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Cornell University Library 
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ers of a centui 

3 1924 027 236 771 

Cornell University 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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Joseph McDo^c|^c|^ SS Nortk'F^airl- St, 


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by 

In the Office ot the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

Bqbdick & Taylor, Frint«rsj 
Hwtin Han, ^hmTKff'i^ 


The history of the Albany stage is, in a great measurej, 
the history of the theatre in America. From the da^^s 
of Hallam to the present time, scarcely an actor of any 
prominenSe has appeared in this country, who has not 
.yisited Albany. It was here that the genius of Edwin 
Forrest was first discovered and nurtured, and by a 
curious coincidence, here, also, Charlotte Cushman 

— " first bound her buskin on." 
Other highly honored members of the profession, who 
were either born here, made their debut here or practised 
for months in Albany stock companies, are to be counted 
by the score ; while among Albany managers are to be 
found such names as Bernard, G-ilfert, Blake, Duffy, 
Conner, Trimble, Lawlor and Albaugh. In short, the 
supply of material for a history of this kind was soon 
found to be embarrassing in its richness, and its arrange- 
ment for publication, to a great extent, a matter of 

A large part of what follows appeared originally, dur- 
ing 1879, in tie Sunday edition of the Alhany Argus, 
the compiler reserving the right to republish the articles 
in book form. He was encouraged to do so by the 
kindly interest manifested in them as they were read 
from week to week, and now presents his work, enlarged, 
revised, and corrected, and made available for reference 
by index. 


Such a history must necessarily be, in part, a compilation 
from old newspapers, old play-hills, and old inhabitants ; 
but in part, also, from dramatic records previously pub- 
lished. While credit has frequently been given to the 
latter, in the text, the author here acknowledges his 
special indebtedness to Dunlap's History of the American 
Stage, Clapp's History of the Boston Stage, Blake's 
History of the Providence Stage, Brown's History of 
the American Stage, Hutton's Plays and Players, and in 
particular, Ireland's Records of the New York Stage, 
by far the best work of dramatic history published in 
America. Greater freedom has been felt in quoting 
from these authorities, from the fact that, with possibly 
one exception, they are out of print, and unavailable to 
the general public. 

The writer is also indebted for many local reminis- 
cences to Mr. Henry D. Stone, Mr. William D. Morange, 
Mr. Joel Munsell (the venerable Albany antiquary, 
whose lamented death occurred as these pages are pass- 
ing through the press), Mr. and Mrs. Lucien Barnes and 
Gapt. John B. Smith ; to many co-laborers on newspapers, 
and others who have kindly added to the interest and 

value of the record. 

H. P. Phelps. 
Albany, N. Y., February 2d, 1880. 



1745 — 1752. Introductory — Who Founded the American Stage? — 

The Honor inJDispute — Dunlap Confers it upon Hallam — A 
Mistake — Hallam's Predecessors— The First American Rich- 
ard— Kean and Murray— Moody, Probably the Original 



1760 — 1786. Amateur Theatricals in Albany — Tragical Fate of 
their Clerical Critic — Arriyal of Hallam's American Company 
— Plays Performed in the Hospital — The Second Season — 
The First Advance Notice — Oldest Albany Play-bill Extant — 
Attempt to Crush the Infant Drama — Appeal to the Common 
Council — Newspaper Discussion — The Play-house Openly 

Threatened — A Victory for the Comedians 16 


1803—1811. The Thespian Hotel— Third Dramatic Season- 
Poor Debtors Benefited — J. Howard Payne, the Author of 
"Home, Sweet Home," the Boy Critic and Actor — His Sub- 
sequent Career — George Frederick Cooke — He Visits Albany 
on His "Wedding Tour 30 


1810—1817. The Green Street Theatre— The Richmond Disaster; 
Over Sixty Persons Burned to Death — Consequent Renewal 
of Opposition to the Drama — Another Decision from the 
Common Council — Albany's First Play-house — John Ber- 
nard, Manager — Mrs. Esther Young, afterwards Mrs. Hughes, 
the Leading Lady — Old Sol Smith's Debut — His Funny Stories 
— " A Nigger in Sol's Bed " — A Live Corpse in King Henry's 

Coffin — The Theatre becomes a Church 38 


1822 — 1835. The Drama Houseless and Homeless — The Original 
Stage "Yankee " — Two Companies and no Play-house — An 
Actor Aged Ten — An African Theatre — TJie Original of 
" Mons; MaUet " — Vilallave's Picturesque Theatre — Tom and 
Jerry 55 



1835. The South Pearl Street Theatre— Manager Charles GiUert 
andMsMagnifleept'CoiB^pany— th^^Wef B^oth, the First 
Star— His Religious Traits and Drunken Excesses— Burial of 
the Pigeons — Criticism of His Acting — Stone, the Dramatist 
and Suicide — A Marriage Never Consummated — Lafayette 
Visits the Theatre '. 63 


t835. Edwin Forrest Joins the Company— Arthur Keene's Awk- 
ward i>«JMi— Unhappy Mrs. Barrett — Early Criticism of For- 
rest — William A. Conway, the Hypochondriac Actor and 
Clergyman — Melancholy Result of Being too Tall and 
Crossed in Love — Tom Hamblin — Canal Boat Poetry-vPor- 
rest on a Lark — Before John O. Cole — A Sermon on Gam- 
bling 77 

^835. Edmund Kean, the Monarct of the English Stage — Early- 
Life and Triumphs — Arrival in America — His Albany* 
Engagement — Plays with Forrest — Mutual Impressions — 
Kean's Wonderful Acting — The New York and Boston 
Riots — Driven from the Athens of America — "Othello's 
Occupation 's Gone " — A Strangely Dramatic End 88 


1835—1837. May wood and his Adopted Daughter "La Petite 
Augusta " — Cooper, the First Representative American Actor 
— tA Reckless Wager — An Actress Presiding at the White 
Hous^;— Old Jack Barnes and his Cliarming Wife — Opposi- 
tion from the Circus— Gilfprt's Inglorious Finale — Forrest 
Leaps Through a Barrel of Fire and Performs in the Ring 
for a Clown's Benefit — Pawns His Wardrobe to get to New 
York-^Henry Wallack's Bad Luck — Appearance of Ma- 
cready — Sketch of his Life and Criticism of his Acting 97 


he South Pearl Street Theatre Under Roberts, 
Vernon and Phillips — Charley Parsons, the Parson- Actor— 
Hackett, America's Greatest Falstaff, Playing Yankee Char- 
acters and Telling Stories — Clard, Fisher, Louisa Lane and 
Mary Rock, Three Infant Phenomena Still Living — The 
Clara Fisher Rage — Mrs. John Drew Acting at the Age of 


. ./ i ■ . -j'i' - . Page. 

Eight— Mkry* R6ck' s Romaatic History — How tie Modem 

Ballet "Was First Received — A Bowery Audience' Eu'sli 
Bluslung from tlie Theatre — Cele&tie, the Queen of Melo- 
Drama. . . . .. ;• ...........;... 1(» 


1829. More French Daincers— Begiiiniiigs of the l^lbahy lliiseuiii 
—"Yankee" HiU— Diiffy & I^ori-esll Maiiagers of the Thea- 
tre — The Elder Joe JjefEerson in the Stobk Company — Bio- 
graphical Sketch of 'Willia,m Duffy— His Stage Fight with" 
Booth— Founds the Buffalo Theatre 125 

1829—1830. "Blood for Blood"— An Actor Makes Good the 
Name of the Play — Miserable Death of a Favorite Actress — 
The' Fatei of Finn— Wind-up of the Circus— George Wash- 
ington Dixon, first! of the Negro Minstrels — HowtheDrania 
Wasn't PatroniZed-^Intferesting Figures — An Old Fashioned 
Theatre Lease — How Forrest Encouraged Dramatists — 
George Holland— "The Little Church Arourid the Corner," 136 

1881-1833. Curious Appeal for a Beneflt^An Old Favorite 
Eclipsed by a Performing Elephant — Master Burke, the 
Irish Roscius^ Almost a Riot on Account of his Father — 
CSi^rles Kean at the Age of "Twenty^Duffy's Great Hit- 
Forrest Dismiis^S an Audience— A "Greek Tragedian"— 
Theatre Closed' on Account of Cholera- English Opera- 
James E. Murdoch — Tom Placide's Paper Collars— Jim 
Crow Rice and Albany's Claim to Being the Birth Place of 
Negro Minstrelsy 152 

1833—1834. The Kembles, Chkles and Fanny- Extracts from 
Fanny's Journal— Death of "Aunt Dall"— Salary List of 
the Albany Theatre— Mazeppa's Modern Journey and Ad- 
ventures — Tyrone Power's Appearance and the Row that 
Followed— His "Impressions" of Albany— His Place as an 
Irish Comedian , 168 


1834—1836. Some of Booth's Correspondence— Paganini's Sweet- 
heart—An Elopenient Frustrated — J. Sheridan K'nowle^ 
and his Pupil, Einraa Wheatley— The 'Theatre on Fire— The 


Museum — Joice Heth and the Siamese Twins — The Great 

DufEy Benefit— Murder of the Manager 183 

1836—1839. Last Years of the Old Pearl Street Theatre— Char- 
lotte Cushman in Albany, where She Learned to Act — Her 
Only Love Affair— Her IJavorite Brother Killed by an Acci- 
dent— Her After Life and Place in the Profession — Charles 
H. Eaton's Untimely End — Charley Parsons's Sudden Conver- 
sion — Joe Jefferson's Acting at the Age of 'Ten^His First 
Newspaper Notice — The Gigantic Josephine Clifton — Jean 
Davenport Lander — The Original of Dickens's Infant Phe- 
nomenon — The Theatre Becomes a Church. 198 

1839—1845. The DaUius Street Amphitheatre — Hgrw Spaulding 
Came to Engage in the Circus Business — Poetical Address 
by Alfred B. Street — Forrest Plays to Nine Dollars — " Guy- 
ing " the Great Tragedian — J^ohn Greene "Wins a Wager — 
Acting in a Thunder Storm — "Wake Me up When Kirby 
Dies ' ' — Dummy Allen — A Budget of Stories About Forrest's 
Eccentric Dresser— His Turtle Soup and Silver Leather — A 
Remarkable Epitaph 317 

1841—1848. Meech's Museijm— Edward Eddy's Early Life— Ad- 
elaide Phillips as a Prodigy — The Future Mayor of Chicago as 
Manager — Charley Burke, William Warren, John Brougham, 333 

1847-1848. The Brief, Eventful History of the Odeon— Col. 
Harcourt's Theatre — A Bass-viol Explosion — CharlotteBarnes 
— Barney Williams— The Viennoise Children — Edmon S. 
Conner — Charming Julia Dean — The Great Fire of 1848 343 

L848 — 1853. Palmy Days of the Museum— Its Enlargement by 
John M. Trimble, the Lightning Builder— Meech, the Mana- 
ger — The Lovells — Chanfrau, the Original Mose — Booth at 
the Great Fire — He Dons a Red Shirt and Runs with the Ma- 
chine — His Death on Board a Steamboat — The Albany Bel- 
lows — Mr. James G. Maeder — The Pitts, from England — 
Charley Smith— The Nickinsons— Mr. and Mrs. John Drew 
—The Bateman Prodigies— Bli?;a Logan's Singular Present 


— John Collins — Sir 'WiUiam Don, Actor— McKean Buchan- 

nan — Queen Victoria's Kindness to an Actress 349 

1852 — 1855. Last Days of the Museum — Lola Montez, Countess 
of Lansfeldt, as Adventuress, Actress, Court Favorite, Inva- 
lid and Penitent — Mary Wells's DeJwi— Grustavus Broolse— 
Mrs. Mowatt, the Child Wife and Actress— Lysander Thomp- 
son—The Edwin Forrest Divorce Case — Eighteen Years of 
Litigation— The Denin Sisters— Maggie MitoheU— William 
J. Florence— Last Nights— Poor, Blind Albertine— A Budget 
of Stories About the Museum — A Real Tragedy — Herr Dries- 
hach's Tiger and the Musician's Nose— A Boy's Toe Bitten 
off by an Acrobat — ^Estelle Potter's Impromptu Dagger 265 

1852—1859. The Green Street Theatre Re-opened— Poor Pres- 
ton's Tragic End — Madame de Marguerittes — A Countess for 
Manager— Gaslight Poster — Edmon S. Conner — Uncle Tom's 
Cabin; Its Production in Troy— Little Cordelia Howard — 
How the Part of Eva was Fitted to Her-^Rose Eytinge's De- 
but and Marriage — Mary Mitchell Albaugh — Charlotte Cramp- 
ton and her Peculiarities — Life and Death of the "Count 
Joannes" — Bm-ton, Funniest Actor of them All — Matilda 
Heron — The Theatre Becomes a Concert Hall 281 

1859—1861. The Gayety Theatre— John W. Albaugh— Biograph- 
ical Sketch^— Adah Isaacs Menkeuj the Poet- Actress — Her 
Wild and Reckless Life— How She First Rode Mazeppa in 
the Green Street Theatre — Tricks of the Profession — Laugh- 
able Incident — The Over Fat Gladiator — Frank Lawlor — 
John Wilkes Booth-^Lincoln and his Assassin Visit Albany 
Together — Booth Wounded by a Woman — The Tragedy of 
Tragedies— Close of the Theatre 305 


1863 — 1867. The Academy of Music— Opening under Trimble — 
Drama of "Davy Crockett" — Its Author Killed by Criti- 
cism — Letter from Mr. Mayo — The Stoddarts — Campbell, 
the Opera Singer — John McCuUough^r-Biographical Sketch 
of Ada Gray — Jean Hosmer— Lotta — Early Criticism — Ellen 
Tree — Frank Mayo — His Advice to Actors — Dan Bryant — 


Last Appearance of Mrs. Vernon and Mary Gannon — Death 

of Mr. Trimble 339 

1867—1888. The Academy Under Miss A. Q. Trimble— Louise 
Sylvester — Her Pirst Effort in Tragedy — Narrow Escape of 
a Musician — Ada Clare, Queen of Bohemia — Death by 
Hydrophojbia — The Academy Destroyed by Fire 359 

1869—1876. The Division Street Theatre— Opening under Frank 
Lawlor — Walter Keeble — Sketch of Augusta Dargon, the 
Irish Tragedienne — Fanny Davenport — Tbny Denier as Man- 
ager — "Twenty-seven Tears Old" — Sappho — Letter from 
Felix Morris — Last Tears of the Capitol Theatre — Destroyed 
by Fire 365 

1869—1872—1880. The Trimble Opera House under Lucien 
Barnes — Opening — Death in the Orchestra — Great Success 
of Ixion, The Black Crook, Divorce, etc. — Lydia Thomp- 
son — Scott-Siddons and Walter Montgomery- Janauschek, 
the Great Bohemian Actress — Lawrence Barrett — The Band- 
manns — Narrow Escape of a Beautiful Witch — Charles Ma- 
thews — Agnes Ethel — Edwin Forrest's Last Engagement — 
Winnetta Montague's Debut, History and Death — Kate 
Claxton — ^Barnes's Financial Failure — Aaron Richardson — 
The Trimble becomes the Leland, and J. W. Albaugh its 
Manager ■ . 376 

Tweddle Hall — Its Dramatic History — John T. Raymond-^ 
Edwin Booth — Maggie Mitchell and her Fanchon — Parepa 
Rosa — ^Ristori — Clara Louise Kellogg — Martin Opera House 
— Christine NUsson — The Fire — Charlotte Cushman's Last 
Albany Engagement 398 


Conclusion — 407 

Additions and Ccirrections 413 

Index , 415 




Introduction of the Drama into America. 

TTTTHEN tlie future historian of the American drama 
** begins his hitherto neglected work, he will find, 
though not required to extend his researches much 
beyond the middle of the eighteenth century, that his 
initial chapter must be one of speculation and surmise, 
rather than of authenticated record., To whom belongs 
the honor of founding the theatre in the new world, 
where the first play was produced, what it was and 
who performed it, are questions which, though answered 
with great exactness of detail by some writers, are 
still open to debate, and likely always to remain so. 

William Dunlap, to whom the aforesaid future .his- 
torian must perforce acknowledge himself much in- 
debted, unhesitatingly confers the honor upon Hallam, 
and says further that the first theatre opened in 
America by a company of regular comedians, was in 
Williamsburgh, then (September 5, 1752) the capital 
of Virginia; that the play was the "Merchant of 
Venice," followed by " Lethe," a farce by Garrick. 
Sinse Mr. Dunlap's book was written, however, it has 
been ascertained beyond question, that Hallam was 
not the first in the field of management in this country, 
and although the above mentioned performances took 
place as stated, the occasion was not the initiation of 
the drama in America, notwithstanding the date thereof 
was honored with a grand centennial observance at 


Castle Grarden, Monday, September 6th, 1852 (when 
the original bill was carefally reproduced). On the 
contrary, the very butlding in which the Hallam com- 
pany made their debnt had been erected for dramatic 
purposes two years previous, and presumably occupied 
by the "Philadelphia company," who, previous to 
1752, also built a theatre in Annapolis, Md. This 
Philadelphia company Dunlap only alludes to con- 
temptuously as " some idle young men " who, perpe- 
trating the murder of sundry plays in the outskirts of 
the town, were arrested, and on confessing the crime 
and promising to spare the poor poets in the future, 
were bound over by the Philadelphia authorities for 
good behavior. It is probable that .in L748, they were 
only professionals in embryo, but their leader, Thomas 
Kean, preceded his great name-sake (a curious coinci- 
dence), by being the first American Richard, and was 
probably the manager of the company which produced 
the play in Nassau street, New Yoric, March 5th, 1760, 
and he was certainly associate manager with Murray 
at the same place in the following September, when 
they played to crowded houses. It is thought by 
some (but this is merely surmise), that Murray and 
Kean may have been the two young Englishmen who, 
about this time, shocked all New England by playing, 
with the assistance of volunteer talent, Otway's tragedy 
of " The Orphan, or Unhappy Marriage," at a coffee 
house in State street, Boston, a proceeding which led 
the great and general court of Massachusetts to pass 
an act in March, 1750, To Prevent Stage-Plays and 
other Theatrical Entertainments. 

Still another authority (Bernard), asserts that John 
Moody founded the American stage in the Island of 
Jamaica, about 1745, with an English company brought 
over by him ; that in four years he made a small fortune, 
and going to England, recruited a second company,, 
but instead of coming back with them, was induced 
by Garrict to remain at Drury Lane, where he became 
celebrated as an Irish actor. The company, hovirever, 
came over, and were the second dramatic organization 


to cross the Atlantic, thus making Hallam's company 
third, instead of first, as claimed by Dunlap. 

But of all the actors who preceded Hallam's com- 
pany, next to nothing is known. They strutted their 
little hour upon the stage, no doubt affordiug amuse- 
ment to thousands, and then were heard of no more, 
it being by accident only that the names even of a 
few of them, have come down to us, with such meagre 
information as to their performances as scant adver- 
tisements in the newspapers of the. day afford. 




The Drama at the Hospital, Alba/ny. 

IN order to. write a history of the theatre in Albany, 
one must go back at least 110 years. Even before 
that time dramatic performances were given ; but as 
they were simply the amusement of amateurs, they 
hardly come within the scope of this record. Still the 
circumstances connected with them are so curious that 
the reader will perhaps pardon "meandering" even at 
the outset, inasmuch as it has been the habit of stage 
historians to digress frequently from thjeir narrative 
since the days of Colley Gibber. 

In 1760, as Mrs. Grant tells us in her " Memoirs of 
an American Lady," a regiment of English soldiers 
was quartered in Albany for a while, and the officers, 
with the gayetjy for which military men are noted in 
all times and m all countries, inaugurated a reign 
of pleasure and frivolity such as the sober Dutch 
town had never known before, and to cap the 
climax, fitted up a barn into a private theatre, 
and produced "The Beaux' Stratagem." Although 
its wit is none of the most delicate, it is very- 
doubtful whether Earquliar's sentiments were suffi- 
ciently understood by the majority of the listeners, 
to have much moral effect one way or the other, so 


indifferently was the English .language understood by 
them. -Few, indeed, of the natives, had ever seen a 
play before, or hardly knew what the word meant ; yet 
they found rare sport in watphing the young men, 
some of them displaying great hoops and flirting about 
the stage in female apparel. But while the younger 
portion of the community were vastly amused, and 
not much harmed thereby, opinions extremely adverse 
to the performance rapidly gained ground among the 
older and soberer folk. It was said that these wild 
young officers, familiar with every vice and disguise, 
had not only spent a whole evening in telling a gigantic 
lie, but they were themselves the lie ! that they had 
violated the express commands of Scripture by appear- 
ing in women's clothes, and above all things they had 
actually painted their faces ! Such a violation of 
decorum had never been known on the upper Hudson 
before, and the good dominie, Eev. Theodorus Frey- 
linghausen, pastor of the Dutch Eeformed Church, 
became much exercised about it. He exhorted in the 
street and preached in the pulpit, but the officers 
laughed openly at his authority, and many of the 
young lambs of his flock, captivated by the dashing 
manners of the soldiery, ventured to think their 
worthy pastor quite too severe on a new and innocent 
amusement, and so it was that two parties grew up 
and great was the excitement. The first play had been 
so successful that a second was announced, " The 
Eecruiting Officer," by the same then popular author. 
The next Sunday the much aggrieved dominie was 
more severe than ever in his denunciations of what 
be honestly thought an alarming evil. Early Monday 
morning he found deposited at his door a club, a pair 
of old shoes, a crust of black bread and a dollar in 
money. Where they came from no one knew ; but 
what they were there for the poor pastor, readily 
:guessed. It was an emblematical message, signifying 
to him that he was wanted no longer. The keenly- 
sensitive man felt the insult deeply. Believing hi» 
influence to have ceased, his sceptre to be broken, ha 


resolved to take the hint and return to Holland. In 
vain his friends endeavored to assure him that he was 
mistaken : that it was at most, the work of the giddy 
and thoughtless whose opinion was not worth heeding ; 
but it was of no use, he was determined to seek his 
native shores. A Dutch ship happening to touch at 
New York about this time, he embraced the oppor- 
tunity and sailed, promising, however, soon to return ; 
but he never did. Month after month rolled away, 
and finally tidings came that he never reached his 
home ; that for days he walked the deck silent and 
melancholy, and then suddenly disappeared and was 
never heard of more. Whether by accident he fell 
into the trackless sea, or whether goaded to despair by 
a sense of lost popularity and usefulness, he had, in a 
fit of insanity, thrown himself overboard, no one ever 
knew. It is a singular story, and rather an ominous 
prelude to our theatrical history. With the superstition 
for which the profession is proverbial, it is not to be 
wondered at that some unfortunate showmen, as they 
start from Albany on foot, lay their ill-luck there to 
the revengeful' ghost of Eev. Theodoras Freyling- 

The first dramatic performance recorded as given by 
professionals in Albany, was July 3d, 1769. The 
actors were the American company, organized a little less 
than twenty years previous in England by the Hallam 
brothers. It is this company to which William Dun- 
lap, the first writer on the history of the American 
theatre, gives the credit of founding the drama in this 
country ; but as we have shown, they were neither the 
first nor the second company of professionals wbo 
appeared in the new world ; their predecessors having 
been a company led by Murray and Kean in 1750, 
and a troupe still earlier in the field, led by one Moody. 
Of these, the advance guards of the great Thespian 
army which has since crossed the ocean, but little is 
known, save that they played in the south, and as far 
nortb as New York. The Hallam company's record 
is more fully written. They had played first at Will- 


iamsburgh, Va., in SeptemlDer, 1752 ; m Annapolis, 
and in New York at the Nassau street theatre, in the fall 
of 1753. They had gone subsequently to the West 
Indies, where Lewis Hallam, their first manager, had 
died, and his widow had married David Douglass, who 
reigned alone monarch of the drama in America, the 
elder Hallam having early relinquished his interest in 
the enterprise. On the return of the company from 
the West Indies in 1758, they found hard work to 
establish themselves any whe^e, but played in Phila- 
delphia, Newport, Perth Amboy, Williamsburgh,- 
Annapolis and New York, and then probably revisited 
the West Indies. In 1767, the John street theatre in 
l^ew York, was erected, and the company were there 
for a year or two, and in the summer of 1769 obtained 
permission of the governor of the colony. Sir Henry 
Moore, baronet, to play in Albany^ for one month only. 
According to the custom of the times, performances 
were given only on Mondays; Wednesdays and Fri- 
days. There were no newspapers to criticise the plays 
or record even the names of the players. It is known, 
however, that Lewis Hallam, Jr., was the leading gen- 
tleman of the cornpariy ; that John Henry was the 
tragedian ; Miss Cheer was the leading lady ; Mr. 
Woolls, principal singer., The town had less than 
B,000 inhabitants. There was, of course, no theatre, 
and the hospital, which stood on what is now Pine 
street, near the site of the Lutheran church, was fitted 
up for the use of the Thespians. Prices of admission 
were as follows : boxes, six shillings ; pit, four shil- 
lings ; gallery, two shillings. The only play of which 
the title is recorded, is Otway's " Yenice Preserved," 
with which they opened. This was a great card in 
those days. It w:as followed by a farce, perhaps 
"Lethe," by Grarrick, as that was also a favorite after- 
piece with the company, and often used on opening 
nights to offset the gloom of Otway's dreary tragedy. 
Whether the season was successful, or whether it lasted 
through its allotted time or not, we have no means of 
knowing. If the poor players did make more than 


their expenses, it was an exception to the generalrule, 
for they were then regarded by many as no better than 
vagabonds and mountebanks, no matter how lofty the 
sentiment they uttered, or pure the morality they 

It is not surprising that for the ensuing decade. and 
a half, there was a gap in theatricals, over which we 
vault without comment, and come to the first dramatic 
notice ever published in Albany. It appeared under 
date of December 5, 1.785, in a supplement to the 
Alhany Gazette, Charles E. Webster, editor. As .the 
first of many thousand that have followed, it is not 
without interest: 

We have the pleasure to inform the public that a 
number of carpenters for these some days have been 
employed fitting up with the greatest expedition the 
hospital in this city as a theatre, under the direction of 
the managers of the' company of comedians who have 
entertained the inhabitants of New York for some 
months past with so much satisfaction to the public, and 
reputation to themselves. Their continuance amongst 
us will be but for a short time. It is therefore to be 
wished that all lovers of the drama in this city and its 
neighborhood, would exert themselves in encouraging 
these ingenious sons and daughters of Thalia and Mel- 
pomene, as it is universally acknowledged that theatrical 
representations are of all others best calculated to eradi- 
cate vulgar prejudices and rusticity of manners, improve 
the understanding and enlarge the ideas. 

The." earmarks " of the box-office are quite apparent 
in the above, although it was printed as editorial com- 
ment. ' Like many another published since then, it 
undoubtedly emanated from the pen of the enterpris- 
ing " advance agent," whose contribution was gladly 
accepted by the printer, as expressing better than he 
could himself, the idea it was desired to convey. In 
the same issue of the Gazette appeared che following 
advertisement containing probably the oldest Albany 
playbill in existence : 



On Friday evening the 9th December, 11S5, The 

Thbatke in the City of Albany 

Will Be Opened 

With an occasional Prologue 

By Mr. Allen. 

After which will be presented A COMEDY in two acts 



Mr. Grubb and Robin Mr. Moore 

George Bevil " Bentley 

Harry Bevil " Warsdale 

Servant " Bellair 

Chapeau, F. Bevil & Consol " Allen 

Emily Mrs. Moore 

Housemaid Mrs. Bentley 

Mrs. Grubb Mrs. Allen 

After the comedy, 

An Eulogy on Free Masonry 

By Brother Moore. 

To be followed by a Dance called 


To conclude with a COMEDY of three acts written 

by Shakespeare 





Petruchio Mr. Allen 

Baptista .- " Bentley 

Grumio " Warsdale 

Hortensio " Bellair 

Pedant i " Duncan 

Biondello " Moore 

Bianca . .■ Mrs. Moore 

Curtis Mrs. Bentley 

Catharine Mrs. Allen 

Doors to be opened at five o'clock and the perform- 
ance to begin precisely at six. 

Tickets, (without which no person can be admitted) 
to be had at Mr. Lewis's tavern — as no money will be 
received at the door. 

Box 8s. Gallery 4s. 



No pei-Bon to be admitted behind the scenes. 

N. B.— Stoves are provided for the boxes, to render 
the house warm and comfortable. 

The peculiarities of this first of Albany play-bills, 
so readily suggest themselves, that it is hardly aeces- 
sary to call attention to the exceedingly primitive 
features of early hours,, the doubling 6f characters, 
and the certainty that part of the house at least would 
be warmed in the month of December. The first 
lay, " Cross Purposes," was a farce by O'Brien. It 
ad been acted at Coveht Garden, was printed in 1772, 
and played at the John street theatre, in New York, 
June 7, 1773. It was founded on the Trois Freres 
Bivdiix, a,nd contained touches of genuine humor and 
many strokes of satire. Tbe interludes speak for 
themselves, and of. Shakespeare's comedy, nothing 
need here be said. . 

The company was not a strong one. Several of its 
members, however, had just been associated with Lewis 
Hallam, Jr., (the successor of Douglass before men- 
tioned) in the first feeble attempts at histrionism made 
in New York after the revolution. Coming back from 
the West Indies, the players had spent a few unprofit- 
able months in Philadelphia and then a feeble detach- 
ment came oij to New York, with Hallam, and opened 
the John street theatre, August 24, 1785. So pro- 
nounced was the opposition to plays at that time, that 
the entertainments were advertised as a series of lec- 
tures to begin with a prologue and end with a panto- 
mime, the music selected and composed by Mr. Bentley. 
September 20th they came out boldly with a play and 
produced "The Citizen," the first drama played in 
New York after the revolution. The season closed 
November 1, and Hallam being encouraged to bring 
on his main body of artists, did so, and opened with 
them November 21, whereupon his advance guard, 
slightly recruited, came up the river to Albany. 

Of the personnel of the company but little' is known, 
except that it is supposed Mr. and Mrs. Allen were 
the. parents of that highly eccentric specimen of 


humanity, Andrew Jackson Allen, afterwards well 
known in Albany as Edwin Forrest's dresser, whose 
silhouette adorns Mr. Stone's Recollections of the 
Stage, and of whom we shall speak hereafter. 

The performance did not come off on the night 
specified, as the following notice published in the 
Oazeite one week later, explains : 

Albany, 8th December, 1785. 
The public are most respectfully informed that the 
entertainment intended for Friday evening, is unavoid- 
ably postponed, notwithstanding the managers have 
made use of every effort in their power to complete the 
necessary preparations, but from some unexpected delay, 
they find it absolutely necessary to defer the exhibitions 
until Tuesday evening, the 13th next, when it is humbly 
hoped that every part of the preparations will be finished 
80 as to meet the future approbation and encouragement 
of the public. 

Meantime the announcement that a theatre was to 
be opened had created much feeling, a large number 
of citizens being violently opposed to such an innova- 
tion. As was seen by the advertisement, the players 
were acting "By Authority," having obtained per- 
mission to appear in the hospital from the city corpo- 
ration. No sooner was this known than the followitig 
petition was circulated and signed : 

To the Worshipful the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and 

GommonaUy of the City of Albany, this petition 

humbly sheweth : 

That your petitioners having observed in the supple- 
ment to the Albany Gazette of the 5th inst. an adver- 
tisement in the following manner : 

" By Authority. — On Friday evening, 9th December, 
the theatre in the city of Albany, will be opened," etc., 
beg leave humbly to represent to your worshipful board 
the present state and situation of this city. Though in 
the same paper the inhabitants are suspected of rusticity 
and want of politeness, they have so much COmtoon 
B'enSe, we trust, as to judge' and to declare that we stand 
in no need of plays and play-actors to be instructed in 


our duty or good manners, being already provided with 
other and much better means to obtain sufficient knowl- 
edge and improvement in both. But the pressing neces- 
sities and wants of many families, after a long continued 
and depressing war, the debts still due to the public for 
the safety and convenience of the state and this city ; as 
well as many objects of charity (not to mention the 
gratitude we owe to God,) call upon us to request the 
impartial reconsideration of your resolution by which 
that authority was given, and to make such amendments 
. as are consistent with your wisdom and prudence, to 
acquaint your citizens that the intent and meaning 
thereof was not publicly to authorize and thereby to 
applaud and encourage theatrical exhibitions of those 
persons, who, having left another more populous city pre- 
tend to stay but a short time amongst us, probably to 
support themselves on the way to another place, where 
they expect to meet with better friends and political 
connections ; but in reality will drain us of our money, 
if not instil into the minds of the imprudent principles 
incompatible with that virtue which is the true basis of 
republican liberty and happiness. 

The war of the revolution was not at that time so 
far in the background but that there still existed a 
bitter feeling against the mother country, and the fact 
that these players were English-, on their way to 
Canada, "where they expect to meet with better friends 
and political connections," is shrewdly made use of to 
arouse public prejudice against them. 

The excitement which this petition created may be 
judged of from the fact that while usually local matters 
were disposed of in a quarter of a column or less of 
the Gazelle, one whole number (exclusive of advertise- 
ments) is filled with communications upon this topic. 
Among them is an address originally written in New 
York upon the same subject, but so " well adapted to 
the present state of things in this city, that to give it 
place would oblige a great number of customers." 
The accommodating printer did so to the extent of ' 
more than two columns. A few excerpts will show its 
tenor. It begins : 


A new species of luxury and dissipation has lately 
arrived in this city, and by the most artful methods is 
gradually gaining ground amongst us. The measure of 
our folly, pride and expenses was not it seems, quite full, 
and to complete our character as a people wholly given 
to pleasure, idleness and vanity, the thbatkb must now 
be opened. v 

After a lengthy diatribe against the drama, the 

writer concludes as follows : 

If there should be certain characters who have so far 
forgotten themselves and what they owe to a republic 
as to countenance these follies and strengthen the hands 
of the stage-players, the serious citizens would reprobate 
their conduct and t.ake leave gently to remind them that 
the people are now the source of honors. Whether our 
woi-thy magistrates will be able to oppose the torrent is 
doubtful ; that they would be protected and supported 
in suppressing the theatre by the strength of the city is 
certain. From another quarter it could soon be eflfeoted. 
Such is the spirit of the people that one word as a signal, 
would lay the play-house in a few minutes to the ground. 
But these are not proper weapons. The serious inhabi- 
tants hate mobs and will ever discountenance them. But 
they give fair notice in order also to prevent these 
unwelcome strangers from needless expense in importing 
their splendid apparatus, that another method more 
legal and efficacious will by-and-by be taken, when such 
numbers of respectable characters will openly appear 
against the stage as will oblige these Scaramouch gentry, 
with all their enchanted caves and alluring machinery 
to depart from our state. 

Thus it will be seen that the playhouse was openly 
threatened in the public prints. The petition above 
given was signed by seventy inhabitants, being started, 
another correspondent says, " by a few persons very 
remarkable for a close, studied attention to the formal- 
ities of religion, who have procured the names of some 
of the most respectable of our citizens to the petition. 
They also publicly threatened to rise up and destroy 


by violence the building intended to be occupied as a 
theatre, provided it was opened for that purpose." 

The petition was presented to the corporation on the 
12th of December, and the motion to reconsider the 
resolution was adopted. It was argued that permission 
having been giv.en the comedians November 28th, to 
exhibit in the city, and afterwards, a majority of the 
corporation being convened, permission was further 
given them to use two rooms in the hospital for that 
purpose, and the comedians having thereupon gone to 
considerable expense in fitting up the rooms, the cor- 
poration could not, consistent with justice or honor, 
retract, any more than could a private individual. 

The result was a brilliant victory for the drama, as 
the following literal transcript from the city records of 
the period shows : 

City Hall, Albany, 12th December, 1785. 

A Petition of Harman Gansevoort, John Ja. Lansing 
and Others, was Read and filed. 

Alderman Ilun Moved that the Comedians have not 
the Liberty to exhibit Their Theritrical performances in 
the Hospital, and on the Question being put to agree to the 
Motion it was Carried in the Negative as follows (to wit) : 

For the Motion — Aldermen Hun, Ten Broeck ; Assist- 
ants Gansevoort Junr., Lansing — 4. 

Against the Motion — Mr. Mayor, Mr. Recorder, 
Aldermen Yates, van Rensselaer, Douw, McClallen; 
Assistants Wendell, Winne, Visscher — 9. 

Resolved that in the Opinion of this Board, they have 
not a Legal Right to prohibit the Company of Come- 
dians in thie City, from exhibiting their Theatrical 

Resolved, that as a Formal application was made by 
the said Company of Comedians to this Board, for 
Leave to occupy two Rooms in the Hospital for this 
purpose and as this application was notorious and not 
Hastily Granted, so that suificient time was afforded to 
the Inhabitants to Express their se;nti,inents and altho- 
the Permission was granted by a Majority of Members 
Comprising the Corporation, they conceive that it would 


be unjust at this time and forfeit their Honour to Dep,ri¥e 
the said Comedians of the use of the said Rooms am^ 
subject them to useless Expence. 

The old hospital was not pulled down either, bwtf 
sheltered the comedians till February, when they wen,t 
on their way to Montreal, for which place they were 
bound, stopping in Albany only "until the season fqr 
passing the ice arrives." Weak and feeble as was the 
company, it appears* they did not allow the legitiniate- 
to stagger them in the least. On Friday, Deeembej? 
16th, " The Countess of Salisbury," a tragedy by Hall 
Hartson, was presented with the farce "The Beuee is 
in Him," by Coleman. For Thursday evening of the 
same week " Greorge Barnwell " (for years the strongest 
moral card in the whole repertory of British plays), 
was brought out with " The Wrangling Lovers," a farce- 
by William Lyon. No criticism of the plays or 
playing was published, but in several cases preliminary 
notices of the various dramas were printed, being 
evidently furnished by the players themselves to the 
one newspaper of Albany. In particular, the grea^j 
merits of " Greorge Barnwell " were set forth at length, 
and its salutary influence in warning young men of 
the dangers that beset the path of him who follows 
after the strange woman, was warmly commended. 
Wednesday, 29th, Mrs. Centlivre's " Busy Body " was 
played with a Mr. Pinkston as Marplot, and his wife 
in the cast. " Catharine and Petruchio " was repeated, 
and during the engagement the following were also 
produced : " Venice Preserved " and " Cross Pur- 
poses;" "She Stoops to Conquer" and "Love a la 
Mode; " " The Fair American, or the Young Quaker," 
by John O'Keefe (first time in America) ; " The Citi- 
zen," "Lethe;" a pantomime or two, and February 
17th, 1786, for the last performance, " The West 

The controversy in regard to the theatre extended 
through several numbers of the Oa'zette, and sei-ved as 
a capital advertisement, if nothing else. Whether it 
resulted in large audiences, we have no means of 


knowing, but that the entertainment was generally 
regarded as dangerous in its tendencies may be inferred 
from the following exti'act from a correspondent 
who writes some weeks after the theatre was fairly 
established : 

It would be doing injustice to our magistrates not to 
mention here, that though it was not in their power to 
prohibit, yet they have never extended their authority 
so far as publicly to sanction the opening of the theatre, 
and if common fame can be credited, none of them have 
countenanced the comedians by attending their exhibi- 
tions, an example worthy of imitation of all ranks. 
When we find this darling vice encouraged in the first, 
and patronized in the second city of the state, and rear- 
ing its ensigns in each corner thereof, is it not high time 
for considerate inhabitants to step forth and treat the 
increasing evil with firmness and resolution, ere it be too 

The words " By Authority " at the head of the adver- 
tisement, were early changed to " By Permission." An 
address announced to be delivered by one of the 
players, " To the Enemies of the Theatre," was with- 
drawn by the author. Performances were given only 
on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The orchestra was 
augmented, and from the fact that on the last week of 
the performances, the following notice appeared at the 
foot of the bill, we may infer that the season resulted 
more favorably than many that followed it: 

All persons having any demands on the theatre are 
desired to call on Mr. Allen at Abraham Bloodgood's, 
and their accounts will be immediately paid, as the com- 
pany of comedians positively leave this city on Saturday 

The last we hear of the company is the following 
good word for them in the Gazette of February 23d : 

On Monday last, the company of comedians who have 
been in this city for these some months past, set off for 
Montreal. In justice to the company, we cannot omit 
mentioning that their conduct has been such as to meet 
with the approbation of the city in general. 


Without doubt they "paid the printer." Let us 
hope that they had something left to help them on 
their way. The old hospital in which they performed, 
which was built in the time of the French war, was 
sold at auction and pulled down in August, 1808. 




The Drama at the Thespian Hotel. 

AFTER the departure from Albany of the second 
company of comedians in February, 1786, there was 
what would now be called a long dearth in theatrical 
matters. We do not know that any plays were pre- 
sented till 1803, when Mr. Hallam's company arrived 
and played three nighta in a week, from August 22d to 
October 27th. The city had nearly doubled in size, and 
had become the state capital. It supported two or 
three newspapers, and although they were larger, and 
in some respects better than the G'aaete of the previous 
century, no more space was given to local news, and 
the theatre was about as thoroughly ignored as it had 
been previously abused. The Albany Register ga,ve one 
preliminary notice of Mr. Hallam, but the Gazette, 
which eighteen years previous had devoted columns to 
the subject, was silent, and only the advertisements 
gave sign that the theatre was open. Yet the company 
was far the superior of any that had been seen in the 
city. It was the same that had played at the Park 
theatre in New York for six seasons, and was now under 
the management of William Dunlap, the historian of 
the d rama. He does not appear to have come to Albany, 
and Lewis Hallam (the second of that name, his father 
having been here in 1769) was acting manager. He 
had been an excellent actor, but was now past his prime. 
His second wife, me Tuke, was with the company, and 
though sometimes addicted to the use of stimulants 
was the first American actress who attained celebrity. 


Lewis Hallam, jr., a son ofHallam's first wife, was only 
an ordinary actor. John Hogg was excellent as a comic 
old man. Joseph Jefferson, comedian, was the first of 
that name who became famous on the American stage. 
He and his wife, a good comedy woman, afterward 
were great favorites in Philadelphia. He was grand- 
father of the present famous Rip Van Winkle. Miss 
B. A. Westray, or as she was sometimes called, -Mrs. 
Villi ers, was the tragedy woman. Besides these there 
were Messrs. Martin, Robinson, Shapter, Mr. and Mrs. 
Seymour, Mrs. Pettit and Mrs. Simpson, of whom we 
know but little. 

The performances were given at the Assembly room, 
a dancing hall in the north end of Pearl street, near 
Patroon street, first called Angus's long room, and at 
this time the Thespian hotel. It was a public hall 
used for various purposes, and in 1801, by the United 
Presbyterians as a church, and finally taken down in 
1835. A building was erected upon its site for a school, 
and afterwards a dwelling, now second dopr from Clin- 
ton avenue, occupied by Dr. S. B. Ward. 

The price of admission was one dollar. The foUowinig 
are among the plays produced : " She Stoops to Con- 
quer," and " Miss in Her Teens :" " School for Scandal," 
and " All the World 's a Stage ;" "Busy Body," and 
"Village Lawyer;" "The Wonder," and "Modern 
Antiq-ues ;" " Clandestine Marriage," and " Catharine 
and Petruchio ;" " Child of ISature," and "Love a la 
Mode ;" " George Barnwell ;" " Poor Gentleman," and 
" Three Weeks after Marriage;" "The Fair Ameri- 
can," and " Highland Reel ;" " Inkle and Yarico," and 
"No Song, Ko Supper;" "Douglas," and "The 
Spoiled Child;" "Jane Shore" and "The Purse;" 
"The Gamester," "The Revenge" and "The Poor 
Soldier ;" "The Stranger" and "Children in the Wood;" 
" Love in a Village ;" " The Provoked Husband" and 
" The Adopted Child ;" "The Dramatist" and "Rosina;" 
" School for Soldiers ;" (in act 5, the stage to represent 
a camp painted for the purpose by Mr. Martin,) and 
" The Midnight Hour." Oa the last night of the 


season, October 27th, part of the theatre was railed off, 
admittance to which was half price. Mr. Dunlap, in 
ireoording the engagement in two lines, says, " they 
played at Albany, with some success." 

During the next six years we cannot learn that much 
attention was given to the drama, and amusements of 
all kinds were decidedly scarce. Without pretending 
to give a complete record of all the shows that came 
along, it may be said that July 24th, 1806, Mr. Sickles 
gave dramatic recitations in the Thespian hotel, and 
three or four months later, Mr. Gimbrede taught there 
the arts of dancing, fencing and taking miniature like- 
nesses. November 15th, of the same year, the great 
sensation was an African lion, which the month pre- 
vious had been exhibited in Poughkeepsie, the show 
winding up with " a grand bait to take place between 
the lion, six bears and twelve bull-dogs in a large field 
where ample accommodations will be prepared for 
spectators ; admittance $1." 

In 1808 two royal tigers were to be seen at the 
Thespian hotel. In the same year the Albany museum 
was established by Ealph Letton (who solicited dona- 
tions of curiosities, for which he would give tickets in 
exchange,) and a circus pitched its tent here. In the 
old court house, J. Scudder unrolled a panorama and 
Sig. Faleroni gave exhibitions of electricity. The 
Thespian hotel was opened April 24th for a performance 
of Macbeth (first time in Albany) by Mr. Cook, 
supported by a company of people whose names were 
quite unknown to fame. The star could not have been 
George FrederickCooke, as he did not arrive in America 
till after that date. It is quite likely that this and 
other performances of which no record is left, tended to- 
wards lowering popular respect for the drama, as August 
2d, Mr. Ormsby, "after an absence of eight years" 
opened the theatre with " New Hay at the Old Market," 
"Provoked Husband," "The Prize," and "Quack 
Doctor," and in making his announcement, said : 

"The patrons, friends and admirers of the drama, which 
the present manager knows by experience to be numer- 


ous, and of the most liberal kind in this city, are most 
earnestly requested to lay aside any prejudice which 
might arise from former experiences at the Thespian 
hotel, as it must be obvious to every amateur that the 
success of the present undertaking will entirely depend 
on the first night." 

We do not learn that there was a second, and are 
led to believe that the prejudice, Mr. Ormsby speaks 
of, was too strong to be overcome, even by the eloquence 
of his appeal and the length of his bill. 

On the 14th of November, 1810, the Thespian hotel, 
"having undergone an entire and improved alteration, 
with the additional advantage of a commodious recep- 
tacle for boxes," was opened under the direction of 
Mr. Hayraan ; boxes $1, pit 50 cents ; smoking entirely 
prohibited. A correspondent of the O^asete says: "Mr. 
Hayman, the manager, has been at considerable expense 
in fitting up the room with suitable neatness and con- 
venience, and an entire separation of the boxes from 
the pit and gallery will afford no little inducement to 
the respectable portion of the community to recognize 
his exertions." The opening bill was Colman's "Poor 
Gentleman" and "The Lying Valet." The cast of the 
principal play was as follows : 

Dr. Ollapod .Mr. Bates 

(From New York, Philadelphia and Boston, first 

appearance here.) 

Frederick Mr. Morgan 

(From Boston, first appearance here.) 

Sir Robert Bramble Mr. Southey 

Lieut. Worthington , Mr. Taylor 

(From Boston, first appearance here.) 

Sir Charles Mr. Anderson 

(First appearance here.) 

Corporal Foss Mr. Lucas 

Farmer Harrowby, ) -ivr„ tj„„„„„ 

XT T. -r> uv y -I*lr- nayman 

Humphrey Dobbin, \ ■' 

Miss McTab ; Mrs. Bates 

(First appeai-ance here.) 

Emily Miss Edwin 

Dame Harrowby Mrs. Cowley 


On the 3d or March a performance was given (" The 
Honeymoon" and " The King and the Miller,") ''for the 
benefit of the poor debtors confined in prison. ihe 
sheriff of Albany county afterwards acknowledged 
the receipt of $74.89 as the result of this charitable 

On the 5th of April, J. Howard Payne began an 
engagement of five nights, in which he was supported 
by the stock company. He opened as Octavian m "The 
Mountaineers," and during his engagement played 
Samlet, supported as follows, this being the first 
cast of the play, probably, in Albany : 

Hamlet Mr. PAYNE 

King Mr. Lucas 

Polonius Mr. Bates 

Horatio Mr. Morgan 

Laertes Mr. Southey 

Ghost Mr. Taylor 

Rosencrants Mr. Anderson 

Bernardo Mr. Hayman 

Player King Mr. Jonfes 

Grave Digger Mr. Burke 

(First appearance here.) 

Ophelia Mrs. Bray 

Queen Mrs. Bates 

Player Queen Miss Cordell 

Great as was the furore created by the acting of the 
young American Eoscius,-as he was styled, and volum- 
inous as were hia works as a dramatist, the memory of 
John Howard Payne will be saved from oblivion only 
by that one little song, "Home, Sweet Home." At 
the time he appeared ia Albany as an actor, he was 
not quite twenty, and had been on the stage a little 
over two years, having made his debut at the Park 
theatre, in New York, January 24;th, 1809, as Young 
Norval. He was born in New York, June 9, 1791, and 
was early removed to Boston. His father was a cele- 
brated elocutionist, and a nervous complaint, with which 
the son was incapacitated for two or three years from 
severe study, was 'supposed to be benefited by exercises 


of this character. As a result, young Payne became a 
leader in school exhibitions. He was urged to go upon 
the stage, but his father would not allow it, and soon 
after the boy went into a New York counting-house. 
Here he published . a little paper called the Thespian 
Mirror^ (a complete file of which [14 numbers] is in our 
possession.) It attracted attention by the ability of its 
criticisms, written, as few would have believed had it 
been told them, bj'' a boy scarce in his teens. Atdength 
the secret came out, and so interested a certain gentle- 
man, that he ofiEered to pay the author's expenses at 
Union College, Schenectady, whither he was sent. 
There he started a periodical called The Pastime, 
which became very popular with the students. He 
was, however, severely criticised, and one day, as a 
joke, he sent to one of the papers in Albany, an arti- 
cle, which was published, berating himself, after the 
manner of his censors, in round terms. It produced 
a sensation at Union, many of his old associates turn- 
ing the cold shoulder upon him. The affair came to 
an issue at a supper party, where an individual gave 
as a toast, "The Critics of Albany," and was, in com- 
mon with the other carpers, 'decidedly nonplussed by 
Payne's quietly rising and returning thanks. Soon 
after, Payne's father becoming bankrupt, the son left 
college, and, with his parent's consent, went upon the 
stage, appearing at the Park, as above stated. At this, 
the only time he appeared in Albany (so far as we 
know) his figure was small, but neat, and his counte- 
nance handsome and beaming with intelligence. The 
characters he assumed were presented with the skill 
of a finished artist, combined with the freshness and 
impulsiveness of youth. He had previously played 
in Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Richmond and 
'Charleston. In the latter place, Henry Placide, after- 
wards the famous comedian, is said to have gained 
his first success by a capital imitation of Payne's style 
of acting. It would be an interesting story to follow 
this singularly gifted young man through his career as 
acitbr, manager, dramatist and critic, did space permit. 


In 1813, he visited England, and appeared with success' 
at Drury Lane. He wrote and compiled many plays, 
which were highly popular both at home and abroad, 
but was ill repaid, and sometimes suffered from ex- 
treme want. The opera " Clari," in which occurred 
the song of "Home, Sweet Home," maide the fortune 
of every one connected with it, except the author. 
It gained for Maria Tree (elder sister of Mrs. Charles 
Kean), who first sang the well-known song, a wealthy 
-husband, and filled the house and treasury of Charles 
Kean, the manager. It was estimated in 1853 that 
upwards of 100,000 copies of the song had been sold 
by the original publishers, whose profits, two years 
after it was issued, are said to have amounted to 2,000 
.•guineas. The author only received £30 for the whole 
opera, and was not even complimented by a copy of 
the song from the publishers. In 1832 he returned 
to America, and on the 29th of November received 
-at the Park theatre the first complimentary benefit 
ever given by the citizens of New York. The admis- 
sion to the boxes and pit was $5 ; gallery $1. The 
receipts amounted to $4,200. Payne was appointed 
consul to Tunis in 1841, and died there April 10th, 
1852, aged fifty-nine. 

May 17th, " Othello" was performed for the first time 
in Albany, Mr. .Taylor probably playing the title rok; 
Desdemona by a young lady, her first appearance on 
any stage. 

Among the plays produced this season were the 
following : " John Bull ;" " The Purse ;" "The Next 
Door Neighbor, or Poverty and Honor ;" "No Song, 
No Supper;" "Fortune's Frolic:" "Quaker Wedding;" 
"George Barnwell ;" "Ways and Means, for Wives 
and Sweethearts;" "The Weathercock;" "Point of 
Honor;" "Douglas;" "Raising the Wind;" "Speed 
the Plough;" "Who is the Dupe;" "She Stoops to 
Conquer ;" " The Honeymoon" (with Mrs. Bray, from 
Philadelphia, as the heroine ) ; " Lovers' Vows ; " 
"Eosina;" "Child of Nature ;" "Jane Shore;" "Miss 'in 
Her Teens;" "Mayor of Garratt;" "Poor Soldier-" 


"Agreeable Surprise;" "King and the Miller;" "To 
Marry or Not to Marry ;" "The Sultan;" "The Country 
Girl;" "Catharine and Petruchio;" "The Eorap ;" 
"Eichard III," (Taylor as Bichard) ; "The Mountain- 
eers;" "The Will;" "The Mock Doctor ;" "Harlequin's 
Vagaries" (a pantomime) ; "Cheap Living ;" "Inkle and 
Yarico;" "Castle Spectre;" "The Eeview;" "Two 
Strings to Your Bow :" "Highland Eeel ;" "Hamlet ;" 
"School for Scandal ;" "Way to Get Married ;" "Jew 
and Doctor ;" "Children in the Wood ;" "Irishman in 
London ;" "Henry the Fourth ;" "Cure for the Heart- 

The season lasted till the last of May, 1811. It was 
not till after several nights that the ladies graced the 
theatre with their presence, and thefactisthen noticed 
in the Gazette as a decided sign of encouragement. 

It was during the summer of 1811 that George Fred- 
erick Cooke visited Albany, not professionally, how- 
ever, — as we have no record that he ever played here^ 
but on a wedding tour, having been married (for the 
third time) June 20th of that year, to Mrs. Behn, 
daughter of Mr. James Bryden. They arrived July 
17th, and after passing several weeks in Albany and 
Greenbush, proceeded northward as far as Lake George, 
and then returned to New York, where Mr. Cooke- 
resumed his duties at the theatre. George Frederick 
Cooke, unquestionably one of the greatest actors of the 
century, was born April 17th, 1755, in Westminster. 
His first appearance as a professional was in 1776. At 
first he attracted very little attention, but after a tour 
of the English provinces, he returned to London and for 
ten years was the rival of John Kemble. In 1810 he came 
to America and died in New York, September 26th, 
1812. He was as great a drunkard as he was an actor^ 
and the story of his life told by Dunlap is, as Byron 
remarked, "all green room and tap room, drams and' 
the drama." ^e was buried in St. Paul's churchyard, 
where a monument was erected to his memory by 
Edmund Kean, in 1821. 




The Oreen Street Theatre before it Became a Church. . 

In 1810, the population of Albany was full; ten 
thousand, and the taste for theatricals was so pro- 
nounced, that the project of building a permanent 
play-house was advanced,. and met with much favor; 
On the 14th of December, a meeting was called of 
tkose interested in the enterprise, to be held at Jared 
Skinner's tavern, in Green street. A committee was 
then appointed, and papers were circulated for sub- 
scriptions. It was founds however, (a case not with- 
out precedent) that people were more ready to talk 
than they were to act, and nothing decisive was done 
that winter. The next fall, John Bernard, a veteran 
actor and manager, came from Boston with a view of 
opening a theatre. In November, 1811, he published 
the following card : 

Mr. Bernard, formerly of Covent Garden, and late of 
the Boston theatre, intends the first week in December 
to open a new temporary theatre in a pleasant, conven- 
ient paa't of the city, with a select company that shall 
perform such pieces as may tend to improve the minds, 
morals and manners of the rising generation. 

This plan, however, does not appear to have been 
carried out, for in December we find Mr. Bernard 
playing Sheva and Shyloch, and in " The Dramatist," 
and "The Foundling of tlie Forest," at the old Thes^ 
plan hotel, which had been opened Novembei' 4th, by 
a company in which were Mr. and Mrs! Bates, Mr. 


Claude and Mr. Slaughter, and which, in a few weeks, 
was strengthened by Mr. and Mrs. Young, the latter 
making a sensation in the part of Adelgiiha, in the 
play of M. G. Lewis, of ,the same name (first time in 

On the 26th of December, 1811, occurred the burn- 
ing of the Eichmond theatre, with a sacrifice of the 
lives of seventj'-one human beings. This sad event 
threw a gloom over theatricals in all sections of the 
country. Many people saw in it the hand of God 
visiting His wrath upon unholy amusements, and the 
old discussion of 1785 was revived and carried on with 
much energy. Sermons were preached against thea- 
tres; communications written against them were pub- 
lished ; and in view of the prospect that a permanent 
home for the drama was likely to be erected, a motion 
was made in the corporation board of the city, to put 
down theatrical exhibitions as a nuisance. A resolu- 
tion was passed, directing the law committee to report 
" whether all public shows and theatrical exhibitions 
are not contrary to good order and morality, and, 
therefore, ought to be discountenanced." 

The report on this resolution was made January 
20th, 1812, and was long and exhaustive. It was 
understood to be from the pen of John V. N. Yates, 
then recorder of the city. It sets forth that the com- 
mittee have examined the city charter and statutes of 
the state, and are convinced that theatrical exhibitions 
are not contrary to law, and that, therefore, they have 
no legal right to suppress them. After a well-written 
historical sketch of the drama, and the quotation of 
many authorities in its favor, the committee advance 
as their opinion " that a well-regulated theatre, sup- 
ported by the respectable portion of society, so far 
from being contrary to good order and morality, must 
essentially contribute to correct the language, refine 
the taste, ameliorate the heart and enlighten the under- 
standing." The report closed with the following, 
resolution : 


Resolved, That the board cannot legally interfere, 
nor would it be expedient for it to pass any laws regu- 
lating or restraining theatrical exhibitions in this city. 

The resolution was passed by the following vote : 

Affirmative — Herring, Vedder, Trotter, Lewis, Evd-t- 
sen, Jenkins, Hansen, Steele, Shepperd,Van Vechten — 10. 
Negative — Brown, Webster, McMillan — 3. 

Mr. Bernard, before mentioned, was the man to 
whom the friends of the drama looked to conduct a 
theatre as it should be. He was a finished come- 
dian, and a manager of experience both in this 
country and in England. He brought with him to 
Albany, a letter of introduction and commendation 
from an Episcopal clergyman of Boston, and was for 
some months awaiting the action of those who pro- 
posed to build a theatre. Meantime, in his two or three 
engagements played at the Thespian hotel, he won 
much praise for his efforts in comedy. March 3d, 
1812, appeared the following notice : 



The lovers of the drama are respectfully informed 
that the subscription book now open to procure means 
for their future gratification, will be closed on or about 
Saturday, March 14th. During the interim it will be 
kept at Mr. Bernard's, next door to Mr. Buckmaster's 
Washington Garden. Those gentlemen who feel inclined 
to honor the cause, are solicited to insert their names 
with all due convenience. "There is a time for all 

- On the 16th of June it was announced by George C. 
Sharpe, treasurer of the Albany theatre, that proposals 
for building would be.., received at the office of the 
company in Steuben street, where plans might be 
examined. During the summer the theatre was erected, 
and on the 18th of January, 1813, it was formally 
opened to the public under the management of Mr. 

The site was on the west side of Green street, a 


litfcle north of Hamilton, and it is a remarkable fact, 
that the edifice is still standing, having escaped the fiery 
fate which has consumed'so many structures of thekind 
in all parts of the world. Sooner or later a theatre 
burns, is the belief among insurance men, and they are 
justified by the records. The reason that this still 
exists is no doubt because it long ago closed its career 
as a place of amusement, and became a — .pork store. 
It is of brick and was originally 56 by 110 feet. Its 
builder was Lewis Farnham and it was owned by a 
joint stock company, among whom were John V an 
Ness Yates, Isaac Hansen, George C. Sharpe, Isaac Q. 
Leake, and John J. Godfrey. A writer of that day 
says : 

"The building is neat and commodious; the size and 
construction of the room are precisely such as they ought 
to be for this place. It is neither too large nor too small. 
It is sufficient to contain the number of auditors that will 
ordinarily attend, and it is so small that a whisper on 
the stage can be distinctly heard in every part of the 

The opening must indeed have been an event in the 
little amusement world of Albany. Manager Bernard's 
admission fees were, to the boxes $1 ; pit 75 cents ; 
gallery 50, wbich^ it will be seen, even in those days 
of low prices, were actually above thoSe of to-day- in the 
same city. So far from there being any fear of ticket 
speculators, it was announced that less than four of the 
front seats for the first night would not be sold in ad- 
vance, "nor less than two as they progress." Ten box 
tickets and ten pit tickets were offered for the season, 
always excepting benefit nights and not to be trans- 

On this auspicious occasion we learn that "the audi- 
ence was numerous, respectable and polite." The bill 
included "The West Indian" and "Fortune's Frolic." 
Previous to the performance an opening address of two 
or three hundred lines was spoken by Mr. Southey. 
It was from the pen of Mr. Solomon South wick, of the 


Begister, and as an interesting comment upon the times, 
a portion is given, omitting the first half, which was 
in praise of the drama generally, and preserving only 
that part which had especial reference to the occasion : 


And lo! where Hudson's wave majestic glides, 

O'er fa;ir Albania's plains in vernal tides; 

Praised be the gen'rous flame that warms their hearts, 

"Whose bounty flows to aid the rising arts; 

This noblest Temple sacred to thy name, 

Apollo! father of poetic flame! 

Rises in decent dignity and pride 

To genius, wit, taste, eloquence, allied, 

And Beauty's charms — for here shall Beauty bring. 

The choicest flowers that deck her rosy spring, 

Thus shall propitious stars reward our toil. 

For know, the cause that's graced by Beauty's smile. 

Has sacred truth for its exalted aim — 

And Truth approving — who shall dare to blame? 

But ere my Muse, great Cooke! her flight has stay'd, 
Shall she not reverence thy departed shade? 
Thou Star of Tragic Fame! whose rising beam 
Gilded the fluent wave of LifEey's stream. 
Then spread its light to Albion's classic shore. 
That Garrick's shade might wonder and adore, 
Till proud, exulting in the million's smile. 
It spurned the limits of Britannia's isle; 
Wide o'er the Atlantic pour'd its orient blaze, 
And made Columbia mourn its parting rays. 
Thus like the stem that decked its native soil. 
Emblem of Beauty's bloom and Mercy's smile. 
The Shamrock evergreen — three climes did share, 
The living light of Erin's Tragic Star. 
Oh, Cooke! great, good and generous was thy aim. 
And unborn ages shall embalm thy name ! 
"Thy frailties, buried with thy bones," no more 
Thy foes reidice in, or thy friends deplore, 
While the great virtues. Heaven to thee did give. 
In mem'ry's fond adoring eye shall live. 
Where'er the tragic muse shall chance to stray. 
Thy shade, belov'd companion of her way. 
Shall still attend, and light the holy tear. 
To grace the virgin's, matron's, hero's bier. 

And now, ye gen'rous, ye expecting throng; 
To this fair fane by Fancy borne along; 
Te critics keen, well skilled in verbal wars. 
Wit's brilliant spirits — Beauty's brightest stars ! 


Lawyers who scorn to plead a villaiu's cause ; 
Merchants, mechanics ruled by honor's laws; 
Soldiers whose valor burns with steady flame; 
Ardent to heal your country's wounded fame; 
Te whom no danger, fear, or doubt appals, 
To shun the battle's blaze when Glory calls; 
Brave Tars, whose lightning gilds old Ocean's caves, 
Whose thunder calms the roaring of his waves. 
Whose blazing vengeance^ on the stormy deep. 
Makes proud Britannia her lost laurels weep. 
Snatches, to grace Columbia'? rising name, . 
Old Neptune's trident, and old England's f ame ! 
Feel who at Hamilton's lamented name, 
Te, more than sympathy's congenial flame; 
Your Clinton's loss in filial sorrow mourn, 
And hallow with your tears the hero's urn; 
In glory's visions who delight to rove. 
Beside the sainted shade of Vernon's grove. 
Decaturs, Woods, Van Renss'lers, born to save 
In fields of blood or on the bloody wave. 
The trophies your immortal fathers won. 
Bunker's pure glory — Monmouth's proud renown ! 
Whose deeds the Nereides of the deep shall sing, 
When o'er the mountain waves their echos ring, 
As down In coral caves they meet to mourn. 
The Brave who ne'er shall to their friends return ; 
Who first at Niagara's hoary flood. 
Where gallant Nelson poured his patriot blood, 
And generous Cuyler, urg'd by war's alarms, 
They too expire in bright ey'd glory's arms — 
Amid Bellona's flame, sublimely bore 
Columbia's Eagle to the hostile shore; 
Perch'd him in thunder on the rampant wall 
T' exult — to weep — at Brock's untimely fall ! 
Ye good, brave, cheerful, witty, wise and gay. 
Choice volunteers where Thalia leads the way. 
Or where Melpomene extends her arms. 
And wins ye with her sad, celestial charms — 
Ye friends of worth from youth to rev'rend age. 
Whose presence smiles upon our Infant Stage, 
One wish, this grateful heart would fain disclose, 
'Tis sweet, 'tis sad, — it falters as it flows; 
With scenes as bright as blissful Eden's bowers 
May guardian angels crown your fleeting hours. 
Pure be your joys as Vesta's sacred flame, 
The joys of Friendship, Freedom, Love and Fame ! 
And when your lamp of life, no longer bright, 
On Fate's dark ocean sheds its glimVing light. 
When the last respiration seals your doom. 
May Love, may Glory light ye to the tomb ! 


The cast of Cumberland's comedy was as follows: 

Belcour Mr. WARING 

Major O'Flaherty Mr. Bernard 

Stockwell -Mr. Southey 

Charles Dudley Mr. Legge 

Lady Kusport Mrs. Lewis 

Charlotte Rusport Mrs. Young 

Louisa Dudley Mrs. Bernard 

Mrs. Fulmer Miss Coird«ll 

Mr. Leigh Waring was the star, having been engaged 
for ten nights only. He had but recently arrived from 
England, and was a light comedian of considerable 
ability. Subsequently he was stage manager of tbe 
Charleston theatre, where he died in 1817. He was 
tbe father of Mrs. James W. Wallack, who died in 
Februaiy, 1879, at Long Branch. 

Mr. Bernard, the maniager, of whom mention has 
previously been made, had now readied the age of 
fifty-seven. He belonged to the old school of actors, 
and had been the intimate associate of the most emi- 
nent men of fashion, wit and literature, of his time. 
He was the first gentleman enjoying a metropolitan 
reputation, who was induced to cross the Atlantic, 
coming over for the Philadelphia company in 1797. 
He played there six years, then went to Boston, 
where he was joint manager with Powell & Dickson, 
and from there he came to Albany. The Eegister 
speaks of him as "a gentleman whose talents as a 
comedian, whose virtues as a man and a Christian, have 
endeared him to all who know him, and are capable of 
estimating the treasure and the worth of virtue. We 
pay this tribute to a good man the more cheerfully, 
because so much has recently been said to excite prej- 
udice against plays and players', that it ought to be 
known. That our stage is under the direction of a 
man whose principles and practice are equally pure, 
is favorable to the prospects of morality and religion." 

Mr. Southey, who spoke the address, came from the 
New Olympic theatre in New York, where he had been 
the low comedian. 


Mrs. Esther Young, previously mentioned as play- 
ing Adelgitha with great success, was the leading lady, 
and became a great favorite. She was born not fer 
from Albany, but her father moved to Montreal at an 
early period in her life, and there she made her debut 
four years before the time of which we are writing. 
She was possessed of fine personal appearance, and 
was endowed with great natural abilities. , After the 
death of her husband, which occurred in Albany, she 
became Mrs. Hughes, and played with much success 
in New York. Fourteen years afterwards, she played 
a brief engagement at the Pearl street theatre, when 
an admiring critic writes of her : 

" She was received with those warm and spontaneous 
expressions of applause, which must have been as grate- 
ful to her feelings as they were justly due her merits. 
This admirable actress is one of nature's nobility. Born 
in an almost wild and uncultivated district of this state, 
not many miles from Albany ; sprung from bumble 
parentage and cut off in early life from the blessings of 
education ; yet when she first appeared upon the stage 
under the auspices of that great actor and good man, 
the venerable Bernard, notwithstanding the disadvan- 
tages just alluded to, it was perceived by every candid 
and discerning critic, that nature has endowed her with 
talents of the highest order for the vocation she had 
chosen ; and that a fair trial only was wanting to estab- 
lish her fame as a first rate actress. Those who pre- 
dicted this of her, have not been disappointed. She has 
realized our anticipations." 

Later in life she played "old woman" at Burton's 
for many years, and June 14th, 1852, took a benefit 
there, being then announced as the oldest native actress 
on the stage. She retired in 1860. A letter recently 
addressed to the Hon. Charles Hughes, state senator, 
making inquiry, as to her subsequent history, was 
politely answered as follows : 

Mr. H. P. Phelps: 

Deae Sir:. Mts. Esther Hughes, formerly Mrs. Young, 
was my mother. She died upon her farm, three miles 


from thie village (Sandy Hill, N. Y.), on the 15tb.' of 
April, 186V, at the age of seventy-five, from the effects 
of an accident (falling down stairs, caused by vertigo). 
She had left the stage before the war, her last engage, 
ment being a travelling tour with W. E. Burton, m the 
south and north. She was acting in Albany as Mrs. 
Young when the war of 1812 was declared, and 1 have 
often heard her speak of Solomon Southwick and of Jo-hn 
O. Cole, who was a boy in Southwick's oiBce. Her many 
years of theatrical life speak for themselves. 
Very respectfully, etc., 

Chaelbs Hughes. 

The second night "Speed the Plough" and "The Irish- 
man in London" were given, and Messrs. Tyler and Jack- 
son, and Mrs. Wheatley appeared. Tyler had been a 
very good actor and singer, espeQi&Uy the latter, but was 
getting old. On the 29th, Mr. Dwyer began an engagft' 
ment of six nights, which was prolonged. He played 
Mercutio in "Eomeo and Juliet," Mr. Waring and Mrs. 
Young assuming the title roles. 

John Hanbury Dwyer was born in Tipperary, Ire- 
land, and had arrived in this country about three years 
previous to the opening of the Albany theatre. He 
was handsome, and not destitute of talent, though 
Dunlap says it was not of the first order, nor had it 
received the best cultivation. " His success," says the 
old historian of the stage, significantly, "was never 
marred by his diffidence." Ireland says: "He had a 
very handsome face and person, a frank and manly 
expression of countenance, the most polished address, 
a fine voice, an inexhaustible fund of animal spirits, 
and in light, dashing comedy, was at times almost fault- 
less. Yet he was frequently careless and inattentive to 
his duties, lacked study, and his conception of charac- 
ter wanted that nice discrimination which seizes upon 
the minutest points and renders seeming incongruities 
one harmonious whole. He lived to find himsell 
forgotten when, at the National opera house. May 30th, 
1839, he made his last attempt at acting in Falstaff. " 
He afterwards taught elocution, and published a book 


upon that subject, which may occasionally, be picked 
up at the second-hand boofcstOTes. Heidied in Albany, 
Becember 15th, 1843. His widow for many years 
resided on Madison avenue, and died May 2d, 1873, 
of heart disease, aged sixty-seven. She was buried 
from St. Peter's church. " 

In February, Mrs. B^umont, of {Philadelphia, ap^ 
peared for a short engagement, playing tragedy better 
than she did comedy. The brightest stars of the season, 
however, were undoubtedly Mr. and MissHolman, who 
began a ten night engagement in March, he in "Ham- 
let ;" she in " The Provoked Husband." They also 
played in " The Earl of Essex," " Honeymoon," 
'^Othello," "Alexander the Great," "The Gamester," 
and "The Fair Penitent." (Miss Holman married Mr. 
Grilfert, first manager of the Pearl street theatre.)' 
March Slst, a performance was given, the .profits of 
which were appropriated to finishing and embellishing 
the theatre. Then the benefits began, during which 
we find Dwyer's, the advertisement of which stated 
that he was to receive from it the only remuneration 
for his engagement. April 17tb, a benefit was given 
for the widow and children of Mr. Bates, who had died 
recently. The claims of Mrs. Wheatley were urged, 
not so much because she was a good actress, but be- 
cause she was such a fine domestic woman, and a 
mother with several children to support. She had to 
try a second night. After the river opened, business 
fell off, and the season finally closed June 11th, with 
"Douglas," the manager in a card thanking the public 
for the brilliant support they had given the enterprise. 

Among the novelties produced this season were 
James Kenney's "Ella Rosenberg," "one of the best 
raelo-dramaa ever 'put on the stage;" "Harlequin in 
Albany, or the Clown's Frolic in Sfette Street," Cum- 
berland's "Wheel of Fortune," Hook's "Tekeli," "St. 
Patrick's Day," and Moreton's "Columbus," a scenic 
play. ' 

The second season at the Albany theatre, as it was 
called, began Octobei* 4th, 1813, uhfler the same man^ 


agement, with essentially th.e same company. ._Mr. 
Drake, the stage manager, was an addition. Box tick- 
ets for forty -five nights were offered for $25 ; pit tickets, 
$16, neither transferable. Nights of performance were 
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mrs. Whitelock 
was the first star, and opened the season as Isabella 
in " The Fatal Marriage." She was the daughter of 
Eoget Kemble, and sister of Mrs. Siddons, and the first 
distinguished tragic actress on the Anierican stage. 
Her niece Fanny Kemble says of her, that she "sought 
and found, across the Atlantic, a fortune and celebrity 
which it would have been difficult for her to have 
achieved under the disadvantage of proximity to, and 
comparison with her sister." Mrs. Beaumont played a 
short engagement, Mr. Beaumont supporting her. 
Though her inferior as a performer, he was handsome 
and showy in person, and they made a decided hit. 
They appeared in "The Stranger," "Macbeth" and in 
"A Winter's Tale." These were the only stars of the 
season, if we except Hopkins Robertson, who made 
his first appearance here as AboelUno, the Bandit. His 
brother, William Robertson, was a prominent member 
of the company, playing heavy parts. Hopkins had 
been a tailor, but left his goose and needle for the stage 
several years previous, and had played in New York 
and the South. He had been attached to the ill-fated 
Richmond theatre at the time of its burning, and saved 
many lives by his coolness and presence of mind. He 
was a native of this state, married Judge Woodworth's 
daughter, and died in New York in 1819. 

The season, which closed May 6th, 1814, was a 
profitable one. It will be remembered that it was war 
times then, and business was lively. Several perform- 
ances were given in honor of the American victories, 
and one night was set apart for the benefit of "poor 
sufferers on the lines" who had been devastated by che 
British and the Indians. The plays on the occasion 
were "The Curfew" and "The Poor Soldier." The 
following notice, in connection with this performance, 
reads curiously atthe present day : 


At the request of several gentlemen of this city, the 
upper boxes will on this evening be reserved for the 
respectable [sic.J part of the community who are dis- 
posed to take seats provided, and it is hoped and believed 
all the other boxes will be taken at an early period. 

A benefit was also given June 8th, to the sufferers by 
tbe late fire in Portland, Maine. -'Tekeli" was repeated 
several times, and "The Forty Thieves," produced with 
great splendor, had a remarkable run of six successive 
play nights. "Tekeli," which required a large force of 
supernumeraries, was never played till after the farce, 
in order to give the apprentices, who formed the oppos- 
• ing armies, time to get through their work and have 
their suppers before taking part in the spectacle. "La 
Perouse, or the Deserted Island," was another scenic 
play, which was successful. "The Iron Chest," with 
William Eobertson as Sir Edward Mortimer, was seve- 
ral times repeated. For Mr. Drake's benefit, that gentle- 
man played King Lear. His wife, Miss Ellis, and Mr. 
Charnock, a vocalist, were other members of the com- 
pany we have not before mentioned. A Mr. St. Glair 
from South Carolina made his debut as Pierre in "Yenice 
Preserved." Mr. Lindsley "in throwing for his benefit 
was so unfortunate as to come last," and therefore 
presented an unusually strong bill. It consisted of 
"Othello," and a farce entitled "The Suffield Yankee, 
or How to Sell Wooden Dishes," by a gentleman of 

A summer season began June 20th, with the engage- 
ment of Mr. Duff, followed by that of Mr. and Mrs. 
Burke. Mr. John Duff" was one of the most versatile 
actors ever known to our stage. He played Richard, 
Macbeth, etc., during this engagement, but his sti-onghold 
was comedy. He was an Irishman by birth, and long 
a favorite in the famous Philadelphia company. Mr. 
Thomas Burke was a capital comedian, and his wife 
was a great favorite and a sweet singer ; afterwards the 
mother of the now popular comedian, Joseph Jefferson. 

The third season opened October 3d, 1814, and 


-closed May 9th, 1815. Most of the successes of the 
previous year were repeatfed. Mrs. Placide was the 
opening attraction, appearing in "The Soldier's Daugh- 
ter." She was a good comic actress, long attached to 
the Philadelphia theatre. The Holmans repeated their 
former triumphs, but the main dependence was the 
stock company, with which several spectacles were 
produced, that of " Timour, the Tartar," being played 
eight times at least. Pantomimes of " Three Fingered 
Jack " and " Don Juan," operas of " Eobin Hood " 
and " Blue Beard," are remembered'; in the latter a 
live elephant befng introduced. The scenery was 
painted by Eeinagle, and was said to have been very • 

Sol. Smith, the veteran manager, made here his 
first appearance on any stage. He was a boy of four- 
teen, and badly stage-struck. His brothers, in whose 
store he clerked, refused him permission to go to the 
theatre, but he contrived to scrape an acquaintance 
with the young Drakes, and by their influence, got the 
entre behind the scenes. He used to let himself out 
of the window, play-nights, by means of sheets and 
blankets, down to the top of the hen-house, and so to 
the theatre, to be an "auxilliary." One night, when 
he had been supporting " Three Fingered Jack," he 
forgot to wash off the oil and burnt cork and went 
home and to bed, as black as he had appeared to the 
audience. Next morning he overslept, and the ser- 
vant girl going to call him, soon came running down 
stairs with the frantic declaration that " there was a 
nigger in Sol's bed ! " The whole family rushed up 
stairs to verify her assertion, and arousing the snoring 
aspirant for dramatic honors from his unlucky slumber, 
received his reluctant explanation. His banner led 
the supes no more among the scenes of Green street. 

During the season, peace was declared, and a grand 
festival was celebrated at the theatre in honor of the 
event. April 12th, a benefit night was memorable foa- 
the production of this festival, the theatre being 


decorated with American standards and illuminated 
with 100 wax tapers. In addition, " Julius G^sar " 
was performed, with the following cast : 

Julius Caesar Mr. Drake 

Antony Mr. H. Robertson 

Brutus Mr. W. Robertson 

'Cassius Mr. Moore 

Portia Mrs. Young 

Calphurnia ... , ^ Mrs. Placide 

There were several Drakes in the company (that 
family subsequently becoming the basis of the pioneei- 
troupe in the west). Miss Ellis was the soubrette, Mr. 
Grarner the vocalist. Among the novelties produced 
were " The .Tempest ^' and Schiller's "Robbers." A 
benefit to the Albany Humane society, resulted in 
turning over to that organization, $90.50, which was 
duly acknowledged and Manager Bernard handsomely 
complimented therefor. The weather proving wet and 
the ladies being unable to leave Albany at the close 
of the season, Mrs- Young, Mrs. Placide and Miss 
Ellis took a joint benefit, but with what success, we 
caiindt state, 

The fourth season opened November 7th, 1815, and 
closed March 16th following, Mr. Bernard then retiring 
from the management. We have before spoken of 
this noble representative of the dramatic profession. 
" He was," says Clapp, " a discriminating actor in the 
presentment of many-colored life, excelling more 
particularly in the comic. Many comedians are too 
much in the habit of dashing the pound-brush, and all 
they aim to throw upon the canvass is a dazzling con- 
fusion of the primary colors without intermixture, 
gradation or lineament. It was not so with the designs 
of Mr. Bernard ; his, if not the pencil of Titian, was 
at least that of Hogarth." Soon after his last appear- 
ance in Albany, he returned to Europe, and died there 
November 29th, 1828, aged seventy -two, and in desti- 
tute circumstances. He wrote " Retrospections of the 
Stage," which, unfortunately, do not extend down to 


his American experience. He was at one time secre- 
tary of the famous Beefsteak club in London. 

The fourth season was not a profitable one. Few, if 
any stars appeared, although the stock company was 
strong. Eobertson, Anderson, and Mrs. Aldis were the 
main stays. Few new plays were brought out, but 
among them were "Mahomet," adapted from Voltaire,- 
"The Lady of the Lake," and "The Maid and the Mag- 
pie," "Zembuca," and "The Glory of Columbia," 

Among the benefits was one to F. Mallet, leader of 
the orchestra, a Frenchman, who had served in the 
Eevolutionary war against the British. Mr. Armstrong, 
a member of the company, at his benefit, recited in the 
original Latin "The Descent of Orpheus into Hell," 
from the Fourth book of Virgil's Georgics. At another 
benefit, a number of Indians who were at the battle of 
'Ohippeway, appeared between the plays and illustrated 
their mode of treating captives. 

Mrs. Aldis, the leading lady this season, had beett 
previously Mrs. Stanley. She had played at the Park 
theatre, New York, in 1810, and "though not aremark- 
able actress, was a woman of good sense," Ireland says, 
"and seldom violated any. principle of taste or pro- 
priety-; and in many characters gave great satisfaction." 
She subsequently returned to England and played there 
for many years. 

"During this season," says Sol Smith, "I saw Bernard* 
in some of his best characters — Timolhy Sharp, Nipper- 
kin, Kit Casey, Bras de Fer, Sudi, Sheva, Benjamin (in 
"Maid and Magpie") and a great many others. I saw 
Henry Placide play a monkey, and Andrew J. Allen, 
Aliodlino, the Great Bandit. " Smith also has a funny 
story to tell of what happened through his inordinate 
craving for the theatre. His young friends, the Drakes, 
had gone, and he was no longer granted the freedom of 
the back door. After being turned out once or twice, 
he stole in one night and popped into a large box which 
he found in the carpenter's gallery, and closed the lid. 
For more than an hour he lay concealed, waiting for 
the curtain to go up. When it did, he was delighted to 


find, by lifting the cover of the box, he could see all 
that was going on below. The play was "Richard III," 
and all went well till the second act, when he heard 
four or five men making their way directly to his hiding 
place. He had barely time to close the lid, when they 
took up the box, and profanely remarking on its great 
weight, proceeded to take King Henry's cofiin down 
stairs. Upon the stage they went, followed by Lady 
Anne and the troop of mourners. She lamented loudly, 
and Sol perspired in secret. Through all the famous 
courting scene he managed to keep quiet, but as the 
live corpse was carried off "to Whitefriars," L. H. U. 
E. and up stairs again, the awkward supes turned and 
tumbled, and tipped his cofiBned majesty so as to hurt 
him severely, and he cried out. The passage was dark, 
the bearers were frightened half to death, and dropping 
their precious burden, gave poor Sol a chance to slip 
out of his cofBn and into the street. The intelligent 
auxilliaries were certain there was a ghost in the box, 
and Mr. Smith, with a keen appreciation of the neces- 
sity for a dramatic ending to his story, solemnly asserts 
that the four supes never entered the play-house again, 
but immediately joined the church, and one of them 
became a famous preacher, whose "special hobby was 
the sin of theatre going, against which he assured his 
hearers he had, when a young man, a most mysterious 
and supernatural warning ! 

After the close of the regular season, the theatre, by 
permission of the manager, was opened a few nights 
on the Gommonwealfh plan, or sharing system, but 
not very successfully. In the spring of L817, Mr. 
Mortimer was the manager, but being inexperienced, 
succeeded in losing all his capital in a very few weeks. 
Mr. Betterton, from the English theatres, an actor then 
past his prime, was the leading man; Mr. H. A. 
Williams was stage manager. Mrs. H. A. Williams 
(afterwards Mrs. Maywqod) was new on the stage, and 
played all the Dollies, Follies and Peggies. Josey 
Williams, a little fellow, played eccentric comedy. 
Mrs. Burke, the favorite vocalist, played a few nights. 


In April, Mr. Bernard, the former manager, appeared 
as a star, and with him Mrs. Mills (a vocalist), and Mr. 
and Mrs. Mestayer. ' The season proved disastrous, 
and was eked out with harlequinades, pantomimes and 
slack-wire performances. There was something very 
like a row, and part of the coihpany went to Troy,' 
with Mortimer at their head and — met with the usual 
fate of theatrical people who go to Troy. 

And now, to quote a pathetic correspondent of the 
period, " Thalia was driven from her once fond home." 
In June, 1818, the building having been unoccupied 
for a year, was sold to the Baptist society, and a sub- 
scription list circulated to raise funds for the purpose 
of fitting it up for church purposes. It was dedicated 
January 1st, 1819, (Joshua Bradley, pastor,) and for a 
full generation, was used as a place of worship, after 
which it was again made into a theatre^ of which, here- 




The Drama Housekss and Homeless. 

In September, 1822, the old building on North Pearl 
street, known yeafs before as the Thespian hotel, was 
opened as the New Constitution theatre. The com- 
pany included Mr. and Mrs. Talbot, Messrs. Simpson, 
Williamson, Eichards, Lamb, Sauiiders,Cook, Archbold, 
Gilbert, Miss Odell and Mrs. Dorion. This appears 
to have been substantially the same organization that 
had played, the July previous, in a small building at 
15 Warren street. New York, called the City theatre, 
under the management of Mrs. Baldwin. They were 
considered as amateurs in the metropolis, and their 
season there came to a speedy close, owing to the 
yellow fever. They "then came up the river to the more 
salubrious climate of Albany. Simpson was a printer, 
Stone says, and served his time with George and 
Charles Webster, at the old Elm tree corner (State and 
North Pearl). He was the low comedian, and a jolly 
fellow. He afterwards became a great favorite at the 
Chatham Garden theatre, and there, was the original 
Jonathan in Samuel Woodworth's domestic opera, 
" The Forest Rose, or American Farmers," the first 
play introducing the Yankee character, that retained 
possession of the stage. Poor Alec, died of consump- 
tion in Poughkeepsie, in 1829. "Archbold," said an 
appeal for a benefit, "from the most untoward and 
unforseen circumstances, has been driven from the 
height of respectability to look for support for him- 
self, wife and family, from the stage." 


Perhaps the most noteworthy event which occurred 
at the New Constitution, was the appearance of Master 
George Frederick Smith, aged ten, aiid announced as 
the American Roscius. He was, however, born in 
Cork, Ireland, December 29th, 1811, and had given 
recitations the year before. He now came from Mon- 
treal, and had previously played a New York engage- 
ment. He opened in Young Norval, (Mr. Duffy play- 
ing Oknalvon) and subsequently played Octavian, 
Richard III., Romeo, etc. He had been well drilled in 
his characters, and went through them with sufficient 
ability to create quite a sensation. His sister also 
played with him several times, making here, her first 
appearance on any stage. Mr., and Mrs. Joseph Bald- 
win (the latter a sister of the gifted Mrs. Barnes), 
played here as stars. Others mentioned as taking 
benefits, are Anderson (first appearance in gix years), 
Stone and Mrs. Legge, of whom, more anon. In 
November, a portion of the company under Lamb, 
were giving concerts in a saloon at the Museum. In 
December, the Talbots had trouble with Mr. Young, 
who was the proprietor of the theatre, and withdrew. 
This resulted in a rival establishment, and in 1823, 
Albany, with perhaps 15,000 inhabitants, and no 
theatre building proper, was the scene of lively oppo^ 
sition between two regularly organized dramatic 

One was at No. 140 State street, in the second story 
of Northrop's tavern, which, under the direction of 
Mr. Farnham, who had superintended the building of 
the Green street theatre, had been fitted up with deco- 
rations by Steele, and scenery by Kane. It opened 
January 13th, with "The Highland Reel" and "The 
Spoiled Child." Mr. and Mrs. Talbot were prominent 
members of the company, and Anderson, Archbold, 
Mrs. Dorion and Mrs. Johns were here also. Admis- 
sions were $1, and fifty cents. 

A house opposite the Columbian hotel was also 
fitted up by a Mr. Brown, for an African theatrical 
company, which openedJDecember 19th, with " Pizarro." 


The North Pearl street place, meantime, had under- 
gone some improvement, the boxes and- pit having 
been altered to the circular form, which gave the whole 
audience a perfect and commanding view of the stage. 
The public were also assured that the room would 
always be kept in a temperate state. The name was 
changed to the Albany theatre, and Mr. Carter, from 
Philadelphia, was. engaged to manage. Admission 
75 cents and 50 cents. It opened January 22d, 1823, 
with "Point of Honor" and "Eaising the Wind." 
Among those who made their Albany debuts at this 
time, were Mr. and Mrs. Carter, from Philadelphia. 
Anderson, formerly of the old Green street theatre, 
was here, and soon Archbold and Mrs. Dorion came ; 
also, Mrs. Eobbeson and Mr. and Mrs. Stone. The 
season closed here about April 1st. 

