Phineas Barnum

Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810 - 1891)

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Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum
Born in Bethel, Fairfield, Connecticut, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in New York City, New York, United Statesmap
Husband of — married in London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 Mar 2013 | Last significant change: 2 Jun 2018
04:06: Harleigh Turner answered a question about Phineas Barnum [Thank Harleigh for this | 1 thank-you received]
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Categories: Mountain Grove Cemetery and Mausoleum, Bridgeport, Connecticut | Entertainers | Connecticut Project | Notables | Barnum Name Study.

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Contents

Biography

P. T. Barnum was a celebrated American showman, who employed sensational forms of presentation and publicity to popularize such amusements as the public museum, the musical concert, and the three-ring circus. In partnership with James A. Bailey, he made the American circus a popular and gigantic spectacle, the so-called "Greatest Show on Earth."[1]
Phineas Barnum is Notable.
This profile is part of the Barnum Name Study.

Family

Phineas Taylor "P. T." Barnum was born on 5 Jul 1810 on Elm Street in Bethel, Fairfield, Connecticut[1] to Philo Barnum and Irena Taylor Barnum.[2][3]

P.T.'s appearance was as remarkable as his shows. He stood 6 foot 2 inches tall, was partially bald, had a bulbous nose and potbelly. He called himself the "Prince of Humbugs". His abode was no less memorable, a three story Oriental mansion dubbed "Iranistan" in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He received the likes of guests like General George Custer and Mark Twain there, and was noted as a good natured, thoughtful, and kind, (as well as egotistical and parsimonious).

P.T. enjoyed making grand statements, though he's often misquoted or attributed.[4] One instance is the case of the phrase "A sucker is born every minute", which likely was never uttered by Barnum but was attributed to him by a rival, which Barnum of course turned into a bit of publicity to help his shows.[4]

P.T.'s first wife was Charity Hallett (Hallot)[5], a Fairfield, Connecticut seamstress.[6][2][3] They were married in a secret ceremony November 8th, 1829 in New York, New York by Rev. Dr. McAuley. Barnum's mother did not approve of the marriage, thinking her son could do better. His mother quickly changed her mind.

Barnum saw Charity as nervous, old-fashioned, hypochondriac. P.T. often criticized her and made her the center of his practical jokes. Charity was content to remain at home with their children while Barnum traveled.[citation needed]

P.T. and Nancy Barnum

By 1847, Barnum's heavy bouts of alcoholism threatened their marriage, but, through the intervention of a Universalist clergyman, he gave up drinking and became a staunch supporter of the Temperance Movement. Charity Barnum's chronic illnesses and complaints lingered for several years until, in 1873, after 44 years of marriage, she died of heart disease. Barnum was in Europe at the time.[citation needed]

Following the Charity's death, P. T. remarried to Nancy Fish, September 16th, 1874.[3][7] She was a native of Southport, Lancashire, England and 40 years his junior. Nancy was the daughter of an old friend, John Fish, who had based his commercial success on the principles laid down by Barnum. The couple had been corresponding for two years, and it was with her family that Barnum stayed following Charity's death, rather than returning home to her funeral. A marriage certificate discovered in 1994 revealed that the couple had secretly married the previous Valentine's Day, only 13 weeks after the death of his first wife.[8]

The Greatest Showman

Barnum started his working career as a clerk in his father's country store in Bethel, Connecticut.[2]

Between 1831 and 1834 Barnum edited his own newspaper in Danbury, the Herald of Freedom. After having several articles refused by a Danbury newspaper, he started the Herald of Freedom to combat what he saw as sectarian attempts to bring about a union of church and state. Three times charged with libel for statements he made about opponents, he was once convicted and was jailed for 60 days.[1] He gave himself a parade upon his release, with no sign of remorse.[1] He issued 160 editions before handing the paper over to his brother-in-law John W. Amerman, who sold the paper to George Taylor in 1835.[citation needed]

P.T. is often referred to as the father of modern marketing, building much of his fortune on hoaxes.[1] He was criticized for his deceptions, but at the same time he was determined to succeed.[1] His creative way of seeing one thing and producing it to an audience in another manner was unique.[1]

In April 1874, P.T. Barnum opened his "Barnum's Hippodrome", on the spot now occupied by Madison Square Garden in New York. It had previously been a freight depot for the New York and Harlem Railroad, but Barnum put $35,000 into the remodel of the structure, then turned around to sell his lease for a profit. Renamed "Gilmore's Garden" after owner Patrick S. Gilmore, it housed many events, included a regular spring appearance by Barnum's circus tent.[citation needed]

