P.T. Barnum to Moses Kimball,

Letter 5, September 4, 1843


N.Y. Sept. 4th 1843
 
Dear Moses
 
The "Serenaders" have arrived here[?] no cuts to make a dash with Reason wh[?] they owe Clapp the printer some $11. or $12 -- their cuts and a lot of Bills are left with Clapp for security. Please pay Clapp his bill and charge me and send its and [?] by Adams & Co. tomorrow and write me how much you [?] Clapp -- but it must not exceed $12. As ever thine Barnum
 
Business is nothing today -- since Tommy & are gone -- on Saturday took here $271. -- Peales $

I am now dying for want of a day attraction. [?] would do it to bring out the Mermaid as follows
 
Engaged for a short time the animal (regarding which there has been so much dispute in scientific world) called the
 
FEJEE MERMAID!
 
positively asserted by its owner to have been taken alive the Fejee Islands, and implicitly believed by many scientific persons, while it is pronounced by other scientific persons to be an artificial production, and its natural existence claimed by them to be an utter impossibility. The manager can only say that it hopeless as such appearance of reality as any fish lying the stalls of our fish markets -- but is to decide when doctors disagree. At all events whether this production is the work of nature or art it is decidedly the most stupenduous curiousity ever submitted to the public for inspection. If it is artificial the senses sight and touch are useless for art has rendered them totally ineffectual -- if it is natural then all concur in declaring; it

the greatest Curiosity in the World
 
There if you are a mind for me to try it -- something that style -- please send it along and I will do so -- if not I give up the idea of any success in sueing not hurt it in or elsewhere.
 
Moses Kimball, Esq. Boston Museum
 


P.T. Barnum Letters To Moses Kimball - September 4, 1843 - Boston Athenaeum - Disability History Museum, www.disabilitymuseum.org  (March 04, 2009)

 

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