John Bill Rickets
Washington comes to view
America's first circus.*
I bet the child in George came too.
It was in Philadelphia at a circus organized by the British equestrian John Bill Rickets [shown above] who performed a variety of dextrous feats on horseback. Animals at the time were not a staple at circuses. One exception was, of course, the horse. Rickets' horse, Complanter, became the first animal circus star. Adding another milestone, Rickets eventually hired John Durang the first circus clown in America.
Filed under: History by day