P.T. BARNUM - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/02/1872 - HFSID 4176
Sale Price $1,190.00
P. T. BARNUM
Barnum handwrote, signed and dated this letter from Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1872. In it, Barnum tells the recipient that his children have returned safely home after a visit and of the wonderful care they were given while they were away. It's a rare look at Barnum the family man instead of Barnum the showman.
Autograph Letter signed: "P. T. Barnum", 2 pages (integral leaf), 5x8. Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1872 October 2. To "My dear Johnson", in full: "My little brood all arrived yesterday P.M. in good health. They feel that they have been in Paradise and have received Heavenly impressions which will not fade till they enter the Paradise above. They say you & your father are the very best in the world, the only draw-back being that you would not let them pay their way. I really regret this, but as that habit seems to be Chronic with you I must try to catch the same disease. Mrs. Barnum says you & yours must not fail to make our house your home when you come to New York. We should feel offended if it were otherwise, I start from New York tomorrow P.M. on a hop skip & jump for Colorado. Several gentlemen go with me. Letters will reach me at Chicago till morning of 9th Nov. Denver till 15 - and again 20th. You may perhaps desire to consult me about my book, the alterations etc. With kindest Regards to your wife & Belle [handwritten addition, boldfaced] as well as to yourself. I am as every Very Truly" [signature] I hope to get home again by 26th." In 1835, Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) began his career as a showman with his purchase and exploitation of a Black woman, Joyce Heth, reputed to have been the nurse of George Washington and to be over 160 years old. He purchased Scudder's American Museum in New York in 1841, adding to it to make his museum one of the most popular shows in the U.S. Barnum retired in 1855 but, because of creditors, resumed his career as showman and museum proprietor in 1857. In 1869, Barnum organized "The Greatest Show on Earth" which opened in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1871. In 1881, he became partners with James A. Bailey of Cooper, Bailey and Company's Circus, forming "Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth". In 1907, his circus was sold to Ringling Brothers. Slightly soiled. Paper separation at top (½-inch) and bottom (1-inch) of vertical centerfold. One-inch paper separation at edge of lower horizontal fold. Mounting adhesive remnants on verso and two small holes, on blank integral leaf. Otherwise, fine condition.
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