Outstanding Autographed Letter Signed about the Circus
Place Published: New York
Date Published: 1870
Description: 1 page on personal monogrammed stationery, 7.5 x 5 inches, New York, November 28, 1870. Signed "P.T. Barnum" and written to publisher Harper Brothers concerning his new circus venture to premier in Brooklyn in the Spring of 1871. This venture would soon become known as "The Greatest Show on Earth," and it would mark the birth of the modern American Circus as we know it today. He writes, in full: "Presuming on the intimacy which existed between Mr. James Harper and myself I have ventured to enclose you the accompanying sketch, not with the expectation of your publishing it, but in the hope that as I have not yet given it to any other publication...you will perhaps let a short item be prepared from it for your weekly. The fact is although I need no more money, and shall devote to charitable purposes any which I make, I find idleness won't agree with me...hence in order to keep the rust off I return in part to the business which I best understand. The morals of the world shall be no worse for anything which I exhibit..." Natural folds; near fine condition.
Comments: As Barnum anticipated, Harpers Weekly, on December 17, 1870, announced: "Mr. Barnum, tired of a life of leisure and inactivity, proposed to re-enter the showman's arena, from which he retired some years ago, and startle the community with a grand mammoth enterprise which shall surpass all former achievements of its kind..." Hence, this Barnum letter is the earliest known announcement of his "Greatest Show on Earth," a landmark in entertainment.Signed: Y
Book ID: 219158