An account of humbugs, delusions, impositions, quackeries, deceits and deceivers generally, in all ages.

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One of Mr. Barnum’s secrets of success is his unique methods of advertising, and we can readily understand how he can bear to be denounced as a “Humbug,” because this popular designation though undeserved in the popular acceptation of it, “brought grist to his mill.” He has constantly kept himself before the public—nay, we may say that he has been kept before the public constantly, by the stereotyped word in question; and what right, or what desire, could he have to discard or complain of an epithet which was one of the prospering elements of his business as “a showman?” In a narrow sense of the word he is a “Humbug:” in the larger acceptation he is not.


He has in several chapters of this book elaborated the distinction, and we will only say in this place, what, indeed, no one who knows him will doubt, that, aside from his qualities as a caterer to popular entertainment, he is one of the most remarkable men of the age.

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