BENEFITING: BARNUM MUSEUM FOUNDATION INC
Update: The Barnum Museum is pleased to announce that with initial support they were able to purchase the letter. We will unveil the letter at a special Sneak Peek on August 7 at 12:15pm in the People's United Bank Gallery. We still need your help to cover the cost of the letter. Please still consider donating so that we might reach our goal.
The Barnum Museum has few artifacts from the early years of Barnum's life, but the ones here hold amazing history. His top hat, recently exhibited at the Bard Graduate Center, and his marriage certificate to Charity Hallet are the two artifacts that connect Barnum to Bethel in the Museum's current collection. This amazing early letter, which references Barnum's lottery and is dated 1834 from Bethel, would be a wonderful addition to the collection and deserves to be preserved! The Barnum Museum has the opportunity to purchase this letter, but we need your help to make this a reality! Please donate toward the purchase of this gem today!
P.T. Barnum's first business was a general store in Bethel Connecticut which he opened at the age of 18 in 1828. As a part of his work, he started a lottery office and had great success. In 1830, he expanded his lottery office to Danbury then quickly to Norwalk, Stamford, Middletown and other small agencies as far away as New York. The post script of the letter mentions Barnum's plans for expansion saying, "the more the merrier"! Unfortunately, the State of Connecticut started prohibiting lotteries in 1834. Because of this, Barnum closes his offices in 1835 and moves to New York to seek his fortune. And the rest is history.
P.S. Curious about Barnum's lottery? You can read about it in Chapters 4 and 5 of his autobiography! This letter authenticates that history!