Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/15

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xi
FOREWORD

to present, and started out to find something which better suited his unformed and perhaps romantic ideas of a profession. After a hard tramp of several miles he chanced to encounter a show, and immediately determined that this was the field to which he would devote his energies and in which he would make for himself a name and a fortune. With this show he served an apprenticeship, in a humble capacity, and gained a clear idea of the essentials of the business.

In 1861 he secured the side-show privileges of the E. F. & J. Mabie Circus, then the largest show in America. He remained with this firm until 1866, when he secured similar privileges with the Yankee Robinson Circus, with which he allied himself until 1869. In the latter year he formed a co-partnership with the celebrated Dan Costello and entered upon the first of the original ventures marking as many distinct epochs in the history of the circus in America. This departure was the organization of a show which traveled by boat and stopped at all the principal lake ports of the great inland seas. This enterprise was a decided success.

At that time Mr. P. T. Barnum had never been in the circus business, and Mr. Coup had