Talcott Seelye sent a query about the relationship of his ancestor Seth Seelye to the Nathaniel Seeley who married one of P.T. Barnum’s daughters. Before this query made the rounds of our query team Talcott sent this information… The Nathan Seelye referred to below is SGS #640.
‘My direct ancestor, “Squire Nathan” Seelye, born in 1766, located his family in Bethel, CT. He was the one who changed the name Seeley to Seelye. One of his sons was Seth (SGS #2056), my ancestor, who married Abigail Taylor and fathered the famous college Presidents Julius and Laurenus. Seth had a brother named George (SGS #2059) who decided to change the name back to Seeley! One of George’s sons was named Nathan who in 1867 married one of P.T. Barnum’s two daughters, Pauline Taylor. (Barnum had no sons.) They in turn had two sons, one of whom was named Clinton Hallet Seeley. When Barnum died, having no sons, he left the bulk of his estate to Clinton. However, he had one condition: Clinton had to change his name to C. Barnum Seeley in order to perpetuate the name of this great circus impresario.
Barnum’s brother hosted a bachelor party for C. Barnum at Sherry’s restaurant in New York on the eve of his marriage. The featured attraction was the belly dancer “Little Egypt”. Since “Little Egypt” had previously posed in the nude for artists, word immediately got out that she was dancing in the nude at this party. Police arrived and broke up the party. It became known as “The Awful Seeley Dinner”. Oscar Hammerstein wrote a musical entitled “Silly’s Dinner” based on the putative nude entertainment by “Little Egypt”….’
Talcott says he got all this from a variety of sources.