After a slightly cruel delay of forty-eight hours, caused by the bursting of the bridal balloon that was to carry them aloft, Mr. Charles M. Colton and Miss Mary E. Walsh, two young and blooming attaches of Barnum's Roman Hippodrome, became man and wife yesterday, at 4:40 P.M., at the altitude of one mile above the western edge of the city.  The balloon ascended at 4:30 P.M., at the altitude of one mile about the western edge of the city.  The balloon ascended at 4:30 o'clock, and landed in perfect safety at 5:10, in a vacant lot just south of the Widows' Home, Mt. Auburn.  At 6 P.M. the bridal party was back in the city, the journey from first to last having been one of uninterrupted enjoyment.





The opinion of the public generally in regard to the extent of splendid humbug that Barnum can accomplish amounts to a superstition.   He is supposed to be able to dazzle the judgment and confuse the vision to a degree almost supernatural.  It strikes us that he is giving the people this time a magnificent show for a very reasonable price, and we do not hesitate to say that the Hippodrome performances are quite beyond parallel.  Yet some persons imagine that they are getting mysteriously humbugged after all.


The balloon wedding was pronounced by these knowing ones to be a mere advertising device, just as if the good looking young men and women around a Hippodrome could not love and wish to marry with all the eclat attainable.  The match yesterday was one of affection, and would have occurred in commonplace fashion but for the fact that the press agent of the Hippodrome, Mr. D. S. Thomas, wanted it to take place in a balloon.  Through his efforts the consent of the young people was obtained, and he met with hearty co-operation from Mr. Barnum, his captains, and the entire company.


This was the first wedding in a liberated balloon on record.  A couple were married at San Francisco a few years ago in a balloon, which was secured to earth, however, by a rope.  Cincinnati has there fore another event of novel interest to be placed in her note-book.





Mr. Barnum has so large a talent for organization that he does not spend much of his time "at the front."  He forms his departments, and over each of them places a tried subordinate.


A constant flow of telegrams keeps him informed of the condition of affairs with the show.


The news of the collapse of the balloon Saturday did not sunt him.  He took the first train for Cincinnati, accompanied by the young English wife he married aboard about two months ago.  Mr. and Mrs. Barnum occupied seats yesterday afternoon in the front row of chairs nearest the judge's stand.  The veteran showman looks hale and active, though he is now in his sixty-fifth year, and forty years have elapsed since he printed his first posers about Joice Heth.  Mr. Barnum is rather portly, has a fresh though not florid complexion, and is moderately bald.  His hair retains enough of the original light brown to make the gray a little doubtful.  He shaves clean, and dresses in spotless black, ruffled shirt and drab kids.   His jewelry yesterday was a medium sized diamond cluster pin and a net gold vest watch-chain.  His eyes are rather prominent and of a grayish-blue color.  His teeth-well, his teeth are faultlessly regular, you know.  He has a cordial smile, an attentive manner, and sprinkles his conversation with harmless humorous sallies.   The famous Phineas is as well preserved an autumnal gentleman as could be found the country over.  His young wife, apparently aged about twenty-four, looks like a lady of amiability and refinement.  She is short in stature, inclining to plumpness.  Her complexion is blonde, and her features are of a purely English type.  The eyes are blue,............................................





The balloon, P.T. Barnum, the same used in the press ascension last week, and that burst on Saturday, having been repaired and revarnished, was taken to the old rink lot on Freemath street yesterday morning.  The gas was turned into her from the street main at 10 A.M. In five hours she was sufficiently inflated, and at 3 P.M. she was taken to the northeastern corner of the Hippodrome lot, to a space inclosed by canvas walls.  In the center of this space was a ring, surrounded by ropes, from the balloon, the bridal procession, the band and the reporters.  The remainder of the inclosed space was for the audience, which was about five thousand strong.  The multitude in the park and vicinity was past enumerating.  Fifteen or twenty thousand would be a reasonable guess.  The afternoon was agreeably warm, and the sky, though free from banks of clouds, was very hazy.  The smoke hung low and thick around the horizon.  The balloon was held down by the weight of several of Donaldson's assistants and by a single rope.  Beautiful bouquets were fastened to the netting just above the car.  The basket was covered with green and white cloth, festooned with tricolors, and covered with white muslin.  Four flags on staffs protruded from the basket, the American ensigns keeping company with green flags embroidered in yellow with Irish harps, the bride wishing to honor the island of her ancestors, Soon after 4 P.M. the bridal procession came...............................................


Enthusiastic waving of hats and handkerchiefs which was cordially returned from the bridal car.





