Why would anyone want to pay $150 a ticket to hear somebody sing “Home Sweet Home,” or ” I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” especially when the concert was sponsored by the world’s greatest huckster? It was a concert which almost didn’t happen, a near miss on one of P.T. Barnum’s most famous national tours and promotions. The episode began when a steamboat nosed in at the St. Louis levee before sunup on a Friday morning. It arrived early to avoid a large crowd. The singer and her escort were quickly taken to the nearby Planter’s House, the most Prominent hotel in St. Louis. She was Jenny Lind and she was in St. Louis for a series of concerts.

AOWM – March 18