The Fejee Mermaid was acquired by American sea captain
Samuel Barrett Eades in 1822 in the East Indies. He traded his
vessel which wasn't his to trade for the dried specimen
from Dutch merchants, who claimed to have received it from Japanese
Upon his return
to London, Eades exhibited the mermaid in 1822 at the Turf Coffeehouse
on St.James's Street. From 1825 to 1842, the mermaid's whereabouts
are unknown, though several 'fake' mermaids were said to be touring
during this period.
Mermaid resurfaced in 1842 on the other side of the Atlantic with
Moses Kimball, proprietor of the Boston Museum, who took it to
New York City to show his friend, legendary showman P.T.Barnum.
Barnum struck a deal with Kimball to lease the mermaid for $12.50
per week. Calling it "The Fejee Mermaid," Barnum advertised
the specimen as The Missing Link Between Humans and Fish when
it was exhibited at Barnum's American Museum.
Sent on tour
through the South in 1843, Barnum was forced to cut short the
itinerary when enraged residents of Charleston threatened to destroy
the evil exhibit. "The Fejee Mermaid" returned to Barnum's American Museum, which
was ravaged by fire in 1865. The mermaid was belived destroyed but no proof
was found either way.
there have been conflicting accounts of the mermaid reputedly
being rescued from a pile of debris by a fireman.
But who is