Cardiff Giant being exhumed on August 16, 1869
In 1869, New York cigar maker George Hull had a block of gypsum carved into the likeness of a man over 10 feet tall. It was artificially aged, then buried on the Cardiff, N.Y., farm of Hull's confederate and cousin in the scheme, William Newell, who then arranged for it to be "discovered" by workmen digging a well on his property. Its discovery was heralded as a great geological find of a huge petrified man, and proof of the Genesis verse: "There were giants on the earth in those days…" People, including the rich, and powerful, and famous individuals of the day flocked in great numbers from all over the Nation to see the giant for a mere 50 cent admission charge. When showman, P. T. Barnum, saw the large crowds paying money to see the giant, he decided he wanted to buy it to put in his museum of oddities. When Hull and his financier, banker David Hannum refused Barnum's offer of $30,000.00 to buy it, Barnum simply had a copy made and declared their giant to be a phony and declared his giant to be the original.