When Annie Jones joined Barnum's exhibition as a child of only nine months, Jones' parents received a $150-a-week salary. She was billed as a new "infant Esau." By the age of five she had a mustache and sideburns and became well known as the "Bearded Girl." The image shows Annie at age seven and is by E. & H.T. Anthony noted New York photographers. She is holding her skirt up to show the hair on her legs.

 

In an incident which may have been one of Barnum's publicity stunts, a New York phrenologist kidnapped Jones when she was a young child. Barnum and the police found her exhibited in a church fair. When the man claimed the child as his, the matter went to court. The judge had Jones separated from the others before it was her time to testify. When the child was taken to the courtroom, she went straight to her parents. The judge declared the case closed.

 

As an adult, Jones became the country's favorite and number one bearded lady. She spent most of her career working for PT Barnum. Later in her career, Jones toured in Russia and claimed to have turned down painters who asked her to pose as Jesus. Annie Jones married Richard Elliot in 1881, but divorced him in 1895 for her childhood sweetheart William Donovan (who later died, leaving Jones a widow). In 1902, Annie Jones died of tuberculosis ending a career of more than forty years as a bearded lady. and is buried in New York

 


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