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John Nickinson died in 1864, leaving EJP with two small children. Elizabeth Jane Phillips Nickinson (1830-1904) wrote most of these letters to her son, Albert Nickinson (1864-1948) and daughter-in-law after he married Mary Penelope Macardell Nickinson (1864-1954) in 1889. They were the parents of Edward Phillips Nickinson (1890-1948) Nickinson family
Hattie Nickinson Dolman
(1860-1946) married John Dolman, Jr.
in 1887 They were the parents of Jack
Dolman (1888-1952) Elizabeth Ellen Dolman
(1891-1892) and Melanie Nickinson Dolman
(1897-1978) Dolman family
Dr. and Mrs. Dr. John T. Nagle kept a boardinghouse on East 21st Street and were friends as well as landlords. He was a public health physician at 301 Mott Street, and, as an enthusiastic photographer, collaborated with Jacob Riis in investigating New York slums.
The Zavistowskis Christine (Aunty) and Uncle Antonio, daughters Emmeline Zavistowski Shailer and Alice Zavistowski Webb were dancers who had worked with John Nickinson and boarded Albert and Hattie as EJP worked and traveled after John Nickinson's death. Various Kirbys and Fays are referred to, but we have very little information on them. EJ Phillips was (almost) 53 when these letters begin in Aug. 1883.
Friends and Colleagues
pre-Palmer Lawrence Barrett Charlotte Cushman Louisa Lane Drew Ben and Mrs. DeBar Samuel Pike Sol Smith Russell
Palmer Stock Companies Palmer Companies colleagues Maurice Barrymore Agnes Booth Maud Harrison William LeMoyne AM Palmer Walden Ramsey Annie Russell JH Stoddart
Union Square colleagues Kate Claxton, Rose Eytinge, Virginia Harned, Sara Jewett, Fanny Morant, Clara Morris, John Parselle, and Charles Thorne don't appear in these letters. Thorne died in 1883 and Parselle died in 1885.
post-Palmer Elsie de Wolfe Charles Frohman Daniel Frohman Gustave Frohman Charles Hoyt Ramsey Morris Olga Nethersole
Dion Boucicault Robert Williams Buchanan Bartley Campbell AR Cazauran James A. Herne Bronson Howard William Dean Howells Charles H. Hoyt Henry Arthur Jones Steele MacKaye Brander Matthews Peter Robertson Clinton Stuart Augustus Thomas Denman Thompson Oscar Wilde
Julia Arthur [Mrs. B.P. Cheney Jr.] (1869-1959) Canadian actress, appeared in Broken Seal. First NY success was at Union Square Theatre in The Black Masque.
Lewis Strang's Famous Actresses notes "Less than ten years ago, when a member of AM Palmer's Madison Square Theatre Company, Julia Arthur first demonstrated that she had exceptional talent... The play was Lady Windermere's Fan, an exotic, in which, nevertheless, Miss Arthur made plain the tragic element that is so much a distinguishing trait of her dramatic personality. ... In August 1891, she appeared at the Union Square Theatre, New York, in "The Black Mask". In November she joined AM Palmer's company playing Jeanne in The Broken Seal. The summer of 1892 was spent in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Returning to Mr. Palmer's company in the fall, she created in America the part of Lady Windermere... After leaving the Palmer company Miss Arthur joined Henry Irving's forces in England.
At the height of her fame, in 1899, Julia Arthur had retired from the stage after marrying a wealthy Bostonian, Benjamin Pierce Cheney, Jr., the year before. At the time of her marriage, in fact, Saturday Night had pondered the question of whether or not Arthur would "vanish finally from the stage just now when she has captured the favour and applause of the continent." Indeed, it turned out that Cheney had told Arthur that she would have to give up the stage entirely if she wanted to marry him: "He had no intention of traipsing after her whenever she went on the road." When Steinmetz spoke to Arthur for the Maclean's article in 1916, it was during a break in rehearsals for The Eternal Magdalene. Arthur explained that she had found the play by Robert McLaughlin "so big, so powerful" that it was worth appealing to her husband to change his mind about permitting her to act again. The impression she gave Steinmetz was that Cheney had allowed himself to be persuaded by his wife's serious artistic aspirations, but in fact Arthur had no choice but to go back to work. As it turned out, Cheney had lost his fortune in a series of disastrous business ventures, and, ironically, it was Arthur's theatre work over the next ten years that was to go a long way to repair these losses. Paula Sperdakos, CANADA'S DAUGHTERS, AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS: THE CAREERS OF CANADIAN 'FOOTLIGHT FAVORITES' IN THE UNITED STATES, Theatre Research In Canada, Fall/Automne 1999 Vol 20 no.2 http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/TRIC/bin/get.cgi?directory=Vol20_2/&filename=Sperdakos.html
Personal papers in the Harvard Theatre Collection http://lib.harvard.edu/archives/0032.html
EJP to Albert, Washington DC Jan 6,1893 I suppose you have seen by the papers that AMP[almer] is to have possession of the Madison Garden Theatre in 1894. The company are now playing Alabama in Boston & rehearsing Lady Windermere's Fan" for next week I guess. Miss [Julia] Arthur, Miss [May] Brookyn & Mrs. [DP] Bowers are the ladies in the cast. [JH] Stoddart & [Frederic] Robinson are not in it. [Maurice] Barrymore, [Edward M.] Bell & [EM] Holland are. Miss [Maud] Harrison is still idle, as I suppose I should have been, had I not been lucky enough to accept this.
John H Barnes (1850/52-1925) English actor WWS WWT/1-5. The final Union Square Season began on October 6th, 1884 with a costume play in the time of Louis XV and a "dire failure" The Artist's Daughter by Elliott Barnes in which JH Barnes played a persecuted hero. In Feb. 1885 an avalanche overtook Maud Harrison when, disguised as a boy, she was trying to rescue her father JH Barnes the "prisoner for life [Odell] Barnes retired in Dec. 1894 and sailed to England, leaving Olga Nethersole's company behind.
JH Barnes, Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=6
The final Union Square Season began on October 6th, 1884 with a costume play in the time of Louis XV and a "dire failure" The Artist's Daughter by Elliott Barnes, with JH Barnes as "a persecuted hero", JH Stoddart as "a dreadful villain" and Sara Jewett as the mother of the prologue and the daughter of the main play. EJ Phillips played Nanette Ponchon and Maud Harrison, Ida Vernon and Marie Greenwald were also in the cast.
Barrett was a great friend of Edwin Booth. Barrett was 8 years younger than EJ Phillips and 5 years older than Edwin Booth. http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/LawrenceBarrett2.jpg Appleton Cyclopedia biography http://www.famousamericans.net/lawrencebarrett/ photo from Strang's Players and Plays
EJ Phillips was a member of Barrett's stock company in New Orleans and traveled with him to Mobile Alabama and Chicago.
Georgie Drew Barrymore (1856-1893) was the wife of Maurice Barrymore and mother of John, Ethel and Lionel. Her promising career was cut short by her early death.
EJ Phillips probably knew her from her years in Philadelphia, where her mother Louisa Lane Drew (see letter of Sept. 6, 1897 for that funeral) ran the Arch Street Theater for many years. EJ Phillips reports an encounter of Palmer's company with that of Crane's (of which GDB was a member) in June 1890 halfway between Tacoma and Portland, where both companies sang Auld Lang Syne.
Drew Barrymore with her three children Lionel,
Ethel, and John http://www.picturehistory.com/find/p/3846/mcms.html
Barrymore family http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrymore_family
Barrymore (1847-1905) Born Herbert Blythe
in India he came to New York in 1875, first working for Augustin Daly.
He moved to Wallacks and then to AM Palmers in 1888, playing
Wilding in Captain Swift
Captain Davenport in Alabama. more
Edward M. Bell was in the Pharisee with EJ Phillips 1890-1891and played a loving cripple in Sunlight and Shadow 1891He was also in Lady Windermere's Fan 1893.
Agnes Booth (1846-1910) Born in Australia, first appeared in the US aged 12 in San Francisco as a child dancer. Married at 16 to Harry Perry and widowed a year later. She married Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. (brother of Edwin and son of the more famous actor of the same name) in 1865 (and was widowed again in 1883). Junius Brutus Booth Jr. appeared with EJ Phillips in Othello the night John WIlkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln (Apr. 1865, Cincinnati Ohio) more
Dion[ysius] Lardner Boucicault (1820-1890) The Irish actor and dramatist is said to have written between 120 and 150 plays. "Not only was [he] the most successful and popular playwright of his eras, he also remained widely admired as an actor." [Oxford] He also served as a house dramatist and stage director at the Union Square and Madison Square Stock Companies.
Dion Boucicault http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Boucicault,Dion1.jpg
Phillips made her professional stage debut in Boucicault's play London
Assurance in 1852 in Hamilton Canada. John
Nickinson's greatest role was Havresack in Boucicault's Napoleon's
John Nickinson as Havresack and Charlotte as Melanie http://library.usask.ca/herstory/morrisfr.html
Maud Harrison made her stage debut in 1875 in Boucicault's The Flying Scud or Four-Legged Fortune, the first of the popular horse racing melodramas.
The "sensation scene" became a trademark of his work -- a "spectacular display of stage pyrotechnics ...exploding steam-boats, snowstorms and avalanches, duels and massacres, urban conflagrations -- these and dozens of other sensations kept audiences at a high level of tension especially as Boucicault began to use them nearly 20 years before he finally perfected the invention of fireproof scenery". [Intl Dictionary of Theatre]
Boucicault was 63 in 1883. His first wife died in the Alps shortly after their marriage. Agnes Robertson, his second wife is not mentioned in these letters. His third wife Louise Thorndyke Boucicault is briefly mentioned.
Cleveland Nov. 17, 1893 Miss Elsie deWolfe did not gain her bit of diplomacy as Miss Ada Dyas & Mrs. Thorndyke Boucicault are engaged for A Woman of No Importance. It was a cheeky bit of work for Miss deWolfe and she did not deserve to succeed. And it is well for herself she didn't for, it would have been her third dramatic failure.
