1756 ca1836, Feb 19
an African-American slave who was exhibited by P. T. Barnum with the false claim that she was the 161-year-old nursing "mammy" of George Washington. Little is known of Heth's early years. In 1835 she was held as a slave by John S. Bowling and exhibited in Louisville, Kentucky. In June 1835, she was sold to promoters R.W. Lindsay and Coley Bartram. Lindsay introduced her as having been the childhood nurse of George Washington, but, lacking success, he sold her in her old age to PT Barnum. Posters advertising her shows in 1835 included the lines, "Joice Heth is unquestionably the most astonishing and interesting curiosity in the World!"
 Gallery (2)


A poster advertising Joice Heth as an exhibit
 Notes (3)
'The Greatest Showman' Sidesteps P.T. Barnum’s Most Controversial Act:
Joice Heth:
Museum of Hoaxes
The Joice Heth Exhibit:
The Lost Museum Archive
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