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An Illustrated Catalogue And Guide Book To Barnum's American Museum

Creator: Phineas T. Barnum (author)
Date: Circa 1860
Publisher: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck & Thomas, New York
Source: Robert Bogdan Collection
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 1

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THE INFANT DRUMMER. -- A boy only 5 or 6 years old, a perfect musical prodigy. He beat the drum equal to any practised Major, and created a furor of excitement amongst the lovers of the soul-stirring drum.


WHAT IS IT? -- A very singular creature, possessing alike the features and characteristics of both man and brute. He was found in the interior of Africa in a perfectly natural state, roving about like a monkey or Orang Outang. He was captured with great difficulty, and brought to this country, where he has been exhibited over a year without the least abatement in the public interest. While his face, hands, and arms are distinctly human, his head, feet and legs are more like the Orang Outang, indicating his mixed ancestry.


CAFFREES FROM CHILI. -- These unique animals were the only specimens of the kind ever seen, and were uniformly regarded with the deepest interest. They appeared to have more intelligence even than the Orang Outang, and were less vicious. Their general position was upright, as represented in the cut; were docile and affectionate. The shape of their heads was between that of the Orang Outang and humanity; their hands and arms very much like human but their feet and legs more like the Orang Outang or monkey; their tails were as represented, in the cut, and they used them as handily as their hands, would pick up the smallest object with them, like the meat of a pea-nut, &c., and put it in their mouths as handily as with their fingers.


MAJOR LITTLE FINGER -- The smallest dwarf ever exhibited, and though not as intelligent and interesting as Tom Thumb, was regarded by the public as an object of great interest, and attracted thousands of visitors to the Museum.


THE GREAT LIVING BLACK SEA LION -- Captured on the Pacific coast 1,200 miles north of San Francisco, the only animal of the kind ever exhibited alive east of the Rocky mountains. He requires 16 barrels of sea water every day and eats 60 lbs. of fish every 24 hours, facts which give some adequate idea of his size. It is worth the price of admission to the Museum to see him alone. He is, evidently, the fabled Neptune, King of the Ocean.


VANTILE MACK, THE GIANT BABY -- Only 7 years old, yet weighed 257 pounds, measured 61 inches round the chest, and just one yard round the thigh; the largest child of his age ever known. He was visited, at the Museum, by hundreds of thousands, and never failed to astonish the most incredulous. He was reared in one of the rural districts of Pennsylvania, and died in New York City, in February, 1861, literally suffocated with his own fat.


THE SWISS BEARDED LADY -- A genteel and accomplished lady -- yet possessing as fine and heavy Beard and Whiskers as ever graced the face of a man, freak of nature which the science of man has never been able to account for.


THE GREAT GRIZZLY MAMMOTH BEAR SAMSON. -- The largest ever captured alive, weighing near 2,000 pounds. He was caught by J.C. Adams, in the wilds of California.


A LIVING LEARNED SEAL. -- One of the most interesting objects of nature, and unquestionably the most beautiful inhabitant of the ocean. Few objects in the museum attract more general attention, or afford more pleasure to visitors of every age and grade.


THE ALBINO SISTERS AND THEIR BLACK MOTHER AND SISTER. -- The history of this family seems almost miraculous. The father and mother both black, and distinctly African, yet each alternate child, (and they have had fifteen) has been white and black; the white children's features being so decidedly Ethiopian as to preclude the possibility of doubt as to their being purely African. They are beyond all doubt, White Negroes.


MISS DORA DAWRON, THE DOUBLE-VOICED VOCALIST, who sings with equal cue and effect a loud and manly, tenor and a delicate, feminine soprano, and being dressed one half as a man, the other half as a lady, and changing to the audience simultaneously with the change of voice, the effect is both novel and amusing.


LADY WITH LONG HAIR. -- As represented in the illustration, this lady's hair, which flowed gracefully over her neck and shoulders, had attained an almost incredible growth, trailing upon the floor as she walked, the admiration of every beholder. Want of space forbids the enumeration of all or even of a moiety of the various novelties which have been on exhibition at the Museum, but the above, in connection with the illustrations, and the text in the body of this Catalogue, will give the public a very good idea of the class of curiosities which the Manager endeavors to secure for the fortification and amusement of his patrons; and when the public remembers that his efforts to obtain new curiosites -sic- are never relaxed, but that he has agents in every clime and every habitable part of the globe to secure for his use everything novel and amusing, they will more than ever regard the American Museum as richly deserving the extensive patronage it continues to enjoy.


THE ORIGINAL HERR DRIESBACK WITH OLD GRIZZLY ADAMS' CELEBRATED CALIFORNIA MENAGERIE of living Bears, of various kinds, which he exhibits and performs in the most amusing and laughable manner, dressed like men and women. One he exhibits as a "Spinster in search of a Husband;" another as "An Old Soldier who prefers surrendering to fighting;" another as an "Old Toper on a Bender;" another as a Patriot, who prefers Death to the Dissolution of the Union! And a variety of other feats which BEARS NEVER PERFORMED BEFORE! There are Grizzly Bears, Cinnamon Bears, Hyena Bears, Dancing Bears, Singing Bears, &c., &c.

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