141: General Tom Thumb. 1849
Artist: ANONYMOUS Size: 11 x 15 in./28 x 38 cm Currier, NY An original plate from the portfolio “Barnum’s Gallery of Wonders,” we are introduced to the new performer General Tom Thumb, noted as being born in 1832 and currently only 28 inches high. In actuality, he was born on January 4, 1838 as Charles Sherwood Stratton, a distant relative of P.T. Barnum, who enlisted the boy as part of his company after teaching him to sing, dance, and impersonate famous people. This image is taken from a daguerreotype by Plumbe, and may be pochoir, showcasing the tiny entertainer standing atop a cushioned chair. Surrounding the image are various tableaux of Tom Thumb in his many costumes -- including that of Cupid, Hercules, a gladiator, Napoleon, a Scottish highlander, Romulus, and a patriotic Yankee.