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9 Questions

What was the name of the circus that Phineas Taylor Barnum co-founded with James Anthony Bailey?

What was Phineas Taylor Barnum known for promoting?

In what year did Phineas Taylor Barnum establish his first major hoax, the 'Feejee' mermaid?

What was the name of the museum that Phineas Taylor Barnum purchased in 1841 and renamed?

What was Phineas Taylor Barnum's political affiliation during his time in the Connecticut legislature?

What did Phineas Taylor Barnum focus on in politics?

What was the name of Phineas Taylor Barnum's first wife?

What did Phineas Taylor Barnum call his approach to philanthropy?

Where is Phineas Taylor Barnum buried?


Phineas Taylor Barnum: American Showman and Politician

  • Barnum was an American showman, businessman, and politician who founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus with James Anthony Bailey.

  • He was known for promoting celebrated hoaxes and human curiosities such as the Fiji mermaid and General Tom Thumb.

  • Barnum served two terms in the Connecticut legislature in 1865 as a Republican for Fairfield, Connecticut.

  • He was elected in 1875 as mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut where he worked to improve the water supply, bring gas lighting to streets, and enforce liquor and prostitution laws.

  • The circus business was the source of much of his enduring fame. He established "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" in 1870.

  • Barnum was married to Charity Hallett from 1829 until her death in 1873, and they had four children.

  • In 1874, a few months after his wife's death, he married Nancy Fish, his friend's daughter who was 40 years younger than P. T. Barnum.

  • Barnum became a small business owner in his early twenties and founded a weekly newspaper before moving to New York City in 1834.

  • He purchased Scudder's American Museum in 1841, located at Broadway and Ann Street, New York City, and renamed it "Barnum's American Museum."

  • Barnum introduced his first major hoax in 1842: a creature with the body of a monkey and the tail of a fish known as the "Feejee" mermaid.

  • He promoted the American tour of Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind in 1850, paying her an unprecedented $1,000 a night for 150 nights.

  • Barnum did not enter the circus business until he was 60 years old, establishing "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" in 1870.P.T. Barnum: Circus, Politics, and Philanthropy

  • Barnum co-founded "Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome" with William Cameron Coup in 1870. It was a traveling circus, menagerie, and museum of "freaks".

  • He was known as the "Shakespeare of Advertising" due to his innovative and impressive ideas.

  • Barnum wrote several books, including "Life of P. T. Barnum", "The Humbugs of the World", "Struggles and Triumphs", "Forest and jungle, or, Thrilling adventures in all quarters of the globe", and "The Art of Money-Getting".

  • Barnum was involved in politics, mainly focusing on race, slavery, and sectionalism in the period leading up to the American Civil War.

  • Barnum was elected to the Connecticut legislature in 1865 as Republican representative for Fairfield and served four terms.

  • He was elected for the next four sessions and succeeded Senator Orris S. Ferry.

  • Barnum enjoyed what he publicly dubbed "profitable philanthropy".

  • On November 8, 1829, Barnum married Charity Hallett, and they had four children.

  • Barnum died from a stroke at home in 1891 aged 80. He is buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Connecticut, a cemetery that he designed.

  • Critics praised Barnum for good works and called him an icon of American spirit and ingenuity.

  • The Bethel Historical Society commissioned a life-sized sculpture to honor the 200th anniversary of his birth, created by local resident David Gesualdi and placed outside the public library.

  • The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport houses many of Barnum's oddities and curiosities.


Are you fascinated by the life and legacy of P. T. Barnum? Test your knowledge with our quiz on the famous American showman and politician. From his early days as a small business owner to his legendary circus, we'll explore the key events and achievements of Barnum's life. Learn about his famous hoaxes, his involvement in politics, and his philanthropy. Take our quiz to see how much you really know about this iconic figure in American history.

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