In addition to being a successful businessman, P.T. was also a generous philanthropist.[1] He supported emancipation/.[1] Despite his deceptions on the floor of his exhibitions, he made an honest politician.[1] He was offered the Democratic nomination of the role of governor of Connecticut in 1852, but turned it down. He did end up serving two terms in the Connecticut Legislature from 1865-67, and later served one term as the mayor of Bridgeport in 1875. He also had an unsuccessful run as the Republican candidate for US Congress from Connecticut in 1867, being beaten by his third cousin, Democratic Senator William H. Barnum.[citation needed]

Legacy

P.T. Barnum died at the age of 80 years, 9 months and 2 days, in his home at Bridgeport, Connecticut.[2][3] He had been a recluse since a return from a failed trip to the Pacific ocean in November 1890. His passing occurred April 7th, 1891.[2][3][9][10]

He was laid to rest in Mountain Grove Cemetery, which he himself had created.[11] In poignant contrast to the garish notices that had accompanied his 60-year career, the inscription on his tombstone was a modest one. "P. T. Barnum," it read, "Not My Will But Thine Be Done." Almost as soon as he was buried, someone attempted to rob his grave.[1]

In honor of Barnum’s 200th birthday on July 5, Bethel has commissioned a life-size statue of the greatest showman.[1] Amusingly, a statue of him erected in Bridgeport was trampled by Barnum’s own circus elephants, and survived.[1] It was later installed at Seaside Park.[1] Barnum left a gift to his hometown of Bethel, giving them a fountain when he was 71, and making a speech which recounted what life was like growing up there.

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 P. T. Barnum, The Showman | Only in New England Published in "Yankee, New England's Magazine" by Justin Shatwell June 11, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hill, Susan Benedict. History of Danbury, Conn. 1684-1896 (Burr Printing House, New York, 1896) Page 538-539, Page 548.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Commemorative Biographical Record of Fairfield County (J.H. Beers & Co., 1899) Page 1-4. Page 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Appendix to A. H. Saxon, 'P. T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man' (1989)
  5. The Barnum Family, 1350-1907
  6. National Archives and Records Administration, Film M277, Reel 22.
  7. "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:249L-3YL : 10 February 2018), Phineas Barnum and Nancy Fish, 16 Sep 1874; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,562,049.
  8. 'P.T. Barnum, America's Greatest Showman' by Philip Kunhardt
  9. "British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q26M-3TMP : 18 March 2018), Phineas Taylor Barnum, 1891.
  10. "Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F7HN-83B : 9 February 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 07 Apr 1891; citing Connecticut, reference ; FHL microfilm 3,084.
  11. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 24 May 2018), memorial page for Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum (5 Jul 1810–7 Apr 1891), Find A Grave: Memorial #56, citing Mountain Grove Cemetery and Mausoleum, Bridgeport, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .

See Also:

