Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dan Rice

Civil War Who’s Who: Dan Rice
Dan Rice was the first truly great American clown. His first circus appearance was in 1844 in Galena, Illinois, earning him $15 a week. Gradually his popularity became so great that by 1862, he was earning $1000 a week, twice as much as President Lincoln. Rice and Lincoln were good friends, as were Rice and Jefferson Davis. A philanthropist, Rice gave generously to charities and erected one of the first monuments to soldiers killed during the Civil War. His traditional costume consisted of red, white and blue striped tights, a star spangled cloak, a top hat and chin whiskers, the regalia that would later be associated with “Uncle Sam”.