Compiled and Edited by William L. Slout
Copyright © 2005 by William L. Slout. All rights reserved.
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I do not claim this work to be a complete listing of people involved in the circuses of the nineteenth century. It is far from complete. There is no single life long enough to collect the facts and figures of such an extensive and elusive group of professionals. This being so, it is difficult to close a research half-finished; but, at seventy-five years of age, prudence dictates. It is time to halt my inquiry and publish, so that others can make use of it. I leave it to the next generation of circus historians to correct and complete what I have started.
There are problems one encounters when dealing with people and events of an earlier century. Accounts within memoirs are often apocryphal. Autobiographers sometimes romanticize or misstate. Unrefined newspaper typesetting causes misinformation. Surnames and dates, for example, frequently vary from one source to another. I have tried diligently to be factual within the biographical entries and to warn the reader when a question of accuracy occurs. I hope I have succeeded. This is merely a reference book. Consequently, the narrative style is compacted and circus titles are generally abbreviated, particularly the ones that have a life of several years. This has been done, of course, to save space and avoid lengthy repetition.
I am indebted to Fred Dahlinger, Jr., and his staff at the Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center, Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin, for much of the content. I am also grateful to the numerous individuals who have shared their notes with me and the several circus historians who have deposited their papers and collected items at the library for others to use. I hope this book can provide similar value to present and future circus researchers.
William L. Slout, 1998
Last modified October 2005