Circus Memoirs

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General Books, 2009 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 70 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1913. Excerpt: ... VIII. CIRCUS AND MUSEUM In 1880 I went out with Adam Forepaugh's circus. We were out, of course, the regular season of six months. It was not a very prosperous season and I didn't like the idea of being idle all winter, so I went over to New York just before my season closed and started a dime museum. Having an acquaintance with curiosities, and managed a circus as well as the side shows, I was familiar with the performances necessary; so I rented a room and opened up a dime museum--the first in the United States. It proved a success from the start. I continued for about two years, when the circus fever came over me again and I wanted to travel, so I sold the dime museum, or rather, I might say, I gave it away, for I got nothing for it, and went out on the road again with a circus, lost all the money I had made and wound up flat broke. I went out next season with John O'Brien's circus, which was not very successful, and we left a trail of circus plunder behind us to pay debts, or as security for debts incurred, that reached nearly from St. Louis to Winnipeg, where, fortunately, we struck good business and Kohl and I formed a partnership. The show wintered in Frankford and opened there in the spring. In the side show we had a big negro whom we had fitted up with rings in his nose, a leopard skin, some assagais and a large shield made out of cow's skin. While he was sitting on the stage in the side show, along came two negro women and remarked, "See that nigger over there? He ain't no Zulu, that's Bill Jackson. He worked over here at Camden on the dock. I seen that nigger often." Poor old Bill Jackson was as uneasy as if he was sitting on needles, holding the shield between him and the two negro women. Fortunately for him, about this time the audience was c...

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