candles he prepared for an illumination of every window in the house. Many of his neighbors, among them several Democrats, came to Lindencroft that evening to witness the parade, and to see the illumination. His next door neighbor, Mr. T., was a strong Democrat, and before he left home, he ordered his servants to stay in the basement, and not show a light, thus proving by the darkness of his premises, the firmness of his Democratic principles.

Barnum urged his friend James D. Johnson, who was not less a joker than a Democrat, to engage the attention of Mr. and Mrs. T., and to keep their faces turned toward Bridgeport and the approaching procession, while he and Mr. George A. Wells, also a Democrat, ran over and illuminated Mr. T.'s. house. As the Wide-Awakes approached and saw that the house of Mr. T. was in a blaze with light, they concluded that he had changed his politics, and gave three rousing cheers for him. Hearing his name, he turned and saw his house lighted from basement to attic, and uttering one single emphatic ejaculation, he rushed for home. But he was not able to extinguish the lights before the Wide-Awakes had gone on their way rejoicing over his apparent conversion.

When the war broke out in 1861, Barnum was too old for active service in the field, but he sent four substitutes and contributed largely from his means to the support of the Union.

After Bull Run, July 21st, 1861, "Peace Meetings" began to be held in different parts of the North, and especially in Connecticut. At these meetings it was usual to display a white flag bearing the word "Peace," above the national flag, and to listen to speeches denunciatory of the war.

One of these meetings was held August 24, 1861, at Stepney, ten miles north of Bridgeport, and Mr. Barnum and Elias Howe, Jr., inventor of the sewing machine needle, agreed to attend and hear for themselves whether the speeches were loyal or not. They communicated their intention to a number of their friends, asking them to go also, and at least twenty accepted the invitation. It was their plan to listen quietly to the harangues, and if they found any opposition to the government or anything calculated to create disaffection in the community, or liable to deter enlistments,--to report the matter to the authorities at Washington and ask that measures be taken to suppress the gatherings.

As the carriages of these gentlemen turned into Main street they discovered two large omnibuses filled with soldiers who were home on a furlough, and who were going to Stepney. The lighter carriages soon outran the omnibuses, and the party arrived at Stepney in time to see the white flag run up above the stars and stripes. They stood quietly in the crowd, while the meeting was organized, and a preacher--Mr. Charles Smith--was invited to open the proceedings with prayer. "The Military and Civil History of Connecticut, during the war of 1861-65," by W. A. Croffut and John M. Morris, thus continues the account of the meeting:

"He (Smith) had not, however, progressed far in his supplication, when he slightly opened his eyes, and beheld, to his horror, the Bridgeport omnibuses coming over the hill, garnished with Union banners, and vocal with loyal cheers. This was the signal for a panic; Bull Run, on a small scale was re-enacted. The devout Smith, and the undelivered orators, it is alleged, took refuge in a field of corn. The procession drove straight to the pole unresisted, the hostile crowd parting to let them pass; and a tall man--John Platt--amid some mutterings, climbed the pole, reached the halliards, and the mongrel banners were on the ground. Some of the peace-men, rallying, drew weapons on 'the invaders,' and a musket and a revolver were taken from them by soldiers at the very instant of firing. Another of the defenders fired a revolver, and was chased into the fields. Still others, waxing belligerent, were disarmed, and a number of loaded muskets found stored in an adjacent shed were seized. The stars and stripes were hoisted upon the pole, and wildly cheered. P. T. Barnum was then taken on the shoulders of the boys in blue, and put on the platform, where he made a speech full of patriotism, spiced with the humor of the occasion. Captain James E. Dunham also said a few words to the point. * * * * 'The Star Spangled Banner' was then sung in chorus, and a series of resolutions passed, declaring that 'loyal men are the rightful custodians of the peace of Connecticut.' Elias Howe, Jr., chairman, made his speech, when the crowd threatened to shoot the speakers. 'If they fire a gun, boys, burn the whole town, and I'll pay for it!' After giving the citizens wholesome advice concerning the substituted flag, and their duty to the government, the procession returned to Bridgeport with the white flag trailing in the mud behind an omnibus. * * * * They were received at Bridgeport by approving crowds, and were greeted with continuous cheers as they passed along."

In the Spring of 1865, Barnum accepted from the Republican party a nomination to the Connecticut Legislature, from the town of Fairfield, and he did so mainly because he wished to vote for the then proposed amendment to the Constitution, to abolish slavery forever from the land.

He was elected, and on arriving at Hartford the night before the session began, found the wire pullers at work, laying their plans for the election of a Speaker of the House.

Barnum, with his usual penetration and shrewdness, saw that the railroad interests had combined in support of one of the candidates, and seeing in this, no promise of good to the community at large, he at once consulted with a few friends in the Legislature, and they resolved to defeat the railroad "ring," if possible, in caucus. Their efforts were successful and the railroad's candidate was not elected.

Immediately after the caucus, Barnum sought the successful nominee, Hon. E. K. Foster, of New Haven, and begged him not to appoint as chairman of the Railroad Committee the man who had held the office for several successive years, and who was, in fact, the great railroad factotum of the State. The speaker complied with Barnum's request, and he soon saw how important it was to check the strong and growing monopoly; for, as he said, the "outside pressure" to secure the appointment of the objectionable party was terrible.

Although Barnum had not foreseen such a thing until he reached Hartford, he soon discovered that a battle with the railroad commissioners would be necessary, and his course was shaped accordingly. A majority of the commissioners were mere tools in the hands of the railroad companies, and one of them was actually a hired clerk in the office of the New York and New Haven Railroad Company. It was also shown that the chairman of the commissioners permitted most of the accidents which occurred on that road to be taken charge of and reported upon by their paid lobby agent.

This was so manifestly destructive to the interests of all parties who might suffer from accidents on the road, or have any controversy with the company, that the farmers, and the anti-monopolist element united to defeat the chairman of the railroad commissioners, who was a candidate for re-election, and to put their own candidate in his place.

Through Barnum's efforts a law was passed that no person in the employ of any railroad in the State, should serve as railroad commissioner.

But the great struggle, which lasted through the entire session, was upon the subject of railroad passenger commutations. Commodore Vanderbilt had secured control of the Hudson River and Harlem railroads, and had increased the price of commuters' tickets, from two hundred to four hundred per cent. Many men living on the line of these roads, ten to fifty miles from New York, had built fine residences in the country on the strength of cheap transit to and from the city, and were now compelled to submit to the extortion. Commodore Vanderbilt was also a large shareholder in the New York and New Haven road, and it seemed evident that the same practice would be introduced there Barnum therefore enlisted as many as he could in a strong effort to strangle the outrage before it became too strong to grapple with. Several lawyers in the Assembly promised their aid, but before the final struggle came, all but one, in the whole body, had enlisted in favor of the railroads.

What influence had been at work with these gentlemen was, of course, a matter of conjecture.

Certain it is that all the railroad interests in the State were combined; and while they had plenty of money with which to carry out their designs, the chances were small indeed for those members of the legislature who were struggling for simple justice, and who had no pecuniary interests at stake.

Nevertheless, every inch of ground was fought over, day after day, before the legislative railroad committee; examinations and cross-examinations of railroad commissioners and lobbyists were kept up. Scarcely more than one man, Senator Ballard, of Darien, lent his personal aid to Barnum in the investigation, but together they left not a stone unturned.

The man who was prevented from being appointed chairman succeeded in becoming one of the railroad commissioners, but so much light was thrown on his connection with railroad reports, railroad laws and lobbying, by the indefatigable Barnum, the, the man took to his bed, some ten days before the close of the session, and actually staid there "sick " until the legislature adjourned.

The amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery met with little opposition; but the proposed amendment to the State Constitution, giving the right of suffrage to the negro, was violently opposed by the Democratic members. The report from the minority of the committee to whom the question was referred gave certain reasons for rejecting the contemplated amendment, and in reply to this minority report, Barnum spoke, May 26th, 1865, as follows:--ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

Mr. Speaker: I will not attempt to notice at any length the declamation of the honorable gentleman from Milford, for certainly I have heard nothing from his lips approaching to the dignity of argument. I agree with the gentleman that the right of suffrage is "dearly and sacredly cherished by the white man"; and it is because this right is so dear and sacred, that I wish to see it extended to every educated moral man within our State, without regard to color. He tells us that one race is a vessel to honor, and another to dishonor; and that he has seen on ancient Egyptian monuments the negro represented as "a hewer of wood and a drawer of water." This is doubtless true, and the gentleman seems determined always to KEEP the negro a "vessel of dishonor," and a "hewer of wood." We, on the other hand, propose to give him the opportunity of expanding his faculties and elevating himself to true manhood. He says he "hates and abhors, and despises demagogism." I am rejoiced to hear it, and I trust we shall see tangible evidence of the truth of what he professes in his abandonment of that slavery to party which is the mere trick and trap of the demagogue.

When, a few days since, this honorable body voted unanimously for the Amendment of the United States Constitution, abolishing human slavery, I not only thanked God from my heart of hearts, but I felt like going down on my knees to the gentlemen of the opposition, for the wisdom they had exhibited in bowing to the logic of events by dropping that dead weight of slavery which had disrupted the Democratic party, with which I had been so long connected. And on this occasion I wish again to appeal to the wisdom and loyalty of my Democratic friends. I say Democratic "friends," for I am and ever was, a thorough, out and out Democrat. I supported General Jackson, and voted for every Democratic president after him, up to and including Pierce; for I really thought Pierce was a Democrat until he proved the contrary, as I conceived, in the Kansas question. My democracy goes for the greatest good to the greatest number, for equal and exact justice to all men, and for a submission to the will of the majority. It was the repudiation by the Southern Democracy of this great democratic doctrine of majority rule which opened the rebellion.

And now, Mr. Speaker, let me remind our Democratic friends that the present question simply asks that a majority of the legal voters, the white citizens of this State, may decide whether or not colored men of good moral character, WHO ARE ABLE TO READ, and who possess all the qualifications of white voters, shall be entitled to the elective franchise. The opposition may have their own ideas, or may be in doubt upon this subject; but surely no true Democrat will dare to refuse permission to our fellow-citizens to decide the question.

Negro slavery, and its legitimate outgrowths of ignorance, tyranny and oppression, have caused this gigantic rebellion, which has cost our country thousands of millions of treasure, and hundreds of thousands of human lives in defending a principle. And where was this poor, down-trodden colored race in this rebellion? Did they seize the "opportunity" when their masters were engaged with a powerful foe, to break out in insurrection, and massacre those tyrants who had so long held them in the most cruel bondage? No, Mr. Speaker, they did not do this. My "Democratic" friends would have done it. I would have done it. Irishmen, Chinamen, Portuguese, would have done it; any white man would have done it; but the poor black man is like a lamb in his nature compared with the white man. The black man possesses a confiding disposition, thoroughly tinctured with religious enthusiasm, and not characterized by a spirit of revenge. No, the only barbarous massacres we heard of, during the war, were those committed by their white masters on their poor, defenceless white prisoners, and to the eternal disgrace of southern white "Democratic" rebels, be it said, these instances of barbarism were numerous all through the war. When this rebellion first broke out, the northern Democracy raised a hue-and-cry against permitting the negroes to fight; but when such a measure seemed necessary, in order to put down traitors, these colored men took their muskets in hand and made their bodies a wall of defence for the loyal citizens of the North. And now, when our grateful white citizens ask from this assembly the privilege of deciding by their votes whether these colored men, who at least, were partially our saviours in the war, may or may not, under proper restrictions, become participants in that great salvation, I am amazed that men calling themselves Democrats dare refuse to grant this democratic measure. We wish to educate ignorant men, white or black. Ignorance is incompatible with the genius of our free institutions. In the very nature of things it jeopardizes their stability, and it is always unsafe to transgress the laws of nature. We cannot safely shut ourselves up with ignorance and brutality; we must educate and Christianize those who are now by circumstances our social inferiors.

Years ago, I was afraid of foreign voters. I feared that when Europe poured her teeming millions of working people upon our shores, our extended laws of franchise would enable them to swamp our free institutions, and reduce us to anarchy. But much reflection has satisfied me that we have only to elevate these millions and their descendants to the standard of American citizenship, and we shall find sufficient of the leaven of liberty in our system of government to absorb all foreign elements and assimilate them to a truly democratic form of government.

Mr. Speaker: We cannot afford to carry passengers and have them live under our government with no real vital interest in its perpetuity. Every man must be a joint owner.

The only safe inhabitants of a free country are educated citizens who vote.

Nor in a free government can we afford to employ journeymen; they may be apprenticed until they learn to read, and study our institutions; and then let them become joint proprietors and feel a proportionate responsibility. The two learned and distinguished authors of the minority report have been studying the science of ethnology and have treated us with a dissertation on the races. And what have they attempted to show? Why, that a race which, simply on account of the color of the skin, has long been buried in slavery at the South, and even at the North has been tabooed and scarcely permitted to rise above the dignity of whitewashers and boot-blacks, does not exhibit the same polish and refinement that the white citizens do who have enjoyed the advantages of civilization, education, Christian culture and self-respect which can only be attained by those who share in making the laws under which they live.

Do our Democratic friends assume that the negroes are not human? I have heard professed Democrats claim even that; but do the authors of this minority report insist that the negro is a beast? Is his body not tenanted by an immortal spirit? If this is the position of the gentlemen, then I confess a beast cannot reason, and this minority committee are right in declaring that "the negro can develop no inventive faculties or genius for the arts." For although the elephant may be taught to plow, or the dog to carry your market-basket by his teeth, you cannot teach them to shave notes, to speculate in gold, or even to vote; whereas, the experience of all political parties shows that men may be taught to vote, even when they do not know what the ticket means.

But if the colored man is indeed a man, then his manhood with proper training can be developed. His soul may appear dormant, his brain inactive, but there is a vitality there; and Nature will assert herself if you will give her the opportunity.

