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Brother Charles S. Stratton

AKA General Tom Thumb
born: January 4, 1838
died: July 15, 1883

May 3, 1898

The Master, [William R. Mitchell], in a few well chosen remarks presented the Lodge in behalf of Mrs. M. Lavinia Margi a Masonic lambskin which was presented to Bro. Charles S. Stratton (Gen. Tom Thumb) by a masonic lodge in Canada in 1863. The apron at that time was said to be 130 years old.


Excerpt from the The Meriden Daily Republican without permission

Tom Thumbs Funeral
Escorted to the Grave by Knights Templar–His Character and End.
Middleboro, July 19 [1883]

The funeral of General Tom Thumb took place yesterday. Every effort had been made to have it as quiet as possible, and no display was made. The body, which has been embalmed, was enclosed in a walnut casket covered with broadcloth and trimmed with Masonic emblems. The plate bore the simple inscription: “Charles S. Stratton, aged 45 years.” The services were conducted by the Rev. Dr. Fairbanks. The Mayflower Lodge of Masons escored the body to the train which conveyed it to Bridgeport.

Upon their arrival in Bridgeport last evening the remains were taken in charge by the encampment of Knights Templar, of which the famous dwarf was a member. The interment took place in Grove cemetery this morning.

Major Newell, yesterday, related the circumstances of Tom Thumb's death: “The General has been for the past two weeks somewhat indisposed. Sunday morning early he came into my room, approached my bed, and, waking me up, crawled into bed with me. After a little conversation he fell into a sort of drowse. Soon after he got up and retired to his own sleeping apartment. The General's brother-in-law went to his room at about 8.30 o'clock and announced breakfast. The General responded, saying he would get up. The brother had taken but a few steps from the door when I heard a fall. I at once ran into the room and found it was the General, lying partly dressed on the floor in the agonies of death. We at once lifted him upon the bed, when he gave one or two spasmodic breaths and died.”

It is related of the dwarf by one who knew him well that his masonry was deficient and he had no conversational powers. He never read books or newspapers, but employed all his leisure in smoking or playing billiards.

He dearly loved a horse, and over diamonds he went wild. He at one time owned a great many diamonds and horses. He smoked several strong cigars a day, but he never as an intemperate drinker.

His married life was truly a happy life. The dwarf couple had more pleasant conjugal relations than the average of grownup people. His wife knew how to handle him; she had tact, and everything went smoothly. He was a perfect man physically and had more strength than the average full-grown man, but his muscles were flabby because he wouldn't exercise. He would at first sit or ride when at leisure, but the riding he didn't like, because wherever he went a crowd of boys followed him. And he couldn't walk much; it was difficult for him to keep up with an ordinary man, and then there was the usual interfering crowd pointing at and sometimes jibing him. So he sat down, smoked, played billiards, ate and grew fat. He was always healthy and pleasant. This sort of existence could haye but one end.

tom_thumb_apron.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/01 02:55 (external edit)