ADAMS, JOHN A.: of Moore & Burgess’ party, died in London, England, January 24, 1873. He visited Europe with Rumsey & Newcomb’s party.
ALLEN, JOHNNY: was born in Newark, N. J., April 20, 1844. He first appeared before the public in 1861 in burnt cork. He first appeared in New York at Hitchcock’s place in Canal Street. He was at the French Theatre, 585 Broadway, in January, 1863, when a miscellaneous entertainment was given. He made his debut on the dramatic stage March 24, 1871, at Brooklyn, N.Y., in “Schneider.” He first appeared on the dramatic stage in New York, April 24, 1871, at the Bowery Theatre. There was an ease and grace in the personations of Mr. Allen which were particularly noticeable and distinguished him from the great mass of performers who attempted the acts which he executed so successfully.
ARLINGTON, WILLIAM: right name Burnell, was born in New York City. He was considered a good end man.
ARMSTRONG, WILLIS: died in a hospital in New York on April 18, 1877, of consumption.
BACKUS, CHARLES: had the remarkable good fortune to have been born in the year 1831, in the city of Rochester, N. Y.; in which city and Cleveland, Ohio, his boyhood’s days were passed. In 1832 he emigrated to California. At San Francisco he organized a band of minstrels known as the Backus Minstrels and gave performances in that city and throughout the state during four years with a degree of success unparalleled in the history of the profession. In conjunction with S. C. Campbell and Jerry Bryant, Mr. Backus next proceeded to Australia, stopping on their voyage at the Sandwich Islands, where they had the honor of appearing before his highness the King at his palace by special request of his majesty. Arriving at Sidney, Backus and troupe gave a series of performances and met with such encouragement as to induce him to repeat them in the principle cities and towns of the colony, extending then to Van Dieman’s Land. Returning to Sidney, he next went to California, the scene of his first professional successes. There he remained about two years, when, relinquishing for a while the minstrel business, he attached himself as Negro clown to Buston’s Circus and in this capacity accompanied the circus all through the interior of Australia for some six or eight months. Finding the circus business not congenial to his taste, he formed a small company of performers and proceeded to England by the overland route, stopping at Ceylon, Asten in Nubia, Bombay, up the Red Sea, through the land of Egypt, giving performances at all these places, including Cairo. Sailing down the Mediterranean, he paused time enough to perform at Gibraltar and the historic isle of Malta. He played as clown at Astley’s Amphitheatre and Canterbury Hall in London, England; and then returned to his native place. He played star engagements in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. In 1861, he returned to California and played there two years; then organized a band of minstrels and went to China, playing at Shanghai, Hong Kong, Canton and Moccos. Remaining in China four months, he again returned to San Francisco, where he was engaged by Thomas Maguire in conjunction with Billy Birch, D. S. Wambold and W. Bernard. These three, with Mr. Backus, formed the San Francisco Minstrels and came to New York a short time since. And on the 8th of May, 1865, they opened at Heller’s Hall, 585 Broadway, where, night after night admiring crowds attested their claims to superiority and excellence. Mr. Backus’ specialty was mimicry, imitations and delineations of popular actors.
BAKER, TOM: died in the City Hospital, at Memphis, Tenn., in October, 1870, of congestion of the brain, aged 32 years.
BAMFORD, H.: died in the hospital, in San Francisco, on April, 1871.
BARKER, WILLIAM H.: died in San Francisco, Cal., December 11, 1863, aged 38 years.
BARLOW, MILT G.: was born in Lexington, Ky., June 29, 1843, and entered the minstrel profession in 1870 as an end man.
BASQUIN, J. A.: one of the best Ethiopian minstrel performers ever before the public, died at Brooklyn, N. Y., on January 27, 1872, at the age of 42 years. He was supposed to have been a native of France. For a long time he was connected with Hooley’s Serenaders, and was also with Unsworth and Eugene in England, and had been prominently before the American public for a number of years as a member at various times of many prominent minstrel bands. As a performer he was very popular, not only with the public but with his professional brethren. He had been ailing for some time past in Philadelphia, Pa., and was recently engaged by R. M. Hooley for his opera house in Brooklyn. Some two weeks prior to his decease, he was placed in the Long Island Hospital, the expenses of his illness and burial being defrayed by R. M. Hooley and the members of his company. His remains were interred at the cemetery of the Holy Cross.
BENEDICT, LEWIS: was born in Buffalo, N. Y., December 7, 1839 and studied law for some time; but finding that profession not in accordance with his tastes, he went to Buffalo, N.Y., where he determined to adopt the minstrel profession. And in the year 1858 he opened the stage of the Metropolitan Theatre in that city. He made his debut in a black face and dance, an “Essence,” then very popular, and met with a hearty reception. At St. Louis, Mo., his style being so much different from the host of comedians in the field, he secured a place in a troupe then organizing, called Johnson’s Empire Minstrels. In the company at that time were the veterans Frank Lynch, Mart Flavin, Dick Moore and several others. The company went as far as St. Joseph, Mo., and met with great success in the West. Lew then became the favorite in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toledo and fifty other places of interest. Lew was always the lion, making hosts of friends both on and off the stage. In 1863 he became a partner with Mr. Duprez in the company now known as Duprez & Benedict’s Minstrels. In deportment, Lew is the ideal of a gentleman, the members of the company being strongly attached to him. He has a joke and smile for everyone and some very amusing incidents could be related of this prince of comedians.
BERGER, PAUL: retired from the business in June, 1864, having received an appointment as transcribing clerk in the Philadelphia Post Office but he shortly after went back to his “old love.”
BERNARD, WILLIAM H.: was born in New York in 1833. The first we heard of him in the minstrel business was in 1849 when he sailed for California by the ship Brooklyn. He was two hundred and twelve days getting there. He organized the first minstrel party in California in August, 1849, and played in the Parker House at five dollars per ticket. He then hired Alfred Green’s Hall, over the Aguilla d’Oro. During the winter of 1849 he went to the Sandwich Islands with the company known as the New York Serenaders and played in Honolulu for five months, the Island being full of Californians avoiding the hardships of California incidental to the hard times of 1849. He returned to San Francisco and embarked for Van Dieman’s Land with the same company. Owing to a mutiny on the ship, the troupe left the vessel at Otabeite, one of the Society Island group, where the vessel touched to leave the mutineers. They gave six concerts there and then visited the palaces, having received a demand from Queen Pomares to amuse her. From there they took passage on a ship bound to Tasmania, and arrived in Launceston in 1850. There they met John Mitchell, McManus and other expatriated Irishmen, who received the New York Serenaders with fraternal cordiality. They also met many of the Chartists---Jones in particular. At that time (1850) they were the only Americans in Van Dieman’s Land and the troupe did an immense business. They played five months between Launceston and Hobart Town. From the latter city they went to Sydney and were the first to introduce minstrelsy in Australia. They often had the patronage of Sir Arthur Fitzroy and Lady Keith Stewart. They then visited Melbourne, and back to Sydney; thence far off to India’s burning sands and were in Calcutta in 1851. They were the pioneers of minstrelsy in India and were a great success. They were honored by the patronage of the Marquis of Delhousie and Lady Delhousie, the Duke of Wellington’s sister. They played before many of the rajahs and celebrities of that section of Hindustan; and went thence to Madras, where success attended their efforts. From Madras they went to Ceylon, that beautiful land of edifices and temples. For five months the troupe played in that country, performing at Point De Galle, Columbo, Kandy, and thence to Bombay, still the pioneers. The company then returned over the same ground, playing the second time in Calcutta, traveling in India on the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation’s steamers. The company consisted of six persons, who paid the agents of that company 20,000 rupees for sixteen days’ traveling on that line. Mr. Bernard then sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and landed all right in New York. He returned to California and associated himself with Charley Backus and Billy Birch. David Wambold soon after visited California and was a great success, filling the Eureka and Academy for months. From the quality of material then professionally associated, the Birch, Wambold, Bernard and Backus’ San Francisco Minstrels, knowing that if it were possible to secure a hall in New York, success would attend their efforts. They left San Francisco, the city of their great success, guided solely by their own judgment and business qualifications. They secured the hall known as Heller’s, previously a sepulcher for all who had the audacity to try it, having proved an ulcer to the profession in general and swamped the Buckley’s and hosts of others. But the master hands went to work with a determination to succeed and the receipts of the company exceeded those of any other minstrel band in the United States for the same length of time. They are one of the institutions of New York, and deservedly so from their originality. Mr. Bernard fills the very responsible position of interrogator, and as such has no superior, if an equal, in the business. He is very original in everything he does and is possessed of a deliciously comic laugh. It is not the dry cackle or the senseless chuckle sometimes given out as the laugh Ethiopian. It is rich, unctuous, the expressive juice of careless mirth and jollity. It strikes the heart with a positive shock of fun. He mingles his humor with occasional bursts of serious intensity, which give the speeches designed for the purpose their fullest significance. Mr. Bernard is also a most excellent musician, playing the violin very well.
BIDEAUX, GUSTAVE: was born in France in 1830. He came to America in 1858.
BIRCH, WILLIAM: was born in Utica, N.Y., February 26, 1831. His first attempt at minstrelsy was in 1844 in a small town called New Hartford, N.Y., under the management of Ned Underhill’s father, occupying the bone end. He shortly after joined Raymond’s Minstrels. He joined the Virginia Serenaders in Philadelphia. He appeared in New York in 1850, at 444 Broadway, with Fellows’ Minstrels, where he remained one year. Then he traveled with the Eph Horn, Wells & Briggs’ party. He returned to New York and engaged with Wood’s Minstrels at 444 Broadway. After a trip West, he re-appeared in New York with Wood & Christy’s Minstrels. He went into partnership with Dick Sliter and Sam Wells, sailed for San Francisco, and opened at Maguire’s Opera House in 1851. He remained in California six years. He was married on August 19, 1857, and the following day the twain took passage on the steamship Central America, for New York. On the passage the steamship was wrecked off Charleston, S.C., on September 12. Just before being sent into one of the lifeboats, Mrs. Birch took a pet canary bird from its cage in her state-room which she nestled in her bosom. During the excitement, Billy became separated from his wife. Mr. Birch was picked up by the Norwegian bark Ellen and taken into Norfolk, Va., more dead than alive. After playing in Baltimore one week (doing Negro acts between the pieces at the Holliday Street Theatre), he opened with the Bryants in New York. He was with Hooley & Campbell’s at Niblo’s Saloon; with Sharpley in Philadelphia, Lloyd’s Minstrels, Hooley & Campbell’s, back to California for three years, and then returned to New York and established the San Francisco Minstrels. As an end man and general comedian, he was one of the best in the business. For originality and the ability to play on words, he was excelled by few, if any. His manipulations of the bones were also good. His elaborate exordiums to nothing in particular, his unctuous representations of meaningless phrases, his apparently unconscious transition from pathos to bathos, and from the logical to the ludicrous, kept the audience in roars of laughter. Birch was quite as funny in the “Virginia Mammy” as ever Daddy Rice was. Billy Birch died April 20, 1897, in New York City.
BLOODGOOD, HARRY: right name Carlo Moran, was born in Providence, R. I., in 1845. He first appeared in public at the age of fifteen with Hoffman, the pianist. He first put on burnt cork with Wood’s Minstrels and remained with them nine months. After that he was connected with some of the best variety theatres and minstrel bands in the country. He was the originator of the present style of song and dance, which he first introduced in “Anna Maria Jane,” written by himself and brought out at Hooley’s, Brooklyn. He was also author of “The Yellow Girl That Winked at Me,” and other popular songs and dances. Mr. Bloodgood died June 12, 1886.
BOLEY, DAN F.: was one of the original Backus Minstrels. He was a fine banjoist, and his deep, sonorous, bass voice will be recollected with mingled feelings of regret and pleasure. In 1855, he, in company with Backus, Burbank, and others re-organized the Backus Minstrels and made a trip to Australia. After a time all except Boley returned. He married a wealthy widow and remained there.
BOOTH, T. G.: made his first appearance on the stage (as a low comedian) at the Metropolitan Theatre, Buffalo, N.Y., in 1853. He died in Toronto, Canada, August 18, 1855, and his remains were brought to New York.
BOWERS, EDWARD: made his debut on the minstrel stage at Charley White’s Melodeon, No. 49 Bowery, New York, some time between 1850 and 1854; and he played there for several months. In January, 1856, he joined Ordway’s Aeolians in Boston, Mass., and left them in May. When Henry Wood and George Christy opened a new marble building on the westerly side of Broadway, near Prince Street, as a minstrel hall, October 31, 1857, Mr. Bowers was a member of the company. George Christy withdrew from the firm in May, 1858, and the company was thenceforth known as Wood’s Minstrels. In the summer, Mr. Bowers left the company to become co-manager of Birch, Bowers & Fox’s Minstrels, who opened in the Museum, St. Louis, Mo., September 6, 1858. They disbanded December 25, that year. Returning to New York, he joined Sniffen’s Campbell Minstrels, 444 Broadway, January 3, 1859, and that company disbanded the following February. In May of that year he filled for a few weeks the place of J. G. H. Shorey in the New Orleans and Metropolitan Burlesque Troupe, under the management of J. G. H. Shorey, W. Carle & C. H. Duprez. In August, 1859, he joined Wood’s Minstrels in New York; but remained only a few months, as on December 12 he opened with Anderson’s Minstrels in the Melodeon, Boston, Mass. After a season of five weeks and four nights, this company disbanded. He then joined the Morris Brothers, Pell & Trowbridge’s Troupe, remaining with them until the fall of 1862. In the latter part of that year he joined Holley’s Minstrels in Brooklyn, N.Y., and continued there until about November, 1863. In company with T. B. Prendergast, he organized a company which opened in Newark, N. J., January 3, 1864. In June of that year the company was reorganized, and its title changed to that of the Aeolians. After this troupe disbanded, he played for a time with Moran’s Minstrels in Philadelphia, Pa., and subsequently fulfilled engagements in variety theatres. He made his last appearance on any stage in the Varieties, in the Bowery, New York, February 11, 1865, while fulfilling a star engagement with John Mulligan. He was then taken ill and died on the 27th at the age of 38 years. He was an excellent interlocutor, a good business manager, and one of the best writers or adapters of Negro farces and sketches of his time. He also wrote many songs which became popular. Being of a genial disposition, he made many friends and acquaintances.
BOYCE, CHARLES: died in Providence, R. I., July 1, 1862, aged 24 years, of consumption.
BOYCE, JOHN: died in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 11, 1867, aged 38 years and three months. His remains were interred in Evergreen Cemetery. He was born in Covington, Ky., in 1829. The first band he played with was Birch, Bowers and Fox, in 1857. His last appearance was in New York with Griffin & Christy’s Minstrels on June 4, 1867. As an end man he was a most excellent performer. His great specialty was singing Irish songs. He possessed a good brogue and also sang his songs with much humor. He also did a good stump speech.
BRIGGS, T. F.: was, we believe, a native of New York City and early in life was employed in a butcher shop in East Broadway. When he first went on the minstrel stage (Billy Birch informs us), he played under the name of Tom Fluter; but shortly thereafter, owing to his success, he resumed his own name. In 1846, when the Sable Harmonists were organized, he was of the company, which also included Plumer Archer, J. Farrell, W. Roark, Nelson Kneass, J. Murphy, R. M. Hooley, and Mr. Tichenor. In November, 1847 they played for a brief time in the Minerva Rooms in New York and subsequently went to Europe under the management of R. M. Hooley; and we presume Mr. Briggs accompanied them. They performed in London, Paris, Boulogne, Brussels and the smaller cities in the British Isles. In 1851 he was a co-manager of Horn, Wells & Briggs’ Minstrels, who in July of that year played in the Boston (Mass.) Museum, the troupe then including J. K. Campbell, S. A. Wells, Eph Horn, Tom Christian, Calsianno, Billy Birch, J. W. Farrell, and T. F. Briggs. In the same year he joined Wood’s Minstrels, 444 Broadway; and we find that in 1853 he was still a member of the company. In March, 1854, he joined the Buckley’s, then playing at 539 Broadway. And on September 20 of that year, in company with E. P. Christy, Earl Pierce, J. B. Donniker, Tom Christian, Lewis Mairs, Tom Vaughn, S. C. Campbell, Eph Horn and others, he sailed in Vanderbilt’s steamship North Star for California. While crossing the Isthmus he caught the Panama fever and from its effects he died after his arrival in San Francisco, Cal., without having performed there. He was an excellent banjoist, and some time before his death he played in sketches in partnership with Eph Horn, they proving a very strong attraction. At the time of his demise he was about 30 years of age. He was a good banjo player. There have been few as good but none better in his peculiar line. Horn was very much attached to Briggs and was deeply affected by his death. He declared he would quit the business as soon as his engagement was up, as he could never get another acting partner to fill Briggs’ place.
BROWER, FRANK: was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1820. His first appearance in public was in 1837 as Master Brower. He then became the confidante of Weldon, the magician. He next traveled with the Cincinnati Circus Company, under the management of Charles J. Rogers. It was while Richard Myers, Frank Brower, and others were practicing in Philadelphia that Mr. Rogers happened to hear the party playing; and of what he thought and did on that occasion, we excerpt the following from a private letter of Mr. Rogers:
BROWER, THOMAS P.: died in Philadelphia, March 15, 1867, aged 39 years. BROWN, JOE: Ethiopian comedian and jig dancer, was born in Buffalo, N.Y., January 2, 1830. He first entered the business in 1844 in Albany. He had a match dance with Earl Pierce the same year and won it. He first appeared in New York at the Melodeon, opposite the Old Bowery Theatre, in the fall of 1852. He went to England July 11, 1857, and, after an absence of eleven years, returned to New York, June 2, 1868. He danced a match game with Dick Sliter in Chicago, Ill., in 1856 and received the champion belt (silver), which he lost when shipwrecked. He left New York for England in 1857. In August, 1866, he paid a flying visit to New York but returned to Europe in a week. He was the first man to do “Old Bob Ridley” in a regular minstrel band.
BROWN, JOHN G.: died in New Bedford, Mass., October 8, 1853.
BRYANT, NEIL: died in St. Mary’s Hospital, Brooklyn, March 6, 1902, aged 72 years. His right name was Cornelius O’Brien. He retired from the profession in August, 1883, and secured a position in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at Washington, where he remained until taken to the hospital.
