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

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. 

A Desire to Save the Souls of Men

This week we have the opportunity to consider P. T. Barnum and religion through different lenses by exploring a couple of fascinating letters written in December of 1845 while he was in England.

I Never Wish to be a Millionaire

This isn’t the way I usually begin the weekly blog about Barnum’s copybook letters, but I just can’t resist telling you right away that I’ve come to a letter which tells us that at long last P. T. Barnum knows his wife Charity is “with child.”

Bills and Boardmen

We last left P. T. Barnum in London, having recently arrived there from Paris, and he was diligently working to get a firm schedule in place so that when Gen. Tom Thumb arrived in mid-December, he could begin performing right away. 

Community Engagement: Curious Kids?  We Can Keep Them Busy!

If you’ve watched any of the Curious People Wanted videos on the Barnum Museum’s YouTube channel, you know we have wonderful objects with intriguing stories.  Now younger children can “become curious” about our artifacts with new Kids’ Activities on our website!

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