This Week in the Civil War - 505

Feb 13, 2013

On February 13, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln took time off from the Civil War to host a wedding reception at the Executive Mansion for the entertainer Tom Thumb and his new bride, Lavinia Warren. 

Born as Charles Sherwood Stratton on January 3, 1838, Tom Thumb stopped growing normally at 6 months of age.  As an adult, he stood at around 2 1/2 feet.  Discovered by distant relative P.T. Barnum, Thumb was taught to sing, dance, mime and impersonate famous people, including Napoleon Bonaparte. 

He toured Europe throughout the 1840s and became an international sensation. He even appeared before the British Royal Family.  Thumb’s February 10, 1863 wedding to Warren, who stood at identical height, had been a front page affair in New York attended by over 2,000 well wishers.