Suppose an inhabitant of another planet should drop down upon this portion of our globe at mid-winter. He would find the earth covered with snow and ice, and congealed almost to the consistency of granite. The trees are leafless, everything is cold and barren; no green thing is to be seen; the inhabitants are chilled, and stalk about shivering, from place to place; he would exclaim, "Surely this is not life; this means annihilation. No flesh and blood can long endure this; this frozen earth is bound in the everlasting embraces of adamantine frost, and can never develop vegetation for the sustenance of any living thing." He little dreams of the priceless myriads of germs which bountiful Nature has safely garnered in the warm bosom of our mother earth; he sees no evidence of that vitality which the beneficent sun will develop to grace and beautify the world. But let him remain till March or April, and as the snow begins to melt away, he discovers the beautiful crocus struggling through the half-frozen ground; the snow-drops appear in all their chaste beauty; the buds of the swamp-maple shoot forth; the beautiful magnolia opens her splendid blossoms; the sassafras adds its evidence of life; the pearl-white blossoms of the dog-wood light up every forest: and while our stranger is rubbing his eyes in astonishment, the earth is covered with her emerald velvet carpet; rich foliage and brilliant colored blossoms adorn the trees; fragrant flowers are enwreathing every wayside; the swift-winged birds float through the air and send forth joyous notes of gratitude from every tree-top; the merry lambs skip joyfully around their verdant pasture-grounds; and everywhere is our stranger surrounded with life, beauty, joy and gladness.

So it is with the poor African. You may take a dozen specimens of both sexes from the lowest type of man found in Africa; their race has been buried for ages in ignorance and barbarism, and you can scarcely perceive that they have any more of manhood or womanhood than so many orang-outangs or gorillas. You look at their low foreheads, their thick skulls and lips, their woolly heads, their flat noses, their dull, lazy eyes, and you may he tempted to adopt the language of this minority committee, and exclaim: Surely these people have "no inventive faculties, no genius for the arts, or for any of those occupations requiring intellect and wisdom." But bring them out into the light of civilization; let them and their children come into the genial sunshine of Christianity; teach them industry, self-reliance, and self-respect; let them learn what too few white Christians have yet understood, that cleanliness is akin to godliness, and a part of godliness; and the human soul will begin to develop itself. Each generation, blessed with churches and common schools will gradually exhibit the result of such culture; the low foreheads will be raised and widened by an active and expanded brain; the vacant eye of barbarism, ignorance and idleness will light up with the fire of intelligence, education, ambition, activity and Christian civilization; and you will find the immortal soul asserting her dignity, by the development of a man who would startle by his intelligence the honorable gentleman from Wallingford, who has presumed to compare beings made in God's image with "oxen and asses." That honorable gentleman, if he is rightly reported in the papers (I did not have the happiness to hear his speech), has mistaken the nature of the colored man. The honorable gentleman reminds me of the young man who went abroad, and when he returned, there was nothing in America that could compare with what he had seen in foreign lands. Niagara Falls was nowhere; the White Mountains were "knocked higher than a kite" by Mont Blanc; our rivers were so large that they were vulgar, when contrasted with the beautiful little streams and rivulets of Europe; our New York Central Park was eclipsed by the Bois de Bologne and the Champs Elysees of Paris, or Hyde or Regent Park of London, to say nothing of the great Phoenix Park at Dublin.

"They have introduced a couple of Venetian gondolas on the large pond in Central Park," remarked a friend.

"All very well," replied the verdant traveler, "but between you and me, these birds can't stand our cold climate more than one season." The gentleman from Wallingford evidently had as little idea of the true nature of the African as the young swell had of the pleasure-boats of Venice.

Mr. Johnson, of Wallingford: "The gentleman misapprehends my remarks. The gentleman from Norwich had urged that the negro should vote because they have fought in our battles. I replied that oxen and asses can fight, and therefore should, on the same grounds, be entitled to vote."

Mr. Barnum: I accept the gentleman's explanation. Doubtless General Grant will feel himself highly complimented when he learns that it requires no greater capacity to handle the musket, and meet armed battalions in the field, than "oxen and asses" possess.

Let the educated free negro feel that he is a man; let him be trained in New England churches, schools and workshops; let him support himself, pay his taxes, and cast his vote, like other men, and he will put to everlasting shame the champions of modern Democracy, by the overwhelming evidence he will give in his own person of the great Scripture truth, that "God has made of one blood all the nations of men." A human soul, "that God has created and Christ died for," is not to be trifled with. It may tenant the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hottentot--it is still an immortal spirit; and, amid all assumptions of caste, it will in due time vindicate the great fact that, without regard to color or condition, all men are equally children of the common Father.

A few years since, an English lord and his family were riding in his carriage in Liverpool. It was an elegant equipage; the servants were dressed in rich livery; the horses caparisoned in the most costly style; and everything betokened that the establishment belonged to a scion of England's proudest aristocracy. The carriage stopped in front of a palatial residence. At this moment a poor beggar woman rushed to the side of the carriage, and gently seizing the lady by the hand, exclaimed, "For the love of God give me something to save my poor sick children from starvation. You are rich; I am your poor sister, for God is our common Father."

"Wretch!" exclaimed the proud lady, casting the woman's hand away; "don't call me sister; I have nothing in common with such low brutes as you." And the great lady doubtless thought she was formed of finer clay than this suffering mendicant; but when a few days afterward she was brought to a sick bed by the smallpox, contracted by touching the hand of that poor wretch, she felt the evidence that they belonged to the same great family, and were subject to the same pains and diseases.

The State of Connecticut, like New Jersey, is a border State of New York. New York has a great commercial city, where aldermen rob by the tens of thousands, and where principal is studied much more than principle. I can readily understand how the negro has come to be debased at the North as well as at the South. The interests of the two sections in the product of negro labor were nearly identical. The North wanted Southern cotton and the South was ready in turn to buy from the North whatever was needed in the way of Northern supplies and manufactures. This community of commercial interests led to an identity in political principles, especially in matters pertaining to the negro race--the working race of the South--which produced the cotton and consumed so much of what Northern merchants and manufacturers sold for plantation use. The Southern planters were good customers and were worth conciliating. So when Connecticut proposed in 1818 to continue to admit colored men to the franchise, the South protested against thus elevating the negroes, and Connecticut succumbed. No other New England State has ever so disgraced herself; and now Connecticut Democrats are asked to permit the white citizens of this State to express their opinion in regard to reinstating the colored man where our Revolutionary sires placed him under the Constitution. Now, gentlemen, "Democrats," as you call yourselves, you who speak so flippantly of your "loyalty," your "love for the Union" and your "love for the people"; you who are generally talking right and voting wrong, we ask you to come forward and act "democratically," by letting your masters, the people, speak.

The word "white" in the Constitution cannot be strictly and literally construed. The opposition express great love for white blood. Will they let a mulatto vote half the time, a quadroon three-fourths, and an octoroon seven-eighths of the time? If not, why not? Will they enslave seven-eighths of a white man because one-eighth is not Caucasian? Is this democratic? Shall not the majority seven control the minority one? Out on such "democracy."

But a Democratic minority committee (of two) seem to have done something besides study ethnology. They have also paid great attention to fine arts, and are particularly anxious that all voters shall have a "genius for the arts." I would like to ask them if it has always been political practice to insist that every voter in the great "unwashed" and "unterrified" of any party should become a member of the Academy of Arts before he votes the "regular" ticket? I thought he was received into the full fellowship of a political party if he could exhibit sufficient "inventive faculties and genius for the arts," to enable him to paint a black eye. Can a man whose "genius for the arts" enables him to strike from the shoulder scientifically, be admitted to full fellowship in a political party? Is it evident that the political artist has studied the old masters, if he exhibits his genius by tapping an opponent's head with a shillelah? The oldest master in this school of art was Cain; and so canes have been made to play their part in politics, at the polls and even in the United States Senate Chamber.

Is "genius for the arts and those occupations requiring intellect and wisdom" sufficiently exemplified in adroitly stuffing ballot-boxes, forging soldiers' votes, and copying a directory, as has been done, as the return list of votes? Is the "inventive faculty" of "voting early and often" a passport to political brotherhood? Is it satisfactory evidence of "artistic" genius, to head a mob? and a mob which is led and guided by political passion, as numerous instances in our history prove, is the worst of mobs. Is it evidence of "high art" to lynch a man by hanging him to the nearest tree or lamp-post? Is a "whisky scrimmage" one of the lost arts restored? We all know how certain "artists" are prone to embellish elections and to enhance the excitements of political campaigns by inciting riots, and the frequency with which these disgraceful outbreaks have occurred of late, especially in some of the populous cities, is cause for just alarm. It is dangerous "art."

Mr. Speaker: I repeat that I am a friend to the Irishman. I have traveled through his native country and have seen how he is oppressed. I have listened to the eloquent and patriotic appeals of Daniel O'Connell, in Conciliation Hall, in Dublin, and I have gladly contributed to his fund for ameliorating the condition of his countrymen. I rejoice to see them rushing to this land of liberty and independence; and it is because I am their friend that I denounce the demagogues who attempt to blind and mislead them to vote in the interests of any party against the interests of humanity, and the principles of true democracy. My neighbors will testify that at mid-winter I employ Irishmen by the hundred to do work that is not absolutely necessary, in order to help them support their families.

After hearing the minority report last week, I began to feel that I might be disfranchised, for I have no great degree of "genius for the arts;" I felt, therefore, that I must get "posted" on that subject as soon as possible. I at once sauntered into the Senate Chamber to look at the paintings: there I saw portraits of great men, and I saw two empty frames from which the pictures had been removed. These missing paintings, I was told, were portraits of two ex-Governors of the State, whose position on political affairs was obnoxious to the dominant party in the Legislature; and especially obnoxious were the supposed sentiments of these governors on the war. Therefore, the Senate voted to remove the pictures, and thus proved, as it would seem, that there is an intimate connection between politics and art.

I have repeatedly traveled through every State in the South, and I assert, what every intelligent officer and soldier who has resided there will corroborate, that the slaves, as a body are more intelligent than the poor whites. No man who has not been there can conceive to what a low depth of ignorance the poor snuff-taking, clay-eating whites of some portions of the South have descended. I trust the day is not far distant when the "common school" shall throw its illuminating rays through this Egyptian pall.

I have known slave mechanics to be sold for $3,000, and even $5,000 each, and others could not be bought at all; and I have seen intelligent slaves acting as stewards for their masters, traveling every year to New Orleans, Nashville, and even to Cincinnati, to dispose of their masters' crops. The tree colored citizens of Opelousas, St. Martinsville, and all the Attakapas country in Louisiana, are as respectable and intelligent as an ordinary community of whites. They speak the French and English languages, educate their children in music and "the arts," and they pay their taxes on more than fifteen millions of dollars.

Gentlemen of the opposition, I beseech you to remember that our State and our country ask from us something more than party tactics. It is absolutely necessary that the loyal blacks at the South should vote, in order to save the loyal whites. Let Connecticut, without regard to party, set them an example that shall influence the action at the South, and prevent a new form of slavery from arising there, which shall make all our expenditure of blood and treasure fruitless.

But some persons have this color prejudice simply by the force of education, and they say, "Well, a nigger is a nigger, and he can't be anything else. I hate niggers, anyhow." Twenty years ago I crossed the Atlantic, and among our passengers was an Irish judge, who was coming out to Newfoundland as chief justice. He was an exceedingly intelligent and polished gentleman, and extremely witty. The passengers from the New England States and those from the South got into a discussion on the subject of slavery, which lasted three days. The Southerners were finally worsted, and when their arguments were exhausted, they fell back on the old story, by saying: "Oh! curse a nigger, he ain't half human anyhow; he had no business to be a nigger, etc." One of the gentlemen then turned to the Irish judge, and asked his opinion of the merits of the controversy. The judge replied:

"Gentlemen, I have listened with much edification to your arguments pro and con during three days. I was quite inclined to think the anti-slavery gentlemen had justice and right on their side, but the last argument from the South has changed my mind. I say a 'nigger has no business to be a nigger,' and we should kick him out of society and trample him under foot--always provided, gentlemen, you prove he was born black at his own particular request. If he had no word to say in the matter, of course he is blameless for his color, and is entitled to the same respect that other men are who properly behave themselves!"

Mr. Speaker: I am no politician; I came to this legislature simply because I wish to have the honor of voting for the two constitutional amendments--one for driving slavery entirely out of our country; the other to allow men of education and good moral character to vote, regardless of the color of their skins. To give my voice for these two philanthropic, just and Christian measures is all the glory I ask legislativewise. I care nothing whatever for any sect or party under heaven, as such. I have no axes to grind, no logs to roll, no favors to ask. All I desire is to do what is right, and prevent what is wrong. I believe in no "expediency" that is not predicated of justice, for in all things--politics, as well as everything else--I know that "honesty is the best policy." A retributive Providence will unerringly and speedily search out all wrong-doing; hence, right is always the best in the long run. Certainly,, in the light of the great American spirit of liberty and equal rights which is sweeping over this country, and making the thrones of tyrants totter in the Old World, no party can afford to carry slavery, either of body or of mind. Knock off your manacles and let the man go free. Take down the blinds from his intellect, and let in the light of education and Christian culture. When this is done you have developed a man. Give him the responsibility of a man and the self-respect of a man, by granting him the right of suffrage, Let universal education, and the universal franchise be the motto of free America, and the toiling millions of Europe, who are watching you with such intense interest, will hail us as their saviours. Let us loyally sink "party" on this question, and go for "God and our Country." Let no man attach an eternal stigma to his name by shutting his eyes to the great lesson of the hour, and voting against permitting the people to express their opinion on this important subject. Let us unanimously grant this truly democratic boon. Then, when our laws of franchise are settled on a just basis, let future parties divide where they honestly differ on State or national questions which do nor trench upon the claims of manhood or American citizenship.



On the 13th day of July, 1865, when Barnum was speaking in the Legislature at Hartford, against the railroad schemes, a telegram was handed him from his son-in-law and assistant manager in New York, S. H. Hurd, saying that the American Museum was in flames and its total destruction certain.

Barnum glanced at the dispatch, folded and laid it in his desk, and went calmly on with his speech. At the conclusion of his remarks, the bill which he was advocating was voted upon and carried, and the House adjourned.

Not until then did Barnum hand the telegram to his friend, William G. Coe, of Winsted, who immediately communicated the intelligence to several members.

Warm sympathizers at once crowded around him, and one of his strongest opponents pushing forward, seized his hand, and said: "Mr. Barnum, I am truly sorry to hear of your great misfortune."

"Sorry," replied Barnum; "why, my dear sir, I shall not have time to be sorry in a week! It will take me at least that length of time before I can get over laughing at having whipped you all so nicely on that bill."

