P.T. Barnum Letter to the General Assembly

P.T. Barnum Desk
P.T. Barnum
P.T. Barnum Desk
A Letter from the Republican Representative for Fairfield: 1865﹘1866 and 1878﹘1879


Letter to Julius B. Harrison

Clerk of the House of Representatives - 1850

This letter was written by Myron Norton (1788-1853), who became wealthy selling pineapple cheese moulds after obtaining a patent in 1830, describing the device as a "Mould or Instrument for Pressing Pine Apple Cheese". The patent was approved and signed by Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and others. Pineapple shaped cheese was already being marketed in New England, but the process of shaping and scoring the cheese had been done manually. The pineapple was a popular form of expression for hospitality. Norton also served as postmaster in Goshen, Conn.

The Myron Norton House, 1840, is the only stone house in the Goshen Historic District. It is the only Greek Revival house that departs from the usual gable roofed form, having a square plan and hipped roof with monitor; and it has two identical entrances at its cut-away front corners. The columns are said to have been salvaged from the previous church building. Although hipped roofs are found in other substantial houses of the period, the combination of the roof, the columns and cut-away corners, and the stone quoins make this house a highly individual specimen of Greek Revival architecture.

The recipient of this letter, Julius B. Harrison, was born in Cornwall, Conn. in 1819. He was admitted to bar in 1843. Harrison served as Clerk of the Connecticut House of Representatives at the New Haven Statehouse in 1850. He became State Attorney from New Milford in 1852, and served as such until his death on October 10, 1854 (aged 35). Lieut. Colonel Harrison was a member of the 13th Regiment Infantry (formed from Canaan, Sharon, Salisbury, Cornwall, and Kent, except such parts thereof as lie within the society of New Preston).

Marquis de LaFayette Statue

Dedicated November 11, 1932 (a gift of Mrs. Frances Storrs). Paul Wayland Bartlett, sculptor; George Keller, base. This LaFayette statue is a replica of the original that was donated to the people of Paris on July 4, 1908. The bronze copy was fabricated from the plaster cast that had been donated by the artist to the people of Connecticut in 1913.

The bronze statue depicts LaFayette, on horseback with an uplifted sword, leading troops into battle. A small turtle stands near the horse's left hoof. Various theories suggest the turtle may be a coded complaint about the pace of payment to Bartlett, or a secret apology for the pace of the statue's completion. A plaque added to the east side of the monument's base in 1957 bears Lafayette's birth and death dates, and an inscription describing him as "A true friend of liberty, who served as a major general in the Continental Army with 'all possible zeal, without any special pay or allowances' until the American colonists secured their freedom, and whose frequent visits to this state as aide to Washington as liaison officer with supporting French troops, and in the pursuit of freedom, are gratefully remembered." The bronze statue originally stood across Capitol Avenue, but was moved in 1979 to improve traffic flow.

LaFayette Park (Intersection of Capitol Avenue, Washington and LaFayette Streets)

Lafayette Statue

Model Statue of LaFayette in the Capitol, circa 1913

Lafayette Statue in Capitol