BRYANT, JERRY: was born in Chesterfield, Essex County, N.Y, on June 11, 1828. He commenced to learn the printing business but left it at thirteen years of age to make his appearance as a ballad singer. Having met with some success, he obtained an engagement at Vauxhall Garden, New York, in 1844, enlisting with him in the same company the talent of his brother, Dan. About this period negro minstrelsy came in vogue and the humor of the thing hitting Jerry’s fancy, he united himself with the first troupe which was known under the name of Campbell’s Minstrels; and it was on July 14, 1845, for Pete De Laru’s benefit that Jerry danced “his match for $1,000 with Master Tommy Teaser from Troy; the audience to be the judges!” In October, 1848, he sailed for London, England, and performed with Dumbolton’s Serenaders at the St. James Theatre, then made a tour of Scotland. He returned to New York in 1849 and traveled through the States. He then appeared at Mitchell’s Olympic Theatre, New York, with Earl H. Pierce in a minstrel organization. Then he went to Boston and appeared with Ordway’s Aeolians. He returned to New York and joined E. P. Christy’s Minstrels in 1853. In the latter part of 1854, Jerry yielded to the common fever of all American “professionals” and went to California, where he soon became as great a favorite as here and divided popularity with the first comic stars then figuring in that country. The writer well recollects him in the trial dance with Horn; and well does he recollect, too, that not even Tom Briggs, whose talents and whose gentle nature made him the pet of every circle, was more highly esteemed for correct conduct and amiable qualities than Jerry Bryant. From California, after a year’s stay, Jerry made a trip to the Sandwich Islands and Australia, returning by the same route in 1856; and, after a short stay in the principal Pacific cities, reached New York again in the winter of the latter year. Jerry now made no more wanderings abroad but, gathering his two brothers around him, he on the 23d of the following February (1857) fixed himself and them permanently at 472 Broadway; and there laid the foundation of a business name and fame in the title of the Bryants’ Minstrels. He was “a fellow of infinite jest.” In him was confined the true spirit of drollery and all the elements of fun without vulgarity. He was at once the perfection of dry, telling fun and extreme physical whimsicality; and those who were forced to roar at his impassive countenance or were transfixed by his astonishing grimaces, would, if they met him the next morning, be hardly able to recognize in his handsome and somewhat serious features, the comic actor of the night before. There was a peculiarity in his style that seemed to preclude all idea of successful imitation. He was himself alone, a host of talent, a delineator of eccentric Negro character never surpassed and but rarely equaled. In private life he was a social companion, gay, lively and generous. Jerry made his last appearance in public April 2, 1861. He died on April 8 of congestion of the brain. His remains were interred in Calvary Cemetery.
BRYANT, DANIEL WEBSTER: was born in Troy, N.Y., on May 9, 1833. He made his first appearance on the stage in 1845 at Vauxhall Gardens, situated on the west side of the Bowery, just below Cooper Institute, on the occasion of his brother Jerry’s benefit. Shortly after this he determined to enter the profession as a regular performer and he was engaged with a number of companies until 1848, when he joined Losee’s Minstrels. In 1849 he joined the Sable Harmonists and traveled through the South and West. On returning to this city in 1850, he became a member of Charley White’s Minstrels, then located at the Melodeon in the Bowery. After performing there for one year, he joined Wood & Fellows’ Minstrels on Broadway and remained with them one season. He then joined the original Campbell’s Minstrels, occupying the place on the end formerly filled by Luke West. They traveled South and West until 1856, disbanding in July. Mr. Bryant then managed a company styled Bryant’s Campbell Minstrels. During that season he made an immense hit in his “Essence of Old Virginny”---a characteristic dance which has since been attempted by many men in the business; but, up to the day of his demise, Dan never met with a successful rival. The following September he visited Philadelphia, where he met with great success. In February, 1857, his brothers Jerry and Neil arrived in New York from an extended tour of California and Australia and with them he formed a co-partnership; and, getting together a company, they opened Mechanics’ Hall, 472 Broadway. Dan Bryant made his debut on the dramatic stage for the benefit of his intimate friend, William R. Floyd, at the Winter Garden, July 2, 1863, when he acted Handy Andy in Mr. Floyd’s comic drama of that name. On July 26, 1864, he began a summer season at Wallack’s Theatre, acting in “The Irish Emigrant” and “Handy Andy,” and subsequently in “The Colleen Bawn.” He played a few weeks only. In May, 1865, he sailed for Europe and acted upon the dramatic stage with success in both Dublin, Ireland, and Liverpool, England. And on July 17, 1865, he began another brief season at Wallack’s Theatre, which closed August 26. On June 11, 1866, he began a third summer season at this theatre, producing on July 30 “Shamus O’Brien.” He closed September 1 and then went on a starring tour, visiting the principal cities of the country. On June 10, he commenced his fourth annual engagement at Wallack’s, which closed July 27. On August. 10, he sailed for California under engagement to Thomas Maguire. In 1868, Mr. Bryant abandoned the dramatic stage and returned to minstrelsy, opening a new hall in the Tammany Building. On August 2, 1869, he began an engagement at Niblo’s Garden, acting Shawn in “Arrah-na-Pogue,” which ran until September 5, when he terminated his performances. His last performances on the dramatic stage were at Wallack’s Theatre in the fall of 1874, when he kindly helped the management out of a dilemma by consenting to perform for a brief season during the illness of J. L. Toole. His last appearance in public was at his own opera house on the evening of April 3, 1875. The announcement of Mr. Bryant’s death carried poignant grief to the hearts of a large circle of friends and acquaintances, not only throughout the United States but to many residing in the principal cities of Great Britain. Both privately and publicly he was extremely popular and we do not believe he had an enemy. He was thoroughly unselfish, generous to a fault, and ever ready to assist those in distress. Although he had accumulated a fortune by his professional labors, the qualities above referred to caused him speedily to scatter it with a prodigal hand; and, at the time of his demise, we regret to say, his pecuniary affairs were so involved that he left his family without any provision for the future. As a performer, both on the minstrel and dramatic stage, Mr. Bryant occupied high rank and was greatly respected by all with whom he came in contact. The sudden death of Nelse Seymour gave a severe shock to Mr. Bryant’s system; and the demise of James Unsworth, following so closely thereupon, added to his mental depression. These matters were kept constantly before his mind while arranging the weekly programs for his Opera House. After the performances of April 3, he complained of being ill; and, upon a physician being summoned, he pronounced the disease pneumonia. On April 6 a consultation of physicians was held and it was thought that he could not live through that night. But he rallied and the symptoms became more favorable; and, until Saturday, a few hours before his death, it was thought that he would recover. He was delirious much of the time; and, during such intervals, he would hold conversations with Nelse Seymour, James Unsworth and his late brother, Jerry, all of whom seemed to him to be present. Mr. Bryant suffered greatly from lack of sleep and his physicians found it impossible to induce a state of somnolence, even subcutaneous injections of morphine failing to produce the desired effect. For some three or four hours preceding his death, he was in a state of delirium. He left a widow (formerly Nelly Fitzgibbon of St. Louis). He died on April 10, 1875.
BRYANT, WILLIAM T.: died in New York, September 23, 1865.
BUCKLEY, FRED: violinist and interlocutor, was born in Bolton, England in 1833 and died from consumption in Boston, Mass., September 16, 1864, aged 31 years, eleven months and four days. He came to this country with his father and brothers in 1839. On January 29, 1857, he was married to Fanny Brown (afterward Mrs. Carlo), but in a short time after a separation took place. His talents were fine, and to aid them nature richly endowed him with a handsome, genteel and attractive person. There was a charm in his society---a peculiar influence that left a fond desire for a further and lasting intimacy. He was an excellent violinist, his solo performances being great features of the entertainments. He was, moreover, a composer of no mean order. The last time he ever appeared upon any stage was at the Temple, Portsmouth, N. H., June 22, with his brothers; and his last solo was “The Dream.” By his death the company sustained a serious loss.
BUCKLEY, R. BISHOP: the eldest of the Buckley brothers, died in Quincy, Mass., June 6, 1867. His remains were interred in Mount Hope. A few months previous to his death, while traveling with his company, he received a stroke of paralysis, which resulted in his death. He was born in Bolton, England, in 1826. He was a quiet, close and philosophical observer of Negro character and, being gifted with great imitative powers and facial elasticity, his delineations were irresistibly effective. In characters of rustic simplicity and marked stolidity there was no sign of effort in his acting, but an ease and truth that were unobtrusively convulsing. In dramatic scenes his most heroic characters were extremely ludicrous. Easy, good natured, musical, and jolly was he. Some things that he did no other man could do as well. Many of his songs were “jolly” in the extreme and we shall always remember him with feelings of pleasure and esteem. He filled a place which very few men in the profession will ever reach. His musical abilities were of a high order of merit. His performance on the Chinese fiddle rendered that instrument entirely his own, outside of the “flowery land”; while as a vocalist, possessing a round and mellow voice of high tenor caliber, he gave the most difficult operatic music with artistic skill and finish.
BUCKLEY, JAMES: father of the Buckley brothers, died at Quincy, Mass., on April 27, 1872, of disease of the heart, aged 68 years. On September 3, 1872, George Swaine Buckley and Sam Sharpley started out with a show, which closed in March, 1873.
BUCKLEY, GEORGE SWAINE: was born in Bolton, England, in 1831 and came to this country with his father and brothers. He made his first appearance in public as the “Infant Prodigy” at Harrington’s Museum, Boston, in 1840. It was at this time that he first commenced the study of the banjo under the celebrated Joe Sweeney; and in a short time acquired such remarkable proficiency that Joe adopted him as his protégé and starred him throughout the States for several seasons under the appellation of “Young Sweeney.” In 1843 he joined with his brothers in the formation of what afterwards became the celebrated Buckley’s Minstrels. He was the principal tenor singer and comedian. In making their tour through the mountain towns of California, in all their difficult movements of toil and peril, George was the avant courier and principal performer in the band; frequently riding fifty miles a day to engage halls, advertise, and return in time to keep his end up with the boys at the evening performances. That he was always considered the “bright particular star” of this troupe there is no doubt. He was a capital delineator of the Negro character. Everyone must acknowledge his “Sally, Come Up” to be as near perfection as anyone could wish. “Susan’s Sunday Out” was another one of his finest exhibitions and “Music on the Brain” a combination of qualities which made it a marvel.
BUDWORTH, JAMES H.: was born in Philadelphia, December 24, 1831. In early life he evinced a decided taste for music and theatricals. He possessed a powerful voice and a wonderful gift of imitation and, when quite a young boy, amused and astonished those who heard him with his correct imitation of persons whom he had heard speak or sing. He made his first appearance at the Park Theatre, New York, in 1848, and was performing there at the time the building was destroyed by fire. He then engaged himself at the Broadway Theatre, appearing in several characters with success. Minstrelsy being at that time in the ascendancy, he changed his complexion and joined an Ethiopian company under the management of the celebrated Luke West. He traveled with this company through the South for a while and then left to join Charley White’s party, who were then performing at White’s Opera House in the Bowery, N.Y. While with this company he improved very fast. Being versatile in his performances, he became a very useful member of the profession. His services were shortly after secured by Mr. Henry Wood for George Christy & Wood’s Minstrels, then performing to crowded houses at the old Hall, 444 Broadway. There he became quite a favorite with the New York public. Since then he has traveled through the United States and Canadas, everywhere giving entire satisfaction. On the 26th of May, 1865, he appeared at the Park Theatre, Brooklyn, in the farce of “The Persecuted Dutchman.” The piece in which he appeared is a mere sketch designed for a display of broad humor. It gives the actor an opportunity to air his aptitude for imitating the “sweet German accent” and Teutonic stolidity of habit. Few actors have ever attempted this line of business and only one or two “stage Dutchmen” have ever achieved even passing success. Whether it is that the character is difficult to impersonate or lacks the necessary humorous element to make it popular, we do not know. Mr. Budworth succeeded in keeping the house in a roar of laughter from the time he stepped on the stage till the curtain went down. His make-up was capital, his natural figure being much in his favor. His imitation of the Germanized English was exceedingly good. Mr. Budworth has a natural vein of humor, without which no actor can become a successful comedian---humor in action, gesture, or expression, which sets the audience laughing before he opens his mouth. He is at present engaged with Budworth’s Minstrels at the Fifth Avenue Opera House. For the past four or five years he has been studying hard to perfect himself in several comic characters, especially Dutch, as he intends shortly to bid adieu to his dark brothers and appear again upon the legitimate stage. With this natural qualification and the aptitude he has displayed, Mr. Budworth may, if he sees fit, make his mark on the stage, if he chooses to abandon minstrelsy and take to the regular walks of the profession. The latter is more laborious and uncertain than the business he is now engaged in, but the reward of success is much greater. It is for Mr. Budworth to elect whether the inducements are sufficient to change his professional complexion. Budworth died very suddenly of strangulation, after a sickness of but a few days, on March 11, 1875, in New York, aged 44 years.
BULL, TOMMY: right name William Howe, a jig dancer, joined the Twenty-fifth Regiment of Missouri Volunteers on March 1, 1862, and served as drummer. He died in New York January 31, 1868.
BUTLER, JOHN: died in New York, November 18, 1864, of heart trouble.
CAMPBELL, J. K.: banjoist, was found dead in bed at the Boston House, Pittsburgh, Pa., on the morning of February 6, 1878. He had retired in his usual health and was found dead early in the morning. Members of the profession in Pittsburgh had his body embalmed, placed in a casket, and expressed to Philadelphia, where his wife and children resided. He was born in this city in 1835 and his right name was John Kelly, under which name, along with J. C. (Fatty) Stewart, he made his first appearance at Dan Wright’s Music Hall on Water Street, this city, about 1846. In 1850 or 1851, when playing with George Lea at the Franklin Museum, Kelly was given by Lea the name of J. K. Cameron, taking the name from that of the well-known theatrical printer. By a typographical error the name appeared on the first night in the playbills as J. K. Campbell; by which he was ever afterwards known, with the exception of a short time while he was with Hooley & Campbell’s Minstrels. At the request of Sher Campbell, he appeared as J. K. Edwards. He is said to have been the original “Ham-fat Man;” and in dancing “The Essence of Old Virginny” he was considered at one time as a great card. He also at one time ranked as one of the best banjo players in the profession. His remains were interred in Philadelphia. CAMPBELL, JOHN C.: right name J. St. John, died in Brooklyn, N. Y., on January 26, 1875, of consumption, aged 31 years. His remains were interred in Cypress Hills Cemetery by the B. P. O. Elks.
CAMPBELL SHER C.: right name Sherman Cohen, was born in New Haven, Conn., May 16, 1829, and during his early life he learned the trade of carriage trimming, which he followed for some years. He was very fond of music and, possessing a fine alto voice, he soon gained a local reputation. He first put on burnt cork with Kimberly’s Campbell’s Minstrels in 1849. In 1854 he visited California with E. P. Christy’s party. In the following year he engaged with the Backus Minstrels and visited Australia. While performing there his phenomenal baritone voice attracted the attention of Catherine Hayes, who invited him to sing at one of her concerts, which invitation he accepted. His rendering of “Dermot Asthore” on that occasion not only proved a great hit with the public but led Miss Hayes to personally compliment him and urge him to at once commence a course of study for the operatic stage. In 1856 he returned to San Francisco, where he remained three years, following his profession and increasing his reputation. In 1862 he joined Bryant’s Minstrels, then located at Mechanics’ Hall, 472 Broadway, and continued with them for some years. Shortly after this time, he determined to try his fortune upon the operatic stage and a company was organized under the management of Lafayette Harrison who gave performances at Niblo’s Saloon. Shortly after this he joined William Castle, formerly a minstrel, in the management of an operatic troupe with the late Fanny Stockton as prima donna and made a tour of the country. Then he was engaged with Caroline Richings’ Opera Co., with which he continued some years. From 1869 until 1872, he was a prominent member of the Parepa Rosa English Opera Co. In the fall of the latter year he accompanied Mme. Rosa to Europe; and while she fulfilled an engagement at Alexandria, Egypt, he went to Milan, Italy, where he pursued his studies. At the conclusion of Mme. Rosa’s engagement, Mr. Campbell re-joined her in London, England, and became the chief baritone of an English opera troupe under the management of her husband, Carl Rosa. Bryant’s Minstrels was the last burnt cork party he played with. He died at Chicago, Ill., November 26, 1874. His remains were interred in Graceland cemetery.
CARLTON, PAUL: cornet player, died at Cairo, Ill., January 9, 1873, of smallpox.
CARROLL, JAMES: died at Cheyenne, W. T., on May 19, 1874.
CARSON, DAVE: was born in March, 1837. He has visited, professionally almost every part of the globe. He left New York in 1853 when only 16 years of age for Melbourne, Australia, where he arrived after a voyage of one hundred and five days. After visiting the principal gold mines, and performing with success at each, in 1856 he joined a party consisting of Tom Brower (Frank’s brother, since dead), Otto Burbank (now with George Christy), W. A. Porter, G. W. Demerest, D. F. Boley, J. O. Pierce and a number of others. The company was styled the San Francisco Minstrels, under which appellation they performed throughout New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Van Dieman’s Land and New Zealand. In 1859 the company was materially strengthened by Charley Backus, who took the end, which he filled with so much credit, while Carson kept the bone end. It was Charley’s second trip to that country, and not liking it as well as he did the first, he left for California via London and New York in about 1860. Early in 1861 the company were under the able management of Samuel Colville (late of the Broadway Theatre), when a snug sum was realized by all in the concern. Finally, in July, 1861, the company dissolved Christy’s while Boley and Demerest organized a company for Mauritius, where they performed with success. But, alas, little good did it do them; for after leaving Mauritius and on their way to the island of Bourbon, the ship went down and all hands, with the single exception of one of the company (a cloggist), perished. Carson and Brower organized a company for India, which left Australia in August, 1861. They arrived in due time at Calcutta, where they astonished the Hindus and Mohamedans not a little with their representations of the sports and pastimes of the Ethiopian race in the United States of America. After performing a season at Calcutta with satisfaction to themselves and the public, they left the “City of Palaces” for a tour through Hindustan. The boys gave their entertainments all through the country, including Benares, the Holy City of the Hindus, Allahabad, Lucknow (where they performed in one of the palaces), Cawnpore (where the terrible massacre occurred in 1857), Agra (formerly the residence of one of the greatest of the “Great Moguls”), Meerut (where the mutiny of ‘57, which came near costing England her magnificent Eastern Empire, first made its appearance), Delhi (in the absence of whose king, who was enjoying for the benefit of his health the balmy breezes of Rangoon, Carson did himself the honor of seating himself upon the celebrated “Peacock Throne”). From Delhi to Umballa, Loodianna, Anarkullee and Lahore, all in the Punjab, thence to Cashmere, where Dave was presented by the Rajah with a beautiful Cashmere shawl. From Cashmere our traveler took his company to Simla in the Himalaya Mountains, a beautiful sanitarium, situated at about a height of 8,000 feet above the level of the sea. From Simla the company went back to Calcutta, showing on their return at nearly all the places they had visited before. After a second successful season at Calcutta, our hero went to Madras and from thence through to the Malabar country, touching at “Goa,” an ancient Portuguese settlement; so on to Bombay, the emporium of Western India, where their audiences, consisting of Parsees, Europeans, Hindus, Musselmen and a host of natives from all parts of Asia, greeted them at each performance with delight and hard silver, there being no greenbacks in that country. The company remained in India over five years, all the time as the San Francisco Minstrels; and there is not the slightest doubt that, owing to the facility with which Carson attained Hindustanese, the language of the country, and the manner in which he mimicked and caricatured a certain class of the native people, the great success with which the company met with was obtained. In May, 1866, the boys dissolved partnership, owing to the desire to see their native land once more. Brower died on the 15th of March, eight months after arriving home. Carson attended to him up to the last and was one of the chief mourners at the funeral. Brower had been away sixteen years, Pierce about seventeen, and Carson nearly fourteen. Previous to their leaving India, Carson and Pierce entered into an agreement with Tom McCollum, the great two horse rider, who had been coining money at Bombay with his circus, to bring out a circus, minstrel and ballet troupe. We clip the following from the Times of India, May 3, 1866:
CARTER, JACOB: baritone singer with Courtney & Sanford’s Minstrels, died at Rio de Janeiro on August 27, 1873, of yellow fever. His right name was Jacob Werwertz.
