A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Phineas Taylor BARNUM/Charity HALLETT
The marriage was performed by the Rev. Dr. McAuley.
In the summer of 1829 P.T. Barnum and Charity Hallett became formally engaged. In the fall Miss Hallett went "on a visit" to her uncle, Nathan Beers, in New York. A month later her fiancé followed, "to buy goods," and on the 8th of November, 1829, there was a wedding in the comfortable house at No. 3 Allen Street. Having married at the age of nineteen, Barnum always expressed his disapproval of early marriages, although his own was a very happy one.
From "Struggles and Triumphs or, Forty Years' Recollections of P. T. Barnum, written by himself." The Courier Co.: Buffalo, NY, 1882. "...in the summer of 1829 I asked [Charity Hallett] for her hand in marriage. My suit was accepted, and the wedding day was appointed; I, meanwhile, applying myself closely to business, and no one but the parties immediately interested suspecting that the event was so near at hand. Miss Hallett went to New York in October, otensibly to visit her uncle, Nathan Beers, who resided at No. 3 Allen Street. I followed in November, pressed by the necessity of purchasing goods for my store; and the evening after my arrival, November 8, 1829, the Rev. Dr. McAuley married us in the presence of sundry friends and relatives of my wife, and I became the husband of one of the best women in the world. In the course of the week we went back to Bethel and took board in the family where Charity Barnum as "Chairy" Hallett had previously resided."
Phineas Taylor Barnum and his first wife, Charity Hallett Barnum, were married for 44 years. They were the parents of four children, all girls.
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