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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tom Thumb Day

On this day, January 4th in the year 1838 a man named Charles Sherwood Stratton was born. Stratton became better known as his stage name of "General Tom Thumb". Tom Thumb was a dwarf who lived to see great fame as he performed in the P.T. Barnum circus.

Stratton was born to a carpenter Sherwood Edward Stratton and his wife. Sherwood Stratton's wife was also his first cousin. Charles Stratton who would later be known as "Tom Thumb" had grandmothers on both sides that were small twin girls. His own parents were of medium height and at birth Charles was it seemed a large baby. For the first 6 months Tom Thumb would grow normally but he would suddenly stop growing. The doctor was consulted and it was determined that he would never reach normal height. Tom Thumb had siblings that were average in size but for himself he would only grow one inch between six months and 4 years of age.

The circus leader Barnum heard the story of his distant relative's Stratton. Barnum would contact Tom Thumb's parents and then teach him to sing, dance, mime, and do impersonations. Barnum and the father of the young boy would become partners. Tom Thumb would take a tour of America by the young age of five. The next year he would go on tour in Europe even appearing before the queen. Tom Thumb would see 3 years in Europe before returning to America where his popularity had grown.

Tom Thumb would have a full life including fame, a young wife  a father,and a rich man before passing away at the young age of 45.

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