  • "Barnum's Brothel: P.T.'s 'Last Great Humbug'", Journal of the History of Sexuality, Volume 18 Issue 3, September 2009, page 486. Discusses a brothel that was run in a residential building in New York City in the 1880s and was owned by P. T. Barnum. It includes a discussion of the arrest of a woman named Minnie Fischer, who worked at the brothel, located in the Manhattan district of New York.
  • The Now-Retired Ringling Brothers (Barnum and Bailey) Circus
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q295-NYZ5 : 16 March 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 08 Jan 1844; citing Passport Application, United States, source certificate #, Passport Applications, 1795-1905., 14, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKNT-63B4 : 16 March 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 11 Nov 1856; citing Passport Application, , source certificate #, Passport Applications, 1795-1905., 59, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGKJ-1PMW : 16 March 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 1873; citing Passport Application, United States, source certificate #, Passport Applications, 10/31/1795 - 12/31/1905., 198, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • US Passport was issued in the name of Phineas T. Barnum on at one other occasion 5 Jan 1870.
  • Barnum, P.T., The Life of P.T. Barnum (Sampson Low, Son, & Co., London, 1855) Page 1-
  • Rourke, Constance. Trumpets of Jubilee (Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1927) Page 369-426
  • Wikipedia:P._T._Barnum
  • Annual Report of the Fairfield Historical Society (Bridgeport, Feb. 19, 1892) Page 98-100: "Barnum Institute of Science and History. Extract from the Will and Codicils of Hon. Phineas T. Barnum, Deceased, In relation therto, from the Records of the Court of Probate, District of Bridgeport, Vol. 51, pages 676, 690, 697."
  • Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers (J.W. Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, 1881) Page 139-41
  • "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6DM-VWC : 12 April 2016), Phineas T Barnum, Fairfield, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States; citing family 25, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, Phineas T. Barnum family: Dwelling #21; Family #25
Phineas T. Barnum, 40, M, Museum manager, Real property $150,000, b. Connecticut
Charity Barnum, 42, F, b. Connecticut
Caroline C. Barnum, 17, F, b. Connecticut, Attended school within the year
Hellen M. Barnum, 10, F, b. New York, Attended school within the year
Pauline T. Barnum, 4, F, b. Connecticut, Attended school within the year
David Butler, 45, M, Museum [illegible], b. Connecticut
Ann Monaghan, 19, F, b. Ireland
Mary Mabersey, 20, F, b. Ireland
Ann Sally, 25, F, b. Ireland
Presence Jackson, 45, F, Mulatto, b. Connecticut
  • "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHRZ-NFK : 13 December 2017), Phineas T Barnum, 1860. Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, family of Phineas T. Barnum: Dwelling #338; Family #374
Phineas T. Barnum, 50, M, Showman, b. Connecticut
Charity Barnum, 51, F, b. Connecticut
Pauline Barnum, 14, F, b. Connecticut
John Stephenson, 33, M, Domestic, b. Ireland
Terressa O'Tool, 23, F, Domestic, b. Ireland, Persons over 20 years of age who cannot read & write
Fanny Readdy, 55, F, Domestic, b. Ireland, Persons over 20 years of age who cannot read & write
  • "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8J1-CHX : 12 April 2016), Phineas T Barnum, New York, United States; citing p. 95, family , NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,549. New York Ward 21 District 19 (2nd Enum), New York, New York the family of Phineas T. Barnum was enumerated as follows:
Dwelling #438; Westside 5th between W 38th & 39th Streets
Barnum, Phineas T.; 60; M; b. Connecticut
Barnum, Charity; 63; F; b. Connecticut
Hallet, Hannah; 85; F; b. Connecticut
Riley, Mary; 35; F; Servant; b. Ireland
Maxwell, Maggie; 37; F; Servant; b. Ireland
Judge, Mary; 30; F; Servant; b. Ireland
  • "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN77-Q61 : 12 April 2016), P T Barnum, Connecticut, United States; citing p. 130, family 1070, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,596.
  • "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFC8-J7K : 12 August 2017), P T Barnum, Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States; citing enumeration district ED 128, sheet 455A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0095; FHL microfilm 1,254,095. District 128, Bridgeport, Fairfield County, Connecticut the family of Phineas T. Barnum was enumerated as follows: Dwelling #364; Family #471
Barnum, P. T.; W; M; 69; Married; b. Connecticut; Both parents b. Connecticut
Barnum, Nancy; W; F; 30; Wife; Married; b. England; Both parents b. England
Seeley, Emily; W; F; 50; Married; Servant; b. New Brunswick; Both parents b. Ireland
Cogswell, Kate; W; F; 28; Single; Servant; b. Ireland; Both parents b. Ireland
O'Reilly, Annie; W; F; 26; Single; Servant; b. England; Both parents b. Ireland
Flinter, Edward; W; M; 23; Single; Outdoor servant; b. Connecticut; Both parents b. Ireland
  • "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVS2-QWGF : 12 March 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 1881; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .
  • "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK97-KSV3 : 11 March 2018), Phineas T Barnum, 1874; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm .


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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Phineas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
  • Patrick Barnum : Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 36000 markers, haplogroup R-BY12211, FTDNA kit #63407 + Y-Chromosome Test 100572 markers, haplogroup R-FGC57007
  • Dick Barnum : Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 67 markers, haplogroup R-M269, FTDNA kit #118801 + Y-Chromosome Test 100 markers, haplogroup R-FGC57007
  • Albert Burnham : Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 36000 markers, haplogroup R-BY12211, FTDNA kit #286626 + Y-Chromosome Test 100 markers, haplogroup R-FGC57007

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Images: 11
P. T. Barnum Image 5
P. T. Barnum Image 5

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P. T. Barnum Image 1
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Collaboration

On 17 May 2015 at 15:44 GMT Merri (Bulgier) Bright wrote:

Barnum, P.T. 36 m " U.States "

Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891), the famous entertainment entrepreneur, who exhibited among others, "General Tom Thumb" listed above with his parents (mislisted as age 15). In December 1847, P.T. Barnum and "Tom Thumb" and his parents were in New Orleans for performances, before heading for Havana, Cuba. http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/passengerlists/cambria1847.shtml

steamer Cambria (Cunard Line), Captain C.H.E. Judkins, from Liverpool, England February [12th] 1847, arrived Boston, Massachusetts, February 22nd 1847 - 111 passengers



Phineas is 18 degrees from Chet Atkins, 17 degrees from Edie Kohutek and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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