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The Great Lilliputian Wedding

Creator: n/a
Date: February 21, 1863
Publication: Scientific American
Source: Available at selected libraries

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For some weeks past the public mind of the great metropolis has been considerably stirred by the announcement that a wedding was on the tapis between Charles S. Stratton, better known as "General Tom Thumb" and Miss Lavina Bump, known however, by the more euphonious name of "Lavinia Warren." Lemuel Gulliver in all his peregrinations never saw a more curious pair, and the whole world has never witnessed a marriage ceremony more novel or extraordinary. This little pair came together under the managerial strategy of the renowned showman, P. T. Barnum; and gossip will have it that the moment their tiny eyes first gazed into each other, a warm and loving affection at once sprung up, and the General, perceiving that his hour had come, when, if ever he could realize -- "That only bliss of Paradise which has survived the fall," entered at once upon the pleasing duty of offering his heart and hand, which were both eagerly accepted; and from that hour he regarded himself as no longer a fair little bachelor destined to pine away and die in cold neglect, but would henceforth assume the dignity of a family man, with "buds of promise" opening before him. Like fullgrown lovers each of them "sighed like a furnace," and worked as industriously as two beavers to bring their affections into the legal crucible to be molded into unity for life, just as speedily as money and labor could bring this happy event to pass. Elaborate and costly toilets were prepared, expensive jewels were purchased, and an extensive retinue of clerical gentlemen were set to work to arrange for the nuptial ceremonies. On the 10th inst. the General, with his tiny bride and a host of attendants, walked up the aisle of Grace Church, under the inspiring strains of the organ, as it peeled forth the "Grand March of Tannhauser," and in the presence of a brilliant assemblage of invited guests, were solemnly made "man and wife" by the Episcopal form. After the close of the grand ceremonies, the gay couple returned to their headquarters at one of the most fashionable hotels, arid then received the congratulations of that branch of city society which is sometimes designated as the "cream," but better known as the "codfish aristocracy." Ministers, Generals, Editors, Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, and their wives were on hand, vieing with each other in doing homage to the happy pair, to a degree that might flatter the vanity and excite the pride of an Emperor. The immediate attendants of the bride and groom at the hymenial altar were the renowned Commodore Nutt the miniature man, and Miss Minnie Warren, the bride's sister, who is a perfect little fairy of sixteen years. It is thought even possible that ere this she has struck a chord in the Commodore's generous heart; he is altogether the nicest little chap of his age. Upon the table in the reception room we noticed a case of gorgeous bridal presents; while on the outside of the hotel was the "great unwashed" -- intensely peering into every door, window and stone of the hotel, with an intensified curiosity that would seem almost to penetrate to the most sacred apartment.


Stratton, the bridegroom, is a native of Bridgeport, Conn., and is now 25 years old. According to a biography now before us, he is but 32 inches high and weighs 33 pounds. He has traveled extensively, and feels at home wherever night overtakes him, He is said to own a mammoth residence in Bridgeport, which his wife declares not to be suited to her taste at all, and that she must have a nice snug cottage, and furthermore that she will be mistress of her own house. He has also accumulated a handsome fortune, owns a yacht, is fond of sports, and is withal very careful of his money. Mrs. Stratton, his wife, is a native of Massachusetts, of respectable parentage, and is now 21 years old; she is 32 inches in height, weighs 30 pounds, is well developed, and on the whole a very nice little woman -- not lacking in solid good sense. The parties have known each other for a few weeks only, and we believe it is a fact that the General popped the question on the first time that he found himself left alone in company with the lady.


It is generally admitted, we believe, that these little people have as good a right to marry as the larger folks -- as to the policy of such a match it is too late to offer advice. Suffice it to say that, though they are unquestionably the smallest married pair of human beings on earth, they have created an immense sensation in bringing themselves together.