Adam Forepaugh

From the list of elephant persons Family: Forepaugh

Adam Forepaugh
Adam  Forepaugh

Personal details
Country United States

Title owner 1865-1889
Location at Adam Forepaugh Circus in United States

Title owner 1865
Location at The Great National Circus in United States

Title owner 1865
Location at Dan Rice Circus in United States

Biography details

Adam Forepaugh , circus owner in United States

Born 1831-02-28 in United States dead 1890-01-20 in United States .

Adam Forepaugh (February 28, 1831-January 20, 1890) was an entrepreneur, businessman, and circus owner. He owned and operated a circus from 1865 through 1890 under various names including Forepaugh´s Circus, The Great Forepaugh Show, The Adam Forepaugh Circus, and Forepaugh & The Wild West.

In 1864, Forepaugh sold 44 horses to John Pogey O'Brien for $9,000 so he could start the Tom King Excelsior Circus. When O´Brien could not repay the loan, Forepaugh assumed partial ownership of the circus, getting him into the circus business, where he would make his most lasting impression.

The next year, he and O´Brien purchased the Jerry Mabie Menagerie and created two circuses with their combined assets: The Great National Circus and the Dan Rice Circus. Forepaugh soon sold the Great National Circus and put the Dan Rice Circus under his own name Adam Forepaugh Circus.

In 1889, Forepaugh sold his circus acts to James A. Bailey and James E. Cooper and he sold his railroad cars to the Ringling Brothers. The Ringlings used the equipment to transform their circus from a small animal-powered production to a huge rail-powered behemoth, which later purchased the Barnum & Bailey circus. Thus, in liquidating his circus assets, he indirectly contributed to the demise of his arch-rival.

He had one child, Adam Forepaugh, Jr., an elephant trainer. He once commented that he would prevail over Barnum because "I have a boy and Mr. Barnum has none. My show will outlast his." Ultimately, although Adam, Jr. worked in his father´s circus and executed his estate, he did not follow him in the circus business.


Total: 1 children

  1. Adam Forepaugh Jr..

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). owner Adam Forepaugh in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 13 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • Page 32-35, 50, Elefanten in Zoo und Circus, Dokumentation 2 Nordamerika, 1997, by European Elephant Group: Haufellner, Schilfarth, Schweiger Bob Cline, Cheraw, South Carolina, United States. Hoage, Deiss, From Menagerie to Zoological Park in the Nineteenth Century, page 103

Selected publications

Links about Adam Forepaugh Jr.

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Categories owner | circus | Adam Forepaugh Circus | Forepaugh family | Born 1831 | Dead 1890 | People from United States

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