CASTOR, W. H.: committed suicide at Sydney, N.S.W., in March, 1865, by swallowing poison. He was connected with Joe Brown’s party.
CEDA, WILLIAM: real name William Price, one of the Sable Harmonists, died in Liverpool, England, March 9, 1873. His remains were interred in Hofield Cemetery.
CHASE, HORACE A.: died in Bath, N. Y., on September 24, 1870, aged 36 years.
CHRISTIAN, TOM: whose right name was S. B. Siddings, was born in 1810. He became quite blind in June, 1863. He went to the war as corporal in the Second Connecticut Battery and contracted a series of colds, which resulted in the losing of his sight. He died in London, January 29, 1867. His remains were deposited in Brompton Cemetery. He was one of the oldest of the Christy Minstrels. He originally associated himself with that gentleman (E. P. Christy) in 1847 and continued with him until he withdrew from management in 1851. He then went to Europe with the Rayner-Pierce party and remained in England up to his death. He was unable to perform for many months prior to his death, but Messrs. Moore & Crocker paid him his full salary all the time, in addition to defraying all the expenses consequent of his death. He was taken to the hospital in London October 12, 1866, very sick. He had a cancerated throat, one cancer located under the tongue (to cut which, he had to bleed to death) and two more in the throat.
CHRISTY, E. P.: originator of Christy’s Minstrels, organized in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1842. He married Harriet Harrington in Buffalo. After performing in Water Street, that city, he removed to Seneca Street, where the oddity and genius of the exhibition brought him full and respectable houses. At the solicitation of numerous citizens, he was given the use of the dining saloon of the American Hotel. From this moment he laid the foundation of a fortune. The company which Mr. Christy had succeeded in bringing together did not contain any really artistic gentlemen in the musical line; but their rendering of plaintive melodies, which are always calculated to touch the tender chord of sympathy, enlisted the patronage of persons who delighted in the simple style of the singers, unadorned by musical decorations and embellishments so common with all “great” singers and which are seldom understood by those who listen merely because it is fashionable. For a number of years Mr. Christy had the Ethiopian field to himself and well did he profit by it. About the middle of July, 1854, he abandoned the business and retired to private life to enjoy his gains, which were afterwards largely added to by other speculations and enterprises. He left a fortune of about $200,000. On May 9, 1862, in a fit of temporary insanity, he jumped out of the second story window of a house in which he resided in New York. He died on May 21 and his remains were interred in Greenwood Cemetery. On the plate on the lid of the coffin were inscribed the words: “Edwin P. Christy died May 21, 1862, aged 47 years 6 months and 23 days.” Of the causes which led to the act of self-destruction, various stories were current. Some attributed it to insanity, some to family troubles, some to one thing, some to another. The immediate cause was the mental disturbance produced by one or two suits at law, which, with ordinary men, would scarcely have been sufficient to ruffle their equanimity of temper. He had succeeded in defeating the same parties in two similar suits but their pertinacity in maintaining a third irritated him to an extent beyond endurance; and a week before he committed the rash act which terminated so fatally, he declared to some friends that he knew he should yet become insane and do himself some serious injury. Mr. Christy was a man of violent temper and not a pleasant man to deal with. He was entirely too self-willed and had too little regard for the feelings of others. He had none of the self-abnegating qualities, none of the personal dignity, none of the suavite in modo, which constitute a gentleman. And yet, though illiterate, he affected to use grandiloquent words and often employed them on the most inopportune occasions.
CHRISTY, E. BYRON: son of E. P. Christy, died in New York, April 6, 1866, aged 28 years.
CHRISTY, GEORGE N.: died in New York May 12, 1868, from inflammation of the bowels. His right name was George Harrington and he was born in Palmyra, N. Y., in 1827. His first public appearance was made at the old Eagle Street Theatre, Buffalo, N.Y., in 1839. He had been engaged by E. P. Christy, who had brought him out as a jig dancer. He left Buffalo with E. P. Christy and traveled with his legerdemain show. George Weldon was the “faker” and George was his confederate. Our hero had a dog that he used to perform a number of tricks with. George was with this “faking” show until 1842, when E. P. Christy organized the original Christy Minstrels and George Christy took the bone end, with Lansing Durand as tambo. George was the first to do the wench business. He was the original Lucy Long and Cachuca. Our hero accompanied the troupe all over the country until 1846, when they opened for a brief season at Palmo’s Opera House in Chambers Street, this city. He was then considered the best performer that put on burnt cork; and to this day there is no performer in black face who is a greater favorite with the public than was George Christy at that time. His name was a tower of strength to the original Christys. He was considered one of the funniest of the funny in everything that he did. George was well cared for while he was with E. P. Christy, and during the last two years and eight months of his engagement he received the sum of $19,680.
CHRISTY, WILLIAM A.: died in New York, December 8, 1862, in his 23rd year. He was the youngest son of E. P. Christy, a brother to E. Byron Christy and half-brother to George. He was never considered more than a mediocre performer. He was somewhat effeminate in appearance and made up as a female very naturally.
CLARK, S. E.: basso and banjoist, died in New Haven, Conn., February, 1860.
CLIFFORD, J. C.: also known as J. C. Cross, an American baritone, died in Liverpool, February 16, 1877.
CLUSKEY, JOHN: died in Albany, N. Y., September 17, 1864, from consumption. He was a good jig dancer of the John Diamond school. In New York he played with Charley White’s Minstrels.
COLEMAN, BILLY: died in New York June 4, 1867. He was a clever banjoist as well as a good general performer. At Charley White’s Melodeon he was a favorite. He retired from the stage about five years prior to his death and engaged in other pursuits. He was 38 years of age.
COLLINS, ADD: right name A. K. Harding, entered the profession in 1852, being seventeen years old. He was born in Fosterville; Bucks Co., Pa.
COLLINS, DAN W.: right name Daniel Carpenter, died in Brooklyn, May 20, 1869, of consumption, aged 33 years. He was buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery.
COLLINS, JOHN: died in Havana from yellow fever, in December, 1860.
CONVERSE, FRANK: the celebrated teacher of and performer on the banjo, was born in Westfield, Mass., June 17, 1837, but his family shortly after removed to Elmira, N.Y. The Converse family were all excellent musicians, therefore the subject of our sketch may be said to have been born with music on the brain. As early as six years of age he commenced to study music, and before he had reached his twelfth birthday was an excellent player on the piano. At fourteen he first took hold of the banjo and devoted all his spare time to the study of that instrument, applying to it theoretical musical principles, arranging a complete system of study founded on correct musical rules acquired from his piano studies. So infatuated did he become with the old Cremona that he neglected the piano and devoted all his energies to the development of his favorite instrument. During all this time he was strenuously opposed by his parents, who tried to dissuade him from his course, they thinking the banjo an instrument of but trifling consideration, not susceptible of any improvement, and upon which labor and time would be foolishly thrown away; but in spite of all opposition he continued on and in two years he appeared for the first time in public at several amateur concerts. Shortly after this he accepted an engagement with McFarland, then managing the Detroit theatre. He took the position made vacant by the withdrawal of Hi Rumsey, who appeared between the pieces and played solos. His next engagement was with a minstrel company managed by Backus & Co., then performing at Metropolitan Hall, Chicago. This was in 1855. He remained with this troupe until it disbanded. We next find him permanently located at St. Louis, where he for some time gave lessons on the banjo. In 1856 he joined Matt Peel’s Campbell Minstrels at St. Louis and traveled with them until the spring of 1858, visiting all the principal towns and cities in the United States and closed with the party at what is now known as 444 Broadway, New York. He then bent his steps Southwest and stopped at Memphis, where he organized a large school and taught the banjo. After a successful season there he returned North and betook himself to Coke and Blackstone, but he was not long in finding out that he was never carved out for a limb of the law; and after toiling over the books for six months, he returned to his old business and joined Campbell’s Minstrels, then under the management of John T. Huntley, and they took a trip down through the New England States. His next engagement was to him the most important one of his whole career. He met Mrs. Hattie A. Clarke, widow of George B. Clarke, and one of the proprietresses of Congress Spring Hotel, Saratoga. This meeting sprang into friendship, then love, followed by an elopement and marriage. He then organized a company of corkers himself and, after a successful tour, for awhile retired from the stage. But he was doomed not to remain in retirement long; for he had tasted of the sweets of traveling and the hearty plaudits of the admiring audiences. He accordingly visited Denver City, Colorado Territory, and organized a company called Converse and Petrie’s. The next place we locate him is at San Francisco, California, where he was playing and teaching. When he returned to New York he played a short engagement with Wood’s Minstrels, at 514 Broadway, shortly after the place opened. Mr. Converse’s principle motive has been to elevate the position of his favorite instrument and its music. He has taken advantage of every opportunity to further that end, introducing it when and wherever a proper occasion offered itself, more particularly to the notice of those musicians who, through ignorance of the capabilities of the instrument, have spoken against it. On the 29th of last December these self same musicians, through appreciation of his successful efforts, tendered him a very flattering testimonial concert at Niblo’s Saloon, signed by the names of all the principal music dealers and minstrel managers. The affair was a great success. He has worked hard and done much to elevate and fully develop the banjo. He has written a complete work on the banjo for beginners (which will shortly be published by Messrs. Dick and Fitzgerald). Mr. Converse has established himself in New York as a teacher, and is really over-run with pupils, keeping all his time busily occupied; so much so that he has been compelled to obtain the assistance of Mr. Savori, the excellent banjoist. Mr. C. is also engaged at Wood’s Minstrels, where he appears every night in one of his popular solos. He is one of the best performers on the instrument that we have ever heard. He died September 5, 1903.
COPELAND, ALFRED: for many years harpist with various companies of Christy’s Minstrels, died in London, England, on March 22, 1872.
COTTON, BENJAMIN A.: was born at Pawtucket, R. I., July 27, 1829. In 1845 he joined VanAmburgh’s Menagerie and in the side show played the bones and afterwards learned the banjo. He next learned cigar making, at which business he remained until 1855 when he joined the Julian Operatic Troupe. He then joined Matt. Peel’s Campbell Minstrels with whom he remained fifteen months, after which he took to hotel keeping, but to his cost he soon found out that he “could not keep a hotel.” He returned to the profession, joining Sniffen’s Company at 444 Broadway, New York. Then he traveled with Billy Birch and afterwards was one of the Banjo Minstrels, playing on the Mississippi River. During this engagement he had the opportunity of seeing the customs, manners and habits of the Southern Negro. He visited the plantations, the cotton fields, and attended their evening festivals, played while they danced, and carefully watched all their amusements to make himself the better acquainted with their customs and actions. After a sojourn of about eighteen months among the Southern plantations, he returned to New York and engaged with the Hooley Campbell Minstrels. It was while with them he introduced that celebrated plantation scene of “Old Uncle Snow”; also “Abraham’s Daughter” and “The Union, Right or Wrong,” introduced for the first time. He next visited California, where he remained two years. In 1865 he returned East and with Joe Murphy organized the Cotton & Murphy Minstrels and up to about 1905 had been a great favorite with the public. Ben was a natural actor, chaste in everything he undertook, adhering closely to the character he represented, neither coarse in act nor language, never using vulgarity for an incentive to mirth. These, with his great desire to please, made him a great favorite. His “Bob Ridley” years ago was considered a wonderful bit of fidelity to Negro characteristics, while his “Uncle Snow” was considered as one of the very best representations of the aged darkie ever seen upon a stage.
CRAIG, TOM: returned to New York in January, 1863, after an eighteen months’ campaign. He was orderly sergeant in Company E, Twenty-second Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers.
CROCKER, J. P.: died in London, England, December 17, 1869, aged 35 years. He had been suffering for nearly two years with consumption. Although unable to take any active part in the performances of the stage for nearly one year, yet he assisted in the business department up to December 15. He was an American by birth.
DALEY, JOHN H.: died in London, England, May 31, 1864, in his 29th year. He was born in Philadelphia in 1835. He was well known as one of the wittiest comedians in the business.
DANFORTH, GEORGE: colored, died in New York August 17, 1870, aged 33. He was a bone player.
DANIELS, R.: formerly of Kelly & Leon’s, died at Elmira, N.Y., July 21, 1873, of consumption, aged 40 years.
DARLING, ISAAC: died of consumption June 10, 1871, aged 54 years. He had been with this troupe since its first organization.
DAVIS, EDMUND: died in New York on June 29, 1872, age 48 years.
DAVIS, HENRY: was born in Richmond, Va., and died in Wilmington, Del., January 9, 1865. DE LAVE, MONS.: in the Fall of 1861 walked the tight rope at Volk’s Garden, then opposite the Bowery Theatre. Leslie, being of an ambitious nature, sought permission to try the rope at a day rehearsal, which was granted by Mons. Da Lave with a smile. Leslie mounted the rope and with pole in hand started on his first trip; and to the surprise of all, accomplished the feat. This encouraging him, the next day he was the owner of a rope and commenced business in earnest. He then went to Frank Rivers’ Melodeon on Broadway, then to 444 Broadway, and the summer of 1862 was at the Old Bowery Theatre when Sam Stickney was manager.
DEAVES, EDWIN: was born in Philadelphia in 1817. He was one of the originators of the Virginia Serenaders. He was a very clever performer in burnt cork. He originated the act called “The Black Shakers,” produced for the first time in May, 1849, for Deaves’ benefit. He appeared at Charley White’s Melodeon in New York after he closed with the Virginias, where he remained for nearly two years. In 1855 he went to California with a minstrel party, among whom were Sam Wells and Billy Birch under R. M. Hooley’s management.
DELEHANTY, WILLIAM H.: was born in Albany, N. Y., of Irish parents in 1846, where he made his first appearance on the stage in 1860. He joined Skiff & Gaylord’s Minstrels in 1862 and remained with that party for four years. He formed a co-partnership with T. M. Hengler at Chicago in 1866.
DENLIN, PAUL: comedian and dancer, died of rapid consumption in London on August 13, 1878, aged 37 years. His remains were buried in Brompton Cemetery.
DIAMOND, JOHN: renowned jig dancer, was born in New York in 1823, and at an early age gave evidences of his abilities as a dancer. A contract was entered into between Barnum and Diamond and he performed in all the principal cities with great success. He visited England under the management of Barnum and performed to crowded houses.
DIXON, GEORGE WASHINGTON: made his first appearance on any stage at the old Amphitheatre, North Pearl Street, Albany, N.Y., under the management of Parsons in 1827. When Sloman commenced singing buffo songs some years ago, his success struck a spark in the bosom of Dixon and he commenced singing buffo at the Albany Theatre in 1830. He shortly afterwards left for Philadelphia and made his first appearance June 19, 1834, at the Arch Street and sang his prize extravaganza of “Zip Coon” for the benefit of Andrew J. Allen. In 1839, we find him in New York.
DONALDSON, WILLIAM B.: made his debut in 1836 at Poughkeepsie, N.Y. as the “Young Jim Crow,” singing and dancing after the style of T. D. Rice. He died at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., April 16, 1873. In February, 1858, he was a Negro clown at the Broadway Circus, New York. In May, 1871, he leased Lockwood House, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., which he opened. Donaldson astonished people by his remarkable left-hand playing on the banjo, not simply picking and fingering with the left hand, but entirely reversing the position in which the instrument is ordinarily held.
DONNELLY, LEWIS J.: died in New York October 26, 1869.
DOUGHERTY, HUGHEY: was born in New York. He first appeared on the stage in New York at the Melodeon under Frank Rivers’ management. He was then known as “Young America.” He was a good minstrel performer and the best stump speech maker on the stage.
DUNNIE, J. F.: left the profession in August, 1872, and became passenger agent for the Baltimore Railroad. In January, 1875, he was connected with the Erie Railroad. He is said to have died in Cincinnati several years ago.
EAGAN, H. W.: was killed at the battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
EDMONDS, D.: was born October 9, 1830, and commenced his public career in 1838 as violinist. He first blacked his face in 1839 and played for Stoddard in Jim Crow business. He commenced as a regular minstrel in 1846. He could play any instrument in the band, do middle business, and go on for fops or old men in afterpieces.
EDMUNDS, GEORGE: violinist, died at Walla Walla, Wash., on January 22, 1870. He was a native of Dublin, Ireland, and at his death was about 40 years of age.
EDWARDS, BOB: right name Robert O. Dean, was found dead on the morning of July 25, 1872, in his saloon in Buffalo, N.Y. He was born in Philadelphia in 1829. In 1842 he was known as Master Edwards and was one of the earliest of bone end boys and, as a jig dancer, was with the Virginia Serenaders. From 1864 to 1866, he was manager of a minstrel party. His wife was the widow of Bob Shadduck.
EMERSON, BILLY: was born in Belfast, Ireland, July 4, 1846. He came to this country in 1847. He joined Joe Sweeney’s Minstrels in 1857 as balladist and jig dancer. In St. Louis, Mo., in 1868 he received a solid gold medal, valued at $175, for being the champion song and dance performer. He was married at Covington, Ky., June 25, 1869, to Maggie Homer.
EMMETT, DAN DECATUR: was one of the earliest devotees of burnt corkdom. In 1840 he was traveling with the Cincinnati Circus, playing in the orchestra. He was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in 1815. He began life as a printer but soon abandoned his trade for a circus company. He was not long in discovering that he could compose songs of the kind in use by clowns. One of the finest of these was “Old Dan Tucker.” Its success was so great that he followed it with many others. They were all Negro melodies. Finally he took to Negro inpersonation, singing his own songs in the ring while he accompanied himself on the banjo. In 1843 he was one of the original four that appeared in minstrelsy. When the party went to England, Emmett remained abroad for several years. He returned and joined Bryant’s Minstrels at 472 Broadway. He was engaged to write songs and walk ‘rounds and to take part in the nightly performance. He made his home at Mt. Vernon, Ohio. It was he who first discovered Ferguson, the banjo player and after much persuasion induced the manager C. Rolers to engage him. It was while traveling with this party that Dan learned to pick the banjo. The following season, 1841, he re-joined the circus and Frank Brower and Emmett became very popular. He was known in the East much earlier than Joe Sweeny. He was not only a fine banjo player but an excellent musician and to his genius the minstrel stage owes many of its most popular “walk-’rounds” and other comicalities. The piece by which he will be longest remembered is one of his inspirations of later years, which arose to the dignity of a sectional war song.
