In his autobiography, P. T. Barnum said: In 1849 I had projected a great traveling museum and menagerie, and, as I had neither time nor inclination to manage such a concern, I induced Mr. Seth B. Howes, justly celebrated as a ‘showman,’ to join me, and take the sole charge. Mr. Sherwood E. Stratton, father of General Tom Thumb, was also admitted to partnership, the interest being in thirds.P. T. Barnum
For this show Barnum imported nine elephants from Ceylon. (After the show P. T. Barnum only kept one elephant, Old Josh.)
1851-05-04: The elephants arrived on May 4, 1851 and the show opened the next day.
1851-1852: Titled Barnums Asiatic Caravan, Museum and Menagerie in 1851 and 1852.
1853-1854: Titled P. T. Barnums Grand Colossal Museum and Menagerie.