Columbus an Asian elephant at U.S.A. unspecified Location

Male ♂ Asian  Columbus at U.S.A. unspecified Location

The Elephant Columbus, The Columbian Centinel, 1817. Notice of importation SHS 82.5 Gift of John Walters
☨ Columbus
ID nr:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Male ♂ 26 years old
Dead date: 1829-03-22
Death reason: unknown:
Location:U.S.A. unspecified Location
ArrivalU.S.A. unspecified Location
from John Miller menagerie
John Miller menagerie 1821-00-00
from Hachaliah Bailey
Born:* 1803 wild
in India unspecified location India
Document updated2012-04-11: text
2012-04-11: text
1817: Came to USA with the ship Columbus from Calcutta.

Records about Columbus from Bob Cline
COLUMBUS 1817 - arrived in US owned by Hachaliah Bailey ( 1st Male in US )
Male Asian 1817 to 1824 - exhibited by himself ( owned by Bailey, Isaac Purdy, and George Brunn )
1824 to 1826 - No records available
1826 - Fogg, Quick, and Mead Menagerie in South Carolina
1827 to 1828 - No records available
Died - March 22, 1829 near Salem, N.C.

The fourth elephant to reach America, Columbus, was landed in Boston in December, 1817. He was exhibited as a single attraction until November, 1818, when he was in Cincinnati with a jaguar and a dromedary. The latter might have been one of the pair we mentioned in (7), since the number of camels in the country remained constant at four until 1828. The dromedary went elsewhere after March, 1820, and Columbus and the jaguar toured as a team for the next few years. It was the usual custom to combine these two specimens with other collections in the winter. In February, 1823, as an example, they were in Philadelphia with a llama and other animals. At this stand the advertisements said that the breath of the llama would cure whooping cough in children. One suspects that any child held up to the breath of a llama would forget any other ills. The jaguar was identified as a South American panther at this same stand. It was the last time it and Columbus were shown together. The great elephant went on as a single exhibit.

A History of the Traveling Menagerie by Stuart Thayer,

Also in 1817, Hachaliah and his two partners paid $8000 for a six-year-old male elephant, named Columbus for the ship on which he was transported. He was exhibited in Boston on December 13th according to this ad in the Columbian Centinel (13) , which claims it to be the only elephant in America at the time. Columbus later was sold or leased to other traveling shows, including J.R and William Howe of North Salem, and James Raymond of Carmel, both New York towns near Somers. Columbus lived until 1851, when he fell through a bridge in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Beasts and Ballyhoo, The Menagerie Men of Somers by Terry Ariano

Reference list

Koehl, D., (2020). Columbus, an Asian at U.S.A. unspecified Location in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 31 October 2020 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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