‘This Way To The John’–Ernie Newton And Maria Pereira As A Jeopardy Question

In 1888, P.T. Barnum paraded elephants to test the strength of new Stratford Avenue bridge. Barnum is center white hair. Just think how he’d showcase Ernie Newton and Maria Pereira. Photo courtesy Bridgeport History Center.

Perhaps it should be a jeopardy question: two politicians issued pissing contests in this Connecticut city.

We know City Councilman Ernie Newton came up negative for a variety of substances. Board of Education member Maria Pereira also had her urine processed at a North End lab. We’re awaiting the results.

Meanwhile CT Post scribe Ethan Fry shares this nugget:

“P.T. Barnum was once the mayor of this most populous Connecticut city.”

A little before halfway through the March 19 episode’s first round, three-day champion Lindsey Shultz selected the $1,000 clue in the “U.S. Cities” category. It didn’t end well.

Challenger Megan McAllen, a D.C. lawyer, quickly rang in.

“What is Hartford?”

Oh boy.

Full story here.

Hmmm, ya think Mr. Barnum would have toured Ernie and Maria around the world?

“This way to the john.”



  1. I am always fascinated by “Barnum’s Rules for Success in Business” which were contained in his autobiography (1854):
    1. Select the KIND of business that suits your natural inclinations and temperament.
    2. Let your pledged word ever be sacred.
    3. Whatever you do, do it with all your might.
    4. Sobriety. Use no description of intoxicating drinks.
    5. Let hope predominate, but be not too visionary.
    6. Do not scatter your powers.
    7. Engage proper employees.
    8. Advertise your business. Do not hide your light under a bushel.
    9. Avoid extravagance; and always live considerably within your income, if you can do so
    without absolute starvation.
    10. Do not depend upon others.

    P T Barnum was a man of many words, both written and spokenT. Each of the rules listed was followed by explanations of his concepts. And he closed:
    “With proper attention to the foregoing rules, and such observations as a man of sense will pick up in his own experience, the road to competence will not, I think, usually be found a difficult one.”
    Time does tell.

  2. Here is a portion of PT Barnum life that is never mention, Barnum’s time as a Connecticut State elected official.

    Democratic (1824-1854) Republican (1854-1891)

    P. T. Barnum’s speech on “Negro Suffrage,” May 26, 1865 (excerpts)

    Negro slavery, and its legitimate outgrowths of ignorance, tyranny and oppression, have caused this gigantic rebellion, which has cost our country thousands of millions of treasure, and hundreds of thousands of human lives in defending a principle. And where was this poor, down-trodden colored race in this rebellion? Did they seize the “opportunity” when their masters were engaged with a powerful foe, to break out in insurrection, and massacre those tyrants who had so long held them in the most cruel bondage? No, Mr. Speaker, they did not do this. My “Democratic” friends would have done it. I would have done it. Irishmen, Chinamen, Portuguese, would have done it; any white man would have done it; but the poor black man is like a lamb in his nature compared with the white man. The black man possesses a confiding disposition, thoroughly tinctured with religious enthusiasm, and not characterized by a spirit of revenge. No, the only barbarous massacres we heard of, during the war, were those committed by their white masters on their poor, defenceless white prisoners, and to the eternal disgrace of southern white “Democratic” rebels, be it said, these instances of barbarism were numerous all through the war. When this rebellion first broke out, the northern Democracy raised a hue-and-cry against permitting the negroes to fight; but when such a measure seemed necessary, in order to put down traitors, these colored men took their muskets in hand and made their bodies a wall of defence for the loyal citizens of the North. And now, when our grateful white citizens ask from this assembly the privilege of deciding by their votes whether these colored men, who at least, were partially our saviours in the war, may or may not, under proper restrictions, become participants in that great salvation, I am amazed that men calling themselves Democrats dare refuse to grant this democratic measure. We wish to educate ignorant men, white or black. Ignorance is incompatible with the genius of our free institutions. In the very nature of things it jeopardizes their stability, and it is always unsafe to transgress the laws of nature. We cannot safely shut ourselves up with ignorance and brutality; we must educate and Christianize those who are now by circumstances our social inferiors.

    Years ago, I was afraid of foreign voters. I feared that when Europe poured her teeming millions of working people upon our shores, our extended laws of franchise would enable them to swamp our free institutions, and reduce us to anarchy. But much reflection has satisfied me that we have only to elevate these millions and their descendants to the standard of American citizenship, and we shall find sufficient of the leaven of liberty in our system of government to absorb all foreign elements and assimilate them to a truly democratic form of government.

    Mr. Speaker: We cannot afford to carry passengers and have them live under our government with no real vital interest in its perpetuity. Every man must be a joint owner.

      1. Lennie, I must say that have a lot of mix feelings and I’m deeply troubled by PT Barnum, Barnum guiding principle was to create a spectrum of freakishness outside the boundaries of white middle-class normalcy, all around the world Barnum travel with the image of blacks looking like freaks. I’m troubled with the Bridgeport Barnum Festival, there’s no acknowledgement of anything concerning blacks.

        PT Barnum was a product of his time but Barnum later in his life was not afraid of talking about race and trying to make an effort to make changes through legislation. Bridgeport Barnum Festival in all of these ears has had only one black ringmaster, Peter Hurst. There is a whole other side of PT Barnum that needs to be told besides being a showman.

        Race and Race Relations in P.T. Barnum’s New York City

  3. Lennie, I have not come across anything that shows outrage about PT Barnum’s views and comments about blacks, not even the NAACP and especially here in Bridgeport. Lennie, look at what happen this weekend. To me Barnum acts are worse than Kate Smith.

    “The Philadelphia Flyers remove a statue of Kate Smith over her racist songs”
    By Doug Criss, Jill Martin and Eric Levenson, CNN

    Updated 3:00 PM ET, Sun April 21, 2019


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