BARNUM, Phineas Taylor, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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'The Thumb business continues good ...'

BARNUM, Phineas Taylor (1810-1891). American showman.
Good Autograph Letter Signed to ?Brettell, 2 pages 8vo on thin paper, with integral blank, White Bear Inn, Manchester, 21 October 1856. Discussing a carriage which he had placed in store ('I had noticed the advt. of the Genls. carriage & written to Morris to look after it'), and the prospects for his performances in London and the provinces.
'... The Thumb business continuues good here - the Manchester folks want me to repeat my lecture here, which possibly I may do, but after visiting Liverpool & Coventry where I am engaged on 25th & 26th I shall either give it up & go home or else try it one night in Exeter Hall or St James Hall London & then if I hit the London press I will try the provinces on the strength of that influence, whereas if the London papers blow me up - I shall sneak off & give up lecturing for a bad job. ...'
The letter was written during one of Barnum's lecture tours of Europe, during which he was usually accompanied by 'General Tom Thumb' [Charles Sherwood Stratton, 1838-1883, the celebrated dwarf]. Barnum had already, on a previous visit, taken Stratton to appear before Queen Victoria and the young Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). The reference to 'The Gen[era]l's Carriage' presumably means the miniature carriage contrived for Stratton.
[No: 24952]

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