EMMETT, JOSEPH K.: Dutch comedian, was born in St. Louis, Mo., March 13, 1841. He made his first appearance as a song and dance performer at Jake Esher’s Bowery, St. Louis, in 1866. He opened in New York with Bryant’s in 1868 in Dutch songs and dances. He made his debut on the dramatic stage in his play of “Fritz,” November 22, 1869, at the Academy of Music, Buffalo, N.Y. He opened in New York at Wallack’s Theatre, July 11, 1870, as Fritz. He made his debut in England, November 30, 1872, at the Adelphi Theatre, London, in his play, rewritten and called “The Adventures of Fritz.” He died June 15, 1891.
EUGENE: right name Eugene D’Ameli, was born at New York, June 4, 1836, his father being an Italian refugee engaged in the confectionery trade. At an early age Eugene was apprenticed to John P. Beauville, a hardware merchant; but displaying a predilection for the stage, he was soon afterwards allowed to join a minstrel company and was permitted to make his first appearance in public at the age of thirteen years. His initial steps were taken with the Christy & Wood troupe at No. 444 Broadway on May 16, 1853, as an impersonator of female characters. His success was assured at the outset. He was connected with prominent minstrel organizations at all times. He visited California twice, acting at San Francisco in 1858 in the drama of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and taking the part of Topsy with success. He was a familiar and welcome caller at every city of note in the States and Canada and accompanied by Unsworth he made a Continental tour in 1861, appearing at the leading English, Scotch, Irish, French and German theatres. While in Berlin, it is stated that some of the officers of the Prussian army became so convinced of the impossibility of any man personating female characters so completely, that they came upon the stage behind the scenes and insisted upon being introduced to the charming “Fraulein Eugene.” Returning to London, a four years’ engagement was conducted in that city, after which they remained for nearly the same length of time at Liverpool, sailing for America again in 1868 and appearing for some time at Dan Bryant’s Opera House in Fourteenth Street. He was found, when off the stage, to be a neatly dressed and very good looking gentleman, somewhat under the medium size, but of as fine a general figure in the manly attire of everyday life as he was in the gorgeous wardrobe of the sable prima donna at night. He was one of the most thoroughly artistic personators of burlesque female actors ever seen.
FARRON, WILLIAM: died in Lebanon, Tenn., November 29, 1870.
FORD, JOHN T.: was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1829. Before he had reached the age of 23 he was acting as business manager for George Kunkel’s Nightingale Minstrels and traveled all over the country with that party. He then, in company with Mr. Knuckel and Thomas Moxley, leased the old Richmond, Va., Theatre, and the Holliday Street Theatre, Baltimore. Mr. Kunkel managed the Richmond establishment and Mr. Ford took charge in Baltimore. For twelve consecutive years Mr. Ford has managed the Holliday and is still in possession. Where is there another who can say as much? At the close of the season of 1857, he withdrew from the Richmond Theatre and Mr. Kunkel carried it on by himself. The next year he was elected President of the City Council of Baltimore and by force of circumstances was acting Mayor of the city for two years and filled the office with marked ability. He was also elected City Director for one term of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; also a Commissioner of the McDonough Fund on the part of the city. He was manager of the Washington Theatre where President Lincoln was assassinated. Shortly after the assassination, Mr. Ford was arrested on suspicion of complicity in the affair; and after undergoing imprisonment for forty days in Carrol Prison, he was released by the government, there not being the slightest proof against his loyalty.
FOX, CHARLES E.: died in New York December 26, 1864. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., November 14, 1828. He first appeared in burnt cork in 1848 as a banjoist. He was afterwards attached to the best minstrel organizations in America. He returned from England December 15, 1860, and opened a sample room at 512 Broadway in November, 1862. His last appearance on the stage was December 22, 1864, only three days before his death, at 444 Broadway, New York. His remains were interred in Greenwood.
GALLAGHER, DENNY: died in Philadelphia on November 23, 1868, and his remains were interred in Cathedral cemetery. Denny was born in this city in 1830 and made his first public appearance at eighteen years of age in white face in Irish songs and dances. He next appeared at the Old Franklin Museum in Chatham Square under the management of George Lea, appearing during the evening in white and black impersonations. He was not able to perform for several months prior to his death, as he was failing rapidly with consumption. Denny was one of the best general performers in the business. He could do almost anything in a minstrel band, although his forte was on the tambourine end.
GAUL: the instrumentalist, died in Havana, Cuba, in December, 1860.
GAYLORD, LOWRENZO: died in poverty and from consumption in Philadelphia, April 7. 1878. He was born in Westfield, Mass., on January 19, 1836. At the early age of twelve years he turned his back upon his home and launched himself into the show business, singing ballads with John Green’s Circus. With that concern he traveled for several years, and then he joined Spalding & Rogers’ Circus, with which he journeyed for a time as clown. Doffing the motley, he settled down in Philadelphia, where he began his career as a negro minstrel by leasing old Southwark Hall in Second Street below Green, which he opened as Gaylord & Dupont’s Opera House. In 1877 he was taken sick and was confined to his bed until he died. Joe Gaylord, in whose arms he died, was attentive at his bedside. He was buried from St. Michael’s R. C. Church on April 11, the interment being in the new Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia. All that Low Gaylord possessed at his death---the title and fame of his troupe, with his wood cuts---is disposed of in the following directions, virtually constituting his last will and testament:
GEARY, GUSTAVUS: died of heart disease in Harlem, N. Y., April 25, 1877.
GETTINGS, THOMAS: died in New York November 23, 1866, of consumption, aged 22 years. His remains were interred in Calvary Cemetery.
GLENN, JAMES W.: died in New York February 26, 1870. His right name was McDonald. He was born in Philadelphia of Irish parents in 1839. He was first introduced to the profession by Cool White with S. S. Sanford’s Minstrels while traveling in the season of 1858-59.
GOULD, JULIA: was born in London, England, in 1827, and joined Buckley’s Minstrels in New York in September, 1850, as an impersonator of female characters in their Ethiopian burlesques. In 1864 she went to California. She was afterwards known as Mrs. Julia Collins.
GRANGER, W. H.: a musician with the BUCKLEY SERENADERS, died in Toronto, Canada, in April, 1867.
GREEN, J. EDWIN: was born April 9, 1834, and made his first appearance before the public at Nashua, N. H., as balladist with a company of white vocalists styled the American Bards, of which Mr. Green was one of the proprietors. He made his first appearance in burnt cork at Lowell, Mass., in 1855 with Reynold’s Minstrels, of which the subject of our sketch was one of the managers. In the year 1857, Mr. Green entered into partnership with Messrs. Shorey & Duprez and with them he traveled extensively through the East and West and throughout every part of the Southern country and West Indies. During this time he appeared on both ends, acted as middle man, and took an active part in everything pertaining to negro minstrelsy. He was known all over the country as ‘‘The Great Mocking Bird Imitator.” Mr. Green’s first appearance in New York was at the New Bowery Theatre, July 24, 1863, for the benefit of M. C. Campbell.
GRIFFIN, G. W. H.: was born in Gloucester, Mass. His parents moved to Boston when he was six months old. At 15 he was placed in a lawyer’s office, where he remained for two years. He was then apprenticed to the engineering business. But he evinced a passion for music and poetry; and when not engaged in the active duties incumbent on his position, his time was wholly occupied in the study of music. While an apprentice he became a member of the Boston Glee Club. In 1850, Mr. Griffin assumed the position of manager of a minstrel company called the Boston Harmonists and made his first appearance in that capacity at Palmyra, New York. Soon after this he joined Gray’s Warblers; and then, after traveling through the country with several troupes, he attached himself to Bryant’s Minstrels. In July, 1853, he joined Wood’s Minstrels at No. 444 Broadway, New York; and in 1858 became a member of the company organized by R. M. Hooley for the purpose of a tour to the El Dorado of the Western world. On his return to New York, he associated himself as a partner with Messrs. Hooley and S. C. Campbell at Niblo’s Saloon. He was afterward with Bryant and also with George Christy, then with Hooley in Brooklyn. In September, 1878, he became business manager for the Theatre Comique, New York. Griffin won considerable reputation as an author. Among his most popular musical compositions are “Lonely No More,” “My Greenwood Home,” “Louie Lee,” “Bird of the Wreck,” “Not a Star from Our Flag,” “Sister, Thou art Dear to Me,” “Pleasant Dreams of Long Ago,” “Tell Me, Little Twinkling Star,” “I am Lonely Tonight,” “Happy Days,” and “Cherish Love While You May.” He also composed sacred pieces for churches and authored comic acts.
HAGUE, SAM: was born Sheffield, England, in 1828. He commenced his career in the show business as a clog dancer. In 1850 he visited America and in company with his brothers, Tom and William Hague, traveled East and West as the Brothers Hague Concert Party. During this tour he introduced English clog dancing into America. Subsequently at different times, he was partner with Dick Sands and Tim Hayes. He traveled with Skiff & Gaylord’s and other minstrel parties. He was partner with Cal Wagner, leaving whom until the latter retired from the show business and settled down in Utica, N. Y., as proprietor of the “Champion Shades” saloon. He then left for Europe with the Georgia Slave Troupe, where he remained until his death at Liverpool, January 7, 1901.
HAMALL, HUGH: singer, died in Montreal, Canada, October 10, 1875, of disease of the kidneys.
HAMILTON, JAKE: banjoist, died in San Francisco, November 4, 1877, of consumption, aged 57 years.
HARRINGTON, GEORGE N.: died in Frankford, Pa., in January, 1859, in obscurity and distress. He was the original “Mary Blane” and “Lucy Neal.”
HARRIS, CHARLES: the banjoist, retired from the stage in Richmond, Va., in 1857, and for some time gave instructions on the banjo and guitar in Chicago.
HART, BOB: right name James M. Sutherland, was born, February 9, 1834. At twelve years of age he was train boy on the Erie railroad. At eighteen he became a regular engineer on the road. He was, soon after, a Methodist preacher. He removed to New York City, where, for a time he was engaged in the produce business. The possessor at that time of a fine baritone voice, he answered an advertisement for a ballad singer and was soon regularly engaged in a leading minstrel house, making his first appearance in this line of business in the fall of 1859. He afterwards visited New Orleans, where he became a manager in 1866 conducting the Olympic Theatre until the building was destroyed by fire on December 28, 1868. After this, he remained unconnected with any amusement enterprise for some little time, but was finally induced to make his bow to a Chicago audience in August, 1869. He was one of the best speech makers in the profession. Its very force lay in the fact that it was just such an oration as a pompous darkie, better stocked with words than judgment, might shoot off at an assemblage of terrified hearers. It was a purely original effort, differing in toto from the average burlesque address of the minstrel stage. He died April 6, 1888, in New York.
HAYES, TIM: was born in Dublin, Ireland, September 22, 1841. He came to America in December, 1860; and made his debut at the Melodeon Music Hall, Broadway, New York, where he remained one week and then joined Hooley & Campbell’s. He died at the Asylum for the Poor in Washington D. C., May 12, 1877, of consumption. He reached Washington from Philadelphia a few days prior to his death in a pitiable condition and shortly after went to the hospital connected with the almshouse. His remains were interred in a lot in Mount Olivet Cemetery, that city. He has been credited with introducing the clog dance as a marked feature in minstrelsy; but this is not so, as there was clog dancing in America before Tim Hayes was born. James O’Connell, best remembered as “The Tattooed Man,” but a versatile performer, used to dance in wooden shoes at the Bowery Amphitheatre, New York, in 1839. The Wood Children, sons of William Wood, the dancer and pantomimist, did a double clog dance during the season of 1843-44. Ben Yates also used to make clog dancing a specialty as early as 1848. There was also Johnny Goulding, who did clog dancing at the small concert saloons down Broadway, New York. Billy O’Neil, Irish comedian, was a clog dancer long before Hayes’ time. Fred Wilson was one of the first to make clog dancing a specialty in the minstrel business.
HEDDEN, WILLIAM: died at the residence of the mother of Charley White in New York, January 3, 1861, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. His style of jig dancing was very much admired. Five months prior to his death he was disabled by consumption.
HENGLER, T. M.: was born in Albany, N.Y., in 1845, of Irish parents. He made his debut at Albany in 1860, then joined Newcomb’s Minstrels, remaining with them three years. He became connected with Sam Sharpley’s Troupe in 1865 and with Delehanty in 1866. Their first engagement together was with Dingess & Green’s Minstrels. HERMAN, J. A.: right name Simonson, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., January 1, 1823. He first appeared in public with a concert company in white face in 1840 at Croton Hall, located at the junction of the Bowery and Division Street, New York. He first appeared in black face with a small minstrel band, consisting of Duke Morgan, Alfred Delapere, William Charrington, and Raymond, who traveled with Mabie’s Circus, appearing in the side show. In 1848, he appeared with Kimberly’s Campbell Minstrels at Society Library Rooms, New York. He took his leave of the stage at Hooley’s Opera House, Brooklyn, about 1871; then reappeared at Hooley’s Opera House, Brooklyn, in 1874, but remained about two weeks, after which he retired from the profession. In November, 1874, he was proprietor of a hotel on the site of the old Union Racetrack, Long Island. He died January 23, 1901.
HERMAN, W.: violinist, died in New York, June, 1863, and was buried June 12.
HERNANDEZ, A. M.: died in Pontevideo, Uruguay, on October 25, 1874.
HILGER, JOHN: died in Indianapolis, Ind., on April 21, 1875, of pneumonia, aged 23 years. He played the tuba horn.
HILTON, JOHN W.: died in Liverpool, England, of consumption, January 2, 1871, aged 35 years. Everything that could be done for his comfort during his illness was attended to by Sam Hague.
HOBBS, ALFRED: died in New York, February 17, 1861, after a long and painful illness. He was 28 years of age.
HOBBS, WILLIAM L.: died in Philadelphia on July 15, 1874, aged 45 years. He was an instrumental performer and musical director. He had been connected with minstrelsy almost from the time of its origin.
HOOLEY, RICHARD M.: was born in Ireland in 1828 and was intended for the medical profession. He came to America in 1840 and, after residing in New York about ten months, he went to Buffalo and joined Christy’s Minstrels in August, 1845. He was with them as leader for two years. Since that time he has been one of the principal performers and managers of negro minstrelsy. He visited California eight times within three years. In 1868 he visited Europe, returning home August 29, 1868. Mr. Hooley had worked himself up from the ranks, having for many years traveled through the country as violinist. From the opening night of his new house in Brooklyn, success crowned his efforts and he made a great deal of money. But the Fire Fiend came and in one night swept away his place. In a short time he had it rebuilt and his success continued very great. Mr. Hooley was rather below the medium height, compactly framed and the possessor of a pleasant, friendly face, adorned by a remarkably luxurious growth of beard, just softening into dove color in the highlights, flowing down across his breast; and his dark hazel eyes beamed with all the benevolence of a heart as big as a bullock’s. Mr. Hooley was an affable gentleman, an experienced manager, a most excellent violinist, and a man of taste, judgment, and a fine musical education. He had the personal respect of all who knew him, for he had in his manner and disposition those hearty and kindly qualities which exercise a madnetic influence upon all who come within the sphere of their attraction.
HORN, EPH: whose right name was Evan Evans Hern, died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, Wednesday afternoon, January 8, 1877. His last appearance on the stage was at Taylor’s Opera House, Trenton, N. J., Christmas Day, December 25, 1876. During this trip (it was a variety company), Mr. Horn took cold, from which pneumonia resulted. His funeral took place from “The Little Church Around the Corner” on January 6 and the remains were placed in a receiving vault in Evergreen Cemetery, where they remained until May 16, 1877, when they were committed to their final resting place in that cemetery. All the funeral expenses were borne by his old and dearly tried friend, Tony Pastor. Mr. Horn was born in Philadelphia in 1823 and first entered the minstrel profession in 1843 at Carlisle, Pa., as end man with S. S. Sanford’s Troupe. He next traveled with a small band with VanAmburgh’s Menagerie. It was while the troupe of Virginia Serenaders were in Philadelphia at the lecture room of the Chinese Museum, corner of Ninth and Sansom Streets, now occupied by a part of the Continental Hotel, that attention was called to Eph Horn as one of the rarest of humorists. Eph Horn’s first appearance in New York was in 1847 with The Original Virginia Serenaders. Horn continued with this troupe, whose time was mainly spent in traveling, until Earl H. Pierce organized his band as a rival to E. P. Christy’s. Horn withdrew from Fellows’ in March, 1851, and on April 2, in conjunction with Charley White, sought to establish a rival establishment six doors above, in the old Coliseum Building. It was opened under the name and style of Ethiopian Opera House. Without being exactly the meat, it occupied the meat’s position in a sandwich whose outside layers were E. P. Christy’s on the next block above and Fellows’ house below, all three being on the same side of the street. It was a failure and therein silence was absolute after the performances of April 23. The band went traveling but even the road proved unprofitable. Horn then enrolled himself under the responsible banner of S. A. Wells. Reaching Gotham once more, Horn resumed with Fellows’ on January 12, 1852. Horn’s re-appearance in New York was on December 1, 1852 at Barmun’s Museum for the benefit of C. W. Clarke. Shortly after this, Horn was engaged at the old hall, later occupied by Wood’s Minstrels; and after several months spent there, he joined Campbell’s Minstrels in the summer, withdrawing therefrom to associate himself with Buckley’s. Eph Horn stood at the very head of the minstrel profession. Placed in almost any position in a company, he was able to fill the part. As an end man he was one of the best and as a delineator of the old Nergo he displayed remarkable talent. If Booth or Kean ever succeeded in “holding the mirror up to nature” in the true Shakespearean sense, then Eph Horn did so far as negro minstrelsy is concerned. Falling back upon burnt cork, in the summer of 1858 Horn was with Ordway’s Aeolians, Boston, and there, on behalf of admirers in that city, he was presented by Dr. John P. Ordway with a valuable watch and chain. Thence he came to New York and was added to the forces at Wood’s New Marble Hall. He retired from that establishment in November and on the 22d and 23d of that month was clown at the National Circus, Philadelphia, going thence to the Holliday Street Theatre, Baltimore, as clown for Tom King’s Circus, which began there on November 24. Leaving Tom King in a hurry, he again set sail for California and on January 3, 1859, opened at the Lyceum, San Francisco. In the Spring, Horn & Backus took this strong party among the California hills and on April 30, in anticipation of his leaving the Pacific Coast, “Uncle Ephraim” had a grand testimonial benefit at the American Theatre, San Francisco. He got back here in June and after a brief visit to his family in Philadelphia, took Max Irwin’s place at Wood’s Marble Hall. His next notable engagement was probably his first of all with Bryant’s Minstrels at 472 Broadway, March 2, 1860, and continued until the season closed, July 14. Among the extravaganzas he here made his own were “The Deserted Miner,” the Stranger in the burlesque of that name, the Doorkeeper in “The Masquerade Ball,” “The Breakneck Act” (with Jim Carrol), “The Locomotive Darkie,” the pathetic ballad of “Lord Love! and his Lady Nancy- see-see,” “The Burlesque Convention.”
