James F. O'Connel

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James F. O'Connel was allegedly the first tattooed man to be exhibited in the United States. He was one of the original human oddities at Barnum's American Museum where he was later succeeded by Constantine in 1873. As with most museum and sideshow attractions, O'Connel sold a pitch book to supplement his income. His booklet entitled, The Life and Adventures of James F. O'Connel, the Tattooed Man, During a Residence of Eleven Years in New Holland and Caroline Islands (1846) chronicled the adventures, after the fashion set by Cabri and Rutherford, that led to his being tattooed.

There is some evidence to suggest he may have been exhibited at the museum prior to Barnum's takeover in 1841, which would make Barnum not, as is often claimed, the first person to exhibit a tattooed person in the USA.

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