Biographer Richard Fawke tells how Boucicault left New York for San Francisco in April 1885 with his son Dot, daughter Nina and Louise Thorndyke, who was then 21. They traveled to New Zealand and Australia. Boucicault was 64. He and Louise were married in Sept. in Sydney and Boucicault claimed to be a widower on the marriage certificate, though his wife Agnes Robertson was alive in London. Boucicault had been claiming they were never legally married. Son and daughter promptly cabled their mother who took out an ad claiming he was a bigamist. The newlyweds were in no rush to return to America and when they did they appeared in his play The Jilt, which drew in crowds eager to see the couple.
Boucicault, Strang's Players and Plays of the last quarter century 1902
as drama teacher
Dion Boucicault, Wayne S. Turney http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/boucicault.htm
RF Dietrich, British Drama from 1890 to 1950, Death of Boucicault http://chuma.cas.usf.edu/~dietrich/britishdrama2.htm#Boucicault
Leaves from a dramatist's diary, Dion Boucicault, North American Review, Aug. 1889 http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/moa/moa-cgi?notisid=ABQ7578-0149-32
Richard Fawkes Dion Boucicault Collection, Templeman Library, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury http://library.kent.ac.uk/library/special/html/specoll/bouc159.htm
Dion Boucicault, Richard Fawkes, Quartet Books, 1979
Dion Boucicault Theater Collection, Univ. of South Florida http://www.lib.usf.edu/ldsu/index2.html?f=search-fullrecord&idx=1
Dion Boucicault, Victorian Web http://www.victorianweb.org/mt/boucicault/
Mrs. D[avid] P Bowers Elizabeth Crocker Bowers (1830-1895) American actress, was playing in Broken Seal when she served on an Actors Fund Fair committee with EJ Phillips in 1892. CDP DAB http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Bowers,DP1.jpg
May Brookyn (c. 1859-1894) First shows up in Our Society, went west with Palmer's company in 1886 and 1888. Described by EJ Phillips as one of the "weak lot to take to San Francisco" in 1888. Cast in Partners in Boston 1888 more
Robert Williams Buchanan (1841-1901) English dramatist [Storm Beaten], poet and novelist "wrote too much and too variously to achieve the highest results, but his lyric gift was strong, and there was abundant, if often ill-regulated, force in his novels [DNB] http://mysite.freeserve.com/robertbuchanan/
Virginia Ellen Buchanan (1846/66-1931) CDP Made her debut as an apparition in Macbeth in Cardiff, Wales. Played all lines of business in California. HAS In The New Magdalen at Union Square in Jan. 1882 Actress in Fair Fame 1887, in Heart of Hearts 1888 San Francisco
Marie Burroughs (1866-1926) Played Letty Fletcher, the minister's daughter in Saints and Sinners in 1885. Played Florida Vervain, the lively American girl the priest (Alessandro Salvini) fell in love with in Foregone Conclusion. more
AR Cazauran (1820-1889) was hired by AM Palmer as a play reader and became his right hand man, and a celebrated play doctor. Prior to his theatrical career he had been imprisoned as a spy, worked as a journalist, and wrote a once famous eyewitness account of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. [from?] Cazauran had an eager and adventurous taste in drama and the fact that he often recommended and pleaded the cause of plays a little out of the conventional line of the day may be the reason for the statement that three of Palmer's most successful productions The Two Orphans, Sir Charles Young's melodrama Jim the Penman, and Alabama by Augustus Thomas, were urged upon him against his own will and judgment. [from?] Bronson Howard gave great credit to AR Cazauran as "reconstructor" (JH Stoddart's word, according to his autobiographical Recollections of a Player) of The Banker's Daughter (Union Square 1878). EJ Phillips played Mrs. Holcomb in that. In January 1881 Palmer produced AR Cazauran's adaptation of D'Ennery's play The Creole, EJ Phillips playing the Countess de Maillepre. Cazauran's play The Fatal Letter, a Civil War drama with a Confederate heroine had Charles Walcott (husband of Isabella Nickinson) in the cast, but closed after two weeks and was declared a failure in 1884. EJ Phillips reported that he had joined Palmer's company in Boston in 1886 to rehearse his adaptation of The Martyr "Queer as the old boy is, I felt rather glad to see him & he seemed delighted to be with us. "
Charles Coghlan (1842?-1899) brought by Daly from England in 1876 to be "a leading man of distinction and charm ...he seemed unable to remain with any ensemble for long" moving to Union Square in 1877, and in 1878 to Wallacks, then toured with Lily Langtry as her leading man. "Shortly before his mysterious death, he appeared as a Sidney Carton-like figure in his own play about the French revolution." [Oxford] http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/CoghlanChas.jpg
EJ Phillips' first role with the Union Square Company had been Mrs. Tubbs in Pink Dominos, starring Charles Coghlan and Agnes Booth, with Maud Harrison as a French serving maid. JH Stoddart's Recollections of a Player, quotes Coghlan as saying the Banker's Daughter  "was the greatest trash he had ever heard" when it was first read to the company.) Coghlan played Jim in Jim the Penman in 1888. With his younger sister Rose Coghlan he revived Diplomacy
English actress, with Wallack until the Company disbanded in 1888. With older
brother Charles revived Diplomacy DAB.
EJ Phillips ran into her in San Francisco in 1896.
photos and brief biography http://www.perspicacity.com/elactheatre/library/tast/coghlr.htm
Rose Coghlan was a backup choice to play Vera in Oscar Wilde's first play Vera the Nihilist (between first choice Clara Morris and final choice Marie Prescott.
Lewis Strang in Famous Actresses writes of Rose Coghlan that "in 1871 EA Southern brought her to this country to appear in a dramatisation of Wilkie Collin's novel "The Woman in White." The management collapsed, and Miss Coghlan sought refuse with Lydia Thompson's famous blonde burlesquers. She was then at Wallack's Theatre one season, and in 1873 returned to England. ... In 1877 Miss Coghlan again became a member of Lester Wallack's New York company, this time as leading lady. ... when Wallack's closed its doors on May 5, 1888, the last performance being "The School for Scandal," Miss Coghlan was especially engaged for Lady Teazle.
Miss Coghlan appeared with the Union Square Theatre Company in 1887, acting Lady Gay Spanker, Peg Woffington, Rosalind, and Zicka in "Diplomacy", a remarkable performance. She was the Player Queen in the star cast of "Hamlet," which was produced in New York, May 21, 1888, in honour of Lester Wallack's retirement from the stage. That fall Miss Coghlan started out as a star ... Then she tried her hand, without much success, at farcical comedy, from which she emerged, in 1894, with the Oscar Wilde sensation, "A Woman of No Importance." The next year she starred in "Princess Walanoff," "Diplomacy," and "Forget-Me-Not". Since that time Miss Coghlan has drifted. yet she is an actress of the rarest accomplishments, a type of player of which there are but few, and she must soon stand forth from her comparative obscurity.
James Collier "Under the regime of James Collier, Palmer's successor as manager, the Union Square fell quickly from former eminence. Collier...was in no way [Palmer's] equal in either judgment of plays or stage management". [Durham1986].
Charlotte Cushman EJ Phillips' report on her rehearsing style Cushman is mentioned in EJ Phillips' New York Dramatic Mirror obituary as someone she had acted with. Charlotte Cushman photo http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Cushman,Charlotte2.jpg
Augustin Daly (1838-1899) Augustin Daly Pike's Peak Actor's Fund benefit performance of Engaged Feb. 1886 http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/daly.htm more
Fanny Davenport (1850-1898) English actress. Played Wilhelmina Fitzralph, a second cousin of Harold Fitzralph (Louis Massen) in Heart of Hearts. EJ Phillips played Lady Clarissa Fitzralph, mother of Harold. First a leading lady in Daly's Company, later headed her own company, became famous for her roles in Victorien Sardou's Feodora (March 1888) and La Tosca. She recreated many of the roles Sardou (1831-1908) wrote for Sarah Bernhardt. Her sister May married Willie Seymour Photo http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Davenport,Fanny2.jpg
Fanny Davenport in
Sister Carrie http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA02/volpe/theater/theater/fanny.html
Personal papers in the Harvard Theatre Collection http://lib.harvard.edu/archives/0032.html
William [Pleater] Davidge (1814-1888) Born in England, principal comedian Davidge first appeared in the US in 1850 at the Broadway Theatre. He later acted with Daly’s and Palmer’s Madison Square Theatre Companies. “Rare Old Bill” was awarded a special testimonial during his fiftieth year on the stage (which EJ Phillips acted in on April 21, 1887) and died the next year, in Wyoming, on his way to San Francisco with the Madison Square Company. Death of Mr. Davidge, drawing is from his NY obituary more
Ben DeBar (1812-1877) had been "stage manager for Noah Ludlow and Sol Smith at the St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans, when they retired in 1843 he assumed management of their New Orleans and St. Louis theatres. At the outbreak of the Civil War he moved to St. Louis. He remained active as a performer, touring the Mississippi River valley as a star every season, and was the most influential manager in the region". [Concise Oxford] EJ Phillips was a member of his stock company in St. Louis and New Orleans 1860s-1870s photo from Strang's Famous Players
Mrs. Benedict DeBar (1828-1894) born Henrietta Vallee in Philadelphia, retired from the stage in New Orleans in 1857. HAS EJ Phillips attends funeral of in Philadelphia in Aug. 1894.
Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950) actress, decorator and hostess. Enjoyed amateur theatricals and turned professional after her father's death. Joined Charles Frohman's Empire Theatre Stock Co. in 1894. Despite a number of successes "she was unable to escape a sense of her own mediocrity as an actress". She left the stage in 1905, and later achieved distinction as a designer, a career "she created for herself and other women." DAB She was 27 in 1892. She first shows up in a Stone's Opera House (Binghamton NY) program Nov. 21, 1892, playing Constance Flutterby in Joseph
Lewis Strang writes that her father died in 1890and after his estate had been settled Miss DeWolfe found that she would be obliged to earn a livelihood. Her tastes and training led her to choose the stage and she succeeded in getting an engagement with Charles Frohman, under whose management she has remained most of the time since. Her professional debut was made at Procter's Theatre, New York, on Oct. 5, 1891, in VIctorien Sardou's "Thermidor" in which she assumed the leading emotional role, Fabienne Lecoulteur. She prepared herself with great care for the part, going abroad and studying it in French under the direction of Sardou himself. ... "sardous" Miss DeWolfe added, "is the best hated man in France, and he loves it!" He often says that, if the day comes that sees his countrymen own that he has produced anything great, he shall know that he has reached the end of his career."
