The Baby Show Letter



 The letter itself only mentions that the writer was looking forward to seeing the show and meeting his family there, but he added a newspaper article describing the show which he attached to the letter with sealing wax. The significance of the article is that Barnum's competitor, Josiah Perham, threw down the gauntlet with his threat to have his Colored Baby Show run at the same time as Barnum's White Baby show. The New York Tribune in May of 1855 picked up on this feud and tried to sensationalize it for their readers. Years later, some historians believed that Barnum himself staged the feud as a form of free advertisement, though there was never proof of these allegations.


Images, envelope, 2 page letter from Albert Ring and News Articles - courtesy of Jeff Staines



More Baby Shows.

ENCOURAGED by the patronage of more than 100,000 ladies and gentlemen who witnessed the Boston Baby Show with the most unqualified approbation and delight.



have determined upon holding Baby Shows in Lowell, Worcester, Providence, Hartford, Ct.  Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, and all the large cities in the United States and Canada.

Particulars in a day or two.








Perham in the Field !



IT is conceded that Baby Shows are the funniest and most interesting exhibitions of the present day.  But even their inventor, Barnum, cannot deny that colored Babies make a more novel show than white ones.  Such was the case in Boston.


JOSIAH PARHAM, who is well known to the public, hereby announces that henceforth he will hold a Colored Baby Show in each town and on the same dates as Barnum and Col. Wood Hold theirs.

The Babies in each case will be limited to one hundred..  Many thousands of dollars will be expended in premiums.


Full particulars in a few days.





Sunday, Lowell, Sep. 23 1855

Dear Friends, You will doubless be expecting a letter from us by this time.  I have but very little of importance to write as we are all well at present.

Albert Franklin has had quite a severe attac of the diaoreac but is well now.

Charles Alfred has had rather an ill turn which lasted two weeks,-is well now: he walks without any assistance and has climbed up starrs two or three times.  While E. was with you  I had A. and C's names entered on the City register.  I got our sink moved - kitchen floor painted and the standing work varnished before E. got back.  I have bought her a sopha - gave $19. it's a nice one.

E. got home safe and sound but quite tired; the babe's carriage got the axle broke in the middle So I had to make a new one, it is better than the old.  We are going to have C's mineature taken soon and if we have an oportunety we will send it down for you to see.  Sister Minerva is quite lo and probably will never be any better.  Brother Charles came from

Vermont last week, he is larger than I am  he thinks of working here this winter.

I should have been very happy to have made you a visit with E. but I have ______ deny myself many things that I should____ if I had not been unfortunate.

Albert sends his love to all.

I expect the "Baby Show" will be worth_____ and we shall look for Mother or some____ of you then.  Write and let us hear_______ you often. I don't think of any this______ more just now so I will bid you good bye for the present

Yours Affectionately
Albert Ring




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