The ascension was in a line much nearer the perpendicular than usual.  The lower current of wind blew toward the southwest.  Donaldson had expected to be carried in the direction.  The clergyman feared a rapid transit to the skies of Kentucky, and in about three minutes after leaving earth he proceeded with the marriage ceremony, conducting it, we are informed, very impressively.  The Swedenorgians have two marriage services, one for important occasions about an hour in length.  The other does not occupy over five minutes.  Mr. Jeffries took the short route to wedlock yesterday.  He made an appropriate address to the couple, alluding to their strange situation above the clouds.  The responses were made, and, of course, no ruffianly rival broke in to forbid the bans.  A feeling prayer was offered, to which all listened with bowed heads, and then Mr. and Mrs. Colton were presented to their attendants for their congratulations.  Mr. Coup, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Donaldson all followed the bridegroom and clergyman in kissing the bride.  Then they kissed the bridesmaid.  The end of the ceremony was signaled to the crowds below by dropping a parachute, which tumbled to the ground in a leisurely way.   The balloon had reached the elevation of one mile before the ceremony ended, but it had struck another current, which carried it slowly and majestically eastward along the northern boundary of the city toward Walnut Hills.   The air ship seemed to creep over this route so slowly........


In company with two other press representatives, we took a carriage.......................up the Avenue pike we should have witnessed the landing.  As it was, we were behind time only three of four minutes.  On nearing the earth the balloon struck the original westerly current, and we had to race after her in that direction.  The drag-rope trailed along Oak street, and passed near the Shillito mansion.  Once it caught on the roof of a house, but the balloon pulled it loose..  Donaldson was looking anxiously for a landing place, as the sun was setting.  He found what he wanted in a depression just southwest of the Widow's Home, where a pond formerly existed, but now quite dry, and almost level with the surrounding streets.  The balloon moved at a snail's pace, as only a faint breeze was  perceptible.  It was an easy matter for a few men below to bring her to an anchorage.  When we arrived upon the scene a thousand shouting men, women and children, mainly Germans, pressed in upon the basket, which rested upon the earth, some large stones having been added to the cargo.  The bride and bridesmaid were sitting on the edge of the basket sipping glasses of champagne, the first bottle having just been opened.  The whole party were in the gayest possible spirits, and all spoke rapturously of the delights of the adventure.  They were eager to ascend again, but Professor Donaldson said no.  He asked for more stones, and as they were deposited in the basket the bridal party disembarked and entered carriages which had followed them out.  Donaldson said that he would have the balloon towed back to the city, saving as much gas as possible for to-day's ascension.  Mr. Thomas remained with him to take care of the balloon.  The others were driven to the city.


At the Crawford House, which was reached at 6 P.M., just one and a half hour after the balloon sailed away from the Hippodrome grounds, the Rev. Mr. Jeffries left the party, proposing to depart for Pittsburg an hour later.  Several of the lady riders were waiting at the Crawford House for the bride's return.  They pounced out upon the sidewalk (it was dark by this time) and darted at the bride in the carriage to get the first kiss from her.  The ladies kissed each other furiously, and then they cried......................................................


"Marriage is of love, when imparts to the realities of life all the charms of romance.  The Creator has, in His wisdom, so constituted humanity that the soul hungers and thirsts for love-seeks affinity of soul-and when that is found the two blend their identity, love their individuality, and become one in thought, purpose and affection.  For the sanctifying of this union of souls and to cement these ties God ordained and instituted marriage, declaring that it was not good that the man should be alone, wherefore He provided an help-mate for him-'male and female, created He them'-sent them forth a single pair, one husband and one wife, dedicating each wholly to the other-together to enjoy the bliss of Eden, together to suffer the woes of expulsion-to share the joys of holiness or the miseries of sin."


Then followed the ceremony and benediction, and then the minister made the following.






"Marriage is not an earthly, but a heavenly institution, belonging to the higher realms of life, and as such is it revered by the enlightened; the greater the enlightenment of any country or community the greater the respect it accords marriage.  As an institution above those of the world merely, it is, then, most fitting that its solemnization should be cele-brated far about the earth.


"May you, whose life-destinies have been joined together at this altitude, be always lifted above the adversities of life.  Hence you look down upon the multitudes below, who appear as pigmies from your elevation, and you see that the sun is fast going down upon them; shadows lengthen, and darkness will quickly enwrap them.  Upon you the sun shines with greater brilliancy that we have seen it any time to-day; so may it be in life, and you be exempt from shadows and darkness, though you see them fall upon others. As you here serenely float above the hills. the rocks and the roughness below, so may your united destinies bear you above the rugged places of life; may you have no hills of sorrow to scale, no valley of adversity to pass through, no rock no valley of passion to stumble upon, no treacherous ditch of contention to fall into.


"Soon we shall all descend to earth. as we land shortly all go down to the grave." As upon leaving this vessel you two will pass forward in company while you live, so, when you have both crossed to that Bourne from where the travels, may your united souls in...........

the glorious paradise of God........


Article from The Cincinnati Commercial - Tuesday Morning, October 20, 1874

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