Old Bet and the Start of the American Circus

Old Bet and the Start of the American Circus

By: Robert M. McClung
Published by: William Morrow & Company
Publication Date: 1993

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See the Elephant from India

Only One in America

The Greatest Natural Curiosity

Ever Offered to the Public

Admission 25¢

Children under 10, 1/2 Price

Come One, Come All

Whenever Hackaliah Bailey hung out that sign, people flocked to his farm to watch his amazing elephant perform. They gazed in wonder at Old Bet's exotic appearance and gasped in delight at her remarkable repertoire of tricks. After all, in the year 1808, almost no one in America had seen an elephant before.

Crowds continued to stare and clap when Old Bet toured neighboring states. And as her popularity grew, so did Hack's show. A bear, a tiger, a lion, two pigs, and a dancing horse were added; so were a juggler, an acrobat, and some clowns. The American circus was born!

Robert McClung's rollicking text—based on historical fact—and Laura Kelly's exuberant illustrations recount the story of the start of the circus in America, and the gentle trained elephant that began it all.

From the dust jacket

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