The new theatre, as it was called, kept along, Mr. 
and Mrs. Durang being added to the company. Early 
in April, the two companies combined and opened at 
the North Pearl street house, with " Wives as They 
Were" and "The Spoiled Child." On the 30th of 
April,' Anderson, the comedian, died, and a benefit 
was given to his widow, May 2d. The State street 
theatre did not long remain closed, for April 14th, it 
was opened with a company, in which Mr. and Mrs. 
Stone were the principal performers. 

The last of June, the Pearl street theatre was opened 
for a few nights by Mr. and Mrs. Walstein (late Mrs. 
Baldwin), closing July 4th, with "The Glory of 
Columbia," an intensely patriotic play, based upon the 
capture of Andre, and written by William Dunlap. 
For many years, it was an unfailing source of revenue 
on Independence day. 

In September, W. Blanchard erected a circus, corner 
of Division and Green streets ; admission 50 and 25 
cents ; smoking and "unattended females" being strictly 

The next regular season at the old theatre in North 
Pearl street, opened November 24th, with "Bertram, or 
the Castle of St. Aldebart," and "Raising the Wind." 


Mrs. Smith was leading lady ; Simpson, Judah, Hug- 
gins, Biven^ Mr. and Mrs. Talbot and Mr. Duifj, were 
in the company. December 29th, Mr. Blake, from 
England, made what was announced as his first appear- 
ance in America in "The Stranger." January 16th, 
1824,, he played Othello to Mr. Duffy's logo. On the 
30th, Mr. Taylor, from the New Orleans and Charleston 
theatres, made his first appearance here as Pierre in 
"Venice Preserved," and played for several evenings, 
February 5th, Mr. Bivens took a benefit; he was a 
native of Albany, and was, we think, at this time, 
manager. He afterwards kept the Vauxhall gardens. 
Mr. Judah's night was February 11th, when he 
played Shylock. He was the tragedian of the company, 
and especially good in Jews. On the 12th, " The 
Mountaineers" and "Eosina" were played for the bene- 
fit of the Greeks, a cause highly popular just then, this 
being their second benefit at the same theatre^ Taylor's 
benefit was on the 13th, when he appeared not only as 
an actor, but as a Ventriloquist. Monsieur Mallet, the 
veteran leader of the orchestra, took a benefit about 
this time, it being a strong point in his favor that he 
came over in the same ship with Lafayette. Stone 
says that this was the identical person from whose 
history . Moncriefs play of "Monsieur Mallet, or My 
Daiighter's Letter," was founded. This Frenchman 
was ardently attached to Napoleon, and after the exile 
of the emperor, was obliged to flee to the United States^ 
leaving behind him an only and beautiful daughter. 
He took up his' abode in an obscure New England 
village.. He called daily at the post-office for a letter 
from his daughter, asking for a letter for Monsieur 
"Malla." The clerk not understanding his French 
pronounciation of the name, invariably replied, "no 
letter for Monsieur Malla." By accident the letter was 
discovered by some one who understood French, and 
the old man at last had news of his daughter's safety. 
The part of the Frenchman was a favorite with James 
'H. Hackett, years ago, before he made Falstaff his 
specialty, and one night in Boston he was surprised, 


after appearing as Monsieur Mallei, to find the original 
in the orchestra. 

' Febraary 23d, Mr. Gredge made his first appearance. 
February 25th, Mr. Huggins, wife of the scene painter 
(who also sometimes acted), made her debut for her hus- 
band's benefit, as Viola, in '"The Conquest of Tai'anto."' 
March 8th, Sheridan Knowles's great tragedy of "Yir- 
ginius" was first acted in Albany for the benefit of 
Mrs. Smith, the leading lady, who played Virgmia, 
Mr. Judah takingthe title rok. Before the close of the 
season, which occurred in March, Mr. Thompson and 
Mrs. Garner made their first appearances. 

In June, 1824, Jose Vilallave brought to Albany his 
"Picturesque Theatre," and there being no building 
suitable to accommodate it, he erected a temporary 
edifice which he called The Pavillion, at the corner of 
Green and Division streets, on the lot which had before 
been occupied as a circus. The Picturesque theatre 
was opened June I7th, and performances were given 
till July 19th, when the proprietor transferred this 
establishment to the Springs. It was not thought that 
he made any money, in spite of the attractive nature 
of his programmes, of which the following extract is a 
sample : 

Various splendid scenes will be exhibited and amusing 
metamorphoses, dances, etc., . performed, which there is 
not room to express. ; - 

After which, cloudB will descend and cover the stage. 
On their retiring, the magnificent Temple of Immortality 
will "be exposed to view, in which will appear a bust of 
Washington, his tomb, etc. After which the splendid 
Oance de Zephers will be executed with much grace and 
elegance, by four couples. 

Among the exhibitions will be a new scene, prepared 
for the occasion, called the Spirit of Painting and Music, 
in which all the varieties of shade will be presented, 
changing with the music from the heaviest to the lightest. 

The last will represent a correct view of Constanti- 
nople by moonligh-t, the houses illuminated and the 
Bosphorus covered with innumerable vessels of all 


descriptions, sailing and firing salutes, which are returned 
from the Turkish batteries. 

The scene will then change to a great tempest at sea, 
the waves in furious motion; a ship seen in distress, 
struggling against the storm. She is struck by light- 
ning and wrecked. Harlequin jumps into a boat to save 
himself, but is over set and swallowed by a whale. His 
spirit will then be seen ascending into the clouds. 

Soon after the departure of the Picturesque theatre, 
Alexander Drake brought from New York, what he 
modestly styled "a respectable companj'," and played 
a short summer season at the Albany circus, in front 
of the capitol. It was announced that Mrs. Hughes, 
formerly Mrs. Young, the great Albany favorite, was 
coming, but we have no record of her appearance. 
The season opened August 3d, with "How to Die for 
Love " and " The Lady and the Devil." Among those 
who appeared were Mr. and Mrs. Drake, Mr. and Mrs. 
Barrett, Miss Placide, Mrs. Parker, Messrs. Thompson, 
Pairchild, Macks, Katen, Blake and Pemberton. The 
latter was the tragedian and received some highly 
complimentary notices. Others of the company will 
be mentioned hereafter. 

In October, Biven opened the place corner of Green 
and Division streets, as the New Pavillion theatre, and 
a company played there most of the time with limited < 
success, till May 23d, 1825. The names of the actors 
were Mr. and Mrs. Lamb, Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Eussell, 
Mrs. Warren, Mrs. Turner (leading business), Franklin 
(a comedian from Philadelphia), and occasionally, 
Eobertson, Anderson, Thompson, Webb, Mr. and Miss 
Turn bull (from Montreal, her first appearance in the 
United States), Simpson, H. A. Williams, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Walstein. 

Among the novelties produced at this time, was the 
famous "^Tom and Jerry, or Life in London," -yvhich 
had quite a run. A significant comment on this play 
was the note at the end of the bill : "A dictionary of 
all the flash and cant words, price six cents,. cao" be 
had at the bar." Other plays were " The Man at 


Fortitude," " The Birthday, or Eeconciliation," and 
"The Intrigue." In "George Barnwell," the execu- 
tion scene was presented for the first time. Mr. Sin- 
clair, an actor, native to Albany, who had become 
blind, took a benefit April . 19th. " The Floating 
Beacon" and " Ali Pachi, or the Signet Ring," were 
first performed. The theatre was not at all satisfactory, 
and little need be said about it. In January, 1825, 
"Timour, the Tartar," a famous horse piece, was 
brought out at the circus, in front of the capitol,. Mr. 
Duffy as Timour. 




The Old South Pearl Street Theatre. 

In the spring of 1825, the population of Albany had 
reached nearly 16,000, not one-fifth of what it is at 
present, but 6,000 more than at tbe time the Green 
street theatre was built. There was no railroad, al- 
though one to Schenectady was being talked about. 
The Erie canal, although not completed till the follow- 
ing fall, had, it was claimed, within the two years it 
had been in partial operation, nearly quadrupled the 
wholesale trade of the city. The pier had been com- 
pleted at a cost of $130,000, and twelve steamboats 
plied to and from New York. There was already one 
'daily paper, and October 18th The Argus began its 
daily issue. For a year or two things had been looking 
very bright for Albany, and the project of a new the* 
atre had been actively discussed. It was remembered 
how the Green street establishment flourished, and 
with an increase of inhabitants, it seemed sure that a 
well-conducted theatre would once more pay. A sub- 
scription had been started, and June 1st, 1824, The 
Advertiser announced editorially, that nearly, if not 
quite enough had been subscribed, the list comprising 
some of the most respectable, wealthy and public-spir- 
ited citizens. Among the stockholders were Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, Teunis Van Vechten, Gerrit Y. Lan- 
sing, Fran^ and John Townsend, James Stevenson, 
Francis Bloodgood, Abel French, James McKown and 
others. Meetings of the stockholders were held fre- 
quently at the Recess in Green street, and soon they 


were called upon to pay $ 5 on a share. A lot on South 
Pearl street, previously occupied by S.' Wilcox, was 
"subscribed" by Hugh (or Isaac) Dennison, and July 
15th. the old buildings thereon were sold at auction, 
to be pulled down immediately, and work was begun 
on the new structure, of which Philip Hooker was the 
architect. The following minute description of the 
original building is worth preserving : 

"The new theatre is situated on the west side of 
Pearl street, extending to William ; sixty -two feet 
front, one hundred and sixteen feet deep ; height in 
front, forty feet; divided into a basement, principal 
and attic story. The entrance to the boxes i:|by three 
lofty arched openings ; the piers and arches are of free 
stone, beautifully rusticated ; they occupy three-fifths 
of the front ; the entrances to the pit and gallery are on 
each side, in plain brick work. Above the rusticated 
basement, the center is embellished with six stone 
pilasters, supporting an entablature and angular pedi- 
ment ; the pilasters are coupled at the angles, and the 
order is the antique Ionic ; the cornice only is continued 
the whole length of the front, which is crowned with a 
bold balustrade, surmounted with appropriate acroteria.: 
The outer lobby is entered by two steps, from which 
you are conducted by easy flights of winding stairs to- 
a spacious corridor surrounding the first tier of boxes. 
Over the outer lobby in the second story, is an elegant 
saloon or coffee room, with an adjoining chamber, and 
over these in the third story, are similar rooms for re- 
freshments. The auditory is divided into a pit and 
three tiers of boxes; the gallery being in the front of 
the third tier ; the boxes advance one seat in front of 
the columns which support them ; the second and third 
tiers are brought forward on arches springing from the 
capitals of the pillars. The ceiling is in the form of a 
dome, painted in stone-colored panels, with rosettes. 
The glass chandelier is to be lighted from above and 
lowered through the fret-worked circlet in the centre 
of the dome. The proscenium and the panels of the 
boxes are to be splendidly ornamented. The stage is 


fifty-eight by fifty-two feet, above which are painting- 
rooms, carpenters' galleries, etc. An adjoining brick 
tenement contains a green-room and very comfortable 
dressing rooms. The whole is furnished in handsome 
style, and is somewhat larger than the Baltimore thea- 
tre. Mr. P. Hooker is architect, and Mr. Grain the 
scene painter. The probable cost, including lot, is about 

This elegant theatre was leased to Mr. Charles Gril- 
fert, one of the conditions being that he should bring 
on and keep up as good a company as any othe 
the United States. Mr. Grilfert was of German desc 
and had been brought up from boyhood in the ore 
tra of the Park theatre, becoming Sin accomplii 
musician and composer. He was a thorough master 
of the violin, and during many years' residence in New 
York, no musical entertainment was thought complete 
unless his name graced the programme. In 1813, he 
had been a director in the Commonwealth theatre ■ 
(corner of Broadway and White street) and leader of 
the orchestra. In 1815, he married the accomplished 
and beautiful Miss Holraan, of whom mention has been 
made. Since then he had been in the south and came 
direct from managing the theatre in Charleston, South 
Carolina, to Albany. Following is a copy of the open- 
ing bill : 

The inhabitants of Albany and its vicinity are respect- 
fully informed that the NEW THEATRE will be 
opened on Wednesday evening, 13th of May [1826]. 
Nights of performance this week, Wednesday, Thurs- 
day, Friday and Saturday. 


Written by THOS. WELLS, Esq., of Boston, to be 

Spoken by 


After which the Admired Comedy, in five acts, of 


When yotj Can. 

Gossamer, Mr. Barrett, 

















Charles Mortimer, 

Master Arthur, 

Mrs. Mortimer, 

Mrs. Stone, 



Miss Gloomly, 




The evening's entertainment 

to conclude with the 

Admired Farce, of 



Mr. Barrett, 











Miss Durable, 

Mrs. Barrett, 



Seats for the lower tier of Boxes can be taken from 
10 to 1, and from 3 to 5 o'clock. 

Tickets .for the Boxes, $1 ; Pit, 50 cents ; Gallery, 
25 cents. 

A strong and efficient Police is established for the 
preservation of that order and regularity, which is 
essential in a well regulated Theatre. 

Doors to be opened at 1-2 past six, and the curtain to 
raise at a quarter after seven o'clock. 

A prize of $50 had been offered for the best poeti- 
cal address, and thirty-six compositions had been sent 
in. The committee to judge of their merits, consisted 
of Messrs. Moss Kent, John W. Yates, William L. 
Marcy, John Y. N. Yates, William A. Duer, Samuel 
A. Talcott, T. Romeyn Beck, Ebenezer Baldwin andi 
Gideon Hawley. They decided that No. 20 had won 
the prize, and the author proved to be Thomas Wells, 
of Boston. The following is a copy : 



When superstition captive reason led, 
-And taste proscribed, her howery dwellings fled, 
Their sacred haunts exiled, the Aonian maids 
On hurrying wings forsook the peaceful shades; 
The crumbling column and the tottering fane 
Around, of desolation marked the reign. 
In towering pride where stood the classic dome, 
The boast of art, and once the muse's home, 
Midst mouldering ruins wheeled the drowsy bat. 
And cloistered there the bird of darkness sat; 
The infatuate mind the mystic sceptre swayed, 
Man groped in darkness and the spell obeyed. 
Thus wrapped in gloom expired the Attic light 
And priestcraft ruled, sole monarch of the night. 
At length, triumphant o'er his foes 
Crenius on bold adventurous plumes arose; 
Athwart the sunless void new warmth he poured, 
Pierced the-dense clouds and heaven's blest beams restored 
So from the East on purple pinf"""! borne 
Through flakes»of fog, up sprin ihe herald morn; 
Lost in the emerging glories of the day, 
The dull, cold mists of midnight melt away. 
The harmonious choir now gave to joy the shell, 
2Tow rose their temples where their altars fell; 
Prom shore to shore the voice of freedom spoke, 
And buried learning from her slumbers woke, 
Beason unfettered ; truth divine unsealed. 
And old imposture to the world revealed ; 
Conceived in beauty, by the graces nursed. 
The germs of fancy into being burst; 
Toil tilled the globe — the axe the forest bowed — 
Art winged the shuttle — skill the ocean ploughed. 
Xife breathed in marble, warm the canva^ .gloved ; 
And gifted lips with inspiration flowed. 
Led by ambition and by worth revered, 
The Drama then in lettered grace appeared; 
Trom hidden stores her golden lore she brought. 
And morals mended as shp manners taught; 
Through every stage of varied life she ran. 
Her volume nature and her study man. 
Where 'er she moved, the Muse the land refined 
And taste adorned as science nerved the mind ; — 
On every side to birth new beauty sprung — 
The laurel flourished, and the minstrels sung. 
Acknowledged, guided, — bards inspired the age, 
And pictured wisdom lessoned from the stage; 
Truth fearless spoke in scenic garb arrayed. 
And rescued virtue owned the drama's aid — 
'And now, auspicious dome, aspiring pile, 
The artist's pride — be thine the people's smile. 
The muse of genius and of taste the seat 


We hail thy birth, thy dawn of promise greet. 
Priest of thy right — Apollo claims thy shrine 
To him devoted — hence live thou and thine. 

Patrons! who here the unbiased censors sit, 
Sole arbitrators in the court of wit— . 
Whose sentence stamps the buskin and the play, 
Whose laws alike the song and scene obey, 
To your indulgence now we make appeal — 
On y9u, dependent, rests our future weal; 
And here by your impartial voices tried. 
We rise or fall, as y'ou alone decide. 
In you confiding, here we trust our cause. 
To us your smiles extend — our meed is your applause. 

The comedy, " Laugh When You Can," by Frederick 
Reynolds, had already been acted for twenty-five years 
or more, and held the stage for as much longer. The 
farce, " Eaising the Wind," by James Kenny, was long 
popular, the part of Diddhr being a favorite with 
Simpson, Thayer, Browne and Talcott, but it never 
found a better representative than the one who pilayed 
it in Albany on this occasion — the light comedian of 
the new company, George H. Barrett. He was the 
son of an eminent actor and had been on the stage 
from his youth, making his dehut as one of the children 
in Dunlap's version of " The Stranger." There aire 
-many living to-day wh'o well remember Gentleman 
George, as_ he was known all over the Union, and with- 
out exception, they will say that in his primej he was 
indisputably the best light comedian in America. He 
made his first appearance, after arriving at maturity, 
as Beleour, in "The West Indian," at the Park theatre, 
New York, March 5th, 1822, achieving at once a marked 
success. He had, in 1824, played with great favor at 
the Chatham Garden, together with the beautiful Mrs. 
Henry, soon to become his wife, and with him orna- 
ment the boards of Albany's new theatre. Poor 
Barrett! he saw plenty of trouble after that, and in 
spite of fifty-seven years of active stage-life, "the best 
fellow in the world," after eke out a scanty 
living by giving dramatic lessons, died in poverty, in 
INew York, September 5th, 1860, aged sixty-six. 

The Mrs. Barrett, whose name is on the first bill, 


must have been George's mother, and the widow of 
Giles Leonard Barrett, who had died in Boston, in 
1809. She had played in England as Mrs. Rivers, and 
was said to have been a pupil of Macklin, playing 
Portia to his world-famed S'hylock She was of tower- 
ing stature and earlier in life, was much esteemed in 
tragedy. She made her American dehut in Boston, 
January 2d, 1797, and was now playing old women. 
Even in this line, she was pronounced a failure, when 
a year later, she undertook it at the Bowery theatre, 
New York, which, upon opening, it may here be said, 
was supplied, in a great measure, from this very 

Thomas Faulkner was the old man of tbe company. 
He was Irish, by birth, and came up with Gilfert from 
Charleston, where he had made his American debut. 
He was an excellent representative of the line he under- 
took, and also of many Irish parts. He, too, followed 
Gilfert to the Bowery theatre, and was afterwards for 
many years on the Philadelphia stage. He died in 

Mrs. Stone was the wife of John Augustus Stone. 
She was a native of JSTew Hampshire, and made her 
debut at Pittsburgh, in 1817. She married a Mr. Legge, 
and bearing his namCj made her first appearance in 
New York, at the City theatre, in 1822. 'Ireland says 
of her, at that time : " She was young, talented and 
interesting in appearance, a careful and understanding 
xeader, and, in a good school of acting, would probably 
have attained distinction, but it has been her misfor- 
tune to be. generally attached to theatres where her 
abilities have been wasted on the worst of melodramas, 
and her true beauties undiscovered or unappreciated." 
After Stone's melancholy death by. suicide, she married 
N. H. Bannister, and as late as. 1853 played Gctssy in 
" Uncle Tom's Cabin" in New York, at the National. 

Gecge F. Hyatt was the low comedian, and a great 
favorite both in Albany and New York, where he had 
previously, appeared. He was much liked as a singer, 
and was the author of "The Mellow Horn," and "too 


many mellow korns," Stone says, "caused his ruin." He 
enlisted as a marine, a few years afterwards, and died 
at sea, having previously become almost paralyzed by 
intemperance. He was last seen in public, in New 
York, in 1837. 

Mrs. Robertson, the soubrette, was a very beautiful 
w.oman. She afterwards married Burroughs, and went 
■with him to England. Stone says she was sister to 
Matilda Brundage, wife of the mad poet — McDonald 

Anderson, who used to be known as " Chops," was, 
it is said, in 1854 the only surviving member of the 
company, and he was in the Philadelphia poor-house, 
aged seventy-six. He was an accomplished gentleman 
in his day, a finished actor and a great favorite, al-j 
though it is recorded of him that he once shot the bar- 
keeper of Preston's hotel, which stood on the site now 
occupied by the Delavan. 

Of the others, we have not space to speak at present, 
as more important members of the company speedily 
made their appearance, its full resources being far from 
exhausted on the opening night. The hit, however, 
was perfect, and the theatre continued to be patronized 
by large and enthusiastic audiences. 

On the fourth night of the season, before the novelty 
of the new company had ceased to attract — before, in- 
deed, several of the best members had made their 
appearance, Junius Brutus Booth made his Albany 
debut as Richard III. Here is the cast : 

Kichard Mr. Booth 

Henry VI i . . Mr. Horton 

Prince of Wales. Mrs. Gray 

Puke of York Master Arthur 

Hichmond Mr. Barrett 

Buckingham Mr. Kenyon 

Lord Stanley Mr. Anderson 

Lord Mayor Mr. Spiller 

Elizabeth • Mrs. Stone 

Lady Anne /. . Miss Robertson 

Duchess of York Mrs. Barrett 


This strange and gifted man was now in his 30th. 
year, having been born in London, May 1st, 1796. 
His first appearance in America, as it happened,, had 
been made under Mr. Grilfert's management, at Eich- 
mond, Virginia, July 6th, 1821, and he was therefore 
easily induced to come to Albany and give eclat to the 
new theatrical enterprise. 

Mr. Booth was under middle size, and his legs were 
inelegantly formed, but his face (before his nose was 
broken) was eminently handsome, while his eyes were 
capable of assuming a melting tenderness of expression, 
or. of darting the most vivid flashes of intense passion. 
Asa tragedian, in his best moods, Cooke and Kean have 
alone surpassed him. As Ireland says : " Charles 
Kemble and Macready, with their studied attitudes and 
enunciation, were in comparison but as plodding, wire- 
drawing critics." In Richard, ShylocJc,' lago, Lear, Sir 
Giles, Sir Edward Mortimer and Pescara, he was un- 
rivaled. for near a quarter, of a century; in early life 
his Hamlet and Romeo were beautiful specimens of art. 
He sometimes played low comedy, and his Mawworrn,, , 
Jerry Sneak, etc., always convulsed his audi ences* He 
was not above. playing the smallest parts, and it isrelated; 
of him, that once in Baltimore,, during; Charles Kean's 
engagement, he appeared as the Second Actor m the 
play scene in " Hamlet," who, it will be remembered, 
has only to recite these lines : 

Thoughts hlack, hands apt, drugs fit, and 'time agreeing ; 
Confederate season, else no creature seeilig,; 
Thou mixture rank, of midnight-weeds collected 
With Hbcate's ban thrice blasted, thrice infected, 
Thy natural magic, and dire property 
On wholesome life usurp immediately. 

Even this doggerel, usually made particularly atro- 
cious by the way in which it is rendered by some super- 
numerary, was recited with such effect that at the end the 
audience rose en masse and cheered him to the echo. His 
eccentricities bordered closely on insanity,and it is a ques- 
tion whether at times he was accountable for his action.. 
It is charitable to think he was not. A large volume 


Twou-ld hardly contain all the stories that are told of 
him, many disgraceful, some touching, but all extremely 
interesting. At the very outset of his career in Amer- 
ica, he actually and in good faith applied for the posi- 
;tion of lighthouse-keeper at Cape Hatteras, at a salary 
of $300: a year, and would no doubt have taken it, were 
it not for the interference of managers, who saw in him 
^a source of profit far too valuable to be Ixsst in that 
way. In 1822, he bought a farm in a moat secluded 
spot, twenty-five miles from Baltimore, to which he 
constantly resorted. No trees were allowed to be cut 
down, and all animal life, even to the black snakes and 
wild boars of the woods, was held religiously sacred, 
E.ev. James Freeman Clarke, in the September Atlantic 
ior 1861, relates a most singular story of the great 
tragedian calling upon him twenty years previous and 
requesting him to assist at a burial. The cadaver 
proved to be a bushel of dead pigeons, for which Booth 
actually had a coffin made, hired a hearse and carriage, 
bought a lot and went through with the solemnity of a 
funeral,! to testify, as he said, against the wanton de- 
struction of animal life. Mr. Clarke records his con- 
viction that tbe man was solemnly in earnest. 

Booth's daiiighter writes of him: "All forms of 
religion and all temples of devotion were sacred to him, 
and in passing churches he never failed to reverently 
bare his head. He worshipped at many shrines; be 
admired the Koran, and in that volume many beautiful 
passages are underscored; days sacred to color, ore 
and metals, were religiously observed by him. In the 
synagogues, he was known as a Jew, because he con- 
versed with the rabbis and learned doctors, and joined 
their worship in the Hebraic tongue. He read the 
Talmud and strictly adhered to many of its laws. 
Roman Catholic fathers aver that he was of their per- 
suasion, by his knowledge of the mysteries of their faith, 
yet the house of worship he most loved to frequent wajs 
a humble. floating church or Sailors' Bethel. His 
reverence for religion was universal and deep-rooted. 
It was daily shown in acts.of philanthropy and humane 


deeds, which were too often misdirected. He was not 
a sectarian, but made many creeds his study, and al- 
though the dogmas of the church might have yielded 
him a more enduring peace, yet the tenderness of his 
heart, from which emanated his loving kindness and 
great charity, afforded strength to his declining years." 

There is, however, a darker side to his nature. Ire- 
land says : " Charity would draw a veil over his frail- 
ties, but truth obliges us to say 'of this man, with the 
signet of a god upon his brow, that by his own act he 
was often sunk below the level of the brute. In his 
moments of inebriaition, he knew not friend or foe; he 
forgot his engagements with his managers, his duty to 
the public, his respect for himself. His drunken 
brawls were a terror to his friends, yet up to his latest 
day, when he appeared but as a battered and broken 
eoiumn, if the public felt assured that he was himself, 
they thronged to greet him. To the last be retained 
•their affection, if not their respect." 

Once, while playing Richard at the Park theatre, this 
lunatic of an actor, sword -in"- hand, chased the Hich- 
mond of the evening, out of the back door of the 
theatre, into the street. Another time, while playing 
Othello, with- Miss Johnson, afterwards Mrs. Hilson, as 
Besdemona, he bore down so heavily with the pillow, 
in the last scene, that she was in danger of her life, 
and was only rescued from suffocaliion by the other 
actors, who rushed upon the stage to save her.. These 
fits are said to have come upon him irrespective of 
whether he had been drinking at the time- or not. It 
was the result of some such freak that, in Charleston, 
after playing Othello one night, he went to bis hotel, 
where he roomed with Tom Fiynn, and assuming that 
he was lago, began rehearsing the famous scene, begin- 
ning, "Villain, be sure thou prove," etc., with such 
vehemence that Flynn, in self-defense, grasped the fire 
poker and struck Booth over the nose, "breaking it, 
and marring his noble countenance forever. 

There is almost no end to the stories that might be 
told here of this strange man, but we must return to 


our record. With all his faults, he was ever the idol 
of the people ; he cared nothing for rich, fashionable 
or "critical" audiences, but preferred the Bowery to 
the Park ; the applause of the pit to the plaudits of 
the boxes. He died December 1st, 1852, and lies 
buried in Baltimore. 

During Mr. Booth's Albany engagement, he appeared 
in twelve different characters. It was not the custom 
then for the star to play every evening, but there were 
"off" nights, as there are now in grand opera. Mr 
Booth was announced to play as follows: Richard, 
May 21st ; Sir Giles Overreach, May 23d ; Beubm Glen- 
roy, in "Town and Country," May 24th; Sir Edward 
Mortimer, in "The Iron Chest," May 28th; Hamlet, 
June 1st; Pescara, in "The Apostate," June 3d; 
Macbeth, June 6th ; The Stranger (for his benefit), June 
8th ; Lear, June 15th ; Shyhdc, June 17th ; Othello, 
June 20th, and Brutus, June 24th. 

Richard was his most popular personation ; in it he 
made his first appearance in America, and he usually 
began his engagements, with it. Its announcement 
was sure, at nny period of his life, to crowd the thea- 
tre, in almost any city in the TJnion. He played 
Cibber's version. Probably he was the best Richard 
this country ever saw. " His ^r Giles," says Gould, 
" stands in our memory as a representation of singular 
solid force." The same critic, writing of his Sir 
Edward, says : " If it had been the actor's purpose to 
combine in one representation all the daring and diffi- 
cult and terrific feats in look, voice and action, of which 
his supple frame was capable, he could not have se- 
lected a better field. * * * * The veins of his 
corded and magnificent neck would swell, and the 
whole throat and face become suffused with crimson in 
a moment, in the crisis of passion, to be succeeded on 
the ebb of feeling 'by an ashy paleness. To throw 
blood into the face is a comparatively easy feat for a 
sanguine man, by simply holding the breath ; but for 
a man of pale complexion to speak passionate and 
thrilling words, pending the suffusion, is. quite another 


thing. On the other hand, no amount of merely phys- 
ical exertion or exercise of voice could bring color into 
that pale, proud, intellectual face. This was shown in 
Shylock, Lear and Hamlet, where the passion was in- 
tense, but where the face continued clear and pale." 
Hamlet was Booth's favorite part, although in after 
years he played it but seldom. Pescam was written 
for Booth by Shiel. Macbeth found in him one of the 
few capable, not only of representing the character, 
but of being it Lear he attempted at the age of twen- 
ty-three. Whether influenced by accident of birth — 
for he had Hebrew blood within his veins — or carrying 
out an artistic design, he made /S'Ayfoc^ a representative 
of the Jewish race, a character of grandeur and fiery 
energy. His Othello \i&s seldom been equaled, and in 
Brutus he interpreted some passages in a manner un- 
surpassed by his rendering of any lines of Shakspeare. 
His engagement was rendered especially brilliant by 
the appearance in the stock company of Mrs. Gilfert 
(wife of the manager), who supported the star in the 
characters of Portia, Lady Macbeth, Mrs. Haller, etc. 
She made her first appearance at this establishmefitt 
Monday, May '30th, as Lady Teazle, in " The School 
,.fOT,.ScaDda]," there being many ladies in the audience 
to see her. Our readers will remember that, as Miss 
Holman, she was briefly mentioned as playing one oi; 
two engagements at the Green street theatre, with her 
father, in 1813 and 1815. She came to this countryin 
1812, and for many years ranked as the first actress of 
genteel comedy in America, while her merit in tragedy 
was nearly as great. In 1814, her services commanded 
$200 a night, she being the first actress who ever re- 
ceived that salary in this country. She had' married 
G-ilfert in 1815, and stood faithfully by him till in 1829 
he sank, ruined by managing the Bowery theatre, and 
went down to an untimely grave. She then abandoned 
the stage and taught school, but without success, and 
died in Philadelphia, in extreme poverty. Her greatest 
character, and one in which she was unrivalled, was 
Lad,y Townley. 


"The School for Scandal" was severely criticised at 
this time by a correspondent of The Advertiser, who, to 
prove his position, quoted all the objectionable pas- 
sage without abridgement ! 

We have previously mentioned Mrs. Stone, who was 
in the cast on the opening night. Her husband, John 
Augustus Stone, was the eccentric old man of the com- 
pany, and neither was a stranger to the Albany public. 
He was born in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1801. and 
made his first dramatic appearance in Boston. He 
possessed considerable merit in certain humorous parts, 
but had hardly force and body enough for the rough 
and bluff old men whom he commonly represented. 
He was at one time quite a favorite at Chatham Garden 
and Bowery theatres, in New York, but acquired his 
greatest &me from being the author of the tragedy ol 
" Metamora," for which Mr. Forrest's prize of $500 was 
awarded in 1829. He also wrote several other dramas, 
which have been acted with success. "Faunteroy," 
"Tancred of Sicily," "Lan^ue, the E^cide" and 
Yankee Hill's famous drama, " The Knight of the 
Golden Fleece," are all attributed to his pen. His unhap 
py death, by suicide, occurred at Philadelphia, June Ist, 
1834, and his friend. Edwin Fon-est, erected there a 
handsome monument to his memory. He left two sons, 
Christopher Lucius, and Henry F., both of whom were 

On the 25th of May, Charles Young, from the Bos- 
ton theatre, made his Albany ddmt as Qiptain Faulkner, 
in "The Way to Get Married," and played second to 
Booth. In New York, he was never called a first- 
class actor, even in the parts which were in his line. 
He had been for several seasons at the Charleston 
theatre, and was a fair representative of tyrants and 
other stage blusterers. He went to the Bowery with 
Gilfert in 1826, and was its first stage manager. In 
1833, having buried his first wife, a beautiful blonde, 
he met Mrs. Mary Duff, the celebrated tragic actress, 
on Broadway, New York, and saluting her with the 
courtesies of the day, b^^ed permission to escort her 


to her lodgings. As they were walking along very 
quietly, Mr. Young, after a few moments of mental 
abstraction, said : " Mrs. Dufi, you are a widow and I 
am a widower, suppose we get married." 

" With all my heart," replied Mrs. Duff, and accord- 
ingly they were united, the rite being solemnized 
both by a Protestant and a Catholic clergyman, in the 
presence of Mr. and Mrs. Hilson, as witnesses. Prior 
to the ceremony, it was agreed that the marriage 
should not be consummated till the lapse of six weeks, 
and, meantime, Mrs. Duff was to go by her former 
name, in order that she might secure professional prefer- 
ment. Thus far, matters worked well, but Mr. Young, 
wishing in a few days to take his wife home, called 
at the lady's house, and learned that she had gone to 
Philadelphia. She declared that she had perpetrated 
the act of matrimony only by being persuaded to it 
during a temporary aberration of mind, caused by the 
use of opium, while plunged in domestic trouble, and 
they were soon after legally separated. Not long after, 
Young died at Norfolk, Virginia, 

On the 11th of June, Lafayette, on his second visit 
to Albany, attended the theatre, which was illumined 
and decorated, and a transparency of Washington 
exhibited. The plays were " Love Laughs at Lock- 
smiths " and " The Irishman in London." 




The South Pearl Street Theatre, Under Qilferk 

The departure of tb'e elder Booth, was followed by 
the appearance of the second star, Frederick BroTsru 
He was. the son of P. L. Brown, .th§ aj;tis(t,,^a,nd h^d 
played in Liverpool, Boston and "New' York. ' He 
opened in " Damon and Pythias," which was announced 
to .be the first time "it had been played here. Coming 
on the heels of the greatest actor of the day, he failed 
to make much of an impression. 

On the first of July, Miss Tilden, one of the stock 
company, who had been ill since the theatre opened, 
made her first appearance as Volante, in " The Honey- 
moon." She is remembered as a beautiful girl, who 
speedily gained hosts of admirers. Several months 
later, when she took her benefit, " She Would be a 
Soldier " was played,, and Captain Hendrickson's com- 
pany of artillery appeared on the stage, attended by 
tke band, and Miss Tilden went through the manual 
with the troop, amid a perfect storm of applause. She 
went with Gilfert to the Bowery, and afterward became 
Mrs. Bernard, marrying a son of Albany's first mana- 
ger. So successful waa the season, that h.ot weather 
kad no effect upon it, and performances were k-ept up 
through the summer. On the 4th of July, Burke's 
sensational play of " Bunker Hill " was produced, and 
met with great applause, although utterly without 

Mr. Arthur Keene, a vocalist, appeared as Count 
Belindo, in " The Devil's Bridge," on the 9th of July, 


and on the 11th, as Hewy Bertram, in " Guj Manner- 
ing." It was in this latter character that he made his 
American dd)ut in New York, several years before, 
and it is related of him that on coming upon the stage 
in the first scene, his foot tripped and he fell fiat, with 
considerable force. He had sufficient self-possession, 
however, to carry on his part and made a favorable 
impression. He was a young Irishman, with a sweet 
tenor voice, and some knowledge of music. Two 
years after his Albany engagement, he supported 
Ma,libran in English opera, at the Bowery. He died 
in Mobile, about 1836. 

The latter part of July, William Eufus Blake 
appeared. He had, before this, played at the old 
Thespian hotel, and was much liked. He was a native 
of Nova Scotia, and at this time, possessed of fine 
personal appearance, giving little indication of the 
coming corpulency, which finally drove him from the 
parts of sighing lovers and silly coxcombs, to those of 
old men, in which, it is doubted if he was ever excelled 
in this country. He is said to have been the first actor 
ever called before the curtain in America, and we 
could wish he had been the last. He played here in 
the stock company for several weeks, and became a 
great favorite, especially with the ladies. The next 
year he married Mrs. Waring, who was the mother of 
Mrs. James W. Wallack, 2d, by Leigh Waring, the first 
star at the Green street theatre, of whom we have 
before spoken. Blake afterwards starred in both 
this country and Europe, and later, when he was in 
the stock at Burton's, Wallack's and Laura Keene's, 
received the heaviest salary on the list. He died sud- 
denly at Boston, April 22d, 1863, aged fifty-eight. 

On the first of August, Mrs. Gilfert took a benefit, 
when Peter Eichings appeared for the first time in 
Albany. He was born in London, May 19th, 1797 ; 
arrived in America in- 1821, and made his debut that 
year, as Henry Bertram. He it was who adopted Caro- 
line Eichitags, the well-known opera singer? He was 
an artist in small parts, and very much of a gentle- 


man. More than any thing else, he is remembered as 
a fine dresser. 

August 3d, Henry Wallaok acted Rolla, in " Pizarro," 
a drama which had been played already several times, 
and was highly successful. Mr. Wallack played any 
thing from tragedy to pantomime, but never attained 
the high distinction of his brother James. He was 
born in London in 1790, and was prominent in theatri- 
cal affairs, both here and in England. He was the 
fath-er of James W. Wallack, 2d. 

For Barrett's benefit, August 8th, his newly wedded 
wife appeared as Sophia, in '' The Eoad to Ruin," and 
was, thereafter, a prominent member of the com- 
pany, which had now attained a degree of excellence 
never equalled in Albany before, and rarely since. 
Mrs. Barrett was a beautiful and accomplished woman. 
She was born in Philadelphia in 1801, and was now in 
the bloom of early womanhood. Already, however, 
she had met with her full share of sorrow. Married 
at sixteen to W. C. Drummond, a dancer, she had 
borne him two children, and then, on the ground of ill 
treatment, had obtained a divorce and resumed her 
maiden name of Henry, under which she appeared in 
New York. Her extraordinary charms of mind and 
person, attracted universal attention there, and June 
24th, 1825, she made a happy man of Barrett, by giv- 
ing him her hand in marriage. For several years, 
nothing could exceed the felicity of their union. Per- 
sonally . and professionally popular, Mr. and Mrs. 
Barrett were received with enthusiasm wherever they 
appeared, and in the lines of gay, graceful and refined 
comedy, and the gentler grades of tragedy, the lady 
has seldom been equalled. But at length this happy 
and brilliant union was disturbed ; this fascinating 
being, whom Fanny Kemble pronounced " a faultless 
piece of mortality in outward loveliness," had, by some 
unhappy weakness, acquired an insane craving for 
stimulants, which she swallowed without judgment or 
reflection, and through that influence was reduced, at 
times, to the Idwest stage of degradation and placed 


in such, positions that even her honor was called in 
question. This unhappy state of affairs, however, wa$ 
many years after her residence in Albany. In 1840, 
Mr. Barrett procured a divorce from her, on the ground 
of. infidelity. Subsequent events, it has been said, 
proved her guiltless of the charge, but the separation 
was final. Mrs: Barrett had many warm and distin- 
guished friends, who bestowed the greatest, kindness 
upon her aiter this 'sad epoch of her life,and their 
unremitting efforts sbothed, in a degree, the bitter 
mortification and chagrin attendant upon it. Through 
their influence, she was restored to the stage and 
society, and in Boston, where she afterwards princi- 
pally played, she renewed the, triumphs of her former 
years and commanded the admiration of all by her 
ma? velously preserved beauty, which, even at .the age 
of fifty, seemed as fresh and charming as in her girl- 
hood. She died December 22d, 1853, and lies buried 
in Mount Auburn, under a monument bearing the 
lines : 

" With fairest flowers 

We'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack 
The flower that 's like thy face, pale Primrose, nor 
The azured Harebell, like thy veins; nor leaf 
Of Eglantitie, nor sweeter than thy breath." 

The season closed September 7th, after a highly suc- 
cessful production of " The Forty Thieves," (which ran 
five nights) and the benefits of all the principal mem- 
bers of the company. The winter season opened Septem- 
ber 26th, with substantially the same company, to which, 
however, had been made one notable addition. On the 
31st of August preceding, at the benefit of Williamson, 
one of the singers, had appeared as Jaffier in " Venice 
Preserved " " a Mr. Forrest, of whom reports speak 
highly." He was said to have come from the New 
Orleans theatre, but no one seemed to know much 
about him. He was, however, engaged for the next 
season by Manager Gilfert, and made his first appear- 
ance in the stock October 5th, supporting Oonway, 
the first star actor of the season, Oonway playing Mac- 


beth, and Forrest Macduff. " Mr. Forrest," says a critie 
of the period, "has good requisites for a first-rate actor, 
but they require cultivating.'" 

Edwin Forrest, at this time, was less than twenty 
years old, having been born in Philadelphia, March 
&th, 1806. He had made his. debut as Douglas, at the 
Walnut street theatre, five years previous, but created 
no particular sensation. The part was repeated, how- 
ever, and afterward he played Frederick in "Lovers' 
Vows," and Qctavion in "The Mountaineers," and on 
the occasion of his benefit, recited Goldsmith's cele- 
brated epilogue in the character of a harlequin, and 
concluded by turning a somersault through a balloon. 
For a long time, he was in a quandary whether to join 
the circus or keep on the stage. He evidently had a 
longing for the arena, as several stories told of him 
while playing in Albany, illustrate. Finally, however, 
he engaged with Collins and Jones for -the western 
dramatic circuit. He played in Cincinnati and down 
the river to New Orleans, from whence he came direct 
to Albany, where, it may with truth be said, his great 
possibilities were for the first time pointed out to him. 
A critic in Tlie Advertiser, Oct. 25th, 1825, writes of 
him as follows : 

" Mr. Forrest is a stranger to us ; we are ignorant 
whether he be a native of this country or of England ; 
upon himself it depends to do honor to the country which 
gave him birth. Nature has been bountiful to him. 
His face and figure are such as to prepossess an audience 
in his favor — his voice (with the single exception of Mr. 
Cooper's) is, we think, superior to any we have ever heard. 
This young gentleman we have followed with interest 
through Jdffier, Mark Antony and the Indian Chief in 
Noah's play " She Would be a Soldier." Mark Antony 
and the Indian Warrior evince, in addition to Mr. For- 
rest's great natural gifts, a degree of study too often 
neglected by young actors — and to this circumstance do 
we attribute the extreme rarity of great histrionic talents 
combined with the charms and graces of youth. If this 
young gentleman will listen to the voice of truth and 


avoid the destructive school of vanity (which has ruined 
BO many who promised greatly) few, aye, a very few 
years, will place him in the ranks with our own Cooper, 
and with those highly gifted strangers, Conway, Booth 
and Kean, who have of late thrown a halo over the 
American stage." 

As before stated, Forrest's first business in the stock 
company was to support the star, William Augustus 
Conway. He had seen him play previously in New 
Orleans, and Mr. James Eees (Forrest's friend and 
biographer) says that Conway's acting of Othello, at that 
time, first aroused Forrest from the dreams of the boy 
to the realities of manhood. He now played Mark An- 
toriy to Conway's Brulus, and Stone says with such 
grand efiect as to cause great chagrin to the star, if it 
did not make him positively jealous. This is not 
strange to those who knew the nature of this talented 
but unfortunate actor, of whom a few words will be of 
interest: William Augustus Conway was born in 
London in 1789, and educated for the law,' but becom- 
ing stage-struck at the age of twenty, made his debut 
with such success as to secure an engagement under 
Macready, on the provincial circuit, and later at the 
Dublin theatre, where he played and fell in love with 
the famous Miss O'Neill, a passion which was not re- 
ciprocated. He then played with success at Covent 
Garden and the Haymarket, when, iii 1821, the publi- 
cation of some malignant criticism of a personal nature, 
written by Theodore Hook, so affected his morbid 
sensibility, that, although- standing at the highest point 
of popular favor, he threw up his engagement, and be- 
came a prompter. From this occupation so ill fitting 
his talents, he was induced to come to America, and 
appeared in New York about eighteen months previous 
to his Albany engagement, with the most gratifying 
success. His superiority as an ai^tor was the result 
of a superior education and the most careful and elab- 
orate study of character, and his personations evinced 
all the high-wrought finish and artistic elegance of the 
Kemble and Macready schools. He was, however. 


nervous and sensitive to the highest degree, keenly 
alive to the lightest touch of ridicule, and, unfortunately 
for his own peace of mind, possessed a most command- 
ing person over six feet in height. His horror at being 
obliged to play with others of less size, which rendered 
him, as he imagined, absurdly conspicuous, and his 
unfounded apprehension of conspiracies to keep him 
down in the profession, so preyed upon his mind that 
finally, being driven into a settled melancholy, he left 
the stage and studied theology, determined to be a 
niinister. It is said that he delivered several most elo- 
quent discourses, about this time, in New York. Early 
in 1828, while going by ship to Charleston, he threw 
himself overboard and was drowned, an act which ap- 
peared to have been long premeditated and was doubt- 
less the result of monomania. "His death," says Ire- 
land, " was a source of sincere regret to many devoted 
and well-tried, but perhaps misunderstood and unap- 
preciated, friends, whom his habitual reserve and 
secluded habits kept at a distance." 

Conway played, during his first Albany engagement, 
HaTnlet, Virginius, Lord Townley, Macbeth, Brutas, 
Bertram, Gato, Beverly, in " The Gamester," Petruchia, 
Coriolanus, Dxike Aranza, in "The Honeymoon," and 
William, Tell (in Knowles's drama, now first played 
here). He drew good houses and was especially 
, admired as Gato. His support was excellent, and Mrs. 
Gilfert's Lady Townley, in " The Provoked Husband," 
was warmly commended. Years before, when this 
lady was Miss Holman, Mrs. Siddons declared that she 
had seen no Lady Townley equal to her since the days 
of Miss Farren. 

The stock company was of such shining excellence 
at this time, that the coming or going of stars made 
very little difference. Edwin Forrest, Mr. and Mrs. 
George Barrett, Mrs. Gilfert, Miss Tilden, Hyatt, 
Blake, Young and Faulkner, made up such an organi- 
zation that the people came from miles around, on 
purpose to witness their performances. Appeals for 
benefits were always made to the citizens, not only of 


Albany, but of Troy, West Troy, Scbeaectady and 
Lansingburgh. Bach nigbt's bill was always a 
"double" one, that is, two plays were almost always 

The famous " Tom and Jerry " was revived and 
announced as being played for the first tisie in Albany, 
October 24th, but this was not so, our record showing 
its production some time previous, under Biven's man- 
agements. It was now played with the following cast : 
Corinthim Tom, Barrett ; Jerry Hawthorne, Blake ; 
Logic, Spiller; Jemmy Qreen, Hyatt; Dick Trifle, 
Bernard ; ^ate, Mrs. George Barrett ; Sue, Miss Tilden ; 
Jane, Mrs. Gray. 

There was much question as to the morality of this 
piece, and the truest friends of the drama were glad 
to have it shelved. William B. Wood, the veteran 
Philadelphia manager, in his Eecollections, has some 
curious reflections upon the play, urging, as a strong 
argument against it, the prominence it gives in its scenes 
of drunken riot and endless knock-downs, to the super- 
numerary actors, who, invested with unlimited power 
to make themselves conspicuous, and to engross the 
largest share of applause, became suddenly elevated 
to a false position, and the utter demoralization of this 
useful " arm of the service " soon became too painfully 

" The Forty Thieves " was frequently played, For- 
rest as Hassarac, and on Tuesday, November 1st, a 
grand transparency was displayed as part of the cele- 
bration, in honor of the completion of the Erie canal. 
On the day following, Wednesday, November 2d, the 
first boat from Buffalo, " The Seneca Chief," arrived, 
closely followed by the " Young Lion of the West." 
The city was wild with enthusiasm, appropriate exer- 
cises were held at the capitol, and an ode, written for 
the occasion by John Augustus Stone, of the theatre^ 
was sung, accompanied by Mr. Gilfert's orchestra.: A 
verse or two from the actor-author's effort will, perhaps, 
not be out of place : 


As the Western born wave and the seawaters blend, • 
Lean want flies the triumph he cannot repress, 

And green water nymphs from old Hudson ascend. 
To guide the young billow to Neptune's caress. 

Hark! the shout is upraised, " the waters combine!" 

From misty Niagara's bourne to the sea, 
And Liberty looks, from her radiant shrine, 

On her chosen dominion and bids it "be free." 

Ah, well, it 's a long day since there was much poetry 
in the canal business. 

On the 7th of November, Miss Kelly began an en- 
gagementas a star, playing Letitia Hardy in "The Belle's 
Stratagem ;" Beatrice in " Much Ado About Nothing ;" 
Lady Teazle in " The School for Scandal ;" Rosalinain 
" As you Like It ", (Forrest as Jacques) and several 
other like characters. She was rather masculine in 
appearance and her performance a trifle coarse. 

November 21st, Thomas Sowerby Hamblin began 
here his second engagement in this country, having 
played first (November 1st) at the Park theatre, New 
York. He was afterward, for many years, mariager of 
the Bowery theatre, and although sustaining many 
losses, left at his death (January 8th, 1853) over $100,- 
000. It is said of him that he' was much overratedas 
an actor, even in his best days. He was at this time 
twenty-five years old, and his personal appearance, 
with the exception of his lower limbs, was sufficient to 
command admiration, having. §,, fine carriage, a noble 
bearing and handsome head" and features. While 
strictly honorable, in his dealings with men, his career 
with women was a series of scandals which we do not 
care to chronicle. He was married four times. He: 
opened here in Hamlet and also played BoUa, Pierre^ 
Madeih and Othello, being supported by the full strength 
of the stock company, including Forrest, who played'. 
Jaffier, Macduff and lagn, but the houses were light 

As we have shown, Forrest though scarce twenty,^ 
had attracted much attention by his spirited acting.- 
He was, however, at this time, "one of the boys," and! 
there are those still living who remember the "larks"" 
with which he helped pass away the time in the quiet 



old city. Stone has embalmed two or three incidents 
-of this kind. One night Forrest and his companions, 
"while making t"he streets ring with their hilarity, were 
anet near what is now the site of the new- government 
Tbuilding, by a party of " leather-heads,'' as the old time 
"Watchmen were ealled — who were about to "take them 
in." Forrest leaped behind an iron railing surrounding 
a small space in front of the old bank building, that 
stood there, and began to spout Shakspeare with such 
electric efEect that the watchmen were all agog to hear 
him. One passage lollowfed another, and meantime 
the rest of the noisy crowd stole away, one by one, 
leaving the young actor alone with the guardians of the 
night, who, on seeing the joke, good-naturedly let him 

Another time he was not so lucky, and found quar- 
ters for the night in 'the Howard street jail (where now 
stands the Albany hospital). In the morning he was 
brought before Squire John 0. Cole, who dischai-ged 
him, but just as he was leaving the office, the justice 
struck an attitude, and addressing the actor in the 
words of Othello, exclainied 

— what's the matter 
That you unlace your reputation thus, 
And spend your rich opinion for the name 
Of a night brawler? Give me answer to it! 

This rebuke, so apt and timely, no doubt did the 
boy more good than a half-hour's sermon or ten days 
in jail. Forrest also, according to Eev. Mr. Alger, at 
tbis time rebuked his fellow actors for their passion 
for gaming. It appears that he had played games of 
chance in New Orleans, and among his friends there 
was Gaszonac, who stood at the head of the gambling 
profession and who had initiated him pretty thoroughly 
into the secrets of the art. The company used often 
to stay at the Pearl street theatre after the play and 
engage in games of chance. Forrest joined them seve- 
ral times, but feeling that the gambling spirit was 
gaining control of him, refused to do so any more. 
3ut on a certain evening they urged him so strongly 


that he consented — determined to give them a lesson. 
He said, reports his clerical biographer, it was a base 
business, full of hishonest acts, by -which all Taut the- 
sharpest adepts could be cheated. Thej maintained 
that there were among them neither decoys nor dupes,, 
and they challenged fraud. They played all nighty 
and Forrest at last had won every cent they had with 
them. He thtfn rose to his feet and denounced the* 
habit of gaming for profit, as pernicious in the extreme. 
He recited some examples of the horrors he had known 
to result from it. He said it demoralized the characters.' 
of those who practiced it, and producing nothing, was 
a robbery, stealing the time, thought and feeling, which 
might so much better be devoted to something useful. 
With these words he swept the implements of play into- 
the fire, strewed the money he had won upon the floor^ 
left the room, and went home in the gray light of the- 
morning, and never gambled again from that hour unto 
the day of his death. 

Mr. Alger also says of him, at this time : " He took 
great pains to perfect his physical devblopment, exer- 
cising his voice in declamation, practicing gestures,, 
and every night and morning, taking a thorough sponge- 
bath, followed by vigorous friction with coarse towels. 
Immediately after his morning ablutions, he always, 
devoted a half-hour to gymnastics — using dumb-bells, 
springing, attitudinizing and walking two or three 
times about the room on his hands. One of the most 
distinguished philosophical writers of our country, 
who was a native of Albany, and at that time a par- 
ticular friend of Forrest, has recently been heard to 
describe, with great animation, the pleasure he used to 
take in visiting the actor at this early hour of the 
morning, to see him go through his gymnastic perform- 
ances. The metaphysician said he admired the enor- 
mous strength displayed by the player, and applaudecl 
his fidelity to the conditions for preserving and increas- 
ing it, though, for his own part, he could never bring 
himself to do any thing of the kind." 




The Elder Kean at the South Pearl Street Theatre. 

" Thou art the sun's bright child! 

The genius that irradiates thy mind 

Caught all its purity and light from Heaven. 

Thine is the task with mastery most perfect, 

To bind the passions captive in thy train ! 

Each crystal tear, that slumbers in the depth 

Of feeling's fountain, doth obey thy call! 

There's not a joy or sorrow mortals prove. 

Or passion to humanity allied, 

But tribute of allegiance owes to thee. 

The shrine thou worshlpest is Nature's self — 

The only altar genius deigns to seek.- 

Thine offering — a bold and burning mind. 

Whose impulses guide thee to the realms of famS, 

"Where crowned with well earned laurels, all thine own, 

I herald thee to immortality." 

[Byron on Edmund Kean. 

The next great event, was the engagement of 
Edmund Kean, who opened Monday, December 5th, as 
Richard III. Thts marvelous actor was now about 
forty years old, and already past his best estate, but 
still possessed of powers that were simply wonderful. 
Who was his father, when he was born, and where 
that event took place, are questions upon which there 
is still dispute. He was never certain even who his 
mother was ; but she was one of two actresses. 
Abandoned in infancy, he was, at three years of age, 
a cupid in the ballet at the London opera house, and 
at five, an imp in the witch scene in "Macbeth." He 
was weak and sickly, arid his legs weie only saved 
from deformity by the use of irons. He led a most 


wretched life. He grew up on the stage ; was a harle- 
quin, a contortionist, a tight-rope dancer, and played 
any thing and every thing. He was always of dimin- 
utive stature. Once, when he was playing Alexander 
the Great, he was taunted by officers in a stage-box,, 
who called him "Alexander the Little." "Yes," was 
his noted reply, given with a look that fairly appalled 
them, " but with a great soul ! " At last, after a most 
pitiful life as a strolling player, on the 26th of Janu- 
ary, 1814, he appeared at Drury Lane as Shylock, and 
with one bound leaped to the highest pinnacle of suc- 
cess. At the second performance, the theatre over- 
flowed for the first time in months. He became the 
lion of the day. Poets, statesmen and nobles crowded 
his dressing-room and invited him to be their guest. 
Lord Byjpn sent him presents and invited him to 
dinners. For several years he reigned the undisputed 
monarch of the English stage, the fire of genius and 
the seemingly unstudied impulses of nature lending a 
charm to his acting, that swept Dhe formal attitudes 
and stilted declamation of the Kemble school into 
oblivion. Yet it is a mistake to suppose that these 
efforts wfere not the result of preparation. It is related 
of him, that when studying Maturin's Bertram, he 
shut himself up for two days to study the one line : 

"Bertram has kissed thy child." 

But Kean could not bear prosperity. Habits of 
dissipation, early contracted, wrought out their inevit- 
able ruin. He seemed to prefer low society, and would 
quit the company of Lord Byron to consort with 
pugilists ! 

He first visited America in 1820, playing in Ifew 
York and Boston with immense success. In the latter 
city, in particular, the Kean fever raged violently^ 
When he returned, however, in the summer of 1821,.. 
to play a second engagement, the excitement had died^ 
away, and the weather being warm, his first house was; 
small and the third appearing likely to;, be miichj 
smaller, he refused to appear and left the theatre. 


This was construed as a flagrant insult, and exasper- 
ated the Bostonians to a high pitch of indignation. 
Shortly after, he returned to England, taking with him 
the toe-bone of Greorge Frederick Cooke, whose remains 
he disinterred, and marked the place of their later 
"deposit with a memorial stone, still to be seen in St. 
IPaul's churchyard, in New York. This toe-bone, he 
-.made all his visitors kiss, as a relic of the greatest 
:actor that ever lived, till Mrs. Kean, disgusted, threw 
it away, whereupon her husband wept and bemoaned 
as if he had lost a fortune. 

Soon after occurred l],is most shameful and disgi'ace- 
ful liaison with the wife of Alderman Gox, followed 
by the suit of the injured husband, who recovered a 
verdict of £800 damages. The publicity of the trial 
ruined Kean as a man and an actor. He dar-ed, how- 
ever, to brave public censu'-e, by attempting to play, 
but was greeted with a storm of disapprobation. In 
a measure, he reinstated himself, but soon after made 
his second visit to America, and three weeks previous 
to his appearance in Albany, played Richard (Novem- 
ber I4th), at the Park theatre, in New York. The 
insult to the Boston audience four years previous, was 
iaken up by a party from that city, and a disgraceful' 
riot ensued. The play went forward only in dumb 
■show. Obscene missiles were thrown upon the stage. 
Kean was tumultuously hissed all the time, and the 
wildest disorder prevailed, and yet it is said of the 
2,000 persons in the house, three-fourths were in favor 
of the actor. His second night, there was less opposi- 
tion, and the remainder of his engagement was but a 
repetition of his earlier triumphs. From New York, 
lie came direct to Albany. 

Even in these later days, when advertising has been 
reduced to a science, it is seldom that an attraction is 
so thoroughly " worked up." The news that the great 
actor was to play in Albany, spread like wildfire 
throughout the surrounding country, and towards 
tiight on Monday, December 5th, people poured into 
ihe city, as they have in later yeiars to a circus. Before 


six o'clock, every nook and corner in the theatre were 
filled, and people who arrived after that hour from 
Lansingburgh, Waterford, Schenectady and Sehaghti- 
coke, were literally unable, in any manner, to force their 
way into the building. The bill was " Eichard," cast as 
follows : Richard, Kean ; King Henry, Stone ; Prince of 
Wales, Mrs. Robertson ; Duke of York, Master Arthur ; 
Richmond, Edwin Forrest ; Elizabeth, Mrs. Stone ; Lady 
Anne, Miss Tilden ; Duchess of York, Mrs. BarfetL 

There was some apprehension of a disturbance. 
Kean was himself fearful before going on, and, it is 
said, was as pale as a ghost. When, however, instead 
of the dreaded hisses, he was greeted with prolonged 
applause, the reaction was too much for him, and it 
was some moments before he could speak. Then 
recovering himself, he played with all his force and 
intensity, and probably that night there was better 
acting in Albany than there had ever been before or 
since. He was called before the curtain and in a few 
words acknowledged his thanks. Says The Advertiser : 

"It is out of our power to describe to our readers the 
electrical influence which this man's powers produce on 
the audience. It is infinitely superior to any thing we 
ever saw." 

The Albany writer thus failing to do the subject 
justice, we must look elsewhere. The late George 
Henry Lewes, one of the best of modern theatrical 
critics, while admitting that Kean had many and seri- 
ous defects ; that his miming power was singularly 
limited in its range ; that he was tricky and flashy in 
style ; and that he had little power of elocution, except 
when sustained by strong emotion, still says that, meas- 
uring him by his strongest parts, Kean was incompar- 
ably the greatest actor of his time. He would merely 
gabble over long passages to reach some point, which 
would electrify every soul in the audience. Cole- 
ridge's remark, that seeing Kean act was reading Shake- 
speare by flashes of lightning, is well known. " He 
had no gaiety," says Lewes; "he could not laugh, he 


bad no playfulness that was not as the playfulness of 
a panther, showing her claws every moment. Of this 
kind was the gaiety of his Richard III. Who can ever 
forget the exquisite grace with which he leaned against 
tlie side scene while Anne was railing at him, and the 
chuckling mirth of his ' Poor fool ! what pains she takes 
to damn herself !' It was thoroughly feline — ^terrible, 

On Wednesday, December 7th, "Othello" was played, 
with the following cast : Othello, Kean ; logo, Forrest ; 
Desdemona, Mrs. Gilfert ; Emilia, Mrs. Stone. 

Othello, all admit, was Kean's masterpiece, although 
Lewes says, with the exception of occasional flashes, 
the first and second acts were irritating and disappoint- 
ing — arresting the mind, but not satisfying it. " From 
the third act onward, all was wrought out with a mas- 
tery over the resources of expression such as has been 
seldom approached. In the sucpessive unfolding of 
these great scenes, he represented, with incomparable 
effect, the lion-like fury, the- deep and haggard pathos, 
the forlorn sense of desolation, alternating with gusts 
of stormy cries for vengeance, the misgivings and sud- 
den reassurances, the calm and deadly resolution of one 
not easily moved, but who, being moved, was stirred 
to the very depths." Says Alger, writing of this 
engagement: "There must, from all accounts, have 
been something supernaturally sweet and sorrowful, 
an unearthly intensity of plaintive and majestic pathos, 
in the manner in which Kean delivered the 'Farewell.' 
The critics, Hazlitt, Proctor, Lamb, and the rest, all 
agree in this. They say ' the mournful melody of his 
voice came over the spirit like the desolate moaning of 
the blast that precedes the thunder storm.' It was like 
'the hollow and musical murmur of the midnight sea 
when the tempest has raved itself to rest' His ' tones 
sunk into the soul like the sighing of the breeze among 
the strings of the ^olian harp, or through the branches 
of a cypress grove.' His voice 'struck on the heart 
like the swelling of some divine music laden with the 
sound of years of departed happiness.' The retrospect 


of triumphant exultation, the lingering sense of delight, 
the big shocks of sudden agony, and the slow, blank 
despair, breathed in a voice elastic and tremulous with 
vital passion, and set off with a by -play of exquisitely 
artistic realism, made up a whole of melancholy and over- 
whelming power never equalled. It was an anthem — a 
charge and a dirgje. Forrest was inexpressibly delighted 
and thrilled by it, and he did not fail, to his dying day, 
to speak of it with, rapturous admiration." 

As will be seen by the cast, young Forrest played 
second to Kean. He had seen him play before in 
Philadelphia, and admired him greatly. Now, for a 
few nights, he was associated with him and with the 
happiest results. About noon of the day they were 
to act together, as Kean did not come to the rehearsal, 
Forrest called at his hotel and sent word to him that 
the young man who was to play Richmond^ lago, etc., 
wished a brief interview, to receive any necessary 
directions. Kean received him with great kindness, 
and in answer to a question about the business of the 
play, Said : " My boy, T do not care how you come on 
or go off, if, while we are On the stage, you always 
keep in front of me, and let not your attention wander 
from me." . He had not yet breakfasted, and the 
appearance both of his person and of the room showed 
signs of a night of debauch. A rosewood piano was 
in the room, covered with the sticky rings from glasses 
used the night before. "Have you ever heard me 
sing?" Forrest told him he had, in "Tom Tug." 
Kean expressed pleasure at that, and then said, " you 
shall hear me sing my favorite piece." Sitting down 
at the piano, in his dressing gown, his face very pale, 
his hair floating in confused masses, and his eyes full 
of unutterable'pathos, he sang, with mournful sweet- 
ness, Tom Moore's song, " Farewell, but whenever jqtx 
welcome the hour," to the wonder and delight of his 
young auditor. 

Forrest, left to his own direction as to playing lago, 
brought out his own idea of the character. At that 
time, the traditional lago, was a sullen, sombre scoun- 


drel, full of gloom, and with villainy sticking out all 

over him — any thing but the seemingly "honest" 

ancient, Shakspeare created. Forrest made him a gay, 

dashing fellow, much like Mr. J. W. Albaugh's fine 

conception of the part. One point strictly origina,!, 

Forrest made, which powerfully affected Kean. lago, 

while working insidiously on the suspicions of Othello, 

says to him : 

"Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio; 
Wear your eye thus, not jealous, — nor secure." 

All these words, except the last two, Forrest uttered 
in a frank and" easy fashion ; but suddenly, as if the 
Intensity of his under knowledge of evil had automat- 
ically broken through the good-natured part he was 
playing on the surface, and betrayed his secret in spite 
of his will, he spoke the words, " nor secure," in a 
husky tone, sliding down from a high, pitch and end- 
ing in a whispered, horror. The fearful suggestiveness 
of this, produced from Kean a reaction so truly artis- 
tic and tremendous, that the whole house was electrified. 
As they met in the dressing-room, Kean said, excitedly : 

" In the name of God, boy, where did you get that? " 

"It is something of my own," Forrest modestly 

"Well," said Kean, "everybody who speaks the 
part hereafter, must do it just so." 

So Mr. Alger tells the story. Another writer says 
he has heard Forrest, himself, relate the anecdote 
much more characteristically. He said that his 
delivery of these lines was rewarded with a terrific 
round of applause, and when he went off the stage, 
he said to the stage-manager, with pardonable pride : 
"Did you hear that?" "Yes," was the reply; "but 

did you see Eean's face? " " By , sir," concluded 

Forrest, "it was Kean's marvelous look, not my elocu- 
tion, that they were applauding." At a public dinner, 
in Philadelphia, a short time afterward, Kean said : 
" I have met one actor in this country, a young man 
nanied Edwin Forrest, who gave proofs of a decided 
genius for his profession, and will, I believe, rise to 


great eminence. " This having been reported to Forrest, 
he enrolled Kean among his private idols and worshiped 
Bim, to the exclusion of every other great actor, until 
death. We do not learn that they ever played together, 
except during this Albany engagement. Kean's other 
personations were as follows : Friday, December 9th, 
King Lear ; Saturday, December 10th, Sh/yhck; Mon- 
day, December 12tli, Sir Giles, in " A New Way to 
Pay Old Debts ; " Wednesday^ December 14th, Richard, 
for the second time; Friday, December 16th, for his 
benefit, Brutus. 

As before stated, it was as Shyhck, that Kean first 
won success in London. In it, he threw away, with the 
conventional red wig, a score of stage traditions, but 
from the first moment, impressed the audience, Doug- 
las Jerrold used to say, "like a chapter of Grenesis." 
Dr. Dpran thought his Sir Giles stood pre-eminent for 
its perfectness, from the first words to the last convul- 
sive breath drawn by him, in that famous one scene of 
the fifth act, in which, in his terrible intensity, he once 
made so experienced an actress as Mrs. Glover faint 
away, from emotion. Dr. Doran says : " In this 
character, all the qualities of Kean's voice came out 
to wonderful purpose, especially in the scene where 
Lmel asks him : 

Are you not moved with the sad imprecations 
And curses of whole families made wretched 
By your sinister practices? 

To which Sir Giles replies : 

Yes! as rocks are 

When foaming billows split themselves against 

Their flinty ribs; or as the moon is moved 

When wolves, with hunger pin'd, howl at her brightness. 

I seem still to hear the words and the voice, as I pen 
this passage; now composed, now grand as the foamy 
billows ; so flute-like on the word ' moon,' creating a 
scene with the sound, and anon sharp, harsh, fierce in 
the last line, with a look upward from those matshless 
eyes, that rendered the troop visible and their howl 
perceptible to the ear ; the whole serenity of the man 


and the solidity of his temper being less illustrated, 
by the assurance in the succeeding words, than by the 
exquisite music in the tone with which he uttered the 
word ' brightness.' " 

As will readily be believed, this engagement was 
highly successful, and especially gratifying to the great 
actor, now struggling desperately against his fate. He 
wrote as follows : 

Albany, New York, December 12th, 1825. 
I am delighted with this city ; they have received me 
with enthusiasm ; the most fashionable and moral have 
attended the theatre with an avidity exceeding my most 
sanguine expectations. 

At Boston, however, where he tried to play Decem- 
ber 21st, following, he was driven from the stage and 
theatre, a mob filled the building, and although the riot 
act was read twice, the theatre was damaged to the 
extent of about $800. Kean never dared show his 
head there again. He wrote several most abject apol- 
ogies, but he was a broken-down. man. He appeared 
for the last time, in America, December 6th, 1826, at 
the Park in New York. On returning to England, he 
found his popularity had vanished. In 1833, after a 
lengthened retirement, he appeared in Othello, with his 
son Charles as lago. There had been a quarrql between 
them, and this was the reconciliation. There was great 
excitement; the house was crammed. Kean went 
through the part, "dying as he went," until he came to 
the "Farewell" and the strangely appropriate words 
"Othello's occupation's gone," when he gasped for 
breath, and fell into his son's arms, moaning: "I am 
dying — speak to, them for me!" The curtain went 
'down; he was carried home, and in a few weeks was a 
corpse, at the age of forty-six. " His memory," says 
Ireland, " stands like a blasted monument, to warn thfe 
unwary of the path in which he fell." 




The South Ptarl Street Theatre — The North PeaH Street 

TTTHE next star was Hdbert Oampbell-Maywoodj one 
-^ of the heaviest of tl-ag^dians. Previous to his 
appearance, hoWever, the stock appeared in Charles P. 
Clinch's dramatization of Cooper's " Spy," which was 
said to have been played over sixty times in Kew 
York. Forrest played Hm'vey Birch December 21st, 
MaywOod made his Albany debut as Michael Ducas in 
" Adelgitha," and followed with several other charac- 
ters, including (January 2d, 1826) Sir Pertinax McSyco- 
phant m "The Man of the World," then said to have 
been played for the first time in Albany. May wood 
was now thirty-six years old.- He was an excellent 
general actor, and particularly good in Scottish charac- 
ters, like the one last mentioned. He became, after- 
ward, managet of the Chestuut street theatre, Philadel- 
phia, and was suchfor eight years. In 1828^ he married 
Mrs. H. A. Williania Her, daughter, " La Petite 
Augusta^" by a former husband, Mr. May wood brought 
o&t at the age of tweilve, as a danseuse, and at that age- 
she challenged compaiisoii, in grace and brilliancy, with 
any artist in her line America ever produced. In order 
to give her every possible advantage, he took her to 
Paris and gave her every opportunity, but before she 
had scarcely entered her teens, to his great chagrin and 
disappointment,she eloped with a worthless Frenchman, 
whom she deserted in less than two years. She became 


very celebrated as a dancer, on the continent, and 
amassed a fortune. It was said she had a villa on 
Lake Conao, worth half a million dollars. After things 
went wrong with Maywood, he found for a while an 
asylum with this step-daughter, for whom he had done 
so much, but at length she turned him off, and in 1855 
lie arrived in New York, a beggar. He finally died at 
the Marshall Infirmary, in Troy, of paralysis, Novem- 
ber 27th, 1856, aged sixty-six. 

The engagement of Thomas Apthorpe Cooper, which 
began February 2d, leads us to speak next of him. He 
was now about fifty years old, and, although born in 
London, he had always been considered an American 
actor, having come to this country at the age of twenty, 
and spending his life here. As' such; he was our first 
great representative of the histrionic art. For thirty 
years and more he was a paramount favorite, holding 
his own even against Greorge Frederick Cooke, who, 
by the way, he brought to this country. "It was not 
till old age and the successive arrivals of Kean, Booth 
and Maoready, that Cooper began to suffer in the esti- 
mation of the public as an actor. He first- appewred in 
the United States at Philadelphia, under Wignell's man- 
agement, December 9th, 1796. For several years he 
was a manager of the Park theatre, in New York, and 
in 1802 took to starring. He received much money, 
but spent it lavishly. He lived in sumptuous style m 
New York, and no finer equipage rolled through Broad- 
way than that of this favorite actor. His society was 
eagerly soughtfor in the best circles, and by his second 
marriage in 1812, with the most beautiful and brilliant 
belle of New York city' (the " Sophia Sparkle " of Irv- 
■ ing's Salmagundi), Miss' Mary -Fairlie, daughter of the 
celebrated wit. Major James^^Fairlie, ah<.l grand daughter 
of Governor Eobert Yates,' Mr. Cooper became allied 
to some of the most eminent families in the state. Not 
only was he extravagant, but his passion for gaming 
dissipated large sums of money. It is said one after- 
noon, while standing in Broadway with a gentleman, 
he noticed a load of hay approaching. "I will bet you," 


said Cooper, " the value of my benefit to-night, against 
an equal sum,tliatl willpuU the longest wisp of hay from 
this load." " Done," said his friend. The wisps were 
pulled and Cooper lost " Ah !" he remarked, with the 
greatest nonchalance, " I've lost two hours' acting." The 
benefit netted the winner upwards of $1,200. Such 
freaks helped to the final disappearance of all his proper- 
ty, and then benefits were given for him and his family 
in all the large cities. That at the Bowery theatre, No- 
vember 7th, 1833, yielded in gross $4,500, the largest 
sum then ever received for a single night's performance 
in America. In 1834, he took a benefit, when his 
daughter, Priscilla Cooper,, made her first appearance. 
The play was Knowles's " Virginias," and the fact that 
a daughter, more in hopes of affording a support to an 
aged parent, than from any predilections for the stage, 
was to appear, attracted a great house. Duringthe first 
and second scenes there was an anxiety to behold the 
young daughter. This was heightened in a wonderful 
degree when Virginius (Cooper) said : 
" Send her to me, Servia," — 

and every heart beat when Yirgirda(^\?& Cooper) cam.e 

tripping in and stood before her real fathei', saying : , 

" Well, father, what's your will ?" 

The whole house burst forth in one tumultuous shout 
of appi'obation. It was several moments before 
Virginius could reply, for both father and daughter 
were bathed in tears. This lady afterwards married 
Mr. Eobert Tyler, and as daughter-in-law of the presi- 
dent, did the honors of the White House. Through 
her influence, her old fathei: was provided with a situa- 
tion in the New York custom house. Says Ireland : 
"A portly old gentleman, with rubicund face and 
silvery hair; clothed in summer in an entire suit of 
white, with an eye-glass hanging jauntily from his 
neck, and a certain indescribable air of high breeding 
about him, was, for several years, fr.eque(ntly observed 
in the neighborhood of Wall street, by many, who 
little imagined that in his person was once concentrated 


all the matohless elegance of the tragedian Cooper. 
He died at his country residence, Bristol, Pennsylvania, 
April 21st, 1849, aged nearly seventy-three." 

" Mr. Cooper, in his prime," says a writer, " possessed 
from nature, the primary accomplishments of a pleas- 
ing actor ; a fine person, a voice pf great compass, of 
most meloi^ious silver tone and susceptible of the 
greatest variety of modulation ; an eye of the most 
wonderful expression, and his whole face expressive, 
at his will, of the deepest terror, or the most exalted 
complacency, the dii-est revenge or the softest pity. 
His form, in anger, was that of a demon ; his smile, in 
affability, that of an angel." 

During Ooopjer's engagement, at this time, he played 
Macbeth, Beverly, Damon, Virginius, Leon (in "Eule a 
Wife and Have a Wife"), and for .his benefit, was 
announced for the Duke Aranza and PetruehiQ, but was 
unable to appear, through illness. 

Thus far, the theatre had been well patronized, 
although the heavy rental ■ demanded by the stock- 
holders and the expense of so strqnga company, pre- 
vented Managei; Gilfert from making much money. 
Now, however, another, and what was destined to be 
a highly popular place of amusement, divided the atten- 
tion of the public. This was the New Circus, which 
opened its doors February 14th, 1826, under the man- 
agement of Samuel B. Pai'sons, who had formerly had 
a show of the same kind on State street, near the capi- 
tol. This new establishiment was oii North Pearl 
street, on the ground now occupied by the Garretsein 
Station Methodist Episcopal church. It was one of 
the most spacious (66 by 111 feet) and well-appointed 
amphitheatres in the Union, and is said to have cost, 
including horses, $22,000. The stage and ring ^'ere 
very large, and the rear of the building allowed of, an 
opening, from the back of the stage into a garden, over 
a hundred feet in depth, thus admitting of no end of 
display and processions in such pieces as " The Cata- 
ract of the Ganges," "Tekeli," "Blue Beard," etc. 
The establishment opened auspiciously, with West 

PiiA.YE'SB 'OF A CEiSTTUaT. 101 

as ri'nig-mast&f and Eenyon as stage-mauage'r. At the 
close of the -Equestrian perJbrmances, " The Mshman 
in London," was played, with, the following cast : 
Captain Seymour, G. Eberle ; Mr. Colooney, Hamilton ; 
Mr. Frcfsl, Eay ; Oyirion, Lamb; Belaney, Talbot; 
Edward, Kenyoin ; -Louisa, Ml's. Halch ; Caroline, Mrs. 
Kopel' ; Cuffa, Mrg. Lanab. 

Admission '-^v-'as fifty and seveftty-'five 'cents. This 
enterprisfe, while it 'afforded gl-eat entertainment to 
miany,*had a deleterious effect upon the legitimate 
diunm, and, 'Vs'-as on& of the causes ^hich led to its 
speedy failure in Albany. ^Plie city was clearly not 
large enough td support two such expensive places of 
amusement, and tlie older enterprise was, naturally, 
•the first to suffer, the novelty of the ring, cheaper 
rates of admission, and the sensational nature of the 
performances, ^11 acting strongly against Mr. Glilfert 
and his corps of artists. We have now, therefore, to 
chi'oniclethe speedy decadence of the theatre. 

The next stars that'Oame, were Mr. and Mrs. Barnes, 
the latter -appearing February' 17th, in the beautiful 
play of '-'Isabella, or the Fatal Marriage;" Forrest 
supporting het as Biov, and Young as Carlos. Few 
actresses have been so deserving, fewer still so fortu- 
nate as Mrs. Barties. Slie at on'ce gained the affections 
of her audience, and for twenty-five years, was a 
supreme favorite. -In person, she was under. middle 
size, but fin'ely formed. Her features, though small, 
were eminently beautiful, and at perfect command, 
while her face was lighted up with eloquent and 
expressive dark eyes. As a tragic actress, none of her 
contemporaries, with the exception of Mrs. Duff and 
Fanny "Kehible, excelled her, while as Juliet and 
Euadne, she was the peer of any. She played high 
comedy with great finish, and her roguish boys were 
perfectly bewitching. She was highly respected in 
private life, and when she bade farewell to the stage, 
November 2d, 1841, it was to retire upon a well-earned 
competence. She died of paralysis, August 26th, 


1864, aged eighty.-four, anotber example of the Ion-, 
gevity of professionals. Her daughter, Charlotte, mar- 
ried Mr. Edmund S. Conner. 

On the 18th, Mr. John Barnes appeared as Billy 
LackdLcLay and Orach, and, of course, set the whole 
town in a roar. Probably no comedian we have ever 
had. has been the cause of more merriment than old 
Jack ; his comical phiz alone being enough always to 
shake the sides of the entire audience. He was often 
extravagant, and sometimes vulgar, but always a 
favorite. He was long at the Park theatre, then starred 
it, with profit, and in 1841, died of a carbuncle on his 
nose, at the age of sixty. During the Barnes engage- 
ment, " Sweethearts and Wives," " School for Scandal," 
" The Eivals," " Sprigs of Laurel," " Wandering Boys," 
etc., were played. 

About thfs.time, "The Forest of Bundy" was 
brought out (Forrest as Macaire), and other melodramas 
followed, such as "Timour, the Tartar," "The Wood 
Demon," and the like. March 5d, Forrest took his 
first benefit, playing; <SiV Edward, in " The Iron Chest," 
and Robert Rafter, in " Too Late for Dinner." On the 
13th of March, for Foung's benefit, the same accommo- 
dating boy recitfd Goldsmith's epilogue, in the charac- 
ter of a harlequin, and closed by leaping through a 
barrel of fire, singeing off his eyebrows as he did so! 
About this time, too, for a wager, he performed at the 
circus, for the clown's (Bill Gates) benefit, in a stilt- 
vaulting act, eliciting shouts of laughter and applause 
from those who. knew it was "Ned." 

Few attended -the theatre now, and even so bright a 
star as Conway, who played a second engagement, 
failed to attract — though some sterling plays were 
presented. " King John " wa,s played for the first 
time, Conway as the King, Forrest as Falconhridge and 
Mrs. Gilfert as Lady Constance. " Henry VIII." was 
cast with Conway as Wolsey, Young as Hmry VIII., 
Forrest as Buckingham, Barrett as Cromwell, Mrs. Gil- 
fert as Queen Gatliirine, and Mrs. George Barrett as 
Anne Bullen. "Katharine and Petruchio" was also 


■ played tte same night. It was for .Conway's benefit, 
and it was such a Shakspearean revival as has not 
often been seen in Albany. It was during this engage- 
ment that Conway, who was a strict Episcopalian, 
refused to play on Good Friday, and although the 
" paper " was up and every thing ready, the perform- 
ance had to be postponed. 

The farewell benefits now began, and were, many of 
them, poorly attended. To show to what a strait even 
the best actors were reduced to fill the house, it may 
be noticed that for Forrest's farewell benefit, Hyatt, the 
comedian, played Richard! Forrest supporting him 
a.B Buckingham! The season, having proved disastrous, 
closed May 2d, Grilfert being unable to pay his com- 
pany, many of whom were left destitute. Forrest 
himself was forced to leave his wardrobe at his board- 
ing-house, as security for arrearages, when he went to 
New York. As before stated, a majority of the com- 
pany were j-e-engaged by Gilfert, when he opened the 
Bowery, October 23d, 1826. 

George Barrett, the stage manager, next opened the 
theatre for a few nights, but with unsatisfactory results. 
The old favorite, Mrs. Pughes, played an engagement, 
but it was unsuccessful in attracting, although her great 
merits were admitted by all. The notice she received 
from The Advertiser^ for her benefit night, is worth pre- 
serving as a model : 

Mrs. Hughes takes her benefit at the theatre to-night. 
It would be an insult to the generous enthusiasm of her 
numerous admirers, to say another word on the subject. 

We are glad to know that this performance, at least, 
was well attended, though, as a general thing, people 
were surfeited with theatricals. The circus kept going 
with "Joan of Arc," "El Hyder," "Ali Pacha," 
" Marmion," etc., and finally closed the season with 
" The Cataract of the Ganges," for which the stage had 
been lengthened forty feet ; real water was introduced, 
and great attention paid to scenery. Mrs. Cooke rode 
the celebrated horse " "White Surrey" up the preiiipice 


under the spray, amid enthusiasm whicli v/as almost 

The next man to attempt to manage the Pearl street 
theatre was Heniy Wallack (brother of James), of 
whom mention was made while playing as a star. He 
opened July 24th, with Colrnan's "Poor Grentlem^n," 
cast as follows: Lieutenant WotHkinglon^ Mr. Scott; 
Eir Bohert Bramble, Herbert ; Fred Bramble, Wallack ; 
Dr. Ollapod, Stone ; Humphrey Dobbin, Durang ; Sir 
Charles Cropland, Stevenson •; Corporal Foss, Wray ; 
Farmer Harrowby, Turnbull ; Stephen Harroicby, Simp- 
son; Fafe/, Lane; Emily Worthington, Mrs. Wallack; 
Lucretia McTab, Miss Placide; Dame Harrowby, Mrs. 
Stevenson ; Mary, Mts. LaCombe. 

A.lso, "Children in the Wood," cast as follows: 
Sir Rowland, Mr. Scott ; Apathy, Stone ; Walter, Wal- 
lack ; Gabriel, Placide ; Lord A Iford, Stevenson ; Oliver, 
Durang; i?ii/^fl77s, Lane and King ; >&rya!zA Douglass; 
Josephine, Mrs. Wallack ; Helen. Mrs. LaColnbe ; Win- 
nefred. Miss Turnbull ; Boy, E. Turnbull ; Qirl, 0. 

This, with a -few additions, was substantially the 
same company which had been playing from March 
•26th to July I7th, at the Chatham theatre,' in New 
York, iand which returned there October 9th. James 
M. Scott was a serious actor, and afterwards became 
famous in nautical characters. Hfe died in NeW York, 
March 1st, 1846. Thomas Placide was a brother of 
Henry, but by no means as good an actor. Herbert 
was a comic old man ; died in Boston, in 1835.- Mrs. 
Wallack, wife of the manager, was a very beautiful 
woman. Her maiden name was Jones ; she had been 
in the ballet and had, but recently, come out as a very 
pleasing comic actress. Miss Jane Placide afterwards 
became highly distinguished in the south, as a trage- 
dienne, but died in the height of her pbpukfity. Miss 
Turnbull Was, afterwards,- well knowii here. "Mrs. 
LaCombe married the eccentric Andrew Jackson 
Allen. Wallack, the manager, appeared with the 
company for the first few nights and then went off on 


a pleasure tour, leaving the theatre iji charge of his 
assistants. He was advertised to appear August 7th, 
a.s Rolla, in "Pizarro," but on receiving a report of 
the poor business during his absence, became disgusted 
with Albany and refused to play. There was no- per- 
formance and thus ended the season, Both theatre 
and circHS were now closed till winter, 

Mr, Lement, a hotel keeper, whose house was on 
the south side of State street, just east of Pearl, now 
obtained a lease of the theatre, and, at once, sab-let it 
to Mr. C. W, Sandford, proprietor of the Jjafayette 
theatre and circus, in New York, Sandford had also 
acquired a lease of the circus building on North Pearl 
street, and keeping that closed, opened the theatre 
December 13th, with "Pizarro" and "The Liar," the 
house being crowded. The company included Bur- 
roughs, as stage-manager; Thompson, Thayer, Forbes, 
Mr. and Mrs. Fisher and daughter, Keaten, Collins, 
Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Walstein, Wilson, Jenkins, Petrie, 
Mrs. G-qdey, Mrs. Sandford, D. and H. Eberle, Miss 
Eberle, Dinneford and others. Qf this company, it is 
not necessary to speak at length. Mrs. Sandford, wife 
of the manager, was born Miss Lattimer, and had been 
a charming vocalist Two days before Mr. Holman's 
(father of Mi's. Grilfert) death, she married him, and 
aftervyard, Mr. Isaac Star Clason, and finally, Mr. Sand^ 
ford. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Fisher and their daughters, 
Oceana and Alexina, were well known to the stag®, 
especially the latter. The Eberles were also a well- 
known theatrical family. David and Harry, who 
played here at this time, were brothers of Charles 
Eberle, who perished in the burning of the steamer 
Lexington, on Long Island Sound, 1842, and who was 
the father of the popular old man, Mr. E. A. Eberle, 
late of the Leland opera house. 

Prices of admission were fluted at $1, 50 and 25 
cents, at which the public grumbled considerably. 
The company, however, gave good satisfaction, and 
stars followed one another, in quick succession, begins 
ning with Keene, the vocalist. Severa,! musical pieces 


were produced, including " Olari," Payne's opera, in 
which " Home^ Sweet Home" occurs. On Christmas 
day, Booth appeared as Sir Qiks, and followed it with 
other characters, in which he had previously appeared 
here. January 8th, 1827, Edwin Forrest returned as 
a star, and was warmly welcomed. The Advertiser 
said of him : " Forrest is the boast and ornament of 
the American stage. His improvement has far 
outstripped what his most sanguine friends here 

Mr. and Mrs. John Barnes came again, and Mrs. 
Hamlin, wife of Thomas. She did not draw, and 
the theatre was not well patronized, Mr. and Mrs. 
Barnes only playing to good business. In March, 
Dwyer, the old comedian, appeared again, playing 
Falstaff for his benefit. April 17th, the circus reopened 
its doors, and the museum, under Henry T. Meecb, 
appealed for patronage, on the merits of a stuffed 
rhinoceros and a hermaphrodite orang-outang. 

Mr. Sandford closed his season in May. with no less 
brilliant a star than William Charles Macready, who 
played Hamlet on the 7th.* Macbeth on the 9th, and for 
his benefit, Virginius on the 11th. 

Mr. Macready was now thirty-four years old, having 
been born in London, March 3d, 1793, the son of an 
actor. He made his dehul in Rmneo, in 1810, and in 
the intervening years had won a position in England 
second only to Kean, and on the fall of that great actor, 
until the period of his own retirement, was unexcelled 
upon the British stage. It is not our intention to go 
into the details of his career, as by his Eenainiscences 
and Diaries, edited by Sir Pollock, they are within the 
reach of every reader. He made three visits to this 
country, 1826-7, in 1844, and in 1848-9. In May 
of the last mentioned year, occurred the most terrible 
riot recorded in the dramatic annals of this country. 

*0n this very night, a. tragedy In real life occurred, which exceeded In 
Interest any event In stage mimicry. This was the murder of John Whipple 
by .resse Strang, who shot him through a window, as he sat writing In his 
chamber, and was hanged for it, August gtlh, In the Hudson street ravine, in 
the presence of tt,000 spectators. 