HOWARD, BILLY: right name William Donoghue, went to Europe with the Buckleys, remained there, and died at Nottingham, England, January 9, 1872, of consumption, aged 30 years. He was a native of Utica, N. Y.
HOWARD, GUS: formerly of Hooley & Christy’s party, died at Alexandria, Va., on March 29, 1874.
HOWARD, SETH C.: at one time interlocutor with Bryant’s, died in Hornellsville, N. Y., February 11, 1860, of consumption.
HUGHES, RUDY: right name James Quigg, was a partner with Hogan in song and dance, died in New York, November 10, 1871, of consumption, aged 24 years.
HUNTLEY, CHARLES L.: died in Mobile, Ala., May 12, 1860. HUNTLEY, JOHN T.: retired from the profession several years ago and afterwards kept a hotel at Catskill, N. Y. He died August 4, 1895, aged 69 years.
IRVING, PHIL: former manager of the California Minstrels, died in New York City, February 17, 1906.
IRWIN, MAX: was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He first appeared in New York with Wood’s Minstrels. He was married to Augusta Lameraux, danseuse, in Philadelphia, August 19, 1859. He went to Australia in 1862, where he died on August 9, 1864, in Adelaide. He had assumed the name of Paul Maxey. He was a brother of Selden Irwin, the actor.
ISAACS, P. B.: died in a small town near San Francisco, Cal., September 6, 1865, while traveling with Maguire’s Minstrels. His remains were interred in the town where he died. He was born in London, England, in 1831.
JACKSON, JOSEPH: professionally known as J. Arnold and formerly of Moore & Burgess’ Minstrels, died at sea on board the steamer Canada, between Rangoon and Akyab, October 28, 1878. At the time of his death he was with Dave Carson’s company.
JACKSON, THEO: basso and middle man for the Buckleys, retired from the profession in June, 1866, and entered into business with his father in Providence. Shortly after, he returned to the stage and in April, 1869, appeared in San Francisco, Cal., at Maguire’s Opera House. On July 20 he was married to Susie S. Davis of Providence, Mass. He was born in Southport, Conn., May 27, 1838. He first appeared in the minstrel profession in June, 1862, with the Buckleys.
JOHNSON, SAM: whose right name was Isaac Ray, took the name of Johnson as it was a prominent character in T. D. Rice’s sketch of “Oh, Hush!”—the dandy darkie in “Virginia Cupid.” His career in the minstrel profession was a brief one. During the season of 1844-45 he joined the party known as the Operatic Brothers and Sisters. He shortly after retired from the profession and purchased an interest in a steamboat running on the Ohio River. He also became interested in real estate at one time and also associated himself in the circus business with Dan Rice. He died at River View, Ky., October, 1876. Although in his 62nd year, yet he was so well preserved that those who saw him just before his demise agree that he had the appearance of a man who was not more than forty-five or fifty. His reputation for neighborliness was good and as a business man he stood high, being both active and punctual.
KAVANAGH, JOE: joined Sanford January 16, 1850, and remained in his employ until the day of his death, which occurred in Philadelphia, February 11, 1861, aged 50 years. His remains were interred in Mount Moriah Cemetery, that city. He was a printer by trade. During the visit of the Woods to this country, he sang in all their operas. He also sang with the Seguin Opera Troupe and played Dandini, Count Pompoline and other characters with that troupe.
KEARNEY, MICHAEL: died in Boston, October 26, 1877. He first appeared in public at 11 years of age, traveling with the Original Christy’s. He joined Morris Bros. in 1868. In 1870, he was partner with James Moran, known as the “Irish Team.” In the fall of 1876, he was stricken with paralysis.
KELLY, EDWIN: was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1835 and educated in London for a surgeon. He was a life pupil of St. George’s Hospital. He came to America and made his first appearance on the minstrel stage with Ordway’s Aeolians in Boston. He appeared as tenor vocalist and interlocutor. After his engagement at Ordway’s expired, he made several tours with various minstrel companies and became a very popular performer. At length he became partner and manager of the Academy of Music in Chicago, which was built under his supervision and where he collected a fine company. By his judgment and energy, as well as his efforts to elevate the tone of minstrelsy, his company was a popular one in Chicago and the great West. After five years of continued success, Mr. Kelly with his partner, Leon, transferred their attention to Cincinnati, where another and prettier minstrel hall was speedily erected and opened. But this gratifying result was of short duration, as a fire in a few hours swept away the beautiful hall, wardrobe and everything pertaining to the company, among which were some valuable operettas, ballads and minstrel acts, written by Mr. Kelly. After this, Kelly resolved to try the great metropolis, opening Kelly & Leon’s Minstrel Hall October 1, 1866. As a manager, Mr. Kelly proved himself to be every way competent to conduct a first class troupe. As an interlocutor he was well up in the business, being posted in all its details. He was a sweet-ballad singer and possessed a clear tenor voice. He was a tall, powerfully-built man, with a large head and broad shoulders. His muscular system was well developed. He had light hair and heavy, drooping moustachios and was exceedingly gentlemanly in his manners.
KEMBLE, JOHN R.: was born in Kent, England, in 1838. He came to America in 1857. His first experience in minstrelsy was with the Hart and Simmons party. He soon after joined Morris’ Minstrels and was with them for five years as interlocutor and stage manager. In 1868 he was attached to the dramatic company of De Bar’s Opera House, St. Louis, Mo., but was prevailed to return to minstrelsy by Billy Emerson, who was with Manning at the time in management. He was a fine solo or quartette singer, a good interlocutor, and a most useful member of the profession. He died in London, England, June 11, 1908.
KNEASS, NELSON: was born in Philadelphia, in which city he made his debut April 22, 1828, at the Chestnut Street Theatre as Richard III. In 1845 he first commenced in the burnt cork business. Mr. Kneass continued in the business a great favorite with the public, having composed a great many songs that afterwards became very popular. In March, 1858, he was manager of the Hiawatha Concert Saloon, Chicago; and on Christmas night, 1859, he opened a minstrel hall there. He was leader of the orchestra. He died in Chillicothe, Ohio, September 10, 1869.
KNEELAND, C. G.: formerly musical director of Johnny Booker’s Minstrels, left the business in June, 1861, and settled down in Shellsburgh, Wis., (having got married) and took to farming.
LA CONTA, WILLIAM: an old banjoist and bone soloist, died from consumption at the Presbyterian Hospital, Philadelphia, on April 27, 1878, in the 51st year of his age. In 1848, he appeared with the Sable Harmonists in song and dance (“Lucy Long”) and the double-faced soldier and sailor specialty, which he was one of the first to dance in this country. His remains were interred in Odd Fellows’ Cemetery, Philadelphia.
LA RUE, D. C.: died of pneumonia at Charleston, S. C., on March 15, 1875.
LAFFERTY, CHARLES: violinist, died in Pittsburgh, Pa., September 3, 1859.
LANDIS, JOHN: was employed in the Philadelphia Navy Yard in August, 1861, as a son of Vulcan, and in July, 1863, was proprietor of an oyster saloon in Reading, Pa. He died in Philadelphia, September 19, 1863. He had been ill for two or three months. His death was no doubt hastened by the death of his child the day previous. He had rare comic ability, his performances always eliciting well deserved applause.
LANE, PETE: the once famous champion jig dancer, was born in Philadelphia and made his debut as a jig dancer in 1852. He died in the arms of his friend, Mr. Sinclair, in his native city, June 13, 1858.
LANG, JOHN: tenor, died of consumption in Chicago, on December 5, 1874, at the hospital, corner of Fourteenth Street and Indiana Avenue.
LEE, W. H.: business manager, died of consumption in Liverpool, England, December 16, 1874, aged 33 years.
LEON, DAN: died in New York April 27, 1863. He was born March 1, 1826, and entered the profession in 1845. He was a clever interlocutor and did Shakespearean burlesque business. He was connected with E. P. Christy’s, Murphy, West and Peel’s and Campbell’s minstrels at different times.
LEON, FRANCIS: right name Patrick Glassey, was born in New York. When only 8 years of age he sang in the choir of St. Stephen’s Church in this city. He sang with great success the first soprano in Mozart’s Twelfth Mass. He first made his debut in the minstrel business at Wood’s Marble Hall of Minstrelsy on Broadway in operatic burlesque. He made a successful first appearance and remained quite a favorite with the habitués for a long time. He subsequently appeared with various first class troupes as prima donna and danseuse, until we find him in partnership with Mr. Kelly in the West, as manager of the Academy of Music, Chicago, and afterwards in Cincinnati. He then came to this city and, in partnership with Mr. Kelly, opened at 720 Broadway. Mr. Leon possessed a full soprano voice and could sing up to D in the ledger lines. As a dancer he was one of the best in the minstrel business. His terpsichorean movements were executed with wonderful rapidity and he did many steps that we have not seen attempted by any other performer in the same line of business. In his prima donna business he copied no one. His imitations of the principal operatic lady singers were very good. In addition to being well up in this business, he was also a clever impersonator of female characters, in light sketches written by himself, and in which he was ably assisted by his partner, Mr. Kelly.
LESLIE, HARRY: was born in East Troy, N. Y., January 30, 1837. His first appearance in public was as a “tambourinist” with a traveling company in the New England States. In the year 1857, he joined the celebrated Bryant’s Minstrels, then at 472 Broadway, and remained with them one season as versatile performer. In 1860, he again joined the Bryant’s Minstrels and played a successful engagement of one year. In January, 1861, he was at the Canterbury, this city, as a pantomimist, comic dancer, ballet master, etc. In Philadelphia he walked a rope stretched across the Schuylkill River, a distance of 1,400 feet and 100 feet in height, for nine weeks in succession. That was nothing comparatively, but it rather staggers the nerves to imagine oneself jumping three times a week from that height, as he did, into the not over placid waters below. In January, 1863, he was stage manager at Trimble’s Varieties, Pittsburgh. He walked a rope across the Niagara River on June 15, 1865. He made a great many similar feats over rivers throughout the country. In the winter of 1869, he traveled with Tony Denier as pantomimist. He died in the insane asylum.
LINGARD, GEORGE ALEXANDER: brother of James W. Lingard, died suddenly in the Bowery Hotel, New York, October 28, 1876, of enlargement of the heart. His remains were conveyed to Cypress Hills Cemetery. He was born in England in 1827. As early as April, 1850, he appeared at the Astor Place Opera House, this city, as a balladist with Sanford’s Minstrels. In the spring of 1853, he sang at the Chatham Theatre between the pieces. He afterwards became an actor.
LLOYD, COL. ALVIN: was first brought to the notice of the show world by being connected with the Sable Harmonists in 1847. He is said to have run away from this company while in the West, leaving them without paying any salaries, and also their board bills unpaid. Several of them, having no money, were arrested and locked up, where they were compelled to work out their indebtedness. For committing some crime, he was shortly after arrested and served out nearly his time in the penitentiary in Kentucky, when he escaped, but was pursued by the jailer and overtaken, having his chains on at the time. He was severely beaten by his captor and once more safely caged; but his health becoming so bad that, fearing he would die, he was set at liberty. Reaching Cincinnati, he published a questionable paper, and in consequence of publishing a slanderous article on Mr. Potter, a gentleman much respected as the proprietor of the Cincinnati Commercial, he was obliged to leave in a hurry. His next venture was the minstrel party bearing his name. He was very much disliked by every member of that company for his overbearing, insolent manner to everyone. And it is stated that he was fond of exhibiting a revolver, but he was cowed down once by David Wambold, who threatened to kick his head off. After failing with this company, he went South and entered the Confederate Army as a “tent colonel”; but deserted the cause, came North and entered the Federal army. Wending his way South, he was recognized by a rebel officer, who shot him in the leg five times. This was the cause of his lameness. While in Cincinnti with his minstrel troupe, he was served with so many warrants of arrests for many of his former acts of villainy that he could scarcely find time to return from any court before he was served to appear at another. In one day he was arrested over forty times. His company that burst up in July, 1867, in Jackson, Mich., he ran away from in the night to Chicago. He next appeared in St. Louis, engaged in soliciting subscribers to a railroad snap publication. After obtaining about $15,000, he is said to have run away and was extensively published throughout the West. He once more came to New York and became interested in the management of the New York Theatre (afterwards Globe), Broadway above Fourth Street, in partnership with D. H. Harkins. Going up Broadway one day he met Dan Bryant, Nelse Seymour, and William Newcomb, when an altercation took place, resulting in Dan giving Lloyd a good horsewhipping. What became of Lloyd we do not know.
LULL, DAVE: was well known as “Dad” Lull or “Hump-backed Dad.” He was a hump-backed man and used to play for his own dancing with exceedingly grotesque effect. His enormous hump was not only of service to him as a means of amusing the public but was also useful as a weapon of offense, his favorite mode of attack in personal combat being to bore his antagonist therewith. He was celebrated as a banjo player, having played at the Old Eagle Street Theatre, Buffalo, in 1842. He was with the old Virginia Serenaders when Billy Birch was in the company.
MACK, JOHNNY A.: died at San Rafael, Cal., July 23, 1870, aged 34 years. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He first appeared in burnt cork in Boston. He had been for some months too unwell to pursue his avocation and his final decline was very rapid. He died of consumption.
MANNING, WILLIAM E.: died in Chicago, Ill., May 15, 1876, in the 42nd year of his age, and his remains were interred in Piqua, Ohio, in the Forest Hill Cemetery. The bottom of the grave was covered with Brussels carpet and two flag-stones were placed upon the top of the coffin and cemented. He was born in Piqua, Ohio, and commenced the minstrel profession at 17 years of age. He was first with the Dixey Company in 1859; afterward, with the Campbell, Morris, Rumsey, Wilson and Newcomb troupes, and with the VanAmburgh, and Haight & Chambers circuses. In 1867 he became an assistant manager in the Emerson, Allen & Manning Troupe, afterward the Emerson & Manning, and the Manning Minstrels. Upon the stage in the first part, he was a model of an end man. Mystified at the rhetoric of the middle man, and disputations upon all points advanced by the opposite end man, he kept his auditors in merriment from the opening to the close of the scene. In the olio, whether in his horrible “pathetic ballads,” or his unrivaled “magical” entertainments, he never failed to please. A clear, honest eye, face an over-healthy crimson, and general bearing unassuming, he was always self-possessed, and was considered one of the best representatives of the old river darkie extant. It was a curious but perfectly natural compound of simplicity, cunning, affection, dishonesty, earnestness, laziness and cowardice; all his bad qualities so manifestly the product of hard experience and sad necessity that one could not help a feeling of sympathy and liking for the worn-out, shuffling-gaited, whining-voiced old rascal. Although in deep consumption at the time of his death, his decease was hastened through the villainous actions of a supposed friend well known in the minstrel profession.
MASON, HARRY: real name Henry Davis, died in Wilmington, Del., January 9, 1865, of pulmonary consumption.
MASON, HENRY: died in New York, suddenly on February 22, 1873, of hemorrhage of the lungs, aged 33 years. He had been suffering from consumption for some time. He was a clever performer and attentive to business.
MCANALLY, THOMAS: violinist, died in Brooklyn, N.Y., of consumption, May 25, 1872, aged 35 years. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
MEEKER, G. W.: violoncellist, better known as “Old Governor,” died in Dublin, Ireland, March 12, 1861, of heart disease. He was one of the original old Campbell party with Murphy, West and Peel.
MELVILLE, CHARLEY: was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and made his first appearance on the stage as a ballad singer at Plunkett’s Olympic Theatre, New Haven, Conn., in 1852 for the benefit of Julia Turnbull. His first professional engagement was with the Original Campbell Minstrels as leading tenor vocalist. After their season closed, he joined the Original Christy Minstrels and continued with them until their departure for Europe. After a term with West & Peel’s Campbells Minstrels, he retired from the stage and became an agent. He died in Newark, N. J., July 10, 1901, and his remains were interred in Woodlawn Cemetery, Newark.
MILLICENT, JOHN: a professional dancer for 39 years, died in London, January 10, 1865. He was an American.
MITCHELL, MIKE: jig dancer, died in San Francisco, January 13, 1862, aged 32 years. He was buried in San Francisco. A marble slab was arranged over his grave with the following:
MOORE, GEORGE W.: familiarly known as “Pony Moore,” was born in New York, February 22, 1820. When reaching the age of 12, being so diminutive in appearance, he was looked upon as a second edition of Tom Thumb and was called “the little pony.” And to his last day he was known throughout the profession as “Pony Moore.” As soon as he had reached the age of 16, he ran away from home and joined a circus company, first leaving one company and then joining another. In 1844, he made his entree in the burnt cork business at the Halfway House, Broadway, New York, where the City Assembly Rooms Building afterwards stood. He joined here the old Virginia Serenaders. In 1852 he made his first appearance on the end as Brother Bones with Hayworth and Horton’s company. He afterwards traveled with the Kentucky Minstrels, Ring & Parker’s Troupe, the Congo Minstrels (afterwards known as Buckley’s), and the Dumbolton’s band. He opened at Mechanics’ Hall in 1856. Their last performance there was February 21, 1857. When he left this party he went through the South with Tony Hernandez and a variety show. Pony used to stand as a target for Hernandez to throw knives at. He next traveled with Matt Peel’s Campbell’s Minstrels and remained with them until Peel’s death, when he became manager and played through New York State, closing in Brooklyn. In the latter city he played at Burtis’ Variety Show, working both places each night. On June 11, 1859, Pony sailed for England to join the “Christys,” who were then in London. He met the party and took Earl H. Pierce’s “posish.” The chair that had been occupied by Pierce was covered with crepe and remained unoccupied until Moore took it. Moore played the tambourine, while in America he manipulated the bones. His salary was $15 a week, including board. He opened at Polygraphic Hall, London, England, then went on tour, re-opening in London in 1860. He left the company in Dublin, Ireland, and with Ritter, Crocker and Hamilton, started a Christy show of their own, opening in Chester, England, November 14, 1864. On September 18, 1865, he opened at St. James’ Hall, London. Later Moore brought out Ritter and subsequently, through the death of Crocker, became the manager of the company. Moore took Burgess as partner. Pony died in London, England, October 1, 1909. He was the oldest minstrel living at the time of his death. In the callow days of minstrelsy, he was poet and composer and is credited with being the author of two songs, “Work, Niggers, Work,” and “Dis Child’s Tambourine.” In the first he used to sing:
MORRIS, WILLIAM E.: died in Boston, Mass., October 11, 1878, after an illness of several weeks. William E.. Morris was born at or inside of Fort Niagara, near Buffalo, N.Y., May 11, 1832, and was therefore in his 47th year. When 15 years of age he entered the minstrel profession, joining Williams’ Empire Minstrels in Buffalo, N.Y. After appearing for a time in small parts, he gained popularity and made rapid progress. In 1852, he went to Boston, Mass., and joined Ordway’s Aeolians. He, with his brother Lon, Johnny Pell and J. C. Trowbridge, seceded from the company and organized the Morris Bros. & Trowbridge Minstrels. Early in 1870 he was connected with his brother Lon in the management of the Mystic Trotting Park, Boston, and similar enterprises. He made his last appearance in Boston, at Beethoven Hall during the early spring of 1878, when he created a sensation by his whistling “The Mocking Bird,” which was almost inseparably connected with his professional career. He was at one time one of the greatest favorites with lovers of minstrelsy that ever put on burnt cork. His cunning Negro look, his voice, his “feats,” his whimsicalities, all conduced to make him one of the best end men in the business.
