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Esau Woman

Annie Jones – Esau Infant – Esau Girl – Esau Woman

Who was Esau Woman?

Annie Jones was born with hirsutism in Virginia on 14 July 1865. She suffered from Hirsutism (excessive hair growth in unusual places for women). Annie Jones was born with a chin covered in fine hair; this appearance actually horrified her parents. Hirsutism was not known in the society at that time and hirsutism was considered as something very unusual for women.

It was not long, however, before the monetary benefits of their prodigious daughter dawn on the Jones family and word of her unique hirsute appearance came to the attention of elite showman P. T. Barnum. Annie Jones’ parents made the very strange decision of exhibiting little hirsute Annie at the age of 9 months under the name “The Infant Esau”. This initiative was financially very effective for parents – they received pretty impressive weekly salary of 150 USD (at that time it was a lot of money!).

Annie Jones
The famous hirsute girl, so called “Bearded Girl” grew up to become the country’s top bearded lady and spokesperson for P. T. Barnum’s “Freaks” a word she tried to abolish from the business. She had intensive hirsutism which was used by show people.

When Annie Jones was little (1-2 year old), she was brought to New York City to be featured in Barnum’s museum as “The Infant Esau”. The name “Esau” was often applied to hirsute wonders and was in reference to the biblical grandson of Abraham, brother of Jacob. Esau’s name in Hebrew means ‘hairy’, and, according to Genesis 25:25, it is a reference to his hairiness at birth.

Actually from very young age Annie Jones started a very unusual career – demonstrating hirsutism. After an initial short but very successful run, Mr. P. T. Barnum offered Annie’s parents a three year contract, allotting Annie a weekly salary of 150 USD. Unfortunately the parents accepted the offer and used small hirsute Annie as money making “machine”. It was extraordinary chance for parents to make money and they decided to take the permanent residency in New York with hirsute daughter. The first year was very successful but later a family emergency called Mrs. Jones back to Virginia and she left small Annie Jones in the care of Mr. P. T. Barnum who selected a nanny for the girl. During this time, Annie was kidnapped by a local phrenologist who attempted to exhibit hirsute girl privately. Luckily Annie was soon located in upstate New York, the kidnapper dealt with and Annie was quickly back in the custody of Mrs. Jones – who forevermore stayed in close proximity to her daughter during her career. Later the famous photographer Matthew Brady photographed Annie Jones when she was only 5 years old.

Esau Woman – Annie Jones

Annie Jones eventually became well known in the country as the top bearded lady, Lady AJ with intensive hirsutism. Annie’s career spanned thirty-six years.

During her long “hirsutism” career Jones traveled not only with Mr. P. T. Barnum’s “Greatest Show on Earth” but she also worked with other museums which were interested in hirsutism and unusual demonstrations. Annie’s stage name changed to reflect her age during her career. At the beginning she was known as “The Esau Infant”, later she became “Esau Girl/Child” and later – “The Esau Lady”. She was demonstrating not only her full and long beard but she also grew out the hair on her head to over six feet in length. Annie also expanded her talents as well as she was not content to simply be stared at. She came to be known for her musical skills and gracious etiquette as much as her facial hair.

Esau Woman – Annie Jones

In spite of hirsutism, Annie Jones managed to marry twice – first time, at sixteen she married Richard Elliot who was a professional sideshow bally talker. The marriage lasted 14 years before the couple divorced. Second time, Annie Jones married another talker – Mr. William Donovan. Together, the newlyweds struck out on their own and toured Europe with Annie as an independent feature attraction and William as a vocal agent. Unfortunately the marriage was very short as William died unexpectedly. Annie Jones did not know what to do and finally decided to quickly rejoin the Barnum’s “Greatest Show on Earth”.

In 1902 Annie Jones fell ill and while visiting her mother in Brooklyn and on October 22 she passed away at age thirty-seven. The main reason for her illness and death was Tuberculosis.

Esau Woman – Annie Jones

Annie Jones was the most celebrated Bearded Lady of her era.

Discover everything about hirsutism, hypertrichosis, hairy women, hirsutism causes and hirsutism treatment including some hirsutism natural remedies on next pages.


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