Ann E. Leak, Born Without Arms
The Wild Australian Children
Tom Thumb
Ann E. Leak
Annie Jones
Eli Bowen
Millie & Christine
Waino & Plutano
The Magri Family
Circassian Beauties
Admiral Dot
Laloo the Hindoo
I. W. Sprague
Freddie the Armless Wonder
Major Willie Ray
The Autobiography of Miss Ann E. Leak
  Ann E. Leaks Born Without Arms

Ann E. Leak was born in Georgia on December 23, 1839. In spite of a prediction by her mother's physician that she would die within a few days, she survived. While behind other's her age in learning to walk she eventually learned to use her feet as most use their hands. She became so adept at using her feet she could skillfully sew and braid hair.
Like many, her family lost their money and livelihood during the Civil War, so Miss Leak provided financially for both herself and them. For a while she gave classes in braiding, but the money wasn't enough to support both her and her parents, so she, reluctantly at first, chose to exhibit her skills.
Her first gig was at Barnum's American Museum, something that she found difficult. But she accepted this way of life and, as she says in her autobiography,

Only the conviction that it seemed best reconciled me to it. My lot was not one of my own choosing, but such as Providence had assigned me, and my feet seemed to be directed in the path that I was about to tread. It is the doom of man that his sky should never be altogether without clouds.
She traveled around the East under the name Ann E. Leak Born Without Arms and while being taken advantage of a few times, for the most part, those she met in her travels treated her very well. She eventually married and traveled under the name Ann Leak Thompson.
On the reverse of this Carte-de-Visites, Miss Leak has signed,
This is a specimen of toe writing. Ann E. Leak Born without arms. Zebulon, Pike Co. Georgia. Aug. 1, 1871.

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