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Join Executive Director Kathleen Maher and the Barnum Museum’s staff and friends for regular updates on all things Barnum.

A Good Education is Better than Riches

It’s time to check in again on the Barnum family circle after several weeks of topics pertaining to business concerns. 

The Secret has Cost Me Much Trouble

The “Happy Family” of birds and beasts was among P. T. Barnum’s most popular and long-running exhibitions at the American Museum in New York. 

Do the Best You Can for Yourself

P. T. Barnum was an inveterate letter-writer who had no trouble filling sheet after sheet to certain correspondents, and so his twelve-page epistle to Alanson Taylor, which we explored in the previous two blogposts, is not altogether surprising.

How to Do Business in Baltimore

P. T. Barnum’s twelve-page letter to Alanson Taylor, dated January 21st, 1846, and written in Dunfermline, Scotland, gives us a lot to unpack—no “small talk” takes up space on those pages!

Going It Like a Rush

“Going it like a rush,” is the curious expression P. T. Barnum used to describe the success of Gen. Tom Thumb’s performances in England and Scotland when he wrote to his friend in Paris, Dr. Brewster, on January 20th, 1846. 

See P. T. Barnum’s Letter Copybook Live

Happy Mothers Day from the Barnum! With Spring’s full arrival, I hope you are enjoying the pleasure of longer days and witnessing life renewed now that the birds, bees, trees and flowers are putting on their grand show. 

An Array of Museums

Last week we found P. T. Barnum feverishly writing to correspondents in America on New Year’s Day in 1846, revealing tantalizing news of potential museum acquisitions as well as a plaguing legal matter dating back to his days as a partner in a dry goods business.

A New Chapter for a New Year

A “new chapter” is about to begin in P. T. Barnum’s business life as we learn from a group of letters he composed—appropriately—on New Year’s Day in 1846. 

Extra Exertions in Dull Times

This week we will have a look on both sides of the Atlantic, zooming in on London to see how General Tom Thumb’s December 1845 performances fared, and on New York City, where American Museum manager Fordyce Hitchcock had received another of Barnum’s very long letters detailing his ideas for the coming winter season. 

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