Circus: Pepin & Breschard Circus, 1806-1812

Dsc02577a2 Victor Pepin and Jean Breschard banded together in 1807. Their circus incorporated many famous performers of the day including The Manfredi Troupe, Peter the African, Thomas Stewart, and Cayetano Mariotini. They implemented classic circus routines such as Metamorphosis, Flying Mercury, and Tailor Riding to Brentford. They also performed pantomimes but maintained their focus on more typical circus acts such as feats of horsemanship and human gility. In 1814, with their cast of equestrians, clowns, rope dancers, and musicians, the circus ventured westward. It was the first circus to go west of the Appalachian Mountains, a territory still considered unsettled at the time. At that point, incorporating Cayetano Mariotini as a co-proprietor, Pepin, Breschard and Cayetano established a recedent of venturing west and bringing the circus to the edge of charted territory. The advent of railroad transportation in the mid-nineteenth century would allow circuses like Barnum and Ringling Bros. to establish regular routes throughout the western states. But even before tracks were laid, or circus cars were invented, Pepin, Breschard, and Cayetano saw the west as the frontier for the American Circus.

(Victor Pepin and John Breschard, proprietors, 1806-1812)

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