Through a quarrel between MacrGady and Edwin For- 
rest, who had hissed each other in England, a disturb- 
ance took place at the Astor opera house, New York 
(May 10th); the military were called out, and twenty- 
two men were killed and thirty-six wounded. Mr.. 
Macready died April 27th, 1873. As an actor, he was 
a model of every thing that was chaste, finished and clas- 
sical. As a man, his character was above reproach. 
He has been ridiculed for certain mannerisms, and cen- 
sured for penuriousness, and it is true that by industry 
and prudence he acquired a fortune. It is also true 
that "no friend has ever had occasion to feel a pang 
for his excesses, and the public never were called upon 
to pity, pardon, or condemn in him any moral trans- 
gression." Lewes saw in him only a man of talent, but 
of talent so marked and individual that it approached 
. very near genius. He had a powerful voice of exten- 
sive compass, capable of delicate modulation in quiet 
passages (though with a tendency to scream in violent 
passages), and having tones that th*rilledand tones that 
stirred the tear drops. The intelligence of his readings 
was always manifest. His person was good, and his 
face was expressive. As a Shakspearean actor, he did 
not rank with the greatest of his predecessors. Lewes 
thought his Hamlet bad, due allowance being made for 
the intelligence it displayed. "He was lachrymose 
and fretful ; too fond of a cambric pocket handkerchief 
to be really affecting ; nor had he that sympathy with 
the character which would have given an impressive 
unity to his performance — it was 'a thing of shreds 
and patches,'' not a whole." 

" As Macbeth, nothing could be finer than the indica- 
tions he gave of a conscience wavering under the 
influence of ' fate and metaphysical aid,' superstitious 
and weakly, cherishing the suggestions of superstition ; 
but nothing could have been less heroic than his per- 
sonation of the great criminal. He was fretful and 
impatient under the taunts and provocations of his 
wife ; he was ignoble under the terrors of remorse ; he 
stole into the sleeping chamber of Duncan, like a man 


going to purloin a pnrse, not like a warrior going to 
snatch a crown." On the other hand, he created sev- 
eral of the most popular cbaracters of the modern 
drama, such as Virginius,. Wilh'am Tell, Werner, Riche- 
lieu, Claude M'dnoUe, and Buy Gomez. As Virginius, a 
part in which he was the original, he was at his best. 
It was always a favorite with him from the hour he 
first read the lines, when submitted to him by the 
author, J. Sheridan Knowles, who dedicated the play 
to him. It was in the character of the Roman fiither 
that he had bis portrait taken. It was in that character 
he took his first and only Albany benefit. 

Macready's farewell to the stage, took place at Drury 
Lane, February 26th, 1851, his last part being Macbeth, 
which was always his favorite. At a farewell dinner, 
March 1st, managed by Charles Dickens, and Sir E. 
Lytton Bulwer acting as chairman, John FoTster read ■ 
the following tribute to the setting star, by Alfred 
Tennyson, poet laureate : 

Pafe^ell, Macready, since to-niglit we part; 
Full handed thunders often have Confessed 
Thy power, well used to mov6 the public breast, 

We thank thee with our voice, and from the heart. 

Farewell, Macready, since this night W6 part; 

Gro, take thine honors liome; rjlfik with the b^stf 
Garrick and statelier Kemble, and the rest, 

Who made a nation piirer tlirough their Art. 

Thin« is it that our dfama did not die, 

Nor flicker down to brainless pantomime 

And those gilt gauds, men-children swarm to see. 

Farewell, Macready, moral, grave, sublime; 

Our" Shakspeare's bland and universal eye 

Dwells pleased, through twice a hundred years, on thee. 




The South Pearl Street Theatre, Under Various Managers. 

ALTHOUGH Mr. Sandford lost a good deal of money, 
he paid his debts and left the city with an honorable 
record. The next man to try his hand at the manage- 
rial helm, was Elijah J. Roberts, who opened ' the 
theatre July 3d, with " Town and Country " and " The 
Spectre Bridegroom." Roberts was editor of The 
Craftsman, and a politician of some note. The follow- 
ing cast for the principal play, included th,e more 
prominent members of the company : Reuben Ghnroy, 
Adams; Captain Glenroy, Shadgate; Plastic, Is^r- 
wood ; Hawbuck, Simpson; Cosey, Somerville; \Kev. 
Mr. Ovjen, Parsons ; Trot, Blanchard ; JRosalie Somers, 
MissTwibill: Mrs. (rfenro^/, Mrs. Hatch. 

The leading man, if we mistake not, was John Jay 
Adams, who had been bred to rhercantile life, and had, , 
at this time, but little stage experience. His readings 
were remarkably correct, and his Hainlet was, after- 
wards, regarded as among the best on the American 
stage. Had he not been intemperate, he would have 
become famous. He died in 1889. Miss Matilda 
Twibill was also new to the boards, and very young, 
scarce sixteen. Personally, she was one of the most 
lovely women ever known to the stage. She was the 
daughter of Twibill, the vocalist, and had made her 
dramatic debut November 29th, 1826, in New Yoi-k, in 
this same character of Rosalie. Her father treated her 
very cruelly, and March 30th, 1828, shfe married Tom 
Plynn, the comedian, who broke Booth's nose. 


Charley Parsons, who was cast for a parson, after- 
wards became one in reality, and preached in the 
Methodist church in Louisville. He was of Herculean 
frame and round shoulders, with a voice like stage 
tlmnder, but a bad actor, especially in tragedy. He 
alternated between stage and pulpit, and did about as 
well in one capacity as the other, and not very well in 
either. Stone says he played Roarivg Ralph Stackpole, 
in Dr. Bird's drama, to perfection. 

James M. Scott (" Big Scott," as he was called, to dis- 
tinguish him from J. E. Scott), was the first star, and 
in the course of a wtek or two, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Barnes, Peter Eichings and Moses S. Phillips (who 
closely resembled and imitated Barnes) appeared. 

On the 19th of July, William Duffy made his pro- 
fessional dd)ut in Albany, as Berlram. He had fre- 
quently appeared as an amateur, but now came from 
the New Orleans theatre, and was received with con- 
siderable favor, which rapidly increased as his merits 
became known. 

Mr. Eoberts's management lasted only till about the 
first week in September, when he succumbed to adverse 
cWcumstances. He had sub-leased the theatre from 
Lement, but was quite unable to pay the rent. During 
his brief career, Forrest had played an engagement, 
appearing for the first time in Albany, in what was 
afterward his greatest personation, that of Lear. The 
theatre was next managed for a short time by Lement 
& Adams ; the latter then took part of the company 
west for a few nights. 

On the 26th of September, James Henry Hackett 
made, what was probably his first appearance in 
Albany, in Richard, Monsieur Tonson and a budget of 
Yankee stories. Mr. Hackett came in with the century, 
being born March 15th, 1800. He was of Holland 
descent, but first saw the light in New York city. At- 
the age of nineteen, he married an actress (Miss 
Leesugg) of the Park theatre, and in 1826, having 
failed in business as a merchant, in Utica and New 
York, he tried the stage. After one or two rather 


nervous attempts, he made a hit in imitations of 
Mathews, Kean, Barnes, etc., which determined him 
to adopt the profession. His first really great success 
was as one of the Dromios, his imitation of Jack Barnes, 
who played the other, being so perfect that they could 
not be distinguished. A few weeks later (November 
7th), they appeared in Albany in these characters, to 
the great delight of their auditors. Mr. Hackett sub- 
sequently played .tragedy, but never with great success. 
He was, essentially, a comedian ; at first, best known 
as a personator of Yankee characters, in which, how- 
ever, he was superseded by George H. Hill. Mr. 
Hackett was, we believe, if not the original Rip Van 
Winlde, at least one of the first, playing the part with 
deeply touching pathos. It was, however, as Falstaff, 
that he will longest be remembered. He was, in fact, 
the only great representative of that character Amer- 
ica has ever produced. He was, at different times, 
manager of the Bowery, Chatham and National thea- 
tres, and Astor Place opera house, in New york, 
losing at the latter establishment, more than $4,000, 
by the Forrest-Macready riot, in 1849. He also gave 
grand opera through the country, with Mario and 
Grisi, in 1845. His last appearance in Albany, was 
in March, 1864, at Tweddle hall, where he failed to 
draw paying houses. He died at Jamaica, Long 
Island, December 28th, 1871. ' He left his widow — a 
second wife, some property, which, however, depre- 
ciated in value till there was little or nothing left. 
He was the author of a work upon " Shakspeare's 
Plays and Actors," and projected the plan for the 
Sbakspeare monument in Central Park, the corner 
stone of which was laid under his auspices. 

This appears to have been a bad season for amuse- 
ments. The Pearl street circus, opened by Parsons, 
October 23d, closed in Januarj', the proprietor losing, 
it was said, double all he had ever made there. S. V. 
Wemple then managed it till March 1st, with no bet- 
teir luck. 

The theatre, which had been closed since November, 


opened MarcTa 19th, 1S28, under Mr. George Yernon,. 
Admission 75, S7^ and 25 cents. 

Mr.' George Vernon was a new-comer, having made 
his :fi.rst appearance in America at the Bowery, the 
previous September. He was a comedian of undoubted 
abilities, and a vocalist of no mean pretensions, till ill 
health robbed him of his voice. The remainder of his 
. short life was spent in Albany and vicinity. He inan 
a,ged the theatre for two seasons, arid then buying 
Woodstock farm, a'few miles west of the city, retired, 
and died there, June 13th, 1830, aged thirty-three. 
He was buried in the old Episcopal burying ground, 
on State street. He was a gentleman of many, attain- 
ments, and bad considerable architectural skill. He 
was a strict Episcopalian, and designed the pulpit for 
St. Paul's church, when it-was located in Fei-ry street 
Mrs. George Vernon's maiden name was Jane Mer- 
chant Fisher. She was the sister of John Aubrey 
Fisher, an excellent comic actor, and of Clara Eisher 
Maeder. Mrs. Vernon made her American debut with 
her future husband, whom ^he married October 6th, 
1827, and came with him to Albany, and assumed a 
leading position in his company, during the, two sea- 
sons of his unfortunate management. After his death, 
she returned to New York, and was engaged; as sou- 
brette, at the Park theatre, where she remained almost 
continuously from December 17th,, 1830, to December 
21st, 1847, attaining the highest regard of the public, 
by whom she was ranked among actresses^^ as Placide 
and Burton, aiiiong actors. When the.P^rk theatre 
finally ran down, she Burton's, theold Broad- 
way and Wallack's theatre, changing her line of busi- 
ness, as tirne passed on, to that of "old woman," in 
which she was contemporary with Mrs. Hughes, who, 
it will be remembered, was, like her, in early life, an, 
Albany favorite. It is a little singular, that the tw'o; 
best "old women " the New York stage ever had. Were 
previously leading ladies in Albany. Mr, flutton 
say's: "Mrs. Hughes's -Sete?/ Trotwood, except perhaps 
by Mrs. Vernon, has never, been approached. They 


were contemporary • leading oldlacli'es' for many years, 
playing the same parts, and playing them so equally 
well, that no critical Paris of the day was able to decide 
to whom belonged the apple of superiority. In the 
case of their Betsy 7 rotwood and Mrs. /Sfewton, the apple 
was divided, a lialf given to each. 'Mrs. Yernon, the 
survivor, on the retirement of Mrs. Hughes, inheriting 
both portions of the 'pomarian prize,' left the entire 
apple, on her death' (June 4th, 1869), to, Mrs. W. H. 
Gilbert, the only worthy representative of their partic- 
^ ular school of ' old lady' whom we have upon our stage 
"to-day." .. 1 ... , 

Mrs. Vernon, though never noted for' her beauty, 
possessed an intelligent and expressive face, and a pol- 
ished manner, that' at' once denoted the woman of 
intellect and refinement. She was tall and till' the last 
^'possessed' a gi'aceful figure. Her education was liberal, 
arid'it 'was said' that during her connection with the 
Park theatre, her opinion, in all passages of disputed 
readings of the Shakspeare dramas, was considered final. 
In private life, her kindness of heart and self-forgetful- 
ness were proverbial, and no one in the profession was 
more generally respected and esteemed. She lived to 
the good old ago of seventy ^seven, surviving her 
retirement only al.out two months. 

The theatre opened under Mr. Vernon, with "The 
Belle's Stratagem," Thomas Archer and Mrs. Hamblin 
as stars. Archer was a recent importation from Eng- 
land, but a second rate actor. Mrs. Hamblin was the 
wife of Thomas Hamblin, who had been here, and soon 
came again. George Holland, the comedian and ven- 
triloquist, also played an engagement, but the theatre 
was not well patronized. The circus had opened its 
doors again with "The Cataract of the Ganges"' (Mrs. 
Stickney as Colonel Mor daunt) and two bands of music. 
On the 9th of April, for Mrs. Vernon's benefit, her 
sister, Clara Fisher, made her first appearance in 
Albany, in Pavne's opera of "Clari, the Maid of 
Milan," and "The Actress of All Work," in which 
she sustained six characters. 


" A cliarming young Fisher, a fishing has come, 
From the land of her fathers, her sea-circled home; 
She uses no line, and she uses no hook, 
But she catches her prey with a smile and a look." 

So sang a newspaper poet of the period, and in spite 
of the Ldttas and Maggie Mitchells of the present day, 
we cannot think of an actress on the boards, who 
exactly fills the place occupied by Clara Fisher fifty 
years ago. She was born in England, July 14th, 1811, 
the daughter of Frederick George Fisher. Taken ac 
the age of six to see a rehearsal of "Gulliver in Lilli- 
put," to be played by children, at Drury Lane, she 
was as badly " stage-struck " as many have been at a 
later period in liffe, and begged her father's permission 
to join the little company. Having pleased the man- 
ager by her recitations, she was engaged, and in a 
masque written for her by her father, made a hit to 
start with. She was subsequently engaged at Covent 
Garden, and was looked upon as a youthful prodigy. 
As such, she starred for several years, totally eclipsing 
all other juvenile performers. At the age of seven- 
teen, she came to America, and at this time' must have 
been a very bewitching creature. She is thus described 
by Ireland : 

"Her person, below the middle height, and just 
reaching, but not exceeding, a delicate plumpness, 
was exquisitely formed ; her manners were sprightly 
and vivacious, yet perfectly natural and artless; her 
expression arch and intelligent, her cheeks dimpling 
with smiles. Appearing, as she constantly did, in 
the character of boys and striplings, she had her fine 
hair closely cut on the back of her head, while on her 
brow she wore rolls or puffs, which were immediately 
adopted as the fashion, while an imitation of her deli- 
cate, but natural lisp, was' considered equally indis- 
pensable. Her name was borrowed to give popularity 
to new fashions and old hotels, slow stages- and fast 
races ; and any thing or any body who could claim 
the most distant connection with the ' celebrated Clara 
Fisher,' -was sure of attracting notice and distinction." 


In her earlier years, her success was equally 
apparent in tragedy, opera or farce, but later in life 
her face, voice and person were best adapted to the 
lighter characters of opera and comedy. She played 
Ophelia and Viola, but produced far more effecfin the 
more every-day character of Clari (in which she made 
her Albany debut), and which she played with such 
pathos as to force tears to the eyes of her audience, 
whether they would or no. Her Lady Teazle is said to 
have been a charming performance, and also her Lady 
Gay Spanker, although her petite figure was not suita- 
ble to represent the generally received idea of those 
characters. She possessed a thorough knowledge of 
music, and in opera appeared to all the advantage that 
her limited range of voice permitted. It wa*s in bal- 
lads, however, that her greatest musical success was 
won, her expression in singing Irish and other senti- 
mental songs, gaining for her her greatest popularityj 

One of her best charactei's, in later days, was the 
Fool in "Lear," which she made very important when 
Macready brought out the play as originally written. 

Her American debut was at the Park theatre, Sep- 
tember 11th, 1827, as Albina Mandeville, in " The 
Will," and in the farce " Old and Young," in which 
she personated the four Mowbray's. *^fter a most success- 
ful career, she married, December 6th, 1834, Mr. James 
Gaspard Maeder, a distinguished musician, and the 
vocal pereeptor of Charlotte Cushman and many others. 
Much of Mrs. Maeder's fortune was lost in the United 
States bank, and much more in theatrical management. 
Later in life, she was attached to the famous Museum 
company, and still later, to the stock company of the 
Trimble opera house, in Albany, in which city she is still 
remembered with the greatest respect, for in private 
life she has always been every thing that is estimable. 
She then retired from the stage for nearly a decade, 
but reappeared in Lucy Eushton's New York company, 
. and is'still in the profession. Of late, she has lived in 
Philadelphia, with one of her sons, who. is the scenic 
artist at the Walnut street theatre. Another son, Mr. 


' Fred. G. Haeder, is 'the well-known dramatist and man- 
ager, and still another ~son, Frank, is one of the founders 
and proprietors of the Salsbury TrouBadonts. One 
daughter, thewife of a physician, has resided for matiy 
"years in England, and another (Mollie) is Mrs. Steele, 
wife of a Cincinnati manager,' and a pleasing actress. 
Mrs. Maeder is -still bright and active, and as well 
'qualified to" play the parts' she ndw'undertakes, as any 
in the business. 

On the 14th of April, 1828, Miss Louisa Lane 
appeared on a benefit' night, as Little Piclcle. She was 
only eight years ofld, and ■jwhen, a few nights later, she 
played for 'her own ■ benefit, it "was ' as Paul, in " The 
"Wandering Boys," the part of Jiw/m being taken by 
Julia Turnbull, aged six. This little Miss Lane'was 
none other than the ohewho became, evefntually, Mrs. 
John Dvew. She was' born in"' England, January 10th, 

i 1820, and cafnei to this country with her mother, Mrs. 
Kitiloch, and after playing- as a jiivfenile star, " was 
attached to the Bowery theatre, then'went west, became 
Mrs. Henry Hunt,- afterwards Mrs. 'Mossop, and finally 
Mrs. Drew,-a hame"which is regarded, with the highest 
respect, both in and QUt'of the professioTi, and particu- 
larly in Philadelphia, -where she ' is still in active 
theatrical' life, beii% 'manager of the Arch street" thea- 
tre. For several seasons, she was the reigning attrac- 
tion at Meech's maseum, in Albany, and here she'rtiet 
and married Mr. Drew,- a cpmedian of great ability. 
We shall have occasion to refer to her again. 

On the 15th, Miss Mary Roclc made her first appear- 
ance in Albany, as the Widow CJieerly, supported by 
Mr. May wood. Miss Rock was lately from Dublin, 
where she had been the pet of the public. A few 
months previous, she'" had made a brilliant dehut in 
Boston, and in November, had played a 'Successful 
engagement at the Bowery. " She was," say's Ireland, 
" a very charming and versatile actress and had not 
Clara Fisher's star been in the ascendant, paling, by its 
brilliant light, all Other glittering orbs, shewould have 
been regarded, perhaps, as the brightest lumina!ry of 


the season. As it was, she proved a. powerful rival." 
Punlap also speaks of her aljilities in high terms. 

The following sketch of the once pop^lar actress,, 
written hj the author of this work, appeiii;ed recently- 
in the New York Sun: " Mary Eock vyas born in Lb;i- 
(^on. Her father, at the head' of tlie staff of Times 
reporters, died before she was born, and h,er mother, 
soon after. Her relatives were wealthy, and one of 
them, an aunt, adopted her and took her to Dublin, 
when very young. There, her new home wa,s fre- 
quently visited by O'Copnell, Shell, Phillips, and 
others renowned in Ireland's history. Her ^latural 
musica,! taste was early developed. At niije years of 
age, her education on the piano was declared ' finished,,' 
and although, at this day, a proficient on that instru-, 
mejjt, she -has never taken a lesson since. She saw 
the best society, and remembea:s, with d^elight, being 
iritroducefi to Tom Mooi:e a,nd hearing the poet sing 
his own songs, There were not many notes in his 
voice, as she remembers it, but they were of surpass- 
ii'ig sweetness. She, herself, sang and played for- 
visitors, and they said that her voice should be culti- 
vated, and that she should, go to Italy. Even then, 
she was ambitious, and longed, to go. Her wish was. 
about to be gratified, and rooms and teachers were. 
engaged for her in Florence, when a great crash came 
and her friends were reduced to poverty. Mary was 
obliged to go to work. But not in Dublin, where she 
and her family were known, She went to, Edinburgh, 
and there she was bound to a celebrated, music teacher. 
for two years. At twelve she was brought out on the 
stage as Tom Thumb, and soon was known throughout 
tjie provinces as 'The Little Fairy.' Sir Walter Scott 
was her patron, and many a tiine she sat, at his feet 
and looked- up in his face, and thought what a great 
man he was. He was present when she first played, 
Mad^e Wildfire. She had her heart set upon playing. 
Mlffie Deans, as being far more, s.uited to her style, but 
the wife of the manager wanted that part for herself, 
and, of course, had it. Mary had to take up with. 


Madge. She was struck with stage fright at first, but 
Sir Walter was in the box encouraging her, and after 
the first few minutes, she rallied and won a great sue- 
cesg. She was better known in Scotland as ' Madge 
Wildfire' and ' Annot Lyle of the Harp,' than she was 
by her own name. Th"e harp, by the way, was her 
favorite instrument, and the 'first £100 she called her 
own was expended for one, with which she accompanied 
herself for many years, and which she brought with 
her to America. Charles Young, the tragedian, was 
her warm friend and adviser. Always petite, she had 
no heart to play the heroic roles, but Young encour- 
aged her to try them. ' My wife,' said he, ' was no 
larger than you, but when she played Lady Macbeth ' — 
and he accompanied his words with such pantomimic 
power that the picture could be seen — ' she was a 
giantess ! ' Little Mary crowded down her fears and 
said she would try to be a giantess, too. John Braham 
taught her, personally, to sing two or three of his 
sweetest songs, and she saw the great Miss O'Neill 
play Evadne. 

" In 1827, inducements were held out for Miss Eock 
to come to America, and, with her adopted mother as 
a companion, she did so, coming over under the man- 
agement of William Pelby, and appearing first in the 
Federal street theatre in Boston, where, for several 
years, she lived and reigned a supreme favoritei. Her 
unusual versatility permitted her the entire range of 
farce, comedy, tragedy, and opera. She starred with 
success, throughout the country, and amassed a snug 
little fortune, out of which, with devotion that was truly 
filial, she settled $10,000 upon her adopted mother. 
When the -mother died, it was found that, through the 
machinations of her financial agent, all this money, 
instead of being left to the only heir and the one, who 
earned it by hard work in the first pla^.e, was willed to 
the son of the agent, Miss Eock having only the inter- 
est. This she would not touch, unless she could have 
the whole. A lawsuit resulted, the alien laws were 
against her, and she lost it all. 


"At their cottage in Harlem, Holland, the comedian, 
IT. P. Willis, Morris and Edwin Forrest, were frequent 
visitors. Forrest she did not like very well, either as a 
man or as an actor. Perhaps something of this disliice 
may be due to the fact that he used to enjoy teasing 
her upon the stage,, when she was supporting him, as 
she often did. She is, and always has been, quite 
devotional in her habit, at which he would mock in 
any thing but a delicate manner, and she never quite 
forgave him. She says he could play Meiamora, but 
not Shakspeare. Her last appearance in New York, 
was with Forrest, at the Bowery theatre, October 2d, 
1840, playing Julie de Mortimer to his Richelieu. 

" Tt could not have been long after this, that, in 
Montreal, she met Captain Murray, of the British 
army. He was Sir John Murray, Baronet, taking the 
baronetcy on the death of his uncle, Sir John Murray, 
who died abroad. The captain was captivated with 
her charms, and offered marriage, which was accepted, 
and she retired from the stage, although she refused 
to take the title. Captain Muri-ay was a man of varied 
acquirements, had travelled widely, and was elegant 
and accomplished, but he seems not to have possessed 
the qualificationfi of a good husband. A large share 
of the actress's hard-earned money was lost in the 
management of a southern plantation. Then the 
doctors said the captain must cross the water for his 
health, and the faithful wife scraped together the rem- 
nants of her property, and, intrusting , her silver, 
pictures, jewelry, etc., to the care of the captain, he 
set out for England, with the promise that he would 
soon send for her. But he never did and she has 
never seen him since. 

"She is now an old woman, but still as bright and 
cheery a one as you shall see in many a day. Her 
hair is white, but her eye is bright, and as quick to 
see as ever it was. Her friends are few and growing 
fewer every day. To the present generation of play- 
goers she is, of course, as if she never had been. A 
few of her stage contemporaries survive — Mrs. Clara 


Fisher Maeder, Mrs. John Brew, Mr. Joseph Burke 
and Mr. John Gilbert — and some of them remettiber 
her with loving interest. Others have forgotten, or do 
not care to think of her, in her old age and poverty." 

For several years she has taught music in New York 
and Albany, and at the present writing, is fighting the 
battle of life with wonderful- bravery, and though 
utterly alone in the world, refdsing all offers of shelter 
in any of the " homes," declaring that if she gives up 
work, she shall- die. 

During Miss Eock's first engagement, she played 
Letitia Hardy, Clari and Lady Belk, in "Know Your 
Own Mind." Oh the 19tli of April, she played for a 
benefit, given to the sufferers by the fire, -which, two 
days previous, starting midway between Grreen and 
Soutli Market (Broadway), in Beaver strefet, swept 
away nearly all the buildings on both sides of Beaver 
street and on Jihe north side of Hudson street, entail- 
ing a loss of 'perhaps $40,000. 

Forrest played a brief engagement, as did Chapnlan, 
a comedian'. The Slomans also appeared. Mrs. Slo- 
mah -was a tragic actress, correct and lady-like, but 
too coldly classicaj to suit the multitude. Mr. Sloman 
■was an English buffo. " We don't kmow -what Buffo 
means," said the ingeriupus dramatic critie of The 
Advertiser, "but he is an English Buffo." The season, 
■which had been a losing one for Manager Vernoh; 
closed May 7th. The circus kept along with the- 
elephant Columbus playing a star engagement in " El 

On the 12th of May, the-: theatre ■was opened by 
.Moses Phillips, or " Nosey," as he was more commonly 
called, and as his name actually stands in Scott's 
Albany Directory of 1828. Flynii was stage manager, 
and Mrs. Flynn (nee Twibill) -was the leading lady. In 
the'company wefind the nam es'of Duffy, Forrest, Forbes, 
Fielding, and the irrepressible Al-ndrew Jacksbn Allen. 
Phillips, himself, ■was the comedian, but not a' very 
good one, and a still worse buiness man, especially foi- 
those -who had any thing to do with him. His peculiar 


methods of financiering were celebrated in more oitiq^ 
than one, and his tricks upon creditors, fully described, 
would fill a volume. 

William Forrest, brother of Edwin, and for many 
years the .associate in business with William Duffy, 
made his Albany dAui, May 12th, as Captow Rmlkner, 
in " The Way to Get Married," He was a printer by 
trade, and born in Philadelphia. His first appearance^ 
on the stage, was at the Walnut street theatre, Febru- 
ary 2d, as Zaphna, in " Mahomet." He was never 
eminent in the professioq, his voice being one material 
drawback to success. His best character was Robin 
Boughhead, and when Dufiy was absent and business 
devolved upon Forrest, "Fortune's Frolic" was pretty 
sure to bp on the bill. He died suddenly. in Phila- 
delphia in 1833, after playing the Ghost in a burlesque^ 
at the A-rch street theatre ; his lagt words, as , he 
desce;ided through the trap-door, being, " D. I. O-'' 
(damn me. Pin off). He died that night. 

For Mrs. Flynn's benefit,, May 26th, "Eip Van 
Wj^kle" was played for the firsts time, in Albany, 
I|f^nn ,playing Bip. The play was written by an 
A^&xn^n,, whose name has not been handed down. 
June 4d, Harris and Murphy, the bar-tenders (!) had a 
benefit, at which the old favorites, Mr. and Mrs. Greorge 
Barrett, were engaged to appear. The next night Mi. 
Duffy took his first benefit. The Advertiser says: 
" Mr. Duffy is the only actor of note, Albany has ever 
raised. If enterprise in his profession, merit as an 
actor,, and gentlemanly deportment in' private life, are 
virtues to be encouraged, he may confidently rely 
upon the reward which is extended by an enlightened 
audience." For Mr. Wi,lliam Forrest's benefit, his 
brother Edwin appeared as Brutes. . 
; On .the nth of June, Albany first had an opportu- 
nity, of beholding the modern balleJi Madame Hutin, 
Madjtmje. Rosalie, ,and Monsieur Ba,rbiere, appearing for 
on^ night, as ex.ponents of. the French school of ,danc- 
iiigl, 5o"w it "took" in the staid city, we can judge 
pretty well by what occurred on the night of .JSIfidame 


Hutin's New York debut at the Bowery, a little over a 
year previous. The house was crowded and the excite- 
ment intense ; an anxious look of curiosity and expec- 
tation dwelt upon every face, but when the graceful 
danseuse came bounding like a startled fawn upon the 
stage, her light and scanty drapery floating in the air, 
all were startled. The next instant her fine fi^gure was 
discovered involved but not concealed in her dress of 
gauze, and a bewildering pirouette displaying still more 
liberally her symmetrical proportions, a subdued ex- 
pression of fear and terror escaped from the ladies 
present, and the cheeks of the greater portion of the 
audience crimsoned with shame. The nfet instant, as 
if inspired by one impulse, every lady in the lower tier 
of boxes rushed from the house. The next time 
Madame Hutin appeared, it was in Turkish trousers, 
but they were soon discarded, and in June following. 
Celeste made acceptable what Madame Hutin was con- 
demned for, and the ballet became a feature, though 
never a very popular one, of the American stage. 

On the 7th of July, " Guy Mannering" was given- 
with, the Vernons, Chapman, Mrs. Austin and Mr. 
Horn in the cast, a very strong musical attraction which 
was repeated several nights. Several stars previously 
spoken of played engagements which do not call for 
particular mention. On the 11th of August, and for 
two or three nights succeeding, Madame Celeste, the 
great melo-dramatic actress, appeared. She was at this 
time but a child in years, having been born, it is said, 
in 1814, in Paris. At a very early age, she had been 
placed in the Conservatoire, and while there had appeared 
with Talma and with Madame Pasta. During the 
same year in which she appeared in Albany, a young 
man by the name of Elliot, who had nearly squandered 
a handsome fortune left him by his father, a retired 
livery stable keeper, in Baltimore, became enamored 
of her, and after a short courtship, if it might so be 
called — for, as she could not understand English, and 
he could not spe3,k French, recourse was had to an 
interpreter to say the soft things which wooed and won 


her — they became husband and wife, and for years 
she supported him in affluence. Savs Cowell, in his 
.|' Thirty Years " : " Perhaps prejudiced by placing her 
inestimable private deportment in the scale with her 
acknowledged talent, may cause me to think she has 
never been excelled, for to my untutored taste (to quote 
" Shelly), 

'An antelope, 
In the suspended impulse of its lightness, 
Were less ethereally light. The brightness 
Of her divinest presence trembles through 
Her limbs,_ as, underneath a cloud of dew, 
Imbodied in the windless heaven of June, 
Amid the splendor-winged stars, the moon 
Burns inextinguishably beautiful.'" 

Soon after her marriage, she returned to Europe and 
played with remarkable success both in England and 
on the continent, attaining her greatest fame as Maihilde 
in " The French Spy." In 1834, she returned here and 
began a series of the most brilliant and successful 
engagements on record. In three years, it is said, she 
netted $200,000, with which she returned to Europe. 
Prom 1835 to 1840, she was in this country again ; and 
again in 1851-2, and still again in 1865. In her prime, 
to the greatest elegance and symmetry of person, she 
added a handsome face, eloquent dark eyes and expres- 
sion of feature beyond any actress of the age. The 
power, pathos, and effect of her pantomimic action have 
never been approached, while her assumptions of male 
attire and heroic characters, were marvellous exhibi- 
tions of daring ambition and successful achievement. 
Her success in America has been equalled among 
women only by Fanny Kemble and Jenny Lind. 
Celeste is still alive, and played in London no longer 
ago than October, 1874. During her first Albany 
engagement, she played Julia'\n "Deaf and Dumb" and 
a character in " The Mountain Bobbers," besides danc- 
ing in conjunction with Oonstantine and Heloise. 

August 19th, " The Comedy of Errors " was played, 
with Barnes and Phillips as the Dromios^ and during 
the month Phillips retired from the management. 


Mr. Duffy was now ambitious of being manager. 
After Parsons had given up the circus, Mr. Duffy 
opened it as a summer theatre, for melo-dramas, etc., 
but was not successful. In the fall he announced that 
he would reopen the theatre November 2d, with a new 
drop curtain and many improvements, but the plan 
appears to have fallen through, as the theatre remained 
closed several weeks longer. 

At the circas, " The Flying Dutchman" was pro- 
duced November 25th, with a real brig, thirty feet in 
length, full-rigged and manned. The piece, which, it 
was said, cost $1^000 to produce, ran for eight successive 
nights and was repeated once afterwards. 




The South Pearl. Street Theatre — Trcmbridge's Museum. 

HN Christmas night, the theatre again opened under 
•» Mr. Vernon's management. Mr. Chapman was 
stage manager, and the Vernons, of course, held promi- 
nent places. Page and Nelson, from the Arch street 
theatre ; Jackson, irom the Tremont theatre ; Green- 
wood, from the Theatre Eoyal, Dublin ; Mrs. Talbot, 
from Charleston ; the two Misses Chapman, Mr. and 
Mrs. Judah, H. Eberle and others, were in the com-' 
pany. The plays were light, but the patronage was 
lighter still. Mr. Vernon was already suffering from 
the illness of which he died. 

Barnes, Mr. and Mrs. Hackett and Dwyer, played 
star engagements ; as did also Henry Wallack, and the 
favorite Mary Eock, who played together mostly in 
comedy, but April 23d, 1829, as Hamlet and Ophelia, 
and April 28th, as Romeo and Juliet. For Mr. Wal- 
lack's Benefit, May 1st, his brother, James W. Wallack, 
father of the present Lester Wallack, appeared for one 
night only, as Bolla., This closed the winter season. 
May 7th, a summer season began, with Mrs. Vernon's 
sister, the fascinating Clara Fisher, as a star. Her 
appearance was the signal for a general outburst of 
acrostics, poems and other tributes of admiration to 
the universal favorite. At Charleston, where she gave 
the Friends of Ireland $100, the proceeds of a benefit, 
they reciprocated by passing complimentary resolu- 
tions and voting her a iiiedal in the shape of an Irish 
harp, richly set with empralds, the head of the harp a 


diamond, and the whole surrounded by a ring repre- 
senting a wreath of shamrock, richly chased in gold. 

Mr. Vernon's management came to an end May 18th, 
with a benefit for Mr. DufiEy, who played William Tell 
and Wildlove (in " The Lady and the Devil "). 

The theatre was then opened for four nights by Mr. 
Bberle, who brought from New York the French danc- 
ers, Monsieur and Madame Charles Eonzi Vestris, and 
Monsieur and Madame Achilla Monsieur Vestris 
has never been excelled as a dancer, while his lady 
has alone been equalled by BUsler. Faultless in form 
and nearly so in feature, her movements were compared 
to the swell and fall of the summer sea, the waving 
grace of the ripening meadow, the sweep of the willow 
branch, the skimming of a bird in air, or any thing 
else that could convey the most delicate and fanciful 
idea of the very poetry of motion. She had perfect 
confidence in her own powers, was bold, daring and 
successful, and possessed a fascinating charm of man- 
ner that almost redeemed the French school of dancing 
from the imputation of gross immodesty. She was 
born in Eome, and at the time of her Albany appear- 
ance, was twenty-six years old. The Achilles were 
also fine dancers, the Madame being by some thought 
fully equal to Hutin. She was perhaps as gracefial, 
but not as dexterous and daring. For many years she 
afterward kept a dancing academy in New York.' 

As early as 1798, Albany wa,s furnished with a 
museum, which then was situated at the corner of 
Green and Beaver streets. In 1809, J. Scudder adver- 
tised that he intended to establish another, and Sep- 
tember 18th of that year, Trowbridge advertised one 
which he conducted for many years. It was located on 
the northeast corner of Hudson and South Market (now 
Byoadway) streets. Before the old capitol was erected,- 
the legislature used to meet there, and it was there that 
the Declaration of Independence was first read to the 
people of Albany, a fact commemorated by a tablet 
placed on the building, July 4th, 1876. At first, the 
museum was only what its name indicated — a coUec- 


tion of curiosities. In May, 1810, its assemblage of 
minerals, shells and insects was spoken of by The 
Medical Bepository as " very good beginnings." In 
March, 1817, the proprietor made a sensation by illu- 
minating his establishment with gas, which issued from 
120 burners. He demonstrated that his nightly expense 
for lighting by the new process was only sixty-three 
cents, whereas by oil and tallow it had been from $1.87 
to $2.25. But Trowbridge made his own gas. In 
1821, he announced that he had added the New Haven 
museum to his own collection, which was now supe- 
rior to any in the country, except Peal's, of Philadel- 
phia. Wax figures were a prominent feature of the 
institution. There was also a lecture room, in which 
a marvellous " Phantasmagora " was exhibited. Here 
also occasionally appeared an actor in a monologue, or 
a comic singer or dancer. It was in this place, at about 
the time our record has now reached, that " Yankee 
Hill " made his first appearance in Albany, in a sort of 
olio. George Handel Hill was born in Boston, October 
9th, 1809, and was consequently at this time about 
twenty years old. He was early stage-struck, and ran 
away to New York, where seeing Alexander Simpson 
(an Albany boy) in the part of Jonathan Plcmghhoy in 
"The Forest Rose,'" the lad determined to make a 
specialty of "Yankees," and persevered till he became 
the acknowledged representative of that class of impos- 
sible characters now happily driven from the stage 
forever by the more realistic personations of Denman 
Thompson and Bernard Macauley. But the Hill type of 
stage Yankee was extremely popular years ago. After 
'playing in the western part of New York, he gave his 
first olio Entertainment in Brooklyn, in 1826. In 1828, 
however, having a choice between his sweetheart and 
the profession, he retired from the stage and married 
Miss Cordelia Thompson, of LeRoy, New^ York. But 
the employment of country storekeeping was so irksome 
to him, that he soon gave it up, and objections to his 
returning to the stage being modified, he came to 
Albany and at first sought work as a paper hanger, but 


soon, appeared as we have stated. Soon after, tiirough 
-the interposition of Mr. Henry D. Stone, be was per- 
mitted to appear at the Pearl street theatre in the very 
character with which he was so much struck by Simp.- 
son's playing it, and making a decided hit, started on a 
brilliant career. He made two European tours thaf 
were highly successful, and accumulated quite a for- 
tune. But like many others, he could not stand pros- 
perity. Wine and women worked his ruin. He aban- 
doned the stage and studied dentistry ; at another time, 
he was an ardent advocate of temperance reform. In 

1847, he purchased a country seat at Batavia, near his 
wife's early home, and there resided, playing occasional 
engagements when his health would permit In August, 

1848, he sojourned for a while at Saratoga, and there 
arose from a sick-bed to gratify the wishes of his admir- 
ers. This imprudence proved fatal ; he died September 
27th, and is buried at Saratoga. His " Life and Eecol- 
lections" was published by his widow. His ability as 
a comedian was undisputed, even Hackett being super- 
ceded by him in the line of characters he undertook. 
He came of a musical family and was himself an exqui- 
site performer on the flute. 

The theatre opened under the management of William 
Duffy and WiUiam Forrest, June 9th, 1829, with " The 
Poor Gentleman " and "My Grandmother," cast as 
follows: OUapod, Mr. Jefferson; Lieutenant Woriking' 
ton, Forbes; Sn CAarfes, Johnson ; Sir Robert Brwmbh, 
Judah ; Humphrey Dobbins, H, Eberle ; Farmer Har- 
rowby, Bignall ; Skphen Harrowhy, Knight ; Frederick, 
Forrest ; Warner, Nfelspn ; Lucretia McTab^ Mrs. Slater ; 
Emily, Mrs. La Forrest ; Damie Barrowby, Mrs. Nelson ;' 
Mwry, Mrs. A. Simpson. " My Grandmother : " Dickey 
'Gossip, Mr. Jefferson; Sir Matthew Medley, Lindsley; 
Vapour, Duffy ; Wooley, Johnson ; Souffrance, Judah ; 
Tom, Foster ; Charlotte, Mrs. Nelson ; Florella, Mrs. 

The comedian was the veteran Jefferson, who had 
not been here before since 1803, when, in Dunlap's 
company, he played at the old Thespian hotel, on 


North Pearl street. This was the grandfather of the 
present Joe Jeiferson (celebrated the world over for 
his Rip Van Wvnhh\ and himself the son of an emi- 
nent English actor and manager. He was born in 
Plymouth, Biigland, in 1774, and was, consequently, 
at the time of this engagement, fifty-five years old. 
For twenty-seven years, he had been one of the 
brightest ornaments of the Philadelphia stage. He 
died at Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania, August 6th, 1832. 
In low or eccentric comedy he has been rarely equalled, 
yet his excellence in other lines, was great. Duffy & 
Forrest were truly fortunate in securing such talent as 
Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson in their company. The latter 
was his daughter-in-law, Mrs. Joseph JefEerson, formerly 
Mrs. Burke, " the sweetest uncultivated warbler New 
York had ever known." 

The name of William Duffy, joint proprietor with 
"William Forrest, in managership, has already appeared 
incidentally in this record as an amateur, at the circus, 
Opposite the capitol, in 1825, playing " Timour, the 
Tartar," and July 19th, 1827, making his Albany 
ddmt as a professional. Albany has been a foster 
mother to many a brilliant child of the drama, but 
William Duffy was her own, her favorite son. As 
such, he is deserving of the following extended notice, 
for which we are indebted, in part, to Mr. Stone's 
" Eeminiscences : " 

William Duffy was born in Albany, in 1803, of 
parents who were citizens of Londonderry, Ireland-. 
Old residents who remember his father, describe him 
as a highly intelligent, public spirited and kind-hearted 
gentleman. The family residence was on the east side 
of South Market street (now Broadway), just above 
Hamilton. Nearly opposite was the famous old Eagle 
tavern, then kept by Baird, and frequented by the 
elite of the town, and a favorite with distinguished 

Young Duffy, who, when a mere boy, was recognized 
as umisually bright, was accustomed -to visit the Eagle; 
and very often met guests there who were delighted 


with his appearance, manners and intelligence. When 
about twelve years of age, he so impressed Captain 
Reece, of the United States army, then stopping at 
the Eagle, that he persuaded the boy's father to let 
him go south, promising to take good care of him. 
Puring about two years' absence, the lad had a pleas- 
ant experience among military men and enjoyed the 
•advantage of excellent schooling in Baltimore and 
Washington, and acquired knowledge of people and 
localities, which was of subsequent service. Upon his 
return home, he chose a trade, and was, for about a 
year, an apprentice to Mr. Busley, a chairmaker, who 
kept in State street, near St. Peter's church. He 
prided himself greatly upon his mechanical skill, and 
was accustomed in after years to point with much 
satisfaction, to certain chairs made by him, and how 
treasured by his friends. After a year at chairmak- 
ing, he entered the law office of James King, and was 
a diligent student for about a year. The late John 
V. L. Pruyn was, at the time, a student in the same 
office. During these years, the reading rooms of Mr. - 
John Cook, afforded excellent opportunity for general 
mental improvement, of which, the young fellows 
about town were not slow to take advantage. John 
Cook possessed a well selected library, and was a well- 
read man himself. He is referred to with a certain 
gusto by Washington Irving, in the preface of one of 
his volumes. The John Cook we speak of, must not 
be confounded with another local celebrity of the same 
name, but of more modern date, and with proclivities 
for brass music , and fire- works, on rainy days, rather 
than any tendency to literature. The later Johnny 
Cook chose to appear among the trumpets and trom- 
bones, which are the preface to military parades rather 
than in the preface to a book, and if he taught the 
young idea to shoot, it was only on a target excur- 
sion. The other and former John Cook was famous 
among Albanians of that day, both as a book-man and 
a wonderful sneezer. His sneeze, as he stood on his 
stoop in Broadway, near Maiden lane, rang up and 


down the street like a regimental order. His volumes 
were, of course, more interesting than his nose, and 
furnished the town with valuable reading, young Duffy, 
with the rest, improving his opportunities. 

Just about those days, a rage for theatricals invaded 
Albany. Duffy caught the fever and soon gave evi- 
dence of unusual ability. Sol. Smith refers to him in 
his sketches, as a highly talented supernumerary in a 
certain boys' theatre, in a cellar near Green street, and 
particularly mentions him as excelling all the rest in 
personating Henry YI.^ in the murder scene in '' Eich- 
ard." "It is true," says Smith, "that he omitted the 
speaking, but when I growled out the awful sentence, 
" Down, down to hell, and say I sent thee there," and 
stuck him with a lath, Duffy had a way of falling from 
the wood pile in a most masterly manner, to the great 
enthusiasm of the audience, but to the imminent risk 
of breaking his royal neck." 

His father knew nothing of these dramatic displays, 
and would have discountenanced them. But, at a 
later day, when a large family of orphans, through the 
vicissitudes of fortune and injustice of supposed friends, 
were thrown upon their own resources, this dramati(i 
schooling, proved of advantage to the future actor. 
He then formally enlisted in the army of the sock and 
buskin, and before long, was a^member, with Edwin 
Forrest and others' since distinguished, of Caldwell's 
New Orleans company, which gave performances 
through the south and west. While in this troupe, 
William Duffy and Edwin Forrest contracted a sincere 
and lasting'friendship. 

Leaving Caldwell's company, Mr. Duffy made his 
debut in Albany, upon his return from the south, on 
the 19th of July, 1827, in Bertram,^ one of the favorite 
characters of the elder Booth. His second appearance 
was in the tragedy of "Venice Preserved," as Jaffier, 
to WoodhuU's Piffrre. In 1829, after playing occasion- 
ally at the South Pearl street theatre, at Providence, 
and elsewhere, he yielded to the urgent solicitatiou of 
friends, and reluctantly assumed the ihanagement of 


the Albany theatre. He deemed the adventure 
]aaz3,rdous, and in taking upon himself the responsi- 
bilities of manager, would seem to have sacrificed 
ambition to business. If we credit the glowing 
accounts of numbers who remember him, he was the 
peer of many who have achieved great fame on the 
stage. He was considered one of the best general 
actors in ,the country ; and whether in tragedy, high 
comedy, melo-drama, low comedy or farce, did well, 
and gave evidence of rare dramatic powers. 

When Forrest played star engagements in Albany, 
Mr. Duffy seconded him in all his principal pieces. For- 
rest pronounced him, unequivocally and decidedly, the 
best Phas(wiiis, in " The Gladiator," that ever assumed 
the part. Mr. Stone states that " William Duffy, 
while doing the role of Phasarius, portrayed the cruci- 
fixijOn of the gladiators with such truthfulness, nay, 
electric effect, that portions of the audience would 
positively turn their iapes from the actor during his 
recital, with utter horror and disgust Even Forrest, 
at parts of the recital, would; evince an unusuid degree 
of emotion." . 

But this was only one exhibition of his remarkable 
powers. He would repeatedly carry away the applause 
which some T)\fellTapproved star was cultivating for 
himself He was a handsome man, and something 
above the medium height, had a pleasant countenance, 
not unlike that of John McCullt»ugh, with an expres- 
sive, blue eye, acquiline nose and handsome mouth. 
His. voice was resonant and singularly melodious, and 
had a certain sympathetic quality, that instantly secured 
favor. Naturally graceful, and constantly perfecting 
himself in stage aeoomplishrnents, he could dance, fence, 
sing, ride a spirited horse, or do any thing. thatoccasion 
required in the line of stage duty. When the famops 
hoi'se piece "Mazeppa" was the attraction of the hour, 
he took the usual ciiances, lashed to the back of th|e 
"fiery steed," and canned the house by storm with the 
vigor and daah of the^ performance. But while at home 
in almost all branches of the drama, he was particularly 


excellent in high coraed,y. A better Ollapod never 
graced the stage. His Sir Thomas Clifford, in " The 
Hunchback," elicited the praises of Sheridan Knowles. 
We might run oyer the list of old comedies in vogue 
fifty years ago, and now only occasionally revived 
among the crowd of upholstery dramas or society plays, 
and from the press notices of the day, and the remem- 
brance of old citizens still keenly appreciative, show 
what a fine general actor and general favorite he was. 

Had he chosen to star it insteaid of managing, he must 
have achieved a grand success. But having entered 
the field of management, he at once proved himself 
admirably adapted to the dual position he occupied as 
actor and manager. He had a splendid physique, was 
exceedingly active and energetic in all his multifarious 
duties, and as we learn from one of our successful 
business men, was one of the best business men he ever 
saw. He ran, both at one time, the Pearl street thea- 
tre, and the Arch street theatre, Philadelphia, his time 
being divided between the two places. Meanwhile, he 
had under way a fine theatre in Bufifalo, and had under 
management a roving company, made of the Arch and 
Pearl street stock,, and performing with varied success 
in New England, and between Albany and Buffalo. 

It was his intention to establish a complete line of 
theatres from Albany to Buffalo, taking. in, one after 
another, the interior cities. Under his indefatigable 
and judicious management, this would no doubt have 
proved a successful enterprise, his extraordinary busi- 
ness capacity affording ample assurance of such a result. 

The corner stone of the theatre in Buffalo was laid 
January 4th, 1835, in presence of the mayor, common 
council, and a large collection of citizens. A silver 
plate, placed under the corner stone, was inscribed as 
follows : 


Founded by Wm. Duffy, January 4, 18H5, 

L. Howard, Master Builder. 

In presence of E. Johnson, Mayor, and Common 




' Appropriate speeches were made by the Mayor and 
Mr. Duffy, and the affair passed off with great eclai. 

At the Pearl street and the Arch street theatres, under 
Mr. Duffy's management, great attention was paid to 
stage effects, and all that carpentry and mechanical 
genius had up to that date devised, was hrought into 
play, both here and in Philadelphia. The elaborate 
and efficient manner in which he placed Forrest's pieces 
on the stage, " Metamora," "The Gladiator," "The 
Broker of Bogota," and " Oraloosa," elicited very flatter- 
ing encomiums, not only from Mr. F., but from the 
press and ptiblic generally. He had two excellent 
scene painters, John Leslie and Mr. Coyle. Coyle tried 
his hand at shade painting, as well as stage scenery, 
and probably the most elaborately painted window 
shades ever hung in Albany, up to 1835, were from his 
facile brush' 

All the other departments of the theatre were well 
filled. There was no better stage manager in the 
country than John Greene, who at the same time rivalled 
the famous Tyrone Power in Irish' characterization. 
But while paying close attention to the requirements 
of management, keeping well advised as to, finance, 
stage properties,the merits and deficiencies of employees, 
the public pulse, and the thousand-and -one details of 
dramatic business, Mr. Dttffy played parts with as much 
seeming ease and, relish, as thotigh free fi-om all cares 
behind the curtain. He had a remarkable memory, 
and though seldom more than glancing over a part once 
acted, was generally letter-perfect. When his 'mana- 
gerial duties required much time and attention, and he 
had a lengthy part to play, he would don his theatrical 
harness a short time before the curtain rose, run hur- 
riedly over his lines, and occasionally "winging it," •to 
speak professionally, would go through with as much 
ease and accuracy as though hours of study had been 
devoted to the part. 

As illustrative of his skill with the sw^ord, we take 
the following anecdote from Mr. Stone's "Reminis- 
cences : " It was at the Pearl street theatre, and the 


elder Booth was playing Richard. He had, in the 
morning, warned Duffy, who was to play Bichmond, 
" to be on his guard, as he felt in fighting trim. The 
play went off finely. Booth never, perhaps, appear- 
ing more brilliant in the character. The combat at 
last commenced, and a terrific one it was.^ Booth 
having worked himself iip to a high degree of excite- 
ment in the battle scene, had become desperate. His 
thrusts, lunges and cuts were fearful. Duffy was cool 
and collected, parrying with consummate skill. He 
was an excellent fencer — sparks of fire rolling from 
their sw^ords, the chances appearing about equal. 

' Booth finding, finally, that he had his match, resorted 
to his old dodge of 'playing down,' or 'driving to the 
corner,' his antagonist. Duffy, however, was fully on 
his guard, and by making a ' feint,' threw Booth off 
his guard, striking Booth's sword with great force, and 
hurling it several feet over his head. Booth, evi-' 
dently chagrined at his discomfiture, storming and 
fretting like a caged tiger, quickly made vain attempts 

, to regain his weapon, but finding himself so much 
exhausted, made the ' last fall,' thus ending one of the 
most severe stage combats we ever witnessed." 

Mr. Duffy was reserved and dignified in his general 
deportment; indeed, was known among friends as 

: " The Dominie." He took a warm interest in the suc- 
cess of the Young Men's Association, of which he 
became a life member, as did also Edwin Forrest and 
William Forrest, his brother. 

Mr. Duffy had in him all the elements of a suc- 
cessful manager, as well as actor, a combination rarely 
found in one man. What he might have finally accom- 
plished in either line, can only be conjectured, as, at 
the early age of thirty-three, he was cut off by a vio- 
lent death, dying March 12th, 1836, from a wound 
inflicted by John Hamilton, an actor in the stock 




The South Pearl Street Theatre — End of the North Pearl 
Street Circus. 

MESSES. Duffy & Forrest's stock company con- 
tinued to play from June 9th till the 24th. without 
the assistance of any extra attraction. On the ] 8th, 
Miss Greer made her first appearance, as Agnes in the 
drama of "William Tell." William C. Forbes had a 
most remarkable faculty of turning pale at will. He 
made his debut in this city ; probably at the Thespian 
hotel, although we have no official record of it. He 
subsequently managed a theatre in Providence, Ehode 
Island, for ten years. His wife was a handsome woman, 
who could sing " Coming through, the rye " with much 
effect. Harry Knight was the low comedian and used 
to sing "The Poachers." It is related of him that as 
opportunities to sing his favorite song did not occur 
frequently enough to satisfy him, he used to go up in 
the tipper boxes and call for " Knight ! Knight !" till 
the gallery took it up, and then scud around behind 
the scenes and answer to the call. He married Eliza, 
one of the Kent sisters, and finally died from having 
his leg cut off on the railroad, between Baltimore and 
Philadelphia, in 1839. His widow married George 
Mossop, was divorced, and marrying Mr. DeCosta, a 
merchant, retired from the stage. Mrs. LaForrest was 
formerly Miss Sophia Eberle, sister of the Eberles, of 
whom we have spoken, and aunt of Mr. E. A. Eberle, 
late of the Leland. In 1828, she had married Charles 


LaForrest, a famous equestrian. Mr. Judah was, we 
think, the man by the same name who was drowned in 
1839, in the Gulfof Mexico. 

June 22d, the drama of " Blood for Blood," founded 
upon Scott's "Fair Maid of Perth," was produced, and 
is memorable, from the fact that its representation did 
not belie its sanguinary title. William Forrest, who 
was playing Sir John Mamorhy, was struck in the 
breast by a dagger, which was supposed to be a spring 
one. It was not, however, and a wound was inflicted 
near the heart, which, for some days, was thought 
would prove mortal. 

June 24th, Mr. William Pelby, the first star, ap- 
peared as Hamlei, and June 25th, his wife Kosalie, as 
Juliana, in "The Honeymoon." He was a favorite 
manager in Boston, and a tragedian of some repute, 
but lacked, the necessary requisite of a good voice. 
He was born in New York, March 16th, 1793, and died 
in Boston, May 27th, 1850. Mrs. Pelby was noted for 
her beauty. She was born in. Kinderhook, New York, 
March 17th, 1791, and made her <M)ut in Boston, in 
1813. Under her husband's management, she became 
a great favorite there, at the National. She died on 
board the steamer Northern Light, in June, 1855, while 
en route from California, where she had been visiting 
with her daughter Julia, also a favorite actress, who 
married .Mr. J. W. Thoman, in July, 1858. 

July 2d, Booth appeared as Richard, for one night, 
and Miss Emery, who had previously played as a 
star, became attached to the company. Her history is 
one of the saddest known to the stage. She was born 
in London, and made her first appearance at the Surrey 
theatre, in 1827. She was a very large woman — said 
to be the largest ever known to the stage in this 
CQuntry — and pla,yed tragedy with grand effect. The 
English press called her " the actress of the day." She 
appeared first in thig country at the Chestnut street 
theatre, in Philadelphia, October 31st, 1827, as Belvi- 
dera, in "Venice Preserved." She appeared March 
17th, 1828, at the Chatham theatre, in New York, and 


was recognised' by the press, as an actress of great skill 
and power, bnt appearing at a declining theatre and a,t 
a time when the stage was crowded with favorites, she 
did not become popular. Finally, she was unable to 
obtain engagements; her home was taken from her, 
and her furniture sold at auction. She was obliged 
even to sell her valuable wardrobe and then to quit 
the stage. She became'so poor that she was compelled 
to hire a room in a garret, in Anthony street. New 
York, and wasfrequently found' ill Theatre alley, back 
of the old Park theatre, begging a few shillings from 
the actors. She at last, in 1832, took up lodgings at 
the Five Points. One day, she had a quarrel with a 
drunken' woman and shortly after, was assaulted while; 
sleeping, by this woman and two other prostitutes. 
After being forced into the street, she staggered towards 
the market house and laid down and died. A cart 
was procured and she was carried off to Bellevue hos^ 
pital. Our readers who remember the sad end of Amy; 
Fawsitt (December 26th, 1876), engaged as leading lady 
for Daly's theatre, will note the similarity between'- 
the two cases. The. demon of strong drink spares 
neither sex nor condition. 

On the 3d of July, Henry James Finn, of the Boston 
theatre, appeared as Paul Pry, and afterwards as Dr. 
Pangloss, Billy Bldck, Shyloch, Br. Ollapod, Bob Logic' 
(in "Tom and- Jerry "),' Maw-worm, and several other' 
characters of a similar nature. This gentleman was 
celebrated as an actor, author, dramatist and artist. 
He was born in Cape Breton, between 1785. and 1790' 
He was, at one tiine, editor of a paper in G-eorgia, and 
published " Comic Annuals," which would not have 
disgraced Hood. He was, in every way, exemplary as 
a man, while as an actor, in the range of comedy he 
selected, he is said never to have been excelled in this 
country. His wife was Miss Elizabeth Powell. He 
was lost on board the steamer Lexington, burnt on 
Long Island Sound, in January, 1840, almost in sight 
of hisown home, in Newport. 

During the month of July, the Ken ts became attached 


to the theatre: The, sisters were fine dancers and good- 
actresses. Their father, John, was a valuable accession. 
Herr Cline performed at this time, and July 20th took 
a benefit. Hie was the best rope dancer seen in this 
country till the advent of the Eavek. July 21st, we 
note the name of Hamilton, who played Tiptoe, in 
"Ways and Means." This unhappy man was the 
cause of the death of Manager Duffy, in 1836. 

In August, Henry Southwell, a dashing and spirited 
actor from the London and Philadelphia theatres, 
appeared as Borneo; Mrs. Bernard, (formerly the favorite 
Miss Tilden) played a few nights, as did Mr. Placide, 
Miss Kelly, Messrs. WoodhuU, Chapman, and others. 
(Brown's History of the Stage says that Miss Tilden, 
previous to her appearance in Albany in Gilfert's com- 
pany, had married Walter Williams, a circus clown, 
but had been divorced from him. Her third husband 
was a Doctor Tucker, of Philadelphia,whom she married 
after her retirement from thestage.) The benefits fol- 
lowed, and the season closed September 16th, covering a 
period of fourteen weeks and three nights. Total num- 
ber of performances, 81 ; total receipts, $5,750.31^ ; 
average weekly receipts, $3&6;55 ; average nightly 
receipts, $66. 

Although the management was nominally Duffy & 
Forrest's, we find from the original' lease that the build- 
ing at this time was let to William Daffy, singly. The 
term was originally for eight weeks, with the privilege 
of extension. The rent was $40 per week. 

On the 28th of June, Mr. H! Bberle opened the 
circus as a summer theatre, and his sister, Mrs. LaFor- 
rest, followed him to that establishment. Farces, 
musical pieces, nautical dramas, comic songs, etc., were 
the features. David Eberle, Messrs. Davis, Goode- 
now, Taylor, Ball and Stammers were among the com- 

After the season at the South Pearl street theatre 
had closed, the circus was again opened September 
30th, this time by 0. W. Taylor, as the Clinton theatre. 
The Kents and the TumbuUs were engaged -with 


Davis, Eodney, Miss Greer, Mrs. Cook, Mrs. "Wilt, and 
others. Performances were given' till November 2d. 
Charley Taylor, the manager, was a resident of Albany 
for twenty-five years, and connected, for a long time, 
with the Museum. He was well educated, and the 
author of several plays. It must have been during this 
season that TurnbuU's, drama of " Vald^mar " was pro- 
duced, under the supervision of the author. " It had," 
says Stone, " a fine run of — one evening. From some 
cause or other the manager,on the next night was obliged, 
as he said, to dismiss the audience in consequence of. 
some of the artists refusing to play. While the mana- 
ger was making this moving speech, the ticket seller 
smelt a good sized rat, and there being just eighteen 
dollars due him, and there being just eighteen dollars 
in the box of&ce, he blew out the lights, and taking all 
the funds, -departed. The manager, not knowing of 
this, threw himself upon the kind indulgence of the 
audience, and informed them they could step to 
the box office and have their money refunded. The 
ticket seller was non est, and a free fight was the result. 
The chandelier was broken, as well as the manager, 
who made his escape through the sewer. The scene 
ended by old John Meigs, high constable, and hisposse, 
capturing some dozen canallers and two soldiers." 

On the 17th of December, the circus property was 
spld at auction, and used as a Methodist church, till 
June, 1851, when it was pulled down, and the present 
church edifice erected upon the site. 

Messrs. Duffy & Forrest's second season opened 
Monday, November 9th, 1829. During the recess the 
projected improvements, which had been announced 
by Mr. Duffy a year previous, but which he was then 
unable to effect, were made. Mondelli, an Italian 
artist, was employed- to ornament the interior of the 
theatre in several ways. Among other additions, 
Gordon painted a new drop scene, representing an 
Italian landscape, near the Lake Maggiore, and a view 
of the villa of Cardinal Borrome, with a distant view 
of that part of the Alps over which Hannibal passed 


with his army; "the whole presenting a. tout ensemble 
seldom equalled." 

Following is a copy of the lease of the theatre, 
which, fortunately for our purpose, has survived the 
lapse of fifty years : 

Articles of agreement made the 25th day of Septem- 
ber, 1829, between James McKown, in behalf of the 
trustees of the Albany theatre, of the one part, and 
William Duffy and William Forrest, of the second part. 

1st. The party of the first part hereby lease to the 
parties of the second part, the " Albany theatre," in 
South Pearl street, with the scenery and appurtenances 
thereunto belonging, for the term of two years, if the 
lessees shall so elect and desire. 

2d. The parties of the second part hereby agree to 
pay to the treasurer of the board of trustees, for the use 
of the said party of the first part, an annual rent of 
$1,500, payable in weekly installments of $40, on Monday 
of each successive week, commencing with the second 
Monday of November next, until the whole rent shall 
be fully paid. 

3d. The party of the second part shall and will at all 
times, while the said theatre is open as a play-house, 
keep and maintain an efiicient and respectable company, 
and shall manage and conduct the establishment In a 
creditable and proper manner, and shall not appropriate 
the said building to any other purpose than a theatre, 
and shall not assign the lease to any person, nor under- 
let the said establishment, without the consent of the 
party of the first part. 

4th. The lessees shall also be responsible for unneces- 
sary damage to the building, scenery, decorations and 
appurtenances, and are not to make any alterations 
without the consent of the party of the first part, and 
shall, at all times, keep the same in good order and 
repair, and so re-deliver the same at the expiration of 
the lease: 

5th. It is also agreed and understood that the trustees 
and treasurer have free access to the theatre at all times, 
and the exclusive use and control of one of the private 

6th. In case of a breach of any of the covenants of 


the lease on the part of the lessees, the party of the first 
part may re-enter or distrain, at their election. 

In witness ;whereof, the aforesaid parties have here- 
unto set their hands and seals, the day and year above 

Jambs McKown, 
Wm. Duffy, 
Wm. Fokbest. 

Sealed and delivered in presence of 

Chkis. Yates. 

The opening bill included the comedy of " THe 
School of Reform," and the opera of "The Poor Sol- 
dier," cast as follows: "School of B.efoTm"^ General 
Tarragan, Mr. Vernon ; Mr. Ferment, Duffy ; Frederick, 
William Forrest; Tyke, Page; Mrs. Ferment, Mrs. 
Vernon ; Julia Tarragan, Mrs. Hutchins ; Mrs. Nicely, 
Mrs. Walstein. " The Poor Soldier "—Patrick (with 
songs), Mr. Hutchins ; Father Luke, Quinn ; Kathleen 
(with songs), Mrs. Forbes. 

The performance began at half-past six. Previous 
to the plays Mr. Forrest delivered the following address, 
written for the occasion by James Lawson, of New 

In earliest days, when uncontrolled by art, 
Each chalnless passion of the human heart, 
Through every grade of cruelty and crime, 
Held sovereign sway, unchecked hy law or time; 
When guilt uprose, with dark malignant frown, 
To grasp from virtue's head her spotless crown; 
And mad ambition, marched with giant strides 
O'er wasted war -fields, red with human tides; 
When ruthless vengeance and unholy hate. 
Stalked through the world to blight and desolate; 
When vice and superstition marked the age; 
The actors were mankind — the earth the stage. 

In later times, when sons of genius rose. 
Of murder, rapine, and revenge the foes, 
The stage was then the grove, or sylvan green; 
The, only actors on the tragic scene 
Were the rude sons, to ruder fathers born. 
Whose wit 'and satire held vice up to scorn, 
And mimic'd deeds of heroes and of kings, 
In their unwritten, crude imaginings. " 


But brighter days came on and lustre threw 
On histpry's page, for future age to view, 
In Greece, the pride and pattern of the world, 
The tragic Muse her standard first unfurled; 
Euphorion's son struck his enchanting lyre. 
In notes that waked Buripides's fire; 
And then his rival's, who, in song or field, 
Proved both his country's glory or her shield. 
Then lived the comic muse, whose wit refined 
Was felt, obeyed, and showed the power of mind ; 
Next Rome, the haughty empress of the earth — 
Her sons immortal, as of heavenly birth — 
Caught the sweet sounds, the Grecian lyre awoke 
And in undying strains, her drama spoke: 
The swarthy Carthage sent her bonded son,. 
Who for Thalia's crown both strove and won. 

But time rolled onward, the dark ages fled : 
Long slumbering genius woke, as from the dead! 
The drama shed its radiance o'er mankind ; 
And raised the world from apathy of mind; 
The stage, the Avon Swan's immortal verse, 
Held, holds, in magic thralls, the universe. 

The stage ! the light of innocence and truth. 
The scourge of vicious age, the friend of youth; 
The stage— vast field, where stormy passions pass 
In bold review, as in a prescient glass; 
The stage, where virtue her fair form may see, 
And vice shrink back before his own deformity. 

Patrons, once more our portals open wide. 
Tour smile our hope, your favor still our pride: 
The drama, here shall dignify the stage. 
Amuse, instruct, while it amends the age! 

Prices of admission were, boxes, 75 cents ; pit, 37^ ; 
gallery, 25 cents. The receipts on the opening night 
were $195. The company included, beside the mana- 
gers themselves, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon, Miss Emery, 
the Misses Kent, Mr. and Mrs. Hutohins, Mrs. Walstein, 
Mrs. Greer, Messrs. Webb, Quinn, Eoberts, Farron, 
Page and McKinney. At least, all these people played 
more or less frequently during the nights which fol- 
lowed the opening. Old English comedies and tragedy, 
lightened with occasional farces,- were presented in 
rapid succession. Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Barnes, Mr. Hackett, 
and Mr. Dixon, a buffo singer, appeared. George 
Washington Dixon received his first ideas of " buffo- 



singing" from Slomau, before mentioned, and made his 
debut in Albany, at tbe circus, in 1827. He was one 
of the earliest negro minstrels, and claimed for himself 
the honor of being the author of the song " Old Zip 
Coon." He also became notorious through a pretense 
of raising a brigade to participate in the Yucatan troubles, 
and also, as editor of The Polyanthus,, a blackmailing 
sheet, published in New York, whose attacks upon 
everybody, from doctors of divinity to Madame Eestell, 
are still remembered. An assault upon the character 
of Miss Missouri, sister of Josephine Clifton, is said 
to have caused her death. Dixon was shot at, caned, 
and imprisoned a number of times, and at last died in 
the. Charity hospital, in New Orleans, in March, 1861. 
As an interesting exhibit of how the drama was pat- 
ronized (or rather how it was liot patronized), at this 
time, we are enabled — through the courtesy of Mr. 
William D. Morange — to present the following figures : 


Monday, Nov. Q^Opening night $195 00 

Tuesday, ' ' 10 — Speed the Plough, and Fortune's 

Frolic 58 0-H 

Wednesday, " 11— She Stoops to Conquer, and 

Family Jars 94 50 

Thursday, " 12— Fazio, and Wool Gathering 90 63i 

Friday, " 13 — Honeymoon, and Love, Law and 

Physic 72 50 

Saturday, " 14^-Rob Roy, and Raising the Wind, 75 12i 

1586 37i 

Monday, Nov. 16— Jane Shore $109 12^ 

Tuesday, ' ' 17— Poor Gentleman 77 62^, 

Wednesday, " 18— Rob Roy, and Lottery Ticket . . 129 351 
Thursday, " 19 — Venice Preserved, and The Re- 
view 76 00 

Friday, " 30 — Sweethearts and Wives, and 

Turnpike Gate 66 12i 

Saturday, " 31— 60 50 

$518 73 
Monday, Nov. 33 — The Gamester, and One Hun- 
dred Pound Note $77 874 

Tuesday, " 34 — ^^Speed the Plougli; and Simpson 

& Co ':.. 36 37* 

Wednesday, " 35— Soldier's Daughter, and Theresa, 58 37|,' 



Thursday, Nov. 36— Rob Roy.and My Master's Rival, |63 50 

Friday, " 27— Lear of Private Life 68 00 

Saturday, " 38-^Pizarro, and Young Widow (for 

Miss Emery's benefit) 173 50 

$476 63J 

Monday, Nov. 30— Roberts's benefit |130 00 

Tuesday, Dec. 1 — iEvadne, and Master's Rival ... 41 13j 
2 — Masaniello, and Animal Mag- 
netism 58 25 

3 — Masaniello, and Animal Mag- 
netism 228 87i 

4— '... 30 12i 

5— Paul Pry,- and My Master's Rival, 27 87i 




$516 25 











Dec. 7 — Apostate, and The Review $27 75 

8 — The Stranger, and Promissory 

Note 19 87} 

9 — Belle's Stratagem, and Spectre 

Bridegroom 34 75 

10 — Sister of Charity, Masaniello, 

etc., Mrs. Barnes's benefit.. 214 62i 
11 — School for Scandal, and My 

Master's Rival 44 75 

12^-Masaniello, and Hypocrite (for 

Barnes's benefit). 16 25 

$358 00 
Dec. 14 — Aurelio and Rosaline (panto- 
mime), and Zembuca, (for 

Dixon's benefit) $155 87i 

" 15 — Speed the Plough, and Fortune's 

Frolic 16 25 

16 — May Queen, and Sweethearts 

and Wives. 31 35 

17— Foundling of the Forest. ...... 23 00 

18— Wild Oats, and May Queen, 

benefit of managers (t) 69 12} 

19— Pizarro, for Davis's benefit .... 27 62} 

$313 12} 

We might continue to give the figures for each night 
in the season, but the above are sufficient to show 
that the efforts of the managers were not very highly- 

On the 8th of January (1830), the theatre was bril- 
liantly illuminated,, in honor of the anniversary of 



1815, and " The Eighth of January," a patriotic play, 
was produced, with Andrew Jackson Allen as Qeneral 
Jackson ; receipts, $139.37^. February 22d, we find the 
same old humbug playing Qeneral Washington, in " The 
G-lory of Columbia ; " receipts, $72.50. On the 2d of 
March, the theatre was closed, " in order to assist Mr. 
Bury, pastor of St. Paul's church, for whose benefit 
an oratorio was given, in St. Peter's church." " Ora- 
torios," in these days, were merely selections of sacred 
music, and* not the performance of one great work.. 
The season closed March 17th, after a total of 113 
nights, for which was received $6,795.25, being a 
weekly average of $389.85, and a nightly average 
of $60.13. 

On the 1st of April, a supplementary season began, 
with Edwin Forrest as the attraction. There were 
twelve performances, the receipts, when Forrest played, 
running from $128 to $380, and on " ofE " nights, from 
$26 down to $15. Mr. Forrest brought with him at 
this time, Robert Maywood, Mr. Kelsey, Mrs. Roper, 
and Mr. and Mrs. John Greene. Mrs. Greene made 
her Albany debut as Galanthe, in "Damon and Pythias," 
and her husband as Murtoch Delaney, in " The Irish- 
man in London." 

John Greene was born in Philadelphia, of Irish 
parentage, in 1795, and was a printer by trade. He 
made his debut at Frederickston, Maryland, in 1818, 
as Octavian, and was long connected with the Phila- 
delphia theatres. In a range of Irish parts, he acquired, 
previous to Power's advent, a high repute, especially 
as Dennis Brulgruddery. In 1859, he retired from the 
stage for a year or two, and removed to Nashville. 
While playing an engagement at Memphis, he was 
stricken with paralysis of the brain, and after a few 
months died. May 28th, 1860, aged sixty-five. He 
was a good-hearted man and no one's enemy but his 
own. Durang says : " Greene's personal aspect bore 
a strange contrast to his disposition. His figure was 
dwarfish, stout about the shoulders, the breast of 
Hercules ; the muscle in the torso was remarkable. 


His head was very large ; the face marked with iron 
sternness. When the lady who became his wife was 
first introduced to him, she was so struck with his 
inhuman expression, that she habitually shunned him ; 
but his suavity of manner and conversational powers, 
with his good humor and merry ways, soon won her 

Mrs. John Greene was a native of Boston, born 
March 23d, 1800. Her maiden name was Anne 
Nuskey. She made her debut at Norfolk, Virginia, 
with Beaumont's company, in 1815, and soon married 
Henry Lewis, a son of Lewis, the famous comedian, 
and from whom she separated on account of ill-treat- 
ment, and on learning that he had a wife and children 
living in. Europe. She married Greene in 1818, and 
endured with him, an innumerable variety of incidents, 
joyful and sorrowful, in their mutual long theatrical 
career. She was, for many years, attached to the 
Chestnut street theatre, Philadelphia, and after passing 
through nearly every city in the Union, finally settled 
at Nashville, where her husband was manager for several 
seasons. After his death, she came on a visit to Phila- 
delphia, about the time of the breaking out of the 
war. While thus absent from home, she received 
warning from her friends in Nashville that unless she 
returned speedily, her funds were likely to be confis- 
cated. This gave her such a nervous shock, that she 
was never herself again. In three weeks, she seemed 
to have grown twenty years older. She left Phila- 
delphia in trembling anxiety, in September, and died 
in Nashville, January 19th, 1862. She rests in the 
same grave with her husband, at Mount Olive cemetery. 
A metropolitan critic says of her : " She possessed no 
great diversity of talent, but in the highest range of 
walking ladies, the serious mothers, the distressed 
wives and stately baronesses of the stage, we have 
never seen her surpassed. Her JHerrhione, in ' Damon 
and Pythias,' was a fine performance ; her Queen Mtza- 
heth, in ' Eiohard IIL,' we have never seen excelled, and 
her Queen, in ' Hamlet,' we have never known equalled. 


In personal appearance, she was tall and command- 
ing, and her costume was generally elegant and appro- 
priate. Mrs. Greene tas been well known at our minor 
theatres, where she has often moved like a goddess 
among the mortals that surrounded her." She played 
in Albany for several seasons and was much admired. 
Toward the close of her dramatic career, she became 
quite deaf. 

April 9th, "Metamora" was first produced in 
Albany, to the largest business of the engagment 
($380). The cast was as follows: Melamora, E. For- 
rest ; Lord Fiiz Arnold, Fielding ; Sir Arthur Vaughn, 
Page; Ouy of Godalmin, Kelsey; Horatio, Duffy; 
Wolfe, W. Forrest ; Oceana, Mrs. Eoper ; Metamora's 
child. Miss Jenkins ; Nahmeokee, Mrs. Greene. 

"Metamora" was the first prize play accepted for 
Mr. Forrest. At the age of twenty-two, he was struck 
with the paticity of American dramatic literature, and 
offered "To the author of the best tragedy, in five acts, of 
which the hero or principal character shall be an 
aboriginal of this country, the sum of $500, and half 
the proceeds of the third representation, with my own 
gratuitous services on that occasion ; the award to be 
made by a committee of literary and theatrical gentle- 
men." The committee consisted of Bryant, Halleck, 
Lawson, Leggett, Wetmore and Brooks. Fourteen 
plays were presented, and the prize was awarded to 
" Metamora, or The Last of the Wampanoags," by John 
Augustus Stone, then of Philadelphia, but formerly a 
member of Gilfert's Albany company. Subsequently 
other premiums were offered by Mr. Forrest for other 
plays, resulting in the writing of about 200, nine of 
which received prizes. Of these nine, five proved fail- 
ures, and only "Metamora,"- "The Gladiator," "The 
Broker of Bogota " and "Jack Cade" held the stage. 
According to Eev. Mr. Alger, Mr. Forrest paid out 
from his private purse, for the encouragement of a 
native dramatic literature, as much as $20,000 in pre- 
miums, benefits and gratuities to authors. Forrest 
was intensely patriotic. It will be remembered that in 


1834 he gave $100 to the Youug Men's association, 
stipulating that it " be appropriated to the purchase of 
hooks purely American, to be placed in the library for 
the use of the young men of Albany." 

"Metaraora "was not a work of much literary merit, 
but it was original, and its success was remarkable. It 
was the first time that the creation known as the Cooper 
Indian (" an extinct tribe that never existed " — Mark 
Twain) was seen upon the stage. To this purely idylic 
creature the actor added the fruits of his studies among 
the Choctaws, and the result was a grand theatric suc- 
cess. - Many times delegations of Indian tribes, who 
chanced to be visiting Boston, New York, Washington, 
Baltimore, Cincinnati and New Orleans, where he was 
acting the character, attended the performance, and even 
expressed pleasure and approval. It is said that a largfr 
delegation of western Indians, seated in the boxes of 
the old- Tremont theatre, in Boston, on such an occa- 
sion, were so excited by the performance, that in the 
closing scene they rose and chanted a dirge in honor of 
the death of the great chief. 

A summer season began May 10th, and lasted till 
August 18th ; total number of nights, 82 ; total receipts, 
$3,972.12 ; average per night, $48.35. We must pass 
over this period without extended comment. " Cherry 
and Fair Star " was produced. T. A. Cooper played a 
fair engagement Hackett played Bip Van. Winkle, 
with price to the boxes raised to $1. Mr. F. Brown 
appeared as a star, supported by Mrs. Drake and Miss 
Mestayer appeared for her sister's, Mrs. Tilton's, benefit. 

October 6th, the theatre reopened with '" The Poor 
Gentleman " and " Lock and Key." The new members 
of the company were Mr. and Mrs. Vaughan, Mr. Bel- 
cour, Mr. Nickinson, Mrs. Justus, and Miss Kean, from 
the southern theatres ; Mr. Wallace from the western 
theatres, Mr. and Mrs. Near and Miss Plympton from 
tlfe Boston theatres, Mr. and Mrs. Conway. 

On the 15th, Greorge Holland appeared as Billy Lack- 
aday, in" Sweethearts and Wives," (receipts, $100.25) 
and played several nights. He had played here omie 


before, under Mr. Vernon's management. He made his 
first appearance in America, September 12th, 1827, and 
was a very amusing comic singer and an expert ven- 
triloquist. He was long a fa,vorite in Ifew Orleans, 
and then returning to New York, from 1843 to 1849, 
was a standing attraction at Mitchell's Olympic. Still 
later, he joined Wood & Christy's minstrels, and after- 
wards was a long time at Wallack's. His last engage- 
ment was at Daly's, and his last appearance was at the 
Fifth Avenue theatre. May 15th, 1870, when, at a 
benefit performance given in his behalf, the veteran 
comedian took his seat in an arm chair on the stage, 
quite too' feeble even to read his farewell address, and 
the company gathered around him in an efiective 
tableau. He died the 20th of December following, in 
his eightieth year. It was at this veteran's funeral that 
the Eev. Mr. Sabine declined to officiate, saying, "I 
want to have nothing to do with an actor. There is a 
little place round the corner where they do these 
things," an expression which has made the Little 
Church Around the Corner (the Church of the Trans- 
figuration, in 29th street, near Madison avenue, New 
York, Eev. Dr. Houghton's) a spot dear to the heart of 
every member of the profession in America. Indeed, 
so warm was the feeling upon the subject, that the 
theatrical community were aroused to special action by 
the insult, and testimonial performances were given in 
the principal New York theatres and elsewhere, and a 
fund amounting to $15,352.73 was raised and devoted to 
the support of the actor's widow and children, three of 
whom are now upon the stage. Mrs. Holland is still 

On the 22d, Madame Feron appeared as Di Vernon, 
in "Eob Eoy," and Maria, in "Of Age To-Morrow." 
This lady was the most celebrated European vocalist 
that had, at this time, visited America. She was a 
brilliant singer of the most florid Italian school. She 
had been engaged at the theatre of San Carlos, in 
Naples, at a salary of $6,000, but in this country did 
not create a great sensation, being neither young nor 


beautiful — attributes the lack of which was just as 
unfortunate for the singer fifty years ago, as it is to-day. 
This was not her first visit to Albany. The Advertiser 

Madame Feron, some years smce, gave a concert in 
this city, as she was passing through. There happened 
to be a party given the same evening, at some house or 
other, where the attraction was not greater than usual, 
and where parties were quite frequent. But our " musi- 
cal " friends all went off in a body to eat ice cream and 
oysters, and Madame Feron, who had charmed the con- 
noisseurs of Naples and the amateurs of London, sang some 
of her most admired songs to exactly seventeen persons ! 
We really wonder at her venturing to the " little Dutch 
furnace," after a hrilliant engagement at the Bowery 
theatre, and the nightly congregation of a crowded 

The receipts the first night were $71, and the second 
night, for her benefit, $125.25. Miss Stannard now 
joined the company. The season closed January 8th, 
1831, after the appearance of a number of stars, of 
whom we have previously spoken. The receipts for 
the eighty nights on which there were performances, 
amounted to $5,529.75, and an average of $69.12-|- per 

The Museum was removed from its old quarters, 
and was opened on the first of January, 1881, in the 
new building, corner of State and Market streets, and, 
was a consolidation of Trowbridge's collection, corner of 
Hudson and Market streets, known as the New York 
State museum, and the Troy museum, all under the 
management of Vanderwater & Meech. The, building 
was owned by Thorp & Sprague, the stage proprietors. 
A new drop scene was painted by J. Leslie. The Cos- 
morama and Phantasmagora were exhibited every 
evening. Yearly family tickets, $10 ; single gentlemen, 
$3 ; quarter tickets, $1.25. 




The South Pearl Street Theatre under Duffy & Forrest. 

TTTHE Albany theatre re-opened January 17th, 1831, 
-^ under the same management, and with substantially 

the same company. February 10th, Mr. Duffy played 
YirginivjS for the first time, scoring a great success. On 

the 14th of March, Mr. William Forrest took a benefit; 

for which this appeal was made: 

Mr. Forrest beg^ leave to impress upon the memory 
of his friends and the public, this notorious fact, that his 
benefit is fixed for Monday, 14th inst. He would like- 
wise intimate to both houses of the Legislature, the pro- 
priety of deferring their debate on the "Troy bridge" 
and the "abolishment of imprisonment for debt," until 
this event has transpired, as the ice is about being cleared 
away, and will enable his Troy friends to cross the river 
by the horse boat; and when " imprisonment for debt " 
is abolished, there will be no need of his taking " the 
benefit " ; he therefore submits to their consideration the 
following : 

Resolved, That both houses adjourn on Monday next, 
at the usual hour, to meet again at 7 o'clock in the even- 
ing, at the theatre. 

Mr. F. considers himself justified in devoting a small 
space to his " brethren of the type," and requesting 
them to distribute their sorts in his boxes, as nothing 
could be more grateful than to see fiull cases, and a press 
on this occasion. He likewise trusts that the modesty 
of these appeals may be no impediment to his success, 
but rather be a fiambeau to his merit ; for as Jack Fal- 
staif says, " every man must labor in his vocation." 


On Monday evening, 14th March, will be presented 
the grand melo-drama (which has been some time in 
preparation) of " Absellino the Great Bandit, or the 
Bravo of V enice," with a variety of songs and dance. 
Mr. Duffy (by request), will recite the "Debates on the 
Troy Bridge," rendered in verse by " a gentleman of the 
assembly," and recited by him withgreat success. 

The receipts were $141.87^. Among the novelties 
now presented were "New York and London," in 
which a diorama of the Hudson ri^rer was introduced ; 
"The Shepherd Boy of Milan," translated from the 
French by Turnbull ; Byron's tragedy of " Werner," as 
adapted by Mr. Macready, (title role acted by Mr. Bar- 
ton). May 25th, Edwin Forrest began an engagemeilt 
-in " Macbeth " (receipts $151.75), and also played Rolla 
($175), William Tell and Carwin, in " Therese, the 
Orphan of Geneva " ($253), Metamora ($229) and for his 
benefit, Caiiis Marius ($234.25). The next night the 
stock company played " Maid and Magpie " and " Bom;- 
bastes Furioso," to $9.87-1. "Caius Marius" was one 
of the prize plays, which eventually proved a failure. 

On the 8th of June, Mrs. Gilfert, the old favorite, 
appeared as Juliana, in " The Honeymoon," but though 
supported by the veteran Cooper, failed to attract. 
Her husband was dead, and she had been trying to 
support herself teaching school. Failing in this, she 
was induced to return to the stage, but without suc- 
cess. Cooper, once unrivalled, was also now unable 
to draw even paying houses. The opening perform- 
ance was to only $32.37^, while the next night. Made- 
moiselle de Jick, a trick elephant from Siam, played 
to nearly three times as much money. On the 14th, 
the elephant took a benefit; receipts, $64.50. ; We 
next notice one of the most remarkable engagements 
of the year, that of the Irish prodigy. Master Burke. 

Joseph Burke was born in Dublin, in 1818, the son 
of a doctor, a gentleman of good family, who was 
induced by the wonderfully precocious development 
of his child's musical and mimetic abilities, to allow 
him to appear at the Dublin Theatre Eoyal, in May, 


1824. As a prodigy in both music and the drama, he 
has been unapproached, except, perhaps, by Clara 
Fisher. He made his American debut November 22d, 
18S0, at the Park theatre, New York, with instanta- 
neous success, his nine nights of performance attract- 
ing houses averaging $1,200 each. He appeared in 
Albany first, on June 20th, 1831, being, at this time, 
thirteen years old. The first night he played Young 
Nerval^ in "Douglas," and Terry ORourhe, in "The 
Irish Tutor," between the plays leading the orchestra 
in the overture to " Guy Mannering." The next night, 
" Speed the Plough " was played, with Master Burke 
as Sir Abel Handy and as Looney McTwolter^ in " The 
Review." The third night he played Shyhck and Jerry 
(in " "Whirligig Hall "), and led the overture to the " Ca- 
liph of Bagdad ; " on the fourth night. Doctor OUapod, 
in " The Poor Gentleman," and Tristram Fickhj in " The 
Weathercock ; " on the fifth night, Doctor Pangloss 
and Crack, and for his benefit, Borneo. The receipts 
for these six performances amounted to $1,568.25, of 
which $52 1 was taken on the benefit night. It is said 
of young Burke, that his readings were always dis- 
criminating and forcible, and entirely free from the 
drilled mannerisms of most child actors^ and that all 
his attitudes and gestures were easy, striking and 
appropriate. His performance of Richard, Shyhck 
and Sir Giles was so good that none sneered at the 
absurdity of a child's assuming such characters, while his 
comedy, especially in Irish parts, was so full of genuine 
humor, that he never failed to convulse his audience 
with laughter, his rich native brogue contributing not 
a little in such parts as the Irish tutor. He was also 
a violin player of great brilliancy and precision. Stone 
says: "After witnessing young Burke's remarkable 
delineations of character at night, and on the next 
day, meeting the boy in the street, cutting up all sorts 
of boyish pranks, rolling his hoop, flying his kite> 
playing marbles, etc., utterly regardless of the remarks 
as well as astonishment of the passing crowd, and 
apparently unconscious of the enviable and important 


position he occupied in the world, one could hardly 
realize that this was really the young Eoscius, Master 

He was engaged for three additional nights, and 
played Dennis Brulgruddery, Richard iZZJ.and Hamlet, 
but the receipts fell off strangely, amounting, respec- 
tively, to only $70.50, $84.25, and $100.25. This may 
be accounted for. by the fact that the rumor got abroad 
among the young Irishman's countrymen that his father 
had made remarks disrespectful to O'Gonilell, and they 
attempted to resent the insult by getting up a demon- 
stration against the son. There was quite a disturbance, 
and the "watch" had to be called in to eject the leaders 
from the theatre. 

