The Little Man
The inscriptions and
paintings on the outside of this show were, "The White
Negro, who was rescued from her Black Parents by the
bravery of a British Officer' the only White Negro Girl
Alive. the Great Giantess and Dwarf. Six Curiosities
Alive! only a Penny to see them All Alive!
"While waiting a few minutes till the
place filled, I had leisure to observe that one side of
the place was covered by a criminal attempt to represent
a tread-mill, in oil colours, and the operators at work
upon it, superintended by gaolers, &c. On the other side
were live monkies in cages; an old bear in a jacket, and
sundry other animals. Underneath the wheels of the
machine, other living creatures were moving about, and
these turned out to be the poor neglected children of
the showman and his wife. The miserable condition of
these infants, who were puddling in the mud, while their
parents outside were turning a bit of music, and
squalling and bawling with all their might, "walk in"
only a penny," to get spectators of the objects that
were as yet concealed on their "proud eminence," the
caravan, by a thin curtain, raised a gloom in the mind.
I was in a reverie concerning these beings when the
curtain was withdrawn, and there stood confessed to
sight, she whom the showman called "the tall lady," and
"the white negro, the greatest curiosity ever seen" the
first that has been exhibited since the reign of George
the Second" look at her head and hair, ladies and
gentlemen, and feel it; there's no deception, it's like
ropes of wool." There certainly was not any deception.
The girl herself, who had the flat nose, thick lips, and
peculiarly shaped scull of the negro, stooped to have
her head examined, and being close to her I felt it. Her
hair, if it could be called hair, was of a dirtyish
flaxen hue; it hung in ropes, of a clothy texture, the
thickness of a quill, and from four to six inches in
length. Her skin was the colour of an European's.
Afterwards stepped forth a little personage about three
feet high, in a military dress, with top boots, who
strutted his tiny legs, and held his head aloft with not
less importance than the proudest general officer could
assume upon his promotion to the rank of field-martial.
Mr. Samuel Williams, whose versatile and able pencil has
frequently enriched this work, visited the Fair after
me, and was equally struck by his appearance. He favours
me with the subjoined engraving of this Little Man.
my leave of this show pondering on "the different ends
our fates assign," but the jostling of a crowd in
Smithfield, and the clash of instruments, were not
favourable to musing, and I walked into the next.
Above Excerpt form a visit to
the Bartholomew Fair.
1825. On this day, Monday the 5th, the Fair was resumed,
when the editor of the Every-Day Book accurately
surveyed it throughout. From his notes made on the spot he
reports the following particulars of what he there observed.
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