View the Flip Book. View the PDF.
Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810 – 1891) was an American businessman and showman who founded the circus that eventually became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Barnum once visited Abraham Lincoln in the White House accompanied by the little person Tom Thumb (the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton). Given to outrageous self-promotion, Barnum loved a good hoax--his "elephantine farming" hoax (see entry) had the secretaries of every state agricultural association writing for more information about this exciting advancement in farming. A pro-Unionist, Barnum's circus and museum drew large audiences seeking respite and diversion during the American civil war. Barnum wrote several other books, including The Humbugs of the World : An account of humbugs, delusions, impositions, quackeries, deceits and deceivers generally, in all ages (1866) and Struggles and Triumphs, or, Forty years' recollections (1871).