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Little Egypt walked confidently to the front of the room, looking delighted at the number of people present. She replied, “Little Egypt, sir.” “Yes, Miss Egypt, won’t you kindly tell us your other name? Descriptions and sketches of Little Egypt were published in the New York Journal during the Seely dinner trial. Me bloomers, me leeta coat, me hose,” here she lifted her leg and pointed to just above her knee, “me leeta laced bloomer, all draped, see?The New York Journal commented on the tightness of her blue- and white-striped dress. Little Egypt is the woman wearing the striped dress. he say, ‘You do leeta Egyptian pose on pedestal with the altogether.’” “Ah,” interjected Lawyer Hart, “the altogether. ” Colonel James, representing the prosecution, objected, “If she said the altogether, she meant the altogether. Me draped; all draped.” When Hart asked if her stomach was bare she answered with laughter, then, “No, no; no, me have leeta lace.” Hart asked how thick the lace was.The twenty or so male guests were all wealthy members of New York social circles.When Seeley booked the evening’s entertainment he told the agent it was “not a Sunday school, but …A large, well-appointed hotel in New York City’s entertainment district, Sherry’s, as it was known, often hosted high society events.That evening Herbert Barnum Seeley, the grandson of P. Barnum, was hosting a stag dinner in the upstairs ballroom for his brother Clinton.The tale of Seeley’s dinner and Little Egypt’s dance made it far beyond New York with accounts printed in papers across the Unites States and even in Europe.
Sol Bloom, a manager at the fair, said that when the public discovered the English translation was “belly dance,” “they delightfully concluded that it must be salacious and immoral. I had a gold mine.” When the Fair ended a bawdy new version of the folk dances began to pop up at sideshows, amusements venues, and vaudeville theatres.He instigated a trial, really a formal inquiry, to decide if Chapman’s warrantless raid of Sherry’s was justified.Then news broke that Little Egypt had in fact danced at the party.One did not raid a millionaire’s stag dinner without a warrant, or with one for that matter.While Seeley and the hotel owner Sherry both declined to make a formal complaint Police Commissioner Parker, Chapman’s superior, felt pressured by the bad publicity.