After her appearance in "Thermidor," Miss DeWolfe spent two seasons on the road, acting leading parts in "Joseph,", "Judge," and "The Four-in-hand".
DeWolfe, Lewis Strang's Famous
Nina and Caroline Seebohm, Elsie deWolfe: A decorative life, Panache
Webster, Catherine, A Decorator's Life Elsie de Wolfe 1865-1950 http://www.canadianinteriordesign.com/kwi/Page_2/Elsie_De_Wolfe.htm
Frank Drew Played Uncle Bamberry in Saints and Sinners in 1885. Played McGillicuddy in Engaged 1886
Dyas (1843-1908) English actress, made debut with Augustin
Daly but later left his company over his policy of billing "no
stars" and joined Wallacks. In The Danicheffs in Dec
1878 as part of in the testimonial for John Gilbert at Wallacks,
on the fiftieth anniversary of his theatrical debut. In Jim
the Penman 1887, on the Palmer's company western trip summer 1890
(mentioned in a letter from Tacoma), replaced Mrs.
Booth in Jim the Penman Jan. 1892, engaged (with Mrs.
Thorndike Boucicault) for A Woman of No
Importance in Nov. 1893. http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Dyas,Ada1.jpg
Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence Chapter XIII Ada Dyas and Harry Montague in Boucicault's The Shaughraun http://www.americanliterature.com/AI/AI13.HTML
Louisa Eldridge (c. 1829-1905) Member of the Union Square Theatre Company.. Born and made her acting debut in Philadelphia. HAS Was in The Danicheffs with EJ Phillips at the Union Square Theatre Feb. 1881
Owen Fawcett (1838-1904) English actor, first appeared in the US in 1853. Member of the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia Spent 20 years with Edwin Booth's company. Later a member of Frohman's Lyceum Theatre Company in New York. Was with EJP in Jan. 1881 in The Creole and in Camille in the fall of 1881.
Brown's History of the American Stage
San Francisco, July 31, 1886 Owen Fawcett called this AM. He is playing with [Helena] Modjeska. They close tonight and leave tomorrow for Los Angeles.
Reub Fax (c.1862-1908) actor in Pharisee and Joseph, member of AM Palmer's company
William Jason Ferguson (1841-1930) Famous as the actor who saw Lincoln shot, his stage career began at Ford's Theatre as a call boy. The construction of the Theatre supports the claim that Ferguson was the sole witness. His description has been accepted as the most reliable account of the shooting (Sat Evening Post and NY Times (Apr 18, 1915) and a book I Saw Booth Shoot Lincoln (1930) Perhaps EJ Phillips knew him from Ben DeBar's Company. He joined Wallack's in New York City in 1872. DAB Played Joseph Pinglet in The Gay Parisians and went on the trip west in Aug 1896 with EJ Phillips. "Mr. Ferguson caught cold, has a sore throat this Morning. [Grandson] Jack could not be more childish over it than he is."
Charles P. Flockton (c.1828-1904) actor. Oscar Wilde wanted Flockton to be in his first play Vera the Nihilist. Flockton played Prabble, a grocer and junior deacon in Saints and Sinners. Was in Engaged in 1886, Margery's Lovers and Jim the Penman in 1887. Played Daniel Robins, father of Lucy, the butler's niece in Heart of Hearts 1888. Odell included him and colleagues in Saints and Sinners "as among the best stock actors in America."
Omaha Excelsior Oct. 13,1888 Jim the Penman
Edwin Forrest(1806- 1872) is mentioned in EJ Phillips' New York Dramatic Mirror obituary as someone she had acted with. We have a review from an unidentified newspaper of a performance at the Metropolitan Theatre [Rochester, 1860 probably in the Fall] of his performance in Othello where "Miss Phillips' Emelia was hardly inferior, if at all, to Iago and her last scene was striking. http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Forrest,Edwin1.jpg
Forrest, Strang's Players and Plays, 1902
Edwin Forrest, Compendium of Biography http://www.rootsweb.com/~neresour/OLLibrary/mbrcd/pages/mbrd0091.htm#eforrest
Charles Frohman produced Lady Windermere's Fan The Frohmans start to show up in these letters in 1888. Charles, youngest of the three was then 28. Brother Daniel was 37 and Gustave was 34. Daniel Frohman Gustave Frohman Charles Frohman managed Neil Burgess. more
George Giddens (1845-1920) English actor CDP Member of the Union Square Theatre company. Played in The Judge Described in a Joseph review (Dec. 29, 1892, Washington Post) as "for years the principal feature of Charles Wyndham's London company.
John Glendinning (1857-1916) English actor Mrs. John Glendenning was Jessie Millward. Described in a Joseph review (Dec. 29, 1892, Washington Post) as "leading man of Mr. and Mrs. Kendall's company.
Marie Greenwald The final Union Square Season began on October 6th, 1884 with a costume play in the time of Louis XV and a "dire failure" The Artist's Daughter by Elliott Barnes in which Ms. Greenwald was cast. Member of the Madison Square Company (1885-?) Played Lucy Roberts in STORMBEATEN in 1884. Played Fanny Parridge in Saints and Sinners 1885. In Engaged 1886 and Margery's Lovers 1887. Played Barton, a lady's maid in Heart of Hearts 1888.
James K. Hackett (1869-1926) Canadian actor, manager CDP Made his stage debut in Broken Seal (which EJ Phillips played in) with AM Palmer in 1892. He soon left Palmer's to work with Lotta Crabtree and then went to Daly's in 1892-1893 . Joined the Lyceum Stock Company in 1895 and took EH Sothern's place in The Prisoner of Zenda in Feb 1895 "the reigning romantic drama of the day DAB
Famous Actors, 1900
Strang writes that Hackett "received a college education [BA] before he had any thought of going on the stage professionally (though both his parents were actors). Hackett "was also prominent athletically and socially while in college [College of the City of New York], and was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Greek letter fraternity".
Hackett photos and brief
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=203
Biography by Oscar Hammerstein III http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/biography/hammerstein.html http://encyclopedia.com/html/H/HammerstO1.asp
Handysides (c.1854-1931) Canadian actor
Filmography http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0359715/ 1914-1918
Harned (c 1868-1946)
Photos and brief biography http://www.perspicacity.com/elactheatre/library/tast/hackej01.jpg
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=173
WWA/2 WWT/1-6 CDP.
Originated the role of Trilby in Paul Potter's dramtisation of George Du Maurier's novel, which was produced in Boston in 1895 Better known as Mrs. E.H. Southern "the wife of the popular star, is a buxom young woman, whose bracing and frank personality carried with it exuberance of spirits, life, freedom and happiness. Her dramatic temperament is sumptuous, warm, and full of colour, suggesting voluptuous ease, love of pleasure, and a fondness for luxurious refinement. There is nothing spirituelle about her; her stage presence is distinctly material and very much of the world; she seems a woman with a streak of Bohemia in her makeup". ... "I do not think Trilby was a bad girl," Miss Harned answered, when asked her opinion of the character. "How can a woman who has never associated with pure women know that she is not good?"
Previous to going on the stage she lived abroad for many years, in England and on the Continent. Her early theatrical experiences were with road companies, her first engagement having been with a company playing Robson and Crane's old success Pour Boarding House." In the spring of 1887 she was the leading lady with George Clarke of the Daly Company ... Daniel Frohman engaged her as EH Sothern's leading lady ... Leaving Daniel Frohman's management, she joined AM Palmer's stock company, scoring her first success as Mrs. Erlynne in Lady Windermere's Fan, and afterward acting such roles as Letty Fletcher in Saints and Sinners and Mrs. Sylvester in The New Woman. photo from Strang's Famous Actresses
Charles L. Harris (1854-1892) CDP with Maurice Barrymore in Alabama http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Barrymore,Maurice&Harris,Charles.jpg http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/CharlesLHarris.jpg
Maud Harrison (1854-1907) [Mrs. Edward M. Bell] was a member of the Madison Square, Union Square and Palmer's Companies. The New York Dramatic Mirror obituary of EJP notes "The great number of friends that she leaves behind is evidenced by the many letters of condolence received by Mrs. Dolman [Hattie] and by Maude Harrison, who was to Mrs. Phillips almost as a daughter." Maud Harrison was 29 in 1883. more
Al Hayman (1847-1917) Partner of Charles Frohman, who provided the financial backing behind the successful producer, and enabled them to build the Empire Theatre in New York in 1893. "Hayman's decision to leave artistic matters to Frohman and to allow Frohman lone public credit for productions mounted largely with Hayman's money meant that to playgoers he was little more than a shadowy figure. His fiscal acumen, however was such that he left an estate of $1,692,815, while his more visible partner, Frohman, left behind a mere $451." [Oxford] Hayman was 36 in 1883.
Barton Hill (c. 1829-1911) actor WWT/14
Hill Mrs. Herbert Kelcey according
photograph and brief biography http://www.picturehistory.com/find/p/20109/mcms.html
Brought to the US by Wallack, New York debut in 1883. Returned to England in 1890's and marriage ended.
Henry [Harry?] Hogan played a porter in Saints and Sinners. in 1885.
