P.T. Barnum to Moses Kimball,

Letter 2, February 5, 1843

 


N.Y. Sunday, February 5th, 1843
 
My dear Moses,
 
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. I have concluded to have no [kind] or sort of performance at Peales, nothing but the [gypsy]? She at $5 per week -- lady doorkeeper at $3.50 per week, boy to sweep out $3.50 per week -- advertisements $3.50 per week -- fuel $1, Gas $8, Rent $25 -- total $47 we [average] $8 to $10 per day receipts [average] -- thus clearing the rent -- which is not very
 
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! for the weeks [e. . .] 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. The poor devil can't raise another . . .and Indian Harvest. -- 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 Balti[more] 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 for a present . . .,000, 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.
  
When I went there he was sweeping out the Chinese Museum. I supposed he was some loafer -- who he is I don't know, but I expect is some fool that the stockholders have placed there confining him to those restrictions.
 
I engaged Masonic Hall front room first floor for only $12 per week including gas and fuel. If I don't clear $1000 there I shall for the thousandth time in my life be mistaken. [I] hope to get through with Phil. and Baltimore, and take him [sometime] myself then let you have him by about the [middle ] of March. But you must drive business when you get him and to assist him in that, I shall send you some Lithographs to distribute about your whole city -- especially in all public show windows -- Hotels -- P. Office etc. etc. -- The stone and 500 lithographs cost me $40 so they will cost you 8 cts. each. I will try to send you 25 on Monday, and [if] you can use more send for as many as you like. [It] seems to me you could distribute [them] to advantage -- but perhaps not. I have practised [this] strong in Philadelphia, and I think with great effect.
 
I enclose you a funny kind of letter from A.C. a clerical friend of mine -- settled in the South (Charleston). His stuff about [hiring] to the show at $50 per month etc. is all sham -- though written with great apparent seriousness. The letter from Taylor is still better, and I think gives us occasion for more rejoicing and [thanks-] giving. I have placed $50 to your credit. Wasn't it lucky to [get] rid of slow-moving, lazy-boned Lyman? I'll warrant you. . . ever in. . .showing and scientifically explaining Taylor not only equals Lyman, but far exceeds him in point of industry and perseverance. He is faithful as the sun. It's not that [impulse] to sell the poor Charlestonians then beg back the money [paid] for license? 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 at 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.
 

As ever [thine]
Barnum
 
(By the very excellent and never to be beaten Adams Express)
   
Moses Kimball, Esq.
Boston Museum

 


P.T. Barnum Letters To Moses Kimball - February 5, 1843 - Boston Athenaeum - Disability History Museum, www.disabilitymuseum.org  (March 04, 2009)

 

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