Letter from Middleton to Barnum

July 14, 1888
Jackson P. Middleton

My Dear Mr. Barnum,

Let me first apologize for my delay in responding to your inquiry. It seems a most bizarre set of circumstances caused your letter to be greatly delayed in its deliver to me. As such, I am responding post haste and sending my response via personal carrier to ensure its timely delivery to you.

Your offer is truly gracious and well above what I would consider a fair offer. And while I would most certainly accept it without hesitation, I must unfortunately decline since the item is no longer in my possession. In truth, I sold it shortly after purchase due to an abrupt development of unforeseeable hardships and a mutually beneficial offer from an associate collector.

I would be quite willing to share the new owner’s contact information with you; however, he was the victim of a very unfortunate accident that took his life and reduced his home, and collections, to ash. The reports say that the fire raged so quickly and burnt so hot that everything was lost, and nothing of value could be salvaged from the remains.

If you have need to discuss the matter further with his surviving wife, please let me know and I will try to make some arrangements. However, I ask that you only request this if absolutely necessary, for she is getting on in years and has moved past this tragic event, so I would hate to re-open painful events from 31 years ago without absolute necessity.
I trust you can appreciate my position, and will act discreetly and with your usual high degree of integrity with regards to this matter. Let me know if I can be of any further service.

Sincerely,

Jackson P. Middleton

Letter from Middleton to Barnum

Barnum Institute of Science and Horror jimmorte