Lavinia Warren (1841-1919) and Minnie Warren (1849-1878)

Mathew Brady

Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation

Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation
Pleasantville, United States

Mercy Lavinia Bump and Huldah Pierce “Minnie” Bump were from an old Massachusetts family of normal stature. Lavinia first worked as a schoolteacher and then became a showboat chanteuse. Where circus “fat ladies” earned $15 a week and up, depending on their weight, little people could make $100 a week or more. Lavinia had grown to 32 inches when Barnum agreed to hire her (on the condition that she lose the name Bump). Sister Minnie Warren, only 27 inches tall, also joined the Barnum Museum. Lavinia fell in love with and married Barnum’s “Tom Thumb” (Charles Stratton). Minnie married another little person named Major Edward Newell and soon became pregnant. Minnie and the normal-sized baby both died during childbirth.


  • Title: Lavinia Warren (1841-1919) and Minnie Warren (1849-1878)
  • Creator: Mathew Brady
  • Physical Dimensions: Gelatin silver print (printed later), 10" x 8"
  • Provenance: The Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation
  • Subject Keywords: Sideshow
  • Type: Photograph
  • Date: ca. 1865

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