Aztec Children. - Named Bartolo and Miximo, were found in the City of Iximaias, Central America, where they were kept with superstitious veneration, and employed as mimes and bacchanals in Pagan ceremonies and worship. Bartolo was born in 1840, attained a height of only 29 1/2 inches, and weighed 17 pounds. The boy Maximo . . .
Barnum, Phineas T. - Born at Danbury, Conn., July 5,1810. In February, 1828, commenced business on his own account. He opened part of a carriage house, having fitted it up as a retail fruit and confectionery store, including a barrel of ale. He expended $50 in fitting up the store, and the "fixins" cost $70. In 1831 he opened a store with an assortment of goods such as are usually found in a country store. On the 19th of October he started a weekly Democratic paper, known as the Herald of Freedom. In a very short time he found himself comfortably quartered in jail, on a charge of libel, where he boarded at the town's expense for sixty days. During the winter of 1834-'35 he removed to New York. His first situation was that of "drummer" to several Chatham Street establishments. In July, 1835, he purchased the celebrated "Joice Heth," for $1,000, and started in the show business, opening at Niblo's Garden, New York. He next engaged" Sig. Vivalia, whose performances consisted of remarkable feats of balancing, plate-spinning, etc. On the evening of his first performance, Barnum made his first appearance on any stage by going on as "super.," to assist Vivalia in arranging his plates, etc. In April, 1836, he became ticket-seller, secretary and treasurer of Aaron Turner's travelling circus. His next investment was the purchase of a steamboat, engaging a theatrical company, and visiting the principal towns on the Mississippi. In the spring of 1840 he opened Vauxhall Garden, New York, with a variety of performances. It was here that the celebrated John Diamond, jig dancer, was first introduced to the public. In April, 1841, he quit the show business, and settled in New York, as agent of "Sears' Pictorial Illustration of the Bible," but in June he again leased Vauxhall Garden. In September he quit the business, and soon after obtained the situation of "puff writer" for the Bowery Amphitheatre. On the 27th of Dec., 1841, he became proprietor of Scudder's Museum. In Dec., 1842, he introduced Tom Thumb to the public. On the i8th of January, 1844, in company with Tom Thumb and suite, he set sail for England, for the purpose of introducing to the London stage the "wonder of the world." Remained abroad until 1847. Returned to New York in February, 1847. In November, 1849, he engaged James Hall Wilton to visit England and engage Jenny Lind for a tour of the States. In 1844 he brought the Swiss Bell Ringers to this country. In 1845 he bought the Baltimore Museum. In 1849 he opened the Lyceum and Museum at Seventh and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia. In June, 1850, he chartered a ship to Ceylon to procure a dozen elephants for a travelling menagerie. In 1851 he sent the Bateman Children to London. During the years 1851-'52 he travelled as a temperance lecturer. In 1851 was President of the Pequonnock Bank, Conn. In the fall 1852 he started a weekly Pictorial, known as the Illustrated News. Appendix: his Museum corner Broadway and Ann street was destroyed by fire on July 13, 1865. He then leased the Winter Garden Theatre, where he played his company until he opened a Museum on Broadway, above Spring street, which was destroyed by fire. He then became interested in George Wood's Museum on Broadway near 30th street.
Blondin, M. - Right name, Emile Gravelet. A Frenchman by birth. In 1855 he was engaged in France by the agent of Wm. Niblo, to perform with the Ravel Troupe, at Niblo's Garden, New York, and made his first appearance in the fall of that year. Blondin performed with the Ravels a number of years, and for two years was connected with a circus company as part proprietor. Married a lady in this country. On the 30th of June, 1859, he accomplished the wonderful feat of crossing the Niagara River on a tight rope, at a height of one hundered and fifty-one feet above the rushing torrent below - an exhibition which stands without a parallel. The rope was three and a quarter inches in diameter, and 1,300 feet long. See also Blondin's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Brown, J. Purdy. - Died in Mobile, while manager of the theatre there, June 7, 1834, after an illness of only a few hours, caused by eating crabs at a late hour. See also Brown's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Chiarini, Mad. - This premier equestrienne made her debut in America, April 3, 1854, at the Bowery Ampitheatre, in New York. See also Chiarini's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Conklin, John. - Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and at an early age joined a circus company. Died in his native city in 1838, from the effectos of a fall from two horses. See also Conklin's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Conklin, Peter. - Born in New York, May 28, 1842. Joined a minstrel troupe when twelve years of age. In 1855 he connected himself with a circus as a tumbler and has been in the business ever since. See also Conklin's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Cooke, Mary Anne. - Daughter of Wm. Cooke, equestrian. Died at Halifax, Yorkshire, Eng. Made her debut in America, Aug. 23, 1852, in the "Gardener's Wife," at Burton's Theatre, New York. See also Cooke's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Cotz, Peter. - This equestrian was at the Walnut Street Circus, Philadelphia, in 1818. In 1829 he was married to Miss Payne, in Charleston, S. C. The last accounts of Cotz was that he was a homeless wandered, old and infirm, but both honest and temperate.
