A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Clinton Barnum SEELEY

In his will, P. T. Barnum disposed of an estate of $4,100,000, and he made careful provision for the perpetuation of his name. Since he had no sons, he provided that his grandson, C. H. Seeley, should receive the sum of $25,000, besides his share in the estate, if he would change his name to C. Barnum Seeley, "so that the name of Barnum shall always be known as his name."

C. Barnum Seeley's brother hosted a bachelor party for him at Sherry's restaurant in New York on the eve of his marriage. The featured attraction was the belly dancer "Little Egypt." Since "Little Egypt" had previously posed in the nude for artists, word immediately got out that she was dancing in the nude at the bachelor party. Police arrived and broke up the party, which became known as "The Awful Seeley Dinner." Oscar Hammerstein wrote a musical entitled "Silly's Dinner" based on the putative nude entertainment by "Little Egypt"....’ Talcott Seeley says that he got all this information from a variety of sources.

The New York Times, April 13, 1933. Barnum's Grandson Resigns. Special to The New York Times.
Bridgeport, Conn., April 12.—Clinton Barnum Seeley resigned today as vice chairman of the board of the Bridgeport-City Trust Company, saying he desired to travel. Mr. Seeley, a grandson of P. T. Barnum, has been connected with the bank for more than twenty years, having been president of the old Bridgeport Trust Company before it and the City National Bank consolidated. He will continue on the board and the executive committee.
From the NY Times of March 18, 1958, p. 29: Bridgeport, March 17----Clinton Barnum Seeley, retired banker, who was a grandson of P. T. Barnum, showman, died today in his home here. He was 90 years old. Mr. Seeley was the son of Nathan Seeley and was a lineal descendant of Capt. Nathaniel Seeley, Revolutionary War figure. In 1936, he presented thirty acres of land near Seaside Park to the city of Bridgeport in memory of Mr. Barnum.

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