Bnrke's success throughout the country was phe- 
nomenal. In Boston, "balls and parties, sleigh-rides 
and social-gatherings, were dispensed with. The theatre 
was the centre of the fashionable and literary world, 
and the boxes were filled to their utmost capacity." 
For several seasons he proved attractive, but his popu- 
larity waning, he revisited Europe and studied music 
thoroughly under the best masters. He appeared on 
the stage at Wallack's National as late as 1839, and 
afterwards devoted himself entirely to music. He 
assisted in the entertainments of Jenny Lind, Jullien 
and Thalberg. He afterwards studied law, and for 
several years resided just out of Albany, on the Troy 
road, and was a leader of a musical association. He no 
longer cares to revive the memories of these, his most 
famous days, as will be seen by the following letter : 

Batavia, New York, June 30th, 18^9. 
Mr. H. P. Phelps : 

Dbak Sir : There is nothing of any possible interest 
in the way of personal incident or reminiscence, during 
my residence in Albany, that I recollect, to furnish you 
with. Perhaps some of " those who still remember me" 
may, but I doubt it. Respectfully yours, 

Jos. BUEKE. 

Mr. Burke passes the summer on his farm, near 


Batavia, and the winter in New York, following the 
profession of music. He was never married. 

At a meeting of the stockholders of the Albany thea- 
tre, held at Washington hall, September 10th, the fol- 
lowing gentlemen were chosen trustees: James Mc- 
Kown, Isaiah Townsend, Abel French, John J. Godfrey, 
Jacob Mancius, J. B. Van Schaick, Metealf Yates. At 
a, subsequent meeting of the board of- trustees, James 
McKown was re-elected president, J. B. Van Schaick 
secretary, and Christopher Yates treasurer. 

About this time, Messrs. Duffy & Forrest associated 
themselves with W. Jones in the management of the 
Arch street theatre, Philadelphia, with the intention of 
exchanging the principal attractions from one estab- 
lishment to the other. It may be stated briefly that 
the Arch street theatre was opened by this firm, August 
29th, 1831, and run till June 18th, 1832, -when the 
stock company received every dollar of their salaries 
for the first time in several years in that city. The 
same managers reopened September 5th, 1832. At the 
close of the season they were presented with a silver 
cup, valued at $100, for having discharged all their 
obligations. The theatre was reopened in August, 1833, 
by Duffy & Forrest, but the season terminated abruptly, 
February 4th, owing to the death of Forrest. 

The fall season opened in Albany, September 14th, 
with "The Heir at Law, " and "The Eendezvous." 
Aniong the new members of the company were Messrs. 
Logan and Field. The former, Cornelius A. Logan, 
was the father of Olive, Celia and Eliza Logan, and a 
comedian, .as well. as. author and manager. He died of 
apoplexy, on board a steamer on the Mississippi. Qn 
the 14th of November, Charles John Kean, son of 
Edmund Kean, made his first appearance in Albany,. as 
Sir Giles Overreach, Daring his engagement, he played 
Richard, Hfimlei and Othello. Not being properly 
advertised, he did not attract largely, althoiigh one or 
two evenings he was supported by Mary Eock, who 
also played with acceptance on the off nights. 

Young Kean was now only about twenty years old, 


having been born at Waterford, Ireland, January 18th, 
1811. His mother, deserted by her gifted but erratic 
husband, was poverty stricken, and to support her and 
himself, Charles, at the age of sixteen, went upon the 
stage, much against the wishes of his father. His suc- 
cess was not encouraging. " He began," says Lewes, 
" by being a very bad actor ; he has ended by forcing 
even such of his critics as have least sympathy with 
him, to admit that in certain parts he is without a rival 
on our stage. The battle with the public he has fought 
by inches. Laughed at, ridiculed, and hissed, and for 
many years terribly handled by critics, both in public 
and private, -he has worked steadily, resolutely, improv- 
ingly, till his brave perseverance has finally conquered 
an eminent position." After practising industriously 
in Great Britain and on the continent, he came to 
America, and this was his first season. It was a suc- 
cess. He went back to England in 1833, but was 
received coldly. It was not till 1838 that he fairly won 
his triumph over the coldness of the public, when, in 
Hamlet, the pit rose at him, as, years before, they had 
at his father. Soon after, he was presented with a sil- 
ver vase, valued at $1,000, and thenceforward stood 
high in the regard of the British public. In 1839, he 
came a second ti me to America, but his voice was 
marred by bronchitis. In 1842, he married Ellen Tree, 
his first love, and in 1845 they revisited us, making a 
triumphal tour throughout the country, returning to 
Europe in the spring of 1847. He then managed the 
Princess's theatre, in London, and occasionally, by 
order of the Queen, directed theatrical entertainments 
at Windsor Oastle: His last visit to New York was in 
1865. when his personations of Lear and Louis XI, (in 
which he was supported by Mr. J. W. Albaugh) received 
the highest commendations. He returned, and in 
May. 1867, was taken ill with heart affection, and died 
January 22d, 1868. Mrs. Kean is still living in retire- 
ment. Some of the grandest Shaksperean revivals 
known to the stage, occurred under Mr. Kean's man- 
agement of the Princess's theatre. He always labored 


under disadvantages which few men could ever have 
overcome. His person was inelegant, his carriage fre- 
quently ungraceful, his voice harsh and sometimes 
unmanageable* and his features neyer hanfisome and 
often inexpressive. His private character was unblem- 
ished,, and his whole life an honor to the profession. 

The season blosed in December. . The total receipts 
were $5,458.12^, or $419.85 per week, or $69.97^ per 
night, an improvement of just 85 cents per night over 
the preceding season. Of the whole amount, stars h^d 
about $900, viz: Howard, $75; Mrs. Barnes, $70; 
Barton, $50; Mrs. Drake, $88; Wilson, $106 ; Mrs. 
Brown, $27 ; Kean, $240 ; Mary Eock, $97 ; Hilson, 
$92 ; Heloise, $40. About $2Q0 was shared for bene- 
fits, exclusive of stars, whose proportion of benefits 
are included in the $900. In making, up his report to 
Manager Duffy, then in Philadelphia, the treasurer 
writes : " The; balance in cash now in the treasury, is 
between forty and fifty cents, which I have in solid 
copper, subject to your order." 

In December, Edwin Forrest played an engagement, 
during which he produced "The Gladiator," for the 
first time in Albany, Mr. Duffy playing Phasarius. It 
was to the largest audience ever seen in the theatre, 
the lobbies not only being filled, but about thirty 
spectators standing on the stage, near the exits. 
Spartacus, it will readily be remembered by those who 
ever saw him in it, was one of Forrest's grandest 
■exhibitions. Says Alger: "As he stepped upon the 
stage in his naked jSghting trim, his muscular coating 
unified all over him and quivering with vital power, 
his skin polished by exercise and friction to a smooth 
and marble hardness, conscious of his enormous 
potency, fearless of any thing on the earth, proudly 
aware of the impression he knew his mere appearance, 
backed by his fame, would make on the audience who 
impatiently awaited him, he, used to stand and receive 
the long and tumultuous cheering that greeted him, 
as immovable as a planted statue of Hercules. The 
ispeetacle was worthy the admiration it won." 


Great as was the hit made by Forrest in this charac- 
ter, it is said that Daffy as Phasaniis, was equally 
efiective, particularly where, in the scene when return- 
ing froni his ill-advised expedition, mortally wounded, 
the unhappy man presents himself before his brother, 
tells his fearful tale, and expires at his feet. It is in 
tbis interview that Phasarius describes the crucifixion 
by the Romans, of six thousand of their Thracian 
captives. The highway on both sides, he said, was 
lined with crosses, and on each cross was nailed a 

"I crept 

Thro' the trenched army to that road, and saw 

The executed multitude uplifted 

Upon the horrid engiues. Many lived ; 

Some moaned and writhed in stupid agony; 

Some howled and prayed for death, and cursed the gods; 

Some turned to lunatics, and laughed at horror; 

And some with fierce and hellish anguish had torn 

Their arms free from the beams, and so had died, 

Grasping headlong the air." 

This recital was made so vivid by Mr. Duffy, that 
even Forrest evinced genuine emotion, while m^ny in 
the audience veiled their faces with their hands, as ii 
the horrid picture were actually befoi-e them. 

In February, 1832, Messrs. James Roberts, J. Fisher, 
E. Thayer, Mr. and Mrs. C. Green, S. P. Jones, E. 
Bannister, Miss A. Fisher and Mrs. Godey were added 
to the company. Roberts had played here before, and 
was an excellent comedian ; his rendition of Nichol 
Jarvie, in "Rob Roy," was particularly well spoken of. 
He was a printer by trade, a gentleman and a scholar, 
ambble and beloved. He afterwards played at the 
Bowery, and died at Charleston, in 1833. John Fisher 
was the brother of Clara; Miss Alexina was also a 
relative. Edward J. Thayer was Alexina's step-father, 
having just married her mother, Mrs. Palmer Fisher. 
Mrs. Godey, the leading lady, was formerly Miss 
Juliet Durang, and subsequently, Mrs. Wallace. 

On the 22d of February, Manager Duffy was unani- 
mously elected an honorary member of the Albany 
Mechanics' benefit society, W. M. Dougherty, presi- 


dent; James G. Young, secretary. "They want a 
benefit " — writes William Forrest, in explanation ; " I 
will give one next week, charging full expenses." It 
was given March 15th. 

About the middle of April, Mrs. Edward Knight 
played and sang for several evenings. She was born 
Mary Ann Povey, in England, in 1804. Thougb not 
beautiful, she was "a plump and pleasing person," 
with a rich and powerful voice, sufficiently cultivated 
to make her a great favorite. She was especially good 
in comic opera, and later in life, assumed a wider range 
of characters, and became attached to the Park thea- 
tre. In 1845, she lost her only child, a beautiful girl 
of seventeen, and in May, 1849, returned to England, 
having become partially blind from a disease of the 
eyes, induced by excessive weeping. She died in 1861. 

On this, her first visit here, she took the town by 
storm. The Advertiser says: "During the last two 
years, there was never known of an instance, where a 
lady performer iu Albany, has been treated so politely 
by the audience." 

About this time, Francis Courtney Wemyss played 
an engagement, to which he thus alluded in his "Twenty- 
six Years" : 

"Early in the monlh of April, I paid a flying visit to 
Albany for twelve fights, where I made my bow as 
Charles Paragon, in " Perfection," Mrs. Knight being 
the Kate O'Brien. Mr. E. Forrest, Mrs. Pelby and 
Miss Pelby were also there, playing on the same nights, 
so that if the citizens of Albany did not \isit the thea- 
tre, it was not for want of attraction. 

" As the English tragedian, Kean, was driven from 
the American stage for refuiJing to act Richard the 
Third in Boston, to a handful of spectators,. I was sur- 
prised that the American tragedian, Mr. Forrest, ventured 
to dismiss an audience, whose paucity in numbers he did 
not choose should interfere with his desire to witness a 
little fun at the circus, where the ' Greek,' a well-known 
billiard marker, in the city, was advertised to play 
Richard. The theatre being closed, the manager Mr. 


Forrest and myself repaired to the circus, without a 
comment from the disappointed few, who looked at it as 
a good practical joke on a rainy night." 

On the first of May, this same Greek, whose name 
was J. Amiraille, was allowed to play Richard at the 
theatre. He came to this city from Boston, was dissi- 
pated, and fell into the hands of George Watson, who 
kept a barber's shop in North Market street, and who 
maintained tbe" Greek Tragedian," as a butt for his 
customers. John B. Souttwick wrote the Greek's biog- 
raphy, for which the subject solicited subscriptions him- 
self. Most of the edition, however, was destroyed. 
Amiraille died in the New York almshouse. 

For Manager Duffy's benefit, on tlie 10th, Mrs. Drake, 
formerly Miss Denny, a native of Albany, appeared as 
Mrs. Beverly, in " The Gamester." We have had occa- 
sion to mention Mrs.. Frances A. Drake before. In 
1832, slie writes Mr. Jones, from Washington : 

I have been very successful here indeed, and shall 
take letters to all the large cities from General Jackson, 
Henry Clay, Mr. Webster, and several others, that will 
no doubt be of great service to me. * * * My terms 
are twenty per cent, on each night and a clear half 

In 1838, she writes Mr. Duffy, at Philadelphia, from 
Louisville : 

I wish to play Bianoa, in " Fazio ; " Julia, in " The 
Hunchback," and Beatrice. I will try what Yankee 
Doodle can do pitted against Old England. I should 
prefer to play at your house, as I consider it the Ameri- 
can theatre. 

A hit at Fanny Kemble. This patriotic point was 
much dwelt upon in those days. Mrs. Drake is 
described as a joyous, affable creature, full of riddles, 
good nature and capital jokes. At the time Eichard 
M. Johnson was candidate for vice-president, it was 
said he was also a suitor for the hand of Mrs. Drake. 
A friend rallied her on the subject, when she replied, 
if it so happened he should need her assistance to 


govern the United States, she would, perhaps,, sacrifice 
herself for her country's good. But lie lost his elec- 
tion and was non-suited in his love cause. 

The summer season, which began on tlie fourth of 
July, was prematurely closed by the excitement in 
relation to the cholera. The managers were not quite 
up to announcing, as Hamblin did, about the same 
time in New York, that "the performances were sus- 
pended in consequence of an opinion of the medical 
faculty, that ' crowded assemblies ' were injurious to the 
health, "but the night air was considered very deleterious. 
Churches abandoned holding evening meetings, and 
the common council met only in the afternoon. Great 
quantities of tar were burnt ,in the streets as a preven- 
tive. Over 400 deaths resulted from the epidemic in 
July and August, out of a population of about 26,000. 

Another season opened December 12th, with the 
production of " The Stranger." Mr. Duffy had alone 
re-leased the theatre for one year,' at a clear rent of 
$1,500 per annum, the payments to be made as follows : 

" Ten per centum on each night's entire receipts for 
every night it is opened, to be paid the succeeding 
morning, if required, and at no time shall the payment 
be delayed, on any pretense, for moi-e than one week 
together, when the theatre is open, until the whole 
sum of $1,500 is 'paid, and any deficiency of a quarter 
year's rent of $375, shall always be paid up at the end 
of the quarter of the year, whether the theatre 
be opened or not. No alterations to be made, except 
it should be deemed expedient, during the summer 
season, to have an amphitheatre. The building to be 
used for theatrical representations, in a genteel, respect- 
able and appropriate manner. The trustees and their 
treasurer, at all times, to have free access to the per- 
formances, and the exiclusive use of the trustees' box, 
being the north stage box, second tier." Mrs. John 
Greene was leading lady, and Messrs. Stone, Riley, 
Greene and Knight, principal male performers. 

The theatre was poorly supported, and fears were 
entertained that it would soon close up entirely, but 


the last of December, Edwin Forrest appeared, and as 
usual, to big business. On the 9th of January, 1833, 
he produced for the first time in Albany, the tragedy 
of "Oraloosa," written especially for him by Dr. Bird. 
The house was crowded to overflowing, and the papers 
of the day are liberal in their praise of the manner in 
which it was put upon the stage. But the play itself, 
was never a great success. 

The next feature worthy of mention, was the -pro- 
duction. May 15th, of " Cinderella," as an opera, 
arranged from several of Eossini's work. Madame 
Feron (before alluded to) was the Cinderella, Mr. Wal- 
ton, Prince Felix, and Mr. Spencer, Dandini. The 
house was " the most fashionable and crowded ever wit- 
nessed in Albany." The scenery painted by Mr. 
Leslie, was said to have been superior to that of the 
same piece at the Park, in New York. The opera, 
was repeated several times, and in June, by Mr. Horn 
and Miss Hughes. This opera, produced while Mr. 
DufEy was in Philadelphia, was the source of infinite 
perplexity to his partner, Forrest, who admits he 
" knows no more about music than he does Greek," 
and the warmth with which he wished the piece in a 
place where we have no reason to suppose operas are 
ever sung, is clearly indicated by the big, big D's with 
which his letters, at this time, are interlarded. But it 
was a great success, and several other operas followed, 
including "John of Paris," "Barber of Seville," etc. 
On the off nights, Charles T. Parsloe (father of the 
present Charley), played a monkey character. 

June 14th, we find Mr. James E. Murdoch support- 
ing Mrs. Drake, she playing Juliet and he Romeo. It 
was, we think, the first appearance in Albany of the 
afterwards eminent actor, elocutionist and lecturer. He 
was at this time barely twenty-one years old, having 
been born in Philadelphia, in 1812. He had been on 
the stage about four years. He had been with De 
Camp on a southern tour, and in January, 1831, had 
applied for "a share of the youthful business with the 
best walking gentlemen," to Dufiy, Jones & Forrest, at 


the Arch street theatre, and which we believe he 
secured. From that time he steadily grew towards the 
eminence which he soon attained and held till 1842, 
when he retired from the stage for the purpose of study. 
He then gave lessons in elocution to students of law 
and divinity, and in theological colleges, and lectured 
upon Shakspeare. In 1845, he returned to the stage, 
and played with great success throughout this country, 
and also in England. On the attack upon Fort Sumter, 
iu 1861, his youngest son enlisted to fight for the 
Union. His father was to play in Pittsburgh the night 
of the day he heard this news, but though his name 
was billed, he could not resist the impulse to follow his 
son, and locking up his wardrobe, he declared he would 
neverplay again till the rebellion was overcome. Twice 
he tried to serve as a soldier, but both times his health 
broke down. Then he joined the sanitary commission, 
reading to and encouraging the men in the field, visit- 
ing the hospitals, and giving entertainments all over 
the country in aid of the commission. He was true to 
his word, and did not tread the boards again till 
October 23d, 1865. Of late years, when he has appeared 
in public, it has been as a lecturer. He has held 
(nominally at least) the professorship of elocution in 
the College of Music, at Cincinnati, of which Theodore 
Thomas was the head. By many, Mr. Murdoch was 
considered almost the perfection of general acting. It 
is difiicult in which to say he excelled, tragedy or 
comedy. A critic says: "His style hits the middle 
line, below the severe and terrible requirements 
tragedy, and above the broad lines of comedy, a stvits 
entirely his own, free from mannerism and imitation, 
and which places him beside the great artists of the 
day." His readings were always remarkably fine. 
Of his merits as a man, there can be but one opinion, 
as another has said : " His personal character and pro- 
fessional aims are not only above reproach, but entitled 
to the best regards of the community, for the zeal with 
which he espouses the reform and elevation of the 
theatre, which he desires to see purged of all that 


can ofEend the strictest judgment and the purest 

About this time, also, Thomas Placide was playing 
here again, which reminds us to say, that he was the 
first man to wear paper collars in Albany. His finan- 
cial standing with his washerwoman was not always 
A-1; at the same time, he did dearly love to air his 
good looking person on the fashionable promenade, and 
in a becoming manner. With native ingenuity, a pair 
of shears and a sheet of foolscap, he unwittingly set 
a fashion, not followed generally till many years, after, 
but all the same, the device answered his purpose, 
deceived the world by its very audacity, did no dis- 
honor to his laundress, and furnished shirts — or the 
semblance of them — cheaper than dirt itself. 

On the 26i;h of June, T. D. Rice, the original Jim 
Crow, appeared. Although not absolutely the first to 
make a specialty of delineating negro characters upon 
the stage, he was the first to make them popular. As 
long before as 1815, Andrew Jackson Allen played the 
character of a negro in "The Battle of Lake Cham 
plain," produced at the old Green street theatre, and 
sang a song of many verses, the first negro song, Sol. 
Smith thinks, ever heard on the American stage. He 
gives the following specimen, from memory : 

"Backside Albany, slan' Lake Champlain, 

Little pond, lialf full o' water; 
Platle-burg dar too, close 'pon demain; 

Town small, he grow digger herearter. 

"On Lake Champlain Uncle Sam set he boat, 

An Massa McDonough he sail 'em; 
While General Macomb make Platie-burg he home 

Wid de army whose courage nebber fail 'em." 

George Washington Dixon, before mentioned, was 
the man who led' the way to this class of entertain- 
ments, and curiously enough, made his first appearance 
on any stage at the old amphitheatre, in North Pearl 
street, under the management of Parsons, in 1827. It 
would seem, therefore, that negro minstre].=iy, as well as 
the drama, owes something to Albany. Dixon began 
singing buffo at the Pearl street theatre, in 1830. 

166 Players of a century. 

But to return to ''Daddy" Rice, as he was called. 
He was born in the Seventh ward, of New York, in 
1808, and at one tirfie, was supernumerary at the Park, 
where he made himseli: offensive to the prominent 
comedians, by being funnier than his part demanded. 
A writer in the Atlantic Monthly says that Rice's Jim 
Crow was suarErested to him while walking^ the streets 
of Cincinnati, where he overheard a negro stage-driver 
giving utterance, in a voice ..clear and full above the 
noises of the street, and in an unmistakable dialect, to 
this refrain of a sons; : 

" Turn about, an' wheel about, an' do jis so, 
An ebery time I turn about, I jump Jim Crow." 

This gave the young actor an idea, which he carried 
into effect the following autumn, in Pittsburgh. A 
darkey, who won a precarious existence by letting his 
mouth as a target for boys to pitch pennies into, at three 
paces, and by carrying trunks for passengers, was 
induced, for a slight consideration, to go with the actor 
to the' theatre, and there to lend him his dilapidated 
but realistic wardrobe, in which apparel Jim Grow 
was first sung. The hit was instantaneous and 
tremendous. Before the week was over, the refrain 
was in everybody's moutli in Pittsburgh, and it spread 
over the country like wildfire. It is said Rice drew 
more money into the Boweiy theatre, than any other 
American performer in the same period of time. 

His career in Great Britain, which began three years 
after his first engagement in Albany, was something 
wonderful. On one occasion, at Dublin, the Lord 
Lieutenant and suite were present, and there was 
$1,800 in the house, a clear third of which went to 
the young and eccentric American. In Cork, the 
receipts were $1,900 per night. During his stay, he 
accumulated a fortune and married the daughter of 
Mr. Griadstone, a London manager. On his return, he 
was eagerly sought after as a star, and played in nearly 
all the theatres in the country. His last engagement 
was with Wood's minstrels, in New York, in 1858. 
Ten years previous, he had been stricken with paraly- 


sis, of whicli he finally died, in poverty, September 
19th, 1860. In person, be was tall and thin ; in 
manners, courteous and obliging; and in all things, 
eminently generous and sincere. He was free from 
envy and was universally loved by tliose who knew 




The South Pearl Street Theatre — Appearance of Fanny 
Kemble -^ The Power Disturbance. 

Beginning July 3d, Charles and Fanny Kemble 
played an engagement of three nights, enacting the 
principal parts in " The Stranger," " Venice Preserved " 
and " The Gramester." The appearance of this talented 
gentleman and his still more gifted daughter, was 
hailed with enthusiasm, as it was in every American 
city they visited. At the close of the play on the last 
night, the audience exhibited a strong desire that 
they should be re-engaged and appear in " The Hunch- 
back." Mr. Kemble came before the curtain and, 
after thanking the audience for the cordial reception, 
informed them, that as his wardrobe had been sent to 
Niagara, it would be impossible to comply with their 
wishes at present, but he hoped to appear before them 
again soon, which announcement was received with 
great applause. 

The Kembles had made their first appearance in this 
country, at the Park theatre, the previous September, 
and the reception they met with may be imagined, by 
the fact, that the receipts for sixty performances 
amounted to more than $56,000. 

Charles Kemble, a native of Wales, was born 
November 2oth, 1775, and was the youngest son of 
Eoger and Sarah Warde Kemble, whose principal 
claim to celebrity rests not upon their merits as actors 
themselves, but that they were parents of the most 


famous actors the age. produced. This family included 
among its members, Mrs. Siddons, John Philip Kemble, 
Stephen Kemble, Mrs. Whitelock, Mrs. Mason, Mrs. 
Twiss, Mrs. Hatton and Charles Kemble. The latter 
went upon the stage at seventeen, and after much 
adverse criticism, was declared the finest Romeo of 
the century, the most delightful of Mirabels, Petruchios 
and Mercutios, and the most admirable of Laertes, 
Bassanios and Cassias. Macready's remark that he 
was a first rate actor in a second rate part, was proba- 
bly just. In the great tragic roles he was found want- 
ing, but his elegance of action, propriety of costume, 
knowledge of his author and refinement of manner, 
stamped him as one of the most finished of genteel 
comedians. After his return to England, he was 
appointed reader of plays, in the office of the Lord 
Chamberlain. He died in London, November 11th, 

It was to his daughter, Frances Ann, that the great 
success of their engagements in this country must be 
attributed. She was, at the time of her first appear- 
ance in Albany, not quite twenty-four years old. She 
had been on the stage about four years, liaving made 
her debut as Juliet, at Covent Garden, to save her father 
from a debt that was crushing him. Her success was 
immediate, and the United Kingdom rang with her 
praise. Coming to America, she was without a rival. 
Mrs. Grilfert was dead or dying; Mrs. Barnes and Mrs. 
Duff were deposed ; Miss Emery was already forgotten, 
and Fanny Kemble's triumph was complete. She had 
all the grace of the Kembles, while from her mother 
{nee Maria Theresa DeCamp, a German), she inherited 
comic talent that her father's family did not possess. 
Her eyes were glorious, her figure was light and 
dainty. In her charming "Records of a Girlhood," 
she says, herself, that having had the small-pox at 
sixteen, she was disfigured all her life, and continues : 
" I had returned from school a very pretty looking 
girl, with fine eyes, teeth and hair, a clear vivid com- 
plexion, and rather good features. The small-pox did 


not affect my three advantages first named, but besides 
marking my face very perceptibly, it rendered my 
complexion' thick and muddy, and my features heavy 
and coarse, leaving me so moderate a share of good 
looks as quite to warrant my mother's satisfaction in 
saying, when I went on the stage, 'Well, my dear, 
they can't say we've brought you out to exhibit your 
beauty ! ' Plain, I certainly was, but T by no means 
always looked so. My comical old friend, Mrs. FitZr 
hugh, once exclaimed, ' Fanny Kemble, you are the 
ugliest and the handsomest woman in London.' " 

The book thus quoted, ends with this portentous 
sentence : " I was married in Philadelphia, on the 7th 
of June, 1834, to Mr. Pierce Butler, of that city." 
That marriage proved any thing but a happy one, and 
in 1848—9, there was a divorce granted the husband, 
although the wife's character was fully protected. 
After this she confined her public appearances to read- 
ings, principally. For nearly twenty years, she resided, 
during warm weather, in Lenox, Berkshire county, 
Massachusetts, to which town she gave a handsome 
clock. Her "Journal in America," and "Residence 
on a Georgia Plantation," which bore heavily upon 
slavery and other topics, in regard to which the nation 
was sensitive, were roundly abused by the press, and 
there was considerable feeling against her at one time. 
She wrote freely in her journal while in Albany, and 
details several little trips about the city; one to the 
Cohoes falls, going up by steamer to Troy, and thence 
by a private -loach to the cataract, which she admired 
very much. Returning to Troy, they found the steamer 
gone, and were rowed down in a boat. This she has 
also left on record : 

"After breakfast, went to rehearsal. As I sat on the 
stage, between my sbenes, a fat, good-tempered, rosy, 
b6ad-eyed,wet-haired, shining-faced looking man accosted 
me ; and having ascertained that I was myself, pro- 
ceeded to accuse me of having in Mrs. -ST/rWer pronounced 
the word 'industry' with the accent on the middle sylla- 
ble, as 'in-(fos-try '; adding that he had already quoted 


my authority to s&veral people for the emphasis, and 
begging to know my 'exquisite reason' therefor. It was 
in vain I urged that it must have been a mistake, if I said 
so ; that I never meant to say so, if I did say so ; that if I 
did say so, I was very wrong to say so ; that I was very 
sorry for having said so ; that I would never say so again. 
Between each of my humblest apologies my accuser mere- 
ly replied, 'but you did say "in-f?i<s-try," ' with an inflex- 
ible pertinacity of condemnation which was not a whit 

softened by my sincere confession. * * * * ]yjj._ 

told me the man was a newspaper editor, but I think he 
looked too fat and fresh and good-tempered for that." 

In 1873, Mrs. Kemble went to reside in Philadel- 
phia, and in 1877 or 1878, returned to England, where 
she is scill living. She has never taken so kindly to the 
stage as to literary pursuits, which she has followed 
from childhood. Her tragedy of " Francis I," was 
written at the age of sixteen. 

As we have shown, the Kembles, on their first visit 
to Albany, promised to soon come again. On the 16th 
of April following, they were announced to appear in 
"The Wife," but did not keep their engagement, the 
reason tberefor appearing in the following letter, so 
characteristic of the true gentleman who wrote it. 
Were it feasible to reproduce it in fac simile, our readers 
would have further proof, in the elegant hand-writing 
and general style of the epistle, that it was the product 
of refinement and culture : 

Boston, April lOth, 18,34. ) 
My Dear Sir : Friday. ( 

I regret extremely to be under the necessity of disap- 
pointing you and deranging the business of your theatre, 
l9ut the very dangerous state of my sixer's health makes 
it impossible for us to quit her. She has been struck 
with paralysis, and Dr. Warren fears it may terminate 
fatally. Under the circumstances, I feel convinced that 
your humanity will furnish an excuse for us, and in return, 
if that can make you amends for your present disap- 
pointment, we will endeavor to visit Albany for a few 


nights at the conclusion of our engagement in New York, 
which will be about the 9th of May next. 

Yours, my dear sir, most truly, 

C. Kbmble. 

The lady referred to was Adelaide Kemble (Aunt 
Dall) who was Fanny's nurse and chaperon. She died 
in a few days after the a,bove letter was written. The 
Kembles came in May and played " The Wife, " 
"Fazio," "Point of Honor," and " The Hunchback" 
Miss Kemble was the original Julia in the latter. 
Indeed, it may be said that Kuowles created that char- 
acter especially for her, and it is certain it owed much 
to her great genius. The author acknowledged, in a 
transport of delight, that the "Do it" of Fanny Kemble 
in her appeal to Master Walter to save her from the 
impending marriage, would stand in future times with 
the "hereafter" of her aunt, Mrs. Siddons. 

These, so far as we know, were the only appearances 
of the Kembles on the Albany stage, (although Fanny 
read here several times and once as late as January 
10th, 1850, at the Female academy). 

We have seen the weekly ' salary list of the Albany 
theatre at this time, and transcribe it as a dramatic 
curiosity : Mr. and Mrs. John Greene, $25 ; Pickering, 
$9; Mr" and Mrs. Logan, $15; Johnson, $8; Mr. and 
Mrs. Knight, $52"; Hamilton, $8 ; Rice, $9 ; Allen, $5 ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Grimshaw, $4; Woods, $4 ; Spencer, $12 ; 
Weltoh, $30; Stone, $9; Hudson and wife, $6; James, 
$4; Mrs. Smith, $12; Miss Dunham, $6; total, $188. 
The orchestra were paid as follows : Holloway, $: 
Clemens, $10 ; Underner, $6.40 ; Robinson, $8 ; Oiar^c, 
$5.60 ; Brady, $6.40 ; Deinzac, $9 ; Willis, $6.40 ; John- 
son, $8; total, $74.80. Among the other thirteen 
employees, Ellsworth, master carpenter, got $10 ; Les- 
lie, scene painter, $15, the total for the thirteen footing 
up $71. Grand total, $333.80. 

December 7th, 1833, Albany was treated to the first 
sight of the sensation of that season, "Mazeppa," the 
same grand equestrian melo-dramatic spectacle, which 
many of our readers will remember, in connection with 


certain plump and well-conditioned actresses. At the 
time of which we write, however, womanhood had not 
been advanced to this elevated position, and the fiery 
steed of the Ukraine was ridden only by men. Grale 
was the first Mazeppa in New York, and Thome the 
first in Albany. The play "took" here as it did in the 
metropolis, and was repeated night after night, only to 
be revived succeeding seasons. Manager Duffy himself 
occasionally submitted to be' bound to the back of the 
horse and go dashing up to the top of the theatre. The 
horse used here was a docile, gentle beast, cream-colored, 
but very stylish in appearance, and trained so as to be 
entirely manageable without bit or lash. He performed 
both here and in Philadelphia, and among the interest- 
ing theatrical collection of Mr. William D. Morange, 
under the head of " Mazeppa's Journey," is a memo- 
randum of the expense of riding the horse from Albany 
to Philadelphia, item by item, from crossing the Hudson 
at Grreenbush to crossing the Delaware at Camden — 
total for horse and rider, $13. There is also in the 
same collection a letter from Stage Manager John 
Gri'eene, reporting the mishaps which befell, when, in 
December, the play was to be produced for the benefit 
of John Leslie, the scene painter, and it was thought to 
be a good "dodge" to send the horse to Troy to exhibit 
him on the streets while bills were being circulated. 
But both bill-poster and groom got royally drunk, and 
the latter got into jail, leaving the untamed steed to 
brouse around the streets, with only hogs for company. 

Forrest came again in January, 1834, when, on the 
night "Metamora" was played, the members of the 
orchestra had to leave their seats and retire behind the 
scenes, to accommodate the people, while hundreds 
were not able even to enter the theatre. It was at this 
time he presented the Young Men's association with 
$100. January 27th, the association were also given a 
benefit by the managers of the theatre. Master Burko^ 

Another season opened April 12th, under Duffy- 
alone, Forrest having died in Philadelphia. Miss Rid- 


die appeared as JpMa. in "The Hunchback.'" The 
Kembles came in May, as before stated, and Yankee 
Hill also appeared. , , 

On the 29tb of May, Miss Charlotte Barnes appeared 
as Juliet, and played an engagement, supported by 
both her father and mother. The daughter of two 
such favorites, was sure of a hearty welcome at least, 
and she received it. She was now only in her six- 
teenth year, but had made fairly successful appearances 
in Kew York and Boston. Although she had pretty 
features, hor face was not adapted to the stage ; neither 
was her voice nor her figure, and,' therefore, although 
educated for the position and possessed of talents of 
no mean order, she never attained the eminence as 
an actress, that her many friends hoped for her. It 
is a singular fact that Hamlet and Douglas were her 
most successful roles. She wrote "Lafitte" and 
" Octavia Bragaldi," two plays which were successful, 
and she also published a volume of prose and poetry. 
In 1847, she married the tragedian, E. S. Conner, and 
April 14th, 1863, she died, after a short illness. 

June 9th, Tyrone Powet- was announced to appear 
(for the first time in Albanj') as the Irish Ambassador 
and Terry O'Rourke. This gentleman was the prince 
of Irish comedians, excelling any that came before or 
have followed him. He was born in county Water- 
ford, November 2d, 1797. Going on the stage in 
1815, it was not till 1827 that he essayed an original 
Irish character, and then with such success as hence- 
forward to make him, so long as he lived, the only 
legitimate representative of that line on the British 
stage. He appeared first in America at the Park 
theatre, August 28th, 1833'. He visited this country 
again in 1836 and 1839. On the 21st of March, 
1841, he sailed for Liverpool in the steamship Presir 
dent, which was never heard of more. 

'•Paddy Power," as he delighted to call himself, 
was about five feet eight inches, with light hair and 
complexion, blue eyes and compact figure, inclining 
to stoutness. His genial humor, mercurial tempera- 


merit, skill in music and dancing, and genuine ability 
as an actor, made him a- universal favorite. He was 
also literary in his habits, wrote for the magazines, 
also several novels and plays, and his "Impressions of 
America," had a large sale.' 

We have said Mr. Power was announced to appear 
on the 9th, but he did not do so. Mr. Duffy, the 
manager, was in Philadelphia, and Stage Manager 
Greene in command. Here is his account of what 
happened and what did not"haippen : 

Albany, Tuesday. 
Dear Duffy : Power disappointed last flight. He came 
to the theatre quarter past seven, and said, that from 
appearances, it would be impossible for him to play. I 
persuaded, I begged; no, be couldn't. Then desired 
Hm to wait till eight o'clock, assuring him that the 
audience were not in the habit of coming until that hour, 
and at . times, not till nine o'clock. He waited ; the 
house was promising. I went to the front, found there 
was $50 worth sold, and the people flocking to the office. 
Told him so ; no, it wouldn't do ; begged him to look 
through the curtain ; he called theni a dozen people — his 
feelings would not allow him to perform; desired me to 
say 80 to the audience ; entreated him again ; represented 
the injury to himself and the theatre; told him there 
would be 300 at least ; he talked of the injury to his 
feelings, the impossibility of his being able to act to 
such a small audience, and begged I would solicit him 
no more, all the time wishing that I would dismiss the 
people. " Shall I say it is in consequence of the small 
audience ? " " Yes, sir, and I wish you would do it 
immediately." I did so, and, of course, there was some 
considerable noise, threatening, and in short, a regular 
Anderson or Kean business made up for the next night, 
which will be to-morrow. Last night I was not prepared 
for the disappointment, and could substitute nothing; 
but if we shall arrive at extremes to-morrow night, I 
am cut and dried with a performance — so that not a 
cent will be returned that comes in. He disclaims all 
pecuniary motives in this, and speaks very disrespect- 
fully of money. Between ourselves, that struck me 


with a notion that he had broken his engagement, 
besides destroying two regular nights' performances (we 
closed on Saturday on his account) and said I to myself, 

" D n the cent do you get from me unless I receive 

further orders." I never break my word to myself. I 
will write you again Wednesday. 


John Greene. 

It will be remembered, that it was just such a freak 
as this committed by the elder Kean, that drove him 
from the Boston boards forever. People in Albany 
were equally sensitive to insult, and great was the 
excitement. The Advertiser of June 11th, has the 
following : 

We regret exceedingly that Mr. Power was so ill-ad- 
vised as to decline playing on Monday evening. If the 
curtain had been kept down fifteen minutes, the house 
would have been full or nearly full. Citizens were walk- 
ing toward the theatre from all quarters, and several 
hundreds were disappointed, on ar,riving, to find there 
was no performance. A row or disturbance can do no 
good and will only have the effect of destroying the 
pleasure of many who wish to see this, the best represen- 
tative of Irish characters. Give Mr. Power a fair hearing. 

[After the above was in type, we received the follow- 
ing note from Mr. Power, which, in our opinion, should 
palliate any feeling of resentment :] 

To the Editor of tlie Albany Daily Advertiser : 

Sir; Will you permit me, through the medium of your jour- 
nal, to express my regret that a misconception of the motives 
which led to the dismissal of the audience from the theatre on 
Monday evening, should have gone abroad. Tlie simple fact is 
. as follows: Arriving at the theatre at the time advertised for the 
performance to begin, on paBSinj) through the lobby I saw that 
the assembled audience consisted of three gentlemen in one box 
and the same number m the pit. Peeling it utterly impossible 
to meet with any degre'e of spirit, sucli a miserable show of empty 
boxes, I suggested to the manager the propriety of closing the 
house on that evening, and announcing me for Wednesday even- 
ing, alleging that I did not feel my spirits equal to a debut under 
such discouraging auspices. The manager respected my feelings, 
and undertook, in so many words, to dismiss the audience, 
increased at this time (eight o'clock) to fifty or sixty persons. 


Between this hour and nine o'clock (as it since appears) several 
carriages arrived from I'roy, together with parties of ladies from 
this city. Of such a result, at the period when my view of the 
house was taken, no hope could be formed. Now, sir, permit 
me to assure you that my disinclina,tipn to act arose from a 
feeling quite as much for the persons assembled as for myself, since 
I feared that a performance under such circumstances would prove 
wearisome to them, as it certainly would have been painful 
to me. I felt it due to myself, sir, to offer this explanation, find- 
ing that a wrong' construction of this simple act, had given some 
offense^since certainly not the remotest intention of giving 
offense ever entered my imagination. 

I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

Tyrone Powee. 

But this was not satisfactory. When he came to 
play Wednesday evening, the house was in possession 
of a mob, who shouted and hissed and howled all 
the evening, so that though he went through the per- 
formance to the end, not a word was heard by any 
body in the house. Stage Manager Greene reports as 
follows : 

Thtjksdat Noon. 
Dear Duify : The bubble burst — he got through, but 
with a great deal of hissing, hooting and so on. House, 
$203 ; sent for me half an hour since ; will play to- 
morrow night, notwithstanding his declaration to the 
contrary last night. The actors took part in the dis- 
turbance ; had to- discharge Hamilton, others stand 
queer. McKown, Webster, [trustees of the theatre] 
and others, called on me after the row — treated me 
handsomely, but would not consent to Hamilton's resto- 
ration. All well. 

John Greene. 

The next evening that Power played, the niob spirit 
had spent itself and he delighted a large audience. 
His benefit was also successful. As a part of the 
theatrical history of Albany, the following "Im- 
pressions " or extracts from his book, published on 
his return home, are worthy of a place here. Mr. 
Power writes : 

"The theatre here is a handsome building and well 
adapted to the purpose for which it was designed ; but 


is, I believe, worse supported than any other on this 
continent. I had been advised not to visit the city, 
professionally ; but being strongly solicited by the 
■worthy manager, ' mischief lay in my way and I found 
it.' I feel compelled, in honesty, to state the facts of 
this trip, chough no way flattering to my powers of 
attraction ; however, if there be any thing unpleasant 
to relate, I ever find it better to tell of one's self than to 
leave it to the chanty of good-natured friends. The 
only disagreement I ever had with an audience, in 
fact, occurred here, and roundly thus it happened : 

" On the evening when I was advertised to make my 
debut to an Albany audience, I, at my usual hour, 
waljjed to the house, dressed and was ready ; but 
when, half an hour after the time of beginning, I 
went on the stage, there were not ten persons in the 
house. The stage director and myself now held a con- 
sultation on the unpromising aspect of our affairs. 
He ascribed the unusually deserted condition of the 
salle to the sultry and threatening state of the atmos 
phere, which had deterred the neighboring towns of 
Troy and Waterford from furnishing their quota — 
those, indeed, being his chief dependencies. I was 
opposed, on policy, to throwing away our ammunition 
so unprofitably ; and so, after due deliberation, the 
manager agreed to state to the few persons in front, 
that ' with their permission,' the performances intended 
for this night would be postponed until the evening 
after the next following ; as in consequence of the 
exceeding smallness of the audience, it was to be 
feared the play would prove dull to them, as it must 
be irksome to the actors. 

"Nothing could be received with better feeling on 
the part of the persons assembled ; not a breath of 
disapprobation was heard. They instantly went 
away ; but soon after I reached home, I found, by the 
report of one or two gentlemen who had since been at^ 
the theatre seeking admittance, that a considerable 
excitement prevailed, and that at the public bai-s of 
the neighborhood, the affair was' detailed in a way 


likely to produce unpleasant effects on my first 

"The appointed night came, the house was filled 
with men, and every thing foreboded a violent out- 
break ; the manager appeared terrified out of his wits ; 
but, as far as T can judge, behaved with infinite 
honesty; disavowed the trath of the imputations con- 
nected with the dismissal, and which it was sought 
to fasten upon me; and affirmed that he was fully 
prepared to place the facts simply before the audience, 
in the event of my suffering any interruption. 

" It was now found that an actor or two. needed in 
the piece were absent. These worthies, the chief 
agitators in this affair, were, in fact, in front of the 
house to assist in the expected assault upon a stranger 
and one of their own profession. On this being 
explained to the manager, he said he was aware of 
it, and had threatened to discharge the individuals; 
but relying upon the affair terminating in my discom- 
fiture, they did not fear being sustained by the same, 
intelligence which they now directed, against me. 

" On my appearance, the din was mighty deafening; 
the volunteer champions of the public had come well 
prepared, and every invention for mailing the voice of 
humanity bestial, was present and in full use. The 
boxes I observed to be occupied by well-dressed men, 
who, generally, either remained neutral, or by signs, 
sought that I should be heard. This, however, was 
out of the question ; and after long and patient abid- 
ing, for ' patience is the badge of our tribe,' I made 
my bow and retired, when the manager, who had, on 
the night in question, dismissed the house, made his 
bow, and, after silence was obtained, begged that the 
audience would give me a hearing, assuring them on 
his own knowledge, that. I had not contemplated 
insulting them. 

" I again came forward, and after some time was 
permitted to say, that I could, in no way, account for 
a simple matter of business being sO' misrepresented 
as to occasion this violent exhibition of their anger; 


that, before the audience in question was dismissed, 
its permission had been obtained ; that, if I really con- 
templated insult, it is hardly probable that I should 
wait two days to encounter the anger of those I sought 
to offend. I further said, that on the common principle 
which they professed, I was entitled to a hearing, 
since the sense of the majority was evidently with me ; 
and that, if the disorder continued, I should, for the 
sake'of that respectable majority, sincerely regret this, 
since the character of this city for' justice and hospital- 
ity would be more impeached, than my prospects be 

•' Afterthis, the row was resumed with added fierce- 
ness ; not a word of either play or farce was heard ; 
but I persisted in going through with the performance, 
being determined not to dismiss a second time. At 
the fall of the curtain, I begged the manager would 
not again announce' me, as, although for the sake of 
the many who I could see were opposed to the mis- 
judged outrage, I had gone through the business once, 
T could not again, subject them to the annoyance of 
such a collision, or myself to continued insult.' I 
was, however, happily induced to change this determi- 
nation, at the earnest request of many gentlemen of 
the place, who assured me that the whole thing arose 
from stories most industriously circulated by one or 
two ill-conditioned actors, backed by inflammatory 
handbills and a scurrilous, print Out of this affair, 
which threatened me serious annoyance, I really 
gathered a new proof of the kindness of the people of 
the country, for I found persons on all sides interest- 
ing themselves for me, although I entered the place 
without an acquaintance ; and had I not stood in need 
of help, so in all probability should I have quitted ; 
but in their hour of annoyance, men not of theatrical 
habits put themselves forward to shield a calumniated 
stranger from insult or injury ; in consequence of this 
interposition, on my appearance, nothing could be 
more orderly than the conduct of the audience. 

" I concluded my engagement, which was only for 


four nights, and left the theatre with a promise to re- 
turn, which pledge, at some inconvenience, I redeemed ; 
I have never been able to regret a momentary vexa- 
tion which obtained for me many friends, and made 
known to me the sterling good feeling existing in 
Albany, of which I might otherwise have remained 

Power may have been surpassed since his day, by 
some who have played the rough type of Irishman, 
but never where the humor of the part required a 
delicate coloring. He was-anjiong the first to render 
tolerable, this class of plays and has had many suc- 
cessors. Collins, Williams, Bryant, Boucicault, 
Brougham and Murphy, have all had their admirers, 
but none equalled, in true histrionic talent, the 
lamented Power. In his acting, America first saw on 
the stage, the true Irishman, not his caricature. 
Before his day, actors in delineating Irishmen, made 
no attempt to portray character, but by the most 
ludicrous contortions, excited laughter, at what had 
been the butt of the English stage for years. As 
another has said: 

" The better features were concealed, the most revolt- 
ing ingeniously grouped together, producing an 
impression directly opposite to what a delineation — 
composed of the proper proportions of good and bad 
qualities — would convey. It was thus the national 
character of Ireland was vilified : and, without except- 
ing Johnstone, no man ever undertook to arrest this 
moral injustice and dramatic error, until Mr. Power 
made his appearance on the London stage." 





The South Pedrl Street Theatre — Death of Duffy — '■ 
Meech's Museum. 

IN the spring of 1834, the elder Booth, played another 
engagement, Mr. C. K. Mason, of the Theatre Eoyal 
and Govent Garden, appearing on the off nights. 
Mason was a nephew of Ciiarles Kemble, after whom 
he was named. Booth was about going to Europe. 
Every thing conneeted with this great actor, but 
erratic man, is of interest. Benjamin W, Seaver, of 
Albany, used to undertake the somewhat perilous 
task of dressing him. He says, however, that he 
never had any trouble, although many others were 
.afraid for their lives. Oftentimes, when Booth came 
•off a scene, sword in hand, he was a dangerous man 
to meet ; he was no longer Booth, but the character 
he had: assumed, and insisted on being respected 
accordingly. As indicative of his various moods, the 
following letters, selected from a large number in Mr. 
William D. Morange's collection, are interesting : 


My Dear Sir : Please write to me in Boston on receipt 
of this, for I am told you've announced me, and I was 
so damned drunk when we parted that I cannot recol- 
lect what was said or done by 

Junius B. Booth. 
Give my respects to William Forrest. 

Yours, &c. 
N. Y., June 20th, 1829. 



My Dear Sir : I have just received your polite invita- 
tion to visit the seat of government, in the state of New 
York, but regret an engagement elsewhere precludes 
the chance of m.y paying my devoirs to the Pearl street 
establishment this winter. Wishing you every success 
" that can be wished, not wronging him I serve." 
I am, yours most truly, 

J. B. Booth. 
Boston, November 22d, 1829. 


Bel-aik, Maryland, 'July 21st, 18.S5. 

Dear Sir — rYour oifer is generous and at the same time, 
excuse my vanity, correct. It is really so remote from 
my summer haunts, that same Niagara, and at the same 
- time I understand so very eccentrically noisy and 
obstreperous in its stilt vaulting and lofty tumbling that 
it might drive me crazy to look at the stupendousness of 
its restless aqueous body — argal, during the dog days, 
had I not better avoid all which might produce hydro- 
phobia ? 

I wish you success most cordially, and when our 
planets cause us to meet each other, I trust a mint jnlep 
and a squint at Demogorgon will amuse us as we sing 
cigarro nella mano, 

" It's our delight on a shiny night" & cetera. 

Yours very truly, J. B. Booth. 


Vapouk Boat, I 
Saturday. j 
Dear Duflfy : 

Under the exhausting state of existing events and the 
acerbity of stomach and disposition, I beg you will not 
put me in for a farce part on Tuesday. I should prefer 
Hamlet for the furst piece to Richard & shall cum per- 
vided accordingly. Richard has bin so hack'd & Hamlet 
is nooer. When u c Amanda giv my 'specks. 

set hurrah. 
J. B. B. 


In June, Forrest, "about to leave for a time his native 
country, is desirous of bidding farewell to his earliest 
friends, the Albanians," and plays another lucrative 
engagement. The only novelty produced was Dr. 
Bird's drama, "The Broker of Bogota," always a par- 
ticular favorite with Forrest himself, who delighted to 
play it. He spoke of it with enthusiasm and with 
deep regret that it was so much too fine for his average 
audiences, that he was obliged to lay it aside for noisier 
plays, with not one tithe of its merits. Alger says: 
" To appreciate it as it deserved, was required an audi- 
ence of psychologists critically interested in the study 
of human nature and curious as to its modes of indi- 
vidual manifestation." Another critic calls it "the 
poem of Forrest's heart." 

The season closed July 10th, with a benefit for Mr. 
Wall, the blind Irish harper, at which Master Burke 
was the principal attraction. 

The season of 1884-5 opened September 8th,^ with 
the stock company in " The Wife," Mr. Duffy following 
in several of his favorite characters. 

September 24th, James W. Wallack appeared as 
Hamlet, iollo-wmg as Don Felix (in "The Wonder,") 
Holla, etc. He had appeared here, for one night only, 
several years previous. This gentleman was born in 
London, August 24th, 1794. His father, William, and 
his mother, were both prominent actors at Astley's 
amphitheatre.' It is said the burning of that establish- 
ment hastened the entrance of the subject of this sketch 
into this breathing world. At the age of four his 
name appeared on a play bill, and lie may be said to 
have been brought up upon the stage, if not born 
there. He made his American debut September 7thi, 
1818, at the Park, as Macbeth. As a tragedian of the 
highest class, he was inferior to Cooper, Kean, Booth 
or Forrest. It" was remarked of him that he was first 
in his line, but that his line was not the fii-st. He 
retired from the stage in 1859, but in 1861 built the 
present Wallack's theatre on Broadway, corner of 
Thirteenth street. For years he was a sufferer from 


gout and asthma, diseases of which, he died December 
25th, 1864, aged seventy. Lester Wallack, his sob, 
was born in America in 1819. 

October 16th, Joseph Proctor made his first appear- 
ance here, as Damon, and later is found among the 
stock. , This actor's name of late has been more fre- 
quently associated with tlie role of the Jihhenainosay 
than any other. He has been in England and still 
"stars it" with small success. He was at the Leland 
opera house in February, 1876. His wife was Hester 
Warren, daughter of the old comedian, and sister of. 
the favorite Boston actor. 

■In November there was more opera, with Miss Char- 
lotte Watson as the prima donna.- "Eob Roy," "Der 
Freischutz," and " Guy Mannering" were played, and 
the lady also appeared as Little Picjcle, and as the Four- 
Mowbrays. It is painful to see that even at this early 
period the style of advertisement which has of late- 
years become so common, was sometimes resorted to.- 
The Advertiser says : 

Miss Watson, the celebrated vocalist, whose advert^ 
turous flight from London to Dover has been the subject 
of so much remark, is about to appear on the Albdny 
boards. She is a charming singer, very handsome, 
spirited and clever. 

The cause of this "adventurous flight" was none 
other than Paganini. Miss Watson was a fair-haired, 
chubby, English blonde, not yet seventeen, when she 
was engaged by the great violinist to accompany him 
as a vocalist on his tour through Great Britain. After 
their travels had ended, he induced her by offers of 
marriage to elope from her native land and meet him < 
at Boulogne ; but her father, getting wind of the affair, 
followed, and intercepting her, persuaded or forced her" 
unconditional return, and soon after brought her to-- 
America. Paganini invariably asserted, the purity an(J 
honor of his intentions and even made an open offer 
for the hand of the lady, which, however, was uncere- 
moniously declined by the stern-hearted parent. In 


1837, Miss Watson married Mr. Thomas Bailey, of New 

November 26t]i, J. Sheridan Knowles made his first 
"bow to an Albany audience, as William Tell. He also 
played Master Walter in " The Hunchback," St. Pierre 
in "The Wife," etc. He was accompanied by his 
pupil, Miss Emma Wheatley, who supported him in 
several plays, and also appeared as Juliet. 

Mr. Knowles, the well-known author of " Virginius," 
" The Wife," " The Hunchback," "William Tell," "The 
Love Chase," and other dramas. Was born in Cork, 
Ireland, in 1784. His fame as a dramatist is fully 
merited, but as an actor he was not a success, either ^n 
this country or in England. In characters of his own 
creation, such as Mobster Walter, Virginius, etc., he 
developed some new and unexpected beauties, but his 
tongue betrayed the land of his birth, and he entirely 
lacked the power to make famous these children of his 
pen. As a writer of plays, however, he was unrivalled 
in his day and generation. He returned to England 
at the close of the season, abandoned the stage and 
came out as a Baptist minister. He died in England, 
November 30th, 1862, aged seventy-eight. 

Miss Emma Wheatley was now only fourteen years 
old. Two years previous, her Arthur in " King John" 
attracted the admiring notice of Fanny Kemble, who 
aided and encouraged her, and in June of the year of 
whicb we write, she had played Julia in " The Hunch- 
back " with great success. Mr. Knowles, on his arrival 
here, was so delighted with her, that he made her his 
pupil, and appeared with her as above stated. She 
married Mr. James Mason, and died July 16th, 1854. 
She was an ornament to the stage and to society. 

In December, Miss Lydia Phillips played a star 
engagement, appearing in the same parts in which 
Fanny Kemble had won such triumphs. She was a 
favorite actress at Drury Lane, but although much 
admired, followed too closely in the wake of the divine 
Fanny, to achieve great success. January 1st, 1835, 
" Faustus," translated from Goethe, was produced by 


the stock company, Duffy in the title role. On the 
16th, for Mr. DufEy's benefit prior to his departure for 
the West (Buffalo), "The Exile, or The Desert of 
Siberia" was presented ; also, "The Deep, Deep Sea," 
Duffy as the Great American Sea Serpent! 

Mr. Duffy was now building his theatre in Buffalo, 
and offered a $50 silver cup for a poetical address, not 
exceeding sixty lines, to be read at the opening. 

In February, Augustus Addams appeared, an actor 
with as much natural ability as Forrest, but lacking the 
application to become as successful as his absent rival. 
He was born in Boston, and went upon the stage in 
that city, in 1828. He had a good figure, fine features 
for the stage and a piercing eye. He died in Cincin- 
nati, March 19th, 1851. " Jack Cade " was written for 
Addams, by Judge Conrad. 

In March, " The Last Days of Pompeii " was pro- 
duced with magnificent scenery, and had an extended 
run. Mr. Oxley, J. W. S. Hows, Miss Virginia Mo- 
nier and others previously mentioned, played star en- 
gagements. Mr. John H. Oxley was a native of Phil- 
adelphia, and a successful manager and star. Hows 
was a professor of elocution. A more lovely face or 
figure than that of Miss Monier never graced the stage. 
She married Capt. Wynne, of the British army, and in 
1860 was living retired in Boulogne, France. 

April 7th and 9th, Albanians were first treated to 
Italian opera by the company organized the previous 
autumn for the new and magnificent Italian opera 
house, corner of Leonard and Church streets, in Kew 
York. Mose in Egitto was sung the first night, and 
L'lnganno Felice and Edwardo e Christina the second, 
night. The artists were Signorine Clementine and 
Rosina Fanti, Miss Julia Wheatley, Signori Ravaglia, 
Parto, Monterasi, Ferrero and Sapignolli. 

On the 24th of April, the theatre caught fire during 
a performance. The flames originated in the hay loft 
of a livery stable occupied by Carter & Hazard, corner 
of Beaver and William streets. Six buildings were 
destroyed. The theatre was on fire for more than two 


hours. The roof, balustrade and gutter on the north 
aud east sides first caught, and irom the height of the 
building it was with difficulty and delay that water 
could be thrown upon them. Through the window in 
the second and third tier of boxes on the north side, 
the fire made its way into the theatre and for a time it 
was thought that it would have to go. Hose was 
carried up into the second and third tiers and the gal- 
lery, and there the fire was kept in check. The per- 
formers had fled from the stage (Mr. Addams was on 
when the fire commenced) and the audience from the 
boxes. A large number of persons assisted in taking 
down the scenery and securing the properties. The 
damage to the building was not over a thousand dol- 
lars, but Duffy's loss, by the ruin of the scenery, was 
double that amount. Performances were resumed 
May 1st, and after two or three nights of Celeste and 
two or three more of J. Sheridan Knowles, with the 
rest of the time filled in with the stock company, the 
season closed June 5th, and Mr. Duffy's theatre in 
Buffalo being finished, he transferred his company by 
canal to the "Liverpool of the West," where they 
remained till the following September. 

The Museum, as yet, had not been used for drama 
tic purposes to any great extent, but besides the regu- 
lar collection, there was generally some specialty to 
be seen or heard in the lecture room, sometimes a 
dwarf, sometimes a strong man, sometimes a rope 
dancer and sometimes a comic singer. In June, 1835, 
the famous Siamese twins were to be seen ; in July, 
the Industrious Fleas ; in November, Joice Heth, 161 
years of age, according to the advertisement, which 
announced, further, that "she was the slave of Augus- 
tine Washington (the father of General Washington), 
and was the first person to dress the father of his 
country. She was born in the Island of Madagascar, 
on the east of Africa, in the year 1674. She weighs 
forty-six pounds." 

This somewhat notorious curiosity was under the 
management of Phineas T. Barnum, his first appear- 


ance in Albany as a showman. In June previous, he 
had become the owner of this old negress, paying for 
her the sum of $1,000. Eeally how old she was or 
where she came from, he has declared since, he never 
knew. She was totally blind, and her eyes were so 
deeply sunken in their sockets that they had disap- 
peared altogether. Her left arm lay across her breast, 
with no power to move it. Her finger nails were four 
inches long, and on her left- hand, always closed, 
extended above her wrist, while the nails on her large 
toes were nearly a quarter of an inch in thickness. She 
insisted that she raised "dear little Georgie," and bills 
of' sale were exhibited to show that she was once owned 
by the Washington family. When she died, the fol- 
lowing February, those who had seen her could hardly 
credit the statement of the doctors who made an 
autopsy, that she was but little over eighty. She was 
the first " humbug '' with which the prince of hum- 
bugs ever had any thing to do. He was assisted, at 
this time, by Levi Lyman, a Penn Yan lawyer, who 
did the exhibiting. 

The Siamese twins, Chang and Bng, however, were 
no humbug. They were at this time 24 years old, 
having been born in 1811. They were exhibited in 
Europe and the United States, and finally retired to a 
farm in North Carolina, where they died within a few 
hours of each other, January 17th, 1874. They were 
united by the xiphoid region of the sternum, and ex- 
amination after death showed that any attempt to 
separate them would probably have resulted fatally. 
Bach was married and had several children, none of 
whom were different from other people. 

In September, Mr., Duffy and his company returned 
triumphantly from Buffalo, where since June they had 
played with great success in the new theatre. On their 
way home they played two weeks in Eochester. Duffy 
made money in Buffalo and was a great favorite there. 
It was the intention to open here Septemb-er 21st, with 
Celeste, but she broke her engagement and Duffy 
brought suit against her, which was finally settled by 


the lady's paying a good round sum to make good her 

Mr. Coney and his trained dogs, Hector and Bruin, 
were engaged in place of Celeste, and "The Cherokee 
Chief," "Forest of Bondy " and "The Planter and His 
Dogs," were played, in all of which the canine actors 
were the chief attractions. 

We shall pass over the season without further re- 
mark, till we reach the grand complimentary benefit 
given Manager Duffy, on the 8tK of December, when 
one of the most brilliant audiences ever seen in an 
Albany theatre, were assembled. It is interesting to 
see how such an affair was " worked up," and in order 
to show who were regarded as the supporters of the 
drama, at this time, we give the preliminary details 
,and first,, the following notice was published : 

A meeting will be held at the American Hotel, on 
Tuesday evening, November 24th, at 7 o'clock, to take 
into consideration the practicability of giving a compli- 
mentai^ benefit to William Duffy, the manager of the 
Albany theatre. 

Erastus Corning, J. Thomas, 

E. Livingston, C. Wendell, 

A. Blanchard, R. G. Gruttenden, 

J. B. Van Schaick, C. Egberts, 

A- James, J. G. Mather, 

G. W. Rvckman, John Davis, 

E. Wilson, Salem Dutcher, Jr., 

P. V. Shankland, James Gough, 

G. Brinckerhoff, Thomas Lee, 

Robert Martin, 8. D. W. Bloodgood, 

Barent B. Staats, O. P. Pruyn, 

C. Bryan, A. D. Lansing, 

P. K. Cole, James McKown, 

Erastus Miller, Isaiah Townsend, 

H. Moore, A. French, 

William Thorne, • Parker Sargent, 

H. Bleecker, S. S. Benedict, 

J. K. Paige, P. Relyea, Jr., 

J. T. B. Van Vechten, A. B. Shaw, 

M. H. Webster, John P. Cassidy, 


Peter S. Henry, P. S. Van Ingen, 

J. y. L. Pruyn, D. B. Gaffnejr, 

William Seymour, 0. A. Johnson, 

J. V. R. Ableman, John Van Buren, 

Henry Chapman, James White, 

T. Weed, William Gillespie, 

J. M. French, A. S. Townsend, 
James T. Hildreth. 

The proceedings of the meeting were made public in 
the following report : 

At a meeting- held pursuant to a call published in the 
daily papers of this city, at the American Hotel, on 
Tuesday evening, November 24th, his Honor, the Mayor, 
was called to the chair and George Brinckerhoff 
appointed secretary. 

E. Livingston, Esq., briefly addressed the meeting, 
urging the propriety of the proposed measure ; where- 

On motion of Alderman Seymour, it was resolved that 
a committee of five from each ward be appointed to 
take the matter into further consideration; and should 
they deem it expedient to giVe the proposed benefit, 
that they be clothed with full power to designate the 
time, prescribe the manner, and make the necessary 
arrangements for that purpose. (Subsequently, on 
motion of H. Moore, Esq., an additional member was 
placed on the committee'from the First ward.) 

The following gentlemen were appointed. said com- 

First ward — James MoKown, Isaiah Townsend, Jared 
L. Rathbone, John E. Lovett, John Thomas, N. M. 

Second ward — Wm. Seymour, S. S. Benedict, John 
Van Bnren, Anthony Blanchard, Thomas Lee. 

Third ward^ Edward Livingston, J. B. Van Schaiefcy 
Gerrit W. Ryckman, Robert Martin, Thomas Wi 

Fourth ward!— James G. Mather, Geo. Guardenier, 
James Mahar, Philo K. Cole, Benjamin Raymond. 


Fifth ward — J. T. B. Van Veohten, Wm. Gillespie, 
Harman V. Hart, Henry Chapman, James White. 

On motion, the chairman and secretary were added to 
the committee.. 

Ordered, That the committee meet at the American 
Hotel, Wednesday evening, at six o'clock. 

The meeting was then adjourned. 

Eeastus Coening, Chairman. 

Geo. Beinckbehoe'f, Secretary. 

Of course, the committee resolved that the proposed 
benefit should be given and given it was with eclat. 
A floor was laid over the pit and sofas placed thereon. 
The price of tickets was raised to $3. The governor, 
the nnayor and most of the state and municipal officers 
were present. Mr. Duffy was received with the greatest 
enthusiasm. The following was the bill : 


Peter Spyke Mr. Hamilton 

Swyzle Mr. Greene 

Gertrude Mrs. Richardson 

Overture by the Orchestra. 


Shylock Mr. J. R. Scott 

Gratiano Mr. Duffy 

Portia Mrs. Greene 

Nerissa Mrs. Dunham 

Music by Albany National Band. 


Delph Mr. Barnes 

Recitation of Anthony's oration over the dead body of 
Julius Csesar, by Mr. Oxley. 


Puff Mr. Duffy 

The following address, written by Mr. Hugh Moore, 
of Albany, was spoken by Mrs. Greene, and called out 
(particularly the allusion to Forrest and Duffy) a warm 
response from the audience : 

Friends of the drama, Friends to every part 
Of liuraan action tliat improves the heart — 
Friends to th« free-born sentiment that blends 
Alike the names of rich and poor as friends — . 


While your good wishes form a wreatli of smiles, 
To cheer us onward in our path of toils, 
Free be the offering that our feelings lend 
The Drama's patron and the Actor's friend. 

Friends of tlie Drama in the ancient time, 

When Fancy's flower bedeclied the wings of rhyme, 

When Sliakspeare flourished, and when Genius hurled 

The shafts that pierced the follies of the world — 

Then wolie the Drama from its niglit of gloom — 

A morning sun beamed o'er a mouldy tomb. 

Oh, may the beam thus snatched from early night 

A beacon serve from Superstition's night! 

From thouglits thus sacred to the "march of mind," 
We liomeward turn, and leave ,an age behind 
Where erst arose the humble roof, .and where 
The words of genius wasted on the air, 
Now stands tlie temple of the Drama's cause — 
Where tyrants tremble, and where bigots pause. 
Here, nursed in friendship, Forrest gained a name 
High in the niche of histrionic fame. 
And all that cheered him, in his lone career, 
'Twas thine to give — 7ms nature to revere. 
Thus be thy aim — and long may Duffy prove 
That sterling talent merits public love. 

Friends of the Drama, in a scene like this, 

Wliere patrons smile, all language proves amiss. 

Save the liind tones that gratitude imparts— 

Tlie words of friendship gushing from our hearts* 

To female beauty, as the brightest gem 

That throws its light over woman's diadem — 

We proffer virtue — as the choicest part 

Of modern drama in the human lieart. 

We proffer friendship as a kind behest. 

To warm the feelings of the human breast. 

We proffer love — nay, ladies, do not start, 

'Tis but the offering of a grateful heart. 

Too full to give the sentiment its due. 

When all its magic beams, at once, from you. 

Thus did the city of his birth delight to honor its 
favorite actor, little thinking that in a few weeks more- 
it would be called to lament his untimely death. Yet 
so it was. On the 9th of February, 1836, a perform- 
ance was given for the benefit of tlie poor. On the 
10th, the season closed. As Duffy came off the stage^ 
he said to some one behind the scenes, " I am through 
now ; I am going to take a good long rest." His reat 
was indeed a long one ; he never actpd more. 


It appears that John Hamilton, a comedian of tlie 
company, and a favorite actor, but a dissipated man, 
had got into trouble with the manager. Some time 
previous, Hamilton and Leslie, the scene-painter, had 
hired a horse from Harris, driven it to Troy, and, 
through some accident, the horse was killed. Harris 
held the tw^o men responsible, and Hamilton, having 
nothing, Mr. Duffy assumed his share of the payment, 
some seventy dollars. This was by no means the first 
kindness Duffy had shown the misguided man, but in 
his cups he forgot it all, and abused his benefactor to 
his faceand behind his back, until it became unbeara- 
ble. On the night in question, Hamilton had acted so 
outrageously behind the scenes that Duffy called for 
an of&cer, and, as he supposed, had Hamilton locked 
up in jail. He was not deprived of his liberty, how- 
ever, and some time later, Duffy, in going to his bed- 
room in the theatre, passed through Washington hall, 
adjoining that building on the south, and there 
encountered Hamilton. An altercation was followed 
by a struggle, and poor Duffy was stabbed in the 
abdomen. Two citizens who interfered, also received 
.slight wounds from the infuriated actor, who was 
arrested and subsequently committed in default of 
$2,000 bail. Duffy was taken to his room and after- 
wards home to the building northeast corner of James 
street and Maiden lane, where, after lingering till March 
12th, he expired. 

Hamilton was arrested, indicted . for murder, and 
tried April 29th and 30th in the Oyer and Terminer, 
before James Yanderpool, circuit judge. The prose- 
cution failed to show that the deed was premeditated, 
and the prisoner was acquitted. It was afterwards 
alleged that the principal witness was bribed to leave 
town and could not be found. But, though Hamilton 
escaped the punishment of the law, retribution was 
none the less certain. He was overwhelmed with 
remorse, declaring, while in jail, that he had killed 
the best friend he ever had. It is said he was, after- 
wards, subject to fits of insanity, in which he was 


haunted by the imagined form of his victim, and 
that his terror was such as to horrify all beholders. 
He is generally supposed to have died in one of his 
raving fits, in an obscure village in Tennessee. 

In noticing Mr. Duffy's death, The ^-rgus says, 
editorially : 

In his protracted suffering, during which his fortitude 
has been no less remarkable than his strength of consti- 
tution, he has received the unremitting attention of Drs. 
J. McNaughton and B. P. Staats; but, although faint 
hopes were at one time entertained of his recovery, it 
has now been found, that from the nature of the injury, 
no human skill could have preserved his life. 

The death of Mr. Duffy will be regarded as a public 
loss. In his capacity as a manager, he displayed an 
activity and enterprise which gave a high character to 
the Albany theatre. His perseverance under discour- 
agements, sufficient to overcome most men, and judicious 
husbanding of the means which favorable seasons gave 
him, enabled him to manage successfully, and with profit 
to^imself and the public, an establishment in which, 
we believe, every one of his predecessors failed. As an 
actor, he was entitled to a high rank, though his busi- 
ness engagements necessarily prevented the closet prep- 
aration which has been pronounced indispensable to 
histrionic excellence. Many of his efforts, notwithstand- 
ing, evinced a vigorous and a polished genius, and in 
some characters in the highest walks of the drama, he 
was acknowledged to be unsurpassed. As a citizen, he 
was public-spirited, liberal and upright. As a man, 
high-minded, social and benevolent. Few, indeed, are 
*there among his acquaintances, who will not deplore the 
event which has cut off from their society, in the vigor 
of manhood, and under circumstances so afflicting, one 
whose qualities of head and heart were so well calculated 
to endear him to all. 

Mr. Duffy was a native of this city, and is mourned 
by numbers bound to him by the ties of kindred, as well 
as by his youthful associates and the friends of his 
mature years. Although young, his professional reputa- 
tion stood high in other cities, and he was, for a number 
of years, a manager, jointly with Mr. W. Forrest (who 


died two years since), of a theatre in Philadelphia. He 
had been an early companion of Edwin Forrest, whose 
friendship he always retained and reciprocated. Here, 
however, where his professional career began and ended, 
and where he had come to be a universal favorite, his 
loss will be most deeply felt. 

In "The Theatrical Eambles of Mr. and Mrs. John 
Greene," edited by Mr. Charles Durang, for the New 
York Clipper^ tlie particulars of the tragedy are fully 
given. The company, immediately after the night of 
the quarrel, proceeded to Troy, and played on the com- 
monwealth plan, with Greene at their head. The 
account continues: "While they were playing one night, 
to a full house, the play of "Pizarro," Charles Webb 
as Rolla, about the third act, the company received the 
news of Mr. DufEy's death. The intelligence was 
received with a shock to their feelings, as they were 
impressed witli the belief that their manager's recovery 
was quite certain. They felt it the more as they hon- 
ored and loved the man for his friendly and parental 
care of their interests and welfare. He had some 
hauteur about him at times, but his heart was benevo- 
lent. Mr. Greene announced the melancholy event to 
the audience, with oppressed feelings, at the end of the 
act, saying, in a faltering voice, that 'the memory of 
their manager was dear to them, by all revered, and 
when only assured but yesterday, by his medical 
attendants, of his safety, the sudden news of his death 
overwhelmed his brother performers with regret and 
sorrow. To alleviate our oppressed feelings, and out 
of respect to his memory, the company, through me, 
desire to close the performance of the evening with the 
act just finished. The audience can have their money 
restored at the box office.' The audience, a motley 
gathering of hard-working mechanics, quickly withdrew 
from the house, not one demanding the price of his 
ticket. The entire troupe stai'ted at once to attend the 
funeral, which was large and imposing." 

After Hamilton was acquitted, he showed Greene a 
large lump of opium which he had concealed in the 


lining. of his coat, and which he said he would sooner 
have swallowed than have endured a term at state 




Last Years of the Old Pearl Street Theatre. 

AFTER the death of Duffy, Messrs. Dinneford& Blake 
assumed the management of the theatre, opening 
May 4th, 1836, with "The School for Scandal." The 
company, said to have been the strongest since the days 
of Grilfert, included Thomas Placide, W. R. Blake, John 
Mills Brown, Messrs. Davis, Foote, Thayer, Isherwood, 
McConacky, Gibson, Percival, Flynn, Miller, Winchell, 
Miss Emma Wheatley, Miss A. Fisher, Mrs. Stickney, 
Mrs. DeGrouch, Miss Anderson and Miss Powell. 
Henry Placide played a star engagement and afterwards 
several very showy pieces were brought out. One of 
them. " The Jewess," had a run of ten or twelve nights, 
and J. R. Scott, Celeste and other stars appeared, the 
season closing July 16th. Scott was a native of Phila- 
delphia, born October 17th, 1808, and died in the same 
city, March 2d, 1856. He was at one time a very prom- 
ising tragedian. 

Of Blake, we have spoken, when he was a member 
of Gilfert's company. It was in Albany, at the old 
Thespian hotel, he made his first appearance in the 
United States, in 1823, being then announced as "from 
England." He had, however, never been further from 
his birthplace, Nova Scotia, than the West Indies. 
He was now a very handsome man, but a notorious 
rake. During his management here, he made money, 
but was extravagant and left town much in debt. His 
pa,rtner, William Dinneford, was an Englishman who 
had had some experience as manager of the little 


Franklin theatre, in New York, and was managing it 
at this time. The company above mentioned was 
recruited from that establishment. Dinneford died 
December 8th, 1871. 

The fall season opened September 5th, under the 
same management, with "The Golden Farmer" and 
"Cal^ching an Heiress." Among the additions to the 
company were Mr. Field, Mrs. Dunham, afterwards 
Mrs. Innes, and Mrs. Blake. J. R Scott came again, 
and was supported by Ingersoll, who played second, 
and by Miss Verity. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison also 
played here at this time. He was a promising come- 
dian, afterwards killed by drink. She was a sprightly 
little lady, well adapted to juvenile parts. John Sefton 
Slso starred here with success. His great hit was as 
Jemmy Twitcker in "The Golden Farmer." 

On the 10th of October, Booth began an engage- 
ment, and on the 1 Ith, in playing Macketh^ was sup- 
ported by Charlotte Cushman, as Lady Macbeth, the 
first appearance on the Albany boards of the lady, 
who was, afterwards, the most celebrated actress 
America has yet produced. But she was by no means 
celebrated at this time, and only too glad to secure a 
place in the stock company of the little Pearl street 
theatre. In order to explain how she happened to do 
so, we must go back a little ways in her history : By the 
bankruptcy of her father, she was obliged, at the age 
of thirteen, to leave school and prepare, in some way, 
to help support the family. Her remarkably fine con- 
tralto voice indicated that the branch for her to pursue 
was music, and to this, she gave assiduous attention. 
She was studying in Boston, her native city, wheii the 
Woods appeared there in opera, and through the 
influence of Mrs. Wood, she became an articled pupil 
of James G. Maeder, who had come out with the Woods 
from Europe, and was their musical director. Under 
his instruction. Miss Cushman, in April, 1855, made 
her debut in the Tremont theatre, as the Countess Alma- 
viva, in the opera of " The Marriage of Figaro," Mrs. 
Maeder (Clara Fisher) as Susanna. The debut was a 


success, and Miss Cushman went with the Maeders to- 
New Orleans, but there, for some cause, her voice sud- 
denly' failed her. Mr. Maeder has been blamed for 
this, as it has been said that he endeavored to force 
her voice up to the soprano register. Mrs. Maeder 
said, recently, that the real cause of Miss Cushman's 
change of intent was, that she found the work of 
practicing too arduous, and besides, was badly " stage 
struck." Mr. Caldwell, manager of the New Orleans 
theatie, advised her to give up singing for acting, and, 
glad to have her own wish seconded, she embraced the 
opportunity to play Lady Macbeth, to Mr. Barton's 
Macbeth, and was again successful. She was now 
nineteen years old', having been born July 23d, 1816. 
At the close "of the season, she came north, and partly 
through Mr. Barton's recommendation, secured a lead- 
ing position for three years, under Mr. Hamblin's man- 
agement, to play first at the Bowery and then elsewhere. 
She had no wardrobe, and no money to get it. Mr. 
Hamblin became responsible for the debt incurred in 
purchasing one, and was to pay himself five dollars a 
week out of her salary. She had acted but a few 
nights, when the Bowery theatre, as it had an unfortu-' 
nate habit of doing every few months, burned to the 
ground, and Miss Cushman's wardrobe, left there, 
because she felt it was not hers till paid for, was con- 
sumed ; her debt upon it undischarged, and her three 
years' contract ended in smoke. To add to her embar- 
rassment, a few weeks previous, deeming herself 
independent, she had induced her mother to give up 
keeping boarders in Boston, and come on to New 
York, with one or two children. Having, therefore, 
more than herself to provide for. Miss Cushman 
applied-to Mr. Dinneford, of the Franklin theatre, for 
an engagement at Albany, where she could get practice, 
and, at the same time, be near enough to New York 
to take advantage* of any opening that might be 
offered. He gave her an engagement of five weeks, 
and she came up at once, accompanied by her mother 
and youngest brother, and mad© her first appearance 


as we have stated. She was, at this time, to quote her 
own words, "tall, thin and lanky," but with a figure 
that attracted attention, on the stage or on the street. 
She, her mother and sister Susan, boarded at the 
Eising Sun tavern, corner of Beaver and Pearl streets, 
for a time, and also at the Eepublican laotel, corner of 
Hudson and Liberty streets. The young actre&s soon 
became quite a prominent member of Albany society. 
Stone, in his " Eeminiscences," speaks in particular of 
her appearance at the Firemen's ball, given at the 
theatre (March 14th, 1837), where, "in all the fresh- 
ness -and bloom of youth, magnificently attired, her 
head adorned with an immense and beautiful Bird of 
Paradise, as she threaded the mazes of the dance, or 
moved gracefully in the promenade, her stately form 
towering above her companions, she was the observed 
of all observers, the bright, particular star of the even- 
ing." She, herself, refers to this, her first long engage- 
ment, with evident pleasure. She writes : 

" I became a great favorite. At the hotel where we 
lived there also boarded a number of the members of the 
state legislature. I became acquainted with many of 
them, who were very kind to me. It became known 
that Governor Marcy was a cousin of my mother. He 
was a man held in high estimation, and this fact may have 
bettered my position socially, though he was then sena- 
tor at Washington. It had been jokingly remarked 
often that more of the members of both houses could be 
found at my benefit than at the Capitol." 

Yet in spite of this gaiety, Charlotte Cushman had, 
to use her own words again, already experienced "the 
first spring storm and hurricane of young disappoint- 
ment." Why she never married was a secret never 
made public. The only allusion on record made by 
herself to the subject, is in a letter referring to just this 
period in her life spent in Albany. She writes : 

"There was a time in my life t)f girlhood, when I 
thought I had been called upon to bear the very hardest 
thing that can come to a woman. A very short time' 


served to show me, in the harder battle of life which 
was before me, that this had been but a spring storm, 
which was simply to help me to a clearer, better, richer 
and more productive summer. If I had been spared 
this early trial, I should never have been so earnest and 
faithful in my art; I should still have been casting 
about for the 'counterpart' and not given my entire 
self to my work, wherein and alone I have reached any 
excellence I have ever attained, and through which alone 
I have received my reward. God helped me in my art 
isolation, and rewarded me for recognizing Him and help- 
ing myself. This passed on ; and this happened at 
a period in my life when most women (or children, 
rather) are looking to but one end in life, — an end, no 
doubt, wisest and best for the largest number, but which 
would not have beeh wisest and best for my work, and 
so for God's work. ****** 

" Then I lost my younger brother, upon whom I had 
begun to build most hopefully, as I had reason. He was 
by far the cleverest of my mother's children. He had 
been born into greater poverty than the others ; he 
received his young impressions through a different 
atmosphere ; he was keener, more artistic, more impul- 
sive, more generous, more full of genius. I lost him by 
a cruel accident, and again the world seemed to liquify 
beneath my feet, and the waters went over my soul. It 
became necessary that I should suffer bodily to cure my 
heart-bleed. I placed myself professionally where I 
found and knew all the mortifications in my profession, 
which seemed for the time to strew ashes over the loss 
of my child-brother (for he was my child and loved me 
best in all the world), thus conquering my art, which, 
God knows, has iiever failed me — never failed to bring 
me rich reward — never failed to bring me comfort. I 
conquered my grief and myself. Labor saved me then, 
and always, and so I proved the eternal goodness of 

This brother of whom she speaks, was eleven years 
old. She had placed him at school in Albany, and 
given him a horse* to ride. While absent with his 
teacher in Vermont, on a vacation, the horse threw his 
young rider and trampled out his brains. The jacket 


whicli the poor boy wore at the time was always pre- 
served, and went with her from place to place, in all 
her wanderings. 

In a previous chapter, it has been shown that it was 
in Albany, that the genius of Edwin Forrest, America's 
greatest actor, was first appreciated and encouraged ; 
that here, on the boards of the old Pearl street theatre, 
he took the first steps in that career, which led to fame 
and fortune. It is a coincidence quite too ffemarkable 
to pass over unnoticed, that this same theatre was also 
the school in which Charlotte Cushman first began the 
training, and developed the abilities that made her 
the greatest actress the country has produced. True, 
her dramatic debut was made in New Orleans, and she 
played a week or so in New York, but that was all. 
She then came to Albany, played Lady Macbeth, as we 
have-Stated, and began the arduous "practice" which 
she so much desired. 

On the 31st of October, she took a benefit, appear- 
ing as Count Belino, in the opera of " The Devil's 
Bridge," and also recited an original poetic address to 
the firemen, written by herself and inspired, no doubt, 
by her own recent losses. In November, Dinneford 
withdrew from the management, but Miss Cushman 
continued with thecompanyduringthewinter. Among 
the characters which she played, were the following : 
Helen McGregor, in " Rob Eoy " (for Jo. Cowell's bene- 
fit); Alicia, in "Jane Shore"; Henry, in "Speed the 
Plough"; Floranihe, in "The Mountaineers"'; Mrs. 
Holler, in "The Stranger"; Mrs. Lionel Lynx, in 
" Married Life " ; Joan, in " Joan of Arc " ; Margaret, 
in "Margaret of Burgundy"; Jack Horner, \\\ "Gre- 
ville Cross, or the Druids' Stone " ; Lo^iise, in " Norman 
Leslie"; Emilia, in "Othello"; Alvedson, in "The 
Two Galley Slaves " ; George Fairman, in " The Liberty 
Tree, or Boston Boys in 1773 " (for her own benefit, 
when she also recited an eulogy on Edwin Forrest*) ; 

* We have some curlositT alwut this eulogyi but are unable to gratify It. 
Probably it was original with Kiss Cushman, and, undoubtedly, highly com- 
plimentary to Its subject. In after life her opinions changed somewhat. She 
used to declare that Forrest was " a butcher,^' and as for Forrest, he insisted 
that Charlotte Cushman was not a woman even, let alone being womanly. 


Imcy Clifton, in. " The Fiend of Eddystone " ; Henry 
Germain, in " The Hut of the Bed Mountain " ; Portia, 
in " The Merchant of Venice " ; Julia, in " The Hunch- 
back " ; Tullis, in " Brutus " ; Jorilda, in " Timour the 
Tartar"; Belvidera, in "Venice Preserved"; Roxana, 
in "Alexander the Great"; and Romeo, in "Eomeo 
and Juliet." 

With the exception of Lady Macbeth, Helen McGregor, 
Alicia ani Mrs. Haller, these wore probably " first 
times " for Miss Oushman. On the occasion of Master 
Burke's benefit. December 14th, she also appeared as 
the Young Genius of lAberty, and recited a patriotic 

At her farewell benefit, April 1st, 1837, she played 
Romeo. The Advertiser says : " Tt was received with 
enthusiastic applause. At the close of the farewell 
song, a very beautiful wreath was thrown upon the 
stage, which was placed on the head of the fair bene- 
ficiary by Mr. Nickinson, who led her on the stage. 
Miss Oushman is about leaving us, but we hope only 
for a short time, as we feel she has no warmer or dearer 
friends than the Albanians." 

In June, she came again and played a few nights and 
then went starring to Buffalo and Detroit. In Septem- 
ber, she began a three years' engagement at the Park 
theatre. It is not our intention to follow this lady 
through her professional career. Her "Letters and 
Memories," edited by Miss Stebbins, are published, and 
available to all. It is well, however, to note briefly 
the principal points in her life. After leaving 'the 
Park, she went to Philadelphia and assumed the man- 
agement of the Walnut street theatre. When Ma- 
cready visited America in 1844, she engaged to sup- 
port him in his tour through this country, and after- 
wards went to England, where, after many discourage- 
ments, she obtained a London engagement, which y)roved 
a triumphant success. She played also with Forrest, 
and for the first time the British public were made 
aware that actors were one of the American products. 
So successful was Miss Oushman in England, that her 


family moved over there. Her sister Susan appeared 
as Juliet to her Romeo, for thirty-two nights, at the 
Princess's theatre. (Susan siibsequently married Pro- 
fessor Muspratt, retired, and died in 1859.) Charlotte 
returned to this country in 1849, bringing with her 
Mr. C. W. Couldock as her support. She crossed the 
ocean sixteen times; she "retired" from the stage 
almost as many times. She spent many years in Rome. 
During the war, she gave five performances, which 
netted over $8,000, for the benefit of the Sanitary 
commission. In 1871 she began her dramatic read- 
ings, which were highly successful. Her final farewells 
to the stage were undertaken in the autumn of 1875, 
and the great ovation at Booth's theatre, with the ode 
by Stoddard and the presentation of the laurel by 
William Cullen Bryant, was one of the most brilliant 
events i n stage history. Her last appearance in Albany 
was in readings at Tweddle hall, February 5th, 1875. 
She died at the Parker house, in Boston, February 
18th, 1876, aged sixty. 

As a grand actress, Charlotte Cushman stands alone 
and unapproached among the natives of American soil. 
In her younger days, she may have been versatile, as 
indeed the list of characters given above would seem 
to indicate, but she was ever best in tragedy or lurid 
melodrama. Her first great hit in New York was as 
Narucy Sykes. She could assume male characters with 
less incongruity than almost any other woman. Her 
Romeo was a grand success. The London Kmes said : 
"It is far superior to any ^meo we have ever had." 
She was the only woman who assumed the role of Car- 
dinal Wolsey. Meg Merrilies was the character w^ith 
which she was most closely identified, but Queen Kath- 
arine was undoubtedly "her greatest personation. 
William Winter, with his usual just discrimination, 

"She was not a great actress merely, but she was a great 
woman. She did not possess the dramatic faculty apart 
from other faculties, and conquer by that alone • but hav- 
ing that faculty in almost unlimited fullness, she poured 


forth, through its channel, such resources of character, 
intellect, moral strength, soul, and personal magnetism, 
as marked her for a genius of the first, order, while they 
made her an irresistible force in art. When she came 
upon the stage,: she filled it with the brilliant vitality of 
her presence. Every movement that she made was win- 
ningly characteristic. Her least gesture was eloquence. 
Her voice, which was soft or silvery, or deep or mellow, 
according as emotion affected it, used now and then to 
tremble, and partly to break with tones that were 
pathetic beyond description. These were denotements 
of the fiery soul that smouldered beneath her grave 
exterior and gave iridescence to every form of art that 
she embodied." 

With all her genius, she possessed enough. Yankee 
thrift to accumulate her earnings, and idied worth 
$600,000. She was buried sat Mount Auburn. 

William K. Blake became sole manager of tjjp thea- 
tre November 28th, 1836, arid had a. new proscenium 
erected and a new drop curtain painted. 'His com- 
pany consisted of Messrs. Lyne, Russell, Nickjnson, 
Gribson, Madison, Germon, Roberts, Lansing, Shari^t, 
f^tearns, Duff, Brown, Warner, J. Mills Brown and 
R. Farrell ; Mrs. Blake, Miss C. Cushman, Miss Vir- 
ginia Monier, Mrs. Dunham, Mrs. Monier and a corps 
de ballet 

For Mrs. .Dunham's benefit, January 25th, 1837, 
Othello was played by a " Young Roscius, fourteen 
years of age," Mrs. Dunham as Desdemona, and Char- 
lotte Cushman as Emilia. The Young Roscius was 
- FraakBriare,atthattimequitea]ocal dramatic prodigy. 
His wig fell off in one of the most thrilling scenes, but 
on the whole, the performance was successful. 

