Parade Barnum&Bailey (Collectie Lex Corijn)Circus Barnum & Bailey (Collectie van Corijn Lex)Binnenkant Chapiteau Barnum & Bailey (Collectie Lex Corijn)

Circus in 1901

James Bailey of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, 1897. Joining the circus at age 14, James A. Bailey, born James McGinnis, eventually joined with Phineas T. Barnum to create the Barnum and Bailey Circus, which became "The Greatest Show on Earth." After Barnum died in 1891, Bailey managed the circus until his death in 1906, and the circus was then sold to Ringling Brothers. This signed document is six pages long, measure 8x12.5, and is dated June 29, 1897. The agreement between James A. Bailey, Ruth Louisa Bailey and Joseph T. McCaddon reads in part: "James A. Bailey is the sole owner and proprietor of the property and effects of the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth, together with all the right, title, interest and property in the name of Phineas Taylor Barnum as a trade mark in connection with the said Circus and Menageries and also all the property and effects belonging to the late copartnership composed of Phineas Taylor Barnum, now deceased, and the said J.A. Bailey...J.A. Bailey has agreed to sell unto Ruth Louisa Bailey and Joseph T. McCaddon, each, an one hundredth interest in the aforesaid Show and property..for one dollar in hand...and also the conduct of other Show interests...such as the Buffalo Bill Wild West Exhibition...this partnership shall continue until the first day of January, 1900.." The document offers excellent signatures of all three parties at the bottom of page six, with red seals affixed beside the signatures of the Baileys. Fine condition, with faint scattered creasing and a horizontal fold through the signature of James Bailey, whose autograph is much rarer than Barnum's.