Crockett, James. - This celebrated lion performer was born in Preston, Eng., May 9, 1835. Gained great popularity in England for subduing wild animals. Visited this country in 1864 and travelled West with the European Circus, with which circus he died, July 6, 1865, in Cincinnati. See also Crockett's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Croueste, Edwin. - This circus clown was born in Bromley, Eng., in May, 1841, and entered the equestrian profession in 1858, at Vauxhall Gardens, London. Arrived in America in April, 1864, and travelled with circus companies. See also Croueste's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Durang, John. - Born in Lancaster, Pa., Jan. 6, 1768. Made his first appearance on any stage in 1785, at the old South Street Theatre, Philadelphia, as a dancer, and gained considerable notoriety. Died in Philadelphia, March, 1822. See also Durang's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Foster, John. - This circus clown was born in Chambersburg, Pa., Nov. 13, 1830, and first entered the circus business in 1846, with Robinson & Eldred's Southern Circus. See also Foster's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Fox, G. L. - Born in Boston, Mass., in 1825. Made his first appearance on any stage in 1830, at the Tremont Theatre, Boston, as one of the Children in "The Hunter of the Alps," for the benefit of Mr. Charles Kean. In 1850 he made his first appearance in New York, in "The Demon of the Desert," at the National Theatre. When the call for three months volunteers was made by the President, Mr. Fox left for the busy world of war, as Lieutenant in the gallant New York Eighth Regiment. During the celebrated Bull Run battle, the Eighth took part in the engagement. On the 26th of July, 1861, Mr. Fox returned from the seat of war, and on the 27th he appeared at the New Bowery Theatre. He shortly after became manager of the Old Bowery Theatre, where he remained some time. Became stage manager of the Olympic, New York, at the commencement of the season of 1867-'68, and made quite a hit with the pantomime of "Humpty Dumpty." His wife died in Connecticut, in 1868, and in three weeks he was married to Miss Temple, in New York.
Gossin, John. - A popular clown in his day. He was born in PIttsburgh, Pa. He married a beautiful woman in Louisville, Ky., who was a fine equestrienne, but from whom he was afterwards divorced. While in a dissipated state, he murded a man in the South, but was acquitted. He died soon after, of yellow fever, at Natchez. See also Gossin's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Harrington, William. - Born in Boston, in 1804. Was a popular equestrian in the West. Died in Milledgeville, Ga., Nov. 4, 1835. See also Harrington's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Hunt, William. - This vaulter in a circus company died in 1827, by breaking his neck. See also Hunt's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Hunter, Mr. - This well known bareback equestrian was at the old Pearl Street Theatre, Albany, N. Y., for some time. Went to England in 1829. Was transported to Van Dieman's Land in 1839. See also Hunter's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Huntley, Thomas L. - Known in the profession as Delane, a tight-rope walker. Was killed while performing at Wilmington, N. C., Nov. 27, 1865.
Hutchings, W. S. - Known as the "lightning Calculator." Born in New York, Jan. 7, 1832. Has been on the stage several years as an actor, making his debut in 1853, at Barnum's Museum, New York, as St. Clair.
Kendall, Edward, P. - This celebrated actor, author, manager and agent, was born in Boston, Mass., in 1834. Made his first appearance on the stage in Lowell, Mass., in 1840, as the Child in the "Stranger." He continued to occasionally appear in child's parts for about five years. He then visited New Bedford, Mass., where he took up his residence until he was fifteen years of age, when he shipped on board a whaler as cabin boy, and for five years was knocked about and buffeted by the waves. Returning home from the cruise, he bent his steps towards Boston, and was duly installed in a wholesale cloth house, where he learned the art, so well practised by him now, of taking people's measure, particularly show agents. We next find him an equal partner in the celebrated bean bakery known throughout New England as Gilsey's. Making considerable money in that business, he resolved to try his fortunes in the show business. Accordingly, he secured a popular prima donna and a celebrated lecturer, and went on an extended tour. Reaching Havana, he was taken with the small pox, and there deserted by the lady. For three weeks he was at the point of death, but finally recovered, and, without a dollar in his pocket, came North, and once more ventured in the show bvsiness as manager of the Carter Zouave Troupe, with whom he travelled three years, severing his connection with them in Bridgeport, Conn., in the Winter of 1867. He then organized a variety troupe, consisting of the other Steere, Rufus Somerby, John Maguire, Barney McNulty, and others, with C. Amory Bruce as "Ye Working Agent," W. W. Fowler as treasurer, L. M. W. Steere as layer out, and D. B. Hodges master of paste brigade. He visited England, and after a tour through the provinces, returned to America. He then organized the association known as the Pockmarked Brotherhood, and as its manager, has made it a thriving party. He is at present manager for the Berger Family Swiss Bell Ringers. See also Ned Kendall's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Laison. - A well known circus manager and equestrian. In 1796 he had a circus at the corner of Fifth and Prune streets, Philadelphia. See also Laison's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Lengel, Herr Elijah. - This animal tamer and performer was born in Philadelphia, in which city, in 1848, he commenced, in Gen. Welch's