But he did find time to be sorry when, next day, he went to New York and saw nothing of what had been the American Museum but a smouldering mass of debris.

Here was destroyed, in a few hours, the result of many years' toil in accumulating from every part of the world myriads of curious productions of nature and art--a collection which a half a million of dollars and a quarter of a century could not restore.

In addition to these, there were many Revolutionary relics and other articles of historical interest that could never be duplicated. Not a thousand dollars worth of property was saved; the loss was irreparable, and the insurance was only forty thousand dollars.

The fire probably originated in the engine-room, where steam was constantly kept up to pump fresh air into the waters of the aquaria and to propel the immense fans for cooling the atmosphere of the rooms.

All the New York newspapers made a great "sensation" of the fire, and the full particulars were copied in journals throughout the country. A facetious reporter; Mr. Nathan D. Urner, of the Tribune, wrote the following amusing account, which appeared in that journal, July 14, 1865, and was very generally quoted from and copied by provincial papers, many of whose readers accepted every line of the glowing narrative as "gospel truth":

"Soon after the breaking out of the conflagration, a number of strange and terrible howls and moans proceeding from the large apartment in the third floor of the Museum, corner of Ann street and Broadway, startled the throngs who had collected in front of the burning building, and who were at first under the impression that the sounds must proceed from human beings unable to effect their escape. Their anxiety was somewhat relieved on this score, but their consternation was by no means decreased upon learning that the room in question was the principal chamber of the menagerie connected with the Museum, and that there was imminent danger of the release of the animals there confined, by the action of the flames. Our reporter fortunately occupied a room on the north corner of Ann street and Broadway, the windows of which looked immediately into this apartment; and no sooner was he apprised of the fire than he repaired there, confident of finding items in abundance. Luckily the windows of the Museum were unclosed, and he had a perfect view of almost the entire interior of the apartment. The following is his statement of what followed, in his own language.

"Protecting myself from the intense heat as well as I could by taking the mattress from the bed and erecting it as a bulwark before the window, with only enough space reserved on the top so as to look out, I anxiously observed the animals in the opposite room. Immediately opposite the window through which I gazed was a large cage containing a lion and lioness. To the right hand was the three-storied cage, containing monkeys at the top, two kangaroos in the second story, and a happy family of cats, rats, adders, rabbits, etc., in the lower apartment. To the left of the lions' cage was the tank containing the two vast alligators, and still further to the left, partially hidden from my sight, was the grand tank containing the great white whale, which has created such a furore in our sightseeing midst for the past few weeks. Upon the floor were caged the boa-constrictor, anacondas and rattlesnakes, whose heads would now and then rise menacingly through the top of the cage. In the extreme right was the cage, entirely shut from my view at first, containing the Bengal tiger and the Polar bear, whose terrific growls could be distinctly heard from behind the partition. With a simultaneous bound the lion and his mate sprang against the bars, which gave way and came down with a great crash, releasing the beasts, which for a moment, apparently amazed at their sudden liberty, stood in the middle of the floor lashing their sides with their tails and roaring dolefully.

"Almost at the same moment the upper part of the three-storied cage, consumed by the flames, fell forward, letting the rods drop to the floor, and many other animals were set free. Just at this time the door fell through and the flames and smoke rolled in like a whirlwind from the Hadean river Cocytus. A horrible scene in the right-hand corner of the room, a yell of indescribable agony, and a crashing, grating sound, indicated that the tiger and Polar bear were stirred up to the highest pitch of excitement. Then there came a great crash, as of the giving way of the bars of their cage. The flames and smoke momentarily rolled back, and for a few seconds the interior of the room was visible in the lurid light of the flames, which revealed the tiger and the lion, locked together in close combat.

"The monkeys were perched around the windows, shivering with dread, and afraid to jump out. The snakes were writhing about, crippled and blistered by the heat, darting out their forked tongues, and expressing their rage and fear in the most sibilant of hisses. The 'Happy Family' were experiencing an amount of beatitude which was evidently too cordial for philosophical enjoyment. A long tongue of flame had crept under the cage, completely singing every hair from the cat's body. The felicitous adder was slowly burning in two and busily engaged in impregnating his organic system with his own venom. The joyful rat had lost his tail by a falling bar of iron; and the beatific rabbit, perforated by a red-hot nail, looked as if nothing would be more grateful than a cool corner in some Esquimaux farm-yard. The members of the delectated convocation were all huddled together in the bottom of their cage, which suddenly gave way, precipitating them out of view in the depths below, which by this time were also blazing like the fabled Tophet.

"At this moment the flames rolled again into the room, and then again retired. The whale and alligators were by this time suffering dreadful torments. The water in which they swam was literally boiling. The alligators dashed fiercely about, endeavoring to escape, and opening and shutting their great jaws in ferocious torture; but the poor whale, almost boiled, with great ulcers bursting from his blubbery sides, could only feebly swim about, though blowing excessively, and every now and then sending up great fountains of spray. At length, crack went the glass sides of the great cases, and whale and alligators rolled out on the floor with the rushing and steaming water. The whale died easily, having been pretty well used up before. A few great gasps and a convulsive flap or two of his mighty flukes were his expiring spasm. One of the alligators was killed almost immediately by falling across a great fragment of shattered glass, which cut open his stomach and let out the greater part of his entrails to the light of day. The remaining alligator became involved in a controversy with an anaconda, and joined the melee in the centre of the flaming apartment.

"A number of birds which were caged in the upper part of the building were set free by some charitably inclined person at the first alarm of fire, and at intervals they flew out. There were many valuable tropical birds, parrots, cockatoos, mockingbirds, humming-birds, etc., as well as some vultures and eagles, and one condor. Great excitement existed among the swaying crowds in the streets below as they took wing. There were confined in the same room a few serpents, which also obtained their liberty; and soon after the rising and devouring flames began to enwrap the entire building, a splendid and emblematic sight was presented to the wondering and upgazing throngs. Bursting through the central casement, with flap of wings and lashing coils, appeared an eagle and a serpent wreathed in fight. For a moment they hung poised in mid-air, presenting a novel and terrible conflict. It was the earth and air (or their respective representatives) at war for mastery; the base and the lofty, the groveller and the soarer, were engaged in deadly battle. At length the flat head of the serpent sank; his writhing, sinuous form grew still; and wafted upward by the cheers of the gazing multitude, the eagle, with a scream of triumph, and bearing his prey in his iron talons, soared towards the sun. Several monkeys escaped from the burning building to the neighboring roofs and streets; and considerable excitement was caused by the attempts to secure them. One of the most amusing incidents in this respect, was in connection with Mr. James Gordon Bennett. The veteran editor of the Herald was sitting in his private office, with his back to the open window, calmly discussing with a friend the chances that the Herald establishment would escape the conflagration, which at that time was threateningly advancing up Ann street towards Nassau street. In the course of his conversation, Mr. Bennett observed: 'Although I have usually had good luck in cases of fire, they say that the devil is ever at one's shoulder, and'--here an exclamation from his friend interrupted him, and turning quickly he was considerably taken aback at seeing the devil himself, or something like him, at his very shoulder as he spoke. Recovering his equanimity, with the ease and suavity which is usual with him in all company, Mr. Bennett was about to address the intruder, when he perceived that what he had taken for the gentleman in black was nothing more than a frightened orang-outang. The poor creature, but recently released from captivity, and doubtless thinking that he might fill some vacancy in the editorial corps of the paper in question, had descended by the water-pipe and instinctively taken refuge in the inner sanctum of the establishment. Although the editor--perhaps from the fact that he saw nothing peculiarly strange in the visitation--soon regained his composure, it was far otherwise with his friend, who immediately gave the alarm. Mr. Hudson rushed in and boldly attacked the monkey, grasping him by the throat. The book-editor next came in, obtaining a clutch upon the brute by the ears; the musical critic followed and seized the tail with both hands, and a number of reporters, armed with inkstands and sharpened pencils, came next, followed by a dozen policemen with brandished clubs; at the same time, the engineer in the basement received the preconcerted signal and got ready his hose, wherewith to pour boiling hot water upon the heads of, those in the streets, in case it should prove a regular systematized attack by gorillas, Brazil apes, and chimpanzees. Opposed to this formidable combination the rash intruder fared badly, and was soon in durance vile. Numerous other incidents of a similar kind occurred; but some of the most amusing were in connection with the wax figures.

"Upon the same impulse which prompts men in time of fire to fling valuable looking-glasses out of three-story windows, and at the same time tenderly to lower down feather beds--soon after the Museum took fire, a number of sturdy firemen rushed into the building to carry out the wax figures. There were thousands of valuable articles which might have been saved if there had been less of solicitude displayed for the miserable effigies which are usually exhibited under the appellation of 'wax figures.' As it was, a dozen firemen rushed into the apartment where the figures were kept, amid a multitude of crawling snakes, chattering monkeys and escaped paroquets. The 'Dying Brigand' was unceremoniously throttled and dragged towards the door; liberties were taken with the tearful 'Senorita' who has so long knelt and so constantly wagged her doll's head at his side; the mules of the other bandits were upset, and they themselves roughly seized. The full-length statue of P. T. Barnum fell down of its own accord, as if disgusted with the whole affair. A red-shined fireman seized with either hand Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan by their coat-collars, tucked the Prince Imperial of France under one arm and the Veiled Murderess under the other, and coolly departed for the street. Two ragged boys quarreled over the Tom Thumb, but at length settled the controversy by one of them taking the head, the other satisfying himself with the legs below the knees. They evidently had Tom under their thumbs, and intended to keep him down. While the curiosity-seeking policeman was garroting Benjamin Franklin, with the idea of abducting him, a small monkey, flung from the windowsill by the strong hand of an impatient fireman, made a straight dive, hitting Poor Richard just below the waistcoat, and passing through his stomach, as fairly as the Harlequin in the 'Green Monster' pantomime ever pierced the picture with the slit in it, which always hangs so conveniently low and near. Patrick Henry had his teeth knocked out by a flying missile, and in carrying Daniel Lambert down stairs, he was found to be so large that they had to break off his head in order to get him through the door. At length the heat became intense, the 'figgers' began to perspire freely, and the swiftly approaching flames compelled all hands to desist from any further attempt at rescue. Throwing a parting glance behind as we passed down the stairs, we saw the remaining dignitaries in a strange plight. Some one had stuck a cigar in General Washington's mouth, and thus, with his chapeau crushed down over his eyes and his head leaning upon the ample lap of Moll Pitcher, the Father of his Country led the van of as sorry a band of patriots as not often comes within one's experience to see. General Marion was playing a dummy game of poker with General Lafayette; Governor Morris was having a set-to with Nathan Lane, and James Madison was executing a Dutch polka with Madam Roland on one arm and Luicretia Borgia on the other. The next moment the advancing flames compelled us to retire.

"We believe that all the living curiosities were saved; but the giant girl, Anna Swan, was only rescued with the utmost difficulty. There was not a door through which her bulky frame could obtain a passage. It was likewise feared that the stairs would break down, even if she should reach them. Her best friend, the living skeleton, stood by her as long as he dared, but then deserted her, while, as the heat grew in intensity, the perspiration rolled from her face in little brooks and rivulets, which pattered musically upon the floor. At length, as a last resort, the employees of the place procured a lofty derrick which fortunately happened to be standing near, and erected it alongside of the Museum. A portion of the wall was then broken off on each side of the window, the strong tackle was got in readiness, the tall woman was made fast to one end and swung over the heads of the people in the street, with eighteen men grasping the other extremity of the line, and lowered down from the third story, amid enthusiastic applause. A carriage of extraordinary capacity was in readiness, and, entering this, the young lady was driven away to a hotel.

"When the surviving serpents, that were released by the partial burning of the box in which they were contained, crept along on the floor to the balcony of the Museum and dropped on the sidewalk, the crowd, seized with St. Patrick's aversion to the reptiles, fled with such precipitate haste that they knocked each other down and trampled on one another in the most reckless and damaging manner.

"Hats were lost, coats torn, boots burst and pantaloons dropped with magnificent miscellaneousness, and dozens of those who rose from the miry streets into which they had been thrown looked like the disembodied spirits of a mud bank. The snakes crawled on the sidewalk and into Broadway, where some of them died from injuries received, and others were dispatched by the excited populace. Several of the serpents of the copper-head species escaped the fury of the tumultuous masses, and, true to their instincts, sought shelter in the World and News offices. A large black bear escaped from the burning Museum into Ann street, and then made his way into Nassau, and down that thoroughfare into Wall, where his appearance caused a sensation. Some superstitious persons believed him the spirit of a departed Ursa Major, and others of his fraternity welcomed the animal as a favorable omen. The bear walked quietly along to the Custom House, ascended the steps of the building, and became bewildered, as many a biped bear has done before him. He seemed to lose his sense of vision, and, no doubt, endeavoring to operate for a fall, walked over the side of the steps and broke his neck. He succeeded in his object, but it cost him dearly. The appearance of Bruin in the street sensibly affected the stock market, and shares fell rapidly; but when he lost his life in the careless manner we have described, shares advanced again, and the Bulls triumphed once more.

"Broadway and its crossings have not witnessed a denser throng for months than assembled at the fire yesterday. Barnum's was always popular, but it never drew so vast a crowd before. There must have been forty thousand people on Broadway, between Maiden Lane and Chambers street, and a great portion stayed there until dusk. So great was the concourse of people that it was with difficulty pedestrians or vehicles could pass.

"After the fire several high-art epicures, groping among the ruins, found choice morsels of boiled whale, roasted kangaroo and fricasseed crocodile, which, it is said, they relished; though the many would have failed to appreciate such rare edibles. Probably the recherche epicures will declare the only true way to prepare those meats is to cook them in a Museum wrapped in flames, in the same manner that the Chinese, according to Charles Lamb, first discovered roast pig in a burning house, and ever afterward set a house on fire with a pig inside, when they wanted that particular food."

