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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
P.T. Barnum arrived in London at 7 o’clock on Wednesday evening, December 3, 1845, concluding his on-site role in France with Gen. Tom Thumb’s entourage.
When we left Barnum last week, he was still in Paris busy writing letters, but was about to leave for England.
Intense homesickness is difficult to cope with, especially when it persists over a long period of time and leads to physical ailments.
At the end of November 1845, nearing both the end of General Tom Thumb’s tour of France and the close of his second year abroad, P. T. Barnum’s wide-ranging ambitions seem tamped down a bit, at least in so far as his communication to his American Museum manager Fordyce Hitchcock tells us.