Menagerie, the profession which has gained his such a great name. After leaving Gen. Welch, we find him, in 1850, with James Raymond's Menagerie, and in 1853, with J. M. June's company. It was, whicle with this company, that he received the first of the many wounds his person bears ugly scars as remembrances of. In 1854, he travelled with P. T. Barnum's Menagerie; in 1855, with S. B. Howe's; in 1856 with Driesbach's Circus and Menagerie; and in 1859-'60, with Van Amburgh's. In 1863, he joined O'Brien's Circus and Menagerie. After leaving this company, he made a trip to South America, in quest of some more pets, and was successful enough to return with three Brazilian tigers, thirty monkeys of different species, and a variety of other small animals. He travelled, in 1864-'65 with Howe & Castello's Menagerie. In 1867, he was with Haight & Chambers, and in 1868 he became connected with Col. T. C. Ames' Circus and Menagerie. He has been badly hurt on several occasions by lions and tigers. See also Lengel's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Lent, Lewis B. - This popular circus manager was born in Somers, N. Y., in 1814. His father was about the first New York State man to embark in the menagerie business. Mr. Lent commenced his show life in 1824, with June, Titus, Angevine & Co.'s Menagerie. In 1835 he owned an interest in Brown and Fogg's Circus, one of the first that ever travelled. In 1844 he visited England and bought an interest in Sand's American Circus. In 1852 he purchased an interest in P. T. Barnum's travelling menagerie. Opened in the Hippotheatron, New York, in Oct. 1865, where he is now. See also Lent's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Leotard. - This French gymnast made his American debut Oct. 29, 1868, at the Academy of Music, New York, and after meeting with a disasterous failure, returned to Europe, Nov. 14, of the same year. See also Leotard's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website.
Lindsay, Hugh. - Familiarly known as "Old Hontz, the Clown." Was born in Philadelphia, in April, 1804. First entered the show business, in 1819, with J. H. Myers and Lewis Mestayer, in Philadelphia. Shortly after he enterd the circus business. In 1828 he married Lydia Panley. Died in Berks County, Pennsylvania. See also Lindsay's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Logan, Olive. — This accomplished lady is the daughter of C. Logan, a comedian of great ability, and sister of Eliza Logan, one of the finest female representatives of the legitimate drama known to the American stage. Was born in New York State, in 1841. She possessed the inestimable advantage of a happy home. To a young woman, surrounded by the perils of a professional life, such a blessing is beyond price. Family ties and affections form a shield against temptation, and cheerful domestic pleasures supply the place of hurtful excitement. A very short period of preliminary practice in the Western States was requisite to convince her father that his daughter possessed talent which, aided by her youth and beauty, might lead to fame; and the great success of her sister Eliza had, as it were, paved the way for her preferment to the Philadelphia boards, making her debut Aug. 19, 1854, as Mrs. Bobtail in " Bobtail and Wagtail," at the Arch Street Theatre, under the management of William Wheatley and the late John Drew. After considerable stage experience, she retired from the profession, and sailed for Havre, in 1857. Shegraduated with the highest honors at an English female college in every educational branch, and can speak all the modern languages with fluency and correctness. In 1859 she was presented at the Court of the Tuileries, and her great personal attractions were marked by the Empress. She remained abroad for several years, contributing to several of the English and French papers, under the nom de plume of " Chronqueuse." She also wrote two novels, entitled "Chateau Frissac " and "Photographs of Paris Life," issued in London, in 1860, which met with great success. The first-named was lately republished in this country by the Appleton Brothers. After a series of brilliant successes in the literary world of England and France, she returned to New York and made her re-appearance on the stage at Wallack's Theatre, Aug. 29, 1864, in a play of her own composition, called " Eveleen." Her re-appearance was the cause of a little unnecessary newspaper warfare between some of the dramatic critics, in which more personal feeling was exhibited than should be permitted to intrude in fair and honest criticism. At the termination of her engagement in New York, she went on a starring tour in the West and South, meeting with much favor. After an extended tour she re-appeared on the New York boards, at the Broadway Theatre, under the management of her brother-in-law, George Wood, in Nov., 1865, in the play called "Sam," and for nearly one hundred consecutive nights played the same role to large and admiring audiences. She played a character like that of Lady Gay Spanker very cleverly, winning great applause from her audiences. In Dec., 1865, the courts of New York granted her a divorce from her husband, Edward A. Delille, to whom she had been married in Boston, in April, 1857. Retired from the stage in 1868, and took to lecturing, since which time she has appeared throughout the country with success. In the Spring of 1869 she advocated the cause of" Women's Rights." She is well and favorably known as a valuable contributor to the journals of New York, and her sprightly, piquant style is much admired. Her articles called "Photographs of Western Life," have met with as much favor as anything of the same character ever written. As an authoress, she has been eminently successful. As an actress, she possessed every requisite, both by nature and cultivation, to render her a bright ornament of the profession she had embraced.