All the New York journals, and many more in other cities, editorially expressed their sympathy with the misfortune, and their sense of the loss the community had sustained in the destruction of the American Museum. The following editorial is from the New York Tribune of July 14, 1865:

"The destruction of no building in this city could have caused so much excitement and so much regret as that of Barnum's Museum. The collection of curiosities was very large, and though many of them may not have had much intrinsic or memorial value, a considerable portion was certainly of great worth for any Museum. But aside from this, pleasant memories clustered about the place, which for so many years has been the chief resort for amusement to the common people who cannot often afford to treat themselves to a night at the more expensive theatres, while to the children of the city, Barnum's has been a fountain of delight, ever offering new attractions as captivating and as implicitly believed in as the Arabian Nights Entertainments: Theatre, Menagerie and Museum, it amused, instructed, and astonished. If its thousands and tens of thousands of annual visitors were bewildered sometimes with a Wooly Horse, a What is It? or a Mermaid, they found repose and certainty in a Giraffe, a Whale or a Rhinoceros. If wax effigies of pirates and murderers made them shudder lest those dreadful figures should start out of their glass cases and repeat their horrid deeds, they were reassured by the presence of the mildest and most amiable of giants, and the fattest of mortal women, whose dead weight alone could crush all the wax figures into their original cakes. It was a source of unfailing interest to all country visitors, and New York to many of them was only the place that held Barnum's Museum. It was the first thing--often the only thing--they visited when they came among us, and nothing that could have been contrived, out of our present resources, could have offered so many attractions, unless some more ingenious showman had undertaken to add to Barnum's collection of waxen criminals by putting in a cage the live Boards of the Common Council. We mourn its loss, but not as without consolation. Barnum's Museum is gone, but Barnum himself, happily, did not share the fate of his rattlesnakes and his, at least, most "un-Happy Family." There are fishes in the seas and beasts in the forest; birds still fly in the air, and strange creatures still roam in the deserts; giants and pigmies still wander up and down the earth; the oldest man, the fattest woman, and the smallest baby are still living, and Barnum will find them.

"Or even if none of these things or creatures existed, we could trust to Barnum to make them out of hand. The Museum, then, is only a temporary loss, and much as we sympathize with the proprietor, the public may trust to his well-known ability and energy to soon renew a place of amusement which was a source of so much innocent pleasure, and had in it so many elements of solid excellence."

As already stated, Mr. Barnum's insurance was but forty thousand dollars while the loss was fully four hundred thousand, and as his premium was five per cent., he had already paid the insurance companies more than they returned to him.

His first impulse, on reckoning up his losses, was to retire from active life and all business occupations, beyond what his real estate interests in Bridgeport and New York would compel. He went to his old friend, Horace Greeley, and asked for advice on the subject.

"Accept this fire as a notice to quit, and go a-fishing," said Mr. Greeley.

"What?" exclaimed Barnum.

"Yes, go a-fishing," replied Greeley. "Why, I have been wanting to go for thirty years, and have never yet found time to do so."

And but for two considerations Barnum might have taken this advice. One hundred and fifty employees were thrown out of work at a season when it would have been difficult to get anything else to do. That was the most important consideration. Then, too, Barnum felt that a large city like New York needed a good Museum, and that his experience of a quarter of a century in that direction afforded the greatest facilities for founding another establishment of the kind. So he took a few days for reflection.

The Museum employees were tendered a benefit at the Academy of Music, at which most of the dramatic artists in the city gave their services. At the conclusion Barnum was called for, and made a brilliant speech, in which he announced that he had decided to establish another Museum, and that, in order to give present occupation to his employees, he had engaged the Winter Garden Theatre for a few weeks, his new establishment promising to be ready by fall.

The New York Sun commented on the speech as follows:

"One of the happiest impromptu oratorical efforts that we have heard for some time was that made by Barnum at the benefit performance given for his employees on Friday afternoon. If a stranger wanted to satisfy himself how the great showman had managed so to monopolize the ear and eye of the public during his long career, he could not have had a better opportunity of doing so than by listening to this address. Every word, though delivered with apparent carelessness, struck a key-note in the hearts of his listeners. Simple, forcible and touching, it showed how thoroughly this extraordinary man comprehends the character of his countrymen, and how easily he can play upon their feelings.

"Those who look upon Barnum as a mere charlatan, have really no knowledge of him. It would be easy to demonstrate that the qualities that have placed him in his present position of notoriety and affluence would, in another pursuit, have raised him to far greater eminence. In his breadth of views, his profound knowledge of mankind, his courage under reverses, his indomitable perseverance, his ready eloquence and his admirable business tact, we recognize the elements that are conducive to success in most other pursuits. More than almost any other living man, Barnum may be said to be a representative type of the American mind."



During his legislative career Mr. Barnum made many new friends and pleasant acquaintances, and there were many events great and small which tended to make the session memorable. Barnum was by no means an idle member. On several occasions, indeed, he took a most conspicuous part in debates and in framing legislation. On one occasion, a Representative, who was a lawyer, introduced resolutions to reduce the number of Representatives, urging that the "House" was too large and ponderous a body to work smoothly; that a smaller number of persons could accomplish business more rapidly and completely; and, in fact, that the Connecticut Legislature was so large that the members did not have time to get acquainted with each other before the body adjourned sine die. Barnum replied, that the larger the number of Representatives, the more difficult it would be to tamper with them; and if they all could not become personally acquainted, so much the better, for there would be fewer "rings," and less facilities for forcing improper legislation.

"As the House seems to be thin now, I will move to lay my resolutions on the table," remarked the member; "but I shall call them up when there is a full House."

"According to the gentleman's own theory," Barnum replied, "the smaller the number, the surer are we to arrive at correct conclusions. Now, therefore, is just the time to decide; and I move that the gentleman's resolutions be considered." This proposition was seconded amid a roar of laughter; and the resolutions were almost unanimously voted down, before the member fairly comprehended what was going on. He afterwards acknowledged it as a pretty fair joke, and at any rate as an effective one.

At this time Connecticut had two capitals, Hartford and New Haven. The State House at Hartford was a wretched old building, too small and entirely unfit for the purposes to which it was devoted; and that at New Haven was scarcely better. Barnum made a strong effort to secure the erection of new buildings in both cities, and was made chairman of the committee having the matter in charge. During his investigations he ascertained that Bridgeport, Middletown and Meriden would each be willing to erect a fine new State House at its own cost, for the sake of being made the capital of the State. Thus the jealousy of Hartford and New Haven was greatly aroused, and committees of citizens waited upon Mr. Barnum, beseeching him not to press the matter of removing the capital. In the end nothing definite was done, but years afterward Hartford was made the sole capital and one of the finest public buildings in the world was erected there.

The most notable event of the whole session however occurred near its close, when Barnum introduced a bill to amend the railroad law of the State by inserting in it the following:

"Section 508. No railroad company, which has had a system of commutation fares in force for more than four years, shall abolish, alter, or modify the same, except for the regulation of the price charged for such commutation; and such price shall, in no case, be raised to an extent that shall alter the ratio between such commutation and the rates then charged for way fare, on the railroad of such company."

The New York and New Haven Railroad Company seemed determined to move heaven and earth to prevent the passage of this law. The halls of legislation were thronged with railroad lobbyists, who button-holed nearly every member. Barnum's motives were attacked, and the most foolish slanders were circulated. Not only every legal man in the House was arrayed against him, but occasionally a "country member," who had promised to stick by and aid in checking the cupidity of railroad managers, would drop off, and be found voting on the other side. "I devoted," says Barnum, "many hours, and even days, to explaining the true state of things to the members from the rural regions, and, although the prospect of carrying this great reform looked rather dark, I felt that I had a majority of the honest and disinterested members of the House with me. Finally, Senator Ballard informed me that he had canvassed the Senate, and was convinced that the bill could be carried through that body if I could be equally successful with the House."

The date of the final debate and vote was fixed for the morning of July 13. At that time the excitement was intense. The State House was crowded with railroad lobbyists; for nearly every railroad in the State had made common cause with the New York and New Haven Company, and every Representative was in his seat, excepting the sick man, who had doctored the railroads till he needed doctoring himself. The debate was led off by skirmishers on each side, and was finally closed on the part of the railroads by Mr. Harrison, of New Haven, who was chairman of the railroad committee. Mr. Harrison was a close and forcible debater and a clear-headed lawyer. His speech exhibited considerable thought, and his earnestness and high character as a gentleman of honor carried much weight. Besides, his position as chairman of the committee naturally influenced some votes. He claimed to understand thoroughly the merits of the question, from having, in his capacity as chairman, heard all the testimony and arguments which had come before that committee; and a majority of the committee, after due deliberation, had reported against the proposed bill.

Mr. Barnum arose to close the debate. He endeavored to state briefly the gist of the whole case. "Only a few years before," he said, "the New York and New Haven Company had fixed their own price for commuters' tickets along the whole line of the road, and had thus induced hundreds of New York citizens to remove to Connecticut with their families, and build their houses on heretofore unimproved property, thus vastly increasing the value of the lands, and correspondingly helping our receipts for taxes. He urged that there was a tacit understanding between the railroad and these commuters and the public generally, that such persons as chose thus to remove from a neighboring State, and bring their families and capital within Connecticut's borders, should have the right to pass over the railroad on the terms fixed at the time by the president and directors; 'that any claim that the railroad could not afford to commute at the prices they had themselves established was absurd, from the fact that, even now, if one thousand families who reside in New York, and had never been in our own State, should propose to the railroad to remove these families (embracing in the aggregate five thousand persons) to Connecticut, and build one thousand new houses on the line of the New York and New Haven Railroad, provided the railroad would carry the male head of the family at all times for nothing, the company could well afford to accept the proposition, because they would receive full prices for transporting all other members of these families, at all times, as well as full prices for all their visitors and servants.'

"And now," he said, "what are the facts? Do we desire the railroad to carry even one-fifth of these new-comers for nothing? Do we, indeed, desire to compel them to transport them for any definitely fixed price at all? On the contrary, we find that during the late rebellion, when gold was selling for two dollars and eighty cents per dollar, this company doubled its prices of commutation, and retains the same prices now, although gold is but one-half that amount ($1.40). We don't ask them to go back to their former prices; we don't compel them to rest even here; we simply say, increase your rates, pile up your demands just as high as you desire, only you shall not make fish of one and fowl of another. You have fixed and increased your prices to passengers of all classes just as you liked, and established your own ratio between those who pay by the year and those who pay by the single trip; and now, all we ask is, that you shall not change the ratio. Charge ten dollars per passenger from New York to New Haven, if you have the courage to risk the competition of the steamboats; and whatever percentage you choose to increase the fare of transient passengers, we permit you to increase the rates of commuters in the same ratio.

"The interests of the State, as well as communities, demand this law; for if it is once fixed by statute that the prices of commutation are not to be increased, many persons will leave the localities where extortion is permitted on the railroads, and will settle in our State. But these railroad gentlemen say they have no intention to increase their rates of commutation, and they deprecate what they term 'premature legislation,' and an uncalled-for meddling with their affairs. Mr. Speaker, 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' Men engaged in plots against public interests always ask to be 'let alone.' Jeff Davis only asked to be 'let alone,' when the North was raising great armies to prevent the dissolution of the Union. The people cannot afford to let these railroads alone. This hall, crowded with railroad lobbyists, as the frogs thronged Egypt, is an admonition to all honest legislators that it is unsafe to allow the monopolies the chance to rivet the chains which already fetter the limbs of those whom circumstances place in the power of these companies."

At this point in his speech he was interrupted a messenger, who placed in his hands a dispatch from his son-in-law in New York, marked "Urgent." He opened and read it. It announced that his Museum had been totally destroyed by fire. He laid it upon his desk, and without the slightest change of manner continued his argument, as follows:

"These railroad gentlemen absolutely deny any intention of raising the fares of commuters, and profess to think it very hard that disinterested and conscientious gentlemen like them should be judged by the doings of the Hudson River and Harlem Railroads. But now, Mr. Speaker, I am going to expose the duplicity of these men. I have had detectives on their track, for men who plot against public interest deserve to be watched. I have in my pocket positive proofs that they did, and do, intend to spring their trap upon the unprotected commuters on the New York and New Haven Railroad."

He then drew from his pocket and read two telegrams received that morning, one from New York and the other from Bridgeport, announcing that the New York and New Haven Railroad Directory had held a secret meeting in New York the day before, for the purpose of immediately raising the fares of commuters twenty per cent., so that in case his bill became a law they could get ahead of him. He continued:

"Now, Mr. Speaker, I know that these dispatches are true; my information is from the inside of the camp. I see a director of the New York and New Haven Railroad sitting in this hall; I know that he knows these dispatches are true; and if he will go before the railroad committee and make oath that he don't know that such a meeting took place yesterday, for exactly this purpose, I will forfeit and pay one thousand dollars to the families of poor soldiers in this city. In consideration of this attempt to forestall the action of this Legislature, I offer an amendment to the bill now under consideration, by adding after the word 'ratio' the words 'as it existed on the 1st day of July, 1865.' In this way we shall cut off any action which these sleek gentlemen may have taken yesterday. It is now evident that these railroad gentlemen have set a trap for this Legislature; and I propose that we now spring the trap, and see if we cannot catch these wily railroad directors in it. Mr. Speaker, I move the previous question."

This revelation astounded the opposition, and the "previous question" was ordered. On the final vote the bill was carried through triumphantly, and has ever since remained an important item in the statute-book of the State.

In the spring of 1866 Barnum was re-elected to represent the town of Fairfield in the Legislature. He had not intended to serve again. But one of the directors of the railroad, who had led the opposition to Barnum's new railroad law, had openly boasted about the town that Barnum should not be allowed to hold the office again. It was in response to these boasts that Barnum decided to accept the nomination, and he was handsomely elected.

The leading issue before that Legislature was the election of a United States Senator. Andrew Johnson was then President of the United States, and had begun to break away from the Republican party. One of the Connecticut Senators was following him in this action. The other Senator was now a candidate for re-election. Barnum had been an earnest admirer of him, but now ascertained that he too was siding with Johnson. This caused Barnum to take an active part in opposing him, and the showman-legislator spent many days and nights endeavoring to impress upon his colleagues the importance of defeating this candidate and electing the Hon. O. S. Ferry to the Senatorship.

Excitement ran high. At first Mr. Ferry had only a few votes. But under Barnum's skilful leadership he at last obtained a majority in the party caucus and was accordingly elected.

During that summer Barnum entertained many eminent politicians and other public men at his beautiful residence, Lindencroft. Governor Hawley wanted him to serve as a Commissioner to the Paris Exposition of 1867, but he was unable to do so.

