P.T. BARNUM Barnum handwrote, signed and dated this letter to his cousin the Reverend George Emerson from Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1876. In it, he talks about Emerson’s upcoming trip to Europe. ALS: “P.T. Barnum”, 2 pages, 5×8, front and verso. Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1876 April 7. On ruled sheet with Barnum’s address and the date stamped at upper left margin to Reverend George Emerson, Salem, Massachusetts. Begins: “My dear Cousin”. In full: “I was right glad to get your letter & also the Universalist containing No. 1. I hope you will have time to write many letters for the paper. They will prove very interesting indeed to your readers. Give as much of your personal experience & feelings and ideas as possible. This European trip will add mightily to your practical knowledge, & the more of it you get into print, the better it will be for you. It will also be a big help to your lectures if you ever wish to repeat them. Wife & I moved back to Waldemere yesterday. It is delightful but wont compare with what you are enjoying. Oakley wrote me from Paris you were going it. Keep a/c [account] of expenses and also names of interpreters & stopping places which may be useful to your friends who may follow you. Above all I hope you may have health & strength to carry you safely through. My wife and I think there is no man living who will so thoroughly take in and enjoy all you see as yourself – and it will stick so that you will be a wonderful gainer by the trip”. Handwritten postscript: “all well”. Both Barnum and Reverend Emerson, who were cousins, were Universalists. Waldemere was the third of four mansions that Barnum would build in or near Bridgeport. In the year of this letter, Barnum was finishing his one term as Mayor of Bridgeport (1875-1876), and he published “Lion Jack”: A Story. In 1835, Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) began his career as a showman w… More information available. Please contact us if you have questions. HFSID 41695
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