P.T. Barnum to Moses Kimball,

Letter 3, March 8, 1843


American Museum March 8th, 1843

Oh Temperance! Oh Moses!!!

What a big oat you must [have] swallowed cross-ways when you wrote me those [letters] That of the 7th came early this morning -- that of the 6th [three] hours afterwards. Well you are in rather bad luck, just [now] and you have a right to be cross -- the armor was wrong -- Indian Men were contrary -- Harrington was whiffling -- Barnum was greedy, and was keeping Tommy longer South than he promised -- your business was bad, you generously advanced that “bitch” $12 and got her the situation and all that like a devilish clever fellow as [you are].

And you may get cross once in a while; and [you] may write me cross letters, and I'll bear with [it like] a man; But you must permit me to laugh when I read your bitter effusions, for I know just how you feel, having felt exactly so a thousand tines. But don't eat a fellow up now without giving him a chance for his life -- pray don't! You may blow me up a little, and swear at me if you are a mind to, and I'll give you full liberty to lick Miss Darling, and ride her on a [rail] into the bargain if you want to, but don't -- Oh don't, tar [and] feather me and draw me in quarters on account of [your] "cart loads of gold and silver vases, ornaments -- " diamonds [etc. etc.]
I have not shown your letter to "Miss Darling" nor spoken of the contents nor shall I -- I'll wait for you to cool down. [I] told Frances that you did not like what I said about the [apparatus], She replied that Miss Darling told her yesterday that she hoped I [had] not written you anything about it that would give offence for you had really been very kind to her and she would sooner work 6 months for nothing than to offend you -- for she felt very grateful to you -- and all that sort of thing.

Now blow off your extra Gas and sit down to hear [my business.]

Guilledeau's son is dead and G. is absent. I have looked at the armor very sharp and can see nothing "out of the way" -- shoulder pieces appear all right -- Dick says that all are just as Old Wright put then up. When Guilledeau comes I'll see.

I read your letter to Col. Devoe -- he won't go, he says. Let him go to the devil. Oh! here's a little consolation for you -- I took only $28 Monday and $33 Tuesday good pleasant days. I shall do no better today! there now calm yourself exclaim "misery loves company''. If Harrington should quit with me Saturday or even Friday he could not get his freight there to begin with you on Monday 13th -- so he stays here till Wednesday 15th -- will pack up then and be in Boston to begin with you Monday 20th March without fail, with Dioramas and Figures, Program etc. he will send you by Saturday of this week or before. In keeping Tom Thumb longer South than I expected, I keep him out of my own Museum as well as yours, and if he lives, you shall have him, and at a time when you can make more money than he now could for you, and as for making hay, excitement etc. -- it will be found an easy matter for you to raise an excitement on Tommy anytime especially the first time. It hardly seems sensible to go to the expense of bringing him from the south where [he] is doing well -- and then have to take him back there perhaps in summer -- when in fact now is the best season of the year to have him there. The Big-Boy -- You may hold on to him as collateral security for Tommy -- or you may send him on whenever you please.
Do you want a pretty good sized bald eagle skin? I bought two yesterday -- shot on Long Island.

That apparatus is in Harrington's hands -- I wish you could see the great long sober face he puts on about painting and gilding it. I guess you (might) not be anxious to have. . .have already advanced him $10 which he pretends is expended in vermillion gilding etc. to say nothing of the labor -- then he has he says laid out $4.50 besides for (ornaments) for the table cloths and now wants $11 to buy velvet for the same. I expect his bill altogether will be about $60 -- $40 of it for gilding your (Trumpets?) I beg pardon I meant your gold and silver vases!!

By all means I thought best to hear from Yeadon before concluding what do you
As ever thine

Moses Kimball, Esq.
Boston Museum

P.T. Barnum Letters To Moses Kimball - March 8, 1843 - Boston Athenaeum - Disability History Museum, www.disabilitymuseum.org  (March 04, 2009)


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