Friday, April 08, 2011

Eph Thompson #2

2191337282_a9223efe20, originally uploaded by bucklesw1.


Dick Flint said...

Some of the facts in this account, like others about Eph Thompson, are inaccurate. A couple of years back I presented a paper at a Circus Historical Society meeting about some of my preliminary findings regarding his life and I continue to slowly piece together more thanks to many others intrigued by the career of this fascinating performer, especially his great grandson.

Briefly, he was born in Canada to runaway slaves and was assistant head of the Forepaugh show cookhouse shortly before he started working elephants with Adam Forepaugh, Jr., in the 1880s. He received some acknowledgment for presenting a comic boxing elephant routine in the show though this could have been because of his race and not in spite of it. There is nothing to suggest that Forepaugh sold off elephants because his show had any financial difficulties and Thompson definitely did not take any elephants to Europe. Rather, after going to Europe, he trained a group from Hagenbeck, traveled with Hagenbeck’s circus its first year, and later acquired the group himself. From the very late 1880s to the turn of the century he achieved immense success appearing at all the leading European music halls and circuses. He returned to the US for a few years in the early 1900s appearing in vaudeville. He was not stabbed to death but died of TB and is buried in England.
Dick Flint


Thanks, Dick.

Lane Taburt said...

Thanks for posting this information, Dick.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the corrections and your interest in my Great Grandfather.