Edmund Milton Holland (1848-1913) Joined Wallack's Company in 1867, his actor father insisting that his son be billed as E. Milton until he was sure he would not discredit the family name. After thirteen years at Wallack's, and a London engagement, he joined Palmer's Madison Square company, playing Lot Burden (foreman to Hoggard and collector of pew rents at Bethel Chapel) in Saints and Sinners, Captain Redmond in Jim the Penman (according to the NY Times one of the stars of the play as the "sly seemingly blasé, but effective detective", Dr. Chettle, the family physician in Heart of Hearts, Colonel Moberly in Alabama, and the title role in Colonel Carter of Cartersville. He was also in Brander Matthews' Margery's Lovers Shared a birthday (see letter of Sept. 7, 1887 from Boston) with EJ Phillips (but was 18 years younger). more
Homan (c.1880-1951) TW8, cast in Partners
in Boston 1888
Photo, Ringling Collection, Univ. of Florida Image 1088 http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/Ringling/MultiSearchPages/dspimage.asp?ItemNo=2158&searchoption=4
Omaha Excelsior Oct. 13,1888 Jim the Penman
Bronson Howard (1842-1908) , author of The Banker's Daughter, Old Love Letters, Aristocracy, Saratoga. In Memoriam-- Bronson Howard, published by the American Dramatists Club, New York, 1910 contains a biography by H. P. Mawson, an appreciation by Brander Matthews, The Autobiography of a Play by Bronson Howard and a list of the plays with the original casts. "The Autobiography of a Play (1914) gives a detailed, fascinating history of The Banker's Daughter and provides numerous insights into his character." Oxford Companion
Bronson Howard, Drama 1860- 1918 http://www.bartleby.com/227/1110.html
William Dean Howells (1837-1920) author of some 36 plays, was "a writer of charming dialogue but incapable of producing the melodramatic confrontations demanded by 19th century audiences" [Cambridge Guide Am Theatre]), adapted by Edward M. Alfried Nov 1886.
William Dean Howells on vaudeville Harpers Monthly Magazine April 1903
Charles H. Hoyt (1860-1900) American dramatist, whose plays can be seen as "primitive musical comedies". Palmer's Madison Square Theatre was taken over by Hoyt (and Charles Thomas) in 1891, when Palmer assumed management of Palmer's Theatre. [King NYC, DAB] Odell, in reflecting on the death of Lawrence Barrett (in 1891) said" The thoughtless herd prefers Charles H. Hoyt to Shakespeare and Sheridan." His Trip to Chinatown, set in San Francisco, ran from Nov. 1891 to Aug. 1893, the longest consecutive run of any American play. This record lasted until 1918.
Cullen Murphy, The Scrapbook: An accidental encounter with two briefly famous
lives, Atlantic Nov. 1, 2001 http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/TheAtlantic/2001/11/01/377745?extID=10026
Elwood Joseph Annaheim, A Trip to Chinatown: Charles H. Hoyt and Broadway of the 1890s, 1999 http://www.geocities.com/musictheater/trip/china.html
Hoyt, Cliff and Linda, Charles Hoyt, Popular Playwright of the Gay 1890s http://users.erols.com/choyt/chhoyt_run.htm
Mrs. Charles H. Hoyt (c. 1873-1898) Caroline Miskel
Joseph Humphreys (1861-1904) A clerk in a dry-goods store and employed by several circuses before becoming a character actor and director for the Kirally brothers. In 1889 Charles Frohman put him in charge of casting all Frohman productions (except for their stars) and made him his house director. His briskness and firmness antagonized many performers, but Frohman admired his work and kept him at this post until his death. [Hartnoll, Concise Oxford?]
EJ Phillips seemed to share Frohman's opinion and was not antagonized. . Philadelphia Mar 1894 A colleague mentions an interview with Mr. Humphreys at the Empire Theater; New York, Aug,.30 1895 I like my new stage manager Mr. Humphreys very much in that he is very thorough and energetic and puts on no airs. He has done more in three days with his play than the Hollands and Mansfield combined did in five weeks. We have no waiting at rehearsals. We begin on time and get through without any trouble. Best stage Management I have seen since Union Square days.
Gay Parisians program, Chestnut St. Theatre, week beginning Mon. Dec. 14,  Produced under the Stage directions of Joseph Humphreys
Henry C. Jarrett (1828-1903) started out as an actor in Baltimore and went on to manage theaters in Baltimore, Washington DC, New York and Boston. He took over the management of Niblo's Garden in New York in 1866 and joined AM Palmer in 1874. Retired to England in the mid-1880's [and came back?]. [Oxford]
The Black Crook, http://www.musicals101.com/1860to79.htm
Arthur Jones (1851-1929), was a contemporary of Arthur
Wing Pinero and George Bernard Shaw and "a leading dramatist of his
day...although his gift for comic aphorisms was inferior to Wilde's and his
characters rarely as fascinating as Pinero, his best works remain interesting
period pieces" [Oxford Companion] He was the Madison Square Theatre
stage director in 1885.
Jones and Saints and Sinners
RF Dietrich, Henry Arthur Jones, The Earnest Victorian, British Drama http://chuma.cas.usf.edu/~dietrich/britishdrama2.htm#Jones
Benjamin Franklin Keith (1846-1914) Theatrical manager, started out in the circus business, expanding to become a vaudeville proprietor and promoter, inducing legitimate stage stars to appear and greatly increasing salaries. [DAB]
Herbert Kelcey (1855/56-1917) English actor, member of the Madison Square Company 1884- 1887. Kelcey was 28 in 1883. His departure to Wallacks in 1886 is described by EJ Phillips. Kelcey played Captain Eustace Fanshaw of the army in Saints and Sinners Lewis Strang writes that Kelcey played Cheviot Hill in Engaged and Philip Van Pelt in Our Society.
Herbert Kelcey http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Kelcey,Herbert2.jpg
Mrs. Kelcey see Caroline Hill Kelcey was also married to Effie Shannon at some point.
Kelcey Famous Actors of the Day in America, Lewis C. Strang, 1900
Cowell LeMoyne (1859-1915) CDP
Somewhere I have a card for Sarah Cowell of 475 Fourth Ave., New York
Lewis Strang's Famous Actresses photo
William J. LeMoyne (1831-1905) LeMoyne made his acting debut in 1852 in the Lady of Lyons. He toured in Uncle Tom’s Cabin before the war. He interrupted his acting career to enlist in Company B. 28th Massachusetts Regiment, as a first lieutenant, later captain. Took part in the battles of James Island, second Bull Run, Chantilly, and South Mountain, where he was wounded. Permanently incapacitated for further service, he was honorably discharged. In after years he was wont to tell stories of picturesque and exciting incidents of his life as a soldier. more
Lipman (1869-1952) American actress,
dramatist [Mrs. Louis Mann] WWA
1898 Feb. dentifrice Sozodont ad Harpers Monthly
Clara Lipman, Cyrus Adler and Frank Vizetelly, Jewish Encyclopedia, 2002 http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=441&letter=L
MacKaye Wayne S. Turney, http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/mackayesteele.htm
Cambridge History of English and American Literature, The Drama 1860-1918, Steele MacKaye http://www.bartleby.com/227/1112.html
Mathilde Madison Played Mrs. Haughton in Sealed Instructions, Madison Square Co. Spring 1885
Richard Mansfield (1854-1907) Mansfield's company performed the comedy Prince Karl in the Madison Square Theatre (May - August 1886. He played both title roles in a play of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1887), the title roles in Beau Brummell (1890), Cyrano de Bergerac (1898) and the lead in his own play of Don Juan (1891), and was instrumental in introducing George Bernard Shaw to the US. First brought Ibsen to the attention of US theatregoers.
"He was an extremely short man with a pale square cut face and thinning brown hair, who was sensitive about his appearance. ... He was generally detested by his fellow actors because of his arrogance, short temper, and treachery. ... His vanity was such that shortly before his death he commissioned William Winter to write a monumental (two volume) biography of him. The critics' reaction to his acting was mixed, and a wag once remarked "There are good actors, bad actors, and Richard Mansfield". [Oxford, DAB] After AM Palmer gave up Palmer's Theatre he managed road tours for Mansfield for some years. [DAB]
NY, Feby 6th/90 [William Palmer] Also invited me to go to "Palmers [Theatre]" but I told him I did not care to go there, I did not like the man ([Richard] Mansfield). And he replied, "I don't either". Judging by the Herald notice this morning I do not think Mansfield made much of a success last night in Master and Man. The theater closed two nights for rehearsals and preparations. I do not think his engagement has been a very great success.
Mansfield, Strang's Players and Plays of the last quarter century, 1902
Ridgewood NJ, July 4, 1895 Had no rehearsal today but go at 12 tomorrow when Mr. [Richard] Mansfield takes the rehearsal in hand, and I hope will straighten us out.
Mansfield, Wayne S. Turney http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/mansfieldrichard.htm
picture of Mansfield as Shylock, Chicago Tribune, 1893 scan in
Richard Mansfield at the Church of the Transfiguration, New York Episcopal Actors' Guild of America, Inc. http://www.eaguild.homestead.com/files/index.html
Shakespeare and the Players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=38
Sadie Martinot (1861-1923) [Mrs. Louis F. Nethersole] American actress, singer, played in comic opera in London and took leading roles in Irish drama with Dion Boucicault. CDP. Married to Olga Nethersole's brother Louis and in the cast of the Gay Parisians 1897
Martinot, Chestnut St. Theatre [Philadelphia]
Louis F. Massen (c. 1858-1925) member of the Madison Square Theatre Stock Company, French/American actor/director . Massen played Ralph Kingsmill, a young farmer in Saints and Sinners. Played the painter in William Dean Howells Foregone Conclusion 1886 (originally called Priest and Painter). In cast of Margery's Lovers 1887 and Jim the Penman. He played Harold Fitzralph of Avonthorpe Priory in Heart of Hearts 1888. Married Marie Burroughs
Omaha Excelsior Oct. 13,1888 Jim the Penman
Herbert S. Millward played Leeson, Fanshaw's man (Kelcey) in Saints and Sinners.
Millward [1861-1932] played Katharine Ray, a
governess in Sealed Instructions, Madison
Square Co, Spring 1885
Jessie Millward, Shakespeare and the Players, Emory Univ. 2003 http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=210 photograph, postcards and brief biography. Memoirs, Myself and Others(1923
Jessie Millward as Katharine Ray in Sealed Instructions
Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century
Kate Moloney: From Detroit, a stockholder in the Detroit Baseball Club
Morris Oscar Wilde's first choice to play Vera in
his play Vera the Nihilist
biography, Wayne S. Turney http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/claramorris.htm http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Morris,Clara1.jpg photo from Strang's Famous Actresses
Philadelphia June 22, 1892 You probably will be surprised to learn I have made an engagement away from Mr. Palmer, with Mr. Ramsey Morris, a stock company to travel. Season to begin Oct 17th to last 30 weeks and possibly 5 weeks additional. I have been negotiating with him for several weeks and on Monday signed the contract. Mr. Palmer's season does not begin before Decr and possibly January. Mr. Morris got Mr. Palmer's consent to address me which makes me think Mr. Morris is in a way working for Mr. Palmer.
