Jenny Lind: the Swedish Nightingale

By Gladys Denny Shultz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ELEVEN
"Barnum Is Nowhere"

THE MORNING following Jenny's arrival, she was waited upon by Caleb Woodhull, the Mayor of New York, and other notables, after which Jenny and Barnum had some business to transact. Maunsell Field, a New York attorney, had scarcely reached his office that morning when a messenger arrived with a letter for Mr. Field's partner, John Jay, asking him to call on Jenny at the Irving House. He had been recommended by Baring Brothers of London. Since Mr. Jay was abroad, Mr. Field went instead. Barnum met him in the lobby, which was so crowded with the curious that the guests and employes could hardly get through it. The showman led the way to Jenny's drawing room, exclaiming en route, "I am going to introduce you to an angel, sir, to an angel!" When the singer appeared, wearing a short-sleeved summer dress with low neck, Mr. Field thought she looked pretty substantial for an angel. Indeed, both the daguerreotype Jenny had had taken for Anna Marie in England and one made of her in Philadelphia that fall, show her as almost buxom.

It developed that Jenny had come to America without a formal contract, only the memorandum drawn up in Europe. The three sat down together and had no difficulty in arriving at terms satisfactory to both principals. Thereafter Maunsell Field and his partner, John Jay, were Jenny's legal representatives in the United States.

On Tuesday, Jenny and Barnum, accompanied by Benedict, Belletti, and Josephine Åhmansson, set out in Barnum's carriage to select a hall

-184-

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