MULLEN, J. J.: died in New York August 17, 1869, and his remains were interred in Calvary Cemetery.
MULLIGAN, JOHN: died suddenly in New York on July 22, 1873, in the 47th year of his age. He was born in New York in March, 1827. His first professional engagement was with Raymond & Waring’s Menagerie. He subsequently traveled two seasons with Robinson & Eldred, dancing in the ring, while Al Romaine performed upon the banjo. He then joined Perham’s Minstrel Troupe, remaining one year and becoming a great favorite with the audiences. In 1854 he joined Mabie’s Circus in Missouri, with which he traveled to New Orleans, La., and back, and at the conclusion of that season he was engaged by G. F. Bailey, with whom he remained three seasons. He then went to Philadelphia, where he fulfilled a profitable engagement at Thomas’ Opera House, and the following winter he joined VanAmburgh’s Circus and Menagerie at Macon, Ga., and continued with that show one season. He had by that time become a very attractive performer and managers sought his services. On his return from the South, he was engaged by Frank Rivers for his Melodeon in Philadelphia, and so great a favorite did he become that he remained two years. About this time he attracted the attention of George Lea, a well known manager, and in 1862 entered into a contract with the latter for a long period. He performed under Mr. Lea’s direction in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans and nearly all the principal cities of the Union. He was afterwards connected with the San Francisco Minstrels, Hooley’s and others of note. Mr. Mulligan had been suffering from some disease of the heart for some time, but had been confined to his room but a brief period. On the day of his death he expressed a desire to look out of the window, and his wife had arranged a pillow on the sill for him to rest his head upon. And as he sat there with one arm around his wife’s waist and gazing upon the passing pedestrians, his spirit winged its flight so quietly that his wife was not aware of his death until she saw his head droop upon the pillow. In attempting to raise it she discovered her loss. Mr. Mulligan, as an Ethiopian comedian, had few equals in his peculiar line, and in his special acts was without a rival. His appearance on the stage was ever a signal for hearty laughter. Being over six feet high, and his wardrobe of the most ludicrous description, it was not strange that he should evoke great enthusiasm.
MYERS, RICHARD: known as “Ole Bull” Myers, was born in Baltimore, Md., May 5, 1809. He was connected with minstrel companies for a great many years. In l835 he played the violin accompaniment to S. S. Sanford’s singing. He was considered one of the best violinists in the profession. His last performance in public was at the Cape May (N. J.) Court House, August 5, 1874. On the morning of the 6th he said, speaking to his violin, “I have played you for the last time. You go under my bed when I get home, and lie there.” He died in Philadelphia on September 10, 1874.
NELLE, WILLIAM CYNES: tenor, of Moore & Burgess’ Christy’s, died October 22, 1874, aged 25 years.
NEWCOMB, WILLIAM W.: died in New York at the City Hotel, corner Broadway and Eighth Street, on May 1, 1877. With cords attached to the door latch, gas jet and bell pull, and with a rope so rigged that he might take at least a little exercise while lying in bed, he had lain in that room almost helpless for ten weeks, or ever since he broke a leg while performing in a pantomimic sketch at Hooley’s Opera House, Brooklyn. Heart disease terminated a life that poverty long before rendered undesirable. He met his end unexpectedly and alone. He was found kneeling in death at his bedside with his hands supporting his face. It is surmised that a rheumatic affection, which not even his physicians deemed serious, suddenly went to his heart. His funeral was very poorly attended, there being only twelve persons present, among whom were Frank Leslie, the old time minstrel performer, one other professional, a few boarders in the hotel (nonprofessionals) and the writer of this. The service of the Episcopal Church was read by Frank Leslie and a hymn was sung by Mr. Leslie and his lady friend and myself. It was a sad sight. There, lying in his coffin, was the once great Newcomb, who in his day was a great favorite and a man of influence. Having been reduced to poverty, living his latter days on the charity of others, he was forgotten by all his old associates, more particularly those he had often befriended (pecuniarily), who, even when death had wrapped his mantle around him, failed to forget his little failings. Just as the mortal remains of poor Newcomb were about being conveyed from the hotel parlors to the hearse, the Rev. Dr. Houghton put in an appearance; and, after a short prayer, the once popular minstrel performer was taken to his last resting place. Mr. Newcomb was born in Utica, N. Y., August 4, 1823. At about five years of age he became an orphan and he was taken in charge by the gentleman who had been the chosen physician of his parents. It was his guardian’s purpose to make a physician of him; but the boy as he grew up developed a taste for banjo songs and straight jigs and ultimately he placed himself under the wing of Fitzallan, one of the many solitary song-and-dance performers of that day. He traveled with him for three years at the tail end of circuses and then had an offer from S. B. Howes, whose circus he joined and with whom he remained as a jig dancer for three years. Then he and Abijah L. Thayer of Boston organized a minstrel band, from which the latter was forced by ill health to withdraw after a four years’ partnership. Newcomb’s first appearance in New York was in an olio at Tripler Hall on December 4, 1851. It was he who invented and danced for the first time before the public “The Essence of Old Virginia” with Fellow’s Minstrels at 444 Broadway, Mert Sexton being the second one to do the act. He was also the first minstrel who produced burlesque stump speeches, his first being “Woman’s Rights.’’
NISH, ANTHONY: musical director of Moore & Burgess’ Christy’s, died in London, England, October 3, 1873, of erysipelas, caused by the extraction of a sound tooth in place of one decayed. He was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, in February, 1831. In 1850 he visited the United States. His remains were interred in Brompton Cemetery.
NORTON, TIM: died in New York on January 25, 1862, after an illness of three months of consumption. He was buried in Greenwood. He was a versatile performer and could make himself useful in almost any line of business. He was quite young, not being more than 23 years of age at the time of his death.
NORTON, WASHINGTON: was born in New Orleans, February 2, 1839, and first appeared before the public in Roxbury, Mass., when but 9 years of age. He joined Ordway’s Aeolians in Boston in 1851. He opened with Bryant’s in New York in 1859. He sailed for Europe March 2, 1861, and joined Nish’s party, but left for the Cape of Good Hope, July 5, 1862. He re-appeared in New York in 1867, but returned to Europe in 1868, organized a band, and went to South Africa. On July 23, 1870, he had a match jig dance with Joe Brown at the Canterbury, London, and won the match. He returned to New York on July 5, 1872, and opened at the Bowery Theatre on August 5 in a play called “From Abroad.” He died November 16, 1899.
O’BRIEN, MIKE: banjoist and balladist, died of consumption in Algiers, opposite New Orleans, April 28, 1869.
O’NEIL, CHARLIE: formerly with Hooley’s party, committed suicide in St. Louis by drowning on July 2, 1863.
OYSTERMAN, PAUL: clarinet player, died in St. Louis, March 22, 1867, of consumption.
PEARCE, W. W.: died in Herkimer, N. Y., January 2, 1864, of consumption, aged 26 years. His wife was the former Marion Crapeau.
PEEL, MATT: was born in New York, January 15, 1830, of Irish parents. When he was about 2 years old his parents removed to Brooklyn, N.Y., where his father died in 1846. At an early age he evinced a talent for mimicry and a propensity for dancing. In 1840 he danced in public at a number of benefits at the Military Garden. In 1843 he organized a party to give Ethiopian concerts and traveled through Rhode Island. In 1846 he was engaged by June & Titus to travel with their circus. He was one of the best eccentric performers on the Ethiopian stage and was never at a loss for a point upon which to “bring down the house.” He was extremely jealous of his reputation and would never permit another to eclipse him in fun and happy hits. He was the first one that brought forward that popular saying, “He was a good man; as good a man an over lived--- but he can’t keep a hotel.” Matt Peel made his last appearance on the stage at Buffalo, N. Y., on May 2, 1859, and on the morning of the 4th, about 5 o’clock, while sitting up in bed, conversing with his wife, he instantly expired as he was exclaiming, “Oh, May, I am dying.” His wife subsequently became the wife of J. T. Huntley.
PEEL, TOMMY: whose right name was Thomas Jefferson Reily, died in Melbourne, Australia, July 31, 1869, and his remains were deposited in the same grave with Billy O’Neil, the Irish comedian, which was Tommy’s request. The pall bearers were Frank Hussey, Frank Weston, Frank Drew, John Smith, Harry Kelly, Charles Woodruff, T. Rainford and Henry Petchman. Weston & Hussey’s brass band, assisted by other brother professionals, played the “Dead March” from “Saul.” He was buried under the Roman Catholic faith. Tommy Peel was born in Albany, N. Y., in September, 1841. At a very early age he had a local reputation as a jig dancer; and while he was engaged at Rose’s Tenpin Saloon, in Washington Street, Albany, near Congress Hall, he was often sought for by the getters-up of impromptu negro minstrel companies and to dance at various benefits. At 9 years of age, Master Tommy made his debut with a regular company, joining the Sable Harmonists in his native city, the company having halted there to give two or three performances; and it was at this time that he first had the pleasure of appearing in public in proper uniform, viz. pink shirt, blue plaid breeches, and brass-heeled shoes. The applause he received was tremendous and Tommy’s appearance added largely to the receipts of said company, Dan Bryant being in the company. In 1852 he attracted the attention of Matt Peel, who took him under his fostering care and Tommy was soon well known to the minstrel profession and the public as Master Tommy Peel. The following account of the closing days of the earthly career of this once popular jig dancer is by Frank Russey. The sketch is correct in every particular, and there will be many an eye dimmed while reading of the jig dancer’s desire to return home again, to rejoin his companions of old, then “ten thousand miles away.”
PELHAM, RICHARD WARD: better known as Dick Pelham, was born in New York, February 13, 1815, and made his first appearance on the stage in 1835 at the Bowery Theatre, New York, with T. D. Rice in “Oh, Hush!” He afterwards traveled with Turner’s Circus executing a song and dance. He afterwards traveled with his brother, Gilbert. After appearing at various theatres in New York, he became one of the original band and went to England. He never returned to America after leaving it with the “original four” in 1843. His last engagement was in August, 1856. He died in Liverpool, England, October 8, 1856, of cancer of the stomach and was buried in Anfield Cemetery. Several years prior to his death he was indebted to Samuel Hague, proprietor of the well known minstrels in Liverpool, for many kindnesses. He also conducted a column in Mr. Hague’s monthly publication, headed “Ethiopian Anecdotes.” He was the author of many Negro melodies. For many years he managed Pell’s Serenaders in England and it was with them at the Surrey Theatre, London, in the spring of 1849 that Juba achieved the success which shortened his life. Gil Pell, who had been a prominent feature of the Dumbolton Troupe, which, by special invitation, had performed at the residences of many of the English nobility, was also with Pell’s Serenaders along with Juba.
PELL, GILBERT WARD: the retired bone player, died on December 21, 1872, and was buried in the Cemetery St. Helens, Lancashire, England, aged 47 years.
PELL, HARRY: died on Blackwell’s Island, New York, about May 1, 1866.
PELL, JOHNNY: whose right name was John A. Davin, died in Boston, January 24, 1866, aged 33 years. His last engagement in New York was with Charley White in the Bowery in 1854. He was a partner of the Morris Brothers from 1857 up to his death. Two days before his death he was married to Miss Moonie of Boston. His remains were brought to New York and interred in Calvary Cemetery. As an end man he was complete in everything pertaining to that position. His ornaments, his handkerchief, his vest, his wig, his movements, all his attitudes, stamped him a master spirit.
PETTENGILL, CHARLES: died in Albany, N. Y., on October 10, 1870, of consumption, aged 27 years.
PIERCE, EARL H.: died in London suddenly, June 5, 1859, and the house was closed until June 9. He had been indisposed and away from his duties one week prior to his death. On Sunday he said to his nurse he could not remain in bed and asked to be taken to a place of worship. He was taken to Highgate. He went through all his devotions with the utmost fervor and, on getting outside the building, he clasped his hands and fell down dead. He was born in New York in 1823. He was one of the greatest comic banjo soloists of his day and achieved fame by his song of “Hoop-de-dooden-do.” His first appearance before the public was in Philadelphia with Ogden & Raymond’s Circus. In 1842, he joined a minstrel party composed of Dan Emmett, Frank Brower, Jimmy O’Connell, Frank Diamond, Mestayer, and Master Pierce. At this time they were performing at the Franklin Theatre, N.Y.C. Leaving the minstrels for a while, he joined Turner’s Circus. He later joined E. P. Christy’s Minstrels. He went to England in 1856.
PIERSON, LEWIS: balladist and interlocutor, died at Washington, D. C., on April 24, 1874 of consumption.
PIKE, MARSHALL S.: was born in Westboro, Mass. He was one of the first impersonators of female characters on the minstrel stage, having performed in Boston in 1836. He became quite noted as a song writer. He traveled with minstrel bands for some years. He was taken prisoner of war early in 1861, but was paroled the same year. He died at Upton, Mass., February 13, 1901.
PRENDERGAST, THOMAS B.: left New York for the South with the 71st Regiment, April 22, 1861, and he was one of the first to set foot on Alexandria, Va., ground when that city was captured by the U. S. Forces. In June, 1861, he made a flying visit to New York on business and appeared with the Bryants (for that night only), June 13 and sang “Vive la America.” He was presented with a beautiful gold medal by Dan on behalf of the company. He dropped dead an Sunday, March 6, 1869, in the arms of Charles Covelli, in Utica, N.Y. He was a first class ballad singer. He retired from the profession one year prior to his death and kept a saloon in Utica with Covelli. The funeral procession was one of the most imposing seen in that town for a long time. The fire department, citizen soldiery and many others attended. The cortege moved in the following order: Fire police, band (all the fire department band), citizens, the corpse, delegation from Fountain Hose No. 4, Binghamton, in carriages, and mourners and friends. The procession proceeded to St. Patrick’s Church, where solemn high mass was celebrated. The delivery of the sermon occupied one hour. The remains were interred in St. John’s cemetery. Mr. P. was a member of the fire department and, upon the organization of the fire police, he was chosen captain. He participated in the battle of Aquia Creek and received special mention for bravery from his officer. He was engaged in the Bull Run fight with the Seventy-first Regiment.
PRICE, HI: was born in Chatfield, Filmore County, Minn., September 30, 1857. His first appearance in public was with Googin’s Minstrels. Since then he has been connected with various circuses in the concerts.
PRIDE, SAM: banjoist, died in Ireland on November 11, 1871, of bronchitis.
PRIMROSE, GEORGE H.: was born in London, Ontario, November 12, 1852, and first blacked up in 1867 as “Master Georgie, the Infant Clog Dancer.”
PURDY, S. S.: fell dead in the street in front of the Barnes House, Chicago, Ill., on February 29, 1876, aged 40 years. He was buried in Chicago. He was born in Troy, N.Y., in February, 1836. He visited England in June, 1869, and appeared with Moore & Crocker’s Christy’s.
QUINN, BILLY: died in New York November 29, 1863, of consumption, aged 26 years. His remains were interred in Calvary Cemetery. Jig dancing was his line of business.
RAWLINSON, JOHN: a once popular vocalist, died in London, England, April 11, 1875, and was buried in Brompton Cemetery. He was 37 years of age.
RAY, JOHN: better known as “Fox” Ray, died at Walsall, Staffordshire, England in April, 1873, age 42 years.
RAYNOR, GEORGE: right name George James Rea, basso, died in Brooklyn, April 7, 1874, aged 44 years. He was brother to John Raynor. He was at Burton’s, Chambers Street Museum, New York, in 1852.
REESE, A. H.: formerly of Happy Cal Wagner’s Minstrels, died in Milwaukee, Wis., on November 28, 1877, of consumption.
REEVE, WILLIAM M.: died at Williamsburg, N.Y., August 11, 1872, age 37 years. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery.
REIMER, A.: was taken ill with hemorrhage of the lungs, and died in Montreal on September 28, 1868.
REMINGTON, BILLY: died of heart disease at Grand Rapids, Mich., April 16, 1870.
RICARDO, F. M.: was born in Ireland in 1846. He came to America in 1849. Ricardo commenced stage life in 1868 with Kelly and Leon in New York, although he had previously been noted as a public singer, having been engaged for some time as the regular soprano of St. George’s Church. His voice was particularly adapted to the burlesque prima donna business. He sang with a clear, sweet and perfectly trained tone of the most undoubted falsetto, and when rising to the higher notes was able to hold to them perfectly even and with purity, without being forced off into the customary shriek with which wench personators of less extensive vocal powers are obliged to conclude a roulade. While possessing hardly less of the grace and thorough familiarity with all the many little details of stage business, that is noticeable in other performers of his class who have had a more prolonged acquaintance with the footlights than himself, Ricardo’s superior qualities as a singer gave him a stable advantage over most of his competitors that nothing could counteract.
