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

PTB Letters (#59) A Great Blessing to the Poor

The letters in P. T. Barnum’s copybook only occasionally make reference to his political views, but in late January of 1846 Barnum was moved to share his opinion about one of many “hot topics” in the United Kingdom at that time, the repeal of Corn Laws.

PTB Letters (#58) 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. 

PTB Letters (#57) 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. 

PTB Letters (#56) 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.

PTB Letters (#55) 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!

PTB Letters (#54) 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. 

PTB Letters (#53) 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.

PTB Letters (#52) 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. 

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