In the spring of 1867 he was nominated for Congress by the Republicans of the Fourth District. In referring to this episode, he afterward remarked: "Politics were always distasteful to me. I possessed, naturally, too much independence of mind, and too strong a determination to do what I believe to be right, regardless of party expediency, to make a lithe and oily politician. To be called on to favor applications from office-seekers, without regard to their merits, and to do the dirty work too often demanded by political parties; to be "all things to all men," though not in the apostolic sense; to shake hands with those whom I despised, and to kiss the dirty babies of those whose votes were courted, were political requirements which I felt I could never acceptably fulfil. Nevertheless, I had become, so far as business was concerned, almost a man of leisure; and some of my warmest personal friends insisted that a nomination to so high and honorable a position as a member of Congress was not to be lightly rejected, and so I consented to run. Fairfield and Litchfield counties composed the district, which, in the preceding Congressional election, in 1865, and just after the close of the war, was Republican. In the year following, however, the district in the State election went Democratic. I had this Democratic majority to contend against in 1867, and as the whole State turned over and elected the Democratic ticket, I lost my election. In the next succeeding Congressional election, in 1869, the Fourth District also elected the only Democratic Congressman chosen from Connecticut that year.

"I was neither disappointed nor cast down by my defeat. The political canvass served the purpose of giving me a new sensation, and introducing me to new phases of human nature--a subject which I had always great delight in studying. The filth and scandal, the slanders and vindictiveness, the plottings and fawnings, the fidelity, meanness and manliness,: which by turns exhibited themselves in the exciting scenes preceding the election, were novel to me, and were so far interesting.

"Shortly after my opponent was nominated I sent him the following letter, which was also published in the Bridgeport Standard:

" 'BRIDGEPORT, Conn., February 21, 1867. " 'W. H. BARNUM, Esq., Salisbury, Conn.:

" 'Dear Sir: Observing that the Democratic party has nominated you for Congress from this district, I desire to make you a proposition.

" 'The citizens of this portion of our State will be compelled, on the first Monday in April next, to decide whether you or myself shall represent their interests and their principles in the Fortieth Congress of the United States.

" 'The theory of our government is, that the will of the people shall be the law of the land. It is important, therefore, that the people shall vote understandingly, and especially at this important crisis in our national existence. In order that the voters of this district shall fully comprehend the principles by which each of their Congressional candidates is guided, I respectfully invite you to meet me in a serious and candid discussion of the important political issues of the day at various towns in the Fourth Congressional District of Connecticut, on each week-day evening, from the fourth day of March until the thirtieth day of the same month, both inclusive.

" 'If you will consent to thus meet me in a friendly discussion of those subjects, now so near and dear to every American heart, and, I may add, possessing at this time such momentous interest to all civilized nations in the world who are suffering from misrule, I pledge myself to conduct my portion of the debate with perfect fairness, and with all due respect for my opponent, and doubt not you will do the same.

" 'Never, in my judgment, in our past history as a nation, have interests and questions more important appealed to the people for their wise and careful consideration. It is due to the voters of the Fourth Congressional District that they have an early and full opportunity to examine their candidates in regard to these important problems, and I shall esteem it a great privilege if you will accept this proposition.

" 'Please favor me with an early answer, and oblige

" 'Truly yours,
" 'P. T. BARNUM.' "

To this letter Mr. William H. Barnum replied, positively declining to accept his rival's proposition.

When Congress met P. T. Barnum was surprised to see in the newspapers an announcement that the seat of his successful rival was to be contested on the ground of bribery and fraud. " This," he said, "was the first intimation that I had ever received of such an intention, and I was never, at any time before or afterwards, consulted upon the subject. The movement proved to have originated with neighbors and townsmen of the successful candidate, who claimed to be able to prove that he had paid large sums of money to purchase votes. They also claimed that they had proof that men were brought from an adjoining State to vote, and that in the office of the successful candidate naturalization papers were forged to enable foreigners to vote upon them. But, I repeat, I took no part nor lot in the matter, but concluded that if I had been defeated by fraud, mine was the real success.' "



After the destruction of his museum by fire, Barnum determined to open another and still finer establishment. It would not be on the old site, however, but further up town. The unexpired lease of the two lots at Ann Street and Broadway he proposed to sell; and he quickly had numerous offers for it. This lease still had about eleven years to run, and the annual rental was only $10,000; and there was a provision that, in case of the burning of the building, the owner was to spend $24,000 in aiding Barnum to rebuild, and then, at the expiration of the lease, was to pay Barnum the appraised value of the building, not exceeding $100,000. This lease had seemed extravagant when Barnum had made it, but the great growth of the city had so increased the value of property in that vicinity, that now the rental of $10,000 seemed ridiculously small. An experienced real estate broker, whom Barnum engaged for the purpose, estimated the value of the lease at $275,000. Barnum was so anxious, however, to get the matter settled at once that he decided to offer the lease for sale at $225,000.

The next day he met James Gordon Bennett, the elder, the owner of the New York Herald. Mr. Bennett told him that he thought of buying both the lease and the fee simple of the property itself, and erecting there a fine building for his great newspaper. Barnum therefore, offered him the lease for $200,000, and after a few day's consideration Mr. Bennett accepted the offer. His attorney thereupon handed to Mr. Barnum a check on the Chemical Bank for $200,000, which Barnum immediately used in the purchase of Government Bonds. Mr. Bennett had agreed to purchase the fee of the property for $500,000. He had been informed that the property was worth some $300,000 to $400,000, and he did not mind paying $100,000 extra for the purpose of carrying out his plans. But the parties who estimated for him the value of the land knew nothing of the fact that there was a lease upon the property, else of course they would in their estimate have deducted the $200,000, which the lease would cost. When, therefore, Mr. Bennett saw it stated in the newspapers that the sum which he had paid for a piece of land measuring only fifty-six by one hundred feet was more than was ever paid before in any city in the world for a tract of that size, he discovered the serious oversight which he had made; and the owner of the property was immediately informed that Bennett would not take it. But Bennett had already signed a bond to the owner, agreeing to pay $100,000 cash, and to mortgage the premises for the remaining $400,000.

Supposing that by this step he had shaken off the owner of the fee, Bennett was not long in seeing that, as he was not to own the land, he would have no possible use for the lease, for which he had paid the $200,000; and accordingly his next step was to shake Barnum off also, and get back the money he had paid him.

In speaking of what followed, Mr. Barnum afterwards said: "My business for many years, as manager of the Museum and other public entertainments, compelled me to court notoriety; and I always found Bennett's abuse far more remunerative than his praise, even if I could have had the praise at the same price, that is for nothing. Especially was it profitable to me when I could be the subject of scores of lines of his scolding editorials free of charge, instead of paying him forty cents a line for advertisements, which would not attract a tenth part so much attention. Bennett had tried abusing me, off and on, for twenty years, on one occasion refusing my advertisement altogether for the space of about a year; but I always managed to be the gainer by his course. Now, however, when new difficulties threatened, all the leading managers in New York were members of the 'Managers' Association,' and as we all submitted to the arbitrary and extortionate demands of the Herald, Bennett thought he had but to crack his whip, in order to keep all and any of us within the traces. Accordingly one day Bennett's attorney wrote me a letter, saying that he would like to have me call on him at his office the following morning. Not dreaming of the object, I called as desired, and after a few pleasant commonplace remarks about the weather, and other trifles, the attorney said:

" 'Mr. Barnum, I have sent for you to say that Mr. Bennett has concluded not to purchase the museum lots, and therefore that you had better take back the lease, and return the $200,000 paid for it.'

" 'Are you in earnest?' I asked with surprise.

" 'Certainly, quite so,' he answered.

" 'Really,' I said, smiling, 'I am sorry I can't accommodate Mr. Bennett; I have not got the little sum about me; in fact, I have spent the money.'

" 'It will be better for you to take back the lease,' said the attorney, seriously.

" 'Nonsense,' I replied, 'I shall do nothing of the sort; I don't make child's bargains. The lease was cheap enough, but I have other business to attend to, and shall have nothing to do with it.'

"The attorney said very little in reply; but I could see, by the almost benignant sorrow expressed upon his countenance, that he evidently pitied me for the temerity that would doubtless lead me into the jaws of the insatiable monster of the Herald. The next morning I observed that the advertisement of my entertainments with my museum company at Winter Garden was left out of the Herald columns. I went directly to the editorial rooms of the Herald; and learning that Bennett was not in, I said to Mr. Hudson, then managing editor:

" 'My advertisement is left out of the Herald; is there a screw loose?'

" 'I believe there is,' was the reply.

" 'What is the matter?' I asked.

" 'You must ask the Emperor,' said Mr. Hudson, meaning of course Bennett.

" 'When will the "Emperor" be in?' I inquired. 'Next Monday,' was the answer.

" 'Well, I shall not see him,' I replied; 'but I wish to have this thing settled at once. Mr. Hudson, I now tender you the money for the insertion of my museum advertisement on the same terms as are paid by other places of amusement; will you publish it?'

" 'I will not,' Mr. Hudson peremptorily replied.

" 'That is all,' I said. Mr. Hudson then smilingly and blandly remarked, 'I have formally answered your formal demand, because I suppose you require it; but you know, Mr. Barnum, I can only obey orders.' I assured him that I understood the matter perfectly, and attached no blame to him in the premises. I then proceeded to notify the secretary of the 'Managers' Association' to call the managers together at twelve o'clock the following day; and there was a full meeting at the appointed time. I stated the facts in the case in the Herald affair, and simply remarked, that if we did not make common cause against any newspaper publisher who excluded an advertisement from his columns simply to gratify a private pique, it was evident that either and all of us were liable to imposition at any time.

"One of the managers immediately made a motion that the entire Association should stop their advertising and bill printing at the Herald office, and have no further connection with that establishment. Mr. Lester Wallack advised that this motion should not be adopted until a committee had waited upon Bennett, and had reported the result of the interview to the Association. Accordingly, Messrs. Wallack, Wheatley and Stuart were delegated to go, down to the Herald office to call on Mr. Bennett.

"The moment Bennett saw them, he evidently suspected the object of their mission, for he at once commenced to speak to Mr. Wallack in a patronizing manner; told him how long he had known, and how much he respected his late father, who was a true English gentleman of the old school,' with much more in the same strain. Mr. Wallack replied to Bennett that the three managers were appointed a committee to wait upon him to ascertain if he insisted upon excluding from his columns the museum advertisements--not on account of any objection to the contents of the advertisements, or to the museum itself, but simply because he had a private business disagreement with the proprietor; intimating that such a proceeding, for such a reason, and no other, might lead to a rupture of business relations with other managers. In reply, Mr. Bennett had something to say about the fox that had suffered tailwise from a trap, and thereupon advised all other foxes to cut their tails off; and he pointed the fable by setting forth the impolicy of drawing down upon the Association the vengeance of the Herald. The committee, however, coolly insisted upon a direct answer to their question.

"Bennett then answered: 'I will not publish Barnum's advertisement; I do my business as I please, and in my own way.'

" 'So do we,' replied one of the managers, and the committee withdrew.

"The next day the Managers' Association met, heard the report, and unanimously resolved to withdraw their advertisements from the Herald, and their patronage from the Herald job establishment, and it was done. Nevertheless, the Herald for several days continued to print gratutitously the advertisements of Wallack's Theatre and Niblo's Garden, and inordinately puffed these establishments, evidently in order to ease the fall, and to convey the idea that some of the theatres patronized the Herald, and perhaps hoping by praising these managers to draw them back again, and so to nullify the agreement of the Association in regard to the Herald. Thereupon, the mangers headed their advertisements in all the other New York papers with the line, 'This establishment does not advertise in the New York Herald,' and for many months this announcement was kept at the top of every theatrical advertisement and on the posters and playbills.

"The Herald then began to abuse and villify the theatrical and opera managers, their artists and their performances, which, of course, was well understood by the public, and relished accordingly. Meanwhile the theatres prospered amazingly. Their receipts were never larger, and their houses never more thronged. The public took sides in the matter with the managers and against the Herald, and thousands of people went to the theatres merely to show their willingness to support the managers and to spite 'Old Bennett.' The editor was fairly caught in his own trap. Other journals began to estimate the loss the Herald sustained by the action of the managers, and it was generally believed that this loss in advertising and job printing was not less than from $75,000 to $100,000 a year. The Herald's circulation also suffered terribly, since hundreds of people, at the hotels and elsewhere, who were accustomed to buy the paper solely for the sake of seeing what amusements were announced for the evening, now bought other papers. This was the hardest blow of all, and it fully accounted for the abuse which the Herald daily poured out upon the theatres.

"Bennett evidently felt ashamed of the whole transaction. He would never publish the facts in his columns, though he once stated in an editorial that it had been reported that he had been cheated in purchasing the Broadway property; that the case had gone to court, and the public would soon know all the particulars. Some persons supposed by this that Bennett had sued me; but this was far from being the case. The owner of the lots sued Bennett, to compel him to take the title and pay for the property as per agreement; and that was all the 'law' there was about it. He held James Gordon Bennett's bond, that he would pay him half a million of dollars for the land, as follows: $100,000 cash, and a bond and mortgage upon the premises for the remaining $400,000. The day before the suit was to come to trial, Bennett came forward, took the deed, and paid $100,000 cash, and gave a bond and mortgage of the entire premises for $400,000.

"Had I really taken back the lease, as Bennett desired, he would have been in a worse scrape than ever; for having been compelled to take the property, he would have been obliged, as my landlord, to go on and assist in building a Museum for me, according to the terms of my lease, and a Museum I should certainly have built on Bennett's property, even if I had owned a dozen Museums up town.

"In the autumn of 1868, the associated managers came to the conclusion that the punishment of Bennett for two years was sufficient, and they consented to restore their advertisements to the Herald. I was then carrying on my new Museum, and although I did not immediately resume advertising in the Herald, I have since done so."

Such is the account Barnum gave, in his own words, of this extraordinary quarrel. He was, it will be seen, unsparing of criticism and denunciation. Kindly as was his nature, he was "a good hater," and never was there a more relentless fighter. In denouncing Mr. Bennett he was perfectly sincere, and believed himself to be entirely in the right. At the same time he never hesitated to give a full meed of appreciative praise to the great journalist, for his extraordinary enterprise and commanding talents. Both the men are now dead, after careers of marvellous success, and the animosity that raged between them is also long dead; it perished years before they did. It is here rehearsed merely as an integral and essential part of this biography, to be regarded in a spirit of philosophic contemplation, entirely devoid of bitterness or acrimony,



A remarkable feature of Mr. Barnum's life was his loyalty to the place he had chosen as his home, and his devotion to its interests. He had great faith in Bridgeport, and worked unceasingly to justify it. He looked far ahead, saw the prospective growth of the place, and laid broad plans of preparation for the future.