[Note: Olive Logan wrote theatrical histories that provides circus coverage, "The Mimic World, and Public Exhibitions. Their History, Their Morals, and Effects," and "Before the footlights and behind the scenes : a book about "the show business" in all its branches: from puppet shows to grand opera; from mountebanks to menageries; from learned pigs to lecturers; from burlesque blondes to actors and actresses: with some observations and reflections (original and reflected) on morality and immorality in amusements: thus exhibiting the "show world" as seen from within, through the eyes of the former actress, as well as from without, through the eyes of the present lecturer and author," Publisher: Parmelee; H. H. Bancroft, 1870. From www.jeffreythomas.com: Olive Logan was born in Elmira, New York, in 1839 and died in an English insane asylum in 1909. She enjoyed a successful career of some ten years as an actress but disliked the stage and by 1868 had turned to writing and lecturing. She wrote several plays and novels but was most successful with this epic account of show business, which first appeared in 1870 as 'Before the Footlights and Behind the Scenes' and then in 1871 in this very slightly revised but more attractive edition. American National Biography states: "This lengthy, often biased, but valuable study provides pictures of backstage life and of forms of entertainment other than the legitimate stage, as for example, the circus. The work contains biographical sketches and anecdotes, arguments encouraging the respectful treatment of actors, and Logan's favorite briefs advocating the elimination of the theater's third tier of balconies, often reserved for prostitutes, as well as the elimination of stage 'nudity'."]
McDonald, Charles. - A popular clown at the old Richmond Hill Circus, New York, in 1818-'19. Was lost at sea in the U. S. sloop of war "Hornet," off Tampico.
Madden, Archibald. - This once popular clown was born in Williamsburgh, L. I. See also Madden's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Madigan, Henry P. - This once popular circus manager was born near Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1820. Joined Bancker's Circus in 1831. Became a good vaulter, equestrian and general performer. Died in Kingston, Jamaica, Dec. 15, 1862. See also Madigan's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Maginley, B. R. - Born in Philadelphia, Nov. 18, 1832. Made his debut in the Winter of 1853, at the old Chestnut Stret Theatre, in his native city, as Ludovico in "Evadne." He made his first appearance before a New York audience, in Aug., 1862, as Tony in the "French Spy," at Nixon's Cremorne Gardens, Fourteenth street and Sixth avenue, during the engagement of Senorita Cubas. He then entered the circus business as clown, and soon after became co-manager with Barney Carroll, of a circus company. Since then he has continued in the circus business as a clown. During the Winter of 1868-69 he reappeared as an actor at the Tammany, New York, but when the tenting season commenced, joined Bailey's Circus and Menagerie as equestrian manager. In 1863, while travelling with a circus company, he married Mary Carroll, a good equestrienne. See also Maginley's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Melville, James. - This celebrated bareback equestrian was born in Sydney, Australia, Oct. 15, 1837. His right name is Crawford. Has been in America for a number of years, travelling throughout the country with circus companies. He is one of the best bareback equestrians in the country. See also Melville's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Miles, R. E. J. - Born in Culpepper Court House, Va., Sept. 9, 1835. Made his debut Sept. 13, 1855, at Columbus, Ohio, as Benedict in "Family Jars." Commenced playing horse pieces in Aug., 1858, at St. Paul, Minn., in "Mazeppa." Has travelled throughout the country as a star with his horse pieces. For the past two seasons he has been manager of the National Theatre, Cincinnati, where he is at present. See also Miles' entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Moore, William A. - Born in Bath, Eng., in May, 1825. Made his American debut in 1849, at the Astor Place Opera House, New York, as a singing witch in "Macbeth." In 1852 was prompter at Niblo's Garden, New York. Season of 1856-'57 he was stage manager at Niblo's Garden during the engagement of the Ravel Family, with whom he travelled as business manager in Feb., 1857. In 1859 he went to Europe with James M. Nixon to secure talent for a circus company. Returned with Cooke's Royal Circus, Dec. 28, 1859, and took charge of Niblo's Garden as manager for Mr. Nixon. In May, 1860, he became proprietor of the bar and refreshment saloon of Niblo's. Season of 1865-'66 he was stage manager at the Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia. He was the travelling business agent for Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams. When Mr. Williams opened the Broadway Theatre, Broome street and Broadway, New York, Mr. Moore was the manager.
Myers, James. - This clown was killed at Geneva, N. Y., in July, 1855, while performing on the slack rope.