Philadelphia, June 27, 1892 Mr. Ramsey Morris was with us in our late visit to Chicago. Paid salaries and procured tickets for our return. I was introduced to him there. He is said to be an excellent business man. Has been with the Frohmans for some time. He obtained Mr. Palmer's consent to address me about the engagement. It is to be strictly a Stock Co, no stars. Mr. [John] Glendenning, Mr. [George] Giddens and Mr. [Reub] Fax are engaged. The two latter have been with Mr. Palmer and there was talk of the former being engaged by him.
The first play is to be Joseph which I am sure Mr. Palmer was going to produce sometime ago. All these things tend to make me believe AM [Palmer] is at the back of it, but for various reasons does not wish to make it known and you need not mention my ideas about it outside your own house, but I think you will find we shall follow Bronson Howard's play at Palmer's Theatre at the end of its run there with Joseph. The Co is to be first class in every respect, play in first class theaters &c,&c.
Nethersole (1866-1951) Miss
Nethersole was 28 when she first shows up in these letters in 1894.a
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=172
Photo and commentary from Strang's Famous Actresses.
The English actress made her American debut in 1894 in The Transgressor at Palmer's Theatre, and was famous for her torrid love scenes. She was arrested for indecency in 1900 while playing a French courtesan [in Clyde Fitch's Sappho, but acquitted after many notables came to her defense. [Oxford, History Am Theatre]
James O'Neill (1847-1920) Actor, father of playwright Eugene O'Neill, and model for roles in Ah, Wilderness! and Long Day's Journey into Night. Returned to the Union Square Theatre stock company in January 1882, in The New Magdalen.
First appeared as Edmund Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo in 1883. "Although he subsequently played other roles...his public demanded only his Monte Cristo and as a rule he obliged. He was a florid, emotive actor of a supercharged romantic school." [Oxford] photos and brief biography http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/JamesONeill.jpg
O'Neill as D'Artagnan in The Musketeers, Strang's Famous Actors, 1900
Strang writes that O'Neill's success in this [The Musketeers] has apparently ended the career of Edmond Dantes as the chief feature of his repertory. O'Neill started out working in the National Theatre in Cincinnati, with Edwin Forrest, later joined the St. Louis Varieties, returned to Cincinnati and then to the Holliday Street Theatre, Baltimore. He spent two years at McVickers Theatre company in Chicago, spent a season with Edwin Booth and became a member of RM Hooley's stock company. Was engaged by AM Palmer in 1875 for the Union Square Stock Co. and played in The Two Orphans and the Danicheffs (both of which EJ Phillips played in). EJ Phillips was 17 years older than Eugene O'Neill's father.
Ella, James and Jamie O'Neill, Edward L. Shaughnessy, Eugene O’Neill Review, Suffolk University, 1991 http://www.eoneill.com/library/on/shaughnessy/review91f_3.htm
AM Palmer Union Square Stock Co Madison Square Stock Co. Palmer's Theatre Palmer was 45 in 1883.
AM Palmer, Wayne S. Turney http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/ampalmer.htm more
William Palmer AM Palmer's brother, death of 1895
Samuel N. Pike Builder of Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati (where John Nickinson had been stage manager at the time of his death in 1864), and of the Grand Opera House in New York which opened in 1868. [Kings NYC] EJ Phillips New York Dramatic Mirror obituary (1904) says that after a short period of service in minor roles she [EJP} became the leading woman of the Pike company in Cincinnati. There was also a Pike's Opera House in New York.
One story comes to us through Barbara Dolman Spencer's essay about the quilt squares made by EJ Phillips on long train trips, as told to her by her grandmother Hattie Nickinson Dolman. The striking piece of silk, near the center [of the quilt], the light to dark lavender brocade, has perhaps the most interesting history of all. It was a ball gown worn to a reception in Cincinnati for the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, in about 1861. When Mrs. Phillips was playing at Pike's Opera House Mr. Pike brought the dress to her saying it was too conspicuous for his wife to wear often, and if Mrs. Phillips could use it, she might have it.
Henry Mader Pitt (1850-1898) American actor and stage manager. It was Mr. Pitt's death that brought EJ Phillips out of retirement for her last stage appearance, replacing Mrs. Pitt in A Bachelor's Romance. See letter of March 15, 1898
Joe B. Polk (c. 1861-1902) Union Square Company actor CDP Played the tenor in French Flats 1884. EJ Phillips ran into him in San Francisco in Aug. 1888 and reported that he was interested in three silver mines and is likely to become a very rich man. He is soon going East. Photograph http://www.picturehistory.com/find/p/3677/mcms.html
Eugene Presbrey (1853-1931) Stage director and manager for the Madison Square Theatre Company and Palmer’s Theatre (1883-1896) and acted in Jim the Penman, Captain Swift, Aunt Jack Alabama and many other plays. “He was primarily a play constructor with all the tricks of his trade in his head and at his fingers’ ends, and it is doubtful if he ever contributed anything original to the stage.” He married Annie Russell in 1884. She divorced him twelve years later (1896). Presbrey went to California in 1913 and was an advisor to Hollywood movie studios. He was a water color and portrait painter who also designed and built yachts and collected marine and land shells. [Dictionary of American Biography Presbrey was 30 in 1883.
Walden Ramsey (died 1895) Member of the Madison Square Company 1884-1891, later joining Palmer's Theatre. He played the villainous brother-in-law in Alabama and was described in his obituary (NY Dramatic Mirror?) as a "good, conscientious actor and an excellent stage manager who could be depended upon to do admirable work. Played Jack Raddles in Saints and Sinners. more
McKee Rankin (1841-1914) A "slim handsome actor who grew somewhat portly with age" became a leading man at the Union Square Theatre in 1872 and was later active as a producer and theatre manager. Member of the Chestnut Street Theatre Company and appears on a Centennial (1876) program of Our Boys there. Newish biography by Beasley.
Rankin came to Cincinnati in 1863. The English Opera arrived at Pike's. Rankin remained in Cincinnati for June probably as a supernumerary with the opera under Nickinson's direction. The opera terminated on June 13, after which Nickinson rehearsed the company in Massaniello, The French Spy and A Midsummer Night's Dream for a month's play at the Duffield Theatre in Nashville, TN, from June 22 to July 20. There is no indication that Rankin went with him to Nashville, but he may have. http://www.kwic.com/~davus/books/RankinsRoles.doc.
While managing the Third Avenue Theatre Rankin returned to the Union Square after many years, in Nov. 1883, and played one of the two mortal enemies in Robert Buchanan's melodrama Stormbeaten (the other was Joseph E. Whiting) who met in mortal struggle on an ice floe. EJ Phillips played Maud Harrison's and McKee Rankin's mother. Rankin was 42 in 1883.
EJ Phillips ran into Rankin in San Francisco in Aug. 1886, where he had "closed his season of 56 weeks last night." Albert ran into Rankin in Honolulu when he was there in 1898 for the Spanish American war. McKee Rankin was eventually Lionel Barrymore's father- in- law
Frederic Robinson (1832-1912) English actor CDP Made his first appearance on the stage in York, England Apr. 23, 1849. Was engaged in England in 1865 by Lester Wallack for America. Was at Selwyn's Theatre, Boston season of 1868-69 and 1870. HAS Played Marcus Latimer, guest at Avonthorpe Priory in Heart of Hearts 1888. more
May Robson (1858/65-1942) Australian actress Born Mary Jeanette Robison in Australia. "Delighted in playing eccentrics, usually elderly or unhandsome ....adept at eliciting tears from her audiences, she excelled in comedy." Married AH Brown, police surgeon for NYC. DAB
Played in Jim the Penman including the 1887 Actor's Fund excursion to Washington DC
Strang's Famous Actresses
Photos and brief biography http://www.perspicacity.com/elactheatre/library/tast/robsom01.jpg
Lewis Strang recounts of May Robson "the upshot of it all was that a friend told me that, although I had talent, he thought, yet I'd never get an engagement if I said I had no experience. What I must do was to pretend I had. Before long I was engaged to play Diamond in" the Hoop of Gold", a melodramatic creation of the cast-off daughter of an obdurate father style. This was at the Madison Square Theatre. The morning of the first rehearsal came. I had been told to watch the others, and do just as they did. My turn came. "take the stage", said the stage manager, old Mr. Morse. If he had told me to take the4 sky, I'd have been as wise. I clutched the table behind me and piped up my lines in a thin little voice, and was horribly conscious that the others were guying me for my greenness. the stage a manager walked over to me and said, "how long have you been on the stage?' I never had told a deliberate lie, and it choked me. I hemmed and hawed and said, "let me see, let me see." "Let me see," said Mr. Morse, looking straight into my eyes, "I should say about fifteen minutes." "yes, I said, glad it was out and expecting my walking ticket. But he helped me after the rehearsal, and the next day I wasn't so very dreadful. "... After The Hoop of Gold Miss Robson was engaged by Daniel Frohman for the Lyceum theatre. Later she came und4er Charles Frohman's management, and has for many seasons been identified with the Empire Theatre Company.
Stuart Robson (1835-1903) Member of Laura Keene's NY company, spent time with Mrs. Drew at the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia, but was most successful teamed with WH Crane. At a time when clergy regularly railed against actors, Robson was known for maintaining a scrapbook filled with published accounts of erring ministers. [DAB] Low comedian, born in Annapolis MD. At 16  had the satisfaction of seeing his name on a printed poster, announced as Horace Courtney, in "Uncle Tom's Cabin as it is" (a piece written by Prof.. Hewett, of Baltimore, in opposition to Mrs. Stowe's) in Baltimore. In 1855, he was engaged for utility ad small comedy parts, at the Varieties Theatre, Washington, under the management of John Keenan. ...he has played engagements in Washington, Richmond, Cincinnati, St. Louis , and numerous other places, occasionally starring with considerable success. ... appeared at the Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia, where he remained for some time a great favorite. HAS
Brown's History of the American Stage
in several obituaries of EJ Phillips as one of
the actors with which she was more particularly associated.
Stuart Robson, Univ. of Washington carte de visite collection http://content.lib.washington.edu/cgi-bin/queryresults.exe?CISOROOT=%2F19thcenturyactors&CISOFIELD1=s...