Apart from his great services in laying out East Bridgeport, he was the author of the improvements on the water-front known as Seaside Park. The idea of such a thing occurred to him first in 1863, when he rode over the ground and observed its fitness for the purpose. He then began agitating the matter, and urging the immediate acquirement by the city of land for a park and public drive-way along the margin of the Sound. It was necessary, he represented, to do it at once, before the natural increase in the value of the land made such an undertaking too expensive. That it would be a profitable venture he felt certain; for such an improvement would make every bit of real estate in the city more valuable, and would attract many new residents to the place.

There were, however, many conservatives, "old fogies" he called them, who opposed him. He then approached the farmers who owned the land lying immediately upon the shore, and tried to convince them that, if they would give the city, free, a deep slip next to the water, to be used as a public park, it would increase in value the rest of their land so much as to make it a profitable operation for them. But it was like beating against the wind. They were "not so stupid as to think that they could become gainers by giving away their property."

He succeeded, however, in getting the active aid and co-operation of Messrs. Nathaniel Wheeler, James Loomis, Francis Ives, Frederick Wood, and some others, who went with him to the landowners and added their persuasions to his. After much urging, they finally got the terms upon which the proprietors would give a portion and sell another portion of their land, which fronted on the water, provided the land thus disposed of should forever be appropriated to the purposes of a public park. But, unfortunately, a part of the land it was desirable to include was a farm, of some thirty acres, then belonging to an unsettled estate, and neither the administrator nor the heirs could or would give away a rod of it. But the whole farm was for sale--and, to overcome the difficulty in the way of its transfer for the public benefit, Barnum bought it for about $12,000, and then presented the required front to the park. He did not want this land or any portion of it, for his own purposes or profit, and he offered a thousand dollars to any one who would take his place in the transaction; but no one accepted, and he was quite willing to contribute so much of the land as was needed for so noble an object. Besides this, he gave $1,400 toward purchasing other land and improving the park, and, after months of persistent personal effort, he succeeded in raising, by private subscription, the sum necessary to secure the land needed. This was duly paid for, deeded to, and accepted by the city, and Barnum had the pleasure of naming this new and great public improvement, "Seaside Park."

When Mr. Barnum first selected Bridgeport as his home, as already stated in a preceding chapter, the place was commended to him by its nearness to New York, its convenience of access, and the beauty of its situation. "Nowhere," said he, "in all my travels in America and abroad had I seen a city whose very position presented so many and varied attractions. Situated on Long Island Sound, with that vast water-view in front, and on every other side a beautiful and fertile country with every variety of inland scenery, and charming drives which led through valleys rich with well-cultivated farms, and over hills thick-wooded with far-stretching forests of primeval growth--all these natural attractions appeared to me only so many aids to the advancement the beautiful and busy city might attain, if public spirit, enterprise, and money grasped and improved the opportunities the locality itself extended. I saw that what Nature had so freely lavished must be supplemented by yet more liberal Art."

It was in pursuance of this object that he built the famous Iranistan; and when he did so he felt confident that this superb place would so increase the value of surrounding property that none but first-class residences would be erected in the vicinity. He, however, went on to improve the surrounding property as much as possible. He opened numerous fine avenues through land purchased by himself, and freely gave them to the city. In this way he opened miles of new streets and planted them with thousands of shade trees. The planting of trees was almost a mania with him, in pursuit of the doctrine laid down in Scott's "Heart of Mid-Lothian": "When ye hae naething else to do, ye may be aye sticking in a tree; it will be growing when ye're sleeping."

Barnum was always for enterprise and progress. "Conservatism," he said, "may be a good thing in the State, or in the Church, but it is fatal to the growth of cities, and the conservative notions of old fogies make them indifferent to the requirements which a very few years in the future will compel, and blind to their own best interests. Such men never look beyond the length of their noses, and consider every investment a dead loss unless they can get the sixpence profit into their pockets before they go to bed. My own long training and experience as a manager impelled me to carry into such private enterprises as the purchase of real estate that best and most essential managerial quality of instantly deciding, not only whether a venture was worth undertaking, but what, all things considered, that venture would result in. Almost any man can see how a thing will begin, but not every man is gifted with the foresight to see how it will end, or how, with the proper effort, it may be made to end. In East Bridgeport where we had no 'conservatives' to contend with, we were only a few years in turning almost tenantless farms into a populous and prosperous city. On the other side of the river, while the opening of new avenues, the planting of shade trees, and the building of many houses, have afforded me the highest pleasures of my life, I confess that not a few of my greatest annoyance's have been occasioned by the opposition of those who seem to be content to simply vegetate through their existence, and who looked upon me as a restless, reckless innovator, because I was trying to remove the moss from everything around them, and even from their own eyes."

Mrs. Barnum's health continued to decline, and in the summer of 1867 her doctor commended her to live on the seashore. Accordingly her husband sold Lindencroft, and they removed for the summer to a small farm-house adjoining Seaside Park. So delighted were they with life by the water during the hot days of the summer that they determined thereafter to spend every summer on the very shore of Long Island Sound. Finding it impossible to prepare a house of their own in time for the next season, they spent the summer of 1868 in a new and handsome house which Mr. Barnum owned but which he had built for sale. In the fall of 1868, however, he purchased a large and beautiful grove of hickory trees adjoining Seaside Park, and decided to build a permanent residence there.

But there was a vast deal to do in grading and preparing the ground, in opening new streets and avenues as approaches to the property, and in setting out trees near the proposed site of the house; so that ground was not broken for the foundation till October. He planned a house which should combine the greatest convenience with the highest comfort, keeping in mind always that houses were made to live in as well as to look at, and to be "homes" rather than mere residences. So the house was made to include abundant room for guests, with dressing-rooms and baths to every chamber; water from the city throughout the premises; gas manufactured on the ground; and that greatest of all comforts, a semi-detached kitchen, so that the smell as well as the secrets of the cuisine might be confined to its own locality. The stables and gardens were located far from the mansion, on the opposite side of one of the newly-opened avenues, so that in the immediate vicinity of the house, on either side and before both fronts, stretched large lawns, broken only by the grove, single shade-trees, rock-work, walks, flower-beds, and drives. The whole scheme as planned was faithfully carried out in less than eight months The first foundation stone was laid in October, 1868; and they moved into the completed house in June following, in 1869.

On taking possession of this new residence, Barnum formally named it "Waldemere." Literally this name was "Wald-am-Meer," or "Woods-by-the Sea," but Barnum preferred the more euphonious form. On the same estate he built at the same time two beautiful cottages, called "Petrel's Nest," and "Wavewood," the homes of his two daughters, Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Seeley--the latter his youngest. Here Barnum decided to speed five months of every year, and for his home during the other seven months he purchased a splendid mansion on Murray Hill, in New York City, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 38th Street.



In the autumn of 1874 Mr. Barnum married the daughter of his old English friend, John Fish. The wedding took place in the Church of the Divine Paternity, Fifth Avenue, New York, and after a brief bridal tour, they returned to Waldemere.

In December, 1874, David Kalakau, King of the Sandwich Islands, visited New York, and with his suite was invited to attend the Hippodrome.

During the performance Barnum sat beside the King, who kept up a pleasant conversation with him for two hours. The King expressed himself as highly delighted with the entertainment, and said he was always fond of horses and racing.

Some twelve thousand spectators were present, and before the exhibition was finished they began to call loudly "The King! The King!"

Turning to his host, Kalakau inquired the meaning of their excitement. "Your Majesty," replied Barnum, "this vast audience wishes to give you an ovation. The building is so large that they cannot distinguish your Majesty from every part of the house, and are anxious that you should ride around the circle in order that they may greet you."

At the moment, Barnum's open barouche was driven into the circle and approached the royal box.

"No doubt your Majesty would greatly gratify my countrymen, if you would kindly step into this carriage and ride around the circle."

The King immediately arose, and amidst tremendous cheering, stepped into the carriage. Barnum took a seat by his side, and the King smilingly remarked, "We are all actors."

The audience rose to their feet, cheered and waved their handkerchiefs, as the King rode around the circle, raising his hat and bowing. The excitement was simply tremendous.

In March, 1875, the nomination for Mayor of Bridgeport was offered Barnum, but he refused it, until assured that the nomination was intended as a compliment, and that both parties would sustain it. Politically the city is largely Democratic, but Barnum led the Republican ticket, and was easily elected.

His Inaugural address before the new Common Council, April 12, is given below.

GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMON COUNCIL:--Intrusted as we are, by the votes of our fellow-citizens, with the care and management of their interests, it behooves us to endeavor to merit the confidence reposed in us. We are sometimes called the "fathers of the city." Certainly our duty is, and our pleasure should be, to administer the municipal government as a good and wise father conducts his household, caring for all, partial to none. No personal feelings should dictate our official acts. We are not placed here to gratify personal or party resentment, nor to extend personal or party favor in any manner that may in the remotest degree conflict with the best interests of our city. As citizens we enjoy a great common interest. Each individual is a member of the body corporate, and no member can be unduly favored or unjustly oppressed without injury to the entire community. No person or party can afford to be dishonest. Honesty is always the best policy, for "with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again."

A large portion of this honorable body are now serving officially for the first time, and therefore may not be fully acquainted with the details of its workings; but we are all acquainted with the great principles of Justice and Right. If we fail to work according to these eternal principles, we betray the confidence placed in us, and this our year of administration will be remembered with disapprobation and contempt.

Let us bring to our duties careful judgment and comprehensive views with regard to expenditure, so that we may be neither parsimonious nor extravagant, but, like a prudent householder, ever careful that expenses shall be less than the income.

Our city is peculiarly adapted for commercial purposes, it should be our care, therefore, to adopt such measures as tend to promote trade, manufactures and commerce. Its delightful and healthy locality makes it also a desirable place of residence. We should strive to enhance its natural beauty, to improve our streets and, with moderate expenditure, to embellish our parks, by which means we shall attract refined and wealthy residents.

As conservators of the public peace and morals it is our duty to prevent, so far as possible, acts which disturb one or the other, and to enforce the laws in an impartial and parental spirit.

The last report of our Chief of Police says: " 'Tis a sad and painful duty, yet candor compels us to state that at least ninety per cent. of the causes of all the arrests during the year are directly traceable to the immoderate use of intoxicating liquors, not to speak of the poverty and misery it has caused families which almost daily come under our observation."

In the town of Vineland, N. J., where no intoxicating drinks are sold, the overseer of the poor stated in his annual report that in a population of 10,000 there was but one indictment in six months, and that the entire police expenses were but seventy-five dollars per year--the sum paid to him--and the poor expenses a mere trifle. He further says: "We practically have no debt, and our taxes are only one per cent. on the valuation. "Similar results are reported in the town of Greeley, Colorado, where no liquors are sold.

Our laws license the sale of intoxicating drinks under certain restrictions on week days, but no man can claim the right under such license to cause mobs, riots, bloodshed or murder. Hence no man has, or can have, any right by license or otherwise to dispense liquors to intoxicated persons, nor to furnish sufficient liquor to cause intoxication. Our duty is therefore to see that the police aid in regulating to the extent of their legal power a traffic which our laws do not wholly prohibit. Spirituous liquors of the present day are so much adulterated and doubly poisoned that their use fires the brain and drives their victims to madness, violence and murder. The money annually expended for intoxicating drinks, and the cost of their evil results in Bridgeport, or any other American city where liquor selling is licensed, would pay the entire expenses of the city (if liquors were not drank), including the public schools, give a good suit of clothes to every poor person of both sexes, a barrel of flour to every poor family living within its municipal boundaries, and leave a handsome surplus on hand. Our enormous expenses for the trial and punishment of criminals, as well as for the support of the poor, are mainly caused by this traffic. Surely, then, it is our duty to do all we can, legally, to limit and mitigate its evil. As no person ever became a drunkard who did not sincerely regret that he or she ever tasted intoxicating drinks, it is a work of mercy, as well as justice, to do all in our power to lessen this leprous hindrance to happiness. We should strive to exterminate gambling, prostitution and other crimes which have not yet attained to the dignity of a "license."

The public health demands that we should pay attention to necessary drainage, and prevent the sale of adulterated food. The invigorating breezes from Long Island Sound, and the absence of miasmatic marshes serve to make ours one of the most healthy cities in America. Scientific experiments made daily during the whole of last year have established the fact that our atmosphere is impregnated with OZONE, or concentrated oxygen, to an extent not hitherto discovered on this continent. No city of the same size in America is so extensively known throughout our own land and in Europe as Bridgeport. It should be our pleasure to strengthen all natural advantages which we possess as a city by maintaining a government of corresponding excellence.

It is painful to the industrious and moral portions of our people to see so many loungers about the streets, and such a multitude whose highest aspirations seem to be to waste their time in idleness, or at base ball, billiards, etc.

No person needs to be unemployed who is not over fastidious about the kind of occupation. There are too many soft hands (and heads) waiting for light work and heavy pay. Better work for half a loaf than beg or steal a whole one. Mother earth is always near by, and ready to respond to reasonable drafts on her never-failing treasury. A patch of potatoes raised "on shares" is preferable to a poulticed pate earned in a whisky scrimmage. Some modern Micawbers stand with folded hands waiting for the panic to pass, as the foolish man waited for the river to run dry and allow him to walk over.

The soil is the foundation of American prosperity. When multitudes of our consumers become producers; when fashion teaches economy, instead of expending for a gaudy dress what would comfortably clothe the family; when people learn to walk until they can afford to ride; when the poor man ceases to spend more for tobacco than for bread; when those who complain of panics learn that "we cannot eat our cake and keep it," that a sieve will not hold water, that we must rely on our own exertions and earn before we expend, then will panics cease and prosperity return. While we should by no means unreasonably restrict healthy recreation, we should remember that "time is money," that idleness leads to immoral habits, and that the peace, prosperity and character of a city depend on the intelligence, integrity, industry and frugality of its inhabitants.