Myers, William. - This once very popular circus clown was born in Baltimore, Md., and died in Philadelphia, in 1856. See also Myers' entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Nellis, S. K. G. - Better known in this country as the "man born without arms," died at La Paz, Bolivia, on Dec. 4, 1865. Mr. Nellis was born in Johnstown, N. Y., March 12, 1817. He travelled extensively in this country, through the British Provinces, West Indies, South America, and Europe. The following are among the wonderful achievements of Mr. Nellis: He could cut beautiful watch papers, valentines, and profiles, open and wind up a watch, load and discharge a pistol, shoot with a bow and arrow, perform on various musical instruments with great taste and precision, and execute many other things, all with his feet, which a vast majority of mankind can not do with their hands without long and arduous practice. See also Saunders, K. G.'s entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Nixon, Adelaide. - Born in New York in 1848. During the season of 1864 she made her first appearance as a vocalist, at Butler's Music Hall, New York, known as "444" Broadway. She remained there during the season, meeting with much favor from the audiences, until sickness caused her to leave the stage for awhile. Resuming her profession, she visited New Orleans, and appeared at the Academy of Music, with Messrs. Sapulding, Rogers & Bidwell's Company. Visited Havana, Cuba, with Chiarini's Circus Company. While there in 1867 she was paralyzed, and remained so for a long time. She has partly recovered the use of her limbs, and is now residing in New York. See also Nixon's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Nixon, Mrs. Caroline L. - This equestrienne was the wife of James M. Nixon. Suffered with paralysis of the side for a long time. Died in Bangor, Me., July 20, 1864. See also Nixon's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Parker, John. - In early life he had some experience in the ring as a clown, and still later was ballet master at the Park Theatre, New York. Abandoning the "sawdust," and bidding farewell to the "footlights," he commenced giving instructions in dancing. Died in New York, Dec. 23, 1858, of old age and general debility. Old Johnny Parker was well known to New Yorkers twenty years before his death. Then his dancing school was prosperous and profitable, his balls at old Tammany fashionable and popular, and his "Exhibitions" great affairs. But a new race of dancing masters drove Johnny from his proud position. With all his crustiness and irritability, he had a host of friends who respected him for his honesty.
Pastor, Billy. - Born in New York, and at an early age was apprenticed to John Nathans, the well-known circus manager, with whom he remained eleven years. He then travelled throughout the United States with various circus companies until 1860, when he went to Spain, under engagement to Price, as a vaulter and equestrian. He travelled through Spain and Portugal for two years, and various other countries. He was persuaded by David Bidwell to give up the circus business and turn his attention to making comic singing the principal feature of his performance. He accordingly made his debut at the Academy of Music, New Orleans, during the season of 1865, and at once became a favorite with the audiences. Is at present travelling with a variety troupe. See also Pastor's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Pastor, Frank. - This equestrian was born in New York, Nov. 13, 1837. At the age of six years he was apprenticed to John J. Nathans, circus manager, with whom he remained ten years. He sailed for England in Nov., 1856, and performed during the Winter of that year in Ireland, Scotland and England. During the Summer of 1857 he performed at Naples and Palermo, Italy, and the Winter of 1857 was in London, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. Returned to America in 1869, and started on a travelling tour through the States with French's Circus. See also Pastor's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Pastor, Antonio. - Better known as Tony Pastor. Was born in Greenwich street, opposite the Pacific Hotel, New York, in May, 1835. His first appearance in public was at a Temperance Meeting at the Old Dey Street Church. He was then only six years of age, and he sang comic duets with Christian B. Woodruff, afterwards State Senator. For two years he was kept busy singing at Temperance meetings. In the Fall of 1846 he made his first appearance before the public as a legitimate performer at Barnum's Museum, in a minstrel band composed of Charley White, Billy Whitlock, Hall Robinson, and others. Tony put on the burnt cork and played the tambourine. In April, 1847, he joined the Raymond & Waring's Menagerie as a negro performer. In the Fall of 1847, in company with his two brothers, he entered the circus business as an aprentice to John Nathans. Opened in New York at the American Theatre, more popularly known as 444 Broadway, where he remained for a long time and became a great favorite as a comic vocalist. On July 31, 1865, in conjunction with Sam Sharpley, he opened the Opera House in the Bowery, opposite Spring street, where he has ever since making a snug little fortune. See also Tony Pastor's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Pastrana, Julia. - This bearded lady, who was exhibited throughout the United States, died in Moscow, in April, 1860.
