Bridgeport, Connecticut: Bridgeport Hospital, 1890. Envelope or Cover.
This one-page letter, dated Jun 12 1890, is written on illustrated stationery that features an image of Bridgeport Hospital. P. T. Barnum’s name stands at the top the list of hospital officers as the institution’s “President”. Crosby is identified as the institution’s “Superintendent.” The letter is in nice shape.
In addition to serving as the hospital’s superintendent, Crosby was a champion chicken breeder who entered and won contests throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England. He also served as the Vice-President of the American Poultry Association. In this letter to important chicken breeder and competitor, W. W. Smith, he bluntly informs a potential customer that
“The hen you wanted is dead. I have lost since Feb in one way or another 10 birds that were worth a good deal of money - 2 were killed by a dog that were wonders – I inclose your samples of feathers from one of them - the Underhill is out with 3 or 4 of my best ones and a fine cock being bred from – I shall have to leave them with the man till next fall. As he wants to get all the chickens he can from them I have nothing that you want that I can spare just now . . ..”. Very good. Item #009399
While P. T. Barnum is most remembered for his incomparable showmanship, he was also a civic-minded politician who did much for Connecticut, especially Bridgeport. He served two terms as a Republican representative in the Connecticut Legislature where he was a strong supporter of the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in the United States. He also served as the Mayor of Bridgeport where he worked hard to improve the water supply, bring gas lighting to streets, and enforce liquor and prostitution laws. It was during this time that he was instrumental in the founding of Bridgeport Hospital and subsequently served as its first president as shown on this letterhead.