In The Spotlight
JAMES WASHINGTON MYERS
Jim Myers (1823-1892) was an American equestrian and circus entrepreneur who began his career in the United States, went on to perform in Great Britain and subsequently became a very successful circus impresario in Europe—where the Great American Circus he created there toured extensively, and where he even established a resident circus in Paris.
But Myers was an ambitious and enterprising young man, and in 1854, he entered a partnership with Henry P. Madigan (1815-1862), a fellow equestrian who had worked with him for Aaron Turner, and together they created the Myers & Madigan’s Railroad Circus. Myers worked as a clown in their show; he would later marry his partner’s daughter, Rose Madigan (1839-1907), a talented equestrienneA female equestrian, or horse trainer, horse presenter, or acrobat on horseback. in her own right, who was sixteen years his junior.
The Myers & Madigan Railroad Circus, which was one of the earliest circuses traveling by rail, became Howes Menagerie and Myers & Madigan Circus in 1855, when the partners entered an association with Seth B. Howes (1815-1901)—himself a pioneer of the American traveling circus and a former associate of Aaron Turner. This combine was short-lived however, and the following year, Myers went on the road without partners, with his own Jim Myers’ Circus. European Travels.
This experience may not have been as successful as intended: In 1857, Jim rejoined Seth B. Howes as a performer, and went with Howes & Cushing Circus (owned by Seth B. Howes and Joseph Cushing) on to a tour of Great Britain, along with thirteen-year-old Rose Madigan—whom Myers would later marry in England. Advertised either as Great United-States Circus or Great American Circus, Howes & Cushing Circus was extremely successful in England and Scotland, fending off profitably a fierce competition with the English circus king, "Lord" John Sanger.... (more...)
- William Vos, Animal Trainer
- Jürg Jenny, Animal Trainer
- Kio, Magician
- Dimitri, Clown
- Oleg Popov, Clown
- Gia Eradze's The Fabergé Eggs, Quick Change Act
- Bello Nock, Clown Enrtrée (2011)
- Giffords Circus Promotional Video (2018)
- Flag Circus of China, Lasso Act (2017)
- Marcel Krämer, Donkey Act (2019)
New Oral Histories
- Vladimir Durov Documentary on Russian Television (c.2000)
- Dolly Jacobs Interview at The Ringling (2018)
- Pinito del Oro's Interview on Spanish Television (1970)
- Gia Eradze's Interview on SSU TV (2015)
- Rosa Bouglione's interview on Franch Television (2012)
- Philip Astley & The Horsemen who invented the Circus, by Dominique Jando (2018)
A Message from the Editor
CIRCOPEDIA is a constantly evolving and expanding archive of the international circus. New videos, biographies, essays, and documents are added to the site on a weekly—and sometimes daily—basis. Keep visiting us: even if today you don't find what you're looking for, it may well be here tomorrow! And if you are a serious circus scholar and spot a factual or historical inaccuracy, do not hesitate to contact us: we will definitely consider your remarks and suggestions.
- Dominique Jando
- Founder and Curator