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Meet Ella Williams, Famed To Be The World’s Tallest Woman In The Late 1800s

Meet Ella Williams, Famed To Be The World’s Tallest Woman In The Late 1800s

Ella Williams, also known by her stage as Mme Abomah, was regarded as an amazing woman in the late 1800s, standing over eight feet tall and could comfortably support the weight of a man on her extended arm.

Ella Williams, the world’s tallest woman, was born in 1865 in South Carolina, the United States, to slave parents. She rose to international fame and traveled the globe as the world’s tallest woman.

The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified around 10 months before her birth, hence she was not born a slave.


Ella Grigsby was her original name, but because Grigsby was the last name of her parents’ slaveowners, she adopted the last name of her employers, Elihu and Harriet Williams, with whom she worked while in her teens.

Williams was approached by numerous circus and show companies as a child about signing a contract and touring as a giantess because of her unusual height.

Show promoters made these proposals to Williams, but she turned them down. However, she consented to be hired by Frank C. Bostock for a tour of the British Isles in 1896 while working as a cook in her native South Carolina.

According to history, Bostock used a little truth and a little invention to promote his performance at the time.


He gave Williams the stage name Abomah, which was derived from Abomey, the capital of Dahomey’s kingdom (now Benin).

He went on to say that Abomah was a member of the famed Dahomey Amazons, a female-only military force that existed during the period.

“A giantess certainly, one of King Dahomey’s Amazons who has been brought over to England for exhibition purposes.” According to the American press, he used to add, “Her height is eight feet, and she is both broad and muscular.”

Because racism in the United States was still prevalent at the time, Bostock took Abomah’s show to Europe.

Ella Williams
Ella Williams The World’s Tallest Woman

Abomah’s management anticipated that his muscular and attractive African Giantess would get a lot of attention in Europe.

Abomah toured most of continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, and South America over the course of her 30-year career.

Abomah wore incredibly expensive and vast attire, which made the Amazon Giantess appear exquisite and royal at all times.

Abomah’s tours were canceled when Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, and she returned to the United States in March 1915.

Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey, and Coney Island were among her employers.


Before she left the scene in the 1920s, Abomah was still performing.

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