P.T. BARNUM - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/19/1888 - HFSID 13972
Sale Price $1,020.00
P. T. BARNUM
Barnum handwrote, signed and dated this letter from Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1888 to his grandson "Dear Old Henry", who had moved away. This tender letter contrasts with Barnum's more well-known public persona as a huckster and showman.
Autograph Letter signed: "P T Barnum", 2 pages (front and verso), 6x9. Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1888 October 19. On Waldemere letterhead to "Dear Old Harry", in full: "It is just one week since you went away and left poor Ginger and your other friends, to stay home alone, while you are having fun in your new house in New York. It seems a long time since you and little Frank junior were in Bridgeport. I drive past your house every day, and I don't see you playing with the 'nice little beggar boys,' and I don't hear you scream out 'hello grandpa Barnum, I am building a house, but I don't work for I am the boss.' And I don't see Frank junior shake his arms, and hear him scream so as to frighten my hat off, nor hear him whistle the watch open. So I drive into the Park alone and wonder what my little grand children are doing in Harlem - and wishing they were here again. I wonder how you are all getting along in your new house. Do you like it better than Bridgeport? Do you play in the streets, and in your back yard? Don't let anybody carry you off when you go in the streets. How did grandma Russell get along on her long journey? Is she any better? Would you like to see Duke and Ginger? I hope you are soon going to Kintergarten school? You will have lots of fun there. Give my love to all your folks and come up and see us when you feel like it. Grandma Barnum sends here love to you all. The rail tracks and buildings are all finished at Winter Quarters and the big show will be there in about two weeks. The white donkey sends his love to you. So good bye - good boy - 'Hood bye Joh, don't stay long.' from your grandpop." Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) began his career as a showman in 1835. In 1841 he purchased Scudder's American Museum in New York, 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. Waldemere was Barnum's seaside estate in Bridgeport. On the property he built cottages for two of his daughters, including Mrs. Seeley, mother of his only grandson, Clinton H. Seeley. Upon his death, P. T. Barnum bequeathed $25,000 to this grandson on condition that he make "Barnum" part of his name. Complying with this request, he changed his name to C. Barnum Seeley. Slightly soiled. One-half inch strip of clear tape across front top edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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