The next night, T. B. Russell, a vocalist, took a 
farewell benefit; One of the papers said: "He is 
about leaving the Albany theatre, because he will not 
, submit to the terms of the manager, to be cut down to 
two-thirds of his salary, and at a time, too, when every 
thing is in the advance, and consent to play for ten 
dollars per week in an arduous profession, which 


requires years of labor and study, to arrive even at 

February 20th, Charles H. Eaton began an engage- 
ment, which was extended several weeks, on account 
of the favor with which this tragedian was received. 
It was his first visit to Albany. He appeared as Richard, 
The Stranger, Shylock, Master Walter, Sir Edward Morti- 
mer, Brutus, Sir Giles, Jaffier, Damon, Hamlet, etc. 
Charles H. Eaton was born in Boston, June 10th, - 1813, 
and manifesting early ptoclivities for the stage, studied 
arduously and, at the age of twenty, made his debut at 
the Warren street theatre, in Boston, as The Stranger, 
for the benefit of Reuben Meer (long a stock actor in 
Duffy's company). The debutant won a triumphant 
success. The Boston critics were enraptured with 
him. When the Kembles came, a petition, numerously 
signed by distinguished citizens, was presented to the 
management, asking that young Eaton be permitted 
to play with these renowned artists. The request was 
granted, and young Eaton's Master Walter to Fanny 
Kemble's Julia, was another marked success. He was 
a handsome man, with classical features, five feet six 
and a half inches in height, of full chest, graceful 
carriage and well developed muscles. His starring 
tours were universally profitable to star and manager, 
and young Eaton promised fair to become a worthy 
companion of Forrest and Addams. But his career 
was cut short. While playing an engagement at Pitts- 
burgh, in 1842, he was seized with vertigo in going to 
his chamber, and fell down the well stairway, a distance 
of forty feet, to the marble flags below. His skull 
was fractured, and one arm was broken. He" lingered 
several days and then died, at the early age of thirty; 
He was an original actor ; his performances all bore 
an intellectual.impress, and as a reader of Shakspeare, 
he was unsurpassed. 

The season closed April 18th, and another began 
May 1st, under the same management. Among the 
additions to the company, were a Mr. Bnkins and the 
still beautiful Mrs. George H. Barrett. Mr. J. R. 


Scott was the star. On the 9th of May, Danforth 
Marble began an engagement in "Sam Patch," a play 
written for him by E. H. Thompson. Five years 
before, Marble, a native of Danbury, Connecticut, had 
paid a New York manager twenty dollars, for the 
privilege of appearing as Robin Roughhead. He after- 
wards became a favorite Yankee comedian, of the Hill 
type, and in the south and west was one of the most 
attractive stars that traveled there. He was also well 
received at the Strand theatre, iri London. He married 
a sister of "William Warren, the well-known Boston 
comedian, and after accumulating about $25,000, died 
in Louisville, of cholera, aged thirty-nine, and is buried 
in Buffalo. His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. 
C. B. Parsons, whom we have mentioned before as a 
very bad actor, who sometimes played tragedy. 

Parsons was converted at Louisville, by a celebrated 
evangelist, named John N. Maffit. The actor was 
playing an engagement at the Louisville theatre, and 
if we may believe the report of the affair, the build- 
ing was crowded to excess, to witness his performance 
of Othello. (If Parsons drew crowded houses, Louis- 
villains could n-ot have been very particular about 
their tragedy.) The manager announced that there 
could be no performance that evening, owing to the 
surprising conversion of the principal actor, who 
declined to act any longer, although billed and bound 
to do so. This statement was received with indigna- 
tion, and several young people ran into Maffit's meet- 
ing, calling loudly for " Othello ! " " Othello ! " The 
preacher stopped his sermon and the actor, who was 
present, walked into the broad aisle and in the most 
emphatic manner possible, exclaimed : 

" Othello's occupation 's gone." 

He then began his first exhortation, saying that a 
change had come over the spirit of his dream ; that 
he [lad fretted his brief hour upon the stage of Thespis, 
and, henceforth, would frequent onh' the house of 
prayer and the temple of Zion ; that he had left the 


sock and buskin for the sword and hemletof righteous- 
ness, and that instead of fighting Shakspeare's mimic 
battles any longer, he should, hereafter, fight only 
under the banner of the Cross, and closed by exhorting 
his old friends to remain with him, and leave the play- 
house to become the abode of bats. The uncharitable 
did not hesitate to say that he only did this to make 
money, but this could hardly have been so. He was 
said to have been worth then,' some $70,000 or $80,000, 
and he only aspired to be a local preacher, to which 
ofiice no salary is attached. He was duly admitted to 
the Methodist church, became a class-leader, and was 
licensed to preach. He was in great demand for a 
time, but he preached no better than he acted, and 
afterwards resumed his old profession, changing from 
one to the other occasionally, but finally dying a 
preacher in December, 1871. 

To return to Albany ; Marble was- followed by Hill, 
now just from Europe, and famous in his line, and by 
Mr. and Mrs. Hield, tragic stars of small magnitude. 
Miss Oushman played the brief star engagement to 
which we have referred, and Augusta, the dancer, 
appeared. July 23d, the season, which had proved 
" unprofitable to all concerned," was closed, but the 
theatre was run three nights longer, for the exclusive 
benefit of the actors, whom the ducal Blake had not 

August 14th, the Albany National Circus, situated 
pn Kane's walk. South Pearl street, opposite W. I. 
Winne's store, was opened. 

September 27th, Blake began another season with a 
company, which included Messrs. Madden, Manh', 
JeflFerson, Curfew, Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. John Greene, 
Mr. and Mrs. 'Harrison, Miss Anderson and Master 
Burke. The " Master Burke " was not the infant 
prodigy Joseph Burke, to whom we have referred, but 
Master Charles Burke, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 
Burke, born in Philadelphia, March 27th, 1822, and 
consequently fifteen years old. His father dying in 
1825, his mother married Joseph Jefferson, the future 


father of the present renowned comedian of that 
name. He and Burke were, therefore, half-brothers. 
The latter had appeared on the stage at a tender* age 
and grew up into one of the most promising comedians 
the country ever knew. He died of consumption, in 
New York, November ,10th, 1854, aged thirty-two. 
He played Rip Van Winkle long before his brother did, 
and in fact wrote the drama which Jefferspp now 
plays, although Boucicault and Jefferson, together, 
have changed it considerably. Jefferson said of his 
brother, recently : "Charles Burke was to, acting what 
Mendelssohn was to music. He did not have to work 
for his effects, as I do; he was not analytical, as I am. 
"Whatever he did came to him naturally, as grass 
grows or water runs ; it was not talent that informed 
his art, but genius." 

The Jefferson mentioned as one of the company, 
was the father of the present comedian, and combined 
the profession of scenic artist with that of actor. He 
was never accounted more than a fair actor, and in life 
was not successful. Little Joseph was, with him at 
this time, and on the 11th of December, 1837, made 
what we suppose to be his first appearance on the 
Albany boards. He was born in Philadelphia, Febru- 
ary 20,th, 1829, and was consequently less than eight 
.years old. It was in the play called "Gulliver in 
Lilliput," -and his companions on this occasion were 
Mr. Porter, the celebrated Kentucky giant, seven feet 
six inches high ; Major J. L. M.. Stevens, the far-famed 
American dwarf, three feet four inches high, and pretty 
little Mary Gannon, then only ten years old, and after- 
wards the favorite comedienne at Wallack's. Master 
Jefferson played the fop, and we take pleasure in 
appending what is most probably the first of many 
thousand newspaper notices that he has received. 
It is from the Albany Microscope, of December 23d, 

" In our last week's theatrical notice, by some obliq- 
uity of memory, we neglected to make mention of Master 
Joe Jefferson as the fop in "Gulliver in Lilliput," which 


"w,e now do by isaying he played the exquisite most 

It was not absolutely his first appearance, as in Ire- 
land's Records of the New York Stage it is noted that 
August 30th, 1837, he appeared in '.'a celebrated, com- 
tat' with Master Titus, for the benefit of the latter, at 
the National theatre, it being Jefferson's first appear- 
ance out of the juvenile supernumerary ranks. Six 
years after, he recited part of an ode at the St. Louis 
theatre, when he was billed "first appearance on any 
stage," but his earlier appearance in Albany is indis- 

On the 16th of October, Miss Josephine Clifton made 
her first appearg^nce as Bianca, and also played Mrs. 
ffaller, Glari, Juliet, Lady Freelove, and Jane Shore. 
She was born in New York about 1813, and made her 
professional &6m< September 2-lst, 1831, at the Bowery. 
Having been carefully drilled, and possessed of great 
beauty of face axjd person, sfie was highly successful. 
In 1835, she appeared at Drury Lane. In 1837, N. P. 
Willis wrote for her the tragedy " Bianca Visconti," 
which was produced at the Park theatre. As she 
grew older, she. increased in size till she became so lym- 
phatic as almost to preclude study. She married Mr. 
Robert Place, manager of' a New Orleans theatre, in 
July, 1846, and suddenly died in that city, November 
22d, the following year-. She seemed likely, at one 
time, to rival Charlotte Cushman. She was the sister 
of Laura Missouri, and both were children of a mother 
whom it is better not to mention. 

Mr. Blake's management lasted only till some time 
in October, when Thomas Fuller assumed the reiiis. 
On the 20th of November, the elder (John) Vandenhoff 
appeared for the first time in Albany, playing Othello, 
aiid, subsequently Virginius, Macbeth and Hamlet', Mr. 
VandenhofE was born in England, in 1790, and 
educated for the priesthood, but preferred the s.ta,ge 
and adopted it. lie ranked very high, and by many 
was considered next to Macready. He visited thjis 


country twice, and retired from the stage October 29th, 
1858. He died in October, 1861. His son, George 
Vandenhoff, became a resident of this country, and 
still acts occasionally. 

The next attraction was the scenic play of " The 
Bronze Horse," brought out with much magnifieence. 
This was followed by " A Vision of the Dead." Then 
came Burke, no longer Master, but Young Burke. 
With increase in years, his power to attract rapidly fell 
away, and he wisely betook himself to music, in which 
he became, and still is, proficient. 

There was a benefit January 15th, 1838, for the 
Ca:nadian patriots, at which Burke assisted, and the 
season closed January 20th, with a benefit for the 
" Eepublican Widow," Mrs. Ann W. Johnson, who 
kept the Republican hotel. The benefit was appealed 
for on the ground that she was the widow of a braye 
officer in the United States army, during the last war, 
and left with a large family to support. In reality, 
however, her best claims rested upon the fact that many 
of her boarders, who were members of the theatrical 
profession, were unable to pay her in the regular way. 
The theatre was then closed till the 17th of March, 
the company going on a tour into the western part of 
the state, visiting Syracuse, Utica, Auburn, Waterloo 
and Rochester. 

During the recess, an amateur dramatic festival was 
given, February 12th, at the theatre, when "The 
Wrecker's Daughter," by J. Sheridan Knowles, and 
"A Dead Shot" were produced with great success. 
Prank Briare, who had previously played Othello, now 
played the part of Marian, giving capital imitations of 
Mrs. Grreene and Josephine Olifton. The part of Rob- 
ert, the Wrecker was played by James- Canoll, and that 
of Black Harris by Stephen B. Hutchins. 

On the 17th, the theatre reopened under the manage- 
ment of Fuller, with Logan (Olive's father) as stage 
manager. Eaton was the first star, and about this time 
Harry Eytinge, then in his seventeenth year, made his 
first appearance in a regular theatre here. On the 2d 


of April, Edwin Forrest came again, and was supported 
by Eaton, Mrs. Harrison and Mrs. Greene^a strong 
combination. The rush was tremendous — Eorresthad 
just returned from Europe- and was in the height of his 
glory. He played for twenty nights, and his share of 
receipts amounted to $2,100. This closed the season, 
although the theatre was open under temporary man- 
agement two or three nights in July. 

Fuller, the manager, was any thing but "square," and 
Stone relates how Eaton, who had supported Forrest 
through his engagement, searched the premises, cudgel 
in hand, to" have satisfaction out of the manager's hide. 
Fuller, to avoid him, hid in the garret of Washington 
hall (adjoining the theatre on the south), until evening, 
when he slipped into a carriage, was driven down the 
river, and taken on board the night boat in a skiff, and 
so left Eaton and Albany, generally, in the lurch. All 
but our shrewd friend, the printer, Henry D. Stone, 
who on the last night of the season held a claim of $125 
against the theatre. There was a great rush to see 
Forrest play Meiamora, and the regular ticket office 
was besieged; By a standing arrangement, the printer 
had the privilege of giving written passes, which were 
charged to his account. Knowing that it was only by 
sharp practice that the "artful dodger,'' as Puller was 
called, could be made to settle, Mr. Stone had a lot of 
passes prepared and opened an opposition ticket office 
next door, in Briare's confectionery store. The news 
spread among the crowd that tickets could be had there, 
and a large number were speedily sold. The next 
morning, instead of the manager owing the printer, the 
printer owed the manager just seventy-five cents. 

On the 14th of August, Miss Davenport, aged eleven, 
appeared in Richard and the Manager's Daughter ; on 
the 16th, as Sir Peter Teazle,. and also in a protean 
farce, in which she played seven characters; on the 
20th, as Douglas, supported by amateurs; on the 23d, 
25th and 27th, as Tom, the Dumh Boy of 'Manchester, 
and at a benefit performance on the 29th, _ She also 
appeared one night for the benefit of the amateurs, 


who had, supported her during hcT engagement, which 
was particularly successful in every way. 

Jean Margaret Davenport-Lander, is a native of 
Grreat Britain, and made her debut at an early age as 
Little Pickle. Her success was ^o great that she was 
speedily set to studying and soon after came out in 
JRichard III., as an infant prodigy. She displayed 
great ability and was said by some to far exceed Burke. 
Unlike him, at least, her successes were not confined 
to her earlier years, but as she grew older and after 
several European tours as a child actress, she came out 
as Juliet and assumed an important position in the 
dramatic world. On the 13th of October, 1860, she 
married Colonel Frederick W. Lander, and left the 
stage. He died from wounds received ^ in battle, two 
years after, and Mrs. Lander, with noble self-devotion, 
ministered for many months to the sick and dying 
soldiers at Port Royal, South Carolina. In 1865, she 
returned to the stage and became what she is still, one 
of its brightest ornaments, although not so much the 
fashion as once she was. She was the original Camille, 
in this country, and one of the best ever seen here. 
She lives at Lynn, Massachusetts, and is as highly 
respected as a woman as she ever was regarded as an 
actress. Her last appearance in Albany was under 
Mr. Albaugh's management, when a version of " The 
Scarlet Letter " was produced. It is stated,- upon good 
authority, that little Jean Davenport was the original 
which Dickens caricatured so unmercifully as " Miss 
Ninetta Crummels, The Infant Phenomenon," in 
Nicholas Nickleby. It is said she was first taken to 
the theatre by a servant, unbeknown to her parents 
and against their wishes. She betrayed herself next 
day by humming one of the tunes she heard there. 

September 17th, the theatre was opened under the 
management of H W. Preston, late of the Richmond 
and southern theatres, with " Jlob Roy." J. R. Field, C. 
W. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Preston, Mr. Jackson, Mr. 
Lansing, Mr. and Mrs. Sharp, Mr. and Mrs. Chapman, 
were in the company. 


Bootli was the .first. Star, and then came Oxley and 
Miss Cramer. Daring, the .latter engagement, " The 
Lady of Lyons" was produeedfor the first time in 
Albany, Mrs. Prestqn as Pauline and Oxley as Claude. 
The Bedouin Arabs appeared about tbis time between 
the acts and caused t^e theatre to fill to pverflowing. 
Cooper, wbo had now quite outlived bis reputation, 
appeared for a f,ew nights, as did Alexander Wilson, 
and then Forrest,' the season closing November 26th 
and the company going on a southern tour to Hudson, 
Poughkeepsie, etc. 

The next and last season for many years, opened 
December 24tb, under the same mahageVneht, but with 
poor encouragement January 31st, 1839, " The Water 
Witch," dramatized by Charley Taylor, from' Cooper, 
was brought out for the benefit of sufferers from the 
late freshet. The theatre was then closed, and the 
company went to Troy, and performed in a temporary 
building, fitted up for their reception. Playing was 
resumed February 25th, Mrs. Shaw and Mr. D. D. Mc- 
Kinney having been added to the company. 

Meantime rumors were in circulation that the stock- 
bolders of the theatre, tired of a non-productive pro- 
perty, were about to sell it to St Paul's congregation, 
to be converted into a church. This was at first dis- 
credited, but proved to be true. Manager Preston was 
notified to vacate, and the final performance took place 
March 30th, 1839. There is an evident satire upon 
the very face of the bill, which was as follows : 




previous to being converted into 


This evening will be presented the startling comedy of 


Doctor Cant well Mr. Oxley 

Maw-worm (with a local sermon) Mr. Preston 

Charlotte Mrs. Shaw 


Comic song Mr. Lansing 

Fancy dance Mrs. Star pe 

After which, the interlude of 



To conclude with the drama of 


Oliver Twist Mrs. Preston 

In 1863, when the church was reconverted into a 
theatre by Mr. Trimble, on removing the floor, the 
original pit and orchestra were found as they were left, 
and among the rubbish was a bill of the play, as above 




Rise and Fall of the Dallius Street Amphitheatre. 

THE Pearl street theatre having, in 1839, gone the 
way of the Green street theatre and the North Pearl 
street circus, by becoming a churob, the only place of 
amusement was the Albany niuseum, corner of Broad- 
way and State street, which re-opened under the man- 
agement of W. Bell, May 3d, for vaudevilles and 
concerts, Charles W. Taylor being stage director, and 
several members of the theatre company performing 
there. The preceding March 2d, the building, including 
the stores underneath, had been badly damaged by 

On the 27th of September, the Apollo concert roorii, 
on Green street, two doors froin State, was opened for 
farces, etc., by Stillwell & Taylor. The place was 
small, but well fitted up, and soon more ambitious 
attempts were made and several dramas were produced. 
Here, Novembei- 20th, G. F. Cooke, (!) an Albanian, 
who had made a debut at the Park tbeatre, appeared in 
parts of Hamlet, Shylock and Richard. The Apollo 
did not pay, and Taylor was soon back to the Museum, 
where Miss E. Eandolph and Mr. and Mrs. Flynn were 
great favorites. Miss Reynolds also appeared here 
with Yankee Hill. 

It was-a dull time for amusements till the following- 
December, when Samuel H. Nichols opened his amphi- 
theatre on Dallius street, corner of Westerlo. It was 
built of brick and covered nearly half an acre of 
ground. The front entrance was on Dallius street ; 
19 > 


-the entrance to the pit, which held 600 persons, was 
•on Lansing street. The two tiers of boxes would 
accomodate 918. The ring was forty-one feet in 
■diameter; the stage twenty-eight feet wide by sixty- 
iour deep. Above the principal stage was another of 
-the same width,, though not so deep, and designed to 
produce such pieces as " Mazeppa." The whole build- 
ing was ornamented, the dome in particular being 
handsomely painted and gilded. The establishment 
had "no third tier and no punch room," and at first, 
every effort was made to have it respectable and 
worthy the support of respectable people. 

The opening took place December 7th, 1840, the 
attendance being large, and the audience enthusiastic. 
Among the equestrians were Latour, Barney Carroll, 
Walter Aynaar, John Whittaker, Henry Madigan, Tom 
and James McFarland, the Nichols brothers, and the 
•clowns, John Gossin and John May. The latter was a 
great favorite. ' His farewell benefit took^ place Mai'ch 
lat, or, as he billed it in large letters, "The first day 
of March and the last day of May." Underner led the 
orchestra, which included, for the first month at least, 
Ned Kendal], the famous bugler. In the dramatic 
company were Jackson, stage manager, Anderson, 
Hall, Plumer, Dickinson, Needham, Hardy, Mr. and 
Mrs. Nichols, and Mrs. Anderson. During the first 
year or two the place was well patronized, and- it was 
no unusual sight to see a line of carriages extending 
from the main entrance northward as far as Lydius 
street (now Madison avenue). But no circus can last 
long in a small city, and after the novelty of pieces like 
■" The Cataract of the Ganges," "The Naiad Queen," 
"Timour, the Tartar," "The Lady of the Lake," and 
" The Forty Thieves " had worn away, the entertain- 
ment ceased to attract, and Nichols sunk all the 
money he had ever made there and elsewhere in the 
show business. At last the place was taken by Doctor 
Spaulding, who was a dealer in oil and drugs, and had 
supplied the establishment with paints, etc., till it was 
deeply in his debt. This was the beginning of his 


career as a showman. ' He afterwards had a circus for 
a short time on the site now occupied by Hoyt's coal 
yard, corner of Eagle street and Hudson avenue. He 
was the man who bought up all the curiosities of the 
Albany museum, and transported them up and down 
the rivers of the west in a floating theatre. Meeeh said 
the doctor never paid a cent for them, and it would 
have been better if they had all been burned in a bonfire 
for the amusement of the Albany public. We have 
been told that Dan Eice also began his career in this 
same old amphitheatre, by sweeping out the building 
and making himself generally useful, ^ and that Barney 
Williams, when a boy, took part in minstrel shows 
here. Some notable dramatic events occurred here 
also, but we anticipate ; let us return to the opening. 
Mr. Nichols offered a prize of $50, to be awarded the 
writer of the best poetical address, to be delivered on 
this occasion. There were several competitors, 0. W. 
Taylor among the number, but the committee awarded 
the honor to Mr. Alfred B. Street, whose beautiful 
poem of " The Grey Forest Eagle," published about 
this time, won for him an enviable place among the 
poets of America. The following is the address in 
full, as delivered by Mr. Collenburne: 


To lift from Age, Time's burden for a while, 
And light the brow of manhood with a smile, 
Repress the tear and hush the sorrowing sigh, 
And bid mirth sparkle in the youthful eye; 
"With Pleasure's golden pinions plume the hours 
And muffle their quick feet with thornless flowers; 
Display the wondrous strength and grace that Heaven 
To this proud fabric of the soul has given — 
The sway despotic, human reason wields — 
The tame submission brutish instinct yields; 
These are our objects. Is a guerdon due? 
Kindness and favor then we ask of you. 

Bound the wide arena now the flery steed 
' Loos'd from his thraldom, bounds with headlong speed, 
Free seems he as the tempest, yet a rein 
Is o'er him, stronger than the weightiest chain; 
An eye and -voice whose slightest glance and sound 
Plant him a breathing statue on the ground, 


Eager and watchful ; then their diflferent sway 

Shoots him again, an arrow on his way, 

"With a light leap as upward borne on wings, 

To the fleet courser's back, his rider springs; 

Around — around — the flying centaur skims 

And to the sight in dizzy circles swims, 

Now on his surging pedestal unchecked. 

Whirling along, the rider stands erect; 

Pois'd with stretched arms, now leans; with sudden bound 

Now to the eye another change is found; 

Then leaping o'er some barrier in his way. 

Regains his platform like a bird its spray. 

While the gay harlequin in motley drest, 

Draws the loud laugh with gambol quaint and jest. 

Fancy flies back to those old classic days 

Which witnessed Greece, in glory's brightest blaze; 

I'hat purple clime, once Freedom's proudest dower, 

Cradle of Arts, the Muses' greenest bower, 

Again the amphitheatkb displays 

Its splendid, porrip to Athen's crowded gaze! 

Tier upon tier of animated life 

To view the struggling race — the wrestling strife — 

The strong athlete grasps sinewy foe. 

Muscle strains muscle— blow succeeds blow — 

The foaming courser whirls the chariot on 

And the green laurel crowns the triumph won. 

Thus do we strive your cheering smiles to gain 

With anxious efforts — shjijl we strive in vain? 

To cast bright drops in Life's dark chalice, ours; 

To deck earth's desert with a few sweet flowers; 

Yours be the meed that all our toil repays 

Our gladdening laurel-wreath, the bounty of your praise. 

The season, which was successful, closed May 1st, 
and another opened May 17th, with dramatic perform- 
ances only, under the management of A. W. Jackson, 
who called the establishment the Albany theatre. 
Mr. James H. Hackett was the first star, opening as 
Falstaff, in " Henry IV." He also played Col. Wildfire, 
in " The Kentuckian," Rip Van Winkle, and other 
characters. He was supported by Messrs. Jackson, 
Mossop, Hardy, Eddy, Hall, C. W. Taylor, Bruce, 
Paulin, Nelson, Miss Buloid, Mrs. Monell, Miss Wal- 
lace and others.. 

Hackett was followed by William P. Gates, a native 
of Albany, who, years before, had been a clown at the 


North Pearl street establishment, (the one for whose 
benefit Forrest turned " flip-flaps " in the ring), and was 
now a popular comedian at the Bowery theatre. He 
died three years after, in the prime of life. 

The Harrisons also played here. They have been 
mentioned before as stars, playing at the Pearl street 
theatre. Drink killed him, and it is said she was 
finally so reduced through the same cause, that she 
became cook on a canal boat. Subsequently, she 
arose in the world again, and played at the Museum. 
. In the fall of 1841, William Warren, Mr. and Mrs. 
J. B. Rice and J. P. Addams, were in the company. 
John P. Addams was a brother of Augustus, the 
tragedian, and played Yankee parts. In 1850, he was 
leader of a Mormon colony of 600, located on an 
island in Lake Michigan, and Was generally known as 
Mormon Addams. He maiy be living yet. 

In March, 1842, J. Hudson Kirby played an engage- 
ment, ranging in his characters from Claude Melnotle 
to King Lear. He was afterward the famous melo- 
dramatic actor of the Bowery. " Wake me up when 
Kirby dies," was a by-word for years on the east side, 
where, Ireland says, his departure for Europe, in 
1845, was looked upon as a dramatic calamity. He 
was born near Sandy Hook, on a vessel en route from 
Liverpool, and died in London, in 1848. 

Scott, Dan Marble, and other stars, closed out the 
season. In November, 1842, the place was opened by 
J. B. Rice, as the American theatre, and for three weeks 
Edwin Forrest and the magnificent Josephine Clifton 
appeared to very large audiences. Forrest played aP 
his greatest characters, including Jack Ca&, and there 
was the usual enthusiasm over the American tragedian. 
Six months later, he' was induced to return by John 
P. Addams, John Moakley and J. B. Booth, Jr., and 
play an engagement in the hot weather. Forrest at 
first protested, saying it was no use ; there was nobody 
in Albany at that season of the year who would go to 
a theatre ; but the boys insisted, and he good-naturedly 
complied for fifty per cent, of the receipts. Mr. and 


Mrs. Jolin Greene were secured to support laim, and 
they opened to eighteen dollars, and played to similar 
business all the week. Forrest was the only one who 
was not disappointed, but at the same time he felt the 
neglect, and it was his last appearance in Albany for 
many years. 

During this engagement, the subordinate actors were 
paid little or nothing. One of them, Charley Sals- 
bury, was badly in debt for his board. A bet was 
made that he dare not "guy" while playing with For- 
rest, and the amount of the aforesaid board bill was the 
stake. That night he played Qaspar, the servant who,, 
in "The Lady of Lyons," takes Glaude-s letter to 
Pauline, and comes back beaten for his impudence. 
When he came to the last lines he rendered them thus: 

" Are you not Si,pheasant (peasant) — a gardener's son ? 
that was the offense. Sleep on it, Melnotte. Bel — ows 
to a French citizen — bel — ows ! ! " [Exit. 

The audience, what there were of them, awoke the 
echoes with their ronring. Forrest was ready to tear 
his hair with rage, and Salsbury bolted from theatre 
and city. His board was paid, and he was free to go, 
but had Forrest laid hands on him, it would not have 
been so funny. 

It was not a very politic thing to do, to trifle wifih 
Edwin Forrest on the stage, and he was rarely ever 
known to laugh, or show any indications to do so, while 
acting. One exception is iloted by Charles Durang: 
It was through a bet won from the tragedian by John 
Greene. The wager was, that in playing a certain 
stolid, idiotic, stupid character, he would force Forrest 
for once to smile, when most deeply absorbed^ in the 
passion of the scene. This bet occurred during a 
rehearsal, wherein Greene had this nondescript part to 
play, and in which Forrest was giving instructions how 
to play it. "If I follow your directions strictly, I 
shall surely cause you to laugh, in spite of yourself," 
said Greene. 

" Don't trouble yourself ; I feel the reality of my own 


character too much to care, for the ludicrous," was the 
reply. " I'll take the responsibility." 

" Very well," said Greene, " the blame be on your 
own head." 

Greene and his companions were to enter when For- 
rest was in one of his most inipassioned speeches. 
They entered at the cue, and to the questions put to 
him, Greene turned with a face so ludicrously stupid, 
that it seemed a wooden mask, from which no ray df 
intelligence could emanate. Forrest looked at him 
a. moment, and turned his head, then with an extra 
degree of sternness, to conceal his hysterical desire to 
laugh, he again endeavored to face the dense, blank, 
idiotic countenance, which confronted him. One more 
look was sufficient ; an irrepressible fit of laughter 
shook the tragedian from head to foot, while the 
audience joined in, till the contagion had reached every 
person in the house, except one, and that was John 
Greene, who stood there as unmoved and immovable as 
a cast-iron hitching post. Forrest paid the bet. 

One evening, during the Dallius street engagement, 
a terrific thunder shower came up, and while Forrest 
was in the midst of a most impressive passage, the 
artillery of Heaven drowned every other sound. By 
appropriate action and gesture, the tragedian referred 
in pantomime to the interruption with such effect, as 
to win the loudest plaudits. One who saw him, said 
he seemed to make the storm a natural adjunct of the 

J. B. Booth, Jr., was stage manager at this time, 
and for his benefit, his father was announced to appear. 
Junius B. Booth, Jr., was born in Charleston, South 
Carolina, in 1821, and was, for many yeats, manager 
of the Boston theatre. He is an actor of only moder- 
ate abilities, in no way approaching either his illus- 
trious father or his brothers, Edwin and John Wilkes. 
He has been twice married, to Miss DeBar for his first 
wife, and to Agnes Perry, the Agnes Booth of to-day, 
for the second. Mrs. Booth is one of the most capable 
actresses in this country. It would be difiicult to 


name her equal as a reader oi the lines of Shakspeare, 
while her performance of the Widow, in the little gem 
of a play, " Old Love Letters," is a consummate piece 
of artistic excellence. She was born in Sidney, Aus- 
tralia, where her first dramatic triumphs were won. 
Then she came to America, via San Francisco, playing 
there three seasons, and so to New York and Boston. 
Her personation of Myrrha, in the great spectacle of 
" Sardanapalus," at Booth's theatre, two or three seasons 
since, was the perfection of classic elegance. But we 
are getting away from Dallius street ; 

November 15th, 1843, the place was opened by John 
Smith, mostly for equestrian performances. His 
season closed February 17th, 1844, and May 20th, the 
building was opened as a theatre, by T. B. Eussell. 
Wallack and Mrs. Brougham and George Vandenhoff, 
played engagements here, and Macready was announced. 

Mr. George Vandenhoff is a son of John Vandenhoff, 
whom we have already mentioned, and had but 
recently made his appearance in America. He was 
educated for a lawyer, and has never followed the 
stage continuously.. He supported Fanny Kemble 
Butler on her farewell tour, and also Charlotte Cush- 
man. He is a practitioner at the bar, has a good 
reputation as a reader, and acts occasionally. 

Of Macready's first visit to Albany," in 1827, we 
have already spoken. He was now on a second tour 
of this country, and was announced to appear on the 
5th and 7th of June, 1844. It seems that when he 
was here first, he was not successful, pecuniarily, and 
when applied to by Manager Rusell, refused to come 
again, but finally consented, as Eussell claimed, pro- 
vided the box sheet could be filled. Eussell returned 
and announced the appearance of the great English 
tragedian for the nights mentioned, and about one 
hundred seats were at once taken. He then wrote to 
Mr. Povey, of the Park theatre, who acted as Macready's 
agent, stating this, and offered, if he preferred it, $200 
per night, in advance. In reply, he received the fol- 
lowing letter : 


New York, Monday, May 27, 1844. 
Thos. B. Russell, Esq. : 

Sir — I have this day feceived your letter, dated 
Albany, 26th, by which I learn that you have announced 
Mr. Macready to appear at your theatre, without seeing 
that gentleman on the subject. I must say, you have 
far exceeded your authority in so doing. The under- 
standing between us was, that you were to ascertain 
what number of places in boxes would be taken, and 
let him see the box sheet. This you promised to do, 
saying you were quite sure they would be all taken imme- 
diately, as you had been called upon by upwards of 
forty ladies and gentlemen, on the subject. My advice 
is, that you, upon the receipt of this, come down to New 
York with a true copy of, box sheet, and if satisfactory, 
as understood between us, all will be right, and can be 
settled as to time, etc., etc. I hope to see you in New 
York Wednesday morning, when, have no doubt, can 
arrange all agreeable to each party. 

Yours truly, 

John Povey. 

P. S. — The prices, if Mr. Macready visits your city, 
will be as follows: Box, $1; pit, 50 cents — as you 
stated, and with those prices you say the Albany theatre 
will hold upwards of $1,000. Let me see you on 
Wednesday. J. P. 

ME. kussell's keplt. 

Albany, May 28th, 1844. 
John Povey, Esq.: 

Sir: I received yours this day and. was truly aston- 
ished at its contents. As it regards my exceeding my 
authority in respect to Mr. Macready's engagement, I 
have not ; for how would it be possible to fill a box sheet 
without announcement, unless you suppose that Mr. 
M.'s name has a charm that should draw the public to 
the box office by instinct. You say come down to New 
York with a true box sheet. Do you suppose I should 
send you a false one ? I informed you we had a hun- 
dred seats taken, also very numerous applications froni 
persons who will not pay for seats until it is positively 
announced. I have offered Mr. Macready |200 per night. 
If he chooses, he can have that, and in advance, if neces- 
sary. Our theatre will hold $800 at fifty cents and 


twentyrfive cents : consequently, it -will hold double that 
amount. In respect to your agency — if I have to go to 
New York once or twice for every star, I might as well 
dispense with it ; for I assure you I have too much busi- 
ness on hand to dance attendance on any one, particu- 
larly where they are to gain the profits. I do not see 
why Mr, Macready should require more from me than 
any other manager. I have offered him sufficient terms. 
We have an excellent theatre and a good company. 
The people are anxious to see him, and if he chooses to 
come to Albany, as he would to any other city, he can 
do so ; if not, I shall trouble myself no farther on the 
subject. Yours respectfully, 

T. B. RussELii. 


Sir : Your letter dated the 28th has just been received, 
and beg respectfully to repeat, you did exceed your 
authority in announcing Mr. Maisready before you had 
complied with the understanding between us, as stated 
in my letter dated last Monday, 2Vth. Since receiving 
your letter, have seen Mr. Macready, who says that he 
has made no engagement, either as to time or terms, 
and before he did he required to know if the box sheet 
would be filled for two or three nights, as might seem 
good. Mr. Macready is not satisfied with the report — a 
hundred seats taken ; and if he acts next week in Albany 
he will have to disarrange his present engagements. 
With difficulty he may contrive to act there on Thurs- 
day and .Friday, 6th and Vth June. He has no wish to 
dp this, he would rather not. If he does, he will take a 
clear half of the receipts, each night being secured to 
him, $250 paid each day in advance. So says Mr. 
Macready, which I send for your decision, and beg most 
respectfully to decline having any more to say on the 
subject, but am. Yours truly, 

John Povet. 

To this Mr. Russell replied that he would not sub- 
mit to tbe exorbitant demands of Mr. Macready, and 
consequently he did not appear. By reference to Mr. 
Macready's published diaries, it will be seen that on 
the 6th of June he was in Albany, and on the 18th in 


Saratoga, with no indication that he acted till he 
reached Buffalo, on the 24th, so that- it would not 
apparently have required a great deal of contriving or 
involved much difficulty to act in Albany once more, 
if he had chosen to do so. 

In June, 1845, the Bowery theatre company played 
here, and the month following, the place was opened 
by James S. Charles, with J. R Scott as the star. In 
August prices were reduced to twenty-five and twelve 
and a half cents and tbat was about the last of it, dra- 
matically considered. In 1847, it was partially de- 
stroyed by fire and then turned into a pottery. In 
1851, it was again burned and the site is now occupied 
by a coal yard. 

One of the events which took place here, January 
13th, 1844, but which we had almost forgotten to men- 
tion, was the last one of many complimentary benefits 
given in Albany to " Dummy " Allen, as he was 
called. Frequent mention has been made of this eccen- 
tric individual, since his first appearance here, which, 
although we have no definite record of it, niust have 
. been in the old Thespian hotel, previous to the opening 
of the Green street theatre. He was born in New 
York, in 1776, his father and mother being members 
of the company which played in the Albany hospital, 
ten years later. Dummy is said to have gone upon 
the stage about this time, at the old John street theatre, 
in New York, as one of the incense boys in " Eomeo 
and Juliet," (before the funeral pageant in that play 
was dispensed with), and from this circumstance used to 
boast, in his old age, that he was the "father of the 
American stage," being, as he claimed, the oldest living 
performer. But he was such an inveterate old hum- 
bug that his stories were little credited, although this 
one might have been true. In 1815-16, he was semi- 
attached to the old Grreen street theatre, and also 
became proprietor of the Shakspeare house, nearly 
opposite. He was the man who, Sol Smith says, sang 
the first negro song ever heard in an American theatre. 
He was a,lways in debt and constitutionally disinclined 


to pay any thing. But while he was keeping the 
Shakspeare house he took a benefit, and paid off a 
large number of people in tickets, assuring each that 
he was the only one which could be paid, and the 
tickets could easily be disposed of. The dodge leaked 
out and the price of tickets fell to almost nothing. 
Come night, the house was packed, and scores stood in 
the street, unable to get in, though holding tickets. 
Bu|; Dummy did n't care ; he had for once in his life a 
pocket full of receipted bills, and was happy in expe- 
riencing a new sensation. Sol Smith, in his book, 
devotes several pages to the tricks with which Dummy 
used to evade his creditors. He was partially deaf, 
and was quite annoying to those with whom he played, 
who not unfrequently revenged themselves by mislead- 
ing him with inaudible movement of the lips during 
performance, to which he thought he must reply, his 
speeches often being thus introduced quite mal apropos. 
It was the hardest thing in the world to get him to hear 
any thing about a little bill he owed. " I say, Mr. 
Allen, can't you settle. that little account to-day?" he 
was asked one morning, on Green street. "Tank you, 
tank you," was the reply, with the politest of bows,* 
"I neber takes any ding pefore breakfast," and on he 
marched. He was afflicted with a chronic catarrh, 
whicb caused him to speak in a very peculiar manner. 
He was noted all over the United States for his "gags" ' 
and benefits. Once he advertised a grand balloon 
ascension to take place from a stable on Washington 
avenue, when two aeronauts, Monsieur Gageremo and 
Mademoiselle Pussiremo would take a flight through 
the air. The adventurous foreigners proved to be two 
cats dressed in the prevailing style, and strapped to the 
balloon. He manag;ed generally to celebrate the 8th 
of January every year, by a performance of " The 
Battle of New Orleans," in which he personated Gen- 
eral Jackson, one of the two only great men who, 
according to Dummy's ideas, ever lived. He is sup- 
posed to have named himself after the old hero, and 
was never tired of sounding his praises. The other 


demi-god whom Allen worshipped was Edwin Forrest, 
who took a faacy to the old man, and made him his 
costamer, dresser, and travelling companion for years. 
To hear Allen talk, one would suppose that " de poy " 
(he always called Forrest " the boy ") owed most of his 
greatness to the man wlio made Ms wardrobe. Allen 
did have excellent taste in such matters. He was also 
the inventor, or claimed to be, of a kind of gold and 
silver leather much used in theatrical representations. 
In his opinion, that silver leather did quite as much 
for Forrest as Dr. Bird or any other of the play-wrights. 
Forrest used to humor him, but he sometimes became 
troublesome. At some festival given to the tragedian 
in England, Allen became so loquacious that Forrest 
said, "Come, come, Allen, go home and attend to your 
leather," at wliich the great American costumer rose 
up indignant, and banging on his hat, stammered out, 
" B-b, what ud your Bacbeth be bidout by ledder?" 
and off he went, growling at the ingratitude of the 
world in general, and tragedians in particular. 

James Rees, in his Life of Forrest, tells a rather 
amusing story of Dummy, while travelling with the 
tragedian in Europe : On one occasion, some of the 
minor actors of the theatre gave a dinner, to which 
Allen was invited. In reply to a toasi complimentary 
to America, Allen made a few remarks, in which he 
spoke of " the boy as the greatest actor of the age." 
" Where," he shouted, "is there anotlier equal to him? 
Where," he exclaimed, in highest tragic tones, "will 
you find him ? " An excited individual, carried away 
by the eloquence of the speaker, expressed his assent 
by shouting: "Hear! hear!" after the usual English 
fashion. Allen, taking the response as a literal reply 
to his question, shouted in return: "Where? Show 
me the man ! " 

" Hear ! hear ! " was heard from several voices. 

"Where?" roared Allen, now thoroughly excited 
and angry, " where is he, show me the man ; bring 
him up." 

"Hear! hear!" 



"Hear! hear!" again resounded through the room. 
The excitement increased till Allen, enraged at their 
boasting of a man they coald not produce, rushed 
from the room, exclaiming, "I should like to see the 
man that can beat the boy ! " 

Once when Allen was on his way to Albany, from 
the western part of the state, with Forrest's wardrobe 
in charge, he had the usual luck to run out of cash. 
Galling for a gin cocktail, a cigar, and a sheet of papesr, 
he sat down and wrote a thrilling description of his 
capture by the Esquimaux while on a sealing expedi- 
tion, and his sufferings unutterable while residing with 
them for many years ; concluding with some account 
of his escape, and the announcement that he would, 
by particular desire, exhibit on the following day only, 
the largest and most splendid collection of war dresses 
and arms of the Esquimaux, ever exposed in a civilized 
community. The next day the large dining-room of 
the hotel was crowded with curious citizens, who had 
paid two shillings each, and were admiring the splendid 
dresses for Richard, Hamht, Othellb, Lear, The Gladiator 
and Metamora, the shields, stage swords, etc., etc., 
belonging to Edwin Forrest, and which Allen gravely 
informed them were the regular outfits of the northern 

Allen, as may easily be imagined, was never much 
of an actor; although it is said he could play Goldflridh 
tolerably well, and was noted, as Caleb Quotem. For 
some time he kept an eating house in Dean street, 
called "The Divan." Governor Grrifiin (excellent 
authority) says he was one of the best cooks he ever 
knew. Two fancy dishes, "calapash" and '• oalapee," 
are remembered to this day. The calapash was made 
of old cheese, codfish, onions, mustard, rum and wine; 
the calapee was the same, with the addition of cabbage. 
Tt is difficult to say which was the most in demand. 
He set the town wild at one time, with his delioioms 
turtle soup, which was served up on certain days, 
week after week, to the infinite relish of all the gour- 


mets in the vicinity. The day when it was to be had, 
was conspicuously advertised the day previous, by the 
doomed turtle in person, who was allowed to prome- 
nade, at the end of a long string, up and down the 
sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The next morn- 
ing he had disappeared, .and at noon, green turtle soup 
was ready. After a time, i.t was noticed that while 
the soup was uniformly good, the turtles, were uni- 
form also ; that, in fact, they were all as near alike as 
the Corsican Brothers, or the Two Dromios — nearer, 
if any thing. One day, some envious observer put a 
private mark on his turtleship, which was strangely 
reproduced on his successors. The fact then leaked 
out, that with, a cheap and regular supply of calves' 
heads and one display turtle, Dummy had fed the 
Albany epicures on turtle soup for months, and the 
turtle was alive yet. 

After, for some cause not made public, Dummy and 
Forrest parted company, the former set up a restaurant 
near the Bowery theatre, but still kept up the manu- 
facture of theatrical leather, of which he held the 
patent. His advertisement at this time, read as follows, 
and satire can go little further : 

I am not dead yet ; ingratitude has not killed me — 
thanks to a clear conscience and a pair of silver leather 
breeches. All I want is work, that I, may thrive by my 
industry, pay ray debts, and die as I have always lived, 
an honest man. 

He is described at this time as a man well advanced, 
in life, tall and erect in person, with firmly compressed 
features, an eye like a hawk's, nose slightly Roman- 
esque, hair mottled grey. He wore a fuzzy white hat, 
a coat of blue with bright brass buttons, and carried a 
knobby cane. He generally spoke in a sharp, decisive 
manner, often giving wrong answers, and invari- 
ably mistaking the drift of the person with whom he 
was conversing. He took snuff constantly. Why he 
was called "Duminy" was a wonder, for he was one 


of the most loquacious men living. No one could ever 
bear him down in argument — his invariable clincher 
being an emphatic thump with his cane. He had a 
sublime contempt for all English stars, and could never 
listen to their praises with patience. One day, John 
Povey, before mentioned, met Allen with the announce- 
ment that an extraordinary attraction had been engaged 
for the com-ing season. 

"'Traction," rejoined Allen. "What sort of 'trac- 
tion?" Legs, I s'pose : that'sthethig dow-a-days. The 
bore you can hubbug the beople, the bedder." 

"Legs!" said John, rubbing his hands with satis- 
faction, "imagine not. Better than that." (Then speak- 
ing confidentially through his hands) — " We'vesecured 
Macready ! " 

" Bah ! " said Andrew, with contempt, " he's dobody 
—can't speak decet Igglish — mere mounteback, sir 
— mere mounteback," and here he took snuff fiercely. 

" Well, mountebank or no mountebank," said Povey, 
"he's sure to draw — a great card, sir." 

"Ay,"' said Allen, with importance, "can draw a 
cart, eh ? Bedder stick to his trade, then — pay him 
much bedder," and with a conclusive thump of his stick, 
he turned away. 

Dummy's last public appearance was at the old Broad- 
way theatre (near Broome street), which he opened for a 
benefit, July 26th, 1851, when he played Goldfinch and 
Silvester Daggerwood, with imitations of George Fred- 
erick Cooke, "wearing the identical costume in which 
that giant of the stage had appeared forty years pre- 
vious," the same suit, doubtless, that hung behind the 
bar in Dean street, and which was probably about as 
genuine as the famous turtle soup. Dummy died in 
New York, October 30th, 1853, and his remains repose 
under a modest stone in the grounds of the Dramatic 
fund association, at Cypress Hills cemetery. The fol- 
lowing is the remarkable inscription which, with name, 
and dates of birth and death, marks the spot : 

"From his cradle he was a scholar — exceeding wise, fair 
spoken and persuading. Lofty and sour to them that loved 
him, but to those men that sought him, sweet as summer." 




The Musewm Before its Erdargefnent. 

THE Museum was reopened February 1st, 1841, after 
a thorough and artistic redecorating by Signer 
Guidicini, the artist of the National opera house, in 
New York. The ceiling represented a circular dome 
of aeven compartments, with arabesques and gold 
ornaments, intercepted by flying figures, bearing fes- 
toons and flowers. From a richly-carved centre, the 
chandelier was suspended. The proscenium was 
painted in panels of blue ground, with appropriate 
ornaments in basso relievo. The drop curtain repre- 
sented an allegory of classical design, the Temple of 
Fame, with the Goddess of Liberty pointing to the 
statue of the immortal Washington. The front of the 
gallery was decorated with arabesques, correspojident 
with the embellishments of the ceiling. 

Charley Taylor, the director, read an address, which 
will be found in Mr. Stone's Reminiscences. Among 
the performers were Mr. Kneas, pianist, Mr. H. Eberle, 
comedian and vocalist. Miss and Mrs. Eberle, Mr. 
Archer, basso, Winchell, humorist, etc. 

On the 25th of March, for Mr. Archer's benefit, Mr. 
Whitney, an elocutionist, played Othello, and Mr. Eddy 
lago. Edward Eddy was a native of Troy, but made 
his debut in A.lbany, probably at the Nichols amphi- 
theatre. He was born in 1822, and is first remembered 
as playing in an amateur company in Troy. His 
widowed mother resided on Ida liill, and afterwards 
married a man named Overrocker. This gave rise to 


the report that Bddj's name was Overrocker, a matter 
on which he was quite sensitive. While playing his 
engagement here, he used to walk, or when practic- 
able, skate home, after the evening's performance. 
From Albany, he went to Baltimore, where he played 
trifling parts. His first acknowledged appearance in 
New York was April 6th, 1846, at the Greenwich 
theatre (formerly Richmond Hill) as Othello. On the 
ISth of March, 1851, he first played at the Bowery, 
where he afterwards became so great a favorite, 
and was at one time manager. His repertory was 
one of the largest of any member of the profession, 
but he was always a "Bowery actor," and coald 
tear a passion to tatters with the best of them. It 
was strange to many of Ms friends that, with the 
natural advantages he possessed, he did not rise to a 
higher sphere, but he never did. A role in which 'he is 
best remembered was the Rag-picker of Paris, and in 
that he made his last appearance. He died of apoplexy 
in the Island of Jamaica, on the 16th of December, 
1875. He was a mason of high rank, and his body 
was brought to New York and buried from the Masonic 
Temple, January 11th, 1876. He left his widow, 
Henrietta Irving, without funds. She is still upon the 
stage. Mr. Eddy's first wife was Mary Matthews, an 
English girl, and actress of small pretensions. She 
died in New Orleans, in 1865. Mr. Eddy was always 
a favorite in Albany, playing many engagements at the 
Museum, where, for a while, he was acting manager, 
and also at all the other theatres, as will be recorded 
from time to time. 

June 29th. we note the engagementof Miss Grannon. 
Little Mary Gannon, so long a favorite at the Museum, 
and so much longer at Wallack's theatre, where she 
was known as the Little Treasure,, was born of Irish 
parentage, October 8th, 1829, and was carried upon 
the stage at the age of three. She was another infant 
phenomenon. She did not aspire to the great roles of 
the drama, but filled as satisfactorily those she assayed, 
as any actress who can be mentioned. She died Feb- 


ruary 22d, 1868. It was such people as Miss Gannon, 
Mary Taylor and Mrs. Vernon, who^gave to Wallack's 
theatre the prestige which it holds to this very day. 

November 15th, Mary Eock came againj her first 
appearance in nine years; also, Mrs. Phillips, from 
Niblo's Garden, Mr. C. "Wolcott and Mr. Newton. 

January ' 19th, 1842, we chronicle the appearance 
here of Adelaide Phillips, who: played and sang in 
"Old and Young," and as Ldttle Pickle, etc. Miss 
Phillips was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, 
in 1833, and was, therefore, at this time, onl}'^ nine 
years old. She was called the " Child of Avon." 
Subsequently, sbe became the noted contralto, whose 
rendition oi Azucena, in "II Trovatore," has never 
been excelled. Her operatic debut was made in that 
character, at the Acaderny of Music, in New York, 
March 12th, 1856. In October, 1861, she appeared 
at the Italian opera house, in Paris, in the same char- 
acter, but under the assumed name of Mile. Fillippi. 
The subscription which enabled her to go to Europe, 
was headed by Jenny Lind. She resides in or near 
Boston, and during this season of 1879-80, is appear- 
ing in comic opera. 

April 12th, J. Fursman was announced as the acting 
manager, and a little later we have Messrs. Leeman, 
Fuller, JSckson, Hoffman, Toomer, Mr. and Mrs. 
Hoffman and Miss Ayers, playing here, but the per- 
formances, for several months, were of too trivial a 
nature to place on record. Prof Garmody, then a new 
comer in Albany, presided at the piano, a position he 
occupied for a number of years. 

On the 14th of July, 1843, Tom Thumb made his 
first appearance at Knickerbacker hall, and was said 
to be eleven years old, 25 inches high and to weigh 
15 pounds. This famous dwarf (Charles S. Stratton) 
was already under the management of P. T. Barnum, 
with whose name he became associated. The general, 
at this time, was really only six years old. The fol- 
lowing year he went to Europe and remained there 


three years. He has, of late, lost his attractive fea- 
tures, having grown considerably. 

November 27th, the management of the Museum 
fell into the hands of Mr. J. B. Eice, and his brother- 
in-law, Mr. William Warren, made his appearance. 
Miss Waltel-s and G. T. Parsloe were engaged, and 
soon after, Mr. J. H. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert, the 
latter formerly Miss Kent, of the Pearl street theatre. 

John B. Eice, whose name has before been mentioned 
in connection with the Nichols amphitheatre, was born 
in Easton, Maryland, and, for a number of years, was 
prominently connected with the profession as a west- 
ern manager, till he retired in 1856, and became mayor 
of Chicago. His wife, Mary Ann Warren, daughter 
of the old comedian, and, sister of William Warren, 
retired with her husband. Eice built the first theatre 
erected in Chicago, and was a member of Congress 
when he died. i 

Mr. William Warren, now the Warren of the Boston 
museum, was born November 17th, 1812, in Philadel- 
phia, where he made his debut at the Arch street thea- 
tre, October 27th, 1832. He visited England in 1845, 
and first appeared in Boston, October 5th, 1846. The 
year following, he began an engagement at the Museum 
in that city, which, with the exception of one or two 
seasons only, has lasted continuously ever^ince. No 
actor in America has such a record as this; no actor 
has such a local constituency. The good people of 
Massachusetts, many of them do not go to the theatre. 
Oh, no ! but they go to " see Warren," whenever they 
are in Boston, and they could not see a better general 
comedian if they went to all the theatres in the coun- 
try. Mr. Warren is as much respected in private life 
as he is admired upon the stage. He is said to be a 
fine French scholar, and, in short, in every way to be 
worthy of the modern Athens. He was, at one time, 
wealthy, but lost heavily in the great fire at Chicago, 
in which city, through the influence of his brother-in- 
law, he had invested largely in real estate. 

In May, 1844, the original Christy minstrels appeared 


and were followed the same montli by the Knicker- 
bocker minstrels and the Kentucky minstrels. The 
" Christys " were organized by E. P. Christy, in Buffalo, 
in 1842, and were among the first of the kind. 

June 28th,. Joseph Parker became acting manager 
of the Museum, and Mrs. Henry Hunt (the former 
Little Louisa Lane and the present Mrs. John Drew), 
resumed her pleasant relations with the Albany public. 

July 19th, a floating theatre, accommodating 450 
persons, was moored at the foot of Lydius street. The 
following was the bill : "The Dead Shot," "Crossing 
the Line," and "The Young Widow." 

In December, Mr. J. B. Rice resumed the reins of 
management, but there is very little of interest to 
record for a year or two. In the summer of 1846, we 
find Mary Taylor playing here with George Holland, 
and in July, Mrs. George Jones, who played for 
Edward Eddy's benefit, the beneficiary appearing as 
Shylock. She also played Claude Melnotte and Romeo. 

Mary Cecilia Taylor is another name over which 
play-goers of this period delight to linger. She was 
born in New York, in 1827, and was, consequently, 
now about nineteen. She was possessed of a delight- 
ful voice and early sang in choruses at the Park. Mr. 
Hutton, in his "Plays and Players," contributes the 
most appreciative sketch we remember to have seen, 
of "Our Mary," but is in error in his conclusion that 
she never played outside of New York, and was, there- 
fore, entirely "New York's own." Any old Albany 
play-goer would have told him better than that. She 
retired from the stage May 3d, 1852, and died suddenly 
of disease of the heart, November 10th, 1866. She 
had married Mr. W. 0. Ewen. During her first 
engagement here, she played and sang several char- 
acters; acting Queen Elizabeth, in "Richard III.," for 
her benefit. 

Mrs. George Jones, was born Melinda Topping, and 
married the actor who afterwards set up as "George, 
the Count Joannes." She did not live with him many 
years, and finally died in Boston, of dropsy, in Decem- 


ber, 1875. One of her, last engagements was in the 
stock at Niblo's Garden, supporting Charles Fechter 
in his first appearance in this country, in 1870. 

The Dallius street circus having ceased to present 
any opposition, the little saloon of the Museum was 
the only theatre, and here, July 25th, Mr. B. L. Daven- 
port made his first bow to an Albany audience, as 
Claude Melnotie, supported by Mrs. Greorge Jones as 
Pauline. It was announced that Mr. Davenport's 
engagement would be short, as he was engaged to sup- 
port Mrs. Mowatt on her tour through the country. 
Mr. Davenport was now thirty years old, and had been 
on the stage ten years, having made his debut in Provi- 
dence, Ehode Island, in 1836, as Wellborn, in " A New 
Way to Pay Old Debts," supporting the elder Booth 
in his personation of Sir Giles Oii^erreach, a part of which 
Mr. Davenport himself afterwards made a specialty. 
Until 1847, he was connected principally with the 
theatres of his native city (Boston), but in that year he 
visited England, in company- with Mrs. Mowatt, and 
supported Macready there for two seasons. At the 
Haymarket, he became very popular as William, in 
"Black Eyed Susan." While in England, he married 
Miss Fanny Vining, a member of a well-known the- 
atrical family. On his return to America, he played 
many star engagements, and in 1859 managed the 
Howard Athenaeum, in Boston, and in 1869 the Chest- 
nut street theatre, in Philadelphia. The last characters 
which he played to any extent, were Brutus and Daniel 
Druce at Booth's theatre and as a star throughout the 
country. He died at Canton, Pennsylvania, September 
1st, 1877. It speaks well for the dramatic taste of 
Albanians, that Mr. Davenport, from the very first, 
was a great favorite with them. The American stage 
has, had few, if any, better general actors. Versatile 
to a remarkable degree, refined, polished and classical, 
yet capable of most powerful acting, while he may 
have been excelled in single characters, he was the peer 
of any when tragedy and comedy are both considered. 
Few who saw it, will forget his personation of Brutus^ 


or dissent from the opinion that he was indeed the 
moblest Eoman of them all. It was the last character 
he played in Albany. 

December 19th, "our esteemed fellow citizen, Mr. 
James Canoll," took a benefit. CanoU was born in 
Albany, September 26th, 1817, and made his first 
appearance the year previous to the one of which we 
write, at the Museum,, as Ned Q-rayling, in " Ambrose 
Gwinette." He was engaged here and at the Odeon 
for several years, and afterwards played in New York 
and at the west, He was a strictly temperate man, 
and a thoroughly reliable actor. He married Miss 
Bradt, of Arbor Hill, who, we believe, is still living. 
In 1864, he retired from the stage^ and joining the 
New York police force, was assigned to duty on the 
Broadway squad. At the time of his death. Novem- 
ber 5th, 1867, he was captain of the Ninth precinct. 
He lies buried in the Rural cemetery. ■ 

Another native actor, who is remembered as flourish- 
ing about this time, was Charley Kane. His " ofiicial " 
debiji was made here in September, 1845, as the Herald^ . 
in "Fortunio." Really, however, he began his stage 
existence by chirping for " The Cricket on the Hearth." 
Then he got to be low comedian, playing at the 
Museum nights, and beating the drum in Johnny 
Cook's band, day times. Drumming ran in the family, 
and does yet. He was a good comic singer, and A. J. 
Leavitt, a celebrated banjo player, used to write his 
, songs for him, including " Albany in Slices," which 
took well. Charley died in Albany, February 4th, 
1873, aged fifty-seven. His funeral expenses were 
met by Col. J. 0. Cuyler. 

In 1847, the Museum had to encounter the opposi- 
tion of the new Odeon, and although some fine 
attractions were presented, business was often very 
bad, but Meech, who was the responsible manager, 
was always on hand to pay salaries promptly ; small 
ones to be sure, but they were certain. 

On the 20th of February, 1847, Miss Mary Duff, 
from the southern theatres, appeared in " Pizarro," sup- 


ported by Mr. Sullivan. She also appeared &sJoanof 
Arc, and for her benefit, in " The Wife." and in six 
diiferent characters, in "A Day in Paris." She was a 
daughter of Mrs. Mary Duff, and married successively, 
Augustus Addams, the tragedian, from whom she was 
divorced, Joseph Gilbert, from whom she was also 
divorced, and J. G. Porter. She died in Memphis, in 
1852. She was eminently beautiful, and full of spirits, 
but never so fine an actress as her mother, who was 
one of the very best in the country. The mother 
finally left the stage and became an active member of 
the Methodist church. She was, at one time, the wife 
of Mr. Seaver, (a brother of Benjamin W. Seaver, of 
Albany), and resided in New Orleans. 

In May, the opera of " Cinderella " was produced, 
with Mr. Chippendale and Mary Taylor in the princi- 
pal roles. In June, Booth began his first engagement 
at the Museum, and he was followed by Mrs. Hunt, 
and she by Eddy, Miss C. Wemyss, Davenport and 
Charles Burke. These stars played, most of them, at 
the Odeon, also. Warren, the comedian, took his fare- 
well benefit July 31st. It is remembered that he and 
Charley Burke were an inimitable team of comedians 
on the stage and off it. They would sit and crack 
their jokes for hours, each without a smile vipon his 
countenance, while the bystanders were almost burst- 
ing their sides with laughter. Poor Charley's career 
was short ; he was a victim of consumption, and his 
merriment was frequently interrupted by a hacking 
cough, which could but sadden the friends who heard 
it. It was said he lived fqr some time with but one 
lung. He was the only man of whom Burton was, 
professionally, jealous. 

In 1848, Mr. Dyott, Mrs. Abbott and Mrs. Vernon 
played a long engagement, and were succeeded by Mr. 
and Mrs. John Brougham, who appeared in " His Last 
Legs " and "The Irish Lion." It was Mr. Brougham's 
first appearance in Albany. His wife, whom he mar- 
ried in Lambeth church, London, in 1844, had before 
played at the Dallius street amphitheatre, with Wal- 


lack. Sheand Brougham separated, and, in 1845, she 
returned to England, and remained seven years, during 
which time they were divorced. She was known there 
as Emma Williams. Subsequently she returned to 
the United States as Mrs. Eobertson, and died in New 
York, June 30th, 1865. (The second Mrs. Brougham, 
was a Miss Nelson, of the London theatres, remembered 
particularly for her beautiful hands and feet. She 
dianoed and sang to the delight of many, but at last 
became so very large around, that she was compelled 
to leave the stage.) 

John Brougham, the well-known actor and author, 
made his American debut at the Park theatre, October 
4th, 1842, and has ever since been closely connected 
with the stage in this country. , He was born in Dublin, 
in 1814, and has been an actor since 1830. The plays 
and burlesques he has written have been almost with- 
out number. During his first Albany engagement, he 
produced one of the latter on " Metamora," playing 
the principal character, of course, in imitation of For- 
rest. This took immensely in Albany, and, combined 
with Brougham's accomplishments as an Irish actor, 
made him extremely popular here, as he was elsewhere. 
Indeed, it would be difficult to mention a more popular 
man than John Brougham has been in his lifetime. 
His greatest single success as a playwright was his 
dramatization of "Dombey & Son," produced this same 
summer of which we write. It was for many years- 
almost unequalled in its repetitions and the length of 
its runs. It was first played at Burton's, where- 
Brougham was stage manager, and has never beei> 
improved upon. Mr. Niokinson and daughter asr 
Dmnbey and Florence^ Mrs. Vernon as Mrs. Shewlon^ 
Burton as Captain Guttle, Brougham as Bunsbyi anid« 
Bagstock, Oliver B. Raymond as Toots, made up the- 
principal part of the cast. To follow in detail all the 
scenes and incidents of interest in the life of Johm 
Brougham, would be to write a volume. He has beea 
reported busy on such a work, and we hope it may 
soon be given to the public. . His last visit to Albany, 


a year or two since, was, most unfortunate. Business 
was bad, he was seriously ill, and a valuable gold 
watch was stolen from him at his hotel. The farewell 
tour which he was then making, proved disastrous, and 
it was only through a grand complimentary benefit 
■given him in New York, January 17th, 1878, whereby 
nearly $10,000 was raised, that, in his old age, he is not 
■ a victim to poverty. 

As has been stated, rivalry was brisk between the 
two theatres, the same stars appearing first at one place 
and then at the other. In May, it was determined to 
enlarge the Museum by adding thereto the two adjoin- 
ing buildings on the north, and John M. Trimble was 
engaged to draw the plans and perform the work. 
We must now, however, turn back to sketch the his- 
tory of the Odeon. 




The Briefs Eventful History of the Odeon. 

EVER since the Pearl street theatre had been turned 
into a church, there had been talk of a new play- 
house, and many plans were projected by many people. 
The Museum saloon and stage were quite too small, 
and the Dallius street amphitheatre, though certainly 
large enough, had run down and was nothing but a 
circus to begin with. In September, 1846, plans were 
drawn for a building which was opened under the name 
of the Odeon, February 1st, 1847. It was situated on 
the east side of Broadway^ just south of Division street,, 
and had formerly been a store. It was small, but very 
neat, unique in its adornments, and resembled rather a 
magnificent steamboat saloon than a theatre. It was 
in fact owned principally by two steamboat men. Col. 
.John W. Harcourt, for so many years connected with< 
the People's line, and' "Pug " Houghton, captain of the 
steamer Rochester. 

There was an opening address from the busy pen of 
0. W. Taylor, spoken by James Hall, the stage mana- 
ger. Among the stock company were Messrs. G. Chap- 
man, Gilbert, James CanoU, Hield, Jr., Thompson, 
Crouta, Myers, Miller, Mrs. Chapman, Miss Greenwood, 
Mrs. D. C. Anderson. The leader of the orchestra was 
Mr. Underner ; machinists, Messrs. Wilkins and War- 
ner; costumer, Mrs. Crouta; properties, Mr. Carter; 

John Crouta was the acting manager. He after- 
wards kept a very neat little garden in the south of 


Greenbush, till one day in high water, the waves from 
the steamer New AVorld washed over his place and 
swept it clean away. He died in 1874. 

Mr. Jason Collier, of Albany, played in the orchestra 
here for a few months. He says he has reason to 
remember it, for one of the men who, after a perform- 
ance, was putting out the lamps about the stage, fell 
from an upper box and landed on the top of Mr. Col- 
lier's hundred dollar bass-viol, which was lying on its 
side in the orchestra. The- instrument, with a noise 
like a young cannon, was broken into a hundred pieces. 

Charlotte Barnes was the first star, and played in 
the opening drama, which was " The Soldier's Daugh- 
ter." The after-piece was " The Actress of All WorkJ^' 
in which Mrs. Chapman, the soubretie, appeared. 
The rivalry between the Odeon and the Museum, 
showed itself in various ways. Febrtiary 27th, the- 
former gave a benefit for the sufferers in Ireland, and 
March 18th, for Ireland and Scotland. March 1st, 
prices at the Odeon were reduced to twenty-five cents 
to the parquette, and one shilling to the gallery, and 
soon after it was announced that a single ticket to the 
dfess-circle would admit a gentleman and lady. In 
April, Gus Addams came and crowded the little house 
from top to bottom. Addams was a favorite here, 
although not so reiuch a one as Forrest. Still both 
had theii- partisans.' It is said to-day, that Addams had 
more natural ability than ever Forrest had, but while 
the latter was intent on study, Addams preferred the 
society of his boon companions and they ruined him. 
Even at this time, he was drinking heavily. It is 
remembered that one night he could not be^found, 
arid scouting parties were sent out in search of him. 
He was discovered down near the dock, dead drunk. 
He was taken to the theatre, his dress put upon him, 
and he was roused up as much as possible. When his 
cue came he was put upon the stage, and habit did the 
rest. He went thi-ough his part, and few in the 
audience imagined what was his condition. Between 
the acts he was like a log, but heavy doses of .brandy 


carried him through. Similar stories are told of 
Scott, and, we believe, of the elder Booth. 

The season closed May 26th and another opened June 
7th, under the management of W. M. Fleming, with the 
play of " Masaniello" and " Born to Good Luck," Barney 
■Williams appearing in the latter as Paudeen ORaf- 
ferty. Barney (his real name was Bernard Flaherty), 
was born in the barracks of Cork, August 20th, 182^, 
and came to this country in 1831. He began life as 
an errand boy, and working in a New York printing 
office. He was a supernumerary at the old Franklin 
theatre, and one night, an actor named Alonzo Williams, 
being ill, Bernard took his place, and did so well that 
he was promoted and was ever aftewards known as 
Barney Williams. He is rernembered as being about 
the Albany museum, in a subordinate capacity, long 
before his name graced any play-bill. He then tried 
the negro minstrel business, about that time coming 
into fashion, and it 'was not till 1846, that he became 
identified with Irish comedy. Just prior to his first 
appearance here "as a stai', he had made a successful 
tour in the south. Three years later, he tried to play 
Mose at the old Olympic, in New- York, but only got 
to the end of the second act, when the boys became so 
outspoken in their criticism, that the attempt had to 
be given up. He was almost hooted from the stagfe. 
Instead of playing the third act, "Born to Good Luek."^ 
was put on, and as Paudeen, the actor who an hour 
before had been treated with scorn, was received with 
thundering plaudits. This decided him, and ever after,, 
with few exceptions, he played Irish characters. His 
fellow artists never thought much of his dramatic 
powers, and those most familiar with him would say, 
"Barney, you are funny, but you are not an actor.7 
In 1850, he married Mrs. Mestayer nee Pray, and after 
six years' managing and acting, they went to Europe, 
he playing Irish and she_Yankee-_characters. The 
.Dublin public declared that Barney was an actor, and 
he was satisfied. Four times he played before Queen 
Victoria. On his return, he was able to command half 


the gross receipts, and amassed wealth rapidly. His 
real and personal property at the time of his deathwas 
estimated at half a million. He died in New rork, 
April 25th, 1876, of paralysis of the brain. He was a 
brother-in-law of William J. Florence, Mrs. Florence 
and Mrs. Williams being sisters. Barney's last appear- 
ance in Albany, was at the Trimble opera house, 
in 1871. 

July 7th, the name of the Odeon was changed to the 
Broadway theatre, and a benefit was tendered Mr. John 
W. Harcourt, Mr. Eddy appearing as Othello and Mr^. 
Eddy as Kmcy Strap. 

There appears to have been no further performance 
here till August 2d, when the place was opened five 
nights for the appearance of the Viennoise children, 
forty-eight in number. The first night there was a slim 
attendance, but as the merits of the attraction became 
known, the house was packed and the troupe was 
re-engaged. It was under the direction of Madame 
Josephine Weiss, from the Imperial theatre, Vienna, 
but was brought to Albany by John Moakley, who 
realized handsomely by the enterprise. Nothing pret- 
tier than the dances of these children has ever been seen 
here. Their various ballet divertisements were entitled 
La Pas des Fleurs, executed by the entire company ; 
Pas de Hongrois, Polka de Paysan, Pas de Bergers and 
Pas Styrien, each by twenty -four dancers ; L' Allemande, 
by twenty dancers; Pas Orientah, La Orande Mazourha, 
Gallop des Drapeaux and Pas des Moissoneurs by the 
whole troupe, and Les Sauvages et la Mirrour by sixteen 
select dancers. The grace, precision and apparent art- 
lessness of these children, left an impression which 
remains to this day on the minds of those living who 
saw them. 

On the 6th of September, the Broadway opened 
under the management of Mr. Crouta. In his stock 
company were the following, several of whom were 
old Albany favorites : Mr. Wiseman Marshall, Messrs. 
Burgess, Jordan, Brown, Thompson, Kingsley, Crouta, 
Lewis ; Miss Mary Duff, Mrs. Forbes, Mrs. Stickney 


and Miss Greenwood. The opening piece was "Damon 
and Pythias," DaTnon, Mr. Marshall. Mr. and Mrs. 
John Greene played a week on their way west. 

September 13th was the first night of Edmund S. 
Conner, who played a line of the usual tragic parts. 
Mr. Conner was born in Philadelphia, September 19th, 
1809, where he made his debut at the age of twenty. 
With good taste, fine head, graceful person and excel- 
lent elocutionary powers, he has been a great favorite. 
Three months after his first appearance here, he married 
Miss Charlotte Barnes, daughter of " Old Jack," and 
was long with her in California. Later in life, he was 
manager of the Green street theatre. He played a star 
engagement at the Leland opera house, March 15th, 
1875, when he appeared for the first time in Albany 
in twenty years, and for the 877th time as Richelieu. 

October 11th, Benedict De Bar played Ralph Stack- 
pole, in " Nick of the Woods," and Robert, in " Robert 
Macaire." This favorite southern and western actor, 
although of French descent, was born in London, 
November 5th, 1812, and began his dramatic career as 
a stroller. In 1834, he came to the United States and 
played in the south, where he was always popular. 
In 1842, he was stage manager of the Bowery. From 
1849 to 1853, he was the proprietor of the Chatham 
theatre, and then went starring as a comedian. He 
played Falstaff 150 times and his portrait in that char 
acter adorns the imperial quarto edition of Knight's 
Shakspeare. De Bar was, at one time, worth $600,000, 
and in 1853, owned the St. Charles theatre, in New 
Orleans, and afterwards the St. Louis theatre. He 
died in the last named city, August 14th, 1877. 

January 1st, 1848, was the first night of Julia Dean 
and Mr. Thompson, who appeared in "Love's Sacri- 
fice" and after in "Lucretia Borgia," "The Honey- 
moon," " Ion," " Evadne," " Fazio," " The Wife," " The 
Wrecker's Daughter," " The Hunchback," eti;, Julia 
Dean was now eighteen years old, having been born in 
Pleasant Valley, Dutchess county, July 22d, 1830. 
She came of good theatrical stock, her maternal grand- 


father being Samuel Drake, the pioneer manager of 
.the west and south. In 1855, she married Dr. Hayne, 
of Charleston, South Carolina, son of the senator who 
.had the famous debate with' Daniel Webster. Eleven 
years after, she was divorced from him and married 
.James Cooper, of New York. She died March 6th, 
.1868. She was a charming Parihenia and an ideal 
Julia, at least till her trip to California ; after that, Mr. 
.'Hutton says, she seemed to have " changed her nature 
'with her name and left her genius with her spinster- 
hood, on the Pacific." 

In March, Eddy played Hamlet, Damon, 0' Gallaghan, 
in "His Last Legs"; Raffaelle, in "The Libertine"; 
William Tell, Jean, in "The Ragpicker of Paris"; 
A lexander, " The Carpenter of Rouen," etc. Eddy and 
Forrest, at one time, were firm friends, but afterwards 
-were bitterly opposed to one another. Forrest brought 
suit against Eddy once for playing his property, 
"Jack Cade," but Eddy produced in court, - a - copy 
of the play, with " Presented to E. Eddy, by his friend, 
E. Forrest," written .across the title page, in Forrest's 
own hand. 

From the 18th of May till the 3d of July, the Odeon 
was occupied by the Museum company, who played 
there while the alterations were going on in their own 

The theatre was finally destroyed in the great -fire 
of 1848, which, breaking out on the 17th of August, 
in a small shed adjoining the Albion hotel, corner of 
Broadway and Herkimer street, spread before a strong" 
south wind with great rapidity, taking in both sides of 
Broadway and Church Street, and crossing to the pier, 
swept every thing thereon, to the cut at the foot of 
-Maiden lane. On the main land, the flames swept to 
the corner of Hudson street, when the w^ind changed 
and drove the fire in an opposite direction. One- 
thirtieth of the whole city, including about thirty- 
seven acres, was burned over, and 600 buildings were 
destroyed, in the most densely populated part. The 
-loss was not much short of $3^000,000. 




Palmy Days of the Albany Museum. 

TN 1848, Mr. John Montague Trimble was engaged 
■^ to enlarge the Museum. During his life time, liei- 
liad constructed no less than forty-one places of 
amusement, a greater number, probably, than any other- 
man in America. He was born in New York, in 1815, 
his father being a Virginian by birth, and an officer in 
the navy. Young Trimble was, himself, in the navy 
for a short time, but s6on turned his attention to 
mechanics, and became stage carpenter at the old 
Bowery. He, in time, acquired the trades of both 
carpentry and masonry, and also learned something of 
arcnitecture. He became famous as the Lightning 
Builder. Once, when the Bowery burned down, he 
re-erected it in sixty days. He built Barnum's old 
museum, Genin's bat store, and other buildings, almost 
without number, and in an incredible short space of 
time. During the California excitement, he built 
many houses which were shipped to the Pacific coast, 
all ready to be put up. He delighted to make a conr 
tract to have a certain number done in a very short 
time, say forty days, and then do the work in half 
that pei'iod. He understood, thoroughly, the way to 
employ a large number of men at the same time and 
at the best advantage. His work seemed always done 
by magic. Finally, after working many years for 
other people, he built the Metropolitan (afterward 
Laura Keene's and the Olympic) theatre in New York, 
investing in it $50,000. While building the New 


Bowery, in 1859, lie went to bed one night and arose 
the next morning, blind. This was occasioned partly 
through neuralgia, superinduced by overwork, and was 
partly inherited. His father, stricken in the same way 
in young manhood, went mad and died. Mr. Trimble, 
however, bore up bravely under this painful affliction, 
although he never did much work afterward. One 
summer, while sojourning at Middleburgh, Schoharie 
county, it was suggested to him to come to Albany 
and change the old Pearl street theatre, then a church, 
into its original condition. He thought well of the 
idea, acted upon it, and so, in 1863, became for the 
first time in his life, a manager. He died at 4 A. M., 
June 7th, 1867, at 31 Beaver street, of consumption,- 
and was iDuried in Greenwood cemetery. His career 
as a manager, will be referred to in another chapter. 

The Mu»eum property was a part of the Sprague 
estate, but the lessee at this time was, and had been 
for several years previous, Henry T. Meech. Mr, 
Meech was born in Worthifigton, Massachusetts, in 
1805, and at the age of sixteen came to Albany, and 
was employed by his uncle, Henry Trowbridge, the 
former proprietor of the Museum, and at length suc- 
ceeded him. He married Miss Adeline Hendrickson, 
of Albany, by whom he had nine children. Becoming 
interested in the canal business, he at length moved to 
Buft'aloj where he built the Academy of Music, riow 
managed by his sons. Mr. Meech died in Hartford, 
Connecticut, in 1870. 

The enlargement of the Museum was begun on the 
18th of May, 1848, the company meantime playing at 
the Odeon. Up to this time the seating capacity of 
the saloon had only been between three and four hun- 
dred, but by the additions aroom was made (including 
stage) ninety feet deep, fifty feet wide, with a double 
row of windows on each side. It was claimed that 1,500 
people could easily be seated in full view of the stage. 
The house was divided into a pit, parquette, and one 
tier of boxes, besides five private boxes, one of which 
was called "the City hotel box," where the actors not 


engaged in the play could sometimes steal in from 
behind the scenes and see the performance. The 
interior was handsomely decorated, the entire improve- 
ment costing between $9,000 and $10,000. From the 
time of this enlargement till it was given up as a thea- 
tre, the Museum was the leading place of amusement 
in Albany. While many stars played there, its stock 
company was at times as good as the country afforded. 
Often we find three or four, or perhaps more, excellent 
actors engaged for several weeks together, in one com- 
bination, playing on a certainty, and sometimes, it must 
be comfessed, to very bad business. As in the palmy 
days of the old Pearl street theatre, the Park and the 
Bowery, of New York, were recruited from the Albany 
stage, so now we find the favorites of this city soon 
treading the boards of Wallack's and the old Broad- 
way. Mary Wells, Mary Grannon, Mary Taylor, are 
cases in point. It was no unusual thing to find Mrs. 
Clara Fisher Maeder, Mrs. Vernon and Mrs. John Drew 
playing at -the same time in the Museum saloon, a 
coterie of which any theatre in America would be 

The opening took place July 3d, 1 848, under the 
acting management of C. W. Taylor, who of course 
had an address for the occasion. Charley was literary 
in his habits, and wrote several plays, including "The 
Water Witch " and " The Goblet of Death," the latter 
a thrilling temperance drama, with a moral the author 
would have done better had he hfeeded it. The address 
was spoken by H. V. Lovell, the stage manager and 
leading man, an excellent general actor for many 
years, after which he retired, sold his wjurdrobe, and 
went into the vinegar business. Subsequently he went 
to New York, and going into politics, became deputy 
street commissioner. His wife, who also played lead- 
ing business, was a sister of the danseuse. Miss Turn- 
bull. C. W. Couldock paid Mrs. Lovell the compli- 
ment of saying that she was the best Rose Fielding (in 
" The Willow Copse ") that he ever had to support 
him. Other ^members of the company were Messrs. 


, Bernard, W. B. Chapman, Keene, Kingsley, Saunders, 
Mrs. W. H. Smith, Mrs. Sergeant, Miss Mary Gannon, 
Miss Bernard, and Mrs. Crane. 

The opening bill was " The Honeymoon " and " The 
Maid of Munster," Miss Kose Telbin, an English 
actress, being the star. " Charming Rose Telbin," as 
she was known in New York, promised to be a great 
favorite, but died early the next spring. The opening 
night was a grand success, and the people were de- 
lighted with the new saloon, as it continued to be 
called, and patronized it well at the start. On the 
iOth, a benefit was given the architect and builder, 
Mr. Trimble, at which Miss Fanny Wallack played 
Pauline to Mr. Fleming's Gdaude. Fanny was a 
daughter of James Wallack, and like all her family, 
picturesque in attitude and action, besides being grace- 
ful, spirited and pretty. She afterward played several 
star engagements here. She died in Bdinburgh^ 
October 12th, 1856. 

On the 14:th, the Boston City Guard, escorted by 
the Burgesses corps, visited the Museum on invitation 
of the manager. July 18th, the charming Viennoise 
children came and played till the 27th, drawing 
crowded hotises. 

On the 31st, Frank S. Chanfrau bega,n his first 
engagement in Albany, as Mose, in " A Glance at New 
York," and Jerry Clip, in "The Widow's Victim." 
August 2d, he played Oarwin, in " Theresa " ; August 
3d, in "The Golden Farmer" ; August 4th, Gilbert, in 
" The Idiot Witness," each night appearing as Mose,. 
in addition to the other plays. Francis S. Chanfrau. 
was born in New York, February 22d, 1824. From 
amateur theatricals he became a " super " at the Bowerv,. 
and afterwards an actor at Mitchell's Olympic, where- 
he made a great hit as Jerry Clip, and next as Mose, 
in "A Glance at New York," Mary Taylor being the- 
original Lize (and Fred. A. DuBois, treasurer of the- 
Leland opera house, the original newsboy). This play 
had been brought out the previous February, for the- 
benefit of Baker, the prompter, was hastily written,. 


and a coarse, miserable thing, in itself ; but Ohanfrau, 
as the soap-locked fireman, was a great success. So 
well was he made up, that it is said Mitchell, the man- 
ager, seeing him in the green-room before the play 
began, took him for a real fireman, and demanded his 
business there. The sketch — for it was nothing 
more — ran seventy nights, and was correspondingly 
popular all over the country, where Ohanfrau took it, 
and with it won fame and fortune. But the prototype 
having vanished from the stage of existence, the imita- 
tion followed, and "Mose, dat runs wid de hose," is a 
creature of the past. Ohanfrau's other hits have been 
in " Sam " and " Kit, the Arkansas Traveller." He was, 
at one time, manager of the Green street theatre, for a 
short season, and is still a successful star. 

On the 10th, Fanny Wallack and Mr.- Fleming, 
began an engagement, and on the 14th, Booth was 
added to the combination, playing Othello, Sir Giles, 
Sir Edward Mortimer, Richard, etc. He was to have 
played on the night of the great fire (the 17th), but 
failed to do so. He was stopping at the Eagle hotel, 
and the members of Engine company No. 9, rescued 
his wardrobe from the burning building. To show his 
gratitude, he put on a red shirt, fell in with the fire- 
men, and worked like a hero all day. That night he 
came to the theatre, and asked his way to the gas 
room, which was shown him. Soon after, when time 
to light up, the gas pipe or metre was found so battered 
and disarranged, that much delay was caused. Booth 
said there would be no light that night, and left the 
theatre. He was accompanied, at this time, by his son 
Edwin — the present eminent tragedian — then a mere 
strippling, but who kept as close an eye upon his father 
as was possible. While acting, the boy sat in a box 
watching him and reading the play after him, line by 
line, and when off the scene, was on hand ready to 
dress him for the next. 

Booth is remembered spending the day over the 
river, about this time, at Ned Olemens's garden, when 
he ought to have been at Buffalo, but he preferred to 


Stay where lie was, and told funny stories and sang 
funny songs all day long. Clemens, his companion, 
was a brother of John Clemens, a reputable citizen, 
but Ned was a queer one. He was editor of the Albany 
Bellows and Slate Basin Herald, which he issued semi- 
• occasionally, when the exigencies of the times and the 
-condition of his finances would permit. James DufEy 
printed it for him, and he himself, had scarce a dollar 
invested, but after the great fire he claimed to have 
been a sufferer by the conflagration, and went around 
with a petition, and actually raised about $200, to set 
the Albany Bellows blowing again. 

Mr. Stone relates, in his. entertaining book, a story 
of Booth being found drunk in the " Hole in the Wall," 
in Trotter's alley, one night, when he was expected to 
play, and in order to guard against a repetition of the 
debauch, he was taken in a carriage to the old Howard 
street jail, now the Albany hospital, and there locked 
wp in the debtors' room to get sober, and keep so. In 
the morning he was found drunker than ever, having 
induced Jim Boardman, who did chores at the jail, to 
buy a pint of brandy, and a long Shaker pipe, through 
which the prisoner obtained the liquor, from a cup 
•outside the grating. Boardman kept the secret, and it 
was a long time before the mystery of Booth's second 
drunk was accounted for. A similar story has been 
related of Cooke and others, and which is the "original" 
we are unable to say. 

Booth died December 1st, 1852, on the passage from 
New Orleans to Cincinnati, on board the "J. W. 
Chenoworth." His last moments are thus described by 
a stranger, who alone was with him in that solemn 
hour : 

"The third day after he was t^ken, he could not 
turn over without help; I saw that he was getting in 
a hopeless condition, and thinking to" stimulate his 
energies, gave him some brandy and water, having to 
saturate a rag and place it between his teeth, his jaws 
having become rigid ; but on tasting it he made an 
effort to remove it from his lips, and said, with diffi- 


culty, ' no more in this world.' On the fourth day, I 
asked him if I should read to him from my Testament; 
he seemed anxious that I should, when I selected an 
encouraging chapter, and read, while he gavp the 
deepest attention. I then asked him if I might pray 
for him ; his eyes became dim with moisture, and he 
signified his consent, when I knelt by his bunk, and 
besought the great Father of us all, before whom he 
was so shortly to appear, to receive him for the sake 
of Him who died for sinners. He seemed very grate- 
ful, and attempted to put his arms around my neck as 
I bent over him to smooth his pillow. The fifth day, 
about one o'clock, he died. I was with him all the 
morning until tlie bell rang for dinner, when he said 
distinctly, several tirnes, 'pray! pray! pray!' accom- 
panied by a beseeching look. At the time of his 
death, we were below Louisville, where, upon arriving, 
the captain procured a metalic coffin, and telegraphed 
to Mrs. Booth to meet the corpse in Cincinnati, whioii 
she did, taking it to Baltimore for interment." 

August 31st, a benefit performance was given for 
the sufferers by the great fire, Augustus Addams, 
George Holland, Barney Williams and Cooke's band 
volunteering. Tickets to all parts of the house were 
$1, but owing probably to the excitement, the receipts 
were only about $200. Miss Gannon now left the 
establishment, and in her place Mrs. James G. Maeder, 
nee Clara Fisher, was added to the stock company, 
which needed strengthening. James Ganoll was also 

For several years from this date, Mrs. Maeder was a 
resident of Albany, where one or two of her children 
were born. Her husband, Mr. James G. Maeder, who 
practiced his profession of music, was welcomed to the 
city by a complimentary concert, arranged by the lead-^ 
ing musicians of the city and given February 8th, 1850, 
at Yan Vechten hall, George W. Warren, Henry Cone 
and the Misses Cone assisting. It was fully attended 
and was repeated with success. Mr. Maedef was con- 
nected with the theatrical profession only by marriage, 


if we except one season in Providence, where, in the 
fall of. 1838, he undertook, in connection with Thomas 
Flynn, to msinage Shakspeare hall, then newly built. 
Flynn was unpopular, and soon left Mr. Maeder to get 
on alone, which he did till the 24th of July, at consid- 
erable loss. Mr. Maeder died May 28th, 1876. 

"Dombey & Son " was produced at the Museum in 
October, and on the 21st, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dibdin 
Pitt made their first appearances here; he as Hichard, 
and she in a farce called "Cleopatra." These were 
English actors, who met with high favor, particularly 
the gentleman. For some reason he' did not succeed 
as well in New York. They were both uncommonly 
fine dressers. Holland and J. E. Scott came next, and 
Tom Hyer, the famed champion in the art of self- 
defence, "appeared" in an exhibition with his trainer. 
Charles E. Thorne, Henry Placide and Mrs. Coleman 
Pope, an Englishwoman, followed. She was the Lady 
Macbeth at the Astor Place opera house, the night of 
the Macready riot, and went through her part on that 
terrible evening without flinching. Mrs. Pope, althoiigh 
long in retirement, reappeared at a benefit tendered 
her at Indianapolis, Indiana, May 25th, 1878, and is 
probably still living. Henry Placide was one of the 
best comedians the country has ever known. He 
came of an old theatrical family, and fully sustains its 
reputation. He lived to the good old age of seventy, 
and died in January, 1870. Hon. Thurlow Weed was 
one of the pall-bearers. 

