Joice Heth Poster, 1835
In late 1835 and the first weeks of 1836, Americans in cities and towns across the northeast might have seen this poster advertising the exhibit of Joice Heth, an elderly African-American woman. The poster's text provided one enticement to the curious by highlighting Heth's connection to the revered George Washington. The poster's crude woodcut image, depicting a woman with a wizened face and talon-like nails, tempted onlookers to see for themselves the curiosity of her extreme age. Unlike Barnum's later human exhibits, who were photographed fairly often, this is one of only two images of Heth that remain.
Source: Somers Historical Society