Pell, Abner W. - This old Circus advertiser died in Chicago, Ill., Sept. 25, 1865, aged 45 years. See also Pell's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Pentland, Joseph. - This well-known clown made his American debut in New York at Niblo's Garden, with Cooke's Royal Circus. During the season of 1841 he was a permanent member of the Amphitheatre, and on March 16 of the same year, he took his first benefit, on which occasion Bob Williams appeared, announced as the famous clown of Cook's Circus, from England. On Nov. 31, 1846, he made his debut in Philadelphia, at the National Circus. Mr. P. retired from the profession in New York, at the close of the season of 1867-'68, and has settled down in New York. See also Pentland's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Peppin and Burschard. - Peppin and Burschard, with a French Circus, landed in Boston in 1806, from Spain. They performed in conjunction with West, at Philadelphia. Peppin built the Walnut Street Theatre. Peppin had a thorough military education. He was an officer in the cavalry of France. He was born in Albany. His parents were French. They left Albany for Paris when Peppin was two years of age. See also Pepin's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Pierce, Earl H. - This delineator of Ethiopian eccentricities was born in New York, in 1823. His first appearance before the public was in Philadelphia, with Ogden and Raymond's Circus Company. In 1842 he joined a Minstrel party, composed of Dan Emmet, Frank Brower, Jimmy O'Connell, Frank Diamond, Mestayer and Master Pierce. At this time the party was performing at the Franklin Theatre, New York, but Master Pierce also appeard, in conjuction with Dan Emmet, on the same evenings at the Bowery Amphitheatre. This was in Dec., 1842. Leaving the Minstrels for awhile, he joined Turner's Circus, and roamed around the country, knocking about everywhere. He then joined E. P. Christy's Minstrels. Went to Eng., in 1856, where he died, June 5, 1859. See also Pierce's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Quick, Gerard C. - This veteran circus proprietor was born in North Salem, N. Y., May 9, 1811. First went into the circus business in 1844. Was a partner with Avery Smith in the circus business for twenty years, and up to his death, which took place in New York, Jan. 20, 1869. See also Quick's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Raymond, James. - This Circus manager died in New York, March 23, 1854. See also James R. Raymond's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Rice, Dan. - Born in New York, in 1822. He got his first glimpse of the elephant in his native city, and emigrating early in life to Pittsburgh and the far West, had ample chance to study human nature in all its phases. He has travelled all over the United States as clown and manager. Was divorced from his first wife in 1861, and soon after married Charlotte Rebecca McConnell, of Gerard, Pa. See also Rice's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Richards, Davis. - This American equestrian was killed in St. Petersburgh, Russia, in Nov., 1867. He was a native of Pennsylvania, and went to Europe with Howes and Cushing's Circus. See also Richard's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Robinson, Fayette Lodawick. - This live showman, more popularly known as "Yankee Robinson," is a direct lineal descendant of Dr. Robinson, the eminent divine, who came to this country in the "May Flower." He was born near Avon Mineral Springs, Livingston county, N. Y., May 2, 1818. Commenced his career in the show business with Old Sickle's Show, in 1835. He made his first appearance on the stage, at a school exhibition in his native town, as Jonathan Doolittle in the play of "A Yankee in England." In 1837 he went to Medina, Mich., built a shop and carried on the business of shoemaker with great encouragement. At the end of a year he returned home and was married, and a few months after his wife died. He started with a one-horse wagon and the scriptural paintings by S. C. Jones of the "Raising of Lazarus" and the "Baptism of Christ," which was a total failure. In Dec. following, he found himself in St. Louis, Mo., where he made his first and only appearance in tragedy as Radcliffe in "Richard the Third," under the management of Mormon Adams, in a hall corner of Third and Pine streets. In the Winter of 1947-'48, he taught dancing in Hannibal, Ohio, and vicinity, and the next May organized a Room Show at Eaton, Preble county, Ohio. He then made a tent with his own hands, at Rock Island, Ill., and started the "Robinson Athenaeum," playing the "Drunkard" and like pieces, and as each tent was worn out, its successor would be much larger. He finally broke up at Indianapolis. He is now proprietor of a large travelling circus. See also Robinson's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Robinson, James. - This celebrated equestrian was born in Boston, Mass., in 1835. At nine years of age he was apprenticed to John Gossin, and has been in the business ever since. He is the acknowledged champion bare back rider of the world. Has travelled all over Europe with great success. See also Robinson's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website.
Rogers, Charles J. - This popular equestrian manager and rider first appeared in Philadelphia, Jan. 27, 1845, at the National Theatre, as General Anthony Wayne. Has retired and is living in Philadelphia. See also Robinson's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Russell, Mr. - An old attache of the Pearl Street Circus, Albany, N. Y.
