Charity Hallet was a tailoress in Bethel, Connecticut, prior to her marriage to P. T. Barnum. 'The Barnum Family, 1350-1907' calls her Charity Hallot. In the summer of 1829 P.T. Barnum and Charity Hallett became formally engaged. In the fall Miss Hallett went "on a visit" to her uncle, Nathan Beers, in New York. A month later her fiancé followed, "to buy goods," and on the 8th of November, 1829, there was a wedding in the comfortable house at No. 3 Allen Street. Having married at the age of nineteen, Barnum always expressed his disapproval of early marriages, although his own was a very happy one.
From "Struggles and Triumphs or, Forty Years' Recollections of P. T. Barnum, written by himself." The Courier Co.: Buffalo, NY, 1882. "...in the summer of 1829 I asked [Charity Hallett] for her hand in marriage. My suit was accepted, and the wedding day was appointed; I, meanwhile, applying myself closely to business, and no one but the parties immediately interested suspecting that the event was so near at hand. Miss Hallett went to New York in October, otensibly to visit her uncle, Nathan Beers, who resided at No. 3 Allen Street. I followed in November, pressed by the necessity of purchasing goods for my store; and the evening after my arrival, November 8, 1829, the Rev. Dr. McAuley married us in the presence of sundry friends and relatives of my wife, and I became the husband of one of the best women in the world. In the course of the week we went back to Bethel and took board in the family where Charity Barnum as "Chairy" Hallett had previously resided."
The Bridgeport Standard gave the following account of her funeral services: "The remains of Mrs. P. T. Barnum were brought to this city, upon the 10.12 express this morning, and were taken to Waldemere, where the funeral services were held this afternoon. The house was filled with the relatives and friends of the deceased, to render the last sad tribute of affection and respect, among whom were many of our most prominent citizens and their families, and a number of the clergy of the city. The remains, which ad been embalmed in New York, in accordance with a request received by telegram from Mr. Barnum, who is at Hamburgh, were enclosed in an elegant rosewood casket, and placed in the east parlor at Waldemere. The casket was covered with crowns and crosses, and wreaths of white roses, beautifully arranged. At the head of the casket was a large cross of evergreens, with the word "Mother" in white roses, across the arms, and at the base, "Charity," also in white roses. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Abel C. Thomas, of Philadelphia. He also made a few short remarks upon the past life of the deceased, and addressed comforting words to the mourning friends. After a closing prayer the doxology--"Praise God from whom all blessings flow," was sung by all present, after which an opportunity was given to view the remains. The funeral procession then wended its sorrowful way "from Waldemere and the sound of many waters to the quiet of Mountain Grove." The remains were then placed in the public receiving vault until the return of Mr. Barnum from Europe."
Phineas Taylor Barnum and his first wife, Charity Hallett Barnum, were married for 44 years. They were the parents of four children, all girls, one of which (Frances) died before she was 2 years old.
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Charity is 26 degrees from Rosa Parks, 23 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.