Barnum Timeline

Timeline of Phineas Taylor Barnum’s life:

Date Event
July 5, 1810 Born
1825 Father died
1828 Opened Barnum’s Lottery in Bethel
Nov 8, 1829 Married Charity Hallett (eloped)
Oct 19, 1831 First issue of Barnum’s “Herald of Freedom” newspaper published
Nov 1834 Closed Barnum’s Lottery
Dec 11, 1834 Quit as editor of “Herald of Freedom”
1834/1835 Moved to New York
1835 Employed Joice Heth as the oldest living African American (161 yrs) in June
1835 Sold “Herald of Freedom” to George Taylor
Feb 19, 1836 Joice Heth died
1841-42 Purchased “Scudder’s American Museum” and renamed to “Barnum’s American Museum” in New York
1842 Employed Tom Thumb
Aug 31, 1843 The “Free Grand Buffalo Hunt”
1844-1845 Toured Europe with General Tom Thumb
1850 Employed Jenny Lind (Swedish Nightingale)
1855 Went bankrupt from guaranteeing debts of the Jerome Clock Company
Dec 17, 1857 Home “Iranistan” burned to the ground
July 13, 1865 Barnum’s American Museum burned to the ground from a fire of unknown origin
1865 American Museum reestablished in New York City
Mar 1868 American Museum destroyed by fire
1869 Built Waldemere home (a.k.a. Woods by the Sea)
1871 “P. T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Managerie, Caravan & Hippodrome” tours
1872 Renames “…Traveling Museum…” to “The Greatest Show on Earth”
1873 Charity Died
Feb 14, 1874 Married 22 yr old Nancy Fish
Apr 1874 Opens Roman Hippodrome in New York (circus)
1875 Elected mayor of Bridgeport
1876 Term as mayor ends
1878 Founder and president of Bridgeport Hospital
1881 Barnum’s circus merges with Bailey and Hutchinson: P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show On Earth, And The Great London Circus, Sanger’s Royal British Menagerie and The Grand International Allied Shows United. (Barnum & London Circus)
Apr 9, 1882 Jumbo the elephant purchased and arrives in New York
1882 Circus opens in Madison Square Garden
1883 Tom Thumb died
1885 Jumbo dies in freight train accident
1885 Barnum & Bailey circus splits up
Nov 20, 1887 The great circus was lost to fire
1888 Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth formed
1889 Built brick house called “Marina”
Nov (early) 1890 Suffered a stroke during a performance
April 7, 1891 Died
Apr 1891 Buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport
1893 Statue in his honor erected at Seaside Park by the water in Bridgeport

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Barnum Timeline

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