“Small is beautiful“, some wonderful person once said. “Small, and funnily named is beautifuller“, they probably didn’t add.
So I will.
Mercy Bumpus is the kind of name this blog was founded to admire, and it surprises me it took us so long to finally profile her.
Born Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump, she and her younger sister Huldah Pierce Warren Bump were both born with a form of proportional dwarfism caused by a pituitary disorder that your resident (not-quite-) doctor Dave is probably more qualified to explain.
Regardless of how it happened, it did, but luckily for Mercy and a collection of other people with the same form of dwarfism at the time, the great showman P.T Barnum happened to be around. Under Barnum’s management, Mercy used her singing and dancing talents to gain some fame and eventually (booooo) changed her name to Lavinia Warren.
Her romantic life was also full of funny names and good times. She was pursued by another one of Barnum’s entertainers, the amazingly monikered Commodore Nutt, but eventually Mercy’s heart belonged to Tom Thumb. She married him in an elaborate ceremony where they greeted their arriving guests from atop a grand piano. Ever the profit maker, Barnum sold tickets to the reception for $75 each for the first five thousand to apply. I humbly suggest the title “Under My Thumb” for the eventual Hollywood biopic to be adapted from this article, starring Tom Cruise and whatever lady they find in Hollywood who is shorter than Tom Cruise.
Thumb and Lavinia Warren became a performing duo gaining a huge level of fame. They even got invited to visit President Lincoln at the White House, something I could never expect for myself at this point. Unless ol’ Abe is still haunting the grounds today, that is the one loophole.
So remember kids, no matter what obstacles you may face in life, no matter what strange name they give you, you can still become amazingly successful and famous and visit a really tall president and whatnot. Don’t sell yourselves short!