Essay on P. T. Barnum

1975 Words 8 Pages
P. T. Barnum

	Phineas Taylor Barnum reinvented the circus. His knowledge of what people want and how to make people think they want what he had was amazing. He constantly fooled people and had a way of making the customers come back. Barnum was ultimate salesman. He single handedly turned the circus into the "Greatest Show On Earth" it is today.

	P. T. Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut on July 5th 1810. He later called himself a "Yankee doodle dandy, plus one." He was the oldest of five, all raised in a typical Connecticut saltbox house, which is an average, large house, is that still stands today. His father, Philo Barnum, dabbled in several trades. His father owned his own dry goods store.
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He bought his own store in Bethel, he started a newspaper, and he ran a lottery. Much to Charity's dismay Barnum adopted a new religion, Universalism, which offered what he called a more "cheerful" Christianity.

Barnum was strongly opposed to the involvement of the Congregationalist church in local politics. In 1831 he used his newspaper to attack a minister in nearby Danbury Connecticut. The response was nor very cheerful nor very Christian. Barnum ended up with 60 days in the Danbury jail. He published his paper through the jail and portrayed himself as a little guy persecuted by a corrupt religious elite. Public support got him out of jail and made him a political force to be reckoned with. It taught him "There's no such thing as bad publicity."3

Charity grew more conservative as Barnum grew more audacious. She wanted to settle down and have children. For the next few years the couple settled down. In 1833 the first of four daughters were born. But P. T. Barnum's life took another sudden turn. The next year Connecticut outlawed lotteries. A few weeks later his store went bust. Then the final blow came, the newspaper could not repeat with the well-established Danbury Recorder and folded. Within a few short months he was wiped out. In 1834, with nothing left to lose Barnum moved his family to New York City. Without knowing it he started down the road to the "Greatest Show On Earth."4

In 1835, against Charity's wishes,

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