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Barnum: Comparing Trump to P.T. dishonors my family name | READER COMMENTARY

Statue of P.T. Barnum, showman-promoter of the mid-1800s, covered in snow outside the Bethel Library in Connecticut. Barnum was a Bethel native. (Hartford Courant)
Statue of P.T. Barnum, showman-promoter of the mid-1800s, covered in snow outside the Bethel Library in Connecticut. Barnum was a Bethel native. (Hartford Courant) (William Leukhardt / Hartford Courant)

Comparing Trump to P.T. Barnum is an affront to all Barnums and grossly unfair to P.T. (”Donald Trump: the authoritarian P.T. Barnum of politics,” Jan. 7)

As a first cousin, I feel personally assailed. P.T. Barnum was an entertainer and empresario extraordinaire who used hyperbole (maybe excessively sometimes) to promote his various attractions but was by no means a con man! While being “Americas’ Greatest Showman,” he was also a giant in character, morals and public service.

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A devout Universalist, P.T. supported women’s movements, was generous, anti-slavery and civic minded. He served multiple terms in the Connecticut state legislature and later as mayor of Bridgeport. At different times, he had considered running for governor and for president against Grover Cleveland.

I think Jennifer Mercieca of Texas A&M University needs to do a little more research before she besmirches someone’s reputation.

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Peter H. Barnum, Glen Arm

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