Camel Girl: The True Story of Ella Harper
Camel Girl: The True Story of Ella Harper
Anonim

Ella was born in 1870 in Tennessee, USA. She was born with a very rare genetic disease, due to which her knees were twisted the other way, and therefore she could only walk on all fours. This meant that her fate was a foregone conclusion already at her birth - Ella ended up in the circus.

Camel Girl: The True Story of Ella Harper

Ella was born to William and Minerva Harper in the small town of Hendersonville, Tennessee. The Harper family already had four children: three sisters and a brother. Ella was born with her twin brother, who was named Everett, and it immediately struck her parents that something was wrong with their baby (and maybe with Everett - it is not known for certain). Her knees, instead of bending forward, as in most people, bent in the opposite direction.

Image

The disease is called knee recursion. Unfortunately, over the years, the resistance of people with this disease decreases, and often they can no longer hold firmly in an upright position, and therefore begin to move on all fours: palms and feet on the floor.

No one doubted that with such a rare defect, Ella had a direct road to the circus - oddly enough, it was the circus that was able to give her a start in life. At the age of 12, she began touring the country with the Harris' Nickle Plate show, which featured not only acrobats and elephants, but also people with unusual looks. Ella began to pay about $ 200 a week, which was equivalent to today's $ 5,000. A lot of money!

Image

During the tour, Ella received the nickname "camel girl" - as the audience began to call her, they also began to write on advertising posters in order to attract as many visitors as possible. She was described as an attractive young lady with body parts and a gait that resembled a camel.

Probably, Ella played into the hands of precisely the fact that she really was quite pretty outwardly: the combination of a pleasant face and an unusual gait created a sharp contrast and attracted attention.

In 1886, Ella took part in a photo session with the famous New York photographer Charles Eisenmann, who specialized in photographing people with pronounced physical disabilities. At the moment, these photos remain the last known images of Ella.

Image

Later, tired of traveling, the girl left the show, earning good money at the same time. She commented on her departure: “They called me the camel girl because my knees were twisted the other way. I can only walk on my arms and legs at the same time, which you can see in the photo with me. I have traveled extensively in the last four years performing on shows, but now, in 1886, I intend to leave show business and go to school. I would like to change my occupation."

Image

In 1903, Ella and her mother moved to Nashville, the state capital. Just two years later, Ella unexpectedly married school teacher Robert Savely. A year later, their daughter was born, but, unfortunately, she died very soon. They probably tried to have more children, but to no avail. Then they adopted a girl from the orphanage named Jewel. But here, too, the spouses suffered grief - the baby suddenly died at three months.

And in 1921, Ella also died - from colon cancer. Buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville - next to her children.

Popular by topic