Old Bet and the Start of the American Circus

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9780688106423: Old Bet and the Start of the American Circus

Describes the performing career of the elephant Old Bet, whose traveling exhibition under the management of Hackaliah Bailey in the early nineteenth century gave rise to the tradition of the American circus

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Even before Barnum, there was Bailey: Hackaliah Bailey, an entrepreneur who, in 1808, purchased an elephant from a sea captain and took her back to his farm in Somers, New York, where he housed her in his barn, exhibited her to neighbors, and then took her on the road. In time, he added other animals to create ``Bailey's Traveling Show and Menagerie,'' which toured New York and New England, included clowns and acrobats, and was displayed in ``the first circus tent.'' McClung's engaging fictionalization is interesting as much for the Early American logistics of keeping an elephant as for the events, which are pleasantly enlivened by the presence of Hack's young nephew. Kelly achieves an appropriately old-time flavor with energetic illustrations whose cheerful characterizations and careful definition of forms recall the Petershams. (Young reader/Picture book. 5-10) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- This story, based on historical record, traces the origins of America's first traveling circus to Hacaliah Bailey's purchase of an Indian elephant from a New York City sea captain in 1808. Old Bet amazed all who came to see her in Bailey's barn in Somers, New York, and in surrounding communities where he took her to perform, and she soon became a star attraction. By the following spring, a gentle Russian bear and an angry old tiger had been added to the menagerie, with colorful caged wagons built to house them, and Bailey's traveling show was launched. Full-page pen-and-watercolor illustrations capture the exuberance of the text, which is sure to appeal to circus fans. --Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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McClung, Robert M.
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Book Description William Morrow & Co, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Laura Kelly (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0688106420

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Book Description William Morrow, 1993. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Kelly, Laura (illustrator). First Edition. First Printing. New in Like New jacket. Illustrated by Laura Kelly. "Even before Barnum, there was Bailey, an entrepreneur who, in 1808, purchased an elephant from a sea captain and took her back to his farm in Somers, New York, where he housed her in his barn, exhibited her to neighbors, and then took her on the road." -- Kirkus. Bookseller Inventory # 082437

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