Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Beastly Exhibition in Portland

The following ad appeared in the Eastern Argus of June 28, 1825. It's odd to think that, while my ancestors in Western Maine were slaving to clear a patch of virgin forest and put food on the table, kids in Portland were watching a monkey ride a pony.
The public are respectfully informed that the GRAND CARAVAN OF LIVING ANIMALS, being the largest that ever travelled in the United States, will be exhibited at BARKER'S HOTEL, in Portland, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the 4th, 5th, and 6th days of July next.

    1st. A full grown and learned ELEPHANT.
The Elephant is not only the largest and most sagacious animal in the world, but from the peculiar manner in which he takes his food and drink of every kind with its trunk, is acknowledged to be one of the greatest natural curiosities ever offered to the public.
  2nd. The Great AFRICAN LION ;
  3rd. Full grown ARABIAN CAMEL ;
  4th. South American TIGER ;
  5th. Full grown LEOPARD ;
  6th. Young American PANTHER ;
  7th. JACKALL, or Lion's Provider ;
  8th. WILD CAT ;
  9th. BLACK WOLF ;
  10th. Full grown African ribbed-nose BABOON ;
  11th. Famous Dancing MONKEY, from the Island of Borneo ;
  12th. Brazilian WEAZLE ;
  13th. LITTLE JACK, who will go through his numerous feats on the slack rope ;
  With a numerous collection of Minor Animals.

  Also—DANDY JACK, the Semi-Equestrian, who has excited the admiration of all who have visited the Grand Caravan, with his unexampled feats of horse-monkey-ship on his small Shetland Poney, for which purpose a ring will be fitted for his performance.

  A convenient place will be neatly fitted up for the accomodation of visitors, with an awning, where ladies and children will have an opportunity of viewing the Caravan, without the least apprehension of danger. A band of music will accompany the Caravan.

  Admittance 25 cents—Children under 12 years half price.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Oooh!!! Little Jack AND Dandy Jack?! Sign me up!!! With no apprehensions of danger to my person!!!!!