Annie Russell (Mrs. Presbrey) (1864-1936) Born in Liverpool, her family went to Montreal when she was five, taking her from a Dublin convent, and put her on the stage in 1872. She made her New York debut in 1879 in HMS Pinafore in the chorus, but soon was playing Josephine, as well as a boy in Rip Van Winkle and Eva in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She joined Palmer’s Madison Square company in 1885 and created many important roles there, including Maggie McFarlane in Engaged, Elaine, and Mabel Seabrook in Captain Swift. She became quite ill in 1889 and two years later went to study and regain her health in Italy, on the proceeds of a Palmer benefit for her. [Oxford Dictionary Theatre, Dictionary of American Biography] Annie Russell was 19 in 1883. more on Annie Russell
Sol Smith Russell (1848-1902) American actor, singer, and drummer, raised in St Louis he joined Ben DeBar's stock company there, [which might be where EJ Phillips met him] and spent the 1867 season at the Chestnut Street Theatre and came to New York in 1871, eventually joining Daly's Company. Described as having a "quaint personality" and being "tall and slight in appearance, deliberate in action, he had a dry crackling comedy manner that was irresistible in its appeal to an audience". DAB http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Russell,SolSmith.jpg
Smith Russell as Doctor Pangloss in "The Heir-in-Law" Famous Actors of
the Day In America by Lewis C. Strang, 1900
Alessandro Salvini (1861-1896) CDP Italian actor, son of the 'great Tommaso" (Am Theatre) who had been in the Union Square Theatre Stock Company. Salvini was 22 in 1883. Played the priest Don Hippolito, who falls in love with the American girl Florida Vervain (Marie Burroughs) in William Dean Howells Foregone Conclusion 1886 (originally called Priest and Painter).
Omaha Excelsior Oct. 13,1888 Jim the Penman
William Seymour (1855-1933) Actor, director and stage manager with the Union and Madison Square companies, the Metropolitan Opera House and Charles Frohman's Empire Theatre . Spent 1879-1888 at the Boston Museum Married May Davenport, younger sister of Fanny Davenport. Willie was 28 in 1883. EJ Phillips also knew his mother and visited her in Roxbury Massachusetts while in Boston. Wm. Seymour played Jabez Green (a shepherd) in STORMBEATEN (1884).
William Seymour Family Papers, Theatre Collection, Dept. of Rare Books, Princeton Univ. , 1999 http://libweb.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/aids/seymour.html
Helen Stockwell Described in a Joseph review (Dec. 29, 1892, Washington Post) as "pretty, vivacious and accomplished.
James Henry Stoddart (1827-1907) Originally from Yorkshire, England, Stoddart made his American debut in 1854 with Wallack’s Company. “The slim, handsome, if somewhat gaunt-faced actor was immediately recognized as a superior low comedian. A fiery temperament allowed him to stay at Wallack’s only two years, after which he moved to Laura Keene’s. By 1875 he was playing under Palmer’s aegis at the Union Square …Although his prominence later diminished, Stoddart continued to act until he was struck down by a train.” DAB, Autobiography Recollections of a Player (New York, Century 1902). more
Clinton Stuart was in Article 47 at the Union Square Theatre in 1882. His play Our Society, adapted from Le monde ou l'on s'ennuie closed the 1885-1886 Madison Square season, sustaining a profit in a two week engagement.
New York, Dec. 10, 1887 Saw Mr. Clinton Stuart last night and he said he had been reading a new play to AM P[almer] who was much pleased with it. Mr. Stuart said in consideration of a very bad part I played for him in Fair Fame [Denise] by Alexandre Dumas, adapted by Clinton Stuart] last season that he had written a very fine part for me in the new play.
New York, Dec. 7, 1887 Mr. [Clinton] Stuart said to AM Palmer that he would not have his play put on for an Author's Matinee and AM said "Oh no, I will give it a chance for a run". "It is too heavy to try at a matinee. It will want getting up". But when he is going to try it, no one knows yet or if anyone does, it is not generally made known.
Augustus Thomas (1857-1934) , playwright, author of Alabama "It was frequently noted that his curtain speeches at the first nights of his plays seemed sometimes to have more style and substance than the plays. This was perhaps because he was reared in the old- fashioned theatre of melodrama and sheer entertainment, and was quite unaffected by the "new drama" which came in during the nineties. (He makes no reference to it whatsoever in his autobiography, The Print of my Remembrance, 1922). [DAB]
Denman Thompson (1833-1911) Author of the Old Homestead, which EJP, Neppie and Neppie's aunt went to see in the winter of 1889-1890. Thompson had joined John Nickinson's Royal Lyceum Theatre Company in Toronto in 1854. He appeared in Uncle Tom's Cabin (as Uncle Tom) with John Nickinson, EJP and Charlotte and Virginia Nickinson. [Shortt, family playbill collection and http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Thompson,Denman.jpg
Thompson married in Toronto and all of his children were born there. "He first gained prominence by dancing hornpipes and Irish jigs between the acts. In the plays he was cast for low and eccentric comedy parts, specializing in Yankee, Irish, and Negro characters. [Shortt]
Denman Thompson, Thompson Family Researchers, Thompson Tidbits http://www.wellswooster.com/tommies/denman/
Odette Tyler (1869-1936) American actress and popular comedienne, was a member of the Madison Square Company for the 1884-85 season. Born Elizabeth Lee Kirkland in Savannah, Georgia. Her father went to West Point, but went with the South during the Civil War. Mrs. RD McLean Was she 15 in 1884 and acting in New York? How reliable is her birth date?
EJ Phillips received a copy of her book for Christmas New York, 12-29-1895 Miss [Odette] Tyler her book, Boss [A Story of Virginia Life] and a pretty paper cutter.
Lewis Strang in Famous Actresses writes of Odette Tyler that "her first professional appearance was made in 1884 in "Sieba," ... She was next engaged by Daniel Frohman for the Madison Square Theatre Company and made her debut in that house in William Gillette's The Private Secretary". Mr. Frohman then loaned her to Minnie Maddern... Charles Frohman next secured her as leading comedienne of the Empire Theatre Company. .. She originated the leading role in "The Gay Parisians"..
Ida Vernon (1843-1923) CDP Am actress, "a great favorite in the South during the Rebellion" Played in the final Union Square Season which began on October 6th, 1884 with a costume play in the time of Louis XV and a "dire failure" The Artist's Daughter by Elliott Barnes. Visited EJ Phillips in Philadelphia in 1902 while traveling with John Drew's company.
She played Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895. Internet Broadway DataBase http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=5575
Whiffen (1845-1897) Actors and Authors
The only reference to Whiffen in these letters is about Whiffen's flat [on Fourth Ave.] being $50. Denver, Sept.. 26, 1886
Played Faithful Benton, an old family servant in Sealed Instructions, Madison Square Co. Spring 1885
Whiffen 1845-1936 Internet
Broadway DataBase http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?ID=5575
Pioneering crusader for Actors' Equity Association. Autobiography Keeping off the shelf, 1928 http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/whiffenmrs.htm
Joseph E. Whiting (1842-1910) CDP Played Richard Orchardson, son of Squire Richardson (John Parselle) in STORMBEATEN 1884.one of the two mortal enemies (the other was McKee Rankin) who met in mortal struggle on an ice floe. Appeared in a pith helmet and puggaree [turban] in Three Wives to One Husband (1884). Cast as Jim in Jim the Penman in Philadelphia 1887 http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Whiting,Joseph.jpg
Willard (1853-1915) English actor, producer toured US
for 3 seasons under AM Palmer's management. Particularly admired for his
villains in contemporary melodrama. COC
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=181
Ellie Wilton (c.1852-1902) Mrs. Thomas Doremus CDP American actress, played at the Union Square Theatre in The False Friend and French Flats.
Leading lady at the Old California Theater 1878 http://www.trove.net/CUBU0017/CUBU0017_000833.html
Percy Winter (1861-1928) Canadian actor and stage manager.
George Wood (c. 1823-1886) manager CDP Mrs. [Harriet?] Wood was left a widow with 3 sons and a mother to support in May 1886. EJ Phillips visited her in New York (same address other years? 45th St. in 1890). The boys went to Girard College in Philadelphia.
Henry "Harry" Woodruff [1870-1916] in Pharisee by Malcolm Watson Dec 1890 and Mar 1891 http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=179
briefly mentioned, in other theatre companies
Some were people EJ Phillips knew in Toronto, Philadelphia or from other engagements.
Mary Anderson (1859-1940) Made her London debut in Ingomar: The Barbarian [by Friedrich Halm] in 1883 and retired from the stage in 1889 after collapsing on stage at President Harrison's inaugural in Washington D.C. She disbanded her company, retired, and sailed to England. The heroine of E.J.. Benson's Lucia novels is said to be a thinly veiled version of Mary Anderson. DAB http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Anderson,Mary5.jpg
Photographs, Univ. of Pennsylvania Rare Books Image Collection http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/photos/theater/maryanderson.html
PT Barnum History, Ringling Brothers http://www.ringling.com/explore/history/ptbarnum_1.aspx
Henry Ward Beecher Minister and center of scandal
Bernhardt drawings of and recipe for
Shakespeare & the Players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=96
Booth (1833-1893) Son of the noted actor Junius
Brutus Booth and brother-in-law of Agnes Booth,
played Hamlet for 100 performances with Isabella
(Nickinson) Walcott. Founded the Players' Club in 1888.
Played almost continuously with Lawrence
Barrett from 1887 until Barrett's death in March 1891. DAB
COC Actor, founder of the Gramercy Park
Players' Club (remodelled 1888 by Stanford White after Booth bought the
building) and founder of the Actor's Fund in 1882 with Lawrence Barrett, Joseph
Jefferson, Wallack, Daly and Palmer. Booth and Joseph Jefferson opened the Actor's
Fund Fair in May 1892.