RICE, THOMAS D.: “Jim Crow,” was born in New York, May 20, 1808. He first learned the trade of a carver, but on attaining his majority, joined a theatrical association and then went to Kentucky, under the management of Noah Ludlow. He made his first appearance in Negro character at Ludlow’s Amphitheatre, Louisville. He was in Mr. Ludlow’s company as a member of the stock company, playing inferior characters, but he was an excellent imitator of the Negro in their peculiarities, singularities and eccentricities, and especially could he imitate the Negro in song. Accordingly, between the play and farce, Mr. Rice was often announced and put forward to sing a Negro song in character. On one of these occasions I heard and saw Mr. Rice in Negro character sing a Negro song. This song, as I remember, was called, “Kitty-co-dink-a-ho-dink! oh, oh, roley-boley. Good morning, ladies all.” He first appeared in New York at the Park Theatre in “Jim Crow.” After a most successful career in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities, he crossed the Atlantic, and appeared in 1836 at the Surrey Theatre, London. His career in England was a most extraordinary one. The “Jim Crow” entertainment was a rage. He managed to keep up the excitement by improvising new verses to his song and thus making it entirely new every evening. On June 18, 1837, he married Miss Gladstone, eldest daughter of Mr. Gladstone, formerly manager of the Surrey Theatre. Mr. and Mrs. Wood could not draw a house and Macready had to quit the field for Jim Crow. We find on one occasion, at Dublin, the Lord Lieutenant and suite were present, and $1,800 in the house, one clear third of which went to Mr. Rice. On his fourth night he had $1,400 in the house, and in Cork the receipts were $1,900 per night. At all these places, independent of jumping Jim Crow, he appeared as Ginger Blue, Caesar, and in several pieces of similar merit. When he returned from Europe, he was eagerly sought after by the managers and played as a star in all the theatres in the country. His favorite role was the “Fancy Negro,” now nearly gone out, but he was equally good as the plantation hand. He opened with Wood’s Minstrels, 561 and 563 Broadway, New York, August 4, 1858. About 1840 he was for awhile deprived of speech and the use of his limbs by an attack of paralysis. He composed a burlesque opera called “Bone Squash,” and a Negro extravaganza on the plot of “Othello,” both exceedingly entertaining and very successful. Mr. Rice was stricken with paralysis and suffered very much until the day of his death, which occurred in New York, September 19, 1860.
RICHARDS, WARREN: right name, Richard A. Warren, tenor singer, died in New York, June 15, 1876, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
ROSS, ALEX: died in St. Louis, Mo., May 19, 1866, from consumption.
RUMSEY, HIRAM S.: died in Newburgh, N.Y., of paralysis of the spine, September 9, 1871, aged 43 years, 2 months and 28 days. His remains were interred in St. George Cemetery, Newburgh. He lay ill at his father’s residence in Newburgh a long time. He lay ill, for some time in the home known as Dr. Burdell’s, Bond Street, New York. In November, 1864, he became paralyzed and unable to resume his profession. As a banjo player, in his day, he had no superior.
RYDER, WILLIAM: solo cornettist with the Moore & Burgess party, died in Brighton, England, on June 14, 1871, aged 24 years.
SANFORD, SAMUEL S.: was born in New York, January 1, 1821. He made his debut at 9 years of age at Dan Neunan’s ballroom, located at what is now known as Eighth and Willow Streets, Philadelphia, as a singer. He traveled with his uncle, Hugh Lindsay, a celebrated clown, until 16 years of age. In 1840, he entered into the minstrel business. On July 4, 1863, he was married in Philadelphia to Miss Appoline M. Bond. Mr. Sanford was a liberal and kind-hearted gentleman and his purse was always open to the calls of the needy. In assisting others he had forgotten himself. He was industrious, persevering and generous. As a delineator of the “old darkie of the Southern plantation” there were few, if any, performers equal to him. He gave a very faithful portraiture of the contraband, both in manner of speaking and the peculiar characteristics of the Southern Negro. He died December 31, 1906, at his home in Brooklyn.
SAVORI, J. H.: retired from the profession several years ago and has been practicing medicine in Harlem under the name of Dr. Wheeler.
SEARCH, JACOB: “Old Jake,” violinist, died in Philadelphia, February 12, 1874, age 66 years.
SEYMOUR, NELSE: died in New York February 2, 1875, at the age of 39 years and 8 months, having been born in Baltimore, Md., June 5, 1835. His death was the result of a complication of diseases from which he had long suffered. His real name was Thomas Nelson N. Sanderson, and he was a son of Col. Henry S; Sanderson, a prominent Democratic politician, who had held the offices of sheriff and city tax collector and was one of the original directors and for many years the treasurer of the Front Street Theatre in that city. It was at that theatre that Nelse Seymour made his first appearance in public as a volunteer clown in the circus ring. Shortly afterwards, he entered the minstrel profession and was connected with Myers & Madigan’s Circus, also with Dan Rice’s. He made his first appearance in public with cork on his face at Apollo Hall, Baltimore, Md., which was then managed by John T. Raymond and Fanny Forrest. He made his first appearance in New York August 25, 1862. He sailed for England June 12, 1869, under engagement to appear with Moore & Crocker’s Minstrels in London. He made a hit among the Londoners but the climate did not agree with him and he was several times afflicted with hemorrhage of the lungs. After a sojourn there of a few months he returned to New York. He was billed to perform with Bryants’ Minstrels Wednesday evening, January 27, 1875, in “Deaf in a Horn” and to impersonate the characters of the Policeman and King Kaliko in the closing pantomime of “Kuliko; or, Harlequin, King of the Sandwich Islands”; but he being too ill to fulfill his duties, his place in “Deaf in a Horn” was supplied by W. H. Brockway and one of the attaches of the theatre went on for the policeman and Mr. Seymour impersonated King Kaliko only. His illness increased so rapidly during the evening that at the close of the performance he was compelled to ask the aid of a brother performer to wash the cork from his face. He was conveyed in a carriage to his residence, where he remained until his spirit winged its flight. His remains were escorted from the residence of his mother to the church by one hundred and eighty-two members of Amity Lodge of F. and A. M. and by the New York Lodge, No. 1, of the B. P. O. Elks. Charles Backus, James Clute, John J. Tindale and Col. T. Allston Brown acted as pallbearers, upon behalf of the Masonic lodge; and Tony Pastor and Gus Williams of the New York Lodge of B. P. O. Elks; and Frank Moran and Robert Fraser of the Philadelphia lodge of that order, an behalf of the Elks. The remains were then conveyed to Evergreen Cemetery, East New York, followed by a long line of carriages; and the services at the grave were the most imposing of all. The cemetery was not reached until a quarter past 6 o’clock and, owing to the lateness of the hour and some misunderstanding, no one connected with the cemetery could be found. The office was closed and the grave-diggers had all gone home. For half an hour, all who had gone to the cemetery waited in the cold, biting wind while Tony Pastor went in search of the grave-digger, who arrived at a quarter of 7 o’clock, at which time it was dark. Candles were procured and by that light were the remains of Nelse Seymour committed to the earth.
SHADDUCK, BOB: violinist, died in St. Louis, Sept. 5, 1864.
SHARPLEY, SAM: died in Providence, R. I., January 1, 1875, after a long and painful illness of a combination of diseases, the principal of which were cancer of the stomach and ulceration of the bowels. His real name was Samuel Sharpe. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 13, 1831. He first entered the minstrel profession at 16 years of age, and was on the road traveling with minstrel companies about 25 years.
SHEPPARD, BILLY: comedian and banjo performer, once a great favorite at Hooley’s, died at Port Washington, N. Y., July 8, 1872, of consumption and was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery by the B. P. O. Elks of New York, Lodge No. 1.
SIMMONS, LEW: was run over by an auto truck at Reading, Pa., September 2, 1911.
SIMPSON, JOHN: died at his residence, 214 East Sixty-second Street, New York, December 6, 1878. His full Christian name was Jonathan, but by its being contracted for printing on show bills he came to be known as John, which name he subsequently retained as long as he was in business. In 1846 he was treasurer of Mitchell’s Olympic Theatre, and left there to fulfill a similar position with E. P. Christy’s Minstrels, 472 Broadway. For some time he occupied a like position at White’s Varieties in the Bowery, and later he joined Bryant’s Minstrels, 472 Broadway, and continued there as treasurer as long as the company had an existence in this city. After the death of Dan Bryant, April 10, 1875, the Opera House in Twenty-third Street was closed and Mr. Simpson retired to private life. He was of a very genial disposition and much liked by all with whom he came in contact.
SLITER, R. H.: died in Jackson, Mich., May 21, 1861. He danced three nights previous to his death and then complained of his right leg paining him. The following day he was confined to his bed and he requested the violinist of the troupe to play “Sounds from Home.” He also requested Tommy Jefferson to play a favorite jig for him on the banjo. His body was conveyed to the city cemetery. The minstrels who had come from Adrian, Mich., to his funeral sang over his grave, “Let Me Kiss Him for His Mother.” On hearing of his death, his mother proceeded to Jackson and had the body conveyed to Buffalo, N.Y., where the remains were deposited in Forest Lawn, June 5.
SMITH, AL: died of consumption, in Jersey City, N. J., January 31, 1876, aged 33 years. He was considered a good jig dancer.
SMITH, JOHN PEMBERTON: was born in Richmond, Va., August 3, 1832. He first appeared in minstrelsy as Master Smith in 1845. He joined a small party and played the jawbone, the bones and danced jigs with old Joe Sweeney. The party lasted about six months and John returned to Richmond and entered the office of the Richmond Enquirer, where he remained six years as a “typo.” He then joined the Old Dominion Minstrels in 1850, under the name of John P. Weston, and played the bones. When the party disbanded, John remained in Suffolk and published a newspaper called The District Republican. He remained there four months; then joined Bill Parrow’s Minstrels, playing the bones. He next organized the Smith & Hernandez Minstrels. He retired from the profession in 1855 and remained idle for about six months, after which he was employed in the Government Printing Office at Washington as proofreader, where he remained until 1858. John T. Ford then engaged him to manage the Washington Theatre for six months; after which, Ford sent him to Baltimore as business manager for the Front Street Theatre. He next took a trip of two weeks as far as Norfolk, Va., for the Buckley Bros.’ Minstrels, then returned to Baltimore and joined George Christy’s Minstrels and went through the South as advance agent. This was during the war when everything was pretty lively down there. Then he organized the Olympic Minstrels in Norfolk in 1864. He was manager of the Melodeon, Baltimore, for six months for Albert Lea. He joined the Raynor Christy Minstrels as agent in June, 1864. Next he made a trip through the East with the Bryant’s Minstrels, and in 1865 became business manager for Artemus Ward. His next venture was a most desperate one; that was going through the South and West as agent for Belle Boyd. He reached Memphis, but found things getting too warm for him, so he returned to New York. He was manager of the Park Theatre, Brooklyn, for the season of 1872-73; was manager for Mrs. Conway of the Brooklyn Theatre for several seasons and up to her death; was two seasons manager for the Vokes Family; for three years he attended to all business engagements for Clara Morris; and in 1876 brought out “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” with a great many original slaves (from Thompson Street) in the plantation scene. He made his debut as an actor at Albany, N. Y., in April, 1858, playing the Auctioneer in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” He died in New York, November 12, 1897.
SMITH, JOHN WASHINGTON: better known as “old Bob Ridley,” died at South Yard, Australia, August 31, 1877, and was buried in St. Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne. He had been troubled with asthma for some time. As far back as 1838 he was singing and dancing the tragico-comico extravaganza of “Jim Along Josey,” together with giving the Negro song of “Jim Brown,” at the Lion Circus, Menagerie and Gymnastic Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio. Smith was known to familiars as “The Arkansas Traveler” and was the first person in America to make a decided feature of the song of “The Fine Oil English Gentleman.” Jim Sanford and Smith were rivals in “Jim Along Josey.” In the summer of 1841 he got back to the Bowery and he and his pupil, Piccaninny Coleman, were doing “Jim Along Josey” and kindred negroisms. They next went to England and in November of 1840 did their grotesque acts at the Surrey Theatre, London. They returned in 1841 and in the fall of 1842 they joined Master John Diamond and Billy Whitlock in negroisms at the Chatham Theatre, this city. In 1849 he was with Stone & McCollum and wrote the song-and-dance “Old Bob Ridley,” which he first gave in New Orleans. He was also the first person to do it in New York and first with a minstrel band, which was at the Melodeon, this city, opposite the Old Bowery Theatre, in the fall of 1852. In 1854 he went to San Francisco. From San Francisco he went to the Sandwich Islands, which he left in 1857 for Australia, where he managed for Burton. In 1860, he left Australia and went to China, India, the Philippine Islands and Java. In 1865, he returned to Australia, whence he proceeded to London, where he became manager of the Collins & Brown “Christys,” whom he took to Australia and played until 1865. His last tour was with Heller, which began at Bombay in October, 1871, whence he took him by rail across Central India, stopping at Jubbulpore, Allahabad, Dinapore, and Calcutta, where he played him from November to the middle of January, 1872, going thence to Ceylon, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Batavia, Java, Soolo (residence of the Emperor), and Djola Karta, the Sultan’s domain. In October, Heller went to England and Smith returned to Australia, where in the interim he had managed several troupes. About August 26, 1876, he arrived in San Francisco on a brief visit to the Pacific States.
SMITH, WILLIAM N.: the champion bone soloist, died in New York after a lingering illness on January 4, 1869. He was born in Albany, N.Y., and first went into the show business with a miscellaneous traveling troupe in 1841, performing in white face. He was the first man to give imitations of the snare drums with the bones, which he did in Baltimore while traveling with a variety troupe and performing in white face. He afterwards traveled all over the United States with circus companies, performing in the side shows with a minstrel band. He also appeared with Charley White at 119 Bowery, this city, where he became a great favorite. He continued with traveling companies until 1866, when an abscess formed in his right breast, which, after being operated upon, affected him in his right arm, drawing it up so that it was impossible for him to shake the bones any more. He went to the hospital, and while under the influence of ether the doctors forced his arm back, making it straight, but in doing so snapped some of the tendons, from which, up to his death, he suffered constant pain. He retired from the profession, and on the afternoon of April 18, 1867, took a benefit at Charley White’s Music Hall (formerly Bryant’s), this city. Shortly after this he had an operation performed on his right arm (it having become paralyzed), having a portion of the bone removed, but he received no benefit from this operation. He continued to suffer great pain from his arm. He then became doorkeeper at Tony Pastor’s Opera House in the Bowery, up to four months previous to his death, when he took a violent cold, which so prostrated him that he was confined to his room. The writer saw him about six weeks prior to his death. His right arm hung by his side, perfectly helpless, and he had a terrible cough. He was also in destitute circumstances, and an appeal was made through the columns of the Clipper to the profession to send in their little for the benefit of his wife and child. He received half salary from Tony Pastor for four months and up to his death, during which four months he was not once attending to his duties as doorkeeper. Singular to state, not a dollar was otherwise contributed from a single professional. Mr. Smith was buried on the 7th, and his remains were interred in Greenwood. The following day ten dollars was received from Sam Hague, the well known Liverpool, England, manager. As a bone soloist he was the best ever heard in this country, having played for and won the championship, which he retained up to his death. In his coffin were placed his castanets.
STEELE, KARL: violoncellist, retired from public life in 1873 and returned to Germany, but becoming tired of inactivity, he returned to America, August 9, 1876, and soon after returned to the minstrel profession.
STONE, A. C.: while traveling with Burgess, Prendergast, Hughes, & Donniker’s Minstrels, was attacked with cholera in Frankfort, Ky., November 10, 1866, and in two hours was dead. He was a good performer from end to middle business, clog dancing, singing or anything else.
STRAIGHT, CHARLES WESLEY: brother of Ned Straight, and at one time known in the profession as Charley West, died at Omaha, Neb., on March 14, 1870. He was in the business for 17 years and was a good musician, fine singer, both ends and interlocutor.
SULLIVAN, ED: of the Albino Minstrels, was married in Boston, July 2, 1866, to Agnes Kennedy.
SULLIVAN, J. F.: balladist, died in Boston, Mass., August 20, 1866, of bronchial disease of the throat, aged 25 years. His remains were taken to Lowell, his native place, and interred in the Catholic burying ground.
SWEENEY, DICK: banjoist, died in Washington, D. C., in the winter of 1854.
SWEENEY, JOE: died in Appomattox, Va., October 27, 1860, about 45 years of age. Who, in the Southside, Virginia, does not remember old Joe Sweeney and his banjo. During his time there were several popular performers on the banjo but none of them had his thorough conscientiousness in the matter of make-up, which undoubtedly enhanced the popularity of his really superior playing. Joe used to black not only his face, neck, hands, and arms, but his feet as well, and would come on the stage barefoot, carrying a rude old saw buck for a seat, the perfect personification of a “plantation nigger.” Most of his playing, though, was done in a standing position, in which attitude he performed his famous “chimes,” which were original with him. His brother, Dan Sweeney, was also a good banjo player but rather a copy of Joe, who was in many respects original. Old Joe was looked upon as a sort of demigod by the music-loving Negroes of the South. And for dancing the jig, the breakdown, the old Virginia reel, he was perfectly at home. Sometimes he moved with inimitable grace through the figures of the dance, and there was no one that could “cut the pigeon wing” like him.
SWEENEY, SAM: banjoist, died in Virginia during the war. He was courier for Jeb Stewart and a great favorite.
THAYER, AMBROSE A.: vocalist, died in Boston, June 10, 1863, from consumption, aged 20 and 6 months.
THAYER, AMIDON L.: better known as “Bije” Thayer, was one of the pioneers in the minstrel business and associated with some of the best troupes in the country. He died in Boston, Mass., February 20, 1864, aged 41 years. He retired from the profession some years previous and opened a restaurant in Boston on Tremont Street; and at the time of his death was proprietor of a similar establishment on State Street. He was interred in Mount Auburn.
THOMAS, WALLY: who had been middle man for Sharpley, died at Lowell, Mass., May 29, 1864, aged 26 years. His disease was consumption. He neither drank any spirituous liquors, smoked or chewed, and at the time of his death had amassed considerable property, owning several houses in his native city, Lowell. He was a good general performer, jig and clog dancer, end man, banjoist and drummer.
TURNER, MALVIN: well known as “Mob” Turner, died in New York on September 27, 1862, from the effects of a severe surgical operation which had been performed a few days prior to his death. He was a useful and reliable man in his line, was also a quiet, unassuming and intelligent person, and paid great devotion to his profession, without regard to position or fame.
TURNER, RICHARD J.: balladist of this company, died in Sykesville, Md., August 6, 1857. He was born in Baltimore, Md.
TURNER, ROBERT: died in St. Louis, Mo., on January 15, 1875, of smallpox, aged 32 years. He was leader of the brass band.
TURNER, W.: tenor and bone soloist, for many years with Christy’s Minstrels, died at Kidderminster, England, on March 22, 1872.
UNSWORTH, JAMES: died in Liverpool, England, February 21, 1875, from a complication of diseases, among which were jaundice, dropsy and enlargement of the liver. He was born at Liverpool, England, July 2, 1835, and commenced his career in burnt corkdom at 14 years of age in Montreal with an amateur party. The next year he joined S. S. Sanford’s Minstrels in Philadelphia. After that he appeared in every portion of the United States and Canada. He visited Europe with Eugene early in June, 1861. He settled in London, where he remained several years. He was induced to return to America by Dan Bryant. He was a good end man, a merry handler of the banjo, a good comic singer, quick at an impromptu repartee, and a successful performer in broad burlesque. The comic speech, the refrain of which was “or any other man” was originated by Billy Thomas but popularized by Unsworth. A very chaste and valuable monument is erected over the grave of Unsworth in Ford Cemetery, Liverpool. The monument bears the following appropriate inscription:
VAUGHN, THOMAS: died in Zanesville, Ohio, September 3, 1875. He was one of the original members of E P. Christy’s Minstrels. Mr. Vaughn was an excellent banjoist and a very popular performer. He was about 52 years of age and was the last surviving member of the original Christy minstrels, as well as one of the oldest banjoists of America. During the last few years of his life he suffered considerably from lack of pecuniary means. He was helpless, his constitution having been broken down through exposure while serving in the army during our Civil War, the 165th Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers (Second Duryea Zouaves). He was unable to work for some three years prior to his death and during that time he received some relief from troupes passing through Zanesville.
