"Mr. and Mrs. General Tom Thumb"
On February 10, 1863, "The Little Queen of Beauty" married international celebrity "General Tom Thumb" in a lavish ceremony at New York's fashionable Grace Church. The two performers enjoyed a true romance before announcing their engagement, which Tom Thumb's employer, P. T. Barnum , promoted to the hilt. For weeks before the wedding, crowds of 20,000 or more paid $3,000 a day to see the bride-to-be and her engagement ring. Barnum received 15,000 requests for tickets to the reception (which cost $75 each). On the wedding day, crowds blocked Broadway for hours, and newspapers published pages of detailed descriptions of the "Fairy Wedding," the gifts and the guests, who included New York's most fashionable families. Barnum completed the wedding party with best man "Commodore" George Nutt and Minnie Bump, Lavinia's actual sister, and for years the group toured the globe, eventually reaching Japan, China, Australia, and India. Brady made many carte-de-visite photographs in preparation for the wedding, an arrangement that doubtless profited everyone, including the performers, who sold portraits wherever they appeared.

Charles S. Stratton 1838 - 1883 &
Lavinia Warren Stratton 1841 - 1919
Mathew Brady Studio
Albumen silver print
(carte de visite), 1863
8.5 x 5.5 cm ( 3 3/8 x 2 3/16 inches)
National Portrait Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, D.C.