Confusion of Places

300px-Barnum's_American_Museum-photo_1858A story is told about Joaquin Miller, the poet, who stayed at Barnum’s Hotel–Broadway and 20th street in New York City– in October, 1875. While there, he wrote to a friend in New Jersey. He ended the letter: “Come and see me whenever you can. I’m at Barnum’s.”

The friend was not familiar with city hotels and thought only of P.T. Barnum’s famous American Museum, a combination zoo, museum, lecture hall, wax museum, theater and freak show. The friend replied to Mr. Miller: “I am sorry you had to exhibit yourself. If you had stuck to literature you would have made your mark and fortune. Whereabouts is the show now.?”

(From the Pueblo Chieftain, November 2, 1875)

Miller’s full name was Cincinnatus Heine Miller (September 8, 1837 – February 17, 1913). Joaquin Miller was his pen name. He was called the “Poet of the Sierras” after his 1871 work Songs of the Sierras.



Published in: on September 7, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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