Following up on yesterday’s advertisement for the Barnum and London Circus, is this advertisement for Adam Forepaugh’s circus appeared in the same newspaper about one year later.
According to Wikipedia:
Forepaugh was different from most of his fellow circus operators at the time. Already independently wealthy when he entered the circus business, he was much less a showman and much more a businessman — a stark contrast to P. T. Barnum and the Ringling Brothers. He was intimately involved in all aspects of the circus business. He would regularly seat himself at the main entrance into the circus, making sure his face was seen by all. Through the 1870’s and into the 1880’s, Forepaugh and P. T. Barnum had the two largest circuses in the nation. Forepaugh actually had more animals than Barnum and generally paid higher salaries to the much-favored European talent. The two men constantly fought each other over rights to perform in the most-favored venues.
They signed truces in 1882, 1884, and 1887, dividing the country into exclusive territories to avoid disputes. But at least twice, they decided to pool their resources and perform together. In 1880, Forepaugh and Barnum combined their shows for a Philadelphia engagement. In 1887, Forepaugh obtained permission to perform in Madison Square Garden, a venue that Barnum considered to be exclusively his. A compromise was negotiated, and once again the two circuses presented a combined performance.
In 1889, Forepaugh sold his circus acts to James A. Bailey and James E. Cooper and he sold his railroad cars to the Ringling Brothers. The Ringlings used the equipment to transform their circus from a small animal-powered production to a huge rail-powered behemoth, which later purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Thus, in liquidating his circus assets, he indirectly contributed to the demise of his arch-rival.
Its probably safe to assume that they also competed to secure the use of Athletic Park in Washington, DC as well.