Sands, Richard. - This well-known circus performer was born in May, 1814, on Long Island. First entered the circus business with Howes & Turner. In 1841 he visited England and Paris, returning to the States in 1846. Astonished all England by walking on a slab of polished marble, head downwards, at Drury Lane Theatre. Died in Havana, Feb. 24, 1861, and his remains were interred in Greenwood. See also Sand's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Smith, Sol. - Solomon F. Smith was born at Norwich, Chenango County, N. Y., April 20, 1801. His father, Levi Smith, was a piper in a volunteer company in the Revolutionary War in his early days. At the close of the war he learned the trade of a goldsmith, married and settled on a military tract of forty acres of land, in Solon, Courtland County, N. Y. Sol. Smith, at nine years of age, went to work on a neighboring farm, where he remained for four years. From thence he went to Boston, where he was taken into his brother Silas' store, but his stay there was brief, for he was of a roving disposition. In 1814 he visited Albany, N. Y., where he became clerk in another brother's store. For three years he contented himself with this place, studying Shakespeare all the time, and finally became a "super" at the Albany Theatre. In Louisville he engaged on the Herald as an apprentice to the printing business, working at the case and carrying the papers. In Vincennes he joined a Thespian society, making his debut in 1819. His first prominent parts were Dan in "John Bull," and Numpo in " 'Tis all a Farce." The destruction of the printing office by fire, caused Sol to move "on to Nashville," where he continued the printing business, but soon retraced his steps to Cincinnati, walking the entire distance of three hundred miles. In the "Queen city" he joined a Thespian society, and his greatest effort was Young Norval. The following year he returned to Vincennes, Ind., and joined Alexander Drake's Dramatic Company at six dollars a week. At the expiration of eight weeks Sol. Smith revisited Cincinnati, and commenced to study law, also engaging at the theatre as a prompter for the season of 1822. At the close of the season he withdrew from the company, and was married, with four dollars and sixty-two cents in his pocket, which he gave to the minister. He then started a singing school, and on July 4, 1822 issued a paper called the Independent Press, and was one of the first two editors that raised the standard of General Jackson in Ohio. During this season Edwin Forrest appeared at the theatre, and Sol. wrote a piece called " Tailor in Distress," in which Forrest played a negro. At the expiration of a year he sold out his paper, and went into the country on a collecting tour. At Lexington he met Drake, who wished to dispose of his dramatic company, and Sol. concluded to become a manager. Edwin Forrest, who was engaged to go with Caldwell, was desirous of going with Sol., but having more honor than is always found among managers now-a-days in that respect, he refused to take him. In an angry mind Forrest engaged with a circus company as rider and tumbler, at twelve dollars a week, and when Sol. Smith called to see him, he found him turning flip-flaps. Sol. persuaded htm from going with the circus, and saw him off to New Orleans. Sol. proceeded to Cincinnati in 1822, and opened in the Globe Theatre. The season was a failure, and with a loss of $11.50 he proceeded to Wheeling, Va. He travelled with his company, giving dramatic performances and concerts in the Ohio river towns, and places of sufficient importance in the interior, with varying success. First appeared in Philadelphia at the Tivoli Garden, at very short notice, playing Sheep-face in the "Village Lawyer," the Mock Doctor and one other character. At the expiration of the first week, on going for his salary, he was told that he could not play all the best parts and expect to be paid for it. He then went to the Vauxhall Gardens, in the same city, at eight dollars a week, and on salary day received two hundred and sixty-six tickets for drinks at the bar, this being the only payment made by the manager to any of the male members of the company. In 1828 he resided in New Brunswick, N. J., where he played the organ in the Episcopal church, and had a singing school, after which he started on a travelling tour through the West with a dramatic company, during which tour his wife made her debut on the stage as Norah in the "Poor Soldier." Mr. Smith made his bow in New Orleans, in the Fall of 1827, at the American Theatre, Camp street, as Billy Lackaday in "Sweethearts and Wives," and his wife as Diana Vernon in "Rob Roy." At the close of the season he traversed the waters of the Misssisippi and Ohio, appearing at the principal towns season after season until the Spring of 1835, when he bent his steps towards the gay metropolis, once more appearing as Mawworm in "The Hypocrite," at the Park Theatre, New York, Sept. 5, 1835. On the 15th of the same month he opened in Philadelphia at the Walnut Street Theatre, as Mawworm. In 1853 he abandoned theatrical management and all connection with the stage, and turned his attention to the practice of law in St. Louis. In 1861 he was elected a member of the Missouri State Convention, as an unconditional Union man, and in that body bore a part in erecting a provisional government for the State. As an actor he enjoyed a reputation second to none in America, his forte being low comedy. To witness his illustration of those characters for which he was so deservedly celebrated, was an advent in the life of any man. In 1845, as a recreation, he prepared and published a volume of autobiographical character, entitled "Sol Smith's Theatrical Apprenticeship," also one entitled "The Theatrical Journey Work and Anecdotal Recollections of Sol Smith," which were published in 1854. He died in St. Louis, Mo., on Feb. 14, 1869. Before dying he prepared an epitaph to be engraved upon a plain stone in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. It is as follows:
SOL SMITH, Retired Actor.
1801 - 1869.
"Life's but a walking shadow - a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more."
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players."
EXIT SOL !
The body was enclosed in a metallic casket, suitably inscribed, and was borne to Bellefontaine Cemetery. [Note: Sol Smith was associated with John Robinson and Levi North in an expedition to Cuba in 1841, according to Charles H. Day’s Ink From A Circus Press Agent.