November 13th, Mr. and Mrs. Farren played in the 
standard comedies and tragedies. She had been here 
before, and was well liked. The Farrens were followed 
by Julia Dean, who was supported by her father. 
Eddy came next, and on the 18th of January, 1849, 
superseded Lovell as stage manager. Julia Dean and 
the Pitts came again in February. Pitt was the first 
to produce Bulwer's play of " Money " in Albany. 
Charles T. Smith was added to the company in March. 
He was a good general actor, and was stage manager 
for several seasons. He was associated with David 


Barnes in managing the Green street theatre, and with 
Eddy in managing at Troy. He was born in England 
in 1817, and came to America when quite young. In 
1836, he played in Detroit, and in 1848 at the Old 
Bowery. After leaving Albany, he went to Buffalo, 
where he was lessee and manager of the Metropolitan 
theatre at its opening. During the war, he was staff 
officer with General' Stoneman, and then managed- 
theatres in St. Louis and Cincinnati. He married 
Maria Barton, a vocalist, who died in St. Louis in 
1863. Smith died in Buffalo, August 19th, 1869. It was 
under Charley's management that the " horse drama " 
was first produced at the Museum. This was the 
result of some one betting a wine supper that it could 
Jiot be done. Smith said it could be done, and should 
be done, and sending for Derr, the Mazeppa of those 
days, it was not long before the passers-by on Broad- 
way were astonished to see a live horse's head protrud- 
ing out of a window of the upper story of the Museum, 
snuffing the fresh air. Derr's horses were so well trained 
that they walked up the two flights of stairs, without 
the least sign of "kicking." "Mazeppa" and other 
plays of that kind were accordingly produced. 

On the 18th of June, Manager Eddy took a farewell 
benefit, previous to his departure for Boston, to assume 
charge of a theatre there. Mr. John Nickinson, who 
has been before mentioned, succeeded him. He had 
been in the British army, and was admirable as Haver- 
sack in " The Old Guard." He and his daughter 
Charlotte were great favorites in Canada, and became 
so in Albany and in New York. At one time, he- 
managed the Utica museum. He died in Cincinnati,, 
February 9th, 1864, while sitting in a drug store. His 
daughter, at last accounts, was a resident of Toronto. 

July 6th, Charley Taylor, who appears to have had 
more benefits than any other two persons in the city, 
if we except Charley Kane, announced his farewell, 
having withdrawn from the Museum to go to the 
National theatre, in New York. August 22d, he took 
still another, and this, we believe, was really his last 


■appearance in Albany, where he had lived so many 
vears, and his head grown as white as the driven snow. 
He then went to New York and became musical 
director at the Old Bowery. He died November 16th, 
1874, aged about seventy-five. It is said that early in 
life, he was the confidential clerk of an importing 
house in Boston, a position which he resigned to be 
near the prima donna of an opera troupe, with whom 
he fell in love, and thus was introduced to the theatri- 
cal life be lived so long. 

July 16th, Mr. and Mrs. George Mossop appeared, 
the latter being formerly Mrs. Hiant. On the 8th of 
October, Mr. Mossop died suddenly, at his residence, 
corner of Broadway and Van Tromp street. He was 
supposed to be in good health during the day, and 
was advertised to perform that evening. He was an 
Irish comedian of merit, and a sweet singer. The fol- 
lowing year, John Drew, another Irish comedian, 
joined the company, and wooed and won the widow 
Mossop. Drew was born in Dublin, September 3d, 
1827. His parents came to America when he was six 
years old, and settled in Buflialo. John's early days 
were spent in trying to be a sailor, but he soon took 
to the stage. His first night at the Museum was May 
6th, 1850, and his marriage with Mrs. Mossop took 
place July 27tb following. In 1853, he leased the 
Arch street theatre, in Philadelphia, where, after an 
English and Australian tour, he died. May 21st, 1862. 
lu appearance, Mr. Drew was short in stature, and 
slender in proportion, plain and unpretending in dress 
and manner, but with always a pleasant word for every 
one. He was an excellent comedian, but became 
nearly blind. His widow, the Louisa Lane of many 
years ago, is at present lessee of the Arch street thea- 
tre, and a renaarkably well preserved woman. Having 
been upon the stage since childhood, some exaggerated 
stories are afloat in relation to her age. Not long 
since, a gentleman at a hotel table in Philadelphia 
was remarking upon the pleasure he had enjoyed 
the previous evening, of seeing Mrs. Drew act, and 


expressed particular astonishment that one so old could 
appear so full of animation. " Why," said he, " I am 
told she is nearly eighty. years of age!" His remark 
arrested the attention of one who was sitting near him, 
and who begged him to repeat it, which he did. " A.nd 
did you notice the elderly lad}' sitting in the stage box 
at the right hand ? " "I di9, and a bright looking 
person she was too." " Well, sir, that bright lookingf 
person is Mrs. Drew's mother. How old must she 
be?" Mrs. Drew is sixty-two years of age, having 
been born in England, January 10th, 1818. She is 
probably the oldest female manager in America. She 
has been one of the most versatile women on the 
stage, and still acts occasionally. 

Mckinson soon withdrew and Charley Smith became 
stage manager. The next engagement of special 
interest, was that of the infant prodigies, Ellen and 
Kate Baternan, aged four and six. They appeared 
several nights during the winter, and in April, 1850, 
came again. They travelled all over England and the 
United States, being taken to Europe by Barnum, in 
1851, where they played before the Queen, and came 
home to St. Louis with quite a little fortune. Their 
father was H L. Bateman, and their mother a daughter 
of Jo. Oowell, the comedian. Ellen retired in 1860, 
having married a French gentleman. Kate's theatrical 
career continues to the j)resent time. As late as 1871, 
she played in New York, and in 1877 at the Lyceum 
theatre, London. . Her great roles have been Leah, Mary 
Warner and Bianca. In 1875, she played in " Mac- 
beth " with Henry Irving. "Her husband's name is 
Dr. Greorge Crowe. There is a third sister, Isabella, 
who is also on the London stage. Their father trained' 
them incessantly. Kate, it is said, practiced the one 
feature of rushing upon the stage as Leah; pursued by 
■fche rabble, for two hours every day for a week prior to 
her first appearance in the character. She is a finished 
actress. At the close of their engagement, John Crquta 
took them to Troy and rigged up Apollo hall for tteir- 
appearance there. 


May 27th, Barney Williams came, accompanied by 
bis wife. Her maiden name was Maria Pray. She 
was born in New York, in 1828, and Charles Mestayer 
was her. first husband. She became a widow. May 
12th, 1859, and married Barney, November 24th of the 
same year. She had been upon the stage since she 
was a child, and developed into a charming actress. 
She is said by Ireland, to be the " originator of that 
curiously constructed stage monstrosity yclept, the 
' Yankee Gal,' " and as such has much to answer for. 
She is a sister of Mrs. William J. Florence. 

July 6th, Mr. W. F. Gillespie took a benefit, when 
" The Bandit of Venice " and " Delicate Ground," were 
presented. Mr. Gillespie is a native of Albany, and 
in his early years, was much addicted to the theatre. 
After some months of gratuitous service, he was placed 
upon the pay roll, at the time the company played in 
the Odeon, while the Museum was being enlarged, and 
thereafter, served as prompter, utility man, etc. He 
also played under Conner's administration in Green 
street. His theatrical life ended when the war broke 
out. For the past few years, he has occupied a respons- 
ible position in the official force at the Albany 

July 8th, we note the appearance for the first time 
in Albany, of Mr. C. W. Couldock, as Claude Melnotte. 
Mr. Charles Walter Couldock was brought to this 
country to suppoi't Charlotte Cushman, on her tri- 
umphant return from Europe, in 1849. He was born 
in London, April 26th, 1815, and has been on the stage 
since he was twenty years old. He was the original 
Ahel Murcott, in " Our American Cousin," at Laura 
Keene's, in 1858. He has starred extensively with his 
daughter Eliza, and in sucli dramas as "The Willow 
Copse" and "Chimney Corner," made a national repu- 
tation. He is still hale and vigorous, and although 
naturally less powerful than once he was, is a sterling 
actor, whose return is ever welcome. 
, August 6th, Fanny Wallack played Samlet for Mr. 
Morehouse's benefit. He was afterwards her husband, 


and the original Drunkard, in a play of that title, a 
roh, we are sorry to say, for which his habits fitted 
him perfectly. 

August 20th, Miss Eliza Logan and her father 
appeared in " The Hunchback," and continued their 
engagement in similar plays. Eliza was a sister of 
Celia and Olive Logan, and the wife of George Wood, 
the western manager. Although not as literary as her 
sister Olive, she has shown good business capacity ; 
and at one time was part lessee of the Spingler house, 
New York. She died in New York, January 15th, 
1872. The story is told of Miss Logan, that once, 
while playing in Augusta, Greorgia, for her own benefit, 
she repeived a number of presents, handed up to her 
on the stage, with the names of the givers attached. 
A planter especially pleased with her acting, and hav- 
ing nothing else with him that he could spare, sent 
her, as a token of appreciation, his negro valet (worth 
then, perhaps, $1,000), with a card pinned on his 
sleeve, addressed " To Miss Eliza Logan, compliments 

of ." The boy walked around behind the 

scenes, and presented himself, but the actress declined 
the gift. 

In September, during the state fair, performances 
were given afternoon and evening. George Vandenhoff 
and James E. Murdoch played in October, the latter 
drawing crowded houses and creating great enthusiasm. 

November 4th, John Collins, the Irish actor, came, 
playing in Power's old parts. He was born near 
Dublin, in 1811. As a singer of Irish ballads, he has 
rarely been equalled; but he was a very trying man 
to get along with. He was the first to produce " The 
Duke's Motto" in this country. 

January 23d, 1851, was the first night of Miss Jean 
Davenport, who now appeared as a full grown actress, 
in Julia, Pauline, The Uauntess, etc. She was the first 
to play Adrienne in this country, and made a deep 
impression in that part. 

In June, Mr. Murdoch played an engagement in con- 
junction with Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Bowers, their first 


appearance here, if we are not mistaken. Mr. David 
P. Bowers was born, made his dd)ut and died in Phila- 
delphia, and with the exception of about four years 
passed in Baltimore, lived in his native city nearly all 
his life, which was ended June 6th, 1857, by heart 
disease. On the 4th of March, 1847, he married the 
eldest daughter of Eev. Wilham A. Crocker, an Epis- 
copal clergyman, of Stamford, Connecticut, the well- 
known actress of the present day. She was born 
March 12th, 1830, and went upon the stage at the age 
of sixteen. After her husband's death, she managed 
for two years the Walnut street theatre, in Philadelphia, 
where she had become a great favorite. Her second 
husband was Doctor Brown, of Baltimore, a near rela- 
tive of Eev. Mr. Brown, formerly rector at Cohoes. 
Doctor Brown died in 1867. In 1861, Mrs. Bowers 
(she did not change her stage name) appeared wjtb 
much success in Jjondon, and reappeared at the Winter 
Garden, in New York, August 17th, 1863. Since then 
she has starred all over the country, playing such 
characters as Elizabeth, I^ady Audley, etc. She is still 
a leading actress. She and her husband, if we mistake 
not, played a number of weeks in succession at the 

July 10th, first night of Sir William Don, the Eng- 
lish comedian, who, by the way, was born in Sc0(tlan,d, 
in 1826. He was a baronet, a handsome man, and six 
feet, four inches in height. He died in Australia, 
March 19th, 1862, of disease of the throat. He first 
Introduced here the long popular farce of " The Eough 
Diamond," playing Cousin Joe, himself. His wife, nee 
Emily Sanders, was also an actress, and appeared here 
some time afterwards. 

October 27th, Charlotte Cushman began an engage- 
ment as Mrs. Holler. 

November 7th, McKean Buchanan played Hamlet 
and followed with Macbeth, Lear, Othello, and in comedy, 
and succeeded so well that he was re-engaged. There 
was one thing "Old Buck" could play to perijection, 
and that was — ^draw poker. He was born in Phila- 


delphia, February 28th, 1823, and imbued with the 
idea that he was an actor, perfortaed in all parts of the 
world,, from Albany to Australia. He was a bad 
imitation of Forrest. He was very methodical, and 
went through, rehearsal precisely as he did a public 
performance,and insisted on having every thing marked- 
out on the stage for him, with boxes in the places of 
the senators he was to address in the evening. He 
died April 16th, 1872, in Denver, Colorado, of 
apoplexy. His daughter Yirginia is a very pleasing 

For the Kossuth fund, Mr. Meech offered the gross 
receipts of the Museum any night between December 
28th and January 1st. 

January 4th, 1852, was the first night of Mrs. Mary 
Amelia Warner. She had been the leading actress in 
heavy tragedy on the British stage, but was now in ill 
health, and on her return to England, died in October, 
1854, of cancer, of which she had long been sufEei'ing. 
She became reduced in circumstances, but was honored 
by the public patronage and private friendship of 
Queen Victoria. Henry Morley, writing in 1853, says : 
" Among other indications of the great respect in which 
the sick lady is held, it appeared that Her Majesty had 
not been content with simply subscribing towards the 
support required by Mrs. Warner's family, now that 
its prop fails, but that, having learnt the importance of 
carriage exercise to the patient, with a woman's deli- 
cacy, at once found the kindest way to render service, 
by herself hiring a carriage which she caused, and 
causes still, to be placed daily at Mrs. Warner's dis- 
posal. Her Majesty makes few state visits to the 
theatres ; chance has disclosed, however, how the actor's 
art may be more surely honored by a courtesy more 
womanly, and quite as royal." Mrs. Warner appeared 
here as Hermione in " A Winter's Tale." She was 
accompanied by her husband, older than herself, and 
dependent upon her. He was not an actor. 

February 5th, Charlotte Cushman came again, play- 
ing Bosalind, Meg Merrilies, Pauline, Lady Macbeth, etc.. 


and for her benefit Queen Katharine, her greatest char- 
acter. She was followed by Herr Drieabach and his, 
royal tiger. 

Among the many minor actors engaged at the 
Mnseum, was Theodore H. Vandenburgh, better known 
as "Jack Bunsby," a name given to hirii by Edward 
Eddy. Jack began as call boy in 1848, and was more 
useful than conspicuous for many years, at the 
Museum, the Green street theatre and the Gayety. 
He played Toodles pretty well, and starred in that 
character in the oil regions, under Ball & Fitzpatricfc 
He died in Albany, August 9th, 1869, aged thirty- 
three years. 




Last Years of the Albany Museum. 

□ N the 27tli of April, 1852, Celeste appeared at the 
Museum, and in May, Lola Montez came, accom- 
panied by a troupe of twelve dancing girls. This 
once notorious woman was born, some say, in 1818, 
and others in 1824. Her birth-place has also been 
located at Montrose, Scotland, at Seville, Spain, and 
at Limerick, Ireland. Her parentage is also " mixed," 
some saying her father was a Scottish officer, named 
Gilbert, and that she was christened Marie Dolores 
Eosanna Grilbert ; others that she was born of an Irish 
father. The truth is, her mother was a Creole, who 
successively lived with, or was married to natives of 
Spain and Great Britain, whence the conflicting 
accounts of Lola's origin. She was well educated, 
and at the age of fifteen, married an English officer 
named James, whom she accompanied to India. After 
a few years, she left him and led a life of adventure in 
Paris and the other capitals. In 1846, she appeared in 
Munich, as a Spanish ballet dancer, and made a captive 
of Louis I., King of Bavaria. Her influence became 
so great that the ultramontane administration of Abel 
was dismissed, because that minister objected to her 
being made Countess of Landsfelt. The students 
were divided in their sympathies, and conflicts arose 
shortly before the outbreak of the revolution of 1848 
which led the king, at Lola's instigation, to close the 
University. But a more violent outbreak obliged the 
king to re-open it, and discard Lola, who fled. Although 


her first husband was still alive, she contracted, in 
1849, a second marriage with another English officer, 
named Heald. For this, she was prosecuted for 
bigamy, and went with him to Madrid, where she 
deserted him, and soon after, both husbands died. 
She came to this country in the same vessel with 
Kossuth, and gave performances from New York to 
New Orleans and San Francisco, succeeding best in 
dramas setting forth her own adventures. As a dah- 
seuse she disappointed public expectation in New 
York, although she attrwcted crowded houses for a- 
time. She was graceful, but not brilliant ; beautiful, 
but reckless. In California, she married a Mr. Hull, 
but he did not live with her long. In 1855, she went 
to Australia and subsequently returned to the United 
States. At this time, says Blake, " her face, Spanish 
in outline, was pale and thin, and her only trace of 
beauty, her lustrous eyes ; her expression was modest '' 
and intellectual, and her performance chaste and grace- 
ful, though indicating talent of no high order — a dis- . 
appointment of the prurient expectations of those 
who, during her engagement, crowded into unwonted 
seats. She lived,, during' the day, ia retirement, read- 
ing religious works, and steadily, calmly, hopefully^ 
preparing for death, havings full persuasion that con-: 
sumption had sapped the pillars of her life,> and that 
she was soon to make her final exit." She afterwards 
lectured in this country and in England. For a while 
she was a believer in spiritism,; and said that she left- 
the stage to mount the platform, in obedience to thd! 
spirits, who selected her topics for her, on which to 
lecture, and prompted her thoughts. Sh« was, after-< 
wards, much attracted by the^ simplicity and. fervor of 
the Methodists, but she died in the communion of the 
Episcopal church.. Her laist hours were passed in a 
sanitary asylum, at Astoria, New York,, where she" 
died in poverty, June, 30th,. 1861,. and was buried. in 
Trinity churchyard: It -is said that in her earlier 
years she gave away .fortunes to , the needy, and tbali 
her last d/ollar and last days were spent i in ministering 


to the necessities of the inmates of the Magdalene 
asylum. Her life,' "The Story of a Penitent," was 
published as a tract. She appeared at this time in 
Albany as a dancer only, but subsequently, at the 
Green street theatre, played speaking parts. 

On the 31st of August, H. V. Lovell assumed the 
acting management, Mr. Smith going to Buffalo. 
There was now opposition, the Green street theatre 
being open under various managers. 

•On the same night,: the Paterson City Blues, who 
were the guests of the Burgesses corps, attended the 
theatre. Miss Mary Wells was a member of the stock 
company at this time. This lady', so long a New York 
favorite, made her first appearance on any stage ait the 
Museum, December 28d, 1850, as Farmy Tubbs, in 
"The Ocean of Life." She was born in En'gland, 
December 11th, 1827. Her career at Laura Keene's, 
Niblo's Garden and Selwyn's, is well remembered. 
-She was the wife of Kichard Stoepels, and died in 
1878, one of the first " old women " in the country. 

September 20th, G. Y. Brooke began an engagement, 
in which he played Othello, Shylock, Sir Giles, Sir 
Walter, etc. Gustavus Vaughn Brooke was born in 
Dublin, April 25th, 1819, and made his first appear- 
ance in this country at the Broadway theatre, New 
York, Deeeni'ber I5th, 1851, as Othello. He was 
among the finest actors the old country ever sent us. 
He made a decided hit as Othello, in which great char- 
acter many considered him unsurpassed ;' and also in 
the dual role in "The Gorsican Brothers," now pro- 
duced for the first time in Albany, He returned to 
England, and in 1860, visited Australia. On a second 
passage to that far-off land, in January, 1866, on the 
steamer London, he perished at sea, leaving Avonia 
Jones, daughter of the " Gount Joannes," a widow. 
Mr. Fred. A. DuBois, of the Leland, then quite a 
young man, travelled extensively with Brooke in this 
country, as his private secretary, but did not come to 
Albany with him at this time. His agent here took a 
curious course. He did not represent himself as con- 


nected with the actor at all, but went about town as a 
gentleman who had travelled in Europe and become 
acquainted with Brooke in England. He constantly 
spoke his praises, and introduced Albanians to him 
personally. At the close of the engagement, he made 
himself known, and assisted in settlement, to the sur- 
prise of Meech, who had been kept as much in the 
dark as any one. 

Brooke is said to have been brilliant, magnetic and 
original, arriving at effects by methods of his own, and 
imitating no one. In appearance he was tall and well- 
built, though slight in figure, of a graceful, dignified 
carriage, and possessed of a most expressive counte- 
nance, handsome in repose and capable of assuming 
every rariety of expression. His voice was especially 
rich and sonorous. 

October 4th, Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt played Par- 
then'ia, and followed in several similar rqiles. She was 
the daughter of Samuel G. Ogden, a New York mer- 
chant, but was born in Bordeaux, France, during her 
father's residence there. In a few years the family 
(there were seventeen children, of which she was the 
tenth,) removed to New York, and at the age of fifteen 
she became the wife of a New York lawyer. The story 
of her first acquaintance with her lover, who used to 
escort her to and from school, and of the courtship and 
runaway match which followed, is pleasantly told in 
her autobiography. The sole reason for the elopement 
was the couple's unwillingness to wait a year or two. 
Accordingly they were readily forgiven, and retiring 
to Long Island, the education of the child-wife was 
continued by the husband, who was several years her 
senior. She was literary in her habits, and from child- 
hood addicted to private theatricals. Her husband 
failing in speculations in which he embarked, she 
appeared as a reader in Boston and New York, a pro- 
ject much disapproved by her friends. Accordingly 
she gave it up for a year or so, and wrote "Fashion," 
a play produced in 1845 with success at the Park 
theatre and elsewhere. Her husband having again 


failed, this time as a publisher, she made her debut as 
an actress in June of the same year, with much success. 
She played star engagements in this country and in 
Europe, being supported by E. L. Davenport. In 
February, 1851, Mr. Mowatt died, and the widow, after 
a temporary retirement, began a farewell tour, of which 
the performances we speak of at the Museum, were a 
part. Her final retirement took place in New York, 
in 1854, and soon after she was married to William F. 
Ritchie, of Virginia, editor of the Richmond Enquirer. 
In 1860, she went to Europe and resided at Paris, 
Rome, Florence, and near London, continuing literary 
work till she died — at Twickenham-on-the-Thames, 
July 28th, 1870. 

About this time, according to Brown's History of the 
Stage, Robert Heller, the famous magician, made his 
first appearance in America, at this place, but we are 
without further particulars. 

In November, Charley Burke came again and played 
his version of "Rip Van Winkle," afterwards adopted 
by his half-brother, Jefferson. In December, we find 
James Wallack, Couldock and Burke, playing on the 
same evenings. Andrew Jackson Neafie, who threw 
up his trade as carpenter to become a tragedian, also 
played here this month. Neafie was born in New 
York, in 1815, and although early beset with a desire 
to go upon the stage, did not appear in a regular theatre 
till 1839, when he paid Simpson, of the Park, $300 
for the privilege, the money being subscribed by a 
military company, of which Neafie was commander. 
He appeared as Olhelh with considerable success, and 
after some practice in stock companies, starred in this 
country and in England. 

Lysander Thompson was the next star claiming 
special attention. He came January 7th, 1863, and 
played several engagements, afterwards appearing with 
special favor as Bobby Tyke in " The School for Re- 
form." A finer Yorkshireman has never been seen in 
this country. He died in New York, of congestion of 
the brain, July 23d, 1854, aged thirty-one. He was 


the father of the present excellent actress, Charlotte 

By the middle of January, we find James Canoll 
installed as acting manager, and two weeks after, P. 
M. Kent was billed as the proprietor. Kent was a 
native of Philadelphia, and died in New York in 1857.. 
A new season began, and soon after, many of the old 
favoi'ites were missing from the company. January 
31st was the fii-st appearance of Catherine Sinclair, the 
late wife of Edwin Forrest, from whom she had been 
divorced. She appeared as Lady Teazle, Parifienia, and 
in similar roles. She had been upon the stage only 
about a year, having made her debut at Brougham's 
Lyceum, February 2d, 1852, and many there were who 
questioned the delicacy of such a step, taken while yet 
the country was alive with the buzz of scandal brought 
out by the Forrest divorce suit. 

Catherine. Norton Sinclair, was the datighter of John 
Sinclair, the vocalist, was born in England, and there 
she was married to Forrest in 1837. They were 
mutually smitten with each other, the couree of true 
love for once ran smooth, and they were united in St. 
Paul's, by Rev. Henry Hart Milman. For ten yeara 
their married life was happy, but they had no children 
that lived, although four were born to them. Despair- 
ing of an heir to his fortune, Forrest bought an estate 
above New York, upon the Hudson, with a view to 
the establishment, after his death, of a home for super- 
annuated actors, and also a dramatic school. Here the 
castle, which is still the object of admiration to all 
who pass up and down the noble river, was built, to 
serve first, as a home for Mr. and Mrs. Forrest, and 
after their death, for the object mentioned. In the 
spring of 1848, circumstances occurred which led to 
the bitter jealousy of the actor, to crimination, separa- 
tion, and at length, to a suit for divorce. A cross-suit 
was immediately begun, and the trial opened in 
December, 1851, with Charles O'Conor as counsel for 
the lady. The interest was intense, and public opinion 
much divided.' The result was, an acquittal of the 


wife and judgment tbatMr. Forrest pay her $3,000 a 
year, alimony. Five times he appealed the case, and 
for. eighteen years it was in the courts. Then he paid 
over the award. Out of $64,000 coming to her at last, 
$59,000 went to the lawyers, anH for other legal 
expenses.. What it cost Forrest we cannot say. 
Another legal complication growing out of the matter, 
involved N. P. Willis, whonx Forrest assaulted and 
afterwards sued for libel. Greorge Jameison, the actor, 
of whom Forrest' was first suspicious, and who was the 
author of the famous Oonsuello letter, was run over 
and killed by the cars near Yonkers, October 3d, 1868. 

Mrs. Forrest was a very beautiful, and at this time 
(18.52), a much talked-of woman. She determined to 
go upon the stage, and having no money, entered into 
an agreement with . George Vandenhoff to give her 
lessons and perform witii her for half the profits. Her 
best character, and the only one in which she made a 
hit, was Lady Teazle. Her appearance here, where the 
friends of Forrest were warm and numerous, ©ccasioned 
some excitement, and tliere was a disposition to miake 
matters unpleasant for her. This, however, was 
happily avoided. A large audience was present, and 
at first, there were a few hisses, but the applause was 
so loud and decided as to check all unfriendly demon- 
stration, and her engagement was fairly successful.; 
She is still living in retirement 

In February, the .Benin sisters. Sue and Kate,, 
appeared as Helen &nA Julia, in "The Hunchback,", 
and as Romeo and Juliet. They were born in Phila- 
delphia, and in their day were jgeneral favorites. Kate, 
who was itwo years the elder, married C. K. Fox, in 
the green-room, at Troy, and at eleven o'clock the same 
evening, took the train for New York, where the bride- 
groom was to meet her a day or two later. He failed 
to keep, the appointment, and the next day she sailed 
on the California steamer to meet her engagements on 
the Pacific slope. She was afterwards married to Sam 
Ryan, the Irish comedian, but the connection did not 
last long, and in 1867, she went to Australia. Sue, 


who was the more talented' of the two, married F. 
Woodward, Harry Huntington, the minstrel, and Frank 
Banol. Jack Winans was the girls' stepfather. Poor 
Jack was a famous character in Ohanfrau's pieces, hut 
was ruined by bad whisky. He died miserably, in the 
almshouse at Philadelphia, October 21st, 1859, his 
body being found half devoured by rats. 

Others who played here at this time were Joe Jeffer- 
son, Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Plunkett (in tragedy), Mr. and 
Mrs. G. Farren, T. M. Tyrrell, Germon, Ponisi, Brink, 
Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Drew, T. Watson (an Irish 
comedian), Lizzie Weston, Harry Watkins and Sco- 
ville (a Yankee comedian). The place was now said 
to be under the joint management of Meech and 

June 13th, a Miss Mitchell was announced to play 
Young Norval, and the next night Mary Wells took her 
farewell benefit, and withdrew from the company. 
Miss Mitchell at this time appeared for only one night, 
but it wa» without doubt the favorite Maggie of our 

The season closed July 30th, and another opened 
August 8th, under Skerrett & Ariderton, with " She 
Stoops to Conquer.'' Their reign lasted only till 
October 12th, and was any thing but satisfactory to the 
public. During the time, Ben DeBar played Boaring 
Jialjoh, etc., and Miss Caroline M. Richings made her 
first appearance here, accompanied by her father, and 
J. R. Scott played an engagement. Miss Eichings was 
an adopted child; and was born in England. Her dra- 
matic debut was made February 9th, 1852, in " The 
Child of the Regiment," in Philadelphia. Probably 
no member of the profession has worked harder than 
she has. For a time she managed the leading English 
opera troupe of America, and was the first, in fact, to 
organize a complete company of that kind, but she was 
finally overpowered by the greater attra(>.tions of Parepa' 
Rosa, who hired away from her her best singers. Miss 
Richings was married to Mr. Pierre Bernard, on Christ- 
mas, 1867'. Peter Richings has frequently been men- 


tioned in these sketches as a favorite actor. His "make 
-up" as George Washington was almost perfect. 

In February, 1854, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was 
brought out, and had the remarlcable run of more than 
four weeks. This was followed by "Hot Corn," which 
also was eminently successful. 

Although William J. Florence is a native of Albany, 
we have no record of his appearance here in a professional 
capacity, till May, 1854, when he and Mrs. Florence 
played as stars at the Museum. Florence was bora 
July 26th, 1831, in the house still standing southwest 
corner of William and Beaver streets. His father died 
in 1846, and William being the eldest of a family of 
eight children, was called upon for unusual exertion. 
He first tried newspaper work, and then a New York 
counting house, but having a taste for theatricals, and 
becoming a member of the Murdoch Dramatic associa- 
tion of that city, drifted upon the stage and began his 
theatrical experience at the Richmond theatre, under 
Chippendale's management, in 1849. December 6th 
of the same year, he made his New York debut as 
Peter in " The Stranger," at the Richmond Hill theatre. 
The next year he is heard of as playing Macduff to 
Booth's Macbeth, in Providence, but soon took to Irish 
characters at Brougham's Lyceum, and perfected himself 
as a dialect actor. On New Year's day, 1853, he married 
.Mrs. Littell, a danseuse, whose maiden name was Pray, 
and who is a sister of Mrs. Barney Williams. Wil- 
liams and his wife were now in the height of their 
success as Irish boy and Yankee girl delineators, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Florence, believing the world was wide 
enough for another " team " of that kind, decided to 
adopt the same line, an experiment which proved 
eminently successful, but the rivalry was sharp and not 
always good natured. They began their starring tour 
at the National theatre, on the 13th of June, 1853, and 
had now reached Albany, where they received a hearty 
welcome. In 1856, they went to England, where more 
success awaited them. Florence was the first to bring 
out "The Ticket of Leave Man " in this country, and 


has played tbe part oi Robert Brierly nearly 1,200 
times. That and Captain Cuttle are liis favorite char- 
acters, although of late his name has been associated 
with Hon. Bardwell Slote, in " The Mighty Dollair,'' more 
closely than with any other. 

The last of June, Canoll seceded from the Museum, 
taking a good share of the company with hini, and 
attempted to run the unfortunate Green street theatre, 
William Henderson succeeding him at the Museum, till 
August 3d, when the season closed. Another opened 
August 29th, under Meech & Smith, managers; 0. T. 
Smith, stage manager. During the recess, the lower 
part of the house had been thrown into one parquette, 
with upholstered sofas. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, 
Bradshaw, Sprague and Barton were in the company. 
Prices were, for gentlemen fifty cents, ladies twenty- 
five cents. Just about t¥e same time, the Green street 
theatre was opened, also under the management of 
Charley Smith, Mrs. W. G. JSIoah, of Buffalo, formerly 
Mrs. McClure, as the star. After two or three nights 
it was closed Again, and' Mrs. Noah transferred to the 
Museum, where a "double" company was advertised. 
Pantomimes, comedy and tragedy were played by a 
company in which the Skerretts and Andertons were 
the principal people. For Mrs. Skerrett's benefit; her 
daughter Rose, aged sixteen, made her debut in " The 
Serious Family." She became the wife of L. E. 
Shewell, in 1860. George Skerrett was a respectable 
comedian, but was afflieted with bronchial trouble, 
which terminated in consumption, of which he died in 
Albany, May 16th, 1855, aged forty -five, and is buried 
at Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. His wife, Mrs. Skerrett, 
was born in Glasgow, in 1817, and was an attractive 
soubrette. The spectacle of "Aladdin " was brought 
out and had the remarkable run of sixteen or more 
nights. The stars about this time included Collins, 
the Irish comedian. Miss Makeah (afterwards: Mrs. 
George Vandenhoff), and Margaret J. Mitchell 

From the very first, Maggie' Mitchell was a favorite 
in Albany. Perhaps it is so everywhere, but' as our 


record will- show, at the. Museum, at the Green street 
theatre, and under all ciroumstances, her visits have 
ever been as welcome as flowers in May. Her repertory 
at this time' included "Katty O'Sheil,"*' Satan in 
Paris," " The French Spy," eta On the 2'6th of Jan 
uary, 1855, she was the, recipient of a complinientary 
benefit, the call for which was sighed by Thomas B. 
Morrow, J. C. Cuyler,H. J. Hastings, J. Wesley Smith, 
John S. Dickerman, David M. Barnes, D. ,M. Wood- 
hall, William H. Coughtry, and many others. 

February 15th, a benefit for the Orphan asylum was 
given, and on the 26th, James E. Anderson, an Eng- 
lish tragedian, appeared ^s King James, in " The King 
of the Commons," following with a round of legitimate- 
characters. Miss Harriet Kimberly. also played a star 
engagement, in the legitiiijate. 

April 13th, the first and only complimentary benefiit 
ever given Mr. Meech, was tendered him by the com- 
pany, who, in ■ their letter, said : " The ' Museum now 
about closing, has been under your management for a 
period of twenty years, during which, in good business 
or bad, salaries of those engaged have always been 
paid to the day." This was strictly true. Just so sure 
as Monday came around, salaries were always ready, 
though paid sometimes with a long face, for frequently,.- 
business was frightful. But Meech always preferred 
to pay certainties, and if there was any money to make, 
to make it himself. When the Canal bank failed, its 
notes were regairded; as worthless and could be bought 
for almost nothing. -Meech gathered in a stock of 
them, and refusing any thing less, at last had the 
satisfaction of having them redeemed dollar for dollar. 
It is said he made a large sum in that way, and on the/. 
whole, went away from Albany pretty well off. 

The last stars who played here were Frank Chanfrau. 
and Miss Albertine. We are indebted to William M. . 
Eicbards for the following figures, showing the amounts 
received for the benefit performances, which closed the 
career of the establishment : 


April 16 — Lacy's night ^ 87 

" 17 — Ponisi's 45 

" 18 — W. M. Richards's (doorkeeper) 174 

" 19 — Mrs. Skerrett's 67 

" 20 — Tom Johnson's 90 

" 21— JaokWinans's 80 

« 23 — Frank Chanfrau's 86 

" 25 — C. T. Smith's 88 

" 26 — William Henderson's 60 

" 28 — Miss Albertine's 118 

The last night (April 28th), the following bill was 
presented : 

MosB IN California. 
Mose Mr. Chanfrau | Lize Miss Albertine 

The Young Aotress. 

Tragedian Chanfrau | Marie Miss Albertine 

Cousin Job. 
Cousin Joe Mr. Kane | Margery Mrs. Skerrett 

Miss Albertine, above mentioned, was long associated 
with Chanfrau as lAza. She is to-day stone blind and 
in destitute circumstances, in New York, as fit a sub- 
ject for a benefit as any person who can be mentioned. 

And this was the last of the old Museum, about 
which so much has been said and is still remembered. 
Many people to-day will say that there was better acting 
to be seen there, than there has been since in the city. 
But the Transcript, which had a way of speaking its 
mind in those days, said that for tlie last few years, 
the management had been very bad, and the stock 
companies abominable. But this could not have 
applied to the days of Mrs. Maeder, Mrs. Drew and 
Mrs. Vernon. 

The "curiosities," as we have before stated, were 
sold to Dr. Spaulding. The rhinoceros, whose skin 
had been taken into the building, and stuffed there, 
was dried stiff and impossible to get out whole, 
through any door or window the building afforded, 
and had to be sawed in two. " Jesse Strang " in wax, 
was taken west, and there did duty as "Murrell,the 


Western Highwayman ; " but what became of the 
" balcony band," no one ever had the hardihood to 

Many amusing stories connected with the old 
Museum are floating about, some of which have 
found their way into print The following, told to 
the writer by Capt John B. Smith, the Albany bill- 
poster, were first published in the Albany Mirror: 

"Business was very bad at times," said Smith, "and 
Meech was at his wits' end to Icnow how to get 
through. Somebody suggested to him once that as 
Charley Kane, the comedian, was a pretty good painter, 
he might be made useful day-times touching up some 
of the canal boats, of which Meech owned several. 
The manager was quick to take a hint where his 
pocket was interested, and sure enough in a day or 
two he had a squad of the actors up at the basin, with 
Kane at their tiead, laying on paint Kane was the 
only one who knew any thing about the business, and 
showing himself very willing, Meech was delighted at 
the plan of doubling up this way, and very soon was 
loud in the praise of Charley Kane, telling what a 
very smart boy he was. In the afternoon the manager 
went up again, but Charley was no where to be seen. 
Meech continued to hold him up as a model ; he was 
such an active youth, but began to wonder where he 
was ; thought perhaps he had gone to mix more paint 
The boys winked at one another, but let the old man 
go on till happening to look over the side of the boat 
upon a float that had been built for the painters to 
stand on, there lay his active youth, eyes shut, mouth 
open, fast sisleep. 'Yes, yes,' said the old man, 'he's 
just like all the rest of you, he'd rather act than work 
any time,' and striding off he didn't even wake him 
up. When pay-day came, Mr. Kane was discharged, 
but recommended to mercy by the stage manager, who 
suggested that a young man could not develope in all 
ways at once, and that a favorite comedian might well 
be excused, if he were a little lazy when it came to 


painting canal boats in a hot summer day. Accord/ 
ingly, he was taken back again. ■ 

"But it wasn't all fun at the Museum. We had a 
tragedy there once, and a real one too. Poor Dick 
Finn ! he was property man, and one night he was 
examining the 'muskets to be used in 'The French 
Spy,' to see whether they were loaded or not. He had 
fired one out of the window, and snapped another, but 
that hung fire, and while he was blowing down the 
muzzle, the charge went off in his mouth. It was 
between the farce and the beginning of the principal 
piece. Melinda Jones, the wife of the Count Joannes, 
as he called himself, was to play the ISpy. She came 
upon the stage (the curtain was down, of course,) and 
seeing what had happened, exclaimed, 'Great God I 
this man is killed,' and catching him up in her arms 
(she was a very muscular woman), actually carried him 
down one flight of stairs, where Dr. March arrived in 
a few minutes. Poor Finn looked up with the blood 
coming from his mouth' in clots, and asked the doctor 
if it was going to kill him. The doctor said no, he 
thought not so bad as that. Finn lingered till the 
second morning, but he never spoke again. The 
people in front knew nothing about it till they I'ead it 
next day in the papers. ; 

"Another time, I recollect, one man thought ihevei 
was going to be a tragedy. It was a German who- 
played the bass-viol, and a mighty good musician he 
was, too. When Celeste was here, once, her musio 
didn't come, and she hummed over the airs to him, and 
he took them down and got them into shape for the 
orchestra^— good shape, too. This time Herr Driesbach 
was to perform here with his tigers in a sensational play. 
I forget the plot of it, but in order to win the lady the 
hero had to capture this tiger, who was supposed to be 
in a cave in the mountains, but who was really in a 
cage raised up to the top of the scene, and his master, 
going up a sort of run, the door is opened, the beast 
sticks his head out, is collared by Driesbach, who has 
a great struggle with him, making a very effective 


scene. Now the musician happened to have a very- 
large red nose, and the boys, laughing at him, had told 
him the day previous, that if he wasn't careful, the 
tiger would take his nose for a beefsteak, and he'd get 
into trouble. He passed it off lightly and at night was 
at his post as usual, and the old viol did special duty 
in accompanying the scenes of the drama. The climax 
was approaching ; the door of the cage was about to 
open, and Driesbach prepared for his struggle with the 
beast, whose grumbling and roaring was being imi- 
tated as closely as possible by the player on the double 
bass. The tiger appeared and sprang down the run to 
meet his tamer. The musician, who had all the time 
been a little nervous, was watching the stage, and as 
the door opened, it appeared to him the animal had his 
eye fixed directly on that unfortunate nose. Down 
came the tiger ; away went the bass viol ; 'Mein Grott 
in Himmel ! ' exclaimed the frightened musician, as he 
started towards the audience. They saw him coming, 
and already much excited, thought the animal had 
really broken loose, and in less than a minute, there 
wasn't a soul in that part of the house. It was the 
most effective play I ever saw. No harm was done, 
•although the actors were about as much scared as any 
body. I tell you, they gave the tiger all the stage room 
he wanted. 

" Another strange thing happened there — a man bit 
a boy's toe off and did n't know it. It was an acrobat 
and strong man known as ' The Modern Hercules.' 
He was an artist in his line, and did some wonderful 
things, many of them on a standard upon which he 
would do posturing and which would be whirled round 
very rapidly with him on it. The finale was for him 
to hold a boy out, extended full length, and only kept 
from falling by Hercules holding the boy's toe between 
bis teeth, and the rapid whirling of the standard. It 
was a very dangerous feat' and is now prohibited by 
law, I think ; if it isn't, it ought to be. The boy's 
shoe was of peculiar fashion, the toe of it being made 
lo be taken into the man's mouth and held there. But 


somehow there was a mistake this time, and instead 
of holding on to the shoe, the man bit into the poor 
fellow's flesh. The act was always loudly applauded, 
and the audience made so much noise that night that 
the screams of tlie little fellow were unheard, or at 
least, unheeded, and for several minutes he suffered 
the most excruciating torture. The toe was found fairly 
bitten off. " 

One night, Mrs. Estelle Potter was playing Lucretia 
Borgia, at the Museum, when the knife, with which 
some stabbing was to be done, was missing, and 
nothing else being found convenient, she attempted 
the sanguinary deed with a pair of wooden nut crackers, 
which had formed part of the table service of the 
banquet. The man who was to be stabbed, seeing her 
coming at him with such a ridiculous weapon, burst 
out laughing and ran from the stage, and she,Ho cap 
the climax, threw the impromptu dagger at his head. 
Stage discipline was not always very severe at the 




Last Days of the Green Street Tfieatre. 

TTTHE building on Green street, erected as a theatre 
*■ in 1812, had, since 1819, been used as a church, 
and as sach, had been the starting point of all the 
Baptist societies in Albany. On the 5th of January, 
1851, the last Baptist service was held there, the edi- 
fice having been sold to the People's church, a new- 
society, under Re.v. George Montgomery West. In 
March, 1852, the building was bought by a company, 
for $6,000, and speedily altered over into a theatre. 
It opened as such, July Sth, under the management of 
Henry W. Preston, who, it will be remembered, was 
the last manager of the Pearl street theatre, previous 
to its reversion to religious purposes, in 1839. His 
real name was Patrick Hoy. He was born in Ireland, 
and was, originally, a hatter by trade. He was divorced 
under his original name (he being defendant) from his 
wife, who was the Mrs. Nichols who played leading 
parts, at various times, at the Amphitheatre and 
Museum, and later, at the Academy of Music. Pres- 
ton was a fair actor, but frequently did some strange 
things on the stage, when under the influence of liquor. 
Once, while doing Polonius, the boys up stairs became 
unusually noisy and attracted more attention than the 
actors, whereupon,' the Danish prime minister, raising 
his staff -of office like an Irish black-thorn, made a 
stirring appeal to "the dacency of those divils in the 
gallery," which put Shakspeare to immediate flight. 
Preston's end was tragic. He was found at eleven 


o'clock one night standing by the river near the steam- 
boat landing, and being asked by an acquaintance, if 
he was not going home, replied: "I have no home; 
the worms have holes to crawl into, but poor men are 
without shelter." The next instant a splash was heard, 
and Preston was seen alive no more. Whether he Jell 
or jumped into the water, is not known. 

J. H. Oxley was the first star, and the legitimate 
had the first chance. Julia Daly was the leading 
lady, and Preston, Byrne, Brand. Martin, and Mrs. 
McLean and Mrs. Stephens were in the company. 
Thomas Ward was stage manager, and Duffy and 
Mullen were treasurers. Jim Grow Eice, W. F. Wood, 
J. E. Scott, William Don, a ballet troupe, and a lot of 
trained monkeys, succeeded one another, and then on 
the 12th of August, came the sheriff, who put' in an 
appearance and took out the scenery. After a short 
recess, during which the theatre was "closed for 
repairs," it was again opehed September 20th, with the 
following company : H. W. Preston, P. C. Byrne, T. 
0. Wemyss, J. 0. Sefton, T. P. Lyne, T. C. Tyrrell,, 
C. T. Porter, Charles Kane, H. R Nichols, T. Martin, 
Miss Mary Ann Porter, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Eainsforth, 
Miss Oolburn and Mrs. Holmes. After a few nights 
of tragedy, and a few more of the dog star drama (Mr. 
Coney and his trained mastiffs), there appeared for the 
first time in Albany, Madame Julia de Marguerittes, 
in the opera of " La Sonnambula." She was a little 
French woman, who, during her short career, created 
a decided sensation in the sober city. She was the 
daughter of A. B. Granville, a French physician, and 
was early married to the Count de Marguerittes. 
Exiled from la belle France for political reasons, they 
came to this country, and she, by her talents, main- 
tained her husband till the accession of Louis Napoleon, 
who called him home, and he returned, leaving a 
deserted wife behind him. She then took to- readings 
and concerts, to support herself, and, obtaining a 
divorce, was speedily married to George " Gaslight " 
Foster, as he was called,, on account of certain sensa- 


tional books he had written, such as "New York 
Naked," "New Yqrk by Graslight," etc. On the 9th 
of March, 1852, she made her dAut in the opera of 
''La Gazza Ladra," at. the Broadway theatre, New 
York. - 

Tiie next we know of her, she came to Albany on 
a starring tour, and finding the Green street theatre 
badly misnianaged, undertook to reform things. Her 
methods are thus set forth (very likely by herself or 
husband) in an Albany letter to The Spirit of the Times : 

Madame de Marguerittes is finishing everything in the 
most exquisite manner, with new decorations, scenery, 
wardrobe, etc., and will open with a stock company of 
very decided talent. There is already a great deal of 
excitement, almost as much as if the show had begun. 
The workmen are elbowing the jeunessedoree, who make 
a daily excursion, to watch the gradual effects of the 
waving of the magic wand of taste and knowledge. 
Some gaze up at the beautifully painted ceiling — others 
admire the grey, gold and crimson decorations of the 
boxes. The luxurious comfort of the private boxes, 
rivaling the wonders of an Italian palco, where those 
beautiful, lazy Italian ladies take their ease, is next an 
object of discussion, and finally, curiosity concentrates 
on the wonders of the drop curtain of mirrors, which is 
to give each individual an opportunity of seeing how 
he looks when in public, and convince each woman that 
,she is prettier and better dressed than her neighbor. 

The manager, who is no more afraid of a Latin jeu de 
mot than she is of paint and scaffolding, threatens to 
have Veluti in Speculum inscribed above it. She it is 
who has given the design for this drop, as well as for 
the whole of the decorations. As we all know, from 
her writings, she is a woman of imagination ; but, thank 
the gods, she is a practical woman, and so, there she is, 
all day, in a dark shaggy cloak and unpretending bonnet, 
pencil and book in hand, drawing, talking and explain- 
ing, from the furnaces under the stage, to the highest 
scaffolding. At her suggestion, copies in fresco of Night 
and Morning — two immortal inspirations of the genius 
of Albany, Palmer — have been placed over the 


The mirror-curtain of which the correspondent speaks, 
was divided in tlie centre, and ran in grooves, the same 
as the side-scenes. It cost about $1,500, but lilce most 
of tke other improvements, was not paid'forj and after 
the collapse of the Madame's management, was gladly 
taken back by Eeilly, who furnished it. It was very 
handsome, and the effect, when the theatre was full^ 
was both novel and pleasing. It was said to be the 
Only one of its kind ever seen in America. 

The theatre opened December 20th, with " Don 
Caesar de Bazan," and ''The Irish Valet," Messrs. 
Tyrrell, Byrne, Chandler, Taylor, French, Hodges, 
Smith, Mrs. La Forrest and Miss J. Barton appearing. 
Madame, the manager, pronounced the following 
address, no doubt original with her: 

Methought my task accomplished — but I find 
Tlve part most diflicult remains behind. 
As yet unseen have I, my work performed-^ 
By Science guided, by Ambition warmed; 
But now, 1 must produce myself, poor me,- 
Who hath not skill, nor science, as you see. 
'Twas easy to explore the realms of taste, 
Thence to evoke the temple you have graced. 
The Golden Wand its magic spell hath wrought, 
Behold ! in these bright forms survive my thought. 
And now I come to consecrate the shrine — 
To you I give it — 'tis no loHger mine. 
I would but welcome those benignant powers 
That blessed the drama in its brighter hours. 
Once more let beauty condescend to smile 
On the brief pageant and the gorgeous wile; 
Once more let gallantry with sense unite. 
And cheer us ever, as you've cheered to-night; 
And, if some shadows o'er this picture fall, 
The sunshine of your smiles will brighten all. 

Among those who played here were the Lovells, 
Mrs. George Jones, Neafie the tragedian, Louis Mes- 
tayer, and Joe Jefferson, who had not yet become 
famous. Meantime the Madame held her position by 
an uncertain tenure. On the 10th of January, 1853, 
a number of men, in the interest of Preston, who was 
seeking, by every means in his power, to get the estab- 
lishment into his hands again, took possession of the 
building, and barring out her workmen, arrjtied them- 


selves with the swords, guns and other weapons which 
the stage afforded, and made a determined resistance. 
A, strong body of police were called to the scene, and 
after a sharp battle, in which several on both sides were 
slightly wounded, the intruders were driven out, and 
the Madame, for a time, at least, held the fort. 

On the 17th, " Uncle Tom's Cabin," dramatised by 
Alfred B. Street, was brought out, with the Madame as 
M;a, Miss Charles as Topsey. It was not altogether 
successful, owing, perhaps, in part, to the cast, the 
Madame, short but stout, and gray headed, being a 
queer looking Eva. The sanfe version was afterwards 
produced at the Museum. 

We find about this time the following cast for " Lon- 
don Assurance " : Sir Harcourt, Mr. Tyrrell ; Max 
Harkaway, Mr. Martin ; Dannie, Mr. Mestayer ; Meddle, 
Mr. Joe Jefferson ; Charles, Mr. Byrne ; Cool, Mr. Kane ; 
Lady Gay, Mrs. Lovell ; Grace, Madame Marguerittes ; 
Perl, Miss Charles. Mrs. Joe Jefferson also played 
here a few times. But troubles and debts accumulated ; 
" persevering and unscrupulous efforts " were made to 
embarrass the management, and early in February it 
succumbed to the inevitable, and Madame Marguerittes 
and Gaslight Foster left Albany forever. He died soon 
after, and she retired from the stage, and turned her 
attention to writing for the press. She died in Phila- 
delphia, June 21st, 1866, leaving a daughter, Noemie, 
who has also become an actress as well as a critic. 
We are safe in saying that no woman ever came into 
Albany who created more of a sensation in so short a 
time, than the Madame. Her plans were all on a grand 
scale. She had two houses on Hamilton street, for 
dressing rooms to the theatre, and a mansion on Madi- 
son avenue, for a residence. She had a room in the 
theatre, devoted to the use of newspaper men, and in 
short, displayed enterprise far beyond any thing seen 
here before. It was a pity she did not have a fairer 
chanca Her treasurer, by the way, was John Duff, 
now of New York. 

The next to manage the Green street theatre was 


Edmon S. Conner, who opened it March 28th, 1853, 
he and his wife {nee Charlotte Barnes) playing leading 
business, supported by Messrs. Clifford, Evaine, "We- 
myss, Eainsford, and Mr. and Mrs. Merrifield. April 
30th, Mrs. Conner played Hamlet, her husband playing 
Ghost. Harry Watkins, Lysander Thompson, and a 
ballet troupe played here, after which the place was 
shut up. Mr. Conner, of whom mention has previously 
been made, has said, recently that he was the original 
Olaude Melnotte in this country, at the old Park theatre 
in New York. (Ireland gives Forrest the honor, and 
the late "Count Joanne^" insisted upon his claim to 
that distinction.) Conner is now living in his 71st 
year, near Paterson, New Jersey. A recent interviewer 
found his " figui-e still erect, his face unwrinlded, his 
voice unbroken, his bearing and movement erect and 
graceful, his eye clear and bright, and his spirits buoy- 
ant still." 

June 13th, the Howards opened the theatre with 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," then in the height of its won- 
derful popularity. Mrs. Stowe's story was early 
seen to contain dramatic possibilities, and Charley 
Taylor, so long connected with the Museum, but then 
at Purdy's National, in Chatham street, was among 
the first to grasp at them, and on the 24:th of August, 
1852, produced the first version seen in New York. 
It was hastily written, a mere " catch-house " afiair (as 
he afterwards acknowledged), ignoring Topsy and Eoa 
altogether. It was all Uncle Tom and George Harris. 
Meantime, the "Uncle Tom," by which is meant the 
version that has kept the stage till the present day, 
grew into being at the Troy museum, under singular 
and interesting circumstances. The story has been 
happily told by Mrs. M. H. Fiske : George C. Howard 
was the manager of the theatre at the time, and had 
been for a year or so. The play of the evening was 
"Oliver Twist," in the adaptation of which was a 
child's character, not retained of late, that of Liith 
Dick, the sick pauper boy, who takes a tearful farewell 
of Oliver, as he runs away from the poor-house. With- 


out any idea that she would be more than a " dummy," 
it was suggested that Little Cordelia, the manager's 
four year old daughter, be dressed as Little Dick, and' 
placed behind thQ paling, for Oliver . to talk: to ; but 
when, at rehearsal, the mother, Mrs. G. C. Howard, 
who was playing Oliver, caught the baby up and went 
through the scene, the little thing responded just in 
the proper place, "Dood by^ — turn again.'' "Well, 
now," said Mrs. Howard, " if she is going to do: any 
thing like that, better teach her the lines." And, 
accordingly, during the day, in her mother's lap, little 
Cordelia was taught the speeches of LiUle Dick. l!^ight 
came ; the fat baby face was skillfully painted to repre- 
sent consumption, and duly clad in her brother's suit, 
and with a little spade in* her hand, Cordelia Howard 
made her first appearance on any stage. On came the 
fugitive Oliver, while Cordelia, according to direction, 
dug vigorously at the pile of dirt dumped in the 
corner. " I'm running away, Dick," said Oliver. 
'■' Lunning away, is you ? " replied the little chit. Then 
with a full perception of the character, but with the 
most self-possessed oblivion of the written words, the, 
3hild gave, in her own language, the sense of the 

"I'll come back and see you some day, Dick," said 
Mrs. Howard, as Oliver. ' 

" It yont be no use. Oily, dear," sobbed the little 
ictress. " When oo tum back, I yont be digging 'ittle 
graves, I'll be all dead an' in a 'ittle grave by myself." 
This in a voice, trembling with feigned emotion', yet 
jlear as a bell, and distinctly heard by every person in 
she building. Such a shower of tears as swept over 
;hat theatre ! Actors and auditors were alike affected.. 
The Oliver (naturally enough) broke down, but Cor- 
Jelia's hit and her parent's fortunes were made from 
;hat very night. 

It was at once decided that such infantile emotional 
;alent as this, must not be .wasted, and Mr. Howard 
jegan looking about for some appropriate channel 
ihrough which to present it to the public. The whole 


country was talking about " Uncle Tom's Cabin," and 
thousands of eyes were being moistened at Eva's saint- 
like sayings. " The very part for Cordelia ! " George 
L. Aiken, a cousin of the Howards, undertook the 
work of dramatisation, and with Mr. Howard's advice 
and assistance, in less than a week, it was a thing 
accomplished. It was produced in Troy, in September,- 
1852, -and had the amazing run of 100 nights, " equal," 
as Mr. Howard said to the writer, " to about seven 
years' run in New York, when population in the two 
cities is considei-ed." 

The play was cast in Troy, in part, as follows: Eva, 
Cordelia Howard ; Topsy, Mrs. George C. Howard ; St. 
Glair, Mr. George C. Howard; George Harris, 6. L. 
Ailreii; Phineas Fletcher, C. "K. Fox; Oumption Cute, 
W. J. Le Moyne ; Uncle Tom, G. C. Germon. 

Little Cordelia, little no longer, years ago retired 
from the stage, and is happy in domestic life, but her 
father and mother, the original St. Clair and the 
original Topsy, after twenty-eight years' service, are. 
playing the parts yet, and are likely to for a generation 
to come. C. K. Fox and his brother, George L., who 
played the part of Phineas in New York (afterwards 
the great Humpty Dumpty), are both dead and lie 
buried in Mr. Howard's lot at Mount Auburn. Mrs. 
Howard herself was a Fox, and noted as a child actress, 
many years ago, but, of course, never so renowned as 
her gifted daughter. Little Cordelia was, undoubtedly, 
something wonderful in this line. It was not alone 
people easily impressed with theatrical representations 
that found themselves bathed in tears, while listening 
to her speeches! Men of genius, like William Cullen 
Bryant; men hla-se to the stage like Edwin Forrest, 
wept like children; and to this day, men say to Mr. 
Howard, that never before or since, have they seen 
such consummate acting as that of Little Cordelia. 
From Troy, the Howards came to Albany, and from 
thence went directly to New York, and July 18th, 
brought out the piece 'at Purdy's National, where it 
ran almost uninterruptedly till May 13th, 1854. 


"I was the first, I may say," said Mr. Howard to 
the writer, "to introduce one-play entertainments. 
That is, till the advent of ' Uncle Tom ' in New York, 
no evening at the theatre was thought complete, with- 
out an afterpiece, or a little ballet dancing. When I 
told the manager 'Uncle Tom' must constitute the 
entire performance, he flouted the- idea; said he would 
have to shut up in a week. But I carried my point, 
and we didn't shut up, either. People came to the 
theatre by hundrfeds, who were never inside its doors 
before ; we raised our prices, which no other theatre 
in New York could do, and we playe4 ' Uncle Tom ' 
over three hundred times during that engagement." 

But to return to Albany : Conner's theatre, as it was 
now called, opened for the fall season, September 5th, 
with Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams as the attraction, 
to large houses. They were followed September 10th, 
by Monsieur Bihin, the' Belgian giant, who appeared- 
as "The Giant of Palestine." W R. Goodall, Sir 
William Don, Estelle Potter, Melinda Jones, W. H. 
Scoville, Macallister the Wizard, John P. Addams and 
the Boone children played here, most of them with 
limited success. 

January 10th, 1854, Edward Eddy appeared for the 
first time in several years, and was well received. After 
his engagement the theatre was closed till April, when 
it was opened a few nights by a German opera com- 
pany. The Conner regime was not a pleasant one. 
The actors were seldom paid, and then only a dollar 
or so at a time. Some of them were so badly in debt 
for board that they had to sleep in the theatre, and eat 
where they could find any thing edible. The building 
itself was extremely damp, and Conner's fine wardrobe 
was nearly ruined by storage there. In reply to a letter 
asking some information on the subject for this work, 
Mr. Conner writes : 

I have no record of the Green street theatre, and only; ■ 
painful recollections of how my poor dear wife and myself 
labored against loss after loss, night after night ; but let 



the Past be passed over, for I have many friends in 
Albany whom I love. Ever yours, 


In May, Frank Chanfrau made a desperate eflort to 
retrieve the fortunes of this ill-fated establishment, and 
opened it on the 8th, with Harry Eytinge as stage man- 
ager, and Charlotte Mitchell, the "talented spirituelle 
comedienne," from Madame Lester's theatre, London, 
as the star. Miss Albertine also appeared in " The 
French Spy." The second week, Chanfrau himself 
played, and on the 19th, was the recipient of a compli- 
mentary benefit tendered him by the press of Albany. 
The call was signed by Croswell & Johnson of the 
Argus; F. W. Seward and John Ten Eyck, of the 
Evening Journal; S. H. Hammond, State Register; 
William Cassidy, Myron H. Eooker, Atlas; Carlton 
Edwards, David M. Barnes, Morning Express; Hugh 
J. Hastings, Knickerbocker ; B,: M. Griffin, New York 
Monthly ; J. C. Cuyler, H. L. Godfrey, Evening Tran- 
script. The bill included "The Poor Gentleman,'' " Nan, 
the Good-for-Nothing " and " Toodles." It was a great 
success, hundreds being turned away unable to get in. 
Encouraged by this, Maiiager Ciaanfrau brought out 
'' The Last Days of Pompeii," in fine style, and followed 
it with an engagement of the Ravel and Martinetti fami- 
lies, but it was of no use, and he soon gave up in despair. 

On the 29th of June, Canoll left the Museum and 
set np as manager in Green street. D. Myron was his 
stage manager, and H. Freeberthyser led the orchestra. 
The company included H. Bland, Mr. and Mrs. Thomp- 
son, Charley Kane, Mrs. Lovell and a number of 
others. " Moll Pitcher " was the opening play. The 
season lasted about ten days, when the Philadelphia 
Star company took possession, with F. N. Drew as 
acting manager. Mr. and Mrs. John Drew (her first 
appearance here in two years), Mr. and Mrs. Frank 
Drew, Mr. and Mrs. D. P. Bowers, L. R. Shewell and 
William Wheatley were in the company. They opened 
in "Plot and Passion," and played with success till 
July 22d. 


September 4th, C. T. Smith, who was also stage 
manager at the Museum, opened the theatre (which 
had been newly upholstered) for a night or two, but 
soon gave it up. In October a troupe of acting dogs 
and goats occupied it, and a little later a band of 
Ethiopians under A. J. Leavitt and D. Berthelon. 

The Museum having closed its doors forever on the 
28th of April, 1855, and there being no opposition, 
C. T. Smith determined to try his fortune once more 
in Green street, and opened May 3d, with. " The 
Daughter of the Regiment." His company inciude<i 
himself and wife for leading business, Charley Kane 
as comedian, Mrs. Skerrett and Mrs. Bradshaw. Mag- 
gie Mitchell was the first star, coming May 9th, and 
playing to crowded houses. At "her benefit on the 
15th, she was publicly presented with a pair of dia- 
mond ear-rings, David M. Barnes making the presenta- 
tion speech. Barnes was in partnership with Smith 
and in love with Maggie. He was a Southerner by 
birth, a printer by trade, and much attached to the 
drama. He came here from Utica, and assisted in two 
or three newspaper enterprises. Miss Mitchell having 
far too many admirers to accept the exclusive homage 
of any one man, declined the honor of becoming Mrs. 
•Barnes, and Rose Eytinge was the next object of his 
adoration. She made her first appearance in the stock 
company the following 10th of September, as Virginia 
to Keafie's Virgmius. She was just twenty years old. 
Three years previous she had made her first appearance 
on any stage, as an amateur, in Brooklyn, and then 
wen't west with a travelling company. This was her 
first permanent engagement, and she became a great 
favorite, her beauty and her talents conspiring to that 
end. After her marriage with Barnes, they removed 
to New York, and he went upon the New York Times, 
of which Henry J. Raymond was then editor. Rose 
Ey tinge's life has been eventful, and if fully written 
would no doubt be of thrilling interest. Not long 
after the birth of their daughter, Miss Courtney Barnes, 
Mr. and Mrs. Barnes separated, and the lady being 


divorced, married George H, Butler (nephew of Gen. 
Ben.) and went with him to Egypt. She is now divorced 
from him also, and playing with success in England. 
She is still a brilliant, beautiful woman, a fine conver- 
sationalist, well informed on all subjects, an.d an 
excellent actress. 

In the stock company at this time, supporting Miss 
Mitchell and other stars, was Francis C. Bangs, a 
young actor, who had been upon the stage only about 
three years, having made his dehut at Washington, in 
November, 1852, at the age of fifteen. In 1858 he 
appeared in New York, and with the exception of the 
war period (during which he was in the Confederate 
service) has been closely connected with the New York 
sifige ever since. "Mr. Bangs's fine acting as Antony, 
Sardanapalus, Corporal Anloine, and Daniel DrucBf is 
fresh in the minds of the theatre goers of the present 

May 21st, Marie Buret, a dashing and spirited actress, 
played "Jack Shepherd," " The French Spy," etc. It 
is said of her that she could never play Mrs. Holler 
without going almost into convulsions, and it was 
argued that there must have been some corresponding 
passages in her own life. Her name was at one time 
coupled by report with Gustavus Brooke, the tragediarr, 
but they were never married. She went to Australia 
the year following, but subsequently returned to Eng- 
land. She was a very daring Jack Shepherd, climbing 
about the stage with all the freedom of one of the male 
sex. At last accounts she was reported to be in des- 
titute circumstances, in San Francisco. 

June 4th, E. L. Davenport appeared for the first time 
here since his return from Europe, accompanied by his 
wife, Miss Fanny Vining. Their engagement was a 
great success, and was repeated. 

June 17th, Maggie Mitchell and James W. Lingard, 

afterward maniiger of the New Bowery, played for the 

"benefit of Mrs. George Skerrett, whose husband had 

died here recently. (Lingard drowned himself in 

July, 1870.) The Benin sisters played an engagement 

plAyeks of a century. 293 

and tben Maggie Mitcliell came again. For her benefit, 
June 22d, her sister, Mary Ann, played Celia to Mag- 
gie's Sosalind, and Emma, another sister, appeared as a 
dancer. Mary Mitchell (now Mrs. J. W. Albaugh) was 
born in New York, November 12th, 1834, and had just 
made her first appearance in Newark, New Jersey, . as 
Topsy. Her next appearance was the one above referred 
to. She now joined the stock company here and 
played for several weeks. She soon rose to the position 
of leading lady, which she held in New York, Boston, 
Philadelphia and St. Louis. In 1863, she went starring, 
and in 1866, married Mr. J.W. Albaugh, and they went 
starring together. Of late she aflts but seldom, her time 
being occupied with domestic duties, which, as wife 
and mother, are dearer to her than the triumphs of a 
life in public, but her appearance on the stage is ever 

Emma Mitchell made her first appearance as a dan- 
seuse in April, 1853, and five years later played Justin, 
in "The Wandering Boys," at Providence, also for 
Maggie's benefit. She played one season in Mobile, 
and then retired. 

The season closed July 23d, and from August 6th 
to 13th, the Buckleys produced their burlesque operas. 
Of all the burnt-cork performances which the country 
has ever seen, none have been more artistic than those 
of the Buckleys in their early days, before death 
invaded their little band. The music of the operas was 
given with good effect, a prima donna of merit being 
■always engaged to sing the principal arias. 

The fall season opened August 13th, with E. L. 
Davenport and wife, in "The Scalp Hunters," which 
had a famous run. During their engagement we notice 
(September 1st) the first Saturday matinee which was 
given especially for the benefit of the juvenile portion 
of the community. It was an innovation not much 
countenanced at first, but has since become exceedingly 
popular. Most theatres now give one matinee in the 
week, but Albany of late years will not be content 
with less than two, somewhat to the disgust, we fear. 


of the actors, however well the public may enjoy the 
extra performances. The regular Saturday matinee 
did not become established here till Mr. Trimbles 
management of the Academy, and then the appearance 
of the star was a rarity, the stock usually playing 
unaided, for the extra performance. The Wednesday 
matinee, as we shall see, was established by Lucien 

After a week of the Williamses, Neafie played an 
engagement, opening September 10th, as Virginius, 
when Miss Eytinge made her first appearance, as just 
stated. This was the era of baby shows. P. T. Bar- 
num and Col. Wood were running one in Yan Vechten 
hall, and at the theatre, a dramatic troupe of sixteen, 
all of tender age, were playing "Beauty and the 
Beast," "The Loan of a Lover," etc. During the fall 
and winter, Mr. and Miss Eicbings, Eliza Logan, Miss 
Grancie, W. E. Goodall, Julia Dean Hayne, Wiseman 
Marshall, and Edward Eddy and wife appeared ; Eddy 
in " Jack Cade," " The Corsican Brothers," and a grand 
production of " Monte Christo." The Howards came in 
their everlasting " Uncle Tom," Bangs playing Legree, 
and Miss Eytinge, Eliza. Maggie Mitchell played Dot, 
in "The Cricket on the Hearth," and February 14th 
and 15th, 1856, a complimentary benefit to the Eich- 
ings was given, two nights. 

March 3d, first appearance of Charlotte Crampton, 
who played for the benefits, on one occasion appearing 
in the principal role in " The Corsican Brothers." 
Charlotte Crampton might have been one of the most 
famous actresses of the day, were it not for unfor- 
tunate habits. She was born in 1816, and made her 
debut at the age of fifteen, in Cincinnati. She ■was, at 
that time, a petite and lovely brunette, with a voice 
wonderfully strong for so slight a girl, and with all 
the requisites for what is now called an emotional 
actress. But she chose the more robust types, and 
particularly enjoyed playing Hamlet, Shylock and Rich- 
ard. She was acknowledged to be more than ordi- 
narily good in male parts, and in the west, was called 

PLAYERS OF A Offi*fTtrBY. 295 

the Little Siddotts. Oelia Logan iSays she hftHj hfttur- 
ally, more talent than Charlotte ClJ;$hinan, (?) blli litllike 
the greater actress, this other Otllil-iotte, htJl'tifefi/ded 
and warm-hearted, threw away both her mOllej^ and 
her affections, disappointed the mftnagers, dlBgraced 
the profession, and ruined herself. One bltlel'.cold 
night, in Boston, after playing Mazeppa to a crqi^ded 
house, she jumped on her horse in stage costundti feiid 
rode home through the streets, followed by the rtibble. 
After her star had set, and she could get no ittgage- 
ments, she fell into poverty, but was befriended by a 
Boston lady, who discovered that the actress was 
also a fine French and Latin scholar, and obtained, 
pupils for her. Now, for a period, she tried to reform, 
signed the pledge, and joined the Baptist church. Her 
temperance lectures in Hanover street are still remem- 
berai as being productive of great good. But her 
reformation was only transient, and before the war 
broke out, she was leading ber old life again. Her 
son joining the army, she, although now more than 
a middle-aged woman, became a vivandiere and fol- 
lowed her boy's regiment through the campaign. 
Among her last appearances in Albany, that we 
remember, was playing Meg Merrilies, in Booth's com- 
pany, at Martin hall, in January, 1873, when Booth, 
himself, found it inconvenient to fill his engagement. 
She was then very decrepit, and could hardly climb the 
stairs. She died in Louisville, October 5th, 1875. 
Her name at one time was Mrs. Wilkinson, and she 
was a sister of Charley Smith's first wife. 

The season closed March 30th, and another opened 
April 15tL On the 21st, Agnes Eobertson, " The 
Fairy Star," appeared in " Andy Blake," written for 
her by Dion Boucicault, her husband, who accompa- 
nied her, but did not act. They had been married 
three years. Mrs. Boucicault has since been the 
original of the leading female characters, in many of 
her husband's plays and adaptations. She is a native 
of Edinburgh, was born in 1833, and made her ddmt 
at the Princess's theatre, London, 1851, and first appeared 


in America, at Montreal, in September of the same 
year. ^ Of late, she has resided in England, her husband 
allowing her a separate maintenance. Mr. Boucicault 
is one of the verj few prominent actors in America 
who have never appeared on the Albany stage; 

On the 1st of May, Smith joined Eddy in leasing 
the Adelphi theatre in Troy, and various minor attrac- 
tions were produced at both places till June 7th, when 
the Green street theatre passed under the management 
of C. H. Losee, former bartender of the Museum ; F. 
Chippendale stage manager. The address written by 
Solomon Southwick and spoken at the opening of the 
theatre in 1812, [see page 42,]^ was repeated June 9th, 
when Maggie Mitchell appeared as the fii'st star under 
the new management, in "The Little Treasure." She 
was followed by S. W. Glenn, a Dutch comedian (the 
first of the Dutch Richards), Pyne & Harrison's opera 
troupe, in " Sonnambula," and " ^'he Bohemian Girl," 
and they by the Buckleys, the season closing July 16th. 

The 1st of September, found William Hender- 
son associated with Losee in the management of the 
Green street theatre, and his wife, Mrs: Ettie Hender- 
son, in the company, which also included Mr. McWil- 
liams as leading man, and a Mr. Burke (not Charley), 
as comedian. The stars who played here at this time 
were Annette Ince, a pupil of Peter Eichards; the 
Howards in " Uncle Tom " ; H. Gardiner Coyne, a 
comedian whose real name was Gardiner, and cousin 
to John Drew ; Emma Stanley, in an entertainment 
entitled "The Seven Ages of Woman"; James H. 
Taylor, a good tragedian, still on the stage; John 
Drew, in Irish characters; A. H. ("Dolly") Daven- 
port and his wife, Lizzie Weston (from whom he was 
afterwards divorced, and who became Mrs. Charles 
Mathews) ; the Richings, arid others of lesser note. 

The season was remarkable for the production of 
what are known as " sensation dramas," many of which 
were arranged by G. L. Aiken, who had made such a 
hit with " Uncle Tom." He theri tried his hand at 
"Dred, a Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp," and even 


prepared the "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," for the 
stage. He next took hold of the Ledger stories, which 
just then were in almost every family. "The Gun- 
maker of Moscow," ran here for twelve nights ; " The 
Mystic Bride," for a week, and "Orion, the Gold 
Beater," for two weeks. 

February 2d, 1857, Lola Montez, just returned from 
California, began a week's engagement, appearing in 
"The Eton Boy," "Follies of a Night," and "Lola in 
Bavaria." She was never long without an adventure, 
and at this time, came near being drowned, by making 
a perilous crossing of the Hudson in a skiff, amid the 
floating ice. She got over finally in safety, but part 
of her wardrobe was carried down stream. By going 
to Troy, she could have avoided all danger, but her 
love of notoriety led her to offer $100 to be_ carried 
across here. 

In March, Mrs. McMahon, a well-known New York 
lawyer's stage-struck wife, made a sort of " Count 
Joannes ' exhibition of herself for several nights. 
She was followed by W. R. Derr and two horses, and 
the season closed April 4th. 

Another season began May 4th, with Avonia and 
Mrs. Melinda Jones, as the stars. Haviland, Heartwell, 
Hutchinson, Kane, Ryan, Mrs. Archbold and Mrs. 
S. Barnett were in the company. Mrs. Jones played 
Borneo to her daughter's Juliet. Avonia, whose father 
was the alleged "Count," was born in New York, July 
12th, 1839, and died there October 5th, 1867. During 
a visit to England in 1861-2, she married Gustavus 
Brooke, the tragedian. Stone says the mother, Mrs. 
Jones, was known in the west as the "Man Flogger," 
"from having cowhided more actors and editors than any 
other representative of the weaker sex. George Jones, 
born in 1810, was at one time an actor of considerable 
ability, and was for three years attached to the Bowery 
theatre. He claimed to be the original Claude Melnoite 
in America, first playing the part in Boston. Of late 
years he became famous, or rather ridiculous, by his 
assumption of the title " George, the Count Joannes. " 


He was admitted to the bar, and practiced law, but in 
the court was laughed at almost as much as when he 
returned to the stage to play tragedy. It was consid- 
ered great fun to hoot at him on these occasions, and 
audiences and reporters exhausted themselves in efforts 
to make the performances absurd. He died December 
30th, 1879. His sanity had long been questioned. 

Eddy came in May, and was supported by Mr. and 
Mrs. 0. T. Smith. He was succeeded by John Broug- 
ham, who was associated with Miss A. -Clifton. They 
played two weeks, and were followed by the Florences, 
and they by Harry Lorraine in "Belphegor" and 
other tragedies. Manette Minnie Montez, billed as the 
sister of Lola, made her first appearance on any stage 
in " Plot and Passion," June 25th. She was really the 
sister of Lola's treasurer, and her right name was 
Foland. The Losee-Henderson management closed in 
June with the stock in "Aladdin." Mr. Henderson 
has of late been manager of the Standard theatre in 
New York, and was last in Albany with a "Pinafore" 
company. His wife, Mrs. Ettie Henderson, was the 
first to play " Fanchon " in Great Britain. She is the 
daughter of Henry Lewis, and was educated at the 
Convent of Notre Dame, in Cincinnati. In that city 
she made her first appearance. She is still upon the 
stage, and played at the Leland, the present season 
(1879-80) in " Almosc a Life," dramatised by herself.' 

The Keller troupe occupied the place for one or two 
weeks, with tableaux, etc., and August 31st, C. T. Smith 
resumed management withT. Finn, stage manager, and 
C. L. Underner, as leader of the orchestra. Maggie 
Mitchell was the first star, playing Paul in " The Pet 
of the Petticoats," Naramatah in "The Wept of th« 
Wish-ton- Wish," "The French Spy," etc. Lorraine, 
Miss Kimberly, R Johnson, Avonia Jones and her 
mother, Coyne, Irish and Leffler, Yankee comedians, 
the Wallers, and other stars, shone more or less 
brightly. On the 5th of October, William E. Burton 
began a short engagement, playing " The Serious 
Family," " Toodles," etc. He also played the same 


evenings in Troy, being conveyed from one city to the 
other by fleet horses. This, so far as we know, was 
the first appearance in Albany of the greatest low 
comedian of the age. William Evans Burton was 
born in London, in 1804, and was intended by his 
father — a man of learning and piety and author of 
" Biblical Eesearches "■ — for the church. He received 
a classical education, and at the age of eighteen assumed 
direction of his father's printing office, and published a 
monthly magazine. Thrown into the society of actors, 
and himself a popular amateur, the step to the stage 
was easily taken. At the age of nineteen he married; 
and two years later his father died. Young Burton 
continued the printing business for his mother's sake, 
till 1830, when he abandoned it for the stage. He at 
first played all sorts of characters, but soon adopted 
the line which was his peculiar forte. His American 
debut was made at the Arch street theatre, Philadelphia, 
September 3d, 1834, as Dr. Ollapod, and Wormwood. 
His first New York appearance was February 4th, 1839. 
He managed theatres in Philadelphia and Baltimore, 
and in 1848 opened Pal mo's opera house, in Chamber 
street, as Burton's theatre. His first great hit was the 
production of Brougham's version of "Dombey & 
Son," in which the manager played Captain Outtle. 
Other successes followed, and his Tnodles, Aminadah 
•Sleeky Micawher.1 . Poor Pillicoddy, Paul Pry, Tony Lump- 
Tdn, etc., became standards of excellence which compet- 
itors aimed at in vain. In 1856 he leased the Metro- 
politan theatre in Broadway, and managed it under the 
name of Burton's new theatre till 1859, when he went 
starring. Soon after, his health failed, and in Feb- 
ruary, 1860_, he died, in New York, of heart disease. 
As Hutton says. Burton was probably the funniest 
man that ever lived ; he was the best known man in 
New York, if not in America, while his Chamber street 
theatre was better known throughout the Union, than 
any other building in the United States. Many a man 
went to that theatre who never went to any other, and 
there Burton amassed a fortune, estimated by some at 


a miliioH. His Broadway theatre was not so successful ; 
people began, after a while, to suspect that Burton's 
fun was a trifle coarse, as no doubt it was; but the 
humor was always genuine, and in pathos he was not 
lacking. His facial expression, "mugging," as the 
profession call it, was simply unapproachable. He 
created such parts as Aminadab Sleekund Toodles, and all 
who play them to-day play as near like Burton as they 
know how. He was literary, both in taste and habit, 
and contributed frequently to the magazines. He col- 
lected one of the most extensive dramatic libraries in 
this country, and published a " Cyclopaedia of Wit and 

November 10th, Mons. Carlincourt, a magician, 
advertised to shoot a boy from a cannon, but it was not 
really done. The boy was taken out of the breech of 
an imitation cannon, and carried to the flies, from 
which, after the gun had been pointed upwards and 
fired, he came sliding down the wire in a cloud of 

• November 24th and 25th, Charlotte Cushman played 
L idy Macbeth and Meg Merrilies. Then came a diorama, 
and December 7th, the Howards in " Uncle Tom," 
"Dred," "Ida May," and "The Lamplighter." 

December 21st, Marsh's Juvenile comedians played 
quite a long engagement, producing for the holidays, 
"The Naiad Queen." The Marsh troupe proved a 
school from which a number of well-known profes- 
sionals graduated. Louis Aldrich was one, his wife 
Jennie Arnot, was another ; the Webb sisters, and Ada 
and Minnie Monk, also belonged to this troupe. It 
was organized June 1st, 1855, and after travelling 
from Maine to California, and thence to Australia, dis- 
banded November 12th, 1863, in San Francisco. 

January 4th; 1858, Mr. and Mrs. Waller were here, 
and January 19th, Matilda Heron was announced to 
appear as Gamille. Although not the original Camille 
in this country. Miss Heron, for many years, claimed 
the part as her own, and bitterly assailed those who 
attempted to rival her. She w£is born in Ireland, 


JPecember 1st, 1830, came to .this.cq|iatry when very 
young, and was the dramatic pupil of Peter Richings, 
making her debut February I7th, 1851, at the Walnut 
strieet theatre, Philadelphia, jas Bianca. Two years 
after, she went to Calif ornid,, ^nd in 1834, refui^ned to 
the Bast as a star. , It was the winter of 1856-7 that 
she first appeared in her own version of " Gamille, ' at 
Wallack's theatre, with Sothern as Armand, scoring a 
great success. Thereafter, she made il; her leading 
role, and is said to, have received, in playing it, not less 
than $100,000. There was a tirne whep this actress 
and this play were the rage. She was brilliant and 
accomplished, and numbered her . admirers by the 
hu,ndred. December 24th, 1857, she 'married the 
leader of the orchestra at Wallack's, Robert Stoepel, 
and in 1861, appeared at the Lyceum theatre in Lon- 
don. . On her return, she played "Medea," as adapted 
by herself from the Greek of Euripides. She died 
in New York, March 7th, 1877. Her last days wer^ 
dark, and her actions in public were such as to indicate 
insanity, as the most charitable explanation. She gave 
up acting, at least, only appearing at intervals, and 
gave dramatic lessons, Agnes Ethel being one of her 
pupils. Her last appearance was in April, 1876, for 
the benefit of her charming daughter. Bijou Heron. 
We have said Miss Heron was announced to appear. 
She played two acts, but in the third, owing to some 
remissness on the part of t^he Armand, refused to proceed 
Mr. Smitli, the manager, then came forward and offered 
to play .Armand himself, if t,he audience would give him 
time to black his boots. The audience were willing, 
but the star was not, and utterly refused to go on. 
Albany had to wait several years before it saw the 
remainder of Matilda Heron's master-piece. 

" The Poor of New York," afterwards known as 
"The Streets of New York," was produced in Jan- 
uary, and while playing this, the establishment closed. 
W. M. Fleming opened the theatre April 12th, with 
Sallie St. Olair in " The Bride of an Evening," another 
Ledger story. Miss St. Clair became the wife of C. M. 


Barras, author of " The Black Crook." She died in 
Buffalo, April 9th, 1867. 

Flemings career was decidedly cloUdy. Abolit 
this time the Wallers played a night or two, Mrs. 
"Waller appearing as lago. The walls of the building 
were considered dangerous, and some people were actu- 
ally afraid to go there. (Meantime Lea vitt's '" negro 
opera house" did a good business, but not long aftfer 
so degenerated as to be made a subject for the attention 
of the police.) May 10th, the Star sisters in " The 
Three Fast Men," were the attraction. These were 
the girls well known afterwards as Helen and Lucille 
Western. They were the daughters of a cigar maker 
who died in Binghamton in 1858 of consumption, and 
were now fiftieen and sixteen years old. Their mother 
married William B. English, who conducted their 
starring tours. " The Three Fast Men " was a sensa- 
tional drama of the extreme class, and had a pro- 
tracted run wherever produced. In 1861, Helen 
married a Baltimore lawyer, from whom she was 
divorced, and in August, 1865, married James Heme, 
at one time in the stock company of the little Gayety. 
She made a specialty of "The French Spy" and 
similar pieces, and at last died in Washington, De- 
cember 11th, 1868. Lucille, in after years, became 
the well-known exponent of emotional dramas, like 
" East Lyhne " and " The Child Stealer." During the 
war she travelled with the Davenport-Wallack com- 
bination, playing Nancy Sykes in "Oliver Twist," to 
Davenport's WJ, and J. W. Wallack's Fagin. She 
died in Brooklyn, January 11th, 1877, while playing 
a star engagement in the Park theatre. She was the 
wife of James H. Meade. Her first great hit was in 
the dual role in "East Lynne," as dramatised by 
Clifton W. Tayleure, a part which she at first refused 
even to rehearse. It is estimated that it afterwards, 
brought her over a quarter of a million dollars, all of 
which was frittered away by others. Her life was one 
of incessant toil, without fruition. TTa.d hpr errant 


powers been properly directed, far different would have 
■been her record. 

, From June 16th to August 7th, 0. H. Losee ran the 
theatre, with J. B. Howe and Lizzie Emmons in tragedy, 
the Star sisters, and the Keller tableaux. In Octoberj 
Tyrrell and Allen brought out " Cherry and Fair Star," 
"The Flying Dutchman," etc. Then J. Harrison had 
the place, and in November it was open with sparring 

September, 7th, 1859, after the little Gayety had 
opened, C. T. Smith began opposition to it with the 
old theatre, bringing out Burton and Mrs. Hugh,es,in 
"The Serious Family," "Dombey & Son," "The Orig- 
inal Jacobs," etc. This was the last appearance on the 
Albany stage of Mrs. Esther Hughes, who forty-six 
years before assisted as leading lady at the opening of 
this very Grreen street theatre, then being known as 
Mrs. Young.: ■ She retired the next year; and died in 
1867. From this starring tour Burton returned to 
New York in poor health, and also died early the 
following year. , , 

September 27th, Mary McVicker, ageid nine, appeared 
as Little Piccolomini, LiUle Pickle, etc. This lady is 
now the second wife of Edwin Booth, whom she mar- 
ried June 7th, 1869. Her real name was Mary Eunnion. 

.October 8th, 0. T. Smith left the old theatre abruptly, 
and appeared at the Gaypty, Sidney Smith talking his 
place as manager. Sidney was the brother of Capt. 
John B. Smith, of Albany, and. was afterwards stage 
manager at the Academy of Music. Naturally he was 
an excellent comedian, but was too modest to push 
himself forward, and thus failed of making the success 
which many men of less talent often attain to. Smith 
was at first employed as carpenter at the Museum, and 
did many little parts till he made a hit as Marks, the 
lawyer, in "Uncle Tom." His best characters were 
Boh Brierly and Danny Mann. At one time he played 
one of the Two Dromios, in New York, Billy Flor- 
ence playing the other. From here Smith went to 
Cincinnati and, in company with Dr. Collins, leased 


the National thieatre, and died tliere November 22d, 

On the J 0th of October, the building was sold at 
atiction, under foreclos-ure of a mortgage held by Dr. 
Eugene Andrews, to Thomas Farrell & Co., who bought 
it for $28, subject to incumbrances, which amounted to 
more than it was worth. In this way, however, Farrell 
& Co., who were owners of the Gayety, hoped to get 
control of the opposition theatre, but soon lost it 
through a defect in the title. In November, Blondin, 
the .rope walker, appeared here, and the following 
month it was complained of as a nuisance and declared 
such by the board of health. 

From this period the old Grreen street theatre sank 
out of sight, as a legitimate place of amusement. 
During 1861, and afterwards, it was run as a concert 
saloon by Captain John B. Smith and others. Adah 
Isaacs Menken appeared here for the first time 
in her life as Mazeppa (pi which, hereafter), and 
crowded the house nightly. Sbme excellent variety 
J,alent was engaged, and during the war, a thriving 
business was done. In November, 1861, the Cairter 
Zouave troupe, composed of seven girls, ranging in 
age from seven to eleven years, made their first appear- 
Eihce on any stage at this place, and afterwards, were 
very successful. Smith probably made more money 
here than any man who ever undertook to run it. 
We see no reason, however, for making its subsequent 
career a part of stage history, and turn back to the 
little Gayety. 




The Gayety Theatre in Green Street. 

ON the SOtli of March, 1859, the Grayety theatre, 
situated oa the east side of Green street, two or 
three doors south of Beaver, was opened to the public 
by A. J. Leavitt and D. Allen, lessees. Leavitt, the 
banjo player, had, for several months, run an " opera 
house," at No. 22 Beaver street, and aspired to some- 
thing higher. He was to be the manager, Allen stage 
conductor, and Herr Zeller was to conduct the orches- 
tra. Ernest Zeller was, for many years, a well-known 
musician of Albanv, and an excellent violinist. He 
kept the Belvedere house, on Beaver street, and died 
there May 15th,, 1879. The monied man in the con- 
cern was J. H. Putnam, a butcher, and cousin to 
Leavitt. He kept a market corner of Columbia street 
and Broadway. 

The building had been occupied by Mr. Van Gaas- 
beek as a carpet storR,:and by Mr. Blair as an upholster- 
ing establishment. It was now converted into asmallbut 
neat theatre,, by, Dr. J. Monroe, a dentist, whose versatile 
genius included the architecture of teeth, theatres, and 
finally, of wooden legs. Six hundred people could, 
with difficulty, be crowded into the place, but five 
hundred was considered a big house. 

