Courrier de Barnum au New York Times
New York Times, November 27, 1864
To the Editor of the New York Times:
In view of the announcement in the morning papers of the attempt to fire my Museum last night, as well as other public buildings, I wish to state the following facts:
- Everyday from sunrise until ten o'clock P.M., I have eleven persons continually on the different floors of the Museum, looking to the comfort of visitors, and ready at a moment's warning to extinguish any fire that might appear. From 10 o'clock at night until sunrise, I have from six to twelve persons in the Museum engaged as watchmen, sweepers, painters, &c.
- I always have a large number of buckets filled with water on and under the stage, and a large firehose always screwed on to be used at a second's notice. I never allow an uncovered light in the Museum, and I heat by steam from a furnace in the cellar.
- As a proof of the efficiency against fire, I submit the fact that instead of "slight damage" being done to the Museum last night, as reported by a morning paper, so speedy was the extinguishment of the flames arising from the liquid ignited on the stairs, that not even a scorch is visible.
- My own sense of security is proved by the fact that I never insure for one-third the value of the Museum property.
- For the safety of visitors in the lecture-room, I long ago opened nine different places of egress, so that the lecture-room, if filled with visitors, could be emptied in from three to five minutes, and the spacious openings to the street in Broadway and Ann street, render mine, I think, as safe a place of amusement as can be found in the world. The Fire Marshal and insurance agents will corroborate this statement.
P. T. BARNUM AMERICAN MUSEUM,
Nov. 26, 1864