A high-res scan of a carte de visite (cdv) of Charles S. Stratton (aka Gen. Tom Thumb) and Lavinia Warren, married at Grace Church in N.Y. City on February 10, 1863. They were celebrity superstars of their day and the marriage and reception were attended by thousands and covered by the major newspapers. Afterwards, they traveled to Washington D.C. and met President Lincoln.
This original cdv is from my own collection – obtained from that well-known auction site for about $10. This image was 1st published in 1863 and is currently in the public domain.
Below is an 1863 article on the marriage reception, from the Library of Congress digitized newspaper collection:
The Daily Green Mountain Freeman
MONTPELIER, VERMONT. SATURDAY, FEB. 14, 1863
Tom Thumb’s marriage – The Reception
and Serenade, – Immediately after the performance of the marriage ceremony in Grace Church, on Tuesday, Gen. Tom Thumb and his bride, with their attendants, proceeded to the Metropolitan Hotel, where the reception was to take place. The ceremony and the serenade in the evening we find thus described :
"Four parlors were thrown open on the 2nd floor, in the largest one of which the General and his lady, Commodore Nutt and Miss Minnie Warren, received the guests, standing on a carpeted platform which extended down the side of the room. Visitors entered at one door, shook hands with the bride and bridegroom, and were then passed through and out into the parlors beyond, where the bridal presents were displayed. Following the same order, they proceeded along in line by a large glass case, which contained all the smaller articles, and then, having arrived at the end of the show, broke into groups or took their way back again, each lady receiving an elegant little box of cake as she passed out of the door. The reception was announced from one until three o’clock, but it was dark before the handshaking was over, and then crowds lingered unwilling to quit the scene of attraction; and in truth it was not surprising; doubtless the little people were weary enough before it was concluded and in fact the finale was announced by General Tom Thumb himself, who assisted his bride from the platform, declaring that he had had enough of this, and wanted his dinner. But the throngs present did not realize this; they had come to see the show, and their amusement consisted partly in gazing at each other. Such a motley crowd – merchants, doctors, lawyers, artists, authors, and many persons – actors, actresses, and others – who are rarely seen in public assemblages, and, if recognized, become at once the most intense objects of interest.
In the evening the newly married pair were serenaded by the brand new York Excelsior band, drawing an immense crowd in front of the Metropolitan Hotel. In response to repeated calls the little general came out on the balcony and made the following speech, amid deafening applause:
Ladies and Gentlemen l thank you most sincerely for this and many other tokens of kindness showered upon me today. After being for more than twenty years before the public I little expected at this late day to attract so much attention. Indeed, if I had not become a family man I should never have known how high I stood in public favor, and I assure you I appreciate highly and am truly grateful for this evidence of your esteem and consideration. I am soon off for foreign lands, but I shall take with me the pleasant recollection of your kindness today. But ladies and gentlemen, a little woman in the adjoining apartment is very anxious to see me, and I must therefore make this speech, like myself, short. I kindly thank the Amazing band of music for its melody, the sweetness of which is only exceeded by my anticipations of happiness in the brand new life before me.
And currently ladies and gentlemen, wishing you all health and happiness, I bid you all a cordial not bad night."
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