The opening night, the new company was cast as 
follows : 


Sir Harcourt Oourtley Mr. Elmore 

Charles Oourtley Mr. Thompson 


Dazzle Mr. Allen 

Max Harkaway Mr. Salsbiiry 

Dolly Spanker MR. ALBAUGH 

Mark Meddle Mr, Kane 

Cool Mr. Stiles 

Martin Mr. Morton 

James Mr. Gardiner 

Lady Gay Spanker Miss Amy Frost 

Grace Harkaway Mrs. Salsburyl 

Pert Mrs. Allen 

"Sketches in India" was also produced, and an 
opening address by Mr. Pinckney, was delivered by Amy 
Frost. The play was well put on the stage and well 
acted; The Eichings, Caroline and her adopted father, 
were the first stars and produced, among other novel- 
ties, a version of Bulwer's " What "Will He Do With 
it?" and "Louise de LigneroUes," the latter play 
having quite a run on account of a similarity in" its 
plot to the Sickles tragedy, about which there was then 
much excitement. 

The Eichings were followed by Mr. and Mrs. Chan- 
fi-au for two weeks, and they by J. B. Eoberts, tragedian, 
and he by Julia Dean Hayne, as Camille, Adrienne, 
etc. Business, at first, was good, but soon dropped 
down below the paying point, and Putnam, after a few 
poor houses, became tired of making up the losses, 
and the company refused to play. For a day or two, 
matters looked dark for the new establishment; then 
Thomas Farrell was induced to take an interest in the 
enterprise, and Col. Jacob C. Cuyler, of the Express. 
was made treasurer, Allen being retained as stage 
manager. Mrs. Hayne pla.yed out her engagement, 
and May 23d, James E. Murdoch appeared, playing tc 
bad business ; . one night, to as low as $12. This was 
a great disappointment, as Murdoch, hitherto, had 
always drawn well. May 3Gth, the Eichings began 
a week, and June 4th, the season closed, all demands 
against the management having been promptly met. 

The second season opened September 3d, with John 
W. Albaugh as acting and stage manager, and Under- 


ner, leader of the orchestra. The stage had been 
deepened twelve feet. The company included Mrs. tl. 
C. Eynor, Mrs. W. L. Ayling, Louise Morse, Lizzie 
Kincade, George Kames, J. W. Albaugh, J. E. Spack- 
nian, J. T. Ward, Charley Kane, Charles Bishop, M. 
M. Loud and James T. Heme. The bill was "Love's 
Sacrifice," cast as follows : Margaret Elmore, Mrs. H. C. 
Rynor; Herminie, Mrs. W. L. Ayling; Manou, Miss 
Louise Morse; Matthew Elmore, George S. Kames; 
Paul LaFont, J. E. Spaokman ; St. Lo, J. W. Albaugh ; 
Eugene DeLorme, James T. Heme; Jean Ruse, Charles 
Kane; Friar Dominic, J. T. Ward. "Sketches in 
India " — Tom Tape, J. W. Albaugh ; Sir Matthew, J. 
E. Spackman ; Count Glorieux, Charley Kane ; Milton, 
J. T. Heme ; Dorrington, M. M. Loud ; Sally Scraggs, 
Mrs. Ayling; Lady Scraggs, Miss L. Morse; Poplin, 
Miss L. Kincade. 

The acting and stage manager, Mr. John W. Albaugh, 
was, with the exception of the call boy, the youngest 
man connected with the theatre, having been bom in 
Baltimore, September 30th, 1837. Although not 
descended from a dramatic family, he had an early 
penchant for the stage, and while quite young took 
part in amateur performances. His first regular appear- 
ance on the stage was at the Baltimore museum, under 
the management of Henry C. Jarrett, Joe Jefferson, 
stage manager, on the 1st of February, 1855, asBruiics, 
in "Brutus, or the Fall of Tarquin." A Baltimore 
paper of that week, in speaking of the Museum, said : 

Though young in years, and lacking experience, Mr. 
Albaugh acquitted himself in the most creditable man- 
ner, and it was universally acknowledged that his was 
the best " first appearance " that had been made here for 
some time. He has much talent, and will, no doubt, 
make- a good actor, if he should adopt the profession. 
Jefierson's comic song of " Villikins and his Dinah " 
continues in high favor, and is received nightly with 
shouts of laughter. 

In the month followiug, Mr. Albaugh appeared as 
Samlet, at a benefit complimentary to himself. His 


first regular engagement was as second walking gentle- 
man in the Holliday street theatre (of which he is now 
manager), under John T. Ford, for the season com- 
mencing August 20th, 1855, salary $8 per week; pretty 
good pay in those days. The next season, 1856-7, he 
was with. Charles T. Smith, at Troy, engaging as first 
walking gentleman, and going up through the regular 
succession to leading business. In 1858-9, he played 
juvenile business at Pittsburgh, and then came to the 
Gayety, under engagement as heavy man. His sur- 
prise and indignation at finding himself billed for 
Dolly Spanker (Hght comedy) in "London Assurance," 
the opening play, were somewhat mollified by noticing 
his name printed in larger letters than any of the 
others, and accepting the part, he made a hit to start 
with. From that day to this, Mr. Albaugh has steadily 
grown in the good graces of the people of Albany, till 
we doubt whether his popularity was ever equaled by 
that of any other actor or manager the city has ever 
had. One night, soon after the second season of the 
Gayety opened, the leading man who was to play 
Bloody, Nathan, in " Nick of the Woods," was found, 
towards evening, disgustingly drunk. Albaugh got 
him home and to bed about six o'clock, hoping that he 
would recover his senses sufficiently to appear in 
" Nick," which was the last play of the evening. Jusjt 
about the time for the curtain to go up, however. 
Bloody Nathan was heard of in Green street, drunker 
than ever. There was no help for it;' some one must 
be substituted ; the papers had already remarked on 
the disgraceful condition of the leading man, as he 
appeared in public the first night he played here, and 
the credit of the theatre was at stake. Albaugh, who 
was cast for a part in the first play, undertook the role 
of Naihan, and actually did all his studying at intervals 
when he was not on the stage during the first play of 
the evening. , Before the curtain rang up on "Nick 
of the Woods," an apology was made for the short 
study, and then the. play proceeded. Albaugh was 
greeted with applause, and, stimulated to do his best, 


acted as well as lie ever did in his life. The hit was 
tremendous, and at the close of the play, the audience 
arose in their seats and gave three rousing cheers for 
Albaugh. He was an honorary member of Eansom 
hose company No. 3, and his portrait, in a heavy gilt 
frame, hung in their rooms. A dramatic association 
was named after him, and both organizations were 
present at his benefit, March 9th, 1860, the firemen in 
full dress. These facts are mentioned to show that 
Mr. Albaugh's popularity is not of mushroom growth, 
but has existed, in Albany, for nearly twenty years. 

Mr. Albaugh next went to Montgomery, Alabama, 
just as the war broke out, and happened to witness the 
inauguration of Jefferson Davis. The next year he 
played in Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and the 
west, and for three years was leading man in Louis- 
ville. We then, in 1865, hear of him in New York, 
supporting Charles Kean in his engagement at the 
Broadway theatre, and playing there the rema,inder of 
the season. In 1866, he married Mary Mitchell, and 
went starring for a while. In 1868-9, he was manager 
of the Olympic theatre, as associated with Bidwell & 
Spaulding, in St. Louis. In 1870, he returned to 
Albany, and was stage manager for the Trimble opera 
house, under Lucien Barnes. From there Mr. Albaugh 
went to New Orleans as partner with Ben De Bar, in 
the management of the St. Charles .theatre. A season 
of mahaiging in Montreal, a little more starring, and 
then he became manager of what is- now the Leland 
opera house, Albany, opening it November 24:th, 1873, 
since which time he has been sole lessee: In 1878, he 
played a star engagement under Edgar & Fulton, in 
what is now Baly's theatre. New York, appearing as 
Louis XL, and winning almost universal praise from 
the New York critics. He is, at the present time; 
manager' of three theatres : The National, in Wash- 
ington, the Holliday street theatre, in Baltimore, and 
the Leland, in Albany. 

To return to our record : The first stars at the Gayety 
this season, were the Loiisdale sisters; Annie and 


Addie, in comedy. These were English girls, and 
very clever artistes. 

On the 21st of September, Adah Isaacs Menken, 
made her iirst appearance, in Albany, as the Widow 
Gheerly, in "The Soldier's Daughter," and subsequently 
played in "The French Spy," "A Day in Paris," 
"Satan In Paris," " Lola Montez," etc. During a 
re-engagement, she attempted the legitimate, playing 
Catharine to Albaugh's Petruchio. She affected the 
military at thi§ time, and had just been elected, captain 
of a company in Dayton, Ohio, where, as here, she 
created a decided sensation. She paid a visit to the 
armory of the Twenty-fifth regiment, and was hospita- 
bly received. At her farewell benefit, September 28th, 
she sang a song dedicated to that regiment, and played 
Oeorg& Barnwell. Two months later, she returned 
from a southern trip and played another engagement, 
extending from November 27th to December 10th, 
and including "Jack Shepherd " and "Lucretia Bor- 
gia." April 9th, 1861, she began her third engage- 
ment at the Grayety, and June 7th, at the old Green 
street theatre, for the first time in her life, essayed the 
part of Mazeppa, with which she was afterwards identi- 
fied. In spite of all ithat was said about, her, she 
behaved, during this time, like a perfect lady, and won 
all hearts by her affectionate manners. All the 
attaches of the theatre, men, women and . children, 
would do any thing to oblige her, and were loud and 
constant in her praise. , i 

The true history of this strange, brilliant, erring, and 
yet, in some respects, noble creature, has never been 
written, and no doubt it is best it never should be. 
The wagging tongues ever ready to assail a woman, 
and particularly ready if that woman is an actress., 
have done their work in Europe and America, and in 
many minds the name of The Menken is a synonyme 
of all that is depraved in the female sex; Those who 
knew her best, are best aware how unjust was this 
estimate. She was an exquisitely beautiful woman in 
form and feature. Born under the scorching sun of 


Louisiana (June 15th, 1835), she inherited a tempera- 
ment as fierce and uncontrolable as that which some- 
times animates the denizens of a still more tropical 
clime. Her real name was Adelaide McCord. Left 
fatherless at the age of seven, precociously developed, 
and like Shakspeafe's Juliet, a woman at fourteen, she 
was first heard of in public as a danseuse in New 
Orleans. The freshness of her beauty at this time can 
be only mentioned by those who knew hei* as simply 
indescribable. Before she was seventeen, she had 
experienced the. lot of an unhappy, cruelly-treated and 
at length abandoned wife. Her first husband is never 
mentioned in the list with those that followed. After 
a .year at the French opera house,' during >which she 
learned French and Spanish, she Visited Havana, 
where she created her first marked sensation, and was 
styled the "Queen of the Piazza." Eeturning to the 
United States, she, in company with another dancer 
whom she always called her sister, wandered out to 
one of the newly-created cities of Texas, to assist an 
amateur dramatic society, much in want of two or 
three actresses to aid in their representations, and 
whose officers had sent down for some to New Oi'leans. 
Whether it was a desire to practice speaking parts 
before appearing in the great cities, we do not know, 
but whatever was her object, Adah buried herself for 
a time in the wilds of the new state. The few months 
she spent there were as near happiness as any period 
she ever knew. But she was never at peace. The 
warring elements of her nature would not permit it. 
She was at an early age of literary habits ; translated 
Homer at the age of twelve ; soon after mastered 
French and Spanish, wrote a volume of poems, con- 
tributed to the New Orleans newspapers, established a 
paper at Liberty, Texas, and taught French and Latin 
in a young ladies' seminary. In 1856 she married, at 
Galveston, Alexander Isaacs Menken, a musician, and 
in 1858, made her debut at the New Orleans Varieties 
in "Fazio." From there she went to Cincinnati and 
Louisville, and also played in the Southern circuit. 


Then she retired and studied sculpture in T. D. Jones's 
studio at Columbus, Ohio. At the time she appeared 
here;, she was Mrs. John C. Heenan, having married 
theiprize fighter April, 3d, 1859. Qne man ipi Albany, 
it is remembered, was suddenly made , aware of the 
reality of Heenan's relations to her, for one night on 
making a rather slighting remark upon the fair actress, 
he was kaocked almost senseless by a blow from the 
champion's fist. The Albanian was-qiiite a bruiser, 
but when he was told that it was the " Benicia boy " 
who struck him, he at once allowed that in this case 
discretion was the better part of valor. I'rom the 
first. Menken hud the good will of Frauk Queen, of 
the New York Clipper, the "showman's bible," as it 
was called at this time, and hardly a number was 
printed for years, but what had a favorable notice of 
this actress. . She was divorced from Heenan in 1862, 
by an Indiana court. Eobert H. Newell (Orpheus G. 
Kerr) was her next husband, and in 1864 she sailed 
for England, appearing at Agtley's in her then famous 
role of Mazeppa. Once more she whs married, this 
time to James Barclay, in 1866, at her residence, 
"Bleak House," in New York. Subsequently she 
played in Paris, where she was called out nine times 
in one night, making about the only hit ever made in 
that city by an American actress. She played there 
100 nights, on the last night there being present at 
her performance Napoleon III., the King of Greece, 
the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince Imperial. She 
also appeared in Vienna, and frequently in London, 
ending her life at last in the French capital, August 
10th, 1868, aged thirty-three. The report that she 
died from a debauch is prebably untrue, as liquor she 
could not drink, the least quantity making her almost 
wild. She found her life intoxicating enough without 
the aid of wine. She had her faults, and grievous 
ones. Giving every thing herseW to the man she 
■ loved, she demanded the same in return, and that 
with a jealousy that was not only unreasonable but 
unbearalDle. Sometimes, when enraged at some slight. 


real or fancied, she would go into an cataleptic fit hor- 
rible to witness. In other things she was utterly, 
unselfish ; she cared for nothing she had so much but 
that she would freely give it away, and from all points 
in her career comes testimony of her generosity, 
amounting to extravagance. To the man she loved 
she was true as steel — till she loved another better. 
That there was something peculiarly fascinating about 
her is certain, from the class of men which, on the 
other side, she attracted around her. Charles Dickens,' 
Alexander Dumas, Theophile Grautier and Charles 
Swinburne were mentioned as among her more or less 
intimate associates. To the first she dedicated her 
little book of poems, and his graceful note, accepting 
the compliment, is published as its preface. It is a 
curious book, this ''Infelicia." The last verses in it 
are an epitome of almost its entire contents : 

" I can but own my life is vain, 

A desert void of peace ; 
I missed the goal I sought to gain, 
I missed the measure of the strain 
That lulls Fame's fever on the brain, 

And bids Earth's tumult cease." 

" Myself ! alas for theme so poor, 
A theme but rich in Fear ; 
I stand a wreck on Error's shore, 
A spectre not within the door, 
A houseless shadow evermore, 
An exile lingering here." 

She died in the Jewish faith, and is buried in Mount 
Parnasse cemetery, with " Thou Knowest," the only 
inscription on her tomb stone. 

As has been stated, Menken first played the part of 
Mazeppa at the Green street theatre. The following 
particulars were given to" the writer by Gapt John B. 
Smith, who ran the theatre at that time, and they first 
appeared in print in the Albany Mirror, of October 
25th, 1879 : 

" In 1860 and '61, 1 was manager of the Green street 
theatre, and running a lively opposition to the Gayety, 
on the same street, where Adah Isaacs Menketi had 


played several engagements, some of them to pretty 
poor business. I had tried to engage her for my place, 
but her upstart of an agent would not even answer my 
letter. Her last benefit, there was n't but $35 in the 
house, and she had me to thank for it. Lager beer 
was more of a novelty in those days than it is now, 
and that night a keg was on tap, free to every body, 
in all the principal saloons of the city. Beer pulled 
stronger than beauty, and that night the Gayety was 
empty. The next day I called on Miss Menken, at her 
hotel. She was naturally indignant, for she knew 
what I had done, but I tofd her I had nothing against 
her; on the contrarry I wanted her to play at my 
theatre, and had brought along with me Thomas 
Hastings and Peter Cagger as sureties. I told her I 
wanted her to play Mazeppa. She said she would 
think of it and let me know. Soon after, I received 
word from St Louis, that she was corning east and 
would do as requested. 

" Now I had been playing E. E. J. Miles in the part, 
and it had been a-success. So far as I know, no woman 
had ever attempted it. It struck me that if Menken, 
whose beauty was already the talk of the city, could 
be induced to personate the unhappy hero, it would 
be a great hit. I made preparations accordingly. Not 
long after, an announcement appeared in the New 
York sporting papers that William Derr, a famous 
trainer, was educating thirteen horses for the use of the 
beautiful and dashing actress, Adah Isaacs Menken, 
who was to appear for the first time as Mazeppa^ etc., 
etc. As Derr's training was all done privately, and as 
for a consideration he was induced not to contradict the 
report, no one knew to the contrary, and the story went 
the rounds. I had dpubts as to whether she could do 
the piece, and had made elaborate preparations, so that 
it would run without her, in case she failed. I had a 
tournament scene an hour long, with Harry Leslie as 
rope walker, Sam Long as clown, and other specialty 
performers of prominence. 

" A day or two before the first representation^ the 


' thirteen trained horses,' hired for the occasion from 
out of town, so that they should not be recognized, 
paraded the streets as ' The Menken stud.' The Men- 
ken herself arrived from the west on Saturday, in time 
for rehearsal. She knew nothing' about the play — 
business, lines, nor any thing else. But, of course, it 
would not do to let this appear, even to the company. 
Accordingly, after going through the first act, the star 
said to them, she was much fatigued from her long 
ride, and on talking with me had found we agreed 
precisely in regard to how the play should be done ; 
accordingly any suggestions that I might make would 
meet her approval, and with theseVords she dismissed 
the company. 

" The real rehearsal was noTv to begin. I found her 
very nervous and very anxious as to how she could 
get through the great scene. I attempted to encourage 
her in every way. I told her the horse was trained to 
the business ; that she had only to follow my instruc- 
tions and all would be well ; it could not be otherwise. 
Eull of trepidation, she dressed, or rather undressed, 
for the scene. The horse, 'Belle Beauty,' was a 
tlioroughbred, which had been used by Miles in this 
same act, and which, not long before, at his benefit, he 
had publicly ' presented to me as a token of his esteem.' 
We were to adopt Miles's business, and his ways in 
every particular. He rode the act with but a single 
strap, and Menken was to do the same. A band was 
first fastened securely around the body of the horse. 
To this was sewed a loop, and through this loop passed 
a bandage, which, going through a ring, was passed 
around the body of the rider, and held by him or her, 
in such a manner, that the closer he drew the ends 
together, the closer he was held to the horse, but by 
letting go he was freed at once. In later days, the 
rider has been strapped helplessly to the animal, and 
willy-willy, goes to the top of the theatre, if the horse 
goes there. The very straps, by the way, which Miss 
Menken used on this occasion, are on exhibition to-day 
in a saloon on Chicago street, in Buffalo. 


" n 

'Now,' said I, 'Miss Menken, I will show you 
how it is done,' and I being lifted into place on the 
horse's back, 'Belle Beauty' sprang forward from 
the foot-lights, as she had been trained to, up an 
eighteen-inch run, the narrowest ever used, and made 
the landings and ascent successfully. 

" ' I'd give every dollar I'm worth if I were sure I 
could do that,' said she. I assured her there was no 
danger ; that she had only to hold on like death, and 
the mare would do the rest. At length, tremi)ling 
with apprehension, she was placed on the animal's 
back, but begged, that instead of starting from the 
footlights, the horse be led up to the run. I humored 
her in this, and there 's where I made a mistake. The 
horse, thrown out of her usual routine, only went part 
way up and then, with a terrific crash, plunged off the 
planning down into the 'wreck,' as we call it, upon 
the staging and timbers. My heart was in my mouth, 
for not only was there the danger that the woman was 
killed, but that my $200 mare — excuse me, my 
present, ' Belle Beauty' — was ruined forever. First, ot 
course, we lifted out the Menken, pale as a ghost, 
almost lifeless, and the blood streaming from a wound 
in her beautiful shoulder. Then with the tackling we 
had about the theatre, we raised up Belle Beauty, and 
I began picking the slivers out of her. It was a bad 
business. Miss Menken was found to be not seriously 
injured, but the doctor said she could not appear on 
Monday evening. 'All the same, the play will be 
done,' said I. ' Every dollar I have in the world, and 
all I can borrow, is in it' Menken roused at this. 'I 
must go on with the rehearsal,' said she. This startled 
me. That she should have the grit to repeat the act, 
after such an accident, was astounding. I told her, 
no, she had better go to the hotel, rest over Sunday, 
as she must be extremely tired, and come down to the 
theatre Monday morning. By that time Belle Beauty 
would also have recovered her equanimity, and there 
would be less danger. ' If I do the act at all, it will 
be to-day, and now,' was her reply. Finding all dis- 


suasions in vain, Beauty was brought to tlie foot-lights, 
and Menken, pale as death, again drew the straps 
around her. The mare this time, true to her training, 
hounded up the runs, reached the second, third and 
fourth landings in safety, and so to the top. She is 
alive now, that mare, and dra~ws an old gentleman to 
the post-office in Poiighkeepsie and back to his home, 
four miles away, without ever letting on, in her old 
age, that in her time she has borne the loveliest burden 
ever laid on horse-flesh. 

" Monday night, June 7th, 1861, Menken made her 
first public appearance in the character, to a house 
crowded from pit to dome. The tournament scene 
was a great success. The combat scene was even 
greater. By a clever substitution of myself for the 
actor who was doing the part, I told her what to do 
and helped her through. The papers said, next day, 
that so wildly excited was the Menken, that, with 
strength almost superhuman, she broke two swords 
before the fight fairly began. So she did, and they were 
real swords, too ;. not for stage use, but out of one of the 
armories here. Perhaps they would not have broken 
so easily, if I had not had them filed a little, but the 
public didn't know that, nor she, either, for that 
matter. The riding act she did successfully, and after 
six weeks' fine business here ■ — pretty good for 
Albany — she played the part in Pittsburgh, Cincin- 
nati, St. Louis and then in New York, and then, as 
you know, in London and Paris, where, as I have been 
told, she dazzled some of the brightest men in Europe, 
She wrote to me repeatedly, and ofiered me half of 
every dollar she made, if I would go over on the other 
side with her, but I didn't care to leave home, and 
perhaps it is just as well." 

Celia Logan has the following reminiscence of this 
remarkable woman : " Our family was intimate with 
theirs, and one evening Olive and I were at a little 
child's party, at which, of course, there were many 
elderly people, and on this ocoasiou I first saw Isaac 
Menken and his wife. There had been trouble about 


Ms marrying Adat, the reason of which I was too 
young to understand, but the old folks had concluded 
to make the best of it, and this was the proud young 
husband's presentation of his bride to his family. 
Never shall I forget the hush which fell even upon the 
children, as the pair paused a moment at the door, as 
if to ask permission to enter. Adah Menken must at 
that time have been one of the most peerless beauties 
that ever dazzled human eyes, while Isaac himself was 
a remarkably handsome man, with a countenance as 
intelligent as the expression was noble. How little any 
of these, happy people present that night foresaw the 
gloomy fate that awaited that strange and gifted girl ! 
In after years, whoever threw a stone at Adah, it was 
never Isaac Menken, and, no matter what other ties she 
contracted, she always retained his name, only adding 
a final 's' to the Isaac, so much of the glamour of the 
first love hung over them both to the bitter end. 
Their happiness must soon have flitted, for before I 
reached womanhood myself, they had separated, and, 
to support herself, Mrs. Menken was editing a small 
newspaper in Cincinnati, for the first time giving evi- 
dence of that fine intellect and especially poetic talent, 
which helped afterward to make her distinguished 
mark, but not to keep her from sel£-ruin. Nature was 
lavish in her gifts to Adah. Every charm of mind; 
face and form was hers by birthright What led to her 
incomprehensible recklessness, is a mystery which she 
kept to herself — even at the last she told no pathetic 
story of early wrong at the hands of man. ' Only 
inscribe,' she said, 'on my tombstone, Thou knowest."' 
Another less appreciative writer says : "It was Men- 
ken's boast, when on the continent, a favorite with such 
men as Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, Theophile 
Grautier, and Charles Swinburne, 'that she began with 
a prize-fighter, but would end with a prince,' and she 
came within an inch of roping in one of the noble blood 
of the crOwn of France, but for parental interference. 
The Adah Isaacs Menken, who, all but entirely naked, 
rode strapped to the horse in Mazeppa, and the bril- 


liaiit,beautiful conversationalist,for whose bookDictens 
wrote the preface, and to whom the brain and pride of 
Europe paid court, were very much alike — both very 
fast and faithless. She found her destroyer in herself, 
and died from too much of herself. She said that 'her 
soul would go to heaven through the gates of Paris,' 
but as her soul would never have left its' gay sahn if 
she could prevent it, it is doubtful if her prophecy is 
fulfilled. The monument over her grave was put up, 
as George Butler once told us, by a set of half -famished 
Parisian Bohemians, and is probably unpaid for to this 
day. The vast meaning of its epitaph, ' Thou knowest ! ' 
probably is best understood by the stone-cutter." 

On tlie 29th of September, '1860, " The Last Days of 
Pompeii " was brought out. The idea of such a 
spectacle on the little 7x9 stage of the Gayety, seemed 
almost absurd, but it was gotten up in excellent style, 
and had a good run, during which, by the way, a very 
amusing episode occurred : It was in the amphitheatre 
scene in the third act, where a grand gladiatorial com- 
bat had been fought before the emperor with really fine 
effect. Lydon, who was personated by Albaiigh, had 
already slain one or two competitors, and their bodies, 
by command of the emperor, had been carried from 
the stage. Enter Niger, the last and most formidable 
contestant. He was personated by C. B. Bishop (after 
with the Chapman sisters), a man who weighed at leas"t 
240 pounds. He was an adept at fencing, and the 
cutting and slashing were terrific, till at last, according 
to the business of the play, Lydon, himself mortally 
wounded, dispatches Niger, who falls heavily to the 
stage. The emperor cries out to the guards : 

"Bear hence the body!" 

The guards, four light-waisted "supes," awkward in 
manner and slim in the legs, advance to the big, pros- 
trate form of Niger, and attempt to execute the man- 
date of their mighty monarch. They tug away, but 
cannot budge him an inch. After repeated efforts 
they call, aside, for assistance, while the fat sides of 


the unwieldy Bishop shake with inward emotion. It 
so happened that nearly the whole force of the estab- 
lishment was so disposed, that no one, save the call 
•boy or the man at the curtain, was left to respond. 
Mr. Albaugh (the wounded Lydon), being the stage 
manager, was for a moment undetermined whether to 
send for assistance, or order down the curtain, or go on 
with his death scene as he ought to. The audience 
began to see the situation and burst into a roar, in 
which the actors joined most heartily. But the fun 
reached its climax, when the over-fat gladiator, dead 
as he was, got tired of waiting for a rapid transit, and 
compromised the matter by raising himself up and 
creeping off behind the scenes on all fours. Talk about 
a screaming farce ! You might have heard that 
audience as far as Schoharie coiirt house. 

During the state fair, the stock company played. 
October 8th, G. T. Smith, manager of the Green street 
theatre, left that establishment, to play at the Gayety. 
Mad. Michel, a tragic actress, played two weeks. Dora 
Shaw and Dan Harkins followed, and then Ada and 
Emma Webb. 

On the 14th of November, there was no less an 
attraction than English opera, by the Escott and 
Miranda troupe, which incladed Anna Kemp and Mrs. 
Lucy Escott. "The Bohemian Girl," "Trovatore;" 
"Maritana," and other favorite operas were produced. 
Miss Kemp married Brookhouse Bowler, and was the 
original Stalacta, in " The Black Crook." 

After the Menken had been here again, a play 
entitled "Ossawatomie Brown," founded on recent 
events, and written expressly for this theatre, was 
brought out Deceniber 12th, and had quite a run. 

The "Webb sisters came again and were followed by 
a week without a star, and then Miss Kimberly, in 
"The Octoroon." This was one of Boucicault's most 
successful plays, and was sure of a long run, wherever 

In January, 1860, Yankee Locke and the stock com- 
pany occupied most of the time, Frank J. Lawlor 


appearing as Hamlet, on the 28tli, for the benefit of J. 
T. Whalen. Frank is another good actor, who claims 
Albany as his birth place, being born here in 1835. 
He made his debut, however, at the Troy museum, in 
1853,, under the assumed name of Horton. He has, 
since then, passed considerable time in California, one 
year keeping hotel. Eeturning east, he drifted upon 
the stage, and went starring with Emily Jordan. 
September 1st, 1864, he married Helen Josephine 
Mansfield, of San Francisco, the afterward notorious 
Josie Mansfield, whose associations with Jim Fisk 
were a world-wide scandal, and from whom Lawlor 
was divorced in 1867. In 1868, he went to England, 
and appeared with success at the Lyceum theatre. In 
1869, he opened the Division street theatre, Albany, 
and managed it with success, making considerable 
money. lEe then went to Chicago, where he was a 
sufferer by the great fire. He is still in active theatri- 
cal life. 

In February " Our American Cousin " was produced, 
Chanfrau, the star, as Asa Trenchard, the Yankee, 
which, as the title of the play indicates, was really the 
star part. Mr. Albaugh plg-yed the then inferior roh 
of Dundreary. " The Hidden Hand " and " Linda, the 
Cigar Grirl," were also produced. On the 14:th, Edward 
Eddy came and played to splendid business for two 
weeks. February 26th, "Faustus," gotten up in great 
splendor, was produced and ran for about two weeks. 
The Western sisters, with "The Three Fast Men" put 
in two weeks, and were followed by the Cooper opera 
company. This was considered doing pretty^ well for 
a small theatre — two opera companies in a single sea- 
son. The Grayety paid in these days. Miss Walters 
;appeared in April (in comedy), as did Neafie and 
Eddy, the Howards, Miss Kimberly and others, the 
season closing May 19th. 

About the 4th of July, Mr. Albaugh opened the 
place for a week, playing among other things, Uustache 
Baudm, a part in which he afterwards starred success- 


The next season, which opened September 15tli, 
Mr. Albaugh had retired from the company and J. B. 
Spademan was manager. Annie Waite was leading 
lady and J. A. Leonard, T. H. Knight and Mrs. Mair- 
low were in the company. On the 1 7th, the Nelson 
sisters. Carry and Sarah, appeared as stars; the How- 
ards followed in " Uncle Tom " of course, and also in 
"Oliver Twist," "Ten Nights in a Bar room," etc. 
Then came Charles Bass in Falstaff, and October 15th 
Sothern as Dundreary in "Our American Cousin," 
the first appeai'ance of this favorite comedian on the 
Albany stage. He also played The Kinchen in 
" Flowers of the Forest." 

Edward Askew Sothern, the famous Lord Dund/reary 
and practical joker, was born in Liverpool, April 1st, 
1830. Perhaps the date accounts for his innate pro- 
pensity for fun, and it is a coincidence that his first 
remembered appearance in New York was in a farce 
entitled " First'of April," played at Barnum's museum 
in the spring of 1853. He was then known as Doug- 
lass Stewart, under which cognomen he made his 
American debut in Boston, some time in September, 
the year previous, as Dr. Panghss. He had played as 
an amateur in England, and was stage manager at 
Weymouth, from whence he came to this country. 
He has said himself that the early part of his dm- 
matic life " was chiefly occupied in getting dismissed 
for incapacity." In 1857 he was the Armmid to 
Matilda Heron's Camille, as played by her at Wallack's 
for some forty times. In 1858 he secured an engage- 
ment in the stock company at Laura Keene's theatre, 
where October 15th of that year, Tom Taylor's comedy 
of " Our American Cousin " was produced for the first 
time on any stage. It was cast in part as follows: 
Asa Trenchard, Joseph Jefferson; Lord Dundreary, 
B. A. Sothern ; Sir Edward Trenchard, E. Varrey ; 
LAeut. Vernon, Miles Levick ; Gapt. De Boots, M. Clin- 
ton ; Goyle, J. Gr. Burnett ; Ahel Murcott, C. W. Coul- 
dock ; Benney, Mr. Peters ; Florence Trenchard, Laura 
Keene; Mrs. Monichessington, Mary Wells; Augusta, 


Bffie Germon ; Georgiana, Mrs. Sothern ; Mary Mere- 
dith, Sara Stephens. 

Mr. Fred A. DuBois, treasurer of the Leland opera 
house, was stage manager for Miss Keene, and cast the 
play as above stated. Mr. Sothern received his part, 
which was originally by no means prominent, and after 
glancing it over declined to play it, saying he would 
not caricature his countrymen. The matter was referred 
to Miss Keene, who insisted that he must accept it, as 
he was engaged to play that line of characters, and 
told him plainly that a further refusal to play it would 
be ground for breaking his contract and his immediate 
discharge from the company. Knowing very well 
that it would be difficult at that season of the year to 
secure another engagement, he finally, with much 
reluctance, consented, vowing, however, that he would 
burlesque the part and kill it if possible. .He did bur- 
lesque the part and made the hit of his life. From a 
few lines it grew into the leading personation, and from 
a good play " Our American Cousin " has been changed 
into simply a framework around the eccentricities of 

Sothern played a second engagement here this season, 
appearing as Barabas in "The Sea of Ice." People 
have almost forgotten that he ever played such parts, 
but his Kinchen is said to have been a notable perform- 
ance. There is occasionally talk of his reviving it 
even now. 

October 29th, Charlotte Thompson, daughter of 
Lysander, made her first appearance as (7aTOi7fe, following 
with Rose Fielding, the LitCle Treasure, Parthenia, etc. 
Miss Thompson was born in Yorkshire, England, June 
7th, 1843, and made her first appearance on any stage 
at Wallack's theatre, in 1857, in child characters. She 
is now reported wealthy, owning an extensive planta- 
tion in Alabama and a country seat in Eockland county, 
New York. Of late she has made a specialty of Jane 
Eyre, and is unquestionably a fine actress. 

In November, George Holland, Edward Eddy, Miss 
Kimberly, Kate Denin and her husband (Sam Eyan), 


were the attractions, and a little later Eddy appeared 
in a drama entitled " Miantinimo," written by himself. 

December 17th, Fanny Herring began an engage- 
ment and also appeared in March following. She was 
long an Old Bowery favorite. 

January 21st, 1861, Isabella Freeman and lone 
Burke appeared. Belle was a Boston girl ; Miss Burke 
was a leading favorite at Wallack's, and finally mar- 
ried an ex-officer of the British army. 

During Miss Kimberly's next engagement, which 
began January 28th, stie appeared in "Eily O'Gonor," 
which was really " The Colleen Bawn." 

On the 18th of February, amid the roar of artil- 
lery from Observatory hill. President-elect Lincoln 
arrived in Albany from the west, via the Central rail- 
road, en route for his inauguration at Washington. On 
reaching the Broadway crossing, the train was stopped 
and the President was received by the common council 
headed by Mayor Thacher. The Twenty-fifth regi- 
ment was under arms, and crowds of citizens thronge'd 
the streets. The presence of the chief magistrate of 
the nation in Albany, is always an event worthy of 
note, but at this time, just on the brink of the civil 
war into which the country was to be pkinged ; when 
the blood was at fever heat, and faces were pale with 
anticipation of what was about to come ; when all e^s 
were directed towards the tall, gaun-t figure, who was 
to stand at the helm of the ship of state, in this her 
hour of deadly peril, the arrival of Mr. Lincoln cre- 
ated the utmost excitement. He was welcomed to the 
city by the mayor, in a formal address, which was 
responded to by the president. He visited the legisla- 
ture and was the guest of Governor Morgan. In the 
evening;Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln received the citizens at 
the Delavan. It was the first time that thousands in 
this vicinity ever saw the countenance which has since 
become so familiar. That very night, the first and 
perhaps the only night ever passed by Abraham 
Lincoln in the city of Albany, an actor, almost 
unknown, except by name, was playing his first 


engagement at the little Grayety theatre, in Green 

Four years later, and the face of Lincoln was once 
more seen in Albany, but now cold and pale in death, 

"At 6 A. M., April 26th, 1865, the remains of the mar- 
tyred president lay in state at the capitol, and were 
gazed upon by a constantly moving procession, till 
1:80 P. M., when the coffin waSvclosed, leaving thou- 
sands who had come many miles for the purpose, 
without a sight. That very night, the actor of four 
years previous, now thehunted assassin of the president, 
was shot like a dog, by the light of a burning barn, 
in which he had taken refuge, near Bowliog Grreen, 
Virginia. How strange the fate that thus threw these 
two men so near together in Albany, in 1861. How 
little did either then dream of the tragedy that was to 
link their names together in all coming time. 

Booth, at this time (1861), was only twenty-three 
years old, and as handsome a man as ever graced the 

. stage. His first appearance in Albany (February 11th) 
was as Borneo, to Annie Waite's Juliel, and for this 
romantic role, he seemed perfectly fitted. The fame 
of his dead father, prepared the way for his reception, 
and the good reports of his brother Edwin, raised 
anticipation in relation to this younger aspirant, who 
was said to be equally, if not still more highly gifted. 
His success was immediate. On the second night, he 
appeared as Pescara, in "The Apostate," its first repre- 
sentation here since his father played it. In this role 
he so much resembled the elder Booth, whom he 
never saw play, that certain spiritaalists in Albany 
could only account for the similarity by the theory 
that the spirit of his father must have been hovering 
around to inspire him with his energy, conception and 
soul. While playing the last act, in falling, the actor's 
dagger fell first and he struck upon it, the point enter- 
ing the right arm-pit, inflicting a muscular wound,; 
one or two inches in depth, from which the blood 
flowed freely. Had it gone a little deeper, how the 
whole course of future political events in this country 


might liave been changed. As it was, Booth was laid 
up for a night or two only, and reappeared in the same 
roh Monday, February 18th (the night of the presiden- 
tial visit), with his right arm tied to his side, but 
fencing with his left, like a demon. Tuesday he played 
Julian St. Pierre; Wednesday, Othello; Thursday, I'he 
Stranger ; Friday, for his benefit, Richard III, and 
Satiirday, Charles de Moor. At a subsequent engage- 
ment beginning March 4th (the day of the inauguration), 
he played, beside a repetition of several of his former 
roles, Hamlet, Claude Melnotte, Macbeth, Shyloch, Raphael, 
in " The Marble Heart," and the dual role in " The 
Corsican Brothers." 

Booth, from the first, was a violent secessionist. 
On the morning of his first arrival he expressed his 
sentiments in public at Stanwix Hall, with the greatest 
freedom ; so much so, that word was sent to the 
management of the theatre that the new star had better 
receive a word of caution. Treasurer Cuyler, accord- 
ingly called around to see him, and found him at 
breakfast. After an introduction, Mr. Ouyler explained 
his errand and suggested that if Mr. Booth persisted in 
expressing his sentiments in public, not only would he 
kill his engagement, but endanger his person. " Is not 
this a democratic city ? " exclaimed the actor. " Demo- 
cratic? yes ; but disunion, no ! " was the reply. Booth,, 
alccepted the situation, and thereafter kept quiet ; but 
his sentiments only grew stronger for repression. Each 
time he came here it was noticed that he grew more 
morose and sullen, and from a genial gentleman he 
changed into a soured cynic. The last time Mr. 
Cuyler saw him in Washington, the actor would 
scarcely recognize him, although in Albany they had 
been pleasantly, and even intimately, associated. 

April 22d, Booth began another and his last engage- 
ment here ; one which came to an abrupt and almost a 
tragic end. Indeed, Albany seemed fraught with 
danger for the young and gifted actor. He was at this 
time supported by Henrietta Irving, who had played 
with him three nights. She made her first appearance 


here. March- 18th, in a play entitled "San Mars, or the 
Warrior's. Bride," written by a young lady of Albany. 
J^Iiss Irving also played Gcmdlle, Medea, etc., and then 
joined the stock company. . On the fourth day of the 
3ooth engagement she rushed into his room at Stanwix 
Hall, armed with a dirk-knife, and inflicted a severe 
wound upon his face. She then retired to her own 
room and stabbed herself, but not seriously. Miss 
Jrving was subsequently, leading lady at the Trimble 
opera house, during its first season. She afterward 
became the wife of Edward ,Eddy, and was with him 
when he died in the "West Indies. She is still upon 
the stage. 

In 1863, Booth retired anjJ speculated in oil. Novem- 
ber 23d, 1864, he, with his brothers, Edwin and Junius 
Brutus, played "Julius Caesar," at the Winter Garden, 
for the benefit of the Shakspeare monument fund. 
His last appearance as an actor on the mimic stage was 
at Ford's theatre in Washington, where he played 
Pescara for John McCuUough's benefit. April 14th, 
1865, in the same theatre, while the third act of " Our 
American Cousin " was being performed, he shot 
Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, 
through tlie head, inflicting a fatal wound. The 
assassin jumped from the private box in which the 
presidential party was seated, to the stage, brandishing 
a dagger and shouting " Sic Semper Tyrannis,'^ fled to 
the door, mounted a horse and rode away. On the 26th 
he was discovered, armed to the teeth, in a barn, near 
Bowling Green, and bidding the world defiance. He 
was shot and killed by Boston Corbett. He was at 
first secretly buried at midnight, under the flagstones 
of the arsenal warehouse in Washington ; but in 
February, 1869, by permission of the government, the 
remains were' disinterred by the relatives, and now rest 
near those of his father, in the cemetery at Baltimore. 
This terrible deed is the more remarkable from the 
rarity of criminals among the dramatic profession. 

A summer season opened at the Gayety in which 
Charley Kane was the principal attraction. Union 


dramas and other military pieces were all that the 
public at this time could be induced to patronize. In 
September, J. H. Leonard and John T. Eaymond 
endeavored to manage the place, and Eddy, Charles 
Bass, Mary Shaw, Helen Western and S. W. Glenn 
appeared, the season closing October 20th. In March, 
1862, the building was opened as a music hall, and 
with the exception of a little time in May, when, with 
H. A. Hotto as stage manager, there was an attempt to 
revive the legitimate, it was thereafter' beneath notice 
in a history of the stage. Even this transient return 
to respectability was the result of prohibitive legislation 
in relation to waiter-girls, who were an important 
feature of the business as then' conducted. 




The Academy of Miisic under John M. Trirnhh. 

IN 1863 Albany was again without a respectable 
theatre. The old Museum was used for commercial 
and business purposes,- as it is yet. The old Green 
street theatre and the little Gayety had b.oth degenerated 
into concert halls, and the drama was without shelter. It 
was at this time suggested to Mr. John M. Trimble, of 
New York, who was sojourning for a time at Middle- 
burgh, Schoharie county, that being out of business 
on account of blindness, but having some money, be- 
come to Albany and change the old Pearl street theatre,, 
then used as a church, back again into what it was, 
originally designed for. The people were represented 
as hungering and thirsting for the legitimate drama ; it 
was in war times, money was plenty and the project 
seemed feasible and proved so. 

Mr. Trimble's career as a builder has been already 
alluded to in connection with his enlargement of the 
Museum in 1848. The last work he sketched was for 
the interior of Wallack's theatre, as it is at present. 
The design was carried out by Mr. Thomas E. Jack- 
son, of New York, a student of. Mr. Trimble's, and who 
now came on and drew the plans for the new theatre. 
The- property had been bought at auction for $14,000 
a year or two previous, by Mr. Hugh J. Hastings, now 
of the New York Commercial Advertiser^ and then of 
the Albany Knickerbocker. Of him it was bought by 
Mr. Trimble, who paid some $5,000 in cash, and gave 
a $10,000 mortgage for the remainder, which was paid 


off, by the way, only about thirty days before the 
building was destroyed in 1868. 

The work of changing the church into a theatre was 
carried forward rapidly, and cost about $26,000. The 
arrangement of the interior was similar to that of the 
Leland opera house at the present time, although the 
decorations were not neairly so elaborate. The dress- 
ing rooms were in the building adjoining on the south, 
instead of on the opposite side, as at present. The 
drop curtain, of which a very long-limbed female was 
the central feature, was painted by Arizoni. There 
was no bar-room attached to the theatre, and every 
thing about the place indicated a high-toned establish- 
ment, such as Albany had not had for dramatic pur- 
poses, in many a day. 

The manager, in his announcement, stated that he 
had concluded to abolish, so far as he was concerned, 
the ruinous " starring " system, and depend entirely on 
his stock company, which included the following : 
Annie Waite, from the Washington theatres ; Kitty 
Fyffe, from St. Louis ; Mrs. A. W'. Ay ling, the Albany 
favorite ; Miss H. -Hampton, from Cincinnati ; Mrs. E. 
J. Le Brun, from New York ; Saidee Cole, from New 
York; Mrs. M. Smith, from BufEalo; Mrs. S. W. 
Ashley, from Chicago ; Celia Williams, Kate Glenn, 
Lizzie Simpson, Nellie Wilkins; Mr. E. T. Stetson, 
and S. W. Ashley, from Buffalo; Geo. Ryer, from 
California; F. Page and E. J. Evans, from Niblo's; 
F. T. Murdoch, from Philadelphia ; J. Delinon Grace; 
from the Haymarket, London ; E. F. Swain, John 
Thomas, C. Ferris, W. E. Davis and Sidney Smith. 

The Academy of Music, as it was called, was 
opened Tuesday evening, December 22d, 1863, under 
the nominal management of J. M. Trimble, Jr. ; stage 
manager, Sidney Smith ; treasurer, C. S. Hoffman ; 
counsellor, J. C. Cook ; scenic artist, John R. Wilkins; 
leader of orchestra. Prof. Warwood. Admission, 75, 
50 and 25 cents. 

Young Trimble was then only eighteen years old, 
and hardly fitted for the responsible position in which 


he found himself placed by the infirmity of his father, 
and was continued there only one season. He stibse- 
qnently married Miss Morey, of Pittsfield, and went 
into business in New York, where he died in March, 

The opening entertainment began with the singing, 
by the company, of the National Anthem — whatever 
that may be — and the recitation by Annie Waite, of 
the following opening address, written by James D. 
Pinckney, of Albany : 


As breaks the brilliant scene upon the sight, 
This throng of manhood brave, and beauty bright, 
As sweeps the eye this vast assemblage o'er, 
Impulsive memory turns to days of yore, 
And through the past will retrospective flow, 
Back to the by-gone hours of "long ago." 
Those " good old days " ere discord came to mar 
Fraternal love, and forge the bolts of war ; 
Ere wild fanatic zeal and Southern pride 
Our fertile fields with brothers' blood had dyed ; 
Ere Treason dared its felon blade to draw, 
And strike at Union, Liberty and Law — 
Those days when our own Clinton, good and great, 
Held with impartial hand the reins of State ; 
When came the Nation's guest from Gallia's shore 
To visit his adopted home once more ; 
And braved the perils of the stormy sea 
To greet a people he had fought to free ; 
When Eric's flood first mingled with the main. 
And Plenty crowned each smiling hill and plain. 
When Love did much abound, and joys increase. 
And all our paths were Pleasantness and Peace ; 
Then rose this Hue — then sprang this lofty dome. 
The haunts of Genius, and the Drama's home ; 
And tlwn Albania's youth and beauty here 
Dispensed their smiles, the actors' hearts to cheer, 
While manhood's prime and hoary-headed age. 
Combined to foster and maintain the stage. 
Here Gilf ert catered to the public taste 
With choice selections, undefiled and chaste. 
Here, Edwin Forrest winged his youthful flight 
Towards the goal he reached on Glory's height ; 
Here, Charlotte Cushman bound the buskin on, 
To tread the path where fadeless fame was won. 
Here Booth, the elder, and the peerless Kean, 
Reigned matchless monarchs of the tragic scene ; 
Cooper and Conway have entranced the heart. 


And lesser lights, a galaxy of Art 

(Each Star revolving in its proper sphere), 

Shed the eflfulgent light of Genius here. 

But Life's experience proves the adage true, 
That " tempora mutantwr — nos mutamur" too ; 
Times change — we change — and every germ of joy 
Contains the seeds which poison and destroy. 
A few short years — our ancient city's pride, 
The Drama lived — then languished, drooped and died. 
Then fled Melpomene, oppressed with grief, 
And mourned to find her bright career so hrief ; 
Thalia lingered with a tear-dimmed eye. 
And even merry Momus breathed a sigh ; 
Euterpe vanished with her weeping train, 
And Tacita held undisputed reign. 

For years the drama slept: — but not for aye ; 
And now the dawning of a brighter day. 
Flashes the glad assurance on the heart, 
That love still lingers for the Scenic Art ; 
And thus assured, discarding doubt and fear. 
We now, in Faith and Hope, this temple rear ; 
Spread on its- boards an intellectual feast. 
And bid our friends the mental banquet taste. 
This house and its appointnients, fair to view. 
To-night, dear friends, we dedicate to you ; 
While we, to please, exert our humble powers. 
The Stage, with all its hopes, is yows, not ours; 
Yours to sustain, to cherish and defend — 
On you its future weal and woe depend ; 
Your will our rule — and your desires our laws, 
We claim no guerdon save your kind applause. 

Then welcome all, this night, together met. 
Each rank, each sex, from gallery to parquette ; 
We give you welcome, and it gives us joy 
Our humble gifts and talents to employ. 
To have you here, while we, each passing night, 
Still strive to minister to your delight ; 
To chase the shadows from the brow of care, 
And set the seal of full enjoyment there. 

And when the Play of Life shall close at last, 
Time's brief act o'er, its fleeting pageant past ; 
" When we are called to make our exit here," 
May each, translated to a brightest sphere. 
In higher, holier, happier scenes than this. 
Enjoy an endless afterpiece of bliss. 

" The Lady of Lyons " was then played, cast as 
follows : 

Claude Melnotte E. T. Stetson 


Beauseant F. Page 

Glavis. S. W. Ashley 

Col. Damas [.. Geo. Ryer 

Mods. Deschappelles , Sid. Smith 

Landlord C. W. Ferris 

Gaspar ' Frank Murdoch 

Pauline Annie Waite 

Mad. Deschappelles Mrs. Le Brun 

Widow Melnotte Miss H. Hampton 

Marian -. Mrs; S. W. Ashley 

E. T. Stetson, according to Brown's History of the 
Stage, was born in Mamaronack, in this state, October 
8th, 1836, and has been on the stage since 1855. In 
his position as leading man, he became a great favorite 
here. He has since been starring in such sensational 
dramas as "Neck and Neck." Annie "Waite, the lead- 
ing lady, has never been surpassed in Albany as a 
favorite. Her benefits were always large, and her 
acting was much admired. She was born in Portland, 
Maine, in 1843, was a pupil of Wiseman Marshall, and 
made her debut at the National in Boston, December 
27th, 1858, as Parihenia. She had played at the little 
Gayety, supporting Wilkes Booth and others, and had 
already won a warm place for herself in the affections 
of Albany theatre-goers. She afterwards became lead- 
ing lady at the Boston museum, one of the most 
arduous and honorable positions the profession affords. 
She is the wife of William H. Leake, who succeeded 
Stetson as leading man at the Academy. George Ryer, 
for a long time stage manager, was deservedly a favor- 
ite.- A New Yorker by birth, he began acting in 
Chicago in' 1847, as Hamlet, but excelled in " old men," 
of which he, was a most excellent representative. His 
home is at Red Bank, New Jersey. Stephen W. Ash- 
ley, the comedian, . was another favorite, making a 
greater hit in Albany than any where else. Indeed, it 
is said that the flattery he met with here killed him; 
that, intoxicated with success, he became frequently 
intoxicated with something else, and so went to ruin 
and a drunkard's grave. Another member of the 


company, J. Delmon Grace, trod the same path. He 
was a native of Louisville, born in 1827 ; • had travelled 
with Sol. Smith, and also played in the stock at Cin- 
cinnati, at Burton's, and at Barnum's museum in New 
York, and at the Haymarket in London. He was a 
capital actor of eccentric characters. He died in 
Providence a few years ago, after becoming paralyzed, 
and living for some tinie on the charity of the profes- 
sion. Mrs. Le Brun was, and is yet, a good "old 
woman." Little Marie, who played child's parts, has 
retired from the stage, and is advantageously married 
in New York. 

Frank Murdoch (his real name was Hitchcock,) was 
a nephew of James E. Murdoch, and had been upon 
the stage only about three years. We do not know 
that as an actor he ever ranked very hig'h, but as the 
author of " Davy Crockett," and the victim of what 
proved to be fatal criticism, he is deserving more than 
passing notice. 

In 1862, Mr. Frank' Mayo, whose identity with the 
tole of Orockeit is forever established, was manager of 
the Eoehester theatre, and Mr. Murdoch, having sent 
him the manuscript of the play, it was accepted, terms 
were made, and on the sixth week of the season it was 
produced at Rochester. The following facts in relation 
to the drama and its author are kindly contributed to 
this work by Mr. Mayo himself : * 

It is difficult to tell just what the reception was ; it was 
so good and so bad — good with the " gods " and accept- 
able to the parquette and circle — but for the critics! 
Well, perhaps you may form an idea of the way in 
which it was dealt with by them, when I tell you almost 
the first review of it that I read ended with the words : 
" Of the play, little can be said ; the chances are, Mr. 
Mayo will never play it again." Others let it. down 
easily. My personal friends were inclined to smile at it, 
but I saw dimly then what it is now, and I have no 
reason to regret what was called obstinacy. For a 
year and a half the play received no encouragement 
beyond the good-natured comment that is bestowed 


indiBcriminately by some of the kind-hearted critics. 
It was not until the third year that it began to be 
regarded with high favor, and since that time it has been 
dubbed an " idyl," a " pastoral," an " epic in five pa,rt8," 
etc., etc. 

While I was acting Davy in Rochester for the first 
time, my friend, the author, was a member of Mrs. Drew's 
company, in Philadelphia, and another play by him, enti- 
tled " Bohemia," was acted at her theatre. I am not sure 
that many of the characters were not " made up " 
(unwisely, I think,) to represent some of the local critics ; 
but be this as it may, the press treated the play most 
unmercifully. I had written Murdoch in reference to 
the production of " Davy Crockett," and had expressed 
my determination to play it until I was satisfied that its 
success was hopeless or assured, and that I had great 
confidence in its ultimate success. He replied, ^expifess- 
ing gratification, and gave me an account of the 
production of " Bohemia,'' with a brief statement of the 
cruel way the critics had received it. His letter ended 
with the words, "Ah, well! they have struck home." 
In two days he died of hrain-fever ; and, of course, never 
saw " Davy Crockett " acted. I have now been playing 
it eight years, and am conceited to the extent that 
I think I have made a very good piece of dramatic 
workmanship by my personation of Davy, but I would 
rather have written the play in all its crudeness, than 
have acted it ten times better than I have done. 
Yours truly, 

F. Mayo. 

The second night the 'bill was repeated with the 
addition of " Sketches in India," in which the soubrette, 
Kitty Fyffe, made her first appearance as Sally Scraggs. 
Her real name was Amanda Carter. She did not 
remain long witb the company, and two years after 
married John Lolow, theclown. It was said in 1866, 
that she had inherited $75,000 from her grandfather, 
but June 21st, 1870, she died in Lockport, New York, 
utterly alone and in destitute circumstances. 

Thursday evening, December 24rth, Tobin's comedy 
of " The Honeymoon " was played, (Mrs. A. W. Ayl- 


iiig making her first appearance here as Volante,) and 
" The Eough Diamond," Miss Sadie Cole making her 
first appearance as Lady Plato. Friday (Christmas) 
afternoon, " Cousin Joe " and " The Stage-Struck 
Tailor " were played, being other names for " Tiie 
Eough Diamond" and. Sketches in India." In the 
evening, "The Stranger," Stetson in the title role^ and 
Annie Waite as Mrs. Holler ; also " Nan, the Grood for 
Nothing," Kitty Fyffe as Nan. Saturday evening, 
"Naval Engagements" with Delmon Grace as Lieut. 
Kingston (his first appearance), and " The Maniac 
Lover." The new pieces produced during holiday 
week were " Camille " three times, " The Love Chase," 
"All that Glitters is not Gold," " Faint Heart Never 
Won Fair Lady," and "The Married Eake."- 

Monday, January ith, 1864, a season of Italian 
opera began under J.- Grau, director, with Mile. Vera 
Lorini, Mile. Murensi, Mile. Castri, Signori Stefani, 
Morrelli and Barrelli as the principal singers. " Lucre- 
tia Borgia," "II Trovatore," " La Sonnambula," "La 
Favorita," "Norma," and "Don Govanni" were given. 
Prices were $1 and 50 cents. 

The next week beginning January 11th, besides 
plays already mentioned, "The Female Gambler," 
"Mr. and Mrs. Peter White" and "Money" were pro- 
duced. The week beginning January 18th,' " Love's 
Sacrifice," "A Loan of a Lover." "The Hunchback," 
"Shocking Events," "The Marble Heart" and "Nabob 
for an Hour" were played. In the week beginning 
January 25th, " Uncle John," " Temptation," and 
"Eichard III." were the only novelties. Tuesday, 
February 2d, first time here of "London Assurance," 
and during the week " The Two Gregories " and "Brian 
O'Linn " were played. 

Monday and Tuesday, February 8th and- 9th, tab- 
leaux and concerts were given in aid of the Albany 
Army Eelief bazaar fund, John S. Dickerman acting 
as stage managen 

Wednesday, February 10th, was the first time here 
of Tom Taylor's " Ticket of Leave Man," produced 


-with the following cast: Hawkshaw, Mr. Stetson; 
Robert Brierly, Sidney Smith; Dalton, Delmon Grace; 
Meller Moss, W. F. Williams; Green Jones, S. W. 
Ashley; Mr. Gibson, Geo. Ryer; Sam Willoughby, 
Kitty Fyffe; Matty, F. T. Murdoch; May Edwards, 
Annie Waite; Emily St. Everemond, Mrs. Ayling; 
Mrs. Willoughby, Mrs. Le Brun. This was a grand 
success, the play having an uninterrupted run of nine- 
teen nights. It has seldom ever been better, cast in 
America. • During the run of this play the matinee 
system was introduced, performances being given at 
first on Wednesdays. In a short time, the day was 
changed to Saturday. The first matinee's receipts were 
$10, the second, $51, and the third, $250. 

Other plavs which- followed, not before produced,, 
were "Othello," "Betsy Baker," "Ireland as it Was" 
and " Napoleon ; " in the latter, particular attention 
being called to the make-up of Mr. Ryer, as a perfect 
likeness of the Emperor. 

Monday, March 7th, " The Romance of a Poor Young 
Man" was brought out, and had ten representations^ 
including matinees, Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

On the 3d of March, Mr. and Mrs. Gr. W. Stoddart 
made their first appearances in Albany as Sir William 
Evergreen and Margery in "The Rough Diamond. "^ 
These two excellent people — excellent in every way 
— were for years great favorites. George (a brother 
of the more celebrated James H. Stoddart, of the New 
York theatres) and his charming wife are both English, 
Mr. Stoddart, while yet a very young actor, playing in 
Liverpool, was recommended by the late G. V. Brooke 
and E. L. Davenport to Boston, where he remained, 
under the management of Thomas Barry, for four 
years. Mrs. Stoddart (nee Annie Taylor), had not acted 
at that time, and did not for some three years. She 
had been a member of Les Danseuses Viennoises, the; 
troop of children who had appeared at the Odeon and 
the Museum, under the direction of Madame Weiss,. 
in 1847-8, and created such a furore. It was in such 
a sohool that she acquired, to perfection, the art of 


dancing. Mr. Stoddart's next engagement was at Laura 
Keene's theatre, in New York, where Mrs. S. first 
played principal sottirete, having had some practice at 
the National, in Boston. They afterwards played at 
the Arch street, Philadelphia, under Wheatley and 
Clarke, and subsequently at St. Louis and Cincinnati, 
both being well received by the press and people, and 
tolerably well paid. Mr. Stoddart next tried man- 
agement, and made money at Dayton, Ohio, and Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, and then came to Albany, where, 
for three or four years, he and his wife were much 
liked. Careful, prudent, and thoroughly reliable, they 
were very desirable to have around a theatre, the lady 
in particular possessing fine talents as a soiibrette. They 
next removed to New York, and remained at the Broad- 
way theatre, and the Fifth Avenue, with John Brougham , 
in all, four years. Next, Mr. Stoddart was stage man- 
ager for Mrs. John Drew, at the Arch street, in Phila- 
delphia, and then both joined Mr. Barnes's company 
at the Trimble, from which, in 1871, having acquired 
a competence, they retired from the stage, investing 
their funds in certain railroad securities, and, buying a 
little spot near Liverpool, went home to enjoy them- 
selves for life. But alas for their dreams of happiness ! 
The securities went down, down, down, and they found 
their income so much reduced that nothing remained 
but they must go to work again, and so, buckling on 
the Thespian armor, they once more crossed the ocean, 
and in connection with Mr. James H. Stoddart, orga^ 
nized the Stoddart comedy company. Since then, Mr 
S. has been a member of several combinations, and is, 
at present, with the " Widow Bedott company," doing 
well. His friends will be glad to know that the afore- 
said securities are gradually rising in the market, and 
that there is a prospect of their owners being well off 
again. Mrs. Stoddart is reported as not having appar- 
ently grown a day older, and as bright and happy as 
ever. At the time of which we write, she took the 
place of Kitty Fyffe, who retired from the Albany 


"Wednesday, March 15th, "Still "Waters Run Deep" 
was played, and during the week "Macbeth." April 
7th, "Richelieu" was produced, in which "William 
Griffith made his first appearance as Baradas. March 
21st, " The Colleen Bawn " with Ashley as Myles-na- 
coppaken, Annie Waite as Mly O Conor, Sidney Smith 
as Danny Mann, and the rest of the company in the 
cast. This had seventeen representations. 

Saturday evening, April 9th, "The Returned Volun- 
teer" was played, and April 11th, "Lucretia Borgia." 
April 13th and I4th, Buekstone's "Green Bushes." 
April 15th, '• The "Wandering Minstrel," and the same 
evening, first appearance of W. H. Leake as Armand 
in '< Gamille." He succeeded Stetson, as leading man, 
and as we have stated, soon married Annie Waite. 
He is an Englishman by birth, but first trod the stage 
as a " super " at Buffalo. In 186S he managed success- 
fully the theatre at Indianapolis. Like the great 
majority of actors now-a-daySj he is travelling with a 

April 20th, " Jessie Brown, or The Relief of Luck- 
now " was brought out, and enjoyed a six night run, 
being supplemented Monday, April 25th, by the farce 
"Mr. and Mrs. Dobson." For Annie "Waite's benefit, 
May 2d, " Ingomar " and " Katherine and Petruchio," 
were presented. The next night Sidney Smith appeared 
as Toodhs. 

April 28th, for the benefit of J. M. Trimble, "The 
"Willow Copse" and "An Object of Interest" were 
presented ; the next night the farce was changed to 
"Mischief Making." Saturday evening "Nick of the 
Woods," Leake as the Jibbenainosay. May 4tb, " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " was produced, with Ryer as Uncle Tom, 
Ashley as Marks, Griffith as Legree, Stoddart as St. 
Clair, Leake as George, Annie Waite as JSliza Harris, 
Mrs. Stoddart as Topsey, and Marie Le Brun as Eva. 
It had nine or ten representations. 

" Pizarro " and " The Conjugal Lesson " were played 
May 14th, and the Monday following, " The Oorsicati 
Brothers." For the benefit of Sidney Smith, May 18th, 


" Eob Eoy " was presented, with E. S. Manuel as Francis 
Osbaldislone — his first appearance. He was a dancing 
master at the Troy seminary. May 20th, " The Serious 
Family," Sid Smith as Amindab Sleeh, and " The 
Spectre Bridegroom." Saturday afternoon, "Mother 
Bailey," a patriotic drama. 

After just five months of playing the stock com- 
pany, without stellar attraction, Mary Grladstane was 
engaged as the first star, and appeared Monday, May 
23d, as Julia. During her engagement, which lasted 
two weeks, she appeared as Peg Woffington, in " Masks 
and Faces," Mrs. Halter, Lady Teazle (for Eyer's benefit, 
supported by Mark Smith, as Sir Peter) ; JjUcreiid Bor- 
gia, Lady Audley, and Lady Isabel and Madame Vine. 
■Mrs. Grladstane is a sister of W. H. Crisp, and was 
born in London, in 1830. 

June 6tb, to the 9th, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Davenport 
and J. W. Wallack appeared in " Othello," "Damon 
and Pythias," "Hamlet" and "Wild Oats" and "A 
Morning Cal]." Though usually called J..W. Wallack, 
Jr., this haiidsome, popular and talented actor was the 
son of Henry Wallack. He died May 23d, 1873. 

June 10th, for Mrs. Stoddart's benefit, her own 
translation of "Fanchon, the Cricket," the lady in the 
title rote. June 11th and- 13th, the English operas of 
"The Bohemian Girl" and "La Sonnambula," were 
given, with Madame Oomte Borchard, Louisa Myers, 
William Castle and S. C. Campbell in the cast. This 
company made its first appearance in Brooklyn, Jan- 
uary ith, of this year, in " The Bohemian Girl," when, 
for the first time in the .history of the lyric stage in 
America, the two leading male singers were natives of 
this country. Campbell, the baritone, whose real' name 
was Cohen, was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He 
was, for several years, a well-known negro minstrel, 
and now graduated into English opera, -with which, 
thereafter, he was identified, being a leading member 
in Mrs. Eiching's company, and afterwards in Parepa 
Eosa's. He died November 26th, 1874, aged thirty- 
four. Mr. Castle is still a favorite tenor. 


June 15th, Mary Provost began an engagement as 
Lude nAville, in " The Persecuted "Wife," and also 
appeared as Nell Qwynne, the latter being played June 
20th, at a complimentary benefit to Mr. J. M. Trimble, 
whose name had headed the bills as manager, since June 
7th. The names signed to the testimonial, included 
Alfred B. Street, E. K. Peckham,.Alex. S. Johnson, 
F. Pumpelly, Thurlow Weed, Alfred Wild, Thomas 
Hun, 0. Van Benthuysen, H. H. Martin, John H. 
Reynolds, B. P. Learned, John Tweddle, B. Corning, 
Jr., and B. D. Palmer. 

W. H. Leake took a farewell benefit, June 27th. 
June 29th, "Our American Cousin" was produced, 
and the rest of the season, which closed July 4th, was 
devoted to a revival of " The Ticket of Leave Man." 

The season had been a great success. The patrons 
of the Academy were satisfied with the stock company 
and did not care for stars. Large salaries were paid, 
and other expenses were heavy. It has been alleged, 
that some of Mr. Trimble's employes took advantage 
of his blindness, and stole frorn him many hundred 
dollars. But in spite of this, the season paid him. 
We are without the books to give the exact figures,- 
but there was no doubt remaining that a theatre could 
be well supported, even in Albany. 

During the summer recess, the Holman opera troupe, 
with Sallie as the star, appeared in burlesque and 
opera. Susan Benin and J. A. Heme, also played 
two or three nights, under management of H. B. 

The second regular season opened September 12th, 
under the stage management of George Eyfcr, and with 
the following company : Robert S. Meldrum, George 
Ryei-, George W. Stbddart, W. J. Le Moyne, B. P. 
Griffith, John Murray, William W. Jeffries, George N. 
Reed, Charles R Hall, George Barren, W. C. Miller, 
H. A. Warner and E. P. Packard ; Miss Ada Parker 
Plunkett, Mrs. George W. Stoddart, Mrs. H. F. Nichols, 
Mrs. 0. B. Harrison, Kate Fletcher, T. B. Burbank, 
Jennie Lees, Alice Merry, Hattie Lee, Martha Elder, 


Frances Oolmer, Mary Miller and Emma Wilkins. 
Ernest Zeller was the leader of the orchestra, and 
F. Hitchcock, treasurer. The opening performance 
included "The Wife" and "Family Jars." Septem- 
ber 14th, " Komeo and Juliet " was played for the first 
time in the Academy, Meldrum as Borneo and Miss 
Plunkett as Juliet. September 29th, "The Three 
Gruardsmen " was brought out in good style, and ran 
till October 7th, and October 10th, "Eosedale" was 
produced with good success for two weeks. Up to 
this time, the receipts from the beginning of the season 
had run from $1,450 to $2,500 a week, the average 
being about $1,800. Meldrum, the leading actor, was 
not much liked. W. J. Le Moyne, a good character 
actor then, is one of the best at the present time. He 
went from here to Boston, and at Selwyn's made a 
great hit as Uriah Heep in "Little Emily." He has 
since made a specialty of Dickens characters, in some 
of which he has no superior. Mrs. Nichols was 
formerly wife of Preston, the manager of this theatre 
the last season before it' was turned into a church, and 
of the Green street theatre the first season after it 
ceased to be a church. 

October 24th, the stock company received their first 
outside assistance from the Warren combination, con- 
sisting of- William Warren, Josephine Orton, Charles 
Barron and Emily Mestayer; a very talented party. 
Miss Orton, born in 1843, was a niece of William 
CuUen Bryant and a charming actress ; Barron was a 
prime favorite in Boston, as was Emily Mestayer. Dur- 
ing their week's stay, "The Heir at Law" and "Dun- 
ducketty's Pio-nic," "School for Scandal," "London 
Assurance," "Babes in the Wood," and "Marsey 
Chickweed," "Sweethearts and Wives," "Poor Pilli- 
coddy " and " Seeing Warren," " Serious Family " and 
"Breach of Promise" were produced. This, if we 
mistake not, was the first and only time the great 
Boston comedian attempted to " star" outside of New 
England, and strange to say, the tour was not a paying 
one. Here the business only amounted to $1,725, for 


the week, less even than the stock company had been 
playing to. It may be, however, that the announce- 
ment of Forrest had something to do with it. 

October 31st, Edwin Forrest began his first engage- 
ment in Albany since 1848, when he played to such 
small audiences in the old Nichols amphitheatre. He 
was now supported by John McCullough, Isabella 
Freeman, and Madame Ponisi. Prices were raised to 
$1 and $1.50, family circle 50 cents. Five perform- 
ances were given, for which the receipts were as fol- 
lows: "Hamlet," $820.50; "Othello," $926.50; 
"Richelieu," $1,323.00; "Eichard III.,". $1,172.50 ; 
"Macbeth" (benefitV $1,566.00. In the midst of this 
great engagement, tne stock company played " Rose- 
dale" at a matinee, to $303.75. 

November 7th, John McCullough, who had been 
playing with Forrest, appeared as the star in "O'Brien, 
the Last of His Race," by James Schoonberg. It ran 
for a week, to $1,406.50, showing that Forrest's second 
had also made a hit. Mr. McCullough was born in 
Ireland, in 1837, and came to this country at an early 
age. Joining- an amateur association in Philadelphia, 
he made his debut at the Arch street theatre, August 
15th, 1857, as the Servant in "The Belle's Stratagem." 
His salary as an actor was at first $4 a week ; the fol- 
lowing season it was increased to $10, and his duties 
extended to the representation of the " heavies." In 
1860-1, he was at the Howard in Boston, under Daven- 
port, and the following season engaged to support 
Forrest, and was with him till 1866. In that year, 
McCullough took up his abode in California, managing 
in, San Francisco with gratifying success, till the last 
two years he remained there, when he lost more than 
he had made. Mr. McCullough is toiday among the 
best of American tragedians, and the only fit repre- 
sentative of the Forrestonian school of acting. 
. November 14th, the benefit of the Widows and 
Orphans' fund of the incorporated Fire department 
took place, McCullough reciting " Shamus O'Brien, " 
receipts $288. 62. He continued his engagement during 


the week, appearing as Pythias, Wildrake in " The 
Lovechase," and Duke Aranm, in " The Honeymoon," 
Brutus, in "Julius Osesar;" and Charles de Moor in 
"The Eobbers," the week footing up $1,300. 

November 21st, " The Sea of Ice " was brought out 
with much care and ran two weeks, the first week to 
$2,378.25 ; the second to $1,576. December 12th, the 
leading lady,' Miss Ada Plunkett, took her farewell 
benefit, and retired from the stage to be married, a 
condition to which, however, she was no stranger. 

December 13th, " The Angel of Midnight," an- 
nounced as "the most marvellous creation of modern 
times, the wondrous and unique drama, unlike, in its 
construction, any other in the whole range of histrionic 
literature, and which in Paris caused the entire popula- 
tion to go mad with excitement, while in London it 
• was played at every theatre one night (opera alone ex- 
cepted)." Mrs. Stoddart personated the Angel, and 
the play ran three nights, averaging $150 a night. 
Evidently the tastes of Albany and Paris are dis- 

December 19th, for George Eyer's benefit, Ada Clif- 
ton made her first appearance as Portia, the beneficiary 
appearing as Shylock; receipts $689. 

The next evening, " The Octoroon " was brought out 
for the first time on this stage. Miss Clifton as .^oe, and 
ran till December 29th, when it was replaced with 
"Dot," Mrs. Stoddart in the title role. This ran till 
January 9th, 1865, when Jennie Parker made her first 
appearance as Rachel, in " The Jewess," and became 
leading lady. She was born in Eochester, in 1836, 
and made her debulsX the age of nine, in Buffalo, as 
the Duke of York, to Booth's Bichard. After five years 
in the (Jueen city of the Lakes, she went to California. 
In 1861, she was in Philadelphia. In 1863, she mar- 
ried and retired from the stage, but was now separated 
from her husband and had just began playing again. 

January 18th, McKee Eankin' appeared as a star, in 
"The Dead Heart," playing only two nights, when 
"Victorine, or the Working Girl's Dream," and "The 


People's Lawyer," with Le; Moyne as Solon Shingle, 
were played. The fact was, that McKee Rankin, as 
good an actor as he is now, was a total failure then. 
^Fortunately for the manager in those days, if stars 
failed of being what was expected, they could be sent 
about theif business, and there was always the stock 
company to fall back upon, as in this case; January 
-23d, "The Streets of New York," by the stock com- 
,pany, was put on and ran for two weeks, the first to 
$2,400, and the second to $1,908. 

; February 20th, first night of the engagement of Mrs. 
Emily Jordan and Frank Lawlor, in " Aurora Floyd," 
which ran till March 1st, when the same stars appeared 
in "Leah," "Hamlet," "The Wife's Secret," "The 
Hunchback," "Othello," "The Siege of Troy," (first 
time in America) dramatised from, the Iliad, by Geo. 
Middleton, which closed the engagement of four week?, 
during which, business was as follows : First week, 
$2,262 ; second, $1,942 ; third,. , $2,480 ; fourth, 
$2,309.50. Mrs. Jordan, a very beautiful woman, 
was the daughter of Charles Thorne. She retired 
from the stage, September 24th, 1867, on her marriage 
to Mr. Charles Ransom, from whom she separated. 

April 3d, McKean Buchanan and his daughter Yir- 
.ginia, began an engagement. Receipts: First week, 
$1,476,50 ; second, $1,218.25. 

April 17th, Annie Waite began an engagement as a 
star, in " Jennie Deans." April 24th, first appearance 
of Kate Selden as Kathleen, in "Peep O'Day." G. W. 
Mitchell also made his first appearance in this play. 
Annie Waite, after a night or two, took the place of 
Miss Selden ; receipts for week, $1,804, including Annie 
Waite's benefit, at $414. This is another instance 
where a "star," failing to make its light perceptible, 
atti-action which didn't attract was set aside, and the 
stock company called upon to fill in the time. 

On the 19th of April, no performance, owing to the 
death of Abraham Lincoln. This observance was 
general in the theatres throughout the country. 

May 1st, first appearance here of Edwin Adams, 


who played Hover, Claude Melnatie, Frank Hawthorne 
in "Men of the Day," Macbeth, Adrian in "The Her- 
etic," and in "Dreams of Delusion" and "Black Eyed 
Susan " ; receipts $1,321 and $1,580. Edwin Add,ms 
was born in Medford, Massachusetts, February 3d, 
1834, and went on the stage jn Boston al the age of 
nineteen. It was not till 1860 that his talents were 
fairly recognized. He was one of the best of light 
comedians, while his personation of Enoch Arden will 
long be remembered. In tragedy he was~also very 
fine. "While on a visit to Australia, his health declined, 
and he came home only to die. He was open-hearted, 
open-handed, and knew no use for money except to 
spend it. His popularity in the profession was 
unbounded, and he was the recipient, just before his 
death, of $7,854.01, raised by a series of benefits. He 
died in Philadelphia, October 28tb, 1877. 

Several benefits followed, the season closing with 
ticket night, May 31st. A summer season was opened 
June 3d, under Eyer and Stoddart as managers, Zoe, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Gromersal appearing in light plays. 
Zoe is a Cuban by birth, having first seen the light in 
Havana, in 1840. She was a successful danseuse at 
the age of fourteen. She is the wife of Ben Yates, 
the ballet master, and lives on Long Island 

The third season opened September 4th, with LovelFs 
play of "Love's Sacrifice," cast as follows: Matthew 
^Zmore, Prank Eoche; Paul LaFont, C. T. Nichols; 
Eugene BeLorme, S. B. Villa ; St. Lo, Gr. W. Stoddart ; 
Jean Ruse, W. j^ Le Moyne ; Friar Dominic, W. C. 
Miller; Morlue, E. S. Packard; Du Viray, A. De 
Warne ; Margaret Elmore, Miss Ada Gray ; Eerminie, 
Mrs. Stoddart; Manou, Mrs. H. P. Nichols; Jennie, 
Mrs. G. A. Sawin. 

The farce was " The Horse Cars;" cast as follows : 
Pat Bomey, S. W. Ashley ; Tom Bdbhs, W. J. Le 
Moyne; Mr. Ledger, G. W. Mitchell ; Mr. Ddbhs, E. S. 
Packard ; Julia, Emma Hall ; Mrs. Ddbhs, Alice Merry. 

Ada Gray was born in Boston, and made her first 
appearance in a company of amateurs, at the age of fif- 


teen. Shortly after, she accepted an engagement in 
Rochester as "walking lady," but the manager, who 
saw. she was gifted with a " quick study," as it is called, 
gave her several juvenile parts, and the second star of 
the season playing Richard III., Miss Gray was cast 
for Lady Anne. He complimented her at the rehearsal, 
and, no doubt, praised her to the management, because 
from being cast to plaf tlie OeMlewoman in " Macbeth," 
she was changed to Lady Macbeth, after the cast had 
been posted in the green-room. From that time she 
played leading business with stars, and at the same 
time walking ladies in farces, being very ambitious 
to succeed. She was advised by the stage manager to 
write to Louisville for the position of leading lady, did 
so, and was accepted ^or leadingjuvenile bu^ness, 
under the management of George vV^ood. The.ttlieatre 
changed hands in the fall, and she was re-engaged by 
Duffield & Flynn for the season of 1863-4, and Eecame 
a great favorite. Louisville still claims iier as one of 
her children. While there, she supported Edwin Ad- 
ams (being the original Annie Leigh to his Enoch Arden\ 
J. Wilkes Booth (first playing Portia, Ophelia and 
Katherine with him), Joseph Proctor, Matilda Heron, 
Davenport, Wallack and others. It was through Ed- 
win Adams that George Ryer, stage manager for the 
Trimble, corresponded with Miss Gray, and secured 
her for Albany. She appeared as above stated, and, 
though well received, did not make a decided hit till 
she played Camille. From that time she increased in 
popularity, ever studying and striving to improve. 
She was re-engaged for the season of 1866^7, and, in 
1877-8, took a similar position at the Continental the- 
atre, in Boston. The season was a short one, and Miss 
Gray next accepted a position as leading lady in the 
Boston theatre company, to support Edwin Booth 
through the east, and in Albany and Troy. Her 
reception in Tweddle hall, at this time, was most cor- 
dial Shortly after, she retired from the stage and 
married Mr. Charles S, Watkins, a well-known hotel 
man, and, for two years, led a domestic life. But the 


old fascination pursued her, and, in the spring of 1872, 
she made her re-eniree, at Martin hall. Since then she 
has starred in all parts of the country. 

Frank Roche has a good figure and is a fair leading 
man, having filled that position iu Boston, Brooklyn, 
and other large cities, with success. ' C. T. Nichols, the 
heavy man, will be remembered for the "grumness" of 
his voice, if for nothing more. Sam. ViUa, a walking 
gentleman and a lisping vocalist, married one of the 
Wallace girls, and has for some time been the head 
of a -burlesque combination. Emma Hall has recently 
been a member of the Holman opera troupe and lives 
at Toronto. 

For three months the stock company played to busi- 
ness running from $1,319 to $2,188 per week. Decem- 
ber 11th, the first star of the season appeared, in the 
person of Jean Hosmer, who played Camille with the 
sanction of Matilda Heron. Jean Hosmer, a really fine 
actress, was born near Boston, January 2.9th, 1842. 
Taken to the theatre at the age of eight, she developed 
a passion for the stage almost uncontrollable, and 
being refused permission to go, used to dress in boy's 
clothes and indulge her propensity on the sly. She 
received a good education, but her youthful infatua- 
tion was not cured, and her father, failing in business, 
she at last received permission to go on the stage, and 
began as a ballet girl in Buffalo, under the name of 
Stanley. She studied hard and rose steadily till in 
December, 1863, she resumed her own name and 
appeared as a star. She has now retired from the 
stage. Miss Hosmer also appeared as Bianca, Pauline, 
Evadne, Lucretia Borgia, Mrs. Sailer, Julia, The Coun- 
tess (in " Love "), Juliet, and Parthenia. Eeceipts the 
first week $2,465, second week, $1,550. 

January 8th, 1866, " Arrah Na Pogue " was pro- 
duced, with T. H. Grlenny as Shawn,, and soon after, 
"The Last Days of Pompeii," which ran a week. 
January 29th, Charles Dillon began an engagement as 
Virginius, and played Macbeth, Sir Criks, Belphegor, 
liichelieu, Louis XL, Don Ccesar de Bazan, Harrilet, Sh^- 


loch, Bichard, Fakiaff, Timon, Lear and William Tell, 
his engagement lasting till February 24:th, and averag- 
ing $1,800 a week. This was Mr. Dillon's second 
visit to America. He was born In Suffolk county, 
England, in 1819, and after some provincial experience, 
appeared in London,- at Sadler's Wells, April 21st, 
1856, as Belphegor, the Mountebank, of which he made 
a specialty. , In 1861, he- came to America; in 1863, 
he went to Australia. Albany was one of the first, if 
not the first city he visited on his second tour of the 
United States. He was much liked. He is still- play- 
ing in England, but the London critics say be has 

'March 12th to 15th, Lotta appeared in "Seven 
Daughters of Satan," a musical and romantic drama. 
This was the first appearance in Albany of the little 
lady, who has since become so popular. Being quite 
unknown, she only drew $294.50 the first night. Her 
second night was $422, showing a hit'; her third $390,' 
and her fourth and last, $452. Lotta Mignon Crabtree 
--for so she was christened — was born at No. 750 Broad- 
way, ISTew York, Nov. 7th — the biographical sketch, 
which in 1864 heralded her arrival from San Fran- 
cisco, said, in the year 1847, but we are assured by one 
who ought to know, if any body, that this date is not 
correct. Never mind. She lived in the house where 
she was born till 1854, when she was taken to California, 
and made her first appearance on anj' stage at a concert 
given in Laport, "for one night only." Her second 
appearance was at Petaluma (1858), where she played 
^ertrac^e in " The Loan of a Lover." She then trav- 
elled as the star of a company for nearly two years, 
being called "La Petite Lotta," and ranked as an infant 
prodigy. She then went into the variety and minstrel 
business, becoming, in 1860,^of.San Francisco, 
many nights being literally showered with gold, and 
silver coins by the delighted public. ' Each year she 
took a tour through the state and also played engage- 
nients at Maguire's opera house. After one of the 
most successful benefits ever given on the Pacific slope; 


she sailed for the east, and arrived May 16th, 1864, 
and gave her first performance in New York, at jf iblo's 
saloon, June lat. It was far from a success, the attend- 
ance being very small. The next night more were 
present, but they were mostly daquers hired by free 
tickets to be present and applaud, and so transparent 
was this device, that the whole thing became a farce, 
and failure seemed inevitable. The Clipper, excellent 
authority on the subject, said ; 

Her style is certainly not intended for a first-class 
audience, concert halls being her proper stamping 
ground. She is possessed of great versatility, and 
plays the banjo equal to nine-tenths of the so-called 
first-class hanjoists. She understands the business well, 
being up in all its little tricks. She is possessed of a 
very musical voice, and gives a song with much spirit. 
She can dance a regular break-down in true burnt-cork 
style, and gives an Irish jig as well as we have ever seen 
it done. She has a pleasing countenance, looks charm- 
ing on the stage, is posted in all the tricks of the busi- 
ness, and knows exactly how to put an audience in good 
humor. She would prove a valuable star to any music 
hall in the country. 

This was, undoubtedly, an honest opinion. One 
week's trial was enough, and New York saw and heard 
no more of Lotta for some time ; but the Oant'erburys 
and the 444's^ didn't get her, thank fortune. In 
August, we hear of her at McVicker's theatre, in 
Chicago, where, one night, while playing in " The 
Seven Sisters," an unknown admirer threw her, neatly 
done up in a handkerchief, a $300 gold watch and 
chain. From Chicago she returned to Boston, and 
then made a tour of the United States, of which her 
first Albany engagement was part. In the summer of 
1867, she made her second appearance in New York, 
this time at Wallack's, under the management of 0. 
W. Tayleure, and played the most brilliant summer 
engagement ever known there. At this time, 
Broughara's dramatisation of The Old Curiosity Shop 
was first brought out, under the name of "Little 


Nell and the Marchioness," Lotta assuming the 
dual title role. With the face of a doll, and the 
ways of a kitten, she at once became everybody's pet, 
and has been, so ever since. She can hardly be said 
to acti but she amuses, and that is what most people 
care for. She may be said to have founded a " school " 
of her own, lor imitators have sprung up by the score, 
and they have always remained imitators, nothing 
more. In 1869, she returned to California, and was 
welcomed back in one of the most brilliant engage- 
ments ever played there. Her health is -not robust, 
and some years she has had to refrain from practicing 
her profession. Occasionally she goe? to Switzerland, 
a land she loves almost as California, which she calls her 
home. • In private life, she is said to be a perfect little 
lady, who, through all the temptations of her brilliant 
career, has borne a reputation beyond reproach. She 
is still one of the three best paying lady " stars " on 
the stage. 

March 16th, in honor of the coming day, the bill 
was made up of "Brian Boroihme"and "The Irish 
Emigrant." For Eyer's benefit, " Central Park " was 
produced, with Carrie Augusta Moore, the skater, and 
ran a week; receipts, $2,025. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean appeared for five nights, 
beginning March 26th, supported by J. F. Cathcart, 
Greorge Everett, and Miss E. Chapman. The plays 
presented were "Henry VIII." and "The Jealous 
Wife," "Merchant of Venice," "Louis XL," "The 
G-amester," "The Stranger" and "The Wonder." 
Total receipts, $1,800, opening to $450 and closing to 
$221. This engagement was clearly a failure, much 
to the disappointment of the manager, who exp&ited 
that the magic of the names of Charles Kean and his 
wife, the far-famed Ellen Tree, would attract largely, 
but their day had gone by. Kean was now fifty-five 
years did, and badly broken up. He had not appeared 
in Albany before for thirty-five years, when he came 
under Duffy's management. 

Mrs. Kean was six years older than her husband. 


She had been a great actress, but never appeared, while 
.she was such, in Albany. She was born in the south 
of Ireland, in 1805, and made her first appearance as 
OZwja-, in " Twelfth Night," at Covent- Garden. She 
first came to America in 1836, and even; then, Ireland 
says : " The bloom of youth had somewhat worn off, and 
ber beauty, of which many reports haS reached us, 
proved to bethatof intellect and expression — certainly 
not of feature — while a peculiar stoop in ber shoulders 
-and a projection of the neck, impressed a bebold,er 
, disagreeably at first sight. .But the impression van- 
ished when you heard her speak, and ere you knew 
it, you were fascinated by, her feminine delicacy ,of 
■ manner, her soft and witching tones, and the perfect 
grace and true elegance, of her deportment, and j'ou 
felt the conviction that you not only saw before you a 
■..consummate , actress, but a pure, true, amiable and 
: womanly woman." In 1845, Mr. and Mrs. Kean were 
in America again, and played with success, but on this, 
; their last visit, but little of their former greatness was 
. apparent. Mrs. Keah is still alive (1880), although it 
is reported that she has been stricken with paralysis. 
: T. H. Glenny, the Couldooksj and Mrs. Bowers 
filled out the season, which closed June 2d. A summer 
season was opened lay Frank Dwight Denny, supported 
by J. Davis, Marie Le Brun and Miss Thompson. 
The legitimate held sway, the only novelty being 
. "Our Mutual Friend." Mr. Denny was simply a stage- 
j struck young man -from Boston, with a wealthy father, 
"who gave him money to come, to Albany, hire a thea- 
tre, and be an actor. Mr. Denny tried the experiment 
. here and in Brooklyn (taking Ada Gray with him) but 
; soon became convinced that he,,had. mistaken his 
• vocation. 

The fourth regular season opened September 3d, 
with a companv consisting of D. E. Ralton, R. D. 
Ogden, 0. Wilkinson, C. T. Neville, J. Matthews, C. E. 
Churchill, J. Barnes, F. W.' Barnardj- George Farren, 
G. E. Templeton, W. C. Miller, E. P. Packard, A. H. 
Sheldon, E. DeYie, George Ryer, Ada Gray, Mary 


Stevens, Lillie Mardeu, B. Moravia, Mrs. 0. Ohurcliill, 
Miss Jennie Farren, Annie B.. Spear, Ada Le Brun, ¥. 
'Coleman, Edith Evans, Eliza Winters, Ella Montrose, 
and Emma Le Briin. John M. Trimble annoanced 
himself as manager, and Mr. Eyer as stage manager. 
The opening bill was "The Honeymoon," pro- 
duced as originally written, in five acts, and " The Jolly 

Ealton, the leading man, was better fitted for heavy 
business ; Ogdeuj " the Duke d'Orsay," had been mana- 
ger of the Eiehmond theatre, and was quite an impos^ 
ing personage. At last accounts, he was in Australia. 
Charles Wilkinson, the comedia;n, a native of New 
England, has since laeen the head of a travelling organ- 
ization, which produces " Uncle Tom" and other well- 
worn dramas in the smaller towns and cities. He 
married Lillie Marden. 

