Joice Heth- The story you didn’t see in “The Greatest Showman”

History of Sorts

In this ‘woke’ era it surprises me that the musical “The Greatest Showman” didn’t get cancelled. Even more amazingly it was a huge success, even though it probably was one of the biggest history revisions ever to hit the cinema and later on TV and streaming services.

Joice Heth was one of the ‘performers’ of the P.T Barnum show.

Often buried deep within the Barnum mythology is the shocking story of how P.T Barnum got his start, leasing an elderly Black slave who he’d exhibit as President George Washington’s 161-year-old nursemaid.

Heth was offered to Barnum for $1000. With slavery illegal in the North, Barnum instead negotiated to “lease” Heth for a year, paying for his half with a loan, and recruiting a business partner, Levi Lyman, for the rest.

Barnum and his partner Levi Lyman drew the curious to see Joice Heth using posters and advertisements . The advertisements…

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1 Comment

  1. historiebuff says:

    Disgusting man

    Like

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