February 5th, 1843: PT Barnum Connives with Moses Kimball

I never was more happily disappointed Your letter today about the giant booby. I had made up my mind that it would be a failure, and that I should pay their expenses and wages and send them back without exhibiting – a thousand thanks saving me the trouble and expense – the fact is, a half and half giant or anything else is good for nothing… PT_Barnum_Commercial_Image4

Tom Thumb left for Philadelphia today – yesterday was his adieu Farewell “Benefit”. I took $280! Did you ever hear the like? The day previous took $90 – odd. I have the Rocky Mountain wild Indians- this week. Give them one half after deducting $400!.- That is a leetle better than to give them two thirds a la Peales.

By the way Peale wrote me the other day to ask if I could not send him a Tom Thumb – or a two-headed man or something to create an excitement. I replied that I could furnish him with a “beast with 7 heads and 10 horns” at short notice, or any other that he ordered – that Tom Thumb was made to my order six months ago and being now nearly new and without a rival, he was very valuable – that I thought he could take $1200 per. week in Baltimore Museum and that he might engage him if he gave me. . .
I shall let him chew upon that a few days – He certainly never shall have him for less than half. I went to Philadelphia last night could not get into the Museum anyway – a superintendent said that he would not have the dwarf for any kind of performances or living curiosity exhibited there. I tried to point out his folly when he replied that he knew all about it – that performances could serve to keep up the excitement more than one year that he once made $40,000 in one year with that Museum and the next year lost half that amount. I told him he was a liar in saying that; and a fool in expecting to make me believe it and left him in a rage…

This is a rich life! Having got the Indians I will now not die from want of attractions for sometime – still I think I had better get that other fat boy and use him and send him on, as soon as possible, for if God should happen to bless us with Portuguese trip we shall soon have something as that boy will be a baby. I have sent to London for a pony there for sale 30 inches high. Do you know of one not over three feet? I want it for Tom Thumb, to ride about the room on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.