Friday, August 2, 2013

General Little Finger

Printed in Lawrence County News, August 29, 1957 in the 25 years ago section. Originally published September 2, 1937
Actual Article:

Samuel Armor, 94, died at the County home near Bridgeport. Deceased was born in Kentucky and so far as known left no surviving relatives. For a number of years Sam traveled with the Barnum Circus and was known as General Little Finger, the smallest man alive. With Charles Trip, the 'armless wonder', and Jimmy Wilson, another midget, both from Olney, General Little Finger was known the world over, having toured the United States and Europe with the famous P. T. Barnum many times.
Researched by KB
Samuel Armor was born March 12, 1842 in Kentucky. His father's name was Samuel, his mother's name was unknown. He died August 25, 1937 at the County home near Bridgeport and is buried in the White House Cemetery. 
For a number of years Sam traveled with the Barnum Circus and was known as General Littlefinger, the smallest man alive. P. T. Barnum had a huge fascination with little people in his shows. He gave them prominent names: Commodore Nutt, Admiral Dot, Major Atom and General Pin. General Tom Thumb became front-page news when he married Lavinia Warren Bump.  While admission to the actual wedding was free, Barnum sold tickets to the reception for $75 each to the first five thousand to apply.
Many people felt that the little people were being exploited, but in the 19th century it was a way of making a living and the stars were handsomely paid for their performance and product endorsements.There was a Baron Little Finger, Lt. Littlefinger, Major Littlefinger and 2 other men who played General Littlefinger besides Samuel Armour.
Charles Tripp was in the famous tandem bicycle photograph with Eli Bowen. Tripp died on January 26, 1930 and is buried in Haven Hill Cemetery in  Olney. Many photographs exist of P T Barnum's actors but none could be found that positively identify Samuel Armour.