Barnum was also a contemporary of Alonzo Wheeler Jerome.
With that short intro, I bring you a quote from National Master Eric Schiller, who has probably been the highest-rated player writing the most (something [anything!]) about the Jerome Gambit until International Master Gary Lane recently brought the opening up in his ChessCafe column.
The High-Risk GambitsThe following gambits are considered terrible for the gambiteer, as far as computer evaluations are concerned...
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+
This is another cyberspace gambit.
Virtually no attention was paid to this reckless move until its supporters started talking about it on the Internet. It can't be found in recent tournament games, and there is a good reason: It stinks.
White whips up a brief attack, easily parried, and then spends a long time trying to justify the sacrifice. A popular gambit in cyberspace, but in the real world, it only succeeds in games where Black is a very weak player.
Uh, thanks Eric.