(Following is a reproduction from the original of an old time Opposition Bill - or Rat Sheet Dated - Bangor, Maine, July 17,1886). Sent in by John M. Brown CHS - who owns the original.
A mid-July sun blazed down upon the main street of a sleepy little New England village - Behind the awnings of the Elm Hotel however, there was some relief from the heat and the shirt-sleeved group loafing about the lobby seemed intent upon a subject far removed from their local thermometer's reading.
"Yes sir," exclaimed a comfortable looking citizen, "I'll wager Old Adam Forepaugh chewed his cigar into a thousand pieces when he seen that poster Doris put out; - ADAM FOREPAUGH THE BROKEN-DOWN BUTCHER WHO BELLOWS ABOUT GIVING AWAY MONEY TO THE POOR - BUT NEVER OFFERS HIS POOR PUBLIC AN HONEST SHOW!
The old boy must have been hoppin' mad because his bill car come through on the Bangor train this morning and tossed out a bunch of these here printed fireworks - Just listen to this!
R-A-T-S-! - Look at the Little Show! - Did you ever See such a Dizzy Parade? - Count the Dingy Cages! - Where is the "Gold and Glitter?" - Where is that Millionaire Menagerie?" - Count the ill-paid Actors! - See the Hide-bound Ring-Bone Horses! - Look at the Faded Wardrobe! Put it in the Rag Bag,
IF YOU PAY YOUR MONEY TO SEE such a show, WHO is to Blame?
"FOREWARNED IS TO BE FOREARMED."
Again we say R-A-T-S-!
Let the Little Show take to the woods - It will Get There Bye and Bye.
The Enlightened East are supposed to know a Good Thing when they see it.
WAIT FOR FOREPAUGH!
Apropos of a hand-bill poster issued by the little, tottering "Doris Show," headed "Shame on you, Forepaugh," Doris uses the pronoun I largely, thus trying to induce the public to believe the abortive effort is his own, when the fact is, he hired a scribe to write it, who airs his learning with plenteous and inappropriative quotations from Shakespeare, Pope, Dr. Watts and poor Stephen C. Foster. It would be safe to offer a liberal cash premium to any man alive who ever knew Doris to admit that he ever even heard of either author - particularly Dr. Watts whose literature is used in churches - places which never knew Doris. The bill says of Doris, "I was born here in New England." and "George H. Batcheller in Providence, R.I." - Batcheller had the good sense to leave the sinking ship four years ago and is engaged in a more respectable business - running a dime museum. To look at Doris and listen to his brogue would convince anybody that, if ever born at all, the event must have occurred in Tipperary or Dublin. Doris talks about the "people who love me." They must be his numerous family of foot-weary creditors and he mistakes their constant presence for evidence of affection.
He talks about the "massive proportions" of his bankrupt second-hand rickety concern. The only " massive" things about it are the monumental liars who accompany it, of whom, Doris is the unenvied chief. Doris needs no canvas to exhibit under because there is a mortgage covering his show. "Born in New England," shades of Winthrop, Webster Choate and Everett! Rot! What credit is he to the country, wherever it lies, where he was born anyway. Doris says: "You are not giving away money, neither am I." This man with the poverty-stricken affair has no money to give away. The "ghost" falls to walk under his weather-torn, mud-painted tents, or when it does, it moves with a decrepid half-halting gait. This on-his-last-legs showman cannot afford an eating car for his people and boasts that he feeds them at hotels. If these same hotels knew the risk they were running, these same poor people would starve, unless fed by charitable hands.
Doris, you know, besotted as you are with dense ignorance and conceit, that you exhibit nothing that amounts to the dignity of a show. It Is simply rot. The public knows it is rot. Were it buried from the sight of the few disappointed people who are gulled into visiting it, it would decay to dust in twenty-four hours. Its ropes are fuzzy and worn, its poles broken and bent, its tents rent and ripped with age, its poor, drooping stock feeble and bony, its wagons rope-tied and weather-scarred, and its people discouraged, discontented and gloomy with oppressing fears for the future. Rot! Why keep a dead and offensive smelling thing out of the grave so long? Why stick to a wrecked and unsafe vessel only to sink? Rot! It is only for a little time and then the public will be relieved of Its sight - when it will disappear in the broad and fathomless ocean of bankruptcy and oblivion.
UNCOFFINED, UNKNELLED AND UNKNOWN!
THE FOREPAUGH SHOW IS NOW AND FOR ALL TIME, THE INVINCIBLE MONARCH OF RECREATION'S REALM!
Following is a Forepaugh Advertisement In Philadelphia paper for season of 1883 - in opposition to the Barnum Show. From the circus advertisement collection of W. W. Tyson, CHS.
OPPOSITION TO ALL MONOPOLY!
Philadelphia's own FOREPAUGH AT HOME!
(then follows two column out of girls driving chariots)
Nineteenth Annual Tour of America. - THE GREAT FOREPAUGH SHOWS will exhibit afternoon and evening at 2 and 9 o'clock at Broad, below Dickinson St., - one week only commencing Monday, April 16th. First, only, colossal, imported Real Roman Hippodrome! Full half mile race track! Famous trans-atlantic Three-Ring Circus! Monster trained wild beast show! Mammoth Menagerie! Absolutely and Indesputably the most Gigantic Consolidation of Old and New World Arenic, Hippodrome, and special features ever exhibited under canvas anywhere in the world. No time-worn acts or actors. The Great Forepaugh Show doesn't rely on a single animal, large or small; don't depend upon a name; don't rely upon a solitary feature for public support. No! it desires to be judged and patronized solely upon its superiority over all other exhibitions - no matter where they come from, whose name they bear, or what they consist of.
TWENTY-FIVE PONDEROUS ELEPHANTS
Only trans-atlantic hippodrome
Bicycle races and prizes
Half mile racing track
Races by dromedaries
Only $30,000 stud of English Horses
Laughable mule & Monkey races
Only Genuine English Jockeys
Exciting roman Chariot Races
Only French Race riders
Every race a real one
Four hundred horses
Steeple and hurdle races
Twenty-two trained stallions
Newmarket and derby horses
Three rings - three circuses.
(and much more which space will not permit us to print)
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or means
Last modified November 2005.
without written permission of the author and the Circus Historical Society, Inc.
Last modified November 2005.