P. T. Barnum
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American showman, politician, and businessman. He is widely credited with coining the adage ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ He was also an author, publisher, and philanthropist. He died of a stroke at his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1891 and was buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery.
About P. T. Barnum in brief
Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American showman, politician, and businessman. He is widely credited with coining the adage ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’ He was also an author, publisher, and philanthropist. Barnum died of a stroke at his home in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1891 and was buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, which he designed himself. He was married to Charity Hallett from 1829 until her death in 1873, and they had four children. In 1874, a few months after his wife’s death, he married Nancy Fish, his friend’s daughter who was 40 years his junior. He had several businesses over the years, including a general store, a book auctioning trade, real estate speculation, and a statewide lottery network. He started a weekly newspaper in 1829 called The Herald of Freedom in Danbury, Connecticut. His editorials against the elders of local churches led to libel suits and a prosecution which resulted in imprisonment for two months, but he became a champion of the liberal movement upon his release. He sold his store in 1834. He began his career as a showman in 1835 when he was 25 with the purchase and exhibition of a blind and almost paralyzed slave woman named Joice Heth, whom an acquaintance was trumpeting around Philadelphia as the former nurse of George Washington. In 1850, he promoted the American tour of Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, paying her an unprecedented USD 1,000 a night for 150 nights.
He suffered economic reversals in the 1850s due to bad investments, as well as years of litigation and public humiliation. He used a lecture tour as a temperance speaker to emerge from debt. In 1870, he established a traveling circus, menagerie, and museum of ‘freaks’ which adopted many names over the year. He purchased Scudder’s American Museum in 1837 and renamed it Barnum’s Grand Scientific and Musical Theater. He bought the American Museum for $1,000,000 in 1841. He died in 1878 at the age of 60. He left a fortune to his family. He also had a son, George Washington Barnum, who was a prominent New York real estate developer. He lived in New York City until his death at the end of the 19th century. His son George Washington was a well-known author and author of the book ‘The Great Gatsby’ about the life of General Tom Thumb, a 19th-century British general. The book was published by Simon & Schuster and was published in 1883. He wrote a number of other books, including ‘The Art of the Deal’ and ‘The Secret of the American Gold Rush’ (1883). He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Royal Society of New York, and served as president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of America from 1885 to 1887. He served two terms in the Connecticut legislature in 1865 as a Republican for Fairfield, Connecticut and 1875 as mayor of Bridgeport.