Smith, William N. - This bone soloist was born in Albany, N.Y., and first went into the show business with a miscellaneous travelling troupe, in 1841, performing in white face. He was the first man to give imitations of the snare drum with the bones, which he did in Baltimore while travelling with a variety troupe, and performing in a white face. He afterwards travelled all over the United States with circus companies, performing in the side shows with a minstrel band. Died in New York, Jan. 4, 1869. See also Smith's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Stickney, Robert. - This equestrian was born in New Orleans, Dec. 14, 1846, in the American Theatre, the family having apartments there. Made his debut as Alonzo's Child in "Pizarro," Forrest playing Rolla. His next appearance was in the circus ring. Has been with Lent's New York Circus for some time. See also Stickney's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Stickney, Sallie. - This beautiful equestrienne was born in Philadelphia, and has been in the circus cusiness ever since she could walk. Was married, in Oct. 1861, to Omah Kingsley, professionally known as "Ella Zoyara." Is at present in New York, having arrived there from Australia in July 1869. See also Stickney's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Stokes, James. - This slack rope vaulter was killed by the Cherokee Indians, in 1833, while travelling through the South. See also Stokes's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Stone, Eaton. - This celebrated bareback equestrian was born in Burlington, Vt., in 1818. First went into the show business at ten years of age, dong gymnastic performances. Joined Buckley and Week's Circus in 1832. In 1834, played at the Old Richmond Hill Theatre with a circus company. Went to Europe in 1851, and opened Drury Lane Theatre, London, Theatre Royal, Glasgow, and several other theatres on the Continent, for circus performances. Returned to America in 1855. Opened at the Old Broadway, New York, season of 1857-'58. Since which time he has travelled all over the world. Has retired from the profession to his extensive farm at Franklin, Essex Co., N. J., where he is surrounded by all the comforts of the world. See also Stone's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Thumb, Mr. and Mrs. Tom. - The "General" was born in Bridgeport, Conn., in Jan. 1832. His right name is Charles S. Stratton. Was first introduced to the public by P. T. Barnum, at his New York Museum, Dec. 8, 1842. Visited Europe in Feb., 1844. Was married in New York, Feb. 10, 1863, to Lavinia Warren, and in 1865 again visited Europe. See also Thumb's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Tourniaire, Benoit. - Professionally known as Mons. Benoit, in the circus business. Died in Havana, Cuba, Sept. 13, 1865. See also Tourniaire's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Tourniaire, Louise. - This equestrienne made her first appearance in Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 1851, at the National Circus. Is the wife of Mr. Brown, a musician, to whom she was married in 1859. Has travelled all over the country with circus companies. Is at present in New York. See also Tourniaire's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Vail, Mr. - Born in Mansfield, Ohio. Was connected with the circus business for some time. Abandoned the professtion and became wealthy, at Port Royal, W. I. At last accounts he was in California, a justice of the peace. See also Vail's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Van Amburgh. - Was born in Fishkill, N. Y. At an early age he became connected with a menagerie, where he was soon noted for his courage, perseverance and extraordinary influence over the brute creation. His fist appearance in New York occurred at the Richmond Hill Theatre, in the Fall of 1833. The same season he appeared, after the holidays, at the Bowery Theatre, then under the management of T. S. Hamblin, in a melo-drama, written for him by Miss Medina, entitled "The Lion Lord, or the Forest Monarch." In this piece he rode a horse up a set of Mazeppa runs, and when near the flies a Royal Bengal Tiger would spring upon him, when the actor and the tiger would struggle down to the footlights together, apparently engaged in desperate combat, an incident which was invariably received with tumultuous enthusiasm. He made his first appearance in London at Astley's Amphitheatre, appearing afterwards at Drury Lane Theatre, in 1838, and at the principal theatres on the Continent. Died in Philadelphia, Nov. 29, 1865. See also Isaac Van Amburgh's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Wallett, W. F. - This popular clown was born in Hull, Eng. Made his American debut in 1849, in New York, on Eighth Street, where the Bible House now stands. He was then engaged by Seth B. Howes for the Federal Street Theatre, Boston, to appear with Howe's Circus Company. He then went to Philadelphia, Dec. 11, 1852, as the Duke Aranza in "The Honeymoon." Is now in England. See also Wallett's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Waring, Noel E. - This old circus manager died in New Orleans, in Feb., 1854. See also Waring's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Watson, Tom. - This circus clown was born in England, and came to America in 1857. After travelling with a variety of circus companies, he died in the St. Louis, Mo., Hospital, in 1860. See Watson entries in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Welch, Rufus. - This old circus manager was born in New Berlin, N. Y., in Sept., 1800. Joined a circus company in 1819. Travelled all over the world with, and in search of wild animals. Died in Philadelphia, Dec. 5, 1856. See also Welch's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Wells, John Grimaldi. - This circus clown died in Philadelphia, in April, 1852. See also Well's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
West, Mr. - This equestrian manager came to this country from England, in 1816, with a circus company, and opened Nov. 28. See also West's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Worrell, William. - This once popular circus clown made his appearance in Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 1851, at the Old National Circus. He is the father of the Worrell Sisters, and is at present residing in New York. See also Worrell's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Worland, Jerry. - This circus performer died in New York, April 24, 1864, aged 32 years. See also Worland's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Yeaman, George. - Was born in Scotland, and came to America in 1816. He was well known as the "Flying Horseman." Died in Concord, N.C., Nov. 7, 1827. See also Yeaman's entry in Slout's Olympians on this website. Click on History on the navigation bar.
Zanfretta, Rosita. - This graceful tight-rope dancer, sister of the other celebrated rope dancer, was at Mrs. Jane English's Theatre, Boston, Mass., in June 1863, when she was married to Mons. Auguste.
CHS webmaster J. Griffin, last modified October 2006.