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Tom Thumb,1838–83, American entertainer, whose original name was Charles Sherwood Stratton, b. Bridgeport, Conn. His career as General Tom Thumb began in 1842, when the showman P. T. BarnumBarnum, P. T.
(Phineas Taylor Barnum) , 1810–91, American showman, b. Bethel, Conn. As a youth Barnum worked at diverse sales jobs and managed a boardinghouse. He made his first sensation in 1835 when he bought and exhibited Joice Heth, a slave who claimed she was 161
..... Click the link for more information. gave him the title and arranged with the child's parents for his exhibition as a midget. His height then was less than 2 ft (61 cm), and at no time did it exceed 33 in. (84 cm). Barnum aroused the intense curiosity of people throughout the world by consummately skillful publicity and profitably displayed the general in many countries, bringing Tom Thumb wealth and fame. At the age of 10 the general had already been the guest of President Polk, Queen Victoria, Isabella of Spain, and King Louis Philippe of France. His courtship of Lavinia Warren, a dwarf, led to a fashionable wedding in New York's Grace Church in 1863. In the course of their wedding trip President Lincoln received them at the White House. Thumb and his wife continued to entertain audiences in the United States and abroad until their retirement in 1882. He died at the age of 45, and Mrs. Tom Thumb died at 77.
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first American steam locomotive. [Am. Hist.: Van Doren, 141]
(1838–1883) stage name for the midget, Charles Sherwood Stratton. [Am. Hist.: Benét, 1016]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
General, stage name of Charles Stratton. 1838--83, US midget, exhibited in P. T. Barnum's circus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Thumb, TomSee Stratton, Charles.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.