Booth as Hamlet http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Booth,Edwin8.jpg
Edwin Booth's funeral was at the Church of the Transfiguration, New York Episcopal Actors' Guild of America, Inc. http://www.eaguild.homestead.com/files/index.html
Edwin Booth Photogravure from an old portrait in the Boston Theatre,
Strang's Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century, 1902
Harford County, Historical Society of Harford County http://www.harfordhistory.net/Booths.htm
Edwin Booth papers 1864-1881, Univ of Rochester http://www.lib.rochester.edu/rbk/BOOTH.stm
Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. (1821-1883) Brother of Edwin and husband of Agnes Booth who still used his name professionally, though she had been widowed and remarried by the time of these letters. His father Junius Brutus Booth and brother Edwin had been members of the "Providence Museum Company", organized in 1848 in Rhode Island which at one time included John and Charlotte Nickinson.
Neil Burgess (1846/51?-1910) As a stage manager with a company on tour Burgess took the place of Mrs. Barnaby Bibbs when she was unable to appear. "Although he disliked the task, he found favor with the audience and his destiny was thereby settled. After that, his entire life on stage was spent in grotesque impersonations in which he burlesqued rather than interpreted the eccentric personalities of elderly women. For...the laughter across the footlights, he relied largely upon extravagances of feminine costume. He starred first in 1879 in Vim, or a Visit to Puffy Farm. Married Mary E Stoddart, a niece of JH Stoddart, in 1880. Acquired considerable wealth but lost the greater part through injudicious investments and unprofitable theatrical ventures. Essentially a single character performer, doing his own specialty with an individual ingenuity, that brought him, for a considerable period, unbounded popularity." DAB
Brightest Star of a Constellation in the Highland Hills, Highlands NJ http://www.highlandsnj.com/news/html/NewsDocs/Brighteststar.html
Bartley Campbell (1843-1888) was one of the first American dramatists to make playwriting his profession. However he died insane. (Oxford Concise Comp Theatre). "From 1876 until his mental breakdown in 1885 he was America's most popular melodramatist.
Boston, Oct. 1, 1887 We could keep on playing Jim [the Penman] here for another four weeks to big business. The business seems to increase with every week. The musicians had to give up their seats last night and go under the stage. Some are prognosticating that it will run again all this season at Mad[ison] Sq'[uar]e [Theatre]. If so we shall all be ready in the Spring to join Bartley Campbell in your big town house.
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography http://www.famousamericans.net/bartleycampbell/
Lizzie Hudson Collier (c. 1864-1924) WWT/14
Frank Connor (d. 1902) Manager Era Almanack, London, 1903.
William Henry Crane (1845-1928) Most noted as a comedian, Autobiography Footprints and Echoes 1927. Contributed essays on acting and the theatre to contemporary popular journals. Successful as an actor-producer, beginning in 1890 in The Senator, in which he frankly imitated Senator Plumb of Kansas. COC DAB train encounter 1896
Nym Crinkle (1835-1903) was the byline used by Andrew Carpenter Wheeler at both the New York World and Sun as well as magazines. His reviews were "highly caustic but highly informed". [Oxford]
Personal papers in the Harvard Theatre Collection http://lib.harvard.edu/archives/0032.html
Walter Damrosch New York orchestra conductor, successor to his father Leonard Damrosch.
George F. DeVere (c.1835-1910) BE
Drew (1853-1927) Uncle of Lionel, Ethel, and John
Barrymore, Drew was with Daly's company
in New York for many years as a high comedian and noted for his Petruchio.
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=169
Louisa Lane Drew (1820-1897), John Drew's mother, managed the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia for many years, "which she ran with an iron hand." from 1861 to1892; and established it as one of the greatest of American stock companies. The house was under her control for the next 31 years. "She was not the first woman in America to manage a theatre and direct an acting company, but she was the first to do so on a considerable scale, and over a term of years...When she finally retired from the management she became the grande dame of the American Theatre." In her last years she was said to cheerfully travel 1000 miles for a chance to play Mrs. Malaprop. [DAB] Mother of Georgie Drew Barrymore
Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century
Appeared in Toronto
with her third husband in...[look up 1850s] photograph ??
EJ Phillips attends Louisa Lane Drew's funeral in Philadelphia,1897
Mrs. EL Fernandez (1852-1909) Her Dec. 22, 1909 New York Times obituary describes her as a dramatic agent, Vice President of the Professional Women's League and "known to every actor who ever sought an engagement in New York". Her employment office was in the New Amsterdam Theatre building.
Mrs. Gilbert (1821- 1904) was no beauty, but was "for many decades one of the most skillful and beloved American comediennes. She joined Augustin Daly's company in 1869 (after she and her husband had failed as farmers) and essentially stayed with it for its thirty year history.
From an EJ
Phillips obituary in Aug. 1904
A dozen years ago Mrs. Phillips held a position on the American stage very similar to the one Mrs. Gilbert holds to-day. She had all the grande dame roles in Mr. Palmer's and afterward in Charles Frohman's stock companies. Like many other stage favorites her "last appearance" was predicted many years before it actually occurred. Toward the end of her career every time she came on the stage she was greeted with a storm of applause, just as Mrs. Gilbert was greeted at the Garrick last fall
We have an obituary of Mrs. Gilbert from an unidentified Dec.1904 New York newspaper. She was still performing (in Chicago) at 83 and had announced her intention to spend the day Christmas shopping following her customary cold bath, on the day she died.
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=211
(1857-1919) comedian (1914 autobiography Nat Goodwin's Book. "Excelled as a mimic and eccentric comedian, he was also effective in serious parts. Married five times he gained notoriety for his offstage antics...His autobiography took revenge on his many enemies. (Cambridge Guide to Am Theatre)
Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century
Haswell [1871- 1945] actress Actors' Fund Fair New York, 1892
Percy Haswell http://www.rubylane.com/shops/sharp-objects/item/31082-1
Percy Haswell Fawcett, Penn Library Image Collection http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/rbm/photos/theater/262.html
A. Herne (1839-1901) American actor and
dramatist, pioneered Ibsen, inspired realistic drama in US. DAB
Lewis Strang writes that "Mr. Herne's first great success was "hearts of Oak" which was brought out in San Francisco in 1878. It had a wonderful vogue for ten or twelve years, and earned a fortune for the author. Mr. Herne described it as a melodrama without a villain.... In 1888 he produced in Chickering Hall, in Boston, "Margaret Fleming," a serious drama, which proved to be the forerunner of the 'problem plays." The work was a little in advance of its time, though it barely missed being a success. The feature of the production was the marvelously realistic acting of Mrs. Herne, who is said to have been largely responsible for the personality and opinions of the heroine.
New York, Dec. 2, 1891 I am still doing nothing and am very tired of it. It makes me feel old and useless. Alabama is still drawing well they tell me. A new play, Margaret Fleming is to be produced but it is an outside speculation. James A. Herne is the author and his wife plays the leading part, and if successful will star in it. Only 3 of the company play in it -- Messrs [EM] Holland, [Charles L.] Harris & [Edward M] Bell. It is for next Wednesday Matinee only.
Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century, 1902
Mrs. James A. Herne [Katharine Corcoran] (1857-1943) actress, most famous for the title role in Margaret Fleming .http://www.perspicacity.com/elactheatre/library/tast/hernec01.jpg
Jefferson (1829-1905) "The most popular and
respected American comedian of the 19th century...even as a relatively young man
his quizzical face was wizened. In 1893 he succeeded his friend Edwin
Booth as president of the Players Club." Autobiography of Joseph
JJ and WJ Florence in the Rivals http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Jefferson&Florence.jpg
Joseph Jefferson in Sister Carrie http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA02/volpe/theater/theater/jefferson.html
Opened the Actors Fund Fair in 1892.
Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle
Famous Actors of the Day in America by Lewis C. Strang, 1900
Lewis Strang writes in Famous Actors that "Joseph Jefferson is a comedian with a rare gift of pathos and an extraordinary talent for character delineation. Although the modern stage knows him in but four parts, - Rip Van Winkle, Bob Acres [The Rivals], Doctor Pangloss, and Caleb Plummer [Boucicault's Cricket on the Hearth].
William [Margaret Robertson] Kendal (1848-1935)
English actress, wife of actor William Kendal, made her American debut in 1889
under Daniel Frohman. Biography The
Kendals 1900 [Oxford]
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=28
Barnard Macauley Actor-manager, mentioned by John Nickinson in May 19, 1863 letter to EJ Phillips, who went to his funeral in New York April 2, 1886
Macauley became leading man at Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati in 1863 and entered management in partnership with John Miles of Cincinnati (1868-1872). "Macauley espoused the 'artistic' theatre and indicated a repugnance toward the 'commercial', but he was also a part of the 'commercial' theatre ...it was Macauley's goal to present productions of superior quality, and he felt that the stock system was the best method. While he had made a $100,000 profit in two years in Cincinnati, he ended up near bankrupt with his Louisville theatre, though he continued to be a prominent actor. He died in Bellevue Hospital, New York City. [Durham 1986].
Julia Marlowe (1866-1950) Married Robert Taber 1894, divorced him in 1900. Was particularly noted in plays of Shakespeare. Marlowe was her stage name. She seems unlikely to be related to Virginia Nickinson Marlowe.
Detroit, Michigan, March 13, 1895 I did have a letter from Robert Taber, husband of Julia Marlowe, wanting to know my terms for next Season. I wrote him a week ago yesterday but so far have had no reply so I imagine I frightened him. Would like to be with them there, for she plays all the old plays in which I am at home, and there would not be much study, but I would require lots of good clothes.
Marlowe as Mary Tudor, When Knighthood was in Flower, in Strang's Players and
Lewis Strang in Famous Actresses writes of Julia Marlowe that she played Parthenia in Ingomar, Pauline in the Lady of Lyons, and Julia in the Hunchback, as well as in Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, As You Like it and Much Ado about Nothing. "Always satisfying to a degree, and particularly delightful as a comedienne, she has never shown any unfathomable depth of temperament, nor has she yet achieved the really tragic."
Photos and brief biography http://www.perspicacity.com/elactheatre/library/tast/marloj.htm
Encyclopedia Britannica on http://search.eb.com/shakespeare/micro/377/44.html
Julia Marlowe bibliography http://www.questia.com/library/music-and-performing-arts/theater/julia-marlowe.jsp
Shakespeare and the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=40
James Brander Matthews (1852-1929) DCL University of the South 1899, educator, scholar, critic and playwright. Taught drama at Columbia (1891-1924) and wrote 24 books.
