Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/169

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VIII


ANECDOTES OF MEN AND ANIMALS


ORIGIN OF THE AMERICAN CIRCUS

The first circus in America was started by Nathan A. Howes and Aaron Turner under a top canvas in 1826. Previous to that time others had shows in frame buildings and some simply with side canvas in hotel yards, and in theaters in New York City. The full tent circus originated in the towns of Somers and North Salem, Westchester County, New York, and Southeast and Carmel, Putnam County, New York. The original showmen were Raymond, Titus, June, Quick, Angevine Crane, Smith and Nathans, and so far as I have been able to ascertain, June, Titus and Angevine were the first to import wild animals on their own account.

Previous to this the Raymond and Titus companies were in the habit of purchasing wild animals from sea captains who, in a spirit of speculation, would bring them to our shores. There existed a great rivalry between these

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