April Fool’s Day is the birthday of George Washington Morrison Nutt (1844-1881). At age 17 New Hampshire native Nutt was hired by P.T. Barnum as a replacement for General Tom Thumb in his American Museum. By this point the General had begun to grow in both physical and social stature. Not only had he been getting taller since 1847, but as an international superstar he was now too grand to present alongside Barnum’s ordinary prodigies. Commodore Nutt was to be the most famous of the many little people Barnum hired to fill the void. After three years at the museum, he toured the world with a troupe led by Tom Thumb.
For more on performing little people please check out Rose’s Royal Midgets and Other Little People in Vaudeville.