Lind had a strong reputation as a charitable and Christian woman, and agreed to Barnum's tour in large part due to the potential to raise money to open new schools in Sweden. As she was largely unknown in the USA, he appealed to American morals in his publicity, stating 'A visit from such a woman who regards her artistic powers as a gift from Heaven and who helps the afflicted and distressed will be a blessing to America.' It is perhaps ironic then, that in the musical Barnum! Lind is portrayed as a potential note of discord between Barnum and his patient wife Charity.
Barnum worked with Lind fresh from his successful tour with Tom Thumb, and before becoming involved in circuses; she toured music halls as a soloist and not as part of a variety act.