James Brander Matthews, Columbia Encyclopedia http://www.bartleby.com/people/Matthews.html
Marcus Mayer producer and manager (c. 1847-1918) BE WWT
James H. McVicker (1822-1896). McVicker was a Scotsman and a comedian. On May 2, 1848, he appeared as the "First Low Comedian" in a theater owned by James B. Rice. Rice would later become Mayor of Chicago. McVicker worked in France and England and owned a stock company of actors in the U.S. He is best known, however, by the theaters he owned. In 1857, he built a theater on Madison St. west of State. It cost $85,000 and was completely equipped including a drop curtain that depicted the railroad bridge connecting Rock Island with Davenport. The curtain was considered by many a work of art. From opening night, until its destruction in the Great Fire of 1871, the stage was visited by the finest actors and the best musicians. His second theater was built in 1871 and was destroyed in the Great Fire nine weeks after opening night. After the fire, he spent $200,000 to build the Theater Ludlow. Sarah Bernhardt on her first American tour appeared at McVicker's Theater. In 1862, John Wilkes Booth achieved personal success in Richard III. His [McVickers'] daughter, Mary, was a popular performer starting at the age of ten. When she was 18, she married Edwin Booth the brother of the assassin. She died in 1881, childless, and 33 years of age. At the death of Lincoln, the City chose a Committee of One Hundred to be at the funeral in Springfield. James McVicker was one of the men chosen to represent the City. http://www.chicago-scots.org/clubs/History/Names-McD-Mu.htm
Helena Modjeska (1840-1909) The Cracow born actress came to California with her Polish second husband, fleeing Poland once their radical political views became known. Her theatrical debut in 1877 quickly established her as a rising star and she went on to play Ophelia, Juliet, Camille, Frou-Frou, Mary Stuart, and Lady Macbeth. "For the next twenty eight seasons, despite a slight paralytic stroke in 1897, her career was a series of triumphs, and she became one of the most respected and beloved of all American performers." [Oxford]
"The newer style of acting that she introduced in the USA stressed naturalness and credibility. She was frequently and sometimes favourably compared with [Sarah] Bernhardt, who was more sensual and flamboyant...The basic types of women Modjeska excelled at playing were the grand lady, the wronged mistress...and the girl who succeeds due to her looks, intelligence and fantasy". [Intl Dict Theatre]
Shakespeare & the players, Emory Univ. http://shakespeare.emory.edu/actordisplay.cfm?actorid=184
San Francisco, July 31, 1886 Owen Fawcett called this AM. He is playing with [Helena] Modjeska. They close tonight and leave tomorrow for Los Angeles.
From Lewis Strang's Famous Actresses "Modjeska's theatrical life in America is closely interwoven with that of Edwin Booth, whom she so much resembles in the matter of artistic temperament. . Modjeska's first appearance on the same stage with Booth was on April 30, 1883 , when she acted Juliet to his Romeo at the closing of the unfortunate Booth's Theatre in New York. On May 21, 1888 when Hamlet was given with a great star cast for Lester Wallack's benefit, Booth appearing as Hamlet and Joseph Jefferson and William Florence as the two grave-diggers, Modjeska was the Ophelia.... Modjeska's Shakespearian repertory includes Beatrice, Cleopatra, Imogen, Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Portia, Ophelia, Rosalind, and Viola. Outside of Shakespeare there is her great part, Adrienne Lecouvreur, besides ... Camille, Gilbert in Frou-Frou, ... Nora in Ibsen's A Doll's House..."
Norris (b. 1846) Chestnut St.
Theatre, Philadelphia actor. Canadian actor, played Benvolio in Romeo and
Juliet, Booth's Theatre, New York.
Chicago, Sept. 15, 1890 Hattie thinks Dr Kneu is the one who operated on Charles Norris's throat while he was at Chestnut [St. Theatre, Philadelphia].
Tony Pastor 1837-1908, manager http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Pastor,Tony1.jpg Dictionary of American Biography article.
Adelina Patti singer New York, Jan. 24, 1892 http://www.opera-singer.co.uk/adelina3.htm
Pitt (c. 1844-1937) English actress BE
Internet Broadway DataBase http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=56260
Mr. Pitt's death brought EJ Phillips out of retirement for her last stage appearance, replacing Mrs. Pitt in A Bachelor's Romance. See letter of March 15, 1898
Annie Pixley (1858-1893) CDP
[Mrs. Robert Fulford] "Stories of forgeries and foul play surrounded her
sudden death at the age of thirty-five." Golden Age of American Theatre
EJP comments on her early death Detroit, Nov. 15, 1893
2 February 1894 Annie PIXLEY's Estate. There is talk that the family of Annie PIXLEY, the actress, who is said to have died worth $200,000 will make a fight for a share of her estate in the courts. All the property is said to be in her husband's name. 1894 Civil Court News, Brooklyn Daily Standard Union http://www.bklyn-genealogy-info.com/Court/1894.Court.html
Annie Pixley and the Zavistowskis traveled to Australia together. Was this in 1874 or another trip?
Ponisi (1818-1899) [nee Elizabeth Hanson] an English
actress, came to American in 1850 Joined Wallacks in 1871 and remained
with the troupe until it dissolved. "She had an expressive, attractive,
though not beautiful face, with large alert eyes".
George Riddle Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography http://www.famousamericans.net/georgeriddle/
Jan 9, 1887 Then to San F'co by St Paul and Northern Pacific RR. Jim the Penman will possibly run for the rest of the season, but there is to be a new play done by Mr. [Peter] Robertson of San F'co
Peter Robertson (1847-1911) New York, Playwright and critic, known for writing some reviews in dialogue form, for many years reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Haven't been able to identify play yet.
Sarony, Photographer, studio in Union Square
Ben Bassham, Theatrical Photographs of Napoleon Sarony, Kent State Univ. Press, 1978
Mrs. [Mary Frances] Scott-Siddons http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Siddons,MrsScott.jpg
Arthur Shirley (1853-1925) English actor and dramatist.
Robert Taber(1865-1904) American actor PDT SR actor, married Julia Marlowe
Rosina Vokes [1854-1894] Sparkling Rosina Vokes brought her English burlesque company, and sang, 'No matter what you do if your heart be true, and his heart was true to Poll.' She was dying of consumption on her last visit, but few of her audience could have guessed it, she played still with so much verve. Rosina Vokes was the most gifted of the famous Vokes family of the English stage, the wife of an English artist, Cecil Clay, who accompanied her on this tour. He would sit in an upper-tier box at the Baldwin through every performance, watching her with anxious, troubled eyes. It was all he could do. Her insistence on playing was not to be overcome, so he just trailed about with her until she was forced to give up. Neville, Amelia Ransome, The Fantastic City: Memoirs of the Social and Romantic Life of Old San Francisco, 1932, Chapter VIII http://www.zpub.com/sf50/sf/hbtfc8.htm
Vokes Family http://www.picturehistory.com/find/p/18227/mcms.html
New York, Dec. 5, 1890 Suppose we shall begin rehearsals next week. A Pair of Spectacles will go to Boston and Phila in January. Rosina Vokes playing at the "Madison Square" [Theatre] so I do not have to leave the City as I expected to do.
James Wallack, Sr. (c.1795–1864) "a distinguished English actor, who divided his career between England and America, had opened his own theatre, Wallack's in New York in 1852, and was 65 years of age when he played an engagement of three nights at the Royal Lyceum [Toronto] in July 1856, playing Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing. [Shortt]
Wallack (1820- 1888)
Memoirs of Fifty Years (1889)
Wayne S. Turney http://www.wayneturney.20m.com/wallack.htm
Which Wallack was John Nickinson referring to in 1859 as "like myself, on the sober tack"?
Frederick Warde (1851-1935) English actor, lecturer, and scholar, specializing in Shakespeare. "He was one of the last of the old tragedians. [Plays such as] The Gladiator, Virginius, The Lady of Lyons, were stilted and unnatural. He knew it, saw the change in public taste, and tried to get modern plays, but the new plays were disappointing and he was obliged to fall back upon the old standbys of other days. [from?]
Frederick Warde, Q. David Bowers, Thanhauser Co. Film Preservation, 1995 http://www.thanhouser.org/people/wardef.htm
Boston, May 15, 1890 I have been to witness two performances at Park Theatre. The first was Fanny Davenport in La Tosca and last Monday night -- Frederick Warde in Belphigor the Mountebank.
Perhaps Charles B. Wells (c. 1851-1923) Best Plays 1894-95.
White 1853–1906 The
1892 Actor's Fund Fair was
held May 2-7 in Stanford White's new (opened 1890) Madison
Baker, Paul, Stanny Gilded life of Stanford White, New York : Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1989
Brown, T. Allston, History of the American Stage, New York : Dick & Fitzgerald, 1870. HAS
Burroughs, Marie, Art Portfolio of Stage Celebrities, Chicago: AN Marquis, 1894.
Dictionary of American Biography and supplements, New York : Scribners, 1938-58. DAB
Dictionary of National Biography: 1901-1911 Supplement, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1912. DNB
Hall, Lillian Arvida, Catalogue of Dramatic Portraits, 4 vols. Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1930-1934. CDP
Johnson, Claudia, American Actresses: Perspective on the Nineteenth Century, Chicago : Nelson-Hall Publishers, 1984.
Rigdon, Walter, Biographical Encyclopedia and Who's Who of the American Theatre, New York : Heinemann, 1966
Strang, Lewis C., Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century, Boston : L. C. Page & Co., 1902.
Wearing, JP, American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory, Metuchen NJ : Scarecrow Press, 1979.
Who was Who in America, Chicago : Marquis 1963-1973.
IBDB Internet Broadway DataBase, advanced search http://www.ibdb.com/advancedsearch.asp Searchable by play, person or New York theater.
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY ACTOR PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, 1868-1897 & n.d., Smithsonian Institution, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., December 2003 http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/d6779a.htm
19th century American Theater, Sources consulted, Univ. of Washington Digital Collections http://content.lib.washington.edu/19thcenturyactorsweb/sources.html
Family Theatrical Friends and Colleagues pre-Palmer Palmer Companies post-Palmer People only briefly mentioned
Last updated March 30, 2005
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