Cayetano Mariotini: Short time, Big Impact (Part 1)

Cayetano’s time in the United States was relatively short.  From what I have gathered thus far, he arrived in the US via Cuba in 1809.  Upon arrival, Cayetano promptly joined a circus troupe with Victor Adolphus Pépin and Jean Baptiste Casmiere Breschard.  Their’s was an equestrian circus company of known as The Circus of Pépin and Breschard The Circus of Pepin and Breschard is considered the first American circus, and is mentioned in the United States Congresional Record of 1810.  Cayetano was made an apprentice and began touring with the company.  In the following years Pépin and Breschard’s company built circus theatres in cities across the United States, including New York City, New Orleans, Charlestown (Mass.), Baltimore, Richmond, Alexandria, Charleston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.  In addition to the US theaters, they also built a theatre in Montreal, Canada. The oldest continuously operating theatre in the English-speaking world and the oldest theatre in the United States, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, was built by Pépin and Breschard in 1809.  Eventually, Pepin and Breschard made Cayetano a partner and the company became know as The Circus of  Pépin, Breschard and Mariotini.  Circus troupes associated with The Circus of  Pépin, Breschard and Mariotini  were the first to bring a circus west of the Appalachian Mountains to such frontier cities as Pittsburgh, PA, where Benjamin Latrobe, a designer of the United States Capitol, was the architect for a circus he built for them in 1814.  In 1815, Cayetano branched out on his own with New Orleans in his sights.  

File:Breschard the circus rider full.jpg

Portrait of John Bill Ricketts or Breschard, the Circus Rider, circa 1808

National Portrait Gallery, Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)

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