VON BONHORST, JULIUS A.: died in Reading, Pa., on February 15, 1869, after a brief illness of inflammation of the bowels. He had a brother, Charles, at one time a popular banjoist, and who originally performed with Dan Rice and the Pig Show. He retired from the profession and practiced dentistry in Pennsylvania. Von Bonhorst joined S. S. Sanford’s Minstrels in 1851 as a banjoist and remained with him three years, when he married Miss Luther of Philadelphia clandestinely; and quite a fuss was made over the affair when it became known to the lady’s family. He then retired from the profession and went into the mercantile business in Pittsburgh. One year sufficed and he again engaged with Sanford. He next took charge of a store in Alexandria, Va., and was afterwards removed to Reading, Pa., where he became clerk in the Revenue Department, his father-in-law being the collector there. In the meantime, his wife was sent to the insane asylum for lunacy, where she died. This worked so upon Von Bonhorst that he died as stated above. He was generous to a fault and as a banjoist was good.
WAGNER, CALVIN: was born in Mobile, Ala., July 4, 1840. He appeared before the public since he was 17 years of age.
WALSH, MICHAEL: was one of the best banjo players in the business. He died in Boston August 29, 1866, age 27 years. His remains were taken to Quincy.
WAMBOLD, DAVID S.: was born in Elizabethtown, N. J., in April 1836, and put on the burnt cork for the first time in 1849 with a company numbering four, and took a short tour through New England, visiting many of the principal towns and cities. In 1850 he visited Philadelphia for the first time, and in company with Johnson, the comic singer, and Charles Jenkins, an old Ethiopian performer, appeared at what was then called Winter Garden, located at 101 Chestnut Street. He remained here about eighteen months, after which he joined a party at Paterson; N. J., calling themselves the Thespians, and went on a short traveling tour with them. In 1853 he made his first appearance in New York at Hope Chapel, with W. Donaldson’s Ethiops. Leaving here after a short reign, he became one of Charley White’s school boys, and remained with him off and on for about two years. From Charley White’s he bent his steps to the Dan Bryant and Ben Mallory party, traveling all through the Eastern country and bringing up finally in Philadelphia, where Jerry and Neil Bryant came into the company and Mallory stepped out. His next trip was with the Raynor and Pierce party, whom he joined in 1857 and traveled through the West and Southwest. Returning to New York, he became a member of Wood and Christy’s Minstrels, at 444 Broadway. He remained here some time and became a favorite as a ballad singer. On July 11, 1857, he sailed for Europe, as one of the principal members of the Raynor-Pierce-Christy party. Mr. Wambold remained with this company thirteen months. In 1859 he returned to the States and joined the Bryant Brothers, but remained only three months, when he took a short rest and then we next find him at Wood’s Marble Hall; but only for a brief period, as he returned to his old love, the Bryants, continuing there eight months. He was married in Philadelphia, April 23, 1859, to Isabella Young; then later joined Lloyd’s Minstrels, but he soon left them. He returned to Europe in June, 1861, and joined Brown and Templeton’s African Minstrels, then traveling over the Continent. He remained with them nine months, when he re-joined the old Christy party and was with them fifteen months. After which, in company with his wife, he took a trip over the Continent on a pleasure tour, visiting France, Belgium, Prussia, Austria, Hungary, Italy, returning home through Tyrol, Bavaria, Baden-Baden, to Strasburg, returning to this country on June 30, 1863. And as soon as arrived, he was secured by Henry Wood for his troupe. Mr. Wambold, as a tenor singer, took rank with any in minstrelsy and was one of the best ballad singers in the profession. His voice, rich, earnest and tender, was used with great taste and feeling. Dave Wambold died November 10, 1889, in New York City.
WAMBOLD, JAMES: was married at the residence of Mrs. Matt Peel in Catskill, N.Y., in October, 1861, to Miss Hatton, sister of Mrs. Peel. They lived together but three weeks. The lady sued for and obtained the divorce on the fourth week in Buffalo.
WARDEN, E.: left the minstrel business in May, 1861, and gave Sunday concerts in London.
WARREN, MICKEY: a famous jig dancer, died at Bellevue Hospital, New York, May 14, 1875, aged 47 years. His early history is shrouded in mystery and the earliest record we can find of his public performances is that he was dancing at Charley White’s Melodeon in the Bowery in 1849; and this may possibly have been his first appearance on the stage. He was connected as a star feature with Bryant’s Minstrels for a number of seasons.
WELLS, FRANK: right name, Bernard F. Mundy, died in Brooklyn, N.Y., on April 25, l874.
WELLS, SAM: died in Virginia City, August 30, 1864, aged 38 years. He was horseback riding and received an injury, from the effects of which he died. He was buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery.
WEST, LUKE: right name William Sheppard, died in Boston, Mass., May 26, 1854, of inflammation of the bowels. He was born in Philadelphia in 1826. In 1831, at the age of 5 years, the sight of his left eye was totally destroyed by a fork, held in his own hands, which had been diverted from its course by his brother, who accidentally forcibly hit his elbow. In 1832, he narrowly escaped death by drowning. Again he came near drowning, having been rescued by James Gown, a boat builder’s apprentice in his native town. In 1835, while climbing an awning post, upon the top of which rested a bar with iron hooks used for hanging meat, just as he had reached the top and was resting his hands upon the bar, a companion caught hold of his feet, causing him to lose his hold and one of the hooks caught in the flesh of his wrist and tore his hand open to the end of the thumb. In 1840, he developed a talent for whistling, imitation of birds and instruments, and his services were secured by Samuel Johnson, who was giving entertainments with a troupe in Hoboken, N. J. He met with success and in 1848 he, with a few others, organized a band known as the Campbell Minstrels. On November 29, 1849, under his own name of William Sheppard, he joined A. P. Christy’s Minstrels, remained with them eight months, and then rejoined his old company and associated himself in the management with Joseph Murphy and Matt Peel. His last appearance on the stage was May 23, 1854, in Boston.
WEST, WILLIAM H.: was born in Syracuse, N. Y., June 18, 1832, and first went into the business August 20, 1870. He married to Mrs. Harris of Baltimore on November 24, 1867, in New York.
WESTON, FRANK: left the business in December, 1864, and went to Havana, Ill., where he practiced medicine. He afterwards settled down in Cynthiana, Ky., and took his real name of Dr. Henshall.
WHITE, CHARLEY: was born in June, 1821. He first appeared in public in 1843 at Thalian Hall, 492 Grand Street, New York, as a performer on the accordion. He at once made his mark in the profession. In conjunction with Billy Whitlock, Tom Booth and Barney Williams, he opened with a minstrel organization at Vauxhall Garden, New York, in 1843. In 1844 he organized and played with The Kitchen Minstrels. He then went on a tour of the eastern and middle states. He afterwards associated with the Ethiopian Operatic Brothers, among whom was Barney Williams. He played the tambourine on the end. He next joined the Sable Sisters and Ethiopian Minstrels. They included three lady vocalists. He was in various combinations up to 1846. He opened The Melodeon, 53 Bowery, New York, November 24, 1846. The prices of admission were 6¼ and 12 cents. He was burnt out twice but each time he rebuilt. With Eph Horn he occupied, April 2, 1851, the Coliseum, 448 Broadway, near Grand Street. He finally closed the Melodeon April 24, 1654. Among those who became famous in the minstrel world that appeared here were Master Juba, Neil Hall, Bill Smith, Clem Titus and Zeke Backus. Salaries at this place ranged from $6 to $12 a week. He next went to the Art Union Rooms, west side of Broadway (495-497), between Broome and Spring Streets, where he opened with his Serenaders and called the place the St. Nicholas Exhibition Rooms, on April 10, 1854. He opened White’s Varieties, 17 and 19 Bowery, September 13, 1852. In the company were Corrister, Deaves, G. Rich, Rose Merrifield, Dan Emmett, John Diamond and Master Franks. He was next found at 49 Bowery, opposite the Old Bowery Theatre, which he opened August 7, 1854. No similar place ever introduced one-third of the comic material during its whole existence as this same establishment. Dan Emmett, Frank Stanton, Billy Coleman, John Murray, Picayune Butler, M. Turner, W. Roark, John T. Huntley, L. Donnelly, M. Lewis, G. White, W. N. Smith, Master Juba, Boston Rattler, William Donaldson, W. Quinn, J. Carroll, Tim Norton, Tom Briggs, Hi Rumsey, James and William Budworth, Dan Gardner, Joe Brown, Mike Kitchell, T. D. Rice, John Mulligan, Luke West, Johnny Pell, Sam Wells, Billy Newcomb, Charles Fox, Dave Wambold, Ned Deaves, Dan Bryant and E. Bowers were among those who appeared there at various times. In June, 1860, he opened old Washington Hall, 598 Broadway, three doors above Niblo’s Garden, with a variety show, including Kate Partington, Emma Schell, Laura Le Claire (afterwards Mrs. Josh Hart). He then went to Bob Butler’s, 444 Broadway, where he remained four years. He joined the company January 7, 1861. On May 20 he appeared in the burlesque of “Mazeppa,” playing the title role. He was manager of Mechanics’ Hall, June 26, 1866. Johnny Thompson, George Warren, M. Campbell, Charles Collins, Clinetop Sisters, Millie Young, Viro Ferrand, Lizzie Whelly, Julia Melville, Bob Hart, Frank Kerns, Wash Norton, Nelse Seymour, George R. Edeson and Fanny Forrest were his associates. Dave Braham was musical director. White retired from the management April 30, 1867. On August 27, 1867, in conjunction with Sam Sharpley, he opened the Theatre Comique. He then went to the hall formerly occupied by the San Francisco Minstrels, which he opened with a variety show August 12, 1870, and remained there until June, 1873. He then became associated with dramatic companies and played Uncle Tom, etc. He died at his home in New York January 4, 1891. By a close scrutiny of Negroes of all ages and characters, by studying their dialect, imitating their actions, gestures and carriage, by closely examining their tastes, peculiarities and humors, their friendships and hatreds, by noticing carefully the blending in their character of the deeply pathetic with the grotesquely and exuberantly droll, Mr. White became a master of his art and made himself one of the most useful and popular performers that ever put on burnt cork. T. D. Rice esteemed Mr. White so highly that he left him all his manuscript material and E. P. Christy presented him with a silver pitcher.
WHITE, CHARLES H.: comedian of the Leavitt party, died at Springfield, Mass., on October 21, 1872, aged 23 years. His disease was quick consumption.
WHITE, COOL: was born in 1821. In 1838 he made his first appearance at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, singing Ethiopian songs between the pieces, making his first appearance in the original song written by himself, entitled “Whose Dat Nigger Dar a Peeping?” From this time out he was considered quite a card and was eagerly sought for to perform on all benefits. In 1839 he played a star engagement at the Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, opening as Snowball (a dandy Negro servant) in a piece of his own writing, entitled “The Fall of Babylon, or, The Servant Turned Master.” From this time until 1842 he played various engagements as the representative of dandy Negroes. In 1842 he created quite a furor at the Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia, as Fancy Cool, in Silas S. Steele’s great burlesque of “Philadelphia Assurance.” In 1843 he organized the band of minstrels known as the Virginia Serenaders.Cool re-organized the Virginia Serenaders and gave performances in the large canvas of Raymond & Waring’s Menagerie. Becoming dissatisfied with the style of traveling (on the top of cages, over rough roads), he left the menagerie at Wythe Court House, Va., joined Robinson & Eldred’s Circus and traveled with them throughout the entire South. Returning North as far as Lynchburg, he there started another minstrel troupe, called the Sable Melodists. Cool next turned his attention to the drama, the war excitement proving too strong to make the minstrel profession a paying business at that time. He accordingly rented the Newark Theatre, in Newark N. J., and having secured his company, opened with the moral drama of “Uncle Tom.’’ He next took the stage management of Dick Sliter’s Empire Minstrels. He was a Shakespearean clown with Spalding & Rogers’ Circus. He then organized Mason’s Metropolitan Serenaders, then Dumbolton’s Minstrels, and then S. S. Sanford’s Troupe.Then he appeared with Griffin’s Minstrels at 444 Broadway; next at Wood’s Marble Building, 561 Broadway; then he was manager of George Christy’s Minstrels; then Lloyd’s Minstrels. Between 1860 and ‘70, he was stage manager and interlocutor at Hooley’s Minstrels, Brooklyn. He went to Chicago with R. M. Hooley and was the founder and organizer of the Chicago Lodge, 3, of B. P. O. Elks. He died in Chicago on April 23, 1891.
WHITLOCK, WILLIAM M.: was born in New York in 1813 and was employed as compositor on a religious journal. In 1835 he made his debut at the Patriot House, in Chatham Square, New York, as Cuff in “Oh, Hush!” While traveling through the South with Whipple’s Circus, he met Joe Sweeney at Lynchburg, Va. Up to that time Whitlock had never seen a banjo; but during his brief stay in Lynchburg, Sweeney made him one and taught him the tune “Sittin’ on a Rail.” From this time forth he made the banjo his study by day and by night. Every night during his journey South, when he was not playing, he would quietly steal off to some Negro hut to hear the darkies sing and see them dance, taking with him a jug of whiskey to make them all the merrier. Thus he got his accurate knowledge of the peculiarities of plantation and cornfield Negroes. Reaching this city on July 6, 1838, he at first performed with Dan Gardner in Hester Street and then went with Henry Rockwell, the circus manager, to the Richmond Hill Theatre. There, singing “The Raccoon Hunt,” he played the banjo for the first time in public. Although in his autobiography he specifically sets up no such claim, yet he seems to have been the first person to play that instrument in this city. Billed as “Billy Whitlock, the Celebrated Ethiopian singer and original banjoist,” he had the metropolitan field all to himself until 1839 when Joe Sweeney came to town. It was his custom to travel with circuses in the summer, and to work typesetting in the winter. In the winter of 1839-40, he quit the life of a “typo” and went traveling with P. T. Barnum, playing the banjo while Master Diamond danced. While in Philadelphia performing with Diamond, Whitlock practiced with “Ole Bull” Dick Myers, the violinist, and on their joint benefit night the two played the banjo and the fiddle together for the first time in public. Whitlock afterwards traveled with P. T. Barnum, again playing the banjo to the dancing of the new Master John Diamond (Frank Lynch). Shortly after this he was at Barnum’s Museum, New York, in a minstrel band of which Barney Williams was a member. In 1844, Whitlock traveled with Barnum’s Bonaparte Funeral Exhibition. Reaching Buffalo, N.Y., on their return, the party chartered a canal boat and traveled the entire length of the Erie Canal, exhibiting at every town on the route. Whitlock also traveled with the Bonaparte funeral as late as 1850. Whitlock brought out a Bryant on the museum stage as “Little Jerry.” He taught Frank Lynch (“Master Diamond” the false) about all that he knew and it was from him that Tom Briggs acquired much of his superior knowledge of the banjo, of which instrument Whitlock was also a maker. In 1845, he constructed a miniature locomotive to run from the Hoboken Ferry to the Elysian Fields. The season closed before it was finished; but he afterwards inhibited it at the Bowery Circus, illustrating it by relating the well-known “Locomotive Story.” The last time he traveled was in conjunction with Duke Morgan in 1855 with Dan Rice’s Circus. In that year he took up his residence in Jersey City, N. J., having received an appointment in the drug department of the Custom House. This he held for four years, under the successive administrations of Presidents Pierce and Buchanan. Political influence caused his removal and he returned to the printing business, at which he worked until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he became a volunteer. In 1862 he was paralyzed and lay for a long time in the York (Pa.) Hospital. He died at Long Branch, N. J., March 29, 1878. He had been off the stage about 22 years.
WILKES, GEORGE: right name George Miller, female impersonator with Emerson in the South, died in Memphis, Tenn., October 1, 1870, of neuralgia of the stomach.
WILLIAMSON, PETE: died in Philadelphia October 3, 1871.
WILSON, GEORGE: was born in London, England, September 28, 1844, and commenced in the “bigger” business in San Francisco in 1869 as a song and dance artist.
WILTERS, CHARLES: died in New York, January 31, 1878, from consumption. He first attracted marked attention with Newcomb & Arlington’s Minstrels. Where they discovered him we do not know. It was with them that he first appeared in this city. His initial song and dance here was “The Water Nymph,” which he followed in the succeeding week with “He’s Standing on his Head.”
WINSHIP, GEORGE C.: was born in New York March 7, 1833. He first put on burnt cork when 11 years of age and appeared at the old Bowery Circus, New York, as a jig dancer for the benefit of Dick Pelham (Pell). Afterwards he traveled as an end man, jig dancer and general performer. Since 1856, he has been identified with the variety theatres as performer and manager. Probably he is the oldest variety performer and manager living. While sitting upon the deck of a steamer conveying him to Boston on the night of July 30, 1868, he complained of feeling unwell and retired to bed. Upon arising the next morning he reeled and fell to the floor, when it was found that during the night he had been stricken with paralysis, rendering powerless his left side from head to foot.
WOODRUFF, TIM: died at his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 12, 1872. For many years he was a favorite comedian throughout the West and the country generally; and, as a representative of the slouchy plantation Negro, was hard to equal. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, and was at his demise about 47 years of age. His first appearance on the stage was at the occasion of a fire company’s benefit at Smith & Nixon’s old hall, opposite the present Pike’s Opera House in Cincinnati, March 15, 1842. He blacked up, gave the act known as “Spirit Rappings,” and made a hit which determined his future career. His death was the result of hasty consumption, arising from a cold contracted while visiting the fairs of 1872. Poor Tim had the virtues and failings of his trade. There was none more generous to needy brethren in his days of prosperity, none that more strongly disdained a mean or unkind action towards any human being. Even in his latter days, when the world went not well with him financially, these traits distinguished him; and, in good or bad fortune, there was the stamp of the true gentleness ever upon him.
WRIGHTMAN, GEORGE: whose right name was George Wright, died at Bellevue Hospital, New York, September 28, 1866.
WYATT, ANDREW M.: solo violinist, died at Salem, Mass., on August 5, 1874, age 42 years.
“YOUNG AMERICA”: See HUGHEY DOUGHERTY.
Last modified October 2005.