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper of July 24th, contained a picture entitled "His Honor, P. T. Barnum, Mayor of Bridgeport, Presiding at a Meeting of the Common Council of that City." The editor's remarks are as follows:--"Mayor Barnum's message was a model of brevity and practical thought. Having at the beginning of his official career declared war against the whisky dealers, he next proceeded to open the struggle. For twenty years the saloons had been kept open on Sundays, and it was declared impossible to close them. Mr. Barnum has all his life acted upon the quaint French aphorism that 'nothing is so possible as the impossible.' He gave notice that the saloons must be closed. A select committee of citizens volunteered to aid in collecting testimony in case the sellers should disregard the proclamation, and leave the latch-string to their back doors displayed on the outside. Although the doors were open, the keepers refused to sell except to personal friends. The committee-men stood opposite the saloons, and took the names of a dozen or so who were admitted. The next morning the saloon-keepers were arrested, and when they found their 'friends' had been subpoenaed to appear as witnesses, they pleaded guilty and immediately brought out their pocket-books to pay the judicial 'shot.' This plan effectually broke up Sunday traffic in liquor, thus insuring a quiet day for the citizens, and greatly accommodating the saloon-keepers, the best portion of whom really favor a general closing on Sunday.

"By nature an organizer of men and systems, he is his own best executive officer. No one knows so well as he how men may be best governed, and no one can so pleasantly polish off the rough sides of mankind. Successful beyond the usual measure as an intelligent, courteous and considerate showman, he has already proved himself the most acceptable of Mayors."

In 1875, the Hippodrome was transported by rail throughout the United States, going as far east as Portland, Maine, and west to Kansas City, Missouri. Notwithstanding the depressed state of finances generally that year, the season was a fairly profitable one.

A very painful event in connection with the show, occurred in July. The aeronaut, Donaldson, made his customary daily ascension from the Hippodrome grounds at Chicago, and was never heard from afterward. He took with him Mr. N. S. Grimwood, a reporter of the Chicago Journal, whose body was found a few weeks later in Lake Michigan. There was a terrible storm the night of the ascension and it was doubtless then that the men perished.

About the middle of June Barnum visited Niagara Falls with Mrs. Barnum and a party of English friends. Leaving the party at Niagara, Mr. and Mrs. Barnum went to Akron, Ohio, where the "Travelling World's Fair" was to exhibit. The Mayor of Akron called upon them and invited them to a concert, where, in response to loud calls, Barnum gave a short speech; they were afterward tendered a reception and a serenade at the hotel. The next day they were escorted to Buchtel College by the founder of the institution, Mr. J. R. Buchtel, and the Reverend D. C. Tomlinson. The students received Barnum enthusiastically, and he gave them one of his delightful speeches.

Returning to Buffalo, they rejoined their friends, and also met the Hippodrome. Early in the morning of the second day of the exhibition Barnum despatched a special train to Niagara Falls, with some hundreds of the Hippodrome Company, to whom he wished to give the pleasure of viewing the cataract. The band which accompanied them crossed Suspension Bridge playing "God Save the Queen," and "Yankee Doodle," and returned to Buffalo in time for the afternoon performance. In July, Barnum visited the Hippodrome at St Louis and Chicago, and then returned to Waldemere for the rest of the summer.

During the autumn of 1875, under the auspices of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, in Boston, Mr. Barnum found time to deliver some thirty times, a lecture on "The World and How to Live in It," going as far east as Thomaston, Maine, and west to Leavenworth, Kansas. When the tour was finished the Bureau wrote him that "In parting for the season please allow us to say that none of our best lecturers have succeeded in delighting our audiences and lecture committees so well as yourself."

The National Jubilee year was celebrated by the Hippodrome Company in a very patriotic manner. It was said, that they gave the people, a Fourth of July celebration every day. The establishment traveled in three trains of railroad cars; they took along a battery of cannon, and every morning fired a salute of thirteen guns. Groups of persons costumed in the style of Continental troops, and supplemented with the Goddess of Liberty, a live eagle and some good singers, sang patriotic songs, accompanied with bands of music, and also with cannon placed outside the tents and fired by means of electricity. The performance was closed by singing "America," the entire audience rising and joining in the chorus. At night there were fireworks in which Revolutionary scenes were brilliantly depicted. The street parade was a gorgeous feature. It began to move when the salute was fired, and the town bells were always rung to aid the effect of the National Jubilee.

Barnum's official term as Mayor of Bridgeport, expired April 3, 1876. Preferring to travel part of the time with his Centennial show, he refused a renomination. The last meeting of the Common Council under his administration, met March 29.

The New York Daily Graphic, of March 30, read:--"Mr. P. T. Barnum, Mayor of Bridgeport, has uttered his valedictory message. The document is very much like the man. He disapproves of the reports of the Chief of Police and Clerk of the Police Commissioners, because they declare that liquor saloons and brothels cannot be closed, and he even reproves the latter for his 'flippant manner' of dealing with the subject. Barnum must have his joke or two, withal, and he can no more subsist without his fun than could a former Mayor of this city. He ventures to allude in this solemn document to the management of the New York and New Haven Railroad Company, as 'the good bishop and his directors;' makes a first rate pun on the names of two citizens; and says to the Aldermen, 'And now we have, like the Arabs, only to 'fold our tents and silently steal away,' congratulating ourselves that this is the only stealing which has been performed by this honorable body.' Mr. Barnum's administration in Bridgeport has been mild, but characterized by firmness and independence. His trouble with the Jews was of short duration, for he is most respectful toward all theologies. He has not been able to carry out his extreme temperance views; but he has made a very good Mayor of a city, for whose prosperity he has labored for half a lifetime."

It can safely be said that Barnum amused and instructed more persons than any men who ever lived. In the course of his career as manager of public entertainments, the number of his patrons was enormous. Here is his own estimate, in 1889:--"During the forty years that I have been a manager of public amusements, the number of my patrons has been almost incredible. From a careful examination of my account books for the different exhibitions which I have owned and controlled, I find that more than eighty-two millions of tickets, in the aggregate, were disposed of, and numerous exhibitions which I have had at various times are not included in this statement."

The traveling exhibitions which I managed during the six years preceding my purchase of the New York American Museum, in 1841, were attended by . . . . . 1,500,000 persons.
The American Museum which I managed from 1841 to 1865, when it was destroyed by fire, sold . . . . 37,560,000 tickets.
My Broadway Museum, in 1865-6-7 and 8, sold . . . . . 3,640,000 My Philadelphia Museum, 1849, 1850 and 1851, sold . . 1,800,000 My Baltimore Museum, sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 900,000 My traveling Asiatic Caravan, Museum and Menagerie, in 1851-2-3 and 4, sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5,824,000 My great traveling World's Fair and Hippodrome, in 1871-2-3-4-5 and 6, sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,920,000

Carried forward, 59,144,000

My other traveling exhibitions in America and Europe, sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,200,000 tickets.
General Tom Thumb has exhibited for me 34 years, and sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,400,000 "
Jenny Lind's Concerts, under my management, were attended by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600,000 persons
Catharine Hayes's 60 Concerts in California, under my contract, sold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120,000 tickets.

Thus, my patrons amount to the enormous number of 82,464,000

In addition to that, he delivered over seven hundred public lectures which were attended in the aggregate by 1,300,000 persons, and wrote three books of reminiscences. Is it to be wondered at, that such a well-known character should receive a letter from New Zealand addressed simply, "Mr. Barnum, America"?


My first recollection of Mr. Barnum goes back to the period of my small-boyhood, when he came to the country village near my home to lecture upon temperance. I still remember the animation of his discourse on that occasion; its humor and its anecdote; and, with what absorbing interest the large audience sat out the hour and a half or more which the speaker so well filled. In describing the drunkard and the illusions which master him, he showed a keen perception of human nature; and, in every part of his address there was no end of spirited appeal and analysis, mingled with unbounded mirth and pathos, as the fluctuating argument went on.

A few years later, when I had grown old enough to visit the metropolis, I made it one of the chief items of my concern to visit the old museum on the corner of Ann Street and Broadway, where the Herald Building now stands. There was, even then, no curiosity there more impressive than its proprietor, who was the very embodiment of life, kindly feeling, and wholesome joy. I noticed that he was in all parts of the museum in very rapid succession, and that nothing escaped his attention. Something in his manner caught every eye. It was said of Daniel Webster that when he walked through the streets of London, strangers who met him turned around for another look after he passed by. And, I confess I yielded in Mr. Barnum's presence, as others did, to this same sight-seeing inclination. It was not merely that he was so well known, and that his name had gone about the world with the circuit of the sun; it was because the force that made this thing possible worked also in other ways, and compelled you to give its owner attention.

He had a kind word or an entertaining one for everybody who came near him, as occasion offered, whether he was an old acquaintance or a stranger. The occasion did not come to me, though I remember wishing it had, when I left the museum. Probably I should have deliberately sought it if I had had more assurance and experience at that time; and if I had known, too, that we were afterward to meet intimately, and that for more than twenty years the latch-string of his different homes, in Bridgeport and New York, was to respond so many dozens of times to my touch, for days and weeks of remarkable hospitality.

My opportunity for knowing Mr. Barnum personally came about when I was, as a young man, conducting, almost single-handed, a lecture course in a very small country town in the later sixties, soon after the close of the war. The night for Mr. Barnum to come to us was a very cold and forbidding one in February. A snow-storm, the most formidable one of the winter, sprang up to apparently thwart the success of the performance; and so certain was Mr. Barnum that nobody would appear to hear him, he offered not only to release me from the contract between us, but, in addition to that, would pay me the price I was to pay him, or more, to be permitted to return to New York. "There is nothing on earth I hate to do so much," said he, "as to lecture to empty benches."

I said to him: "Please trust me for the avoidance of that. If it had been a pleasant night, instead of this howling storm, I would have filled the hall and the yard in front to the front gate. But, as it now is, I will still guarantee to fill the hall." And filled it was, to our equal delight.

Before entering and discovering this fact, I ventured to say to Mr. Barnum that, owing to the general untowardness and inclemency of the night, I would introduce him in my own way, and not in the conventional one, if he did not object. "By all means," said he; "if you can awaken any warmth or hilarity on as sorrowful an outlook as this, do not spare ME, or hesitate for a moment."

On arriving at our seats on the platform, I arose and said, in some such words as these:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--You will bear me out in saying it has been my usual custom to introduce the speaker of the evening in the briefest way possible, and not to trouble you with any talk of my own. To-night, in view of the storm, and while Mr. Barnum is resting for a moment, I will break my rule and tell you a story. Some years ago a queer fellow from the country went to New York, and, among the sights and experiences he had planned for, he went to Barnum's Museum. Mr. Greenwood was then its manager, and noticed with some interest his patron's rusticity when he called for a ticket. He asked Mr. Greenwood, after having paid for the card of admittance, 'Where is Barnum?' As Mr. Barnum happened to be in sight on the entrance floor, Mr. Greenwood, pointing to him said, There he is.'

"At once the querist started in the direction named. He got very near Mr. Barnum and stood looking intently at him. Then he moved a little segment in the circle he was describing, and looked again. Several times he repeated these inspections, until he had from all points viewed the object of his curiosity and had completed the circle, when he started for the door, Mr. Greenwood watching him all the time. When he came near enough Mr. Greenwood said to him: 'My friend, you have not seen the Museum yet. There is a whale downstairs and any number of things up-stairs, a moral play soon to come off, etc.' 'I know it,' said the rustic, 'and I don't care. I've seen Barnum, and I've got my money's worth.'

"Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have not been able to bring to you the American Museum to-night, but I have done what is better--I have brought to you Mr. Barnum."

Mr. Barnum then arose, not in the least nonplussed, but greatly pleased with the packed house and the hearty cheers which greeted him:

"MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--I cannot, for the life of me, see why you should have sent so far as New York for me to come and address you. I am not really a lyceum lecturer at all. I am only a showman, and it seems you have a man here who can show up the showman."

The whole story may read very weakly in print; for Mr. Barnum's tones of voice, and gestures and mobility of feature are not communicable to cold type. But the playfulness of this unusual preface not only stirred the audience on a dismal night, but put the lecturer at his very best. Mr. Barnum's lecture was elastic. It might be shaped for an hour, as it was not fully written, or it might consume more time. On this occasion it was two hours and over. While the snow was still falling in open sleighs, that could find no shelter, their owners, not minding this, were enjoying one of the most delightful evenings of a whole winter--of many winters, perhaps.

And all this leads me to say that Mr. Barnum, while claiming no part of a professional lecturer's endowment, and only made oratory a casual--if it was sometimes a frequent--matter, was, nevertheless, admirably equipped to entertain an audience. He could tell a story inimitably. His mimetic faculty, like Gough's, gave him something of the quality of an actor, so that he illustrated well what he had to say. No lectures have proved much more instructive and entertaining than Mr. Barnum's on The Art of Money Getting; and, wherever he went to address an audience, he was sure to be called again.

When I met him in Bridgeport for the first time, I found he was easily the chief man of the place. He was living then at Lindencroft, on Fairfield Avenue. His Oriental palace, Iranistan, had burned down some years before. But, wherever he lived, his house gave open welcome to many guests, illustrious and other; and no one who had the good fortune to enter it, ever went away without connecting with his visit the happiest of memories. At the table he especially shone. Wit, repartee, and even puns, when occasion offered, coruscated over the meal, and diffused universal good humor. He had always at hand innumerable anecdotes, which he made peculiarly his own, and which he told with inimitable grace and unction. I am sure nobody will ever tell them again as he told them; for, contrary to the proverb, the prosperity of the jest in his case lay, nine-tenths, in his way of relating it--though it was never a dull one.

It mattered not what the business of the day might be, or what obstacles or discouragements had been encountered, his cheerfulness was perennial and unfailing. Mirth and good cheer were apparently inborn and organic with him. He could no more suppress them than a fountain could cease bubbling up, or a river turn backward in its course. And what men and women he has had, first and last, at his table; it is impossible to exhaust the list or exaggerate its quality. Horace Greeley, Henry Ward Beecher, E. H. Chapin, Bayard Taylor, Mark Twain, and the Cary sisters, were a few among Americans; and Thackeray, Matthew Arnold, George Augustus Sala, and I know not how many others, from abroad. No catalogue of them, but only types can be given here. He was almost never without people who made no claim to distinction; and to them, too, he was the genial, urbane, and entertaining host.

