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The Life of Joice Heth, the Nurse of Gen. George Washington, (The Father of our Country) Now Living at the Astonishing Age of 161 Years

Auction:
2764B
Lot:
391
Sold for:
$2,706$2,200

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Auction:
Books & Manuscripts - 2764B
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
November 16, 2014 10:00AM

Description:

The Life of Joice Heth, the Nurse of Gen. George Washington, (The Father of our Country) Now Living at the Astonishing Age of 161 Years, and Weighs Only 46 Pounds. New York: Printed for the Publisher, 1835.
Octavo pamphlet, six leaves, disbound, some foxing and toning, 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.
P.T. Barnum had just purchased Joice Heth for display in August of 1835. This pamphlet was likely issued in conjunction with Barnum's show. In a rather ghastly display of 19th century exploitation, Barnum, in response to great public misgivings regarding Heth's actual age, held a public autopsy after her death which attracted 1,500 spectators. The surgeon declared Heth's actual age to have been about eighty years. Additionally, there seems to be no evidence that she ever served as Washington's nurse.
Estimate $200-300


The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.

Keywords

Joice Heth, George Washington, Nurse of Gen. George Washington, surgeon, nurse

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