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.
by the patronage of more
than 100,000 ladies and gentlemen who witnessed the Boston Baby
Show with the most unqualified approbation and delight.
P. T. BARNUM AND COL. WOOD
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.
COLORED BABY SHOWS !
Perham in the Field !
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
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