There was a depth of warm humanity in Mr. Barnum's inmost texture that his public fame does not fully disclose. That children liked him has been already often said; but those in maturer youth--young gentlemen and ladies--felt, somehow, that he never ceased, at any age, to be their contemporary. No younger and more hopeful thoughts were offered than his. If, as sometimes happened, when he organized, as he persistently did, the summer picnic, inland or on the coast, there was a party made for each direction, the struggle was to see which could capture Mr. Barnum. Which way the rest of us might go was not of so much consequence; but the party which lost him in behalf of the other, felt like one trying to enjoy Hamlet with the chief character missing.

At one time he actually kept a seaside caterer at a distant beach to receive his guests of twenty or more on a place of his own, whenever, on summer days, he could collect guests enough and give them attention. It was only necessary to send word in the morning, and the tables were ready, and the party was conveyed to the shady grounds from Mr. Barnum's door. Swings were not forgotten for the children, nor was anything forgotten that conduced to rational joy. If some poor sick person was heard of in the city, one carriage, Mr. Barnum's own, would go somewhat out of the way to stop and leave delicacies and presents, not without a few words of sympathy and comfort. When, on one occasion that I remember, he took two or three hundred people from several towns in the State, and from New York, to Charles Island, a summer place midway between Bridgeport and New Haven, the hospitality was royal, and even the steamboat tickets were mysteriously provided for all.

I have never noticed, in the multitude of printed sketches of Mr. Barnum's doings, any general mention of his lavish hospitality poured out for years, but there will be hundreds who can testify to and will remember it. It was as if he had said: "As we go along through life let us make others happy." And he did this with no niggardliness or stint, in his private life as well as in his public career.

There is a series of stories of Mr. Barnum's humane endeavors longer than Aesop's or Pilpays' fables combined, and it is impossible to relate them all. But I have heard one recently that will very well illustrate the beneficial manner of his charity, and which shows that, by native sagacity, he had early learned the scientific way of giving--to give so that the gift may be more than its surface expression, and so as not to produce chronic pauperism.

It seems that a poor widow, some years ago, went to Mr. Barnum's house and told him she was very poor, and had a large family to support; she could not, in fact, decently support them. But if Mr. Barnum would only loan her $75 with which to buy a sewing-machine, she assured him she could do enough better to be able to save a little, and to pay the money back. Mr. Barnum, thinking her honest and truthful, said she might have the money on the terms suggested, but told her when she had saved the requisite amount to bring it to him. After some struggle and privation, in due time she did this, and laid it before him. "Well," said he, "my good woman, you have now fairly earned your sewing-machine, and you have done one thing more, YOU HAVE LEARNED HOW TO SAVE." And thereupon he handed back the money, and told her to put it in safe keeping.

Mr. Barnum's deep attachment for Bridgeport grew year by year, and was most strikingly manifessed. The thousands of trees he had set out there, the new streets he opened, and the Seaside Park, which was his creation mainly, are but a few of the evidences of his public enterprise. The Barnum Historical and Scientific Institute, and the Barnum Gymnasium were among his latest endowments, East Bridgeport he practically gave existence to, and both that and the city proper are so essentially his monument that you cannot now divorce the name of Bridgeport from that of Barnum.

Some years ago, when certain experiments were made to test the presence of ozone in the air, and much was said of its value to health, Mr. Barnum had the air at Bridgeport put on trial, and proved exultingly that no climate in this country was so salubrious as that of Bridgeport, especially in the region of the Seaside Park. He was very enthusiastic on the subject, and wrote to the local papers, to myself, and to others about it to give the fact publicity and proper emphasis.

It may be said by some that Mr. Barnum, in many of his real estate enterprises, made money; and so he did, by his foresight, faith, and sagacity concerning his adopted town. He partly foresaw the future of Bridgeport, and then largely made it. But if he had not made money--and his example was open for others to follow--he could have had no money to give. He used to say himself, half jokingly: "I believe in a profitable philanthropy," which illustrates one of his characteristic traits--his absolute frankness. In fact, he was so open-hearted about himself that no account he ever gave of his private doings was ever flattering or exalted. He wore no phylacteries, and was as far away as possible from Pecksniffian pretensions.

In early life he suffered hardship and deprivations, and no Mark Tapley ever met them with more composure and, on occasions, with more hilarity. But he knew well what comfort and convenience are, and when they were at his command he enjoyed their best gifts. He once told me that it pained him to see Mr. Greeley omit those little cares for himself in later life to which he was surely entitled, and so, when he was his guest for many days together, he took care to provide him with a loose morning coat and comfortable slippers, and would not have him drop in an ordinary chair by accident, but secured for him the easiest one.

Busy as Mr. Barnum was, he found many hours for social and other pleasures. He did this by his systematic allotment of his time. All the machinery of his household and his business ran with a smoothness and punctuality that would have delighted George Washington. Everything was on time; his meals were regular--not movable feasts. It was a wonder how he wrote so many letters, foreign and domestic; dispatched so promptly his household and his city affairs, and his out-of-town business; met all sorts of callers on all sorts of errands; and yet spared time for rides, a social game or talk, and an evening out with so much frequency. Absolute idleness was positively painful to him; occupation of some sort he must have, and to the very end he had and enjoyed it.

I can scarcely realize, even now, that he is really gone--so clear of mind and active was he to the very last. Nor can it be easily imagined how Bridgeport in this generation can accustom itself to so great a loss. To hear that the average man--of distinction even--has died, seems common and credible. But the message which announced Mr. Barnum's death came like a troubled dream from which we somehow expect to awaken. That one so full of life as to be its very embodiment, should leave us, it will take time to fully comprehend. If, in the world, his demise leaves a striking and peculiar void, to a multitude of friends it comes with a tender sorrow that shall tincture indelibly many flowing years. J. B.

Among letters that have come to hand we select the following as the tribute of a representative American divine:

BROOKLYN, April 16th, 1891. Dear Mr. Benton:

There was a Mr. Barnum whom all the world knew, and whose name is familiar in every civilized land; but there was another Mr. Barnum whom we, his intimate friends knew, and regarded with a hearty affection. That he was a most courteous gentleman and the entertaining companion at his table and hospitable fireside, is but a part of the truth. He had a big warm heart that bound all his friends to him with hooks of steel.

I first met him on the platform of a grand temperance banquet, in Tripler Hall, New York, thirty-nine years ago--where he and Mr. Beecher, and Dr. Chapin, Hon. Horace Mann, Gen. Houston, of Texas, and myself were the speakers.

A gold medal was presented that evening to the Hon. Neal Dow, of Maine, the father of the "Prohibitory Law." Mr. Barnum made a very vivacious and vigorous address. In after years he delivered several addresses in behalf of Total Abstinence in my church, and they were admirable specimens of close argument, most pungently presented. He indulged in but few witticisms or amusing stories; for, as he well said, "The Temperance Reform was too SERIOUS a matter for trifling jokes and buffooneries."

During the first year of my married life, 1853, Mr. Barnum visited me at Trenton, N. J., and he often spoke of the happy hour he spent at our table, and the cozy dinner my young wife prepared for him. In after years he often sat at my table, and on two occasions he entertained me with princely hospitality at his Bridgeport mansion. On one occasion he invited the leading clergymen of the town to meet me.

We differed very decidedly in our religious creeds, and never fell into arguments about them. I honored his conscientious convictions, and his staunch adherence to what he believed to be the right interpretation of God's Word. With the scoffing scepticism of the day he had no sympathy, and utterly abhorred it. His kind heart made him a philanthropist, and in his own peculiar way he loved to do good to his fellow-men. Surrounded by innumerable temptations, he maintained a clean, chaste, and honest life, and found his happiest hours in the society of wife and children, under his own roof-tree. Had Mr. Barnum devoted himself to political life he would have made an excellent figure; for he had keen sagacity, vast and varied observations of human nature, and sturdy common sense. In conversation with intellectual men he always held his own with admirable acumen and vigor of expression. He was altogether one of the most unique characters that his native State has produced, and when his name ceases to be connected with shows and zoological exhibitions, he will be lovingly remembered as the genial friend, the sturdy patriot, the public-spirited and philanthropic neighbor, and the honest, true-hearted man.

Yours respectfully,


April 10th, 1891, was the day set for Mr. Barnum's funeral. The morning was cold, gray, and dismal. Nature's heart, with the spring joy put back and deadened, symboled the melancholy that had fallen upon Bridgeport. No town was ever more transformed than was this city by one earthly event. On the public and private buildings were hung the habiliments of woe; flags were at half mast, and, in the store windows were to be seen innumerable portraits and likenesses of the dead citizen, surrounded by dark drapery, or embedded in flowers.

Nor was this all. The people on the street and in the windows of their houses seemed to be thinking of but one thing--their common loss. The pedestrian walked slower; the voices of talkers, even among the rougher classes, were more subdued, and in their looks was imprinted the unmistakable signal of no common or ordinary bereavement.

The large church was not only filled, with its lecture-room, a considerable time before the hour set for the services; but thousands of people crowded the sidewalks near-by for hours, knowing they could only see the arrival and departure of the funeral cortege. The private services at the house, "Marina," near the Seaside Park, which preceded the public services in the church, were simple and were only witnessed and participated in by the relatives and immediate friends.


The immense congregation that filled to repletion the South Congregational Church, while the last services were being held over the remains of Hon. P. T. Barnum, were deeply impressed with the touching tribute which was paid the great showman and public benefactor by his old friend, Rev. Robert Collyer, D. D.

It was a pathetic picture which met the eyes of the vast throng. The aged preacher, with long white hair hanging loosely on his shoulders, and an expression of keen sorrow on his kindly face, standing in a small pulpit looking down on the remains of his old and cherished friend. The speaker's voice was strong and steady throughout his sermon. Each word of that sad panegyric could be distinctly heard in all parts of the edifice, but in offering up the last prayer, he broke down. The aged preacher made a strong effort to control himself, but his voice finally became husky, and tears streamed down his wrinkled cheeks. The audience was deeply touched by this display of feeling, and many ladies among the congregation joined with the preacher and wept freely.

The immense gathering were unusually quiet when the aged minister took his place in the pulpit, and his words were strangely clear, and distinct in all portions of the church, In his feeling tribute, Dr. Collyer said:

"P. T. Barnum was a born fighter for the weak against the strong, for the oppressed against the oppressor. The good heart, tender as it was brave, would always spring up at the cry for help and rush on with the sword of assistance. This was not all that made him loved, for the good cheer of his nature was like a halo about him. He had always time to right a wrong and always time to be a good citizen and patriot of the town, State, or republic in which he lived. His good, strong face, was known almost as well on the other side. You may be proud of him as he was proud of his town. He helped to strengthen and beautify it, and he did beautify it in many places. 'It is said that the hand that grasps takes away the strength from the hand that ought to give,' and that such a man must die without friends or blessings. He was not that man. He was always the open and generous man, who could not do too much for Bridgeport. He often told me of his desire to help this place, and he was not content to wait until after death. What he has done for Bridgeport is the same as he has done for other noble works. As my brother, Rev. Mr. Fisher, said today, there was never anything proposed in this city that had any promise of goodness but that he was ready to pour out money and assistance for it.

"Faith in one's self fails in the spring if one has not faith in God also. He had that faith I know. He had worship, reverence, and love in his heart, and as he rests from his labors we meet and linger here for a few minutes and pay respect and honor to the memory of a great and good man. We can forget that we belong to divers churches, and stand here as children of one faith and one baptism, honoring for the last time one who has finished his labors here and with a crown of glory for his reward, has joined in his eternal home the Father he served so well."

When the church services were over, the procession moved to Mountain Cemetery, a mile or more distant, where, in a beautiful plat, long ago arranged, with a modest monument above it, rest the remains of Mr. Barnum's first wife. Here, in a place made beautiful by nature and improved by art, was consigned the mortal part of him whose story we have tried, weakly, perhaps, to tell. Great masses of flowers, similar to those displayed in the house and church, were upon the grave and about it, and the people, who came there in large numbers, did not leave for hours after the religious service had been read.

A book of good size might be made of the notable expressions called forth by Mr. Barnum's death from leading journals and men known to fame. It is impossible to give any fair sample of them here, but the London Times' leader of April 8th may serve, perhaps, as a good specimen:

"Barnum is gone. That fine flower of Western civilization, that arbiter elegantiarum to Demos, has lived. At the age of eighty, after a life of restless energy and incessant publicity, the great showman has lain down to rest. He gave, in the eyes of the seekers after amusement, a lustre to America. * * * He created the metier of showman on a grandiose scale worthy to be professed by a man of genius. He early realized that essential feature of a modern democracy, its readiness to be led to what will amuse and instruct it. He knew that 'the people' means crowds, paying crowds; that crowds love the fashion and will follow it; and that the business of the great man is to make and control the fashion. To live on, by, and before the public was his ideal. For their sake and his own, he loved to bring the public to see, to applaud, and to pay. His immense activity, covering all those years, marked him out as one of the most typical and conspicuous of Yankees. From Jenny Lind to Jumbo, no occasion of a public 'sensation' came amiss to him.

"Phineas Taylor Barnum, born in 1810, at Bethel, Connecticut--how serious and puritanical it sounds! --would have died with a merely local reputation unless chance had favored him by putting in his way something to make a hit with. He stumbled across Charles H. Stratton, the famous, the immortal 'General Tom Thumb' of our childhood. Together they came to Europe and held 'receptions' everywhere. It was the moment when the Queen's eldest children were in the nursery, and Barnum saw that a fortune depended on his bringing them into friendly relations with Tom Thumb. He succeeded; and the British public flocked to see the amusing little person who had shown off his mature yet miniature dimensions by the side of the baby Heir Apparent. Then came the Jenny Lind furore. Then came a publicity of a different sort. Mr. Barnum became a legislator for his State, and even, in 1875, Mayor of Bridgeport. Why not? The man who can organize the amusements of the people may very well be trusted to organize a few of their laws for them.

"When, in 1889, the veteran brought over his shipload of giants and dwarfs, chariots and waxworks, spangles and circus-riders, to entertain the people of London, one wanted a Carlyle to come forward with a discourse upon 'the Hero as Showman.' It was the ne plus ultra of publicity. * * * There was a three-fold show--the things in the stalls and cages, the showman, and the world itself. And of the three perhaps Barnum himself was the most interesting. The chariot races and the monstrosities we can get elsewhere, but the octogenarian showman was unique. His name is a proverb already, and a proverb it will continue."