For about ten weeks after the opening, the stock 
played unaided by stars to an average business of about 
$1,500 a week, the expenses running about $1,200. 
On the 1st of October, Mrs. Clara Fisher Maeder joined 
the company and played " old woman " for several 

Beginning November 12th, the first star of the sea- 
son, F. S. Chanfrau, appeared for five nights as Sam, 
and Saturday night as Solon Shingle, Jerry Clip and 
Mose; receipts $2,625. Mrs. Jordan and Frank Law- 
loF, and Mr. and Mrs. Barney Williams followed, ta 
large business. Steve Ashley now joined the company. 
December 21st, for Eyer's benefit, a drama by William 
P. Hinds, was played, entitled "Art Friends and 
Heart Foes, or the Painter, the Poet and the Bandit ; " 
also "The Club, or the Last Man." Mr. Hinds's play 
was repeated twice. He is a, well-known Albanian, 
long connected with the People's line, and now suf- 
fering the calamity of blindness. 

Mr. Trimble's "health was. now so poor, that he 
advertised the theatre for sale, but nothing came of it. 

During holiday week, "The Naiad Queen " was pro-_ 
duced, with B. A. Locke as Schnapps. Then followed" 


"Inshavogue, or Wearing o' the Green," to, $1,700.25, 
and January 7th, 1867, the Etchings English opei'a 
troupe in "Martha," "Daughter of the Eegiment," 
" Pra Diavolo," "La Sonnambula," "Bohemian Girl" 
and " The Doctor of Alcantara ;" receipts $2,900. 

Then came Jean Hosmer in the legitimate, playing 
''Ion" for her benefit; receipts for the weekj $1,610. 
Then Helen Western, specially supported by her hus- 
band, J. A. Heme; receipts, $1,937. January Sth, 
Fanny Morgan Phelps, announced as the Australian 
artist, began an engagement; receipts, $1,500. Feb- 
ruary 4tb, Matilda Heron Stoepel appeared as Gamilk, 
and followed in her own plays of " Gamea, the Hebrew 
Mother," and "Medea," "Duel in the Days of Eiche- 
lieu," "The Pearl of the Palais Eoyal;" also as Meg 
Merrilies, Nancy Byhes, and Hester Prynne in "The 
Scarlet Letter." Eeceipts for the first week $1,917 ; 
second week, $1,200. 

John Brougham played an engagement, appearing 
for the most part in his own dramas ; receipts first 
week, $1,909 ; second, $2,227. In March, a number 
of plays were produced, with Yankee Locke (died 
January 5th, 1880) as the star ; receipts, $1,282. 

During Helen Western's engagement, which followed, 
nothing new was produced, (receipts $1,750) and Mrs. 
Bowers, who succeeded her, offered nothing new, 
except " Diana, or Love'si Masquerade " ; receipts, 
$1,624.25. Kate Eeignolds followed; recei|)ts $1,500. 

April 1st, Jbhn E. Owens began an engagement as 
Solon /Shinghj and appearing also as Mr. Gilman, in 
" Happiest ' Day of My Life " ; Joshua Batterby, in 
" The Victims " ; Horatio Sprtiggins, in " Forty Winks," 
" Paul Pry," " Live Indian," and " Toodles." Eeceipts, 
$2,853.25. Owens is a Welshman by descent, though 
born in Liverpool (1823). He arrived in America at 
the age of three, and made his dd)ut at the National 
theatre, in Philadelphia. He .has been a successful 
manager as well as actoi', and is said to have accumu- 
lated a large fortune. He is one of the best of 
comedians, and is not confined in his excellence to 


one or a dozen parts, although for a time he made a 
specialty of Soikm, Shingh, in which, although a wonder- 
ful piece of elaboration, he is by no means seen at his 
best. It is a curious fact in this connection, that like 
Jefferson in Rip Van Winkle, .Owens, in Solon Shingle, ' 
followed the copy set by Ohaj-les Burke, 
, J. B. Addis was now stage manager. The next 
engagement was that of Frank Mayo, who, besides the 
legitimate, played in " St. Tropes, or the Mistake of a 
Life," "Euy Bias," and "The Streets of New York," 
with Charley Pettengill (afterwards a successful negro 
minstrel) as the boot-black. This was Mr. Mayo's first 
starring tour. He was born in Boston, April 19th, 
1839, but made his first appearance on the stage, at the 
American theatre in San Francisco, under Laura 
Keene's«ianagement, in 1856, occupying every posi- 
tion from supernumerary to that of leading actor and 
supporting almost every star that visited the Pacific 
slope from 1860 to 1865. He was never engaged for 
any line of business, but played old men, young men, 
middle-aged men, comedy, tragedy, black and white, as 
it happened. Having acquired, in this way, an exper- 
ience not otherwise possible, he left San Francisco in 
1865, and became a stock star at the Boston theatre, 
under the management of Jarrett, Tompkins & Thayer, 
opening August 28th of that year as Badger, in " The 
Streets of New York," a part in which the handsome 
actor made a hit, which he repeated in many of the 
leading rolm^ such as Charles de Moor, Richard, Othello, 
logo, Shaun, the Post; Ingomar, Don Gassar de Bazan, 
Raphael, etc. The following season (the one of which 
we write), he became a star, at fi,rst presenting the Shak- 
speare dramas, interspersed with romantic plays of less 
d:ignity, but at length making a specialty of "The 
Streets of New York." How he came to do so, he 
thus explains : "I used to select Hamlet as my opening 
part, following with Macbeth and Richelieu, and fill out 
the week with other high class roles to empty benches, 
but with an approving conscience. I was regarded in 
certain Idealities with great favor in these parts by the 

356 PLAYElEts -OF A century; 

press and the attending few. If my engagement was-' 
for a'fortnight, Iwould forthesecondweekannoiinoetlie-: 
part of Badger, and after playing it, not unfrequently 
find myself soundly berated by my personal friends 
and gentle critics for 'prostitutiiig my talents,' and sO' 
on, until I found where I played the classic drama, I 
could not attract in Badger ; so this suggested (for 
pecuniary motives) making Badger my 'extra' part, and- 
usually with success, but when I would venture on the 
classic in such places where I had been measured by 
my Badger tape, the very thought of my departure was 
either recorded as preposterous or with that worse 
feeling, a patronizing and qualified "approval. This 
assured me that I could not be versatile and successful ;. 
that versatility was a capital quality in a stock actor, 
but the public demanded an identity in a stap, that it 
would not permit to be disturbed, so I settled down 
into the Badger, playing the others only occasionally — ■ 
loving them the more." In 1872, as heretofore related,: 
Mr. Mayo, while managing at Eochester, first played 
Davy Orochett, with which his name is as closely asso- 
ciated as Jefferson's with Rip Van Winkle, or Maggie 
Mitchell's with Fanchon. Of Mr. Mayo's method in 
presenting -his beautiful creation, what he says may be 
interesting. After giving as his advice to young actors 
that they should never know their best and not settles 
down to a conviction ^ as to what they can shine in, 
until plenty of experience and repeated trial has 
demonstrated it, he adds : "Do all your work at 
rehearsals. The greatest difficCilties I have had to 
overcome have been the en'ors I have made by trust-- 
ing to the impulse that comes at night when^the actors' 
wits are too busy to use them for judgment. To tell- 
you the truth, my performanceof Orochett is to me a very 
wooden one, but I think I- conceal this fact from the 
public. All that apparent unconsciousness for which 
I have been commended, is the' purest assumption:-*^ 
that is the artistic part of the work. I have in my 
study of the character felt and enjoyed all that I make 
others feel and enjoy. I, as an artist, must' lose that 


condition, when I come to my work, and be presum,- 
ably lost, while thoroughly self-contained. This has 
been my method and the rehearsal is the time and 
place in which I have accomplished it." 

To resume: April 22d, Dan Bryant appeared and 
during his engagement played in "The Irish Emi- 
grant" and " Handy Andy " ; "Born to Good Luck" 
and "More Blunders Than One"; "Irish Lion" and 
"Danny the Baron." Bryant, better known as a 
negro minstrel than as an Irish comedian, was born in 
Troy, May 9th, 1833. He made his debut in a white 
face, in the Winter Garden, July 2d, 1863, as Handy 
Andy, and afterwards played as an Irish star in this 
country and in England. At this time, his engagement 
terminated suddenly; on account, as he said, of .the 
death of a child, and he sent telegrams to that effect 
to Mr. Trimble, and it was so announced in the papers. 
The facts were, that Dan was a little irregular in his 
habits, and had eventually to pay heavy damages for 
disappointing the managers. Not long after, the child 
did really die. Bryant died April 10th, 1875. 

Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Bates appeared in "Gatharine 
Howard, or The Throne, The Scafiold, The Tomb," 
arid "The Man with the Iron, Mask." Lady Don was 
the next star, appearing in "The Pretty House- 
breaker," and the burlesque of "Kenilworth." Ee- 

' ceipts for her week, $1,350.25. She was the widow of 
Sir William Don, the comedian, and made her first 

.appearance in America the February preceding. She 
died September 20th, 1875. 

- May 13th, Mr. and Mrs. Gomcrsal, who played bur- 
lesque, etc. ; receipts, $1,217. The benefits' followed, 
Mrs. Maeder presenting for hers, Mrs. Vernon, Miss 
Mary .Gannon, Mr. Ogden, and Mr. F. G. Maeder. 
"Married Life" and "Eura.1 Felicity" constituted the 
bill. This was the last appearance . on the Albany 
stage of Mrs. Yernon and Mary Gannon, once the 
favorites of the town, as they were now of New York. 
Of Mrs. Vernon in particular (Mrs. Maeder's sister), 
we have spoken at length, in connection, with her 


.residence here with her husband, in 1827. She retired 
April 3d, 1869, as well beloved by the public as any 
woman who ever trod the boards of the New York 
stage, with which she had been connected nearly forty- 
two years. It is related of her that she has been 
accosted in the streets by ladies, who said : " Mrs. 
Vernon, you do not know us ; but we know you and 
have known you for many years ; we love you and we 
want to kiss you!" Mary Gannon, the old Museum 
favorite, made her last appearance on the stage at Wal- 
lack's, Januai-y 27th, 1868, going through her part 
with difficulty and Taeing taken home to die. Mr. 
Fred. G. Maeder, whose appearance is also noted, is 
the second son of Mr. and Mrs. James Gr. Maeder, 
and was born in New York, September 11th, 1840. 
He is the well-known author of several plays, and 
manager of many stars. 

The season closed May 25th, and a summer season 
opened on the 27th, with Kate Fisher and her horse 
Wonder in " Mazeppa," " Cataract of the Ganges," 
etc., followed by a week of burlesque, by a company 
in which M. W. Leffingwell and Mrs. Sedley Brown 
were the stars, supported by Mr. and Mrs. E. A. 
Eberle, Millie Sackett, Annie Campion, J. B. Mc- 
Closkey and others. Fanny Herring also appeared a 
few nights as the " Female Detective." 

June 7th, the theatre was closed on account of the 
death of the manager, Mr. Trimble, who had long been 
ill. The gross receipts during his management, were as 
follows : 

Season of 1864-5 167,350 99 

" 1865-6 62,318 05 

" 1866-7 64,125 28 

Total $193,794 32 




The Academy under Miss Trimbles Management. 

THE next and last season of the Academy of Music 
Opened September 2d, 1867, with the Eichings 
English opera company, and under the management of 
Miss A. G. Trimble, sole lessee and proprietor. Miss 
Trimble, now the wife of Lucien Barnes, was about 
twenty-four years of age. On account of her father's 
infirmity and the belief that there were some persons 
in the world not too good to rob a blind man, she had 
for some months previous to Mr. Trimble's death, been 
his constant attendant in the box office, and aided him 
all that she could, even to counting the house. As he 
grew more and more feeble, and felt that his end was 
approaching, he asked her to undertake the manage- 
ment when he was gone. Eeluctant to assume such a 
responsibility, she tried to think of some other way, but 
none appeared. There was no one else to do it, and, 
of gourse, she consented. Contracts had already been 
made with a number of stars, and these were carried 
out, and new ones entered into. In short, the season 
under this enterprising and plucky little manager 
(though lasting only five months, on account of the 
flr^, netted her $8,000. Particulars are as follows : 

The operas presented by the Eichings company were : 
"The Bohemian Girl," "Linda di Ghamounix,'"' "Mar- 
itana," "Martha," "Daughter of the Eegiment," "Era 
Diavolo," "Grown Diamonds," "Norma," and "La 
Sonnambula." Mr. Peter Eichings, the venerable 
actor and manager, was here in person, it being his 


last visit to Albany. Miss Trimble remembered with 
gratitude his fatherly care and attention on these 
opening nights, suggesting many points which "were 
invaluable to the young and timid novice. Mr. Eich- 
ings died January 18th, 1871, from injuries received 
from being thrown from a wagon. The company were 
here two weeks ^ receipts $3,126 and $2,700. 

The dramatic company engaged for the season 
included Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Carroll, Mr. arid Mrs. S. 
K. Chester, Mrs. Maeder, Mrs. Eyan, Miss Stanfield, 
Miss- Louise Sylvester, Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. 
Barnes, Messrs. Lassell, Shields, Stevens, W. W. More- 
knd, C. C. Bradshaw, W. C. Miller, M..E. Hayden, W. 
C. Crosby, E. C. McCall, E. S. Packard and S. E. 

Mr. Carroll was born in Chestertown, Maryland, 
October 12th, 1837, and married Jennie Melville, a 
Boston girl, who was the original Katy in the drama 
of "Hot Corn." Mr. Chester was also born in Mary^ 
land and had played frequently in Baltimore and the 
south. His wife was Annie S. Hodges, of Baltimore. 
E. 0. McCall was afterwards "old man " at the Division 
street theatre, and still later, has been at the head of 
small travelling combinations. 

Miss Louise Sylvester, a.t this time only about 
thirteen years old, has since become 'so well and favor- 
ably known and gives such promise of being a still 
greater favorite, that more notice is due her than the 
position she then occupied would warrant, of itself; 
and it is the more freely given from the fact that she 
is a native of Albany, her mother, Mrs. Jiilia Sylves- 
ter, having made her debui at Meech's museum before- 
Louise was born. The daughter, desiring to follow 
the same profession, secured an engagement from Mr. 
Trimble, "putting on long dresses and telling every 
body she was a great deal older than she was," so 
anxious was she to succeed. But 'her barren ward- 
robe — and perhaps her extreme youth — did not 
satisfy the new matiageresSj and so, packing up the 
little white muslin dress made by' herself, and ' the 


little satin over-dress, "made from one of mama's," 
the young actress found her way to New Orleans and 
presented herself before good, kind-hearted old Ben 
De Bar, with the announcement that she was " Miss 
Sylvester, if you please, sir." He took pity upon her, 
and the fever having made players scarce, she was 
taken into the company and kindly treated by the 
manager, who became and continued her friend so 
long as he lived. She happened to open in a part 
fitted to her, and doing a Highland fling and a song, 
made a hit. As the season went on, sickness and 
death created many emergencies in the company, and 
being gifted with a quick study, she found herself 
playing all sorts of parts, many of them far beyond 
her years and experience.. How she played them, 
sometimes, may best be illustrated by a little incident, 
told by herself, as follows : 

I won't be sure, but I think the piece was " Six Degrees 
of Crime " ;. the leading juvenile lady was taken ill with 
the fever, at the last moment : no one else could study 
the part ; I asked for and got it. Need I tell you how 
proud I was ? There was a murder scene in it I was 
to be murdered ; I was to act tragedy. I don't think 
you can fully understand the joy of that moment to me. 
I was to be pulled around the stage by the hair — Oh ! 
Oh ! — ^"well, I practiced that scene every moment of the 
time left me. From that hour I was not in the world — 
I only felt that I was to be mur-r-rdered. I never woke 
from that dream of bliss till after the act, when some 
one came to me and said : 

" You have killed the leader of the orchestra ! ! ! " 
Think "of it ! Well, it seems, that in the scene, I had 
to get the dagger from the villain, who finally succeeded 
in strangling me, by winding my hair around my neck. 
When I got the weapon, I was to throw it away. Well, 
I did throw it away and struck the leader of the orches- 
tra — who was playing tremolo — in the eye. There 
was a shout from the audience, excitement among the 
musicians, and no more tremolo for that act ; but so lost 
was I, that I knew nothing of what I had done till they 
told me ; then they had to hold me by main force to 



keep me frotn running from the theatre, hut it was only 
a scratch after all, and the leader had a hearty reception 
when he took his place again that evening." 

Nothing daunted, Louise worked on knd worked 
hard, refusing no part, thus learning much that she 
never forgot. Frprti New Orleans she went to Cleve- 
land, Chicago, St. Louis and the western circuit, steadily 
gaining in Her profession. Two seasons she stari'ed in 
a piece called "Nip," and finally worked her way to 
the Union Square theatre. Then her mother and 
brother died ; she lost her own health, and was sent to 
San Francisco as a last resort. There she got better, 
made a hit, received a thousand-dollar benefit, and 
came east to start anew. Her first offer (professional) 
was to act Evangeline in John Stetson's company. This 
she found too hard work, and engaged with the^ Cri- 
terion comedy company, of which tbis season she has 
been the leading attraction. Her natural abilities, 
combined with a willingness to sink every thing for 
the sake of her art, are sure to win for her more than 
ordinary honors. If we are not much mistaken, 
Albany will yet proudly claim her as one of its bright- 
est dramatic children. 

But perhaps, after~ all, the most interesting mem- 
ber of Miss Trimble's ootnpahy was Agnes Stan- 
field, although she was not at all prominent, and only 
remained a few weeks, playing un important parts. This 
was really Ada Clare, the queen of the Bohemians, as 
she has been sometimes called. Her real name was Jane 
McBthenney, and she came of a good family in the 
south, being a cousin of Paul Hayne, the poet. She, 
herself, was better known as a writer than an actress. 
She contributed to the journals of the day and wrote a 
novel, "Asphodel," which, though printed, was never 
published, owing to the suspension of a Boston firm 
which had it in hand. The only book of hers given 
to the public was entitled "Only a Woman's Heart." 
But for years she was the feature of a certain phase of 
New York life. " She was an associate of Fitz James 
O'Brien, George Arnold, Artemus Ward, Ned Wilkins, 


Henry Clapp, Jr., Mortimer Thompson and otlier 
Grotham. joarnajists, was a hail-fellow, well-met with 
all, and thought nothing of running off on a jaunt for 
a week or a month with any of them. Her intensely 
eager, nervous, clean-cut face and heavy blonde hair,, 
always attracted the attention of Broadway to her, and 
there quaffing champagne at the Maison Doree, or beer 
at PrafE's, she. was wholly indifferent to criticism." 
She made her debut as an actress at the Academy of 
Music in New York, November 27th„ 1855, as Ophelia, 
in " Hamlet," played by amateurs, but was never a 
great success. At length she married Frank P. Noyes, 
and it is said, lived very happily with him. She played 
under the name of Stanfield in several companies, and 
was here but a few weeks. She is remembered as 
being perfectly lady-like in her deportmenl, but shrink- 
ing from her past history.- In January, 1874, she was 
bitten by a favorite lap-dog, but as the wound, which 
was severe, was cauterised, no serions trouble was 
apprehended, and she went to Eochester to join Lucille 
Western's company performing there. Just one month 
after she was bitten, hydrophobia manifested itself, and 
death ensued on the 4th of March following. A writer 
in the Tribune says : " She was reallv known to but few 
persons, but by them, in the solemn, grief-stricken 
words of an old poet, ' she will be mourned till Pity'g 
self is dead.' " 

The opening bill was "The Three Guardsmen," 
with Frank Mayo as the star. Nothing new to the 
Academy stage was produced during his engagement ; 
receipts, $1,656. Miss Fannie B. Price was the next 
star, opening in Leah. She was followed by Mrs. 
Bowers, who played Mary Stuart, Camille, Juliet and 
Jane Shore; one night Governor Fenton and General 
Sickles and staff attending. 

October 21st, "Lost in London " was produced, with 
McKee Rankin and Mrs. 0. Henri as stars. Mrs. 
Henri (died September 20th, 1879), joined the com- 
pany in place of Louise Sylvester. Zoe came next, 
and was followed November 4th, by Julia Dean, who 


appeared in "The Woman in White," and "Married, 
not Mated," (by Thomas de Walden, the author taking 
the part of Taupin.) This was after this once favorite 
actress's return from California. Her attractions were 
all gone, and her voice could be heard only with diffi- 
culty. She died the following March. 

Edwin Adams, Chanfrau, Kate Eeignolds, Edward 
Eddy, Eliza Newton and Lucille Western played 
engagements, and December 23d, " Under the Gas- 
light " was brought out, and proved the great success 
of the season. It ran till January llth; one day 
(including a matinee) to $911. 

January 27th, 1868, Charles Barron began an 
engagement as Henri de Lorraine, in "Hilda." The 
bill was repeated Tuesday night, and was up for Wed- 
nesday (the 29th). About half-past six that morning, 
fire was discovered in the rear of J. Burke's saloon, 
adjoining the theatre on the north. The firemen, as 
they supposed, had extinguished the flames, and were 
about to retire, when it was found that the Academy 
was in a blaze. In a short time nothing was left- stand- 
ing but the front wall. The loss was estimated at 
$45,000. There was an insurance on the building of 
$20,000. Nothing, but the books in the office were 
saved. The actors lost their wardrobes,' and Johti 
Brougham, to whom Albaiiy seems a doubly fatal 
place, lost the models of the play in which he was to 
appear the next week. The company played February 
1st arid 2d, in Tweddle hall, and then disbanded. 




The l)ivision Street Theatre Under Various Managments. 

TTTHB burning of the Academy of Music left ^the city 
^ once more without a theatre, and for a while, 
although there was much talk of rebuilding, nothing 
was done. ISTever since 1812 had Albany been more 
destitute of a place for dramatic performances than for 
a year or two after the very successful Trimble regime. 
Martin hall had not been built, and Tweddle hall was 
destitute of both curtain and scenery. 

Meanwhile, a building on Division street, between 
Pearl and Green, was being quietly transformed into 
a theatre, to be managed by Frank Lawlor. It was 
erected about the year 1813, for a Methodist church, 
and was used as such, till the old North Pearl street 
circus was turned into a church, when the Methodists 
sold their Division street property to the Unitari- 
ans. There, Rev. A. D. Mayo preached, and various 
societies occupied it till it was bought by Gerson 
Oppenheim, who went about fitting it over into a h'all. 
Lawlor gecured a lease of the building for five years, 
at an annual rental of $5,500, and was to expend 
$5,000 in improvements. It was said that the next 
day after the lease was signed, he was offered $5,000 
for his bargain. For a season or two the theatre did 
a prosperous business, but its location was always 
against it, as was the fact that its one gallery was the 
best part of the house. 

The company included Frank Lawlor, George 0. 
Boniface and Augusta L. Dargon for leading business; 
George Ryer, as old man and stage manager ; Charles 


Hilliard, William G. Orosbie, A. L. Cooke, A. J. Saw- 
telle, C. E. Edwin, J. W. "Walsh, Mrs. M. A. Farren, • 
Maggie Newton, Alice Brooks, Caroline E. Carman, 
Florence Vincent, Lena Hall, and Louisa Howard. 
William Yeeder was treasurer; .Q-eorge Williams, 
scenic artist; John Meehan, stag* cktpenter, and C. L. 
Underner, leader of the orchestra. Admission, , 75 
and 50 cents. 

The opening night of the Academy of Music, as it 
was called, was October 4t'h, 1869, when "Love's 
Sacrifice " was produced, cast as follows : 

St. Lo .' George C Boniface 

Matthew Elmore '. Frank Lawlor 

Paul La Font George Ryer 

Eugene Delorme Charles Hilliard 

Friar Dominic A. L. Cook 

Jean Ruse W. C. Crosbie 

Morlac J. A. Sawtelle 

Du Viray C. E. Edwin 

Servfint .....' Mr. Jones 

Margaret Elmore Augusta L. Dargon 

Herifiinie Maggie Newton 

Manou Mrs. M. A. Farren 

Jenny Florence Vincent 

This was an excellent company. • Mr. Lawlor, of 
whom mention has previously been made, was a 
thoroughly good actor and a Successful star. Gleorge 
C. Boniface, an Englishman (born in 1833), had been 
on the stage since 1851. He was the original Rodolph, 
in "The Black Orook," and is accounted among the 
"stars" of the present day. George Ryer has been 
mentioned before as one of the best "old men " ever 
seen in Albany. Alice Bi'ooks has since become a 
favorite in travelling organizations, and Miss Dargon, 
the Irish tragedienne, has acquii-ed a much more than 
local reputation. Her father was a doctor, the son of 
General Dargon, a well-known Irish patriot. Her 
mother was Scotch. Miss Dargon catne to America 
when quite young, and at the suggestion of Horace 
Greeley, who discovered her dramatic talent, gave a 


series of readings, with success. She then went upon 
the stage and played in ISTew Orleans, Galveston and 
San Francisoo. At th^e time of the great fire in Chicago, 
she was acting at the Globe, and was so severely 
injured during the calamity, that she was obliged to 
go to Paris to seek medical advice, and there sustained 
an operation, which restored her to the stage. She 
returned to America, and Stephen E'iske having 
dramatised Tennyson's "Queen Mary" for her, she 
appeared in it, for the first time, at the Leland opera 
house. She has since been in Australia, where she is 
winning golden opinions. Although Miss Dargon 
usually plays heavier characters, she is said to be an 
excellent comedienne as well. She has many admirers 
in Albany, esspecially among her countrymen. During 
her sojourn here, she was a devout attendant upon St. 
Mary's church, and in private life, was said to be both 
brilliant and agreeable. 

Among the novelties speedily produced by the com- 
pany, were "Dora," " Jocrisse, the Juggler," "Henry 
Dunbar," "Blow for Blow," "Lancashire Lass," "For- 
mosa," "Long Strike," " Under the Gaslight," " Streets 
of New York," etc. December 11th, Mr. Boniface 
retired, and December 20th, Joseph K. Emmet, the 
first star, appeared. He had just made the hit of his 
life at Buffalo, where, November 22d,he first appeared 
as Fritz. His great success there and here as a German 
comedian, has been repeated wherever he has shown 
his handsome face. He was born in St. Louis, March 
13th, 1841, and made his dehut in that city, in 1866. 
Two years later he joined Bryant's minstrels, and now 
came out as a star. 

The Trimble opera house, opening December 31st, 
did not at first appear to affect business in Division street 
as much as might have been expected. On the 28th, 
Walter Keeble appeared in "'The Lottery of Life," 
having been engaged in place of Boniface. Mr. Keeble 
had been on the stage since November 25th, 1854, 
part of the time in this country and part of the time 
in England. In September, 1870, he became leading 


man in Manager Barnes's company, at the Trimble 
opera house, and subsequently managed the Division 
street theatre for several seasons. His health failing, 
he went south (where he had played during the war), 
and lived, for a time, near Aiken, South Carolina, on 
a little place which Harry Watkins drew in a lottery. 
Afterwards, he was a clerk in a hotel, and whether he 
is living at the present time, we are unable to say. 
Mr. Keeble was a perfect gentleman and a thoroughly 
good general actor, and played the principal roles of 
tragedy with good effect. He was the only man, prob- 
ably, who ever played Hamlet in Albany for six con- 
secutive performances. 

January 3d, 1870, Marietta Eavel' began a week's 
engagement and was succeeded by Mr. and Mrs. Barney 
Williams. On the 17th, B. L. Davenport, having with- 
drawn from the Fifth avenue theatre, appeared in 
"Enoch Arden," its first presentation in Albany,' and 
in "The Duke's Motto." The houses were very large 
and his reception was enthusiastic. 

On the 81st, Yankee Eobinson and Minnie Jackson 
appeared in "Yankee" plays. Robinson has been 
every thing from a shoemaker and dancing teacher to 
the proprietor of a first-class circus. He is a child of 
Avon — Livingston county, New York, and was born 
in 1818. February 7th, the old Irish comedian, John 
Collins, began an engagement. On the 15th, the 
Worrell sisters, Sophie and Irene, appeared, playing 
"The Field of the Cloth of Gold," "Ixion,"and other 
burlesques, also "The Grand Duchess." The sisters 
were the daughters of William Worrell, and appeared 
first as dancers in California. They visited Australia, 
and returning, came east with their parents in 1866, 
and for a time were the lessees of the New York 
theatre. Their engagement in Division street was a 
fine success, the' revival of burlesque having just begun. 
Jennie, their other sister, was not with them at this 
time, her place being filled by Hattie O'Neil. Sophie 
has since married Knight, the extremely clever Ger- 
man comedian. 


Februfuy 21st, James M. Ward, who afterwards 
married Winnetta Montague, began the first of several 
engagements at this theatre, playing Irish characters. 
The Worrell sisters came again and were followed by 
Lisa Weber and her troupe of blondes. Miss Weber had 
seceded from the Lydia Thompson company, of which 
she was a prominent member, and produced "Ixion" 
and other plays then the rage, but not with great success. 

February 25th, for Miss Dargon's benefit, the bene- 
ficiary played Meg Merrilies; for Walter Keeble's 
benefit he played Othello; for Ryer's farewell, "Dora" 
was presented, with Marion Fiske asDom. Miss Fislce 
was an attractive soubreite, who was soon afterwards a 
favorite in the stock company. March 21st, Maggie 
Mitchell began an engagement in her favorite charac- 
ters, and on the 28th, Elise Holt and her husband, 
Harry Wall, appeared in "Nip." The lady was. born 
in London, July 11th, 1847, and after achieving success 
at the Strand, was brought over to this country by 
Wall, to lead a burlesque company. She was divorced 
from her former husband and soon after married Wall. 
She died December 28th, 1873. 

Mr. Ryer now left the company, Mr. Keeble succeed- 
ing him as stage manager. The next attraction, April 
4th, was the production, for the first time in Albany, 
of "Frou-Frou," through the assistance of Fanny 
Davenport, Emily Rigl, Mrs. Wilkins, and D. H. Har- 
kins, from Daly's theatre. It was also the first appear- 
ance here of Miss Davenport, who has since become so 
much of a favorite. She was born in London, in 1850, 
and is the daughter of the late B. L. Davenport. Her 
first appearance was as a child in the Howard Athe- 
naaum. She first appeared in New York at Niblo's, in 
1862, but never created much of a sensation till, under 
Daly's fostering care, she blossomed forth into an emo- 
tional actress. Her first important part was as the 
sentimental heroine in T. W. Robertson's "Play," 
which she performed during the illness of Agnes 
Ethel, and soon after succeeded to that lady's position 
in the company. A very beautiful woman, an actress 


inheriting from both father and mother much dramatic 
talent, she is one of the leading favorites of the day, 
playing a range of parts including Pauline, Lady 
Teazle, Mabel Benfr&w, Rosalind and Nancy Syhes. She 
is, in fact, the most versatile of all the star actresses in 
the country. She has recently been married to Mr. 

" Frou Frou " was well mounted, well played and 
proved a great success. April 7th, Mr. J. W. Albaugh, 
who had had some difficulty with Mr. Barnes at the 
Trimble, came here and played JEustache, and a few 
days later took a complimentary benefit, playing la^go 
to Lawlor's Othello, Marion Fiske as Desdemona. The 
receipts were said: to be $600. 

M. W. Leffi.ngwell appeared on the 11th, in comedy. 
He tried all lines in his life-time, but was best in bur- 
lesqxie, his Romeo Jaffier Jenkins and Beppo, being 
most capital performances. He died during the sum- 
mer of 1879. He was step-father to William J. 
Gilbert, recently of the Leland opera house. 

From the 19th to -the 30th, Joe Emmet played to 
large^ business. May 2d, E. L. Davenport appeared, 
Mary Hill making her first appearance during his 
engagement, and Fanny Davenport playing Lady Gay 
for his benefit. Lucille Western, the Chapman sisters 
and C. B. Bishop followed, and Zoe closed the season^ 
In spite of opposition, Mr. Lawlor had made consider- 
able money. 

During the summer, a variety show under William 
Veeder, was given ; and in September, Mafftt and 
Bartholomew, pantomimists, John E. Owens and the 
Kiralfy ballet troupe appeared for a few nights each. 

The second season opened October 3d, with Mrs. 
James A. Oates's comic and burlesque opera troupe, 
which played to full houses for twelve nights, her 
dashing style making quite an impression. The lady 
was born in Nashville, September 29th, 1849', and was 
educated in a convent. Her maiden name was Merritt. 
She has been married several times. 

The next attraction was Johnny Thompson, a "min- 


strel " star, whose special claims for admiration were 
that he could make a noise on fifteen different articles, 
and wash the burnt cork from his face in twenty-two 
seconds. His business was not very large. 

October 31st, George Ryer was announced as acting 
manager, but Mr. Lawlor was still so in reality. Josie 
Orton appeared as the first star, and was followed by 
Kate Reignolds, Moses W. Fiske and his daughter 
Marion, Frank Drew, Mrs. Lander (two weeks to good 
houses) ; Joe Murphy (in Fred Maeder's drama of 
" Help," for two weeks); Mrs. D. P. Bowers, Edward 
Eddy (two weeks) ; then Mrs. Lander again ; E. T. Stet- 
son in "Neck and Neck"; Joe Murphy again; two 
weeks more of Mrs. Bowers, and then the Foster panto- 
mime company, during which engagement the regular 
company went travelling. 

On March 2d, a complimentary benefit was tendered 
Manager Lawlor, and took place in Martin hall, Mrs. 
Bowers, Gus Phillips and Joe Murphy appearing. 
The receipts were said to be $2,000. 

This closed Mr. Lawlor's connection with the thea- 
tre. The city had now three other buildings in which 
theatrical performances were given, and all of them 
superior to the Division street establishment in size, 
location and appointments. The Troy opera house 
being about completed, Mr. Lawlor negotiated for 
the lease of that, but it was finally assigned to Mrs. 
Waller. Mr. Lawlor then went to Chicago and suffered 
severely from the great fire. A benefit was given him 
at Martin hall in October (1871), when the .house was 

The next man to manage the theatre, was Tony 
Denier. He improved the inside of the building 
materially, extending the family circle, putting in two 
private boxes, lowering the stage and altering the 
entrance. It was opened August 29fch, as the Capitol 
theatre, and in the company were M. T, Melville, 
George Learock, Charlene Weidman and others. Mr. 
Keeble was acting manager. 

Tony Denier, one of the cleverest clowns that ever 


donned the motley, is also one of the most genial, of 
men, and most companionable of good fellows; and 
withal, an excellent business man. In reply to a letter 
asking for some personal information, Tony writes 
that his memory is so treacherous, that he cannot even 
recollect the date of his birth, but he is certain he was 
there ; and as he has acknowledged for several years 
past that he is twenty-seven years old, he thinks it 
best not to disturb that fact. He was, if we- mistake 
not, the first American clown to make a success in 
England, and had an established reputation in all the 
cities of this country, before he came to Albany. He 
made some money in Division street, but was shrewd 
enough to know when to quit. Hor some time after, 
he made Albany his home, but is now a resident of 
Chicago, and at the head of the most successful panto: 
mime company in the country. 

Melville was the comedian aiid a very good one. 
He afterwards played at the other theatre and became 
a favorite. The same may be said of Greorge Learock, 
who played leading business. He is, at present,' in 
Chicago. Charlene Weidman is an Albany girl. She 
played leading parts for the Histrionic amateur associa- 
tion for two seasons, and then joined the Capitol thea- 
tre company, and was put forward rapidl}' by Mr. 
Keeble, even playing Parthenia to his Ingomar, in 
some of his tours outside the city. She has improved 
very much of late, and now makes a very pleasing 
. soubreite in Joe Murphy's travelling company. 

The intention was to combine theatricals with a 
variety show, and that plan was carried out for a few 
nights, during which, besides an olio, farces and panto- 
mimes were given, but business was poor, and a change 
was soon made to the regular thing again. Little Nell 
appeared, and then Kate Fisher in "Mazeppa " ; James 
Maguire in ''Over the Falls"; Kate Raj'mond; Mr. 
and Mrs. Albaugh; Rose Evans; Edwina Gray; Ed- 
ward Eddy and, " Sappho." "Sappho," whose real 
name was Florence Ellis, was a precocious little girl, 
who played burlesque and farce with mu<5h acceptance. 


Governor Hoffman and Mayor Thacher attended her 
performances, and a complimentary benefit was given 
her in Martin ball. She is now an opera singer of 
some prominence. 

Janauschek also played a night or two here in Jan- 
uary, and was followed by Eobert McWade, Leona 
Oavender, Ettie Henderson, Swaine Buckley, the 
Chapman sisters ' and B. A. Locke ; James Ward, 
John S. Norton, Augusta Dargon, etc. 

In April, 1872, Mr. Denier transferred the lease of 
the theatre, which had four years more to run, to 
Walter Keeble. Dominick Murray, Charley Parsloe, 
James Ward and one or two stars of still smaller mag- 
nitude appeared, after which the season closed. 

Another opened August 19th, with the play of " A 
Heart of Grold." In the company were Charles 
Waverly, James E. Nugent, E. L. Mortimer, E. S. 
Packard, Felix Morris, M. T. Melville, Hannah and 
Josephine Bailey, Charlene Weidman and Ada 

Charles Waverly, an Englishman, although rather 
of an uneven actor, does some character parts remark- 
ably well ; his skill in "making up the face " being 
unusual. He is a fine dresser and an excellent man 
to have in a company. The Bailey girls have since 
become favorites in other cities. In regard to Felix 
Morris, a rising young comedian, we take the liberty 
of inserting the following pleasantly written reply to 
our letter asking for information in regard to his 
experience : 

3d January, 1880. 
Mr. S. P. Phelps: 

Pear Sir — In answer to your note, I append, with 
pleasure, the following details : I was a medical student 
at Guy's hospital, London. Always an enthusiast m 
matters theatrical, I joined an amateur society, and 
shortly after determined to adopt the stage as a profes- 
sion, to the great disappointment of my father, who 
positively forbade my doing so in England. I left there 
for America in 1871, and.,; without exactly knowing why, 


came direct to Albany, and after some trouble and 
through the influence of Walter Keeble, got into the 
box-office of the Capitol theatre, under Tony Denier. 
My first appearance under that gentleman's manage- 
ment was so unsatisfactory that he resolved to keep me 
in the box-office, where he thought I would be more use^ 
ful. I, still ambitious, left him at a week's notice, went 
to New York, and from there to Boston, experiencing 
nothing but disappointment, and unable to get on the 
stage any where. In Boston, funds being shdi't, I made 
iise of my medical knowledge and obtained a comfort- 
able position as blerk in a drug store, waiting for some- 
thing to turn up, " theatrically." In answer to an appli- 
cation, Walter Keeble engaged me for his first season at 
the Capitol theatre, as a member of his company — not 
to be entrusted with lines for som€ time. I remained 
with him till he left Albany, and then came under Mr. 
Albaugh's management till April, 18V5. Went from 
Albany to Canada, remained in Montreal two seasons in 
the stock, "76-'7Y; vent to Portland for some three 
months, then back to Canada, became lessee and man- 
ager of the Academy of Music, Montreal, and at the 
end of an unsuccessful season, engaged in Fifth avenue 
theatre. New York; then to Halifax, summer 181$, and 
then to California theatre, San Francisco, from whence 
I have just returned. In Halifax, I met my .wife, Miss 
Florence Wood, a former member of Mr. Daly's original 
company, and our marriage took place in San Francisco, 
May 15th, 1879. Played first comedy and character 
"business ever since I left Albany. Was born April 25th; 
1850. Want of time firevents me from giving any thing 
like a graphic account of my career, or of the sentiments 
with which I am actuated toward my adopted country, 
a country that has given me my wife,.an excellent living 
and a host of friends. Albany, as the starting point in 
my new experience, I have always looked upon as my 
Alma Mater. Faithfully yours, 

Felix J. Moeeis. 

Morris, while here, made a careful study of every 
part that was given him, no matter how trifling, and 
has advanced slowly but surely to a Very fair rank in 
the professioti, atid, as we believe, ;will' go still higher. 


Mr. Barnes had now lost possession of the Trimble 
opera house (not long after going oat as the agent for 
Baker & Farron), and without any head, business at 
that place was not very prosperous. Mr. Keeble 
therefore did much better in Division street than he 
otherwise would have dope. Among the stars who 
appeared were John H. Jack and (his wife) Annie 
Firmin, Baker and Farron, E. A. Locke, The Coleman 
. Children, Mrs. Waller, Oliver Doud Byron and C. B. 

In November, Mr. Keeble appeared as Hamlet, for 
six performances, and wag assisted by Mr. T. J. Lan- 
ahan, as the Ghost Mr. Lanahanhasfor several years 
been a leading amateur in Albany, and has frequently 
appeared with .professionals, always on such occasions 
being received with favor. February 10th, 1873, he 
also appeared as Bmradas to Mr. Keeble's Richelieu, an4 
frequently supported him in Cohoes and other places. 

Mr. Keeble continued to manage till spring, when 
he was compelled to go south for the benefit of his 
health. During his first season, he made, it is said, 
•some $5,000, but this was all lost in the months that 
followed. Much of the time he was unable to attend 
to business himself, and in spite of his exertions, the 
theatre deteriorated in every way. After his abdication 
it ran down very low, and finally, on the 8th of Decem- 
ber, 1876, was destroyed by fire. The site is novy 
occupied by dwelling houses. 




2 he Trimble Opera House under Luden Barnes and 

THE city of Albany owes its present beautiful thea- 
tre to the energy and enterprise of Mr. Lucien 
Barnes. After the burning of the Academy of Music 
in 1868, there was much talk as to how it should be 
rebuilt. Various plans were proposed, and a joint 
stock company was talked of. Indeed, an act of incor- 
poration was considered by the legislature, but for 
some reason the building was not erected. At length, 
Mr. Barnes, who, meantime, had married the former 
manageress. Miss Trimble, undertook to do single- 
handed what combined effort had not accomplished, 
and in exactly fifty-one days from the time of begin- 
ning work on the blackened ruins, completed and 
opened to the public one of the most beautiful temples 
of the drama in this country. Mr. Barnes had been 
for about ten years chief clerk and cashier of the state 
insurance department, in which position of trust, mil- 
lions of dollars passed through his hands. This posi- 
tion, which he had held to the satisfaction of all, he 
resigned to become manager of a plat^e of amusement, 
to him an utterly new and untried business. In order 
to raise the capital necessary to build and conduct the 
theatre, the " Trimble opera house bonds " were issued 
to the amount of $40,000, having ten years to run, 
with the stipulation that ten per cent, of their face was 
to be met yearly, together with seven per cent, interest. 
With the theatre in existence, there is no necessity 


for describing it. in .detail ; to. say. that it was 
furnished, to, begin .with, .with all the. modern improve- 
ments, was heated .with, steam, and supplied not only 
with all the comforts possible for an audience to enjoy, 
but with many luxuries. The stage is a model in all 
respects. The drop curtain ^ painted by Lewis, then scenic 
artist at the New York Academy of Music, is one of the 
prettiest ever shown in any theatre in America. One 
fact is worth mentioning in this connection : the con- 
tract with Lewis stipulated that he should deliver the 
curtain in the theatre ; he expecting to have it com- 
pleted in. time to ship by boat. Failing to do this, it 
had to come from. New York on two cars, for which 
the artist had to pay $126. The orchestra chairs 
then numbered only three hundred. Of these, one 
hundred of the frames were coming up from New 
York by rail only the day before the opening ; yet 
they were upholstered, painted, in position, and occu- 
pied the first night. This is merely a specimen of the 
way in which the work was driven. 

The architect was Thomas R Jackson, who, it will 
be remembered, was also the architect of the old 
Academy. Mr. Vanderwerker, the former carpenter, 
was also employed, and John Bridgford was the master 

Thursday evening, December 30th, 1869, the Opera 
house was thrown open for the reception of the press 
and a few invited guests, Mr. Charles Leland furnish: 
ing refreshments. The next evening, Friday, December 
31st, the theatre was opened to the public. The open- 
ing address, written for the occasion, by a citizen of 
Albany, was spoken by Greorgie Langley. "The 
School for Scandal " was then played, cast as follows : 

Sir Peter Teazle. W. H. Collins 

Sir Oliver Surface Mr. Paul 

Joseph Surface S. Harold Forsberg 

Charles Surface J. W. Albaugh 

Crabtree Harry Clifford 

Sir Benj. Backbite Charles J. Edmoiis 

Rowley J. B. Brown 


Moses R. V. Fei'guBOn 

Trip J. B. Moore 

Snake J. 0. Walsli 

Careless T. J. Martin 

Sir Harry Buniper H. C. French 

Lady Teazle Henrietta Irving 

Mrs. Candour Jennie Clifford 

Lady Sneerwell Mrs. Le Brun 

Maria.. Georgie Langley 

Prices were one dollar, fifty cents and tliirt\'-five 
cents. The receipts were $548.90 ; the next day being 
Saturday, a matinee was given to $375.50, and the 
evening performance to $457.80. With the exception 
of Mr. Albaugh, leading man and stage manager; 
Henrietta Irving,- the leading lady, and Mrs. Le Brun, 
these were all first appearances in Albany. 

Charles L. Underner was leader of the orchestra. 
On Monday evening, January 3d, he entered the 
musicians' room, as usual, and there staring him in 
the face, was a broken looking-glass. " Ah ! " he said^; 
"somebody is going to die ! I hope it is not L" In 
less than half an hour afterwards he. was seen, while 
leading the band, to drop his hegid. Some in the 
audience thought he was drunk. Those around him, 
however, knew better, ajid went to his assistance. 
He was taken from his seat and carried home a dead 
man. Heart disease was the cause of his sudden 
demise. Sig. L. Parlati succeeded him as leader. 

For two weeks the legitimate was played by the 
company, but the old style of drama did not prove the 
necessary attraction, and something of a more modern 
cbaracter was sought for. "After Dai'k" was pro- 
jected, but it was found that Mr. Lawlor, manager 
of the opposition theatre, held the right to produce the 
great railroad scene in the play; consequently it was 
postponed, and instead, on January 17th, Edward Eddy 
appeared in his varied and extended repertory, and 
played to large houses.. He was followed by Edwin 
' January 31st, "After Dark " was produced with new 


scenery, a great concert saloon scene, and a steamboat 
explosion instead of a railroad catastrophe. This ran 
a week, and then had to be taken off on account of 
-another engagement, the business Saturday amounting 
to $850. The play was a great bill for matinees 
for weeks afterwards. The view of London bridge 
was a gem. Harley Merry, the painter, had then 
just returned from Europe, and was kept busy 
with his brush for months. At the opening, there was 
only just scenery enough to play "The School tof 
Scandal." When Mr. Barnes left the theatre, two 
years and a half afterwards, it was as well stocked 
with this important essential as any in the country. 

Eose and Harry Watkins were the next stars, and 
played to moderate business. John Brougham fol- 
lowed, playing to only about $250 . a night F. S. 
Chanfraii's average was about $50 better. The Flor- 
ences, however, who were here two weeks, played to 
fine business, a complimentary benefit, March 17th, 
being attended by one of the largest audiences ever 
seen in the theatre. 

March 21st, first night of "Ixion," the burlesque 
made popular by the Thompson troupe. This, pro- 
duced at a large outlay, ran till April 2d without 
inteiTuption, averaging from $400 to $700 a night. 
April 7th, Mr. Albaugh took a benefit, and made his 
last appearance at this place while it was under Mr. 
Barnes's management. April lltb, Eddy began a 
second engagement. 

April 26th, "The Black Crook" was brought out, 
with Bonfanti to lead the ballet, and ran eight times a 
week, till May 21st, the business varying from $400 
to $700 a night. Miss Irving was the Stalacta. A 
special boat was run to accommodate the Troy people, 
who flocked in crowds to see the spectacle. "The 
Black Crook " was first put on the stage at Niblo's 
Garden, September 12th, 1866, and ran continuously 
till January 4th, 1868, having 465 representations, the 
gross receipts being $760,000. Two hundred and 
eighteen persons were employed to run it, exclusive 


of tliQ dramatic corps. Mr. Wheatley, managei', hav-. 
ing; nearly beggared himself in trying to produce the. 
legitimate drama, retired with an independent fortune. 
G. M. Barras,. the author, was also made a rich man, and 
Jarrett & Palmer, who managed the ballet, were large 
sharers in the profits of the enterprise. The spectacle 
was several times revived, and reproduSsed with dimin- 
ished magnificence, in all the principal cities of the 
United States. " The White Fawn," " Leo and Lotus," 
" The Devil's Auction," " The Twelve Temptations,", 
etc., were afterwards brought out, in the hope of 
repeating the success of the " Grook," but in that the 
limit of spectacular beauty had, apparently, been 
reached, and all others suffered in comparison. 

Thursday afternoon. May 12th, Parepa Eosa's Eng- 
ligh opera troupe sang "The Bohemian Girl," at 
doubled prices, to $.740. This was a stroke of enter- 
prise on the part of Mr. Barnes, who, knowing that the 
company were to pass through en route for Boston, and 
being in the midst of the "Grook," hit upon the idea 
of an extra matinee performance, which worked 

The season closed May 21st, the receipts having 
been, for January, $10,684; February, $8,186 ; March, 
$9,663; April, $8,456; May, twenty days, $7,290. 
Total, $44,281. 

July 4th, Albert Aiken appeared in "The Witches 
of New: York," after which Kelly & Leon's minstrels 
appeared for a week, and " Ferimnde " was also 

The preliminary season of 1870-1, opened August 
17th, with' a ten-night engagement of Hernandez Foster 
and his troupe of pantomimists, in "HamptyDumpty," 
the first time it had been produced in Albany since its 
great success in New York. The opening night's 
receipts were $550, and business was good during the 
entire engagement. 

August 29th, Lydia Thompson made her first ap- 
pearance in Albany, supported by Pauline Markham, 
Belle Howitt,, W. B. Cahill, Willie Edouin and others. 


During her three nights' engagement, "Lurline; or, 
The Knights of the Naiads," "Sinbsid, the Sailor," 
"Nan, the Good for Nothing," and " Sonnambula," 
were played, in all of which the stai- appeared. Ee- 
ceipts from $600 to $800 a night Lydia Thompson 
was born in London, February 19th, 1836, and began 
her professional cai-eer in the'ballet of Her Majesty's 
theatre, in 1852. For the last twenty years, she has 
been identified with English burlesque, which she 
introduced into this countiy, with all its allurements of 
blonde wigs, shapely forms and " wocal welvet ! " The 
troupe made its firat appearance in America, October 
5th, 1868, at Woods museum. New York, in the bur- 
lesque "Ixion." The company, as then constituted, 
has never been equalled. Miss Thompson is the wife 
of Alexander Henderson, a London manager. 

The regular season opened Thursday, September 
1st, with Boucicault's "Lost at Sea." C. K. Haskell 
was treasurer; George W. Stoddart, stage manager; 
L. Parlati, musical director ; Walter Keeble, leading 
man ; Harry Collins, juvenile ; William L. Street, 
heavy man ; Harry Clifford and R V. Ferguson, come- 
dians ; S. L. Knapp, second old man ; John Webster, 
first walking gendeman; Eosa Eand, leading lady; 
'Mrs. Kate Rynor, first old woman ; Mrs. G. W. Stod- 
dart, first juvenile and light comedy ; Jennie Clifford, 
chambermaid ; Nellie Young, first walking lady ; 
Maggie Parker, Kate Collins, Mrs. Frank Goodman, 
Little Susie Goodwin and others. Harley Merry, scenic 
artist ; George Williams, carpenter ; Frank Goodwin, 
properties; Isaac Mcintosh, assistant; E. C. Sterry, 
chief usher. 

Mr. Barnes had engaged E. F. Throne as leading 
man, but at the last moment he broke his engagement, 
and Mr. Keeble was substituted. William L. Street, 
he of the rich voice, is dead. Harry Clifford, the 
comedian, is in the variety business ; John Webster, 
is the John Webster of the Salsbury Troubadours, 
and Eosa Eand has become a favorite leading lady in 
the larger cities. 


An advertising curtain, to fall between the acta, was 
now shown for the first time. It was utterly at vari- 
ance with the good taste which the theatre otherwise 

September 12th, Oliver Doud Byron began an cut 
gagement in "Across the Continent." With the excep- 
tion of a sort of dress rebearsal in Toronto, this was 
the first time this play had ever been produced. Byron 
came to Albany with, fifty cents in his pockets, " put 
up his own paper," and left with $600. Since that 
start he has bettome wealthy. It was during Mr. 
Byron's engagement that the Wednesday matinee 
became a permanent institution. 

September 19th, " Little Nell, the California Dia- 
mond " (aged 14), began an engagement in Fred. Gr. 
Maeder's play of "Katy Did." This little lady was a 
clever imitator of Lotta's business, and has now retired 
from the stage. 

September 26th, first appearance here of Eobert Mc- 
Wade as Rip Van Winkle. He was born in Canada, 
but was raised in Buffalo, and made his debut in 1875. 
Entering the army as a private, he rose, through brave 
and honorable conduct, to a lieutenant's position. His 
JRip is a clear imitation of Jefferson's, but the.latter had 
not been seen here at this time, and with new scenerjr 
made from Jeffierson's models, McWade's engagement 
was more profitable than the great original's, which 
came after. 

On the first of October, the United States revenue 
tax of two per cent, on the gross receipts ceased to be 
exacted. October 3d, Leona Cavender in "Minnie's 
Luck," written for her by John Brougham,- , 

October 10th, Mrs. Scbtt-Siddons began an engage- 
ment as Rosalind, and following as Julia and Jvliet 
(for her benefit &s' lolanthem " King Eene's Daughter" 
a,ndi Juliana in "The Honeymoon "), and &&. Portia. 
Eeceipts $3,000, for the week. This lady- is the great 
grand-daughter of the Jd^rs. Siddons, and, according to 
Fanny Kemble, "her exquisite features present the 
most perfect living miniature of hgr great grand- 


mother's majestic beauty!" She was born in India in 
-1844, and was educated in Gdrraany. Her first proi- 
iessional appearance was at Nottingham, England, as 
Lady Macbeth. Her first public appearance in America 
was at Newport, as a reader, in 1868. Her first Ameri- 
can appearance as an actress was at the Boston museum. 
Her husband was originally Mr. Canter, but his father 
objecting to have that respectable name used on the 
stage, the young husband had it changed legally to 
Scott-Siddons, the first the maiden name of his mother, 
the second, that of his wife. 

October 17th, Joe Emmett in " Fritz," opening to 
$743, and closing to $666 ; the week's business amount- 
ing to $4,331.15. 

October 24th, Albert W. Aiken in "The Witches 
of New York" and "Ace of Spades"; Saturday 
night, for the benefit of the Exempt Fireman's associa- 
tion, " Married Life '■ and " Sketches in India " were 
played, to $565. 

October 31st, "The Field of the Cloth of Gold" was 
produced and ran till November 12th. A farce 
entitled " All Aboard the Great Eastern," written by 
"W. P. Hinds, of Albany, was also brought out. Then 
Edwin Adams appeared : business running from $400 
to $500 a night. Lotta in " The Little Detective," 
"Little Nell and the Marchioness," "Captain Char- 
lotte," and "Andy Blake," played to very large busi- 
ness, one matinee amounting to $536.95, and evening 
to $837.75; total, for one day, $1,374.70. Daring 
Lotta 's week the stock company appeared at the Wed- 
nesday matinee in "The Willow Copse," to $211.95. 
She was followed by Rose and Harry Watkins in their 
specialties, and they by Frank Mayo, who played 
Badger, U Artagnan, and in " Man and Wife," a play 
which was continued by the stock company part of 
the next week. The Lauri troupe of dancers appeared 
next, and January 2d, 1871, the Richings English 
Opera troupe began an engagement, in which they sang 
"The Bohemian Girl," to $649.25; "Martha," to 
$951J&; "The Huguenots," to $947 ; "Maritana," to 


$765.75, and " II Trovatore,"to $1,111. Mrs. Eichings 
Bernard, Mrs. Seguin, William Castle, Henri Drayton, 
Annie Kemp Bowler, Brookhouse Bowler, S. C Camp- 
bell and Rose Hersee were in the company. 

Foi' Stoddart's benefit, "Caste" was played, with 
his brother, James H. Stoddart, as Eccles, and Mrs. 
Creorge W. Stoddart as Polly. Mr. J. H. Stoddart, 
one of the best of stock actors, is three, years younger 
than his brother, though from playing " old man " so 
much, is generally supposed to be much older. 

The Zavistowski sisters appeared in " Ixion," etc., 
and then the Florences in their specialties, including 
a new play called. "Schultz & Co." 

January 30th, began the engagement of Janausohek, 
who played Deborah^ Biafica, Mary Stuart, Hermione, 
in " A Winter's Tale," (for the first time) and Lady 
Macbeth. She was supported by Frederick Eobinson, 
the receipts running nightly froni $350 to $600. This 
great actress is a Bohemian, and was born in Prague, 
July 20th, 1830. She made her American debut at 
the Academy of Music, New York, as Medea, October 
9th, 1867. It is said that her early life was one 
of privation and hardship, but that her intellect tri- 
umphed at last, and from her debut as Iphigenia, at 
Frankfort, in 1848, her success has been assured. For 
twelve years she was a favorite in that city and sub- 
sequently appeared in Dresden and other cities of 
Germany. At Moscow, the emperor gave her a diadem 
of diamonds, and her jewels are said to exceed, in 
value, those of any actress on thfe stage. Up to 1871, 
she performed only in German, but after a return to 
Germany and a tour of the continent, she determined 
to act in English, and was now doing so, with great 
success. Janauschek has been justly styled a grand 
actress. Lacking the finish and grace of Eiistori and 
Rachel, she has excelled in the massive, strength of 
her personations. She is a disciple of what is termed 
the northern school of art, and as such, knows no 
equal in America, The heroic roles are hers by right, 
although in more trifling parts she has shown herself 


an artist. Among the characters enacted by her with 
success, have been Adrienne, Medea, Marie Stuart, 
Brunhild, Bianca, Deborah, Emilia Oalotti, Elizabeth, 
Lady Macbeth, Catharine II., Hermione, Queeri Katha- 
rine, Iphigenia, and the dual role of Lady Dedlock and 
Hortense. In private life Miss Fanny Janauschek is 
Mrs. Frederic Pillot. 

February 6th, re-engagement of Mrs. Scott-Siddons, 
who appeared as Frou-Frou, the Duchess, in "Faint 
Heart Never "Won Fair Lady," and on Wednesday 
gave readings ; receipts, $350 to $550 per night. 

February 13th, Eobert McWade in "Eip." Febru- 
ary 15th, a complimentary benefit was given to Mana- 
ger Barnes, the usual letter being signed by Governor 
Epffman, and the members of the legislature. On 
this occasion, " Golden Dreams, or the Member from 
Schoharie," by an Albanian (W. P. Hinds), was brought 
out, with local scenery. There was a good deal of 
excitement about this play before it was produced, it 
being rumored that it was a burlesque on certain 
members of the" legislature. The joke was carried so 
far, that Manager Barnes was cited before Mayor 
Thacher, and walked up 'to the. City hall, carrying the 
play with him. He assured the municipal authorities 
that the legislature was quite safe from insult, as indeed 
there was every reason why it should be. The law- 
makers were " flush " in those days and liberal patrons 
of the theatre. The play was produced to a crowded 
house, and proved a rather stupid afEair. 

February 20th, Walter Montgorhery appeared, play- 
ing Hamlet, Claude. Melnotie, Louis XI., John Mildmay 
in " Still Waters run Deep " ; John Casper Lavater iii 
"Not a Bad Judge," and Don Caesar de Bazari. 
Walter Montgomery^ in the estirnatioii of many, was 
the most promising actor the country had ever seen. 
He was a protege of Charles Kean, and an associate 
with Douglas Jerrold, Charles Dickens and Mark 
Lemon in their famous amateur performances. He was 
a native of this country, having been born ln'1827, in 
Brooklyn, but was early taken to England, arid 


educated at Norfolk. He had taken part in theatrical 
representations in Windsor Castle, but made his dehut 
upon the public stage at the Princess's theatre in Lon- 
don, under his mother's maiden name^ — Montgomery. 
After a trip to Australia he managed a theatre in 
Nottingham, and there introduced Scott-Siddons to the 
public. It was a curious coincidence that they should 
meet here in Albany, and play together as they did a 
few nights later. A more beautiful pair was never 
seen upon the stage. They appeared in "Eomeo and 
Juliet," "Much Ado about Nothing,"' "As You Like 
It," (in the latter having the assistance of Jim Mace, 
the pugilist, as Charles the Wrestler,) "Othello," and 
"Lady of Lyons." This was an engagement long to 
be remembered by the thousands who saw the wonder- 
ful combination together. The actors never appeared 
to better advantage,' each bringing out all that was 
beautiful in the other. Montgomery never played 
here again. The story of his violent and untimely 
death can better be told after the inti'oduction of another 
personage whom we shall soon have occasion to men- 

March 13th, J. C. Campbell in "Pomp." March 
20th, " The Sea of Ice " by the stock company, running 
till March 31st, when " Eosedale " was jilayed for Mrs. 
Stoddart's benefit, pi-evious to her retirement from the 
stage. One week's business during the run of " The 
Sea of Ice," amounted to $2,512,851 March 3d, Mr. 
and Mrs. Barney Williams in their plays, including 
" The Emerald Ring," by John Brougham. This was 
prior to their immediate departure for Europe, and their 
last appearance in Albany. 

April 24th and 26th, Marie Seebach appeared as 
Mary Stuart and Grelchen, supported by a German 
company, to $585.50 and $950. This actress was born 
in Riga, February 24th, 1835, and was educated at 
Cologne for the opera. She married the tenor singer, 
Albert Niemann, but was, divorced from him before she 
made the tour of this country. 

After the benefits, among which, for the orchestra, a 


grand concert was given with after-pieces, the season 
closed April 29th. 

A summer season began May 2d, with Bonfanti and 
a pan tomine company, in-" The Three Hunchbacks," 
which ran two weeks to from $350 to $600 a night, 
and was succeeded by four performances of the Rich- 
ings opera company, including ''Robert le Diable," 
"Fra Diavolo," "Martha" and "Maritana." Then 
came Pauline Markbam's troupe, with gems from the 
burlesques, and "The Black CroOk," the Majiltons, 
Young America, the violinist, etc. ; June 5th, compli- 
mentary benefit to "Walter Keeble. Robert Butler's 
pantomime troupe followed ; also Newcomb & Arling- 
ton's minstrels ; the Chapman sisters ; the Wallace 
sisters, and finally Miss Sally Partington. 

The third season opened August 28th, with the Mrs. 
Jas. A. Gates troupe, in " The Fair One with the Blonde 
Wig," "Flower Girl of Paris," "Prima Donna of a 
Night," and "Nan"; "Daughter of the Regiment," 
''An Alarming Sacrifice," " The King's Secret " and 
" Fortunio " ;, business $250 to $400 per night. 

September 11th, Jane Coombs appeared, supported 
by Frederick Robinson and her own company. She 
played the le^timate drama exclusively, to an average 
of $250 a night. Miss Coombs, a pupil of Mrs. 
Maeder, has been on the stage since 1856, and in 1862 
played at the Haymarket theatre in London. In pri- 
vate life she is Mrs. Brown. 

The regular season began September 19th, with J. 
S. Paterson as business manager ; Benjamin Mallatratt, 
musical director ; E. C. Sterry and H^ J. MacDonnald, 
ushers. The company was constituted as follows: 
Leading business, Harold Forsberg and Lizzie SafEord ; 
juvenile business, Charles Waverly and Fanny Pier- 
son ; heavy business, J. W. Thorpe (who was also stage 
manager) and E. C. McCall ; old men, F. R. Pierce, 
J. EL Brown ; old women, Mrs. H. A. Perry, Mrs. J. H. 
Brown ; comedians, W. T. Melville and C. A. Dins- 
more;, chambermaids, Annie Wood, Lilly Prescott; 
walking business, W. A. Whitecar, Rosa St. Clair 


Marian Seymour, besides a number of others. Dbllie 
Bidwell was the first star, 

September 25th, Lawrence Barrett appeared as James 
Hixrebell in "The Man o'Ai'rlie," Lagadere in "The 
Duke's Motto," Elliot Gray in " Eosedale," and Richard. 
He had appeared for one night only at Martin hall, this 
same season, but to poor business, and has never been 
rightly appreciated in Albany. At this time his best 
night was $338. Mr. Barrett was born in iN'ew York, 
jn 1836, and his real name is Larry Brannigan. After 
playing leading business at the Howard Athenffiumiii 
Boston, he went as captain in the Twenty-eighth 
Massachusetts regiment, and after serving his country 
with credit, resumed his profession. Mr. Barrett is, 
beyond dispute, a fine tragedian, full of fire and vigor, 
ambitions, intelligent and painstaking. His Richelieu 
is one of the best on the stage and his Cassius, which 
he played during the great revival of "Julius Csesar" 
at Booth's theatre, was much admired, Mr. Barrett is 
a special favorite in California, where he has passed 
considerable time and was at one time maftager in com- 
pany with Mr. McOullough. He is a scholarly man, 
highly respected in the literary circles of the country. 

The week beginning October 2d, was State Fair 
week, and the stock played in "A Life's Eevenge," 
" The Sea of Ice,"' etc., to $2,999.55. October 9th," 
Johnny Thompson began an engagement in " On 

October 12th (Thursday afternoon), the first benefit 
given in the country for the relief of the Chicago 
sufferers by the great fire, took place, Mrs. C. A. Wat- 
kins, nee Ada Gray, appearing as Lady Freelove, in 
" A Day After theWedding." A check for the gross 
receipts was forwarded.' 

October 16th, Ada Hariand, &n English girl of much 
ability, appeared in "Lola," one of Fred. Maeder's 
dramas. October 23d, T. Grattan Eiggs appeared as 
a star in "Shin Fane." Eiggs was long with Captaiii 
Jphn Srnith, at his concert hall, in the old Green street 
theatre,' and became quite a fair 'actor of Irish parts. 


_ ..October- SOth, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel E,:Bandmann, 
who, during their engagement, appeared in "Narcisse," 
", Faust," "Othello," "Nine Points of Law," "Happy 
Pair," etc. Mr. fiahdmann was born in Hesse Oastle, 
Germany, but early in life came to the United States, 
and mad.e his first appearance -with an amateur com- 
pany of Germans, at Turn Halle theatre, in New 
York. Returning to Germany, he made his profes- 
sional debut at the Court, theatre of New Strelitz, and 
after playing in Germany, Bohemia and Prussia, 
returned to America and performed at the Stadt thea- 
tre. His first appearance in English was at Niblo's 
Garden, January 15th, 1873, in the character of /Shy- 
lock. In 1868, he appeared in Eohdon at the Lyceum 
theatre, in his play of "Narcisse," the title role of 
which he has made a specialty, and with which his 
name has been more closely identified than any other 
character in which he appears. Mrs. Bandmann, was 
born Miss Millicent Palmer, and as such was favorably 
known to the Liverpool and London stage, till her 
Inarriage with the tragedian..' During the season of 
1879-80, they have been again playing in this country, 
but with limited success. 

Daring the production of "Faust," at the time of 
which we write, there was a narrow escape from a 
serious accident. It was in the temptation scene, where 
a beautiful witch appears clad in — well, there was a 
little gauze floating about her person, and she had her 
shoes on. This reminiscence of St. Anthony was 
attended with a display of fireworks, and as was very 
likely to happen, the diaphanous toilet of the fair 
tempter caught fire. For a moment the audience were 
treated to a sensation not on the bills, but Forsberg-, 
the Faicst of the evening, was equal to the situationt 
tDomprehending the .danger, with one sweep of his 
long arm, he tore the burning drapery from the fright- 
ened girlj and she sprang behind the scenes unharmed, 
but apparently in puris naiurcilibus. The next night 
she was not so fortunate. Contrary to the order of 
Mr. Barnes, fireworks were again used. Her drapery 


again caught fire, and this time, it was said, she was 
severely burned. Her name was Lottie Angus. Lelia 
Ellis, a sister of " Sappho," and a charming soubreite, 
was now added to the company. 

Emmet came again, his business running from $450 
to $700. Next, Charles Mathews, who played in 
"Married for Money," "Cool as a Cucumber," "Mr. 
G-atherwool," "If I'd £1,000 a year," "Patter vs. 
Clatter," "Used Up" and "The Cricket"; receipts, 
$250 to $400. Mr. Mathews was the only son of the 
celebrated comedian, after whom he was named. He 
was born in Liverpool, December 26th, 1803 ; made his 
debut December 7th, 1835 ; married Madame Vestris in 
1838, and came to the United States. He was the 
original Dazzle, and his wife the original Grace Harka- 
way \n '.'London Assurance." In 1841-2 they man- 
aged Covent Garden, and from 1847 to 1855, the 
Lyceum. He then became a star. August 9th, 1856, 
Madame Vestris died, and the following year he revis- 
ited this* country. He was married to Lizzie Weston 
Davenport, the next day after she was divorced from 
her husband, "Dolly" Davenport, and soon after was 
publicly cowhided by that gentleman, in front of the 
New York hotel. In 1870, Mr. Mathews began a tour 
of the world, of which his Albany engagement was a 
part. He afterwards played in Calcutta, India, and 
died June 24th, 1878. Although in his day a very 
popular light comedian in England, he never suc- 
ceeded as well in this country. He was the author 
or adapter of forty-three plays and the "creator" of 
161 parts. 

November 20th, Joseph Jefferson in "Eip Van Win- 
kle ; " receipts running from $500 to $725. This was 
his first appearance here since he played in the stock of 
the Green street theatre, under Madame Marguerittes's 
management, at $12 a week. Now the prices of 
admission had to be raised in order to make his engage- 
ment possible, and people would not pay them. It 
was said he played to smaller houses here than in 
almost any city he had visited. 


Lilly Bldridge, Gr. Swaine Buckley, totta, Edwin 
Adams, the Bandmanns again, assisted by William 
Oreswiok; C. W. Oouldock, Gus. Phillips (in "Oofty 
Oooft " ) Ada Gray and Marietta Eavel were the attrac- 
tions at this time. There were also two nights of the 
Parepa Eosa company, who sang "Martha" to $1,848, 
and "La Gazza Ladra, " Mrs. Van Zandt as prima 
donna, to $1,125. 

Caroline Eichings Bernard, assisted only by her 
husband and Henri Dayton and the stock company, 
gave " The Enchantress " and about this time religious 
exercises were held Sunday evenings in the opera 
house, by Eev. J. Hazard Hartzell, a XJniversalist. 

Eebruary 5th, "Divorce" was brought out, with 
Agnes Ethel, Ida Yerance and G,eorge Parks, from 
the Fifth avenue theatre, in the cast, and ran two 
weeks. This was a notable success, the first night 
there being only $273 in the house, but the first week 
footing up $3,991.75, and the second Monday night. 
$70i;75, and the second week, $3,487.25. Miss Ethelj 
one of the modern emotional actresses, was a pupil of 
Matilda Heron, and was brought into public notice 
under the management of Daly. She also played at 
the Union Square, and in the midst of her triumphs, 
retired from the stage to marry a gentleman residing 
in Buffalo. George Parks was especially celebrated 
for the set of his trousers, but was also well fitted in 
the part assigned him in "Divorce," making a hit in it 
which he never repeated here. 

February 26th, " The Black Crook " was revived 
and was performed twenty-four times. During its run, 
Amelia Waugh made her appearance as Stalada, Miss 
Eosa St. Clair declining the part after the first night. 
The business ran from $300 to $500. 

March 18th, Edwin Forrest began his last engage- 
ment in Albany, appearing as Bichelieu, to $609, and 
playing Virgimus, to $461.50: Lear (twice), to $839 
and $832, and Hamlel (for the last time in his life), to 
$440. The great tragedian was now in the sear and 
yellow leaf Forty-seven years had passed since, on 


this very spot, he first, gave evidence of the genius 
which was in him. Then, thongh crude as an actor, 
he was ah athlete in strength and vigor. Now, whi|e 
in the. great foh of Lear he never played better, it was 
performed under the real infirmities of old age. He 
had actually to be carried down stairs from his dress- 
ing room to the stage, but once there his personations 
were grand to witness.' Few who ever saw it will for- 
get his last performance of Lear. He went from here 
to Boston, where, after eight or ten nights, he was 
taken ill and had to give up. Subsequently l^e 
appeared in several cities as a reader, and for the last 
time, December 7th, 1872, in Tremont Temple, Bosto?i. 
He died five days after, with his favorite dumb-bells in 
his hands. 

March 25th, Mrs. F. S. Chanfrau. This lady's 
maidep name was Henrietta Baker, and she was born 
in Philadelphia, in 1837. She has been a great favorite 
at Selwyn's theatre, in Boston, and other leading 
establishments. She is best 'fitted for the domestic 
drama,, of which she is a charming exponent. SKe 
played; during her engagement, " Christie Johnstone," 
"Isabel's Expiation, or the East Lynne Elopement," 
and "Pora;" 

For Manager Barnes's benefit, Agnes Ethel appealed 
in "Frou Frou," and Edward Eddy in "His Last 
Legs," his last appearance in Albany ; receipts, $900." 
, April 8th, first production here of "Saratoga," 
with Owen Fawcett, Mary Gary, , Kate Claxton, 
Coralie 'Walton and Winnetta Montague in the cast. 
The object Mr. Barnes had in getting up "Saratoga," 
was to introduce Fanny Davenport (then the reigning 
attraction at Daly's theatre), to the Albany public in ^a 
style befitting her rank as an actress. The arrange- 
ments for the play were complete in every respect. 
The scenery and models were designed from sketches 
taken on the spot. The great dining room at Congress 
.hall was represented even to a monogram on the china ; 
the Congress spring was reproduced, and if it would 
have in the least added to the effect, genuine mineral 


water would have been dipped from it. Daly, himself, 
admitted that in this piece he was actually outdone, so 
far as the appointments were concerned. But there 
was a disappointment about Miss Davenport. For 
some reason, Daly would not allow her to come, and 
Barnes was at Ms wits' ends to find a substitute. One 
Eaorning, a tall, handsome woman sent in her card, 
■^th the name Winnetta Montague written upon it. 
She claimed to bean actress from Drury Lane, who 
had not yet appeared in America. She had, evidently, 
some talent, as she certainly was fine looking, and, in 
short, she was engaged to 'take Miss Davenport's part, 
and did so satisfactorily, although by no means creat- 
ing the sensation that the other lady was expected to. 
The play itself was insipid, and proved a failure, but 
it served to bring before the public one who had a 
history, though she was slow to tell it. 

Winnetta Montague was born in Oornwallis, Nova 
Scotia, February 1st, 1851 ; her real name was Bigelow. 
She first appeared on the stage in the ballet of the 
Boston thfeatre. There her handsome form and features 
made captive a wealthy merchant named Arnold W. 
Taylor, who educated her and married her, she beconi- 
ing his wife at the age of sixteen. Although sur- 
rounded with every luxury that heart could wish, her 
old life had a fascination for her. She frequented the 
theatre, and when the brilliant and gifted Walter 
Montgomery appeared, they met, and she fell violently 
in love with him. It has been said that he did not 
encourage her, and it was not till they were several 
days out at sea, that he knew she was on board the 
steamer following him to Europe. But whether it was 
at his request, as she asserted on her dying-bed, or 
whether it was her own venture to lay siege to his 
heart on ship board, the consequence was, that 
on their arrival in England, they were married, in 
September, 1871. The honeymoon had- not waned ere 
there was a revelation, as sbhie say, to him, by means 
of letters accidentallv opened, that the Montague was 
already married; as he declared to her, that he' had a 


wife and child living. "Whichever way it was, four 
days after the wedding there was a stormy interview, 
a pistol shot was heard, and attendants rushing in, 
found Walter Montgomery a dying man. Whether 
murdered or a suicide, has been a question never 
settled.. He was of the temperament which makes 
suicide possible. The Montague attended his funeral, 
wearing her bridal wreath, which she scattered in his 
grave. In February, 1872, she came back to America, 
and a few weeks later arrived in Albany as above 
stated, and caused herself to be announced from Drury 
Lane theatre. In reality, however, her appearance 
here was her debut in a speaking part. She often 
mehtioried Montgomery, whose memory was green 
among Albanians, and said there was one heart who 
was dear to him in his last days, etc., but never otherwise 
alluded to her association with him. For her benefit, 
she played an act of "Hamlet," and it was known 
afterwards that she did so dressed in the dead actor's 
clothes. She bought elegant dresses (on North Pearl 
street) which she wore in "Saratoga," but never paid 
for, and they were taken from her when the play was 
over. She read for the benefit of the Young Men's 
Christian Association, and made the acquaintance of 
several clergymen by so doing ; she sang in the Cathe- 
dral choir ; in short, she was quite the rage here foE a 
brief period. Meantime, James Ward, the good-looking 
Irish comedian, was playing at the Capitol theatre. 
He made her acquaintance and in a short time, in pri- 
vate life, she bore his name. They played a number 
of star engagements at that theatre and then they left 
Albany. Afterwards, there was some scandal about a 
Jersey City official, who fell a victim to the lures of the 
merry Montague. But the end came, and she died in 
New York, May 27th, 1877, her beauty a wreck, her 
means exhausted. She was buried by the charity of 
the profession. 

Kate Claxton (Mrs. Dore Lyon) is the' daughter of 
Col. Spencer W. Cone, and the grand daughter of 
Rev. Spencer H. Cone, once an actor, but later in life 


an eminent Baptist divine. She made her debut in 
Chicago, and soon after joined Daly's company, and 
from thence went to the Union Square theatre, where 
she won her greatest fame as Louise in "The Two 
OrphaTis." It was while playing that character at the 
Brooklyn Park theatre, December 5th, 1876, that the 
building caught fire, and out of an audience of about 
one thousand, 291 persons perished, as did H. S. Mur- 
doch and Claude Burroughs, of the company. 

" Saratoga " ran till April 22d, when "Divorce " was 
revived, with Agnes Ethel, Ella Deitz, Winnetta Mon- 
tague and Fred. Marsdcn in the cast, and was kept on 
till April 27th. 

The regular season having closed, E. C. McCall took 
a benefit, April 29th, at which Miss Montague played 
Lucy and Charley Kane, the old favorite, Pi^ym " The 
Streets of New York," and Mrs. Margaret B. Moore 
gave readings from "As You Like It." 

April 30th, a company from New York produced 
"The Veterans," '"No Thoroughfare" and "Ours." 
May 13th, the Abbott pantomime company appeared 
with some other attractions. 

And this closed the administration of Manager 
Barnes, wh(^, in spite of good business, found himself 
so much enibarrassed, that he could not possibly go'on. 
Many causes led to this result. In the first place, the 
theatre cost much more than the estimate, and having 
too small a capital to begin with, and being obliged to 
pay his indebtedness at the rate of seventeen per cent, 
per annum, besides meeting all other expenses caused 
by the liberal manner in which the theatre was con- 
ducted, soon wound him up. The following figures, 
however, show the business which was done : 

Receipts for year ending December 31, 1870, $91,-546 63 
Receipts for year ending December 31, 1871, 84,638 40 
Receipts for six months ending Jdy 31, 1872, 38,584 IQ 

Total, two and a half years |2 14,769 OH 

The property was now heavily mortgaged to Aaron 


Eichardson, and also to the Lelan-ds, the former run- 
ning it for a time, with the assistance of acting man- 
agers, of whom H. J. MacDonnald, -vyho afterwards 
held a position in the State hall, was one. Mr. George 
Wren (at present assemblyman from Kings county, 
and a member of a well-known theatrical family), was 
another. Still another was George Olair, who, after 
serving as such less than two weeks, died suddenly, 
January 10th, 1873, of a rush of blood to the head. 
Some changes in the internal arrangements of the 
house were made ; the seats on the lower floor being 
all changed to opera chairs, except a space in the rear, 
occupied by ten stalls. The latter were never liked 
and have since been removed. It was announced in 
November, 1872, that Augustin Daly, of New York, 
had leased the theatre, and the Aimee opera .bouffe 
company appeared here with his name at the head of 
the bill, but the negotiations fell through. Richardson 
was not a popular man and his connection with the 
establishment cast, a shadow upon it, which was a curse 
to the place for years. Every effort to dispossess him 
was fought with bull-dog pertinacity, and a series of 
litigations followed, which it would take a volume 
larger than this to report in full. 

On the 26th of November, 1873, Mr. J. W. Albaugh 
assumed the management, subsequently leasing the 
property from the Lelands, who, at last, had acquired 
title to it, and .changed its name to the Leland opera 
house. Of Mr. Albaugh's administration, it will be 
time enough to write when it is ended. It may be 
said, however, that while the theatre has been in his 
handsj Albanians have had opportunities to witness 
the finest acting this country affords, and if they have 
not enjoyed them, it has not been the fault of the 
management. It is true^ that the system of stock com- 
panies has been done away with, but this is the case 
in all cities, except the very largest, and whether for 
good or evil, the public must, for the present, accept 
the fact. "When the' list of "stars" and "combina- 
tions" which have appeared at the Leland is considered, 


no theatre in America makes a better showing. Of 
Mr. Albaugh's personal popularity, we have spoken in 
another chapter. Having now three theatres upon his 
hands, the actual management of the Leland devolves, 
in a great measure, this season (1879-80), upon Mr. 
Fred. A. Du Bois, a competent and courteous gentleman. 
When some future historian of the drania in Albany, 
takes up the pen where we lay it down, it is 
hoped Mr. Albaugh's balance on the right side of the 
ledger will be found commensurate with his efforts 
in behalf of legitimate, high-toned and healthful 




Tweddh Hall'— Martin Opera House. 

TWBDDLE hdll, thougt never a theatre, is con- 
nected with the history of the stage in Albany/- 
from the fact that owing to a lack, at times, of a suit- 
able place for dramatic performances, certain actors 
have appeared there, and worried through as best they 
could, on the cramped stage, devoid of scenery, and, 
at one time, even without a drop curtain. Tweddle 
hall was first opened to the public June 28th, 1860. 
It stands on the northwest corner of State and Pearl 
streets, or what has, at times, been known as the Elm 
tree corner and the Webster corner. Up to the year 
1793, the spot was occupied by a frame tavern known 
as "The Blue Belle," which, thereafter, was used by 
Charles E. and George Webster, as a book -store and 
printing ofBice. There the Albany Gazette and Daily 
Advertiser were printed most of the time they existe^. 
The property having been acquired by Mr. John 
Tweddle, president of the Merchants' bank, the old 
structures were demolished, the work beginning Thurs- 
day, May 5th, 1859, preparatory to building the noble 
edifice which now adorns the spot. The architect was 
H. N. White, of Syracuse, but the work was done by 
Albanians : Eobert Aspinwall, mason ; John Ken- 
nedy, carpenter ; William Grray, . stone-cutter. The 
dimensions of the building, which is of Connecticut 
free-stone, are 88 feet on State street, and 116 on Pearl 
street. The total cost of edifice and lot was $100,000. 
The lower stories are devoted to stores and offices, but 
over all is a fine hall, 100 by 75 feet, which will seat, 
comfortably, 1,000 people. When there was no theatre 


in the <aty, Ae hall was kept destitate of cur^n and 
seenerj, because of tlie increase of the cost of insur- 
ance where they are nsed. Now, however, it has hotii. 

The hall was opened witii a&ureweU, compIimentaiT 
concert to Geoige WilliaiQ Warren, in which Mr. and 
its. Henri Drayton and local talent took part. Mr. 
William D. Morange read the dedicatory address, 
fijdl of wit, humor, reminiscence and poetry, written 
by himseU. 

We have no intention or desire to even ao much as 
moition the diousand-and-one lectures, readings, con- 
certs, minstrd show:^ balls and meetings that have 
taken place in Tweddle haU, but thse are a few events 
whidi cannot well be passed over in a history of ^is 
kind. The first dramatic entertainment siven here 
was December Soth, 1861, under the management of 
John T. Baymfflid, who brotight out Edward Eddy far 
one night. Mr. Baymond had tried managing in 
Albway belive, at the Ciayety, and had no reason to 
like it. He i^as bom. according to Brown's Historv 
<rf die Stage, at Bufialo, April oth, 1836, and his 
right name is John O'Brien. He was educated ibr 
mercantile porsoits, but not finding '' millions in it," 
made his Aibui at Bochester, June 87di, 1853, and there- 
after followed the stage for a living. As Asa Ihenduud, 
in "Our American Cousin,'' he made quite a hit at 
Laura Keene's theatre in 1861 and afterwards played the 
part with Sothern in England. It was not, howev^ 
till he came out as ChL S^ars, in Mark Twain's play, 
that he g^ed a national reputation. Probably no 
man liviiig oonld better represent tlie character, and 
ONtainly there is no known character Baymond can 
better represent. Since tliat has palled on the public 
taste, he nas tried several others, prepared expresly 
for him. but none seem to fit. As SeHars he represents 
a type which all irecognize and are ready to lamgh at, 
on sight But of pathos he is painfully destitute, and 
lacking that oorresponduig dtemraat, so abeolutely 
necessary to a true comedian, he remains a lau^- 
maksr^ and that is aUL 


' September 14th, 1863, was the first appearance in 
Albany of Edwin Booth, who also came under the 
management of Eaymond, opening in Hamlet, and 
playing Richelieu, Othello, Sir Edward Mortimer and 
Petruchio, and Shylock. fie was supported by Char- 
lotte CramptoD, Ada Clifton, George Jamieson and 
Mrs. D. Myron. Prices of admission, 50 and 75 cents. 
The short season closed September 21st, with "Our 
American Cousin," Eaymond as Asa Trenchard. 

Edwin Forrest Booth was born at his father's country 
seat, Belair, Maryland, in November, 1833. When a 
mere boy, he accompanied his father in his travels as 
his dresser, studying -with and caring for him. His 
first regular appearance on the stage was made at the 
Boston museum, in a minor part in "Richard III.," 
September 10th, 1849. On the 27th of September, 
1850,. he appeared in "The Iron Chest," as Wilford, 
for his fathei^'s benefit, at the National theatre in New 
York. After the death of his father, young Booth 
went to California and engaged for utility business ; in 
1854 he went to Australia and the Sandwich Islands. 
Eetuming to New York, he burst upon the town at 
Burton's theatre. May 4th, 1857, as Richard III., and 
has ever since TDcen recognized as one of the fore- 
most of American tragedians. In July, 1861, he 
married Mary Devlin, and sailed for England. Thr^e 
years after, she died. She was a native of Troy, and 
made her debut as a danseuse of the Troy museum. 
On the 28th of November, 1864, Mr. Booth began an 
engagement at the "Winter Grarden, in New York, as 
Hamlet, which he played 100 nights. His second wife, 
whom he married June 7th, 1869, was the little Mary 
McVicker who appeared at the Green street theatre as 
a sort of musical prodigy. She is the daughter of 
Manager McVicker, of Chicago. In the absence of 
greater actors, Edwin Booth has been accepted for 
more, probably, than the critics' final verdict will 
award him. He has had youth, beauty, and inherited 
talent, if not genius, for his aids. He has been a deep 
and careful student. All the minutiae of the stage he 



ias mastered. His readings are all that can be desired; 
Bis gestures and poses are grace itself ; in all his roles 
he is admirable, and yet, who that sees him ever 
forgets that he is acting, or believes for a moment that 
he is the character he represents? The headlong 
impetuosity with which the elder Booth swept to his 
triumphs, carrying audience and all before him, is 
lacking. Mr. Booth is not a great actor in the sense 
that his father, or the elder Kean, or George Francis 
Gooke, the model of both, were great actors. At the 
same time, he is an ornament to the stage, and one of 
which America may well be proud. In private life, 
Mr. Booth is said to be a singularly reserved and silent 
man. It is not strange. Over his life, from boyhood 
up, have hung clouds of the darkest 'gloom, out of 
which darted one thunderbolt, that almost paralyzed 
a nation. Through all his trials, and amid assaults as 
dastardly as they were uncalled for, Edwin Booth still 
enjoys the respect and honor of his countrymen. 

The Academy of Music was opened December 22d, 
1863, but occasionally dramatic representations con- 
tinued to be given at the hall. February 29th, 1 864, 
James H. Hackett began a short engagement as Falstaff, 
but was poorly patronized, one reason being' that only 
the month before he had been announced to read for 
the YoUng Men's association, and unaccountably broke 
his engagement. This was the last appearance in 
Albany of this great comedian. 

ISTovember 16th, 1866, Maggie Mitchell played Fan- 
ehon and Little Barefoot^ as we think, for the first time 
in Albany. Maggie Mitchell was born in 1837, and 
appeared for the first time on any stage at Burton's, 
June 2d, 1851, as the child JuUa in " The Soldier's 
Daughter," for Mrs. Skerrett's benefit. She afterwards 
played frequently in New York, but found greater favor 
in the south and west. In 1860, Aug. Waldauer, a prom- 
inent musician of St. Louis, translated from the Ger- 
man, a play founded on " La Petite Fadette," of Creprge 
Sand, written originally, of course, in French. This 
he submitted, under the title of "Fanchon, the Cricket," 

40^ PLAYlEBg OP A CElWtfRf-. 

to Miss Mitcliell, who' atieepled it, and has since made 
the title rofe het greatest character. It was first pro- 
duced at the St. Charles theatre, in New Orieafas, in 
1860, Etnd June 9th, 1862, at Laