Accounts of her first appearance at Castle Garden state that seven thousand persons crowded the auditorium, and when Jenny Lind appeared on the stage, demurely dressed in white, the audience rose as one man to greet her with such prolonged cheering, handkerchief-waving, and clapping that it appeared doubtful if the performance could ever get under way. She sang "Casta Diva," Rossini's "I Turchi in Italia," the "Herdsman's Song," and the prize-winning "Greeting to America." Her success could not have been greater. "To Castle Garden," commented the Tribune's critic, "is reserved the sublime spectacle of a whole people, as it were, worshiping at the shrine of art. . . . Jenny Lind is evidently most herself and most inspired when she sings most for all."
That was the symbol of her triumph. Barnum knew very well what he was about. He was not concerned with Jenny Lind's contribution to American music (although she paved the way for successful tours by many other singers and musicians) or with any other phase of her artistic career. He had sensed the new market for entertainment, a market which took in the masses of citizenry, and he supplied a popular product. He dressed it up in the sort of package that he knew would please American taste, and as he traveled about the country with his prima donna, he lectured alternate nights on temperance.
During her nine months' tour, visiting every major city in the United States, Jenny Lind gave ninety-five concerts. The gross receipts were $712,161, affording Jenny Lind $176,675 and Barnum (including expenses) $535,486. 12 Popular amusement paid; it was becoming big business. Nor did the American people criticize Barnum for his financial success. That he could make money out of offering them entertainment-whatever it wasendeared him even more to them.