See P. T. Barnum’s Letter Copybook Live

See P. T. Barnum's Letter Copybook Live

Happy Mothers Day from the Barnum!

Antique French postcard featuring the month of May flower, Lily of the Valley. (Courtesy of

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.  And to those who will be celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, I add my appreciation for the innumerable things that mothers do with unselfish love and devotion, especially over the past challenging year.

Speaking of “shows,” I wanted to call your attention to the new episode of Curious People Wanted, released on the Barnum Museum’s YouTube channel on Monday, May 3, 2021.  It features our archive treasure, the P. T. Barnum copybook of letters from 1845-1846 that has been the primary source for my weekly blog.  Those of you who have been reading the blogposts may have wondered what this “mysterious” 750-page book of letters actually looks like–so this is the chance to see it!   I also show a couple of artifacts that are mentioned in the copybook as well as an elegant portrait of Barnum–writing at his desk, of course—which was drawn in the very same time period the letters were written.

That’s the good news.  On the flip side, due to technical problems experienced by the site that hosts our digital version of the copybook, I have been unable to access it this week and could not complete my blogpost.  (I use the digital surrogate so as not to risk damaging the original.)  Imagine going online and finding that massive book full of blank pages!  Luckily for us, the IT team made the “restoration” of our copybook a priority and this morning it was online again.

So, dear readers, I ask for your forgiveness in not providing an installment to read this week.  But, if you haven’t already, do take a look at the Curious People Wanted video—it’s a little over 6 minutes.

‘Til next week, and on behalf of the Barnum Museum staff and Board, I wish you and your families a warm, loving, and happy Mother’s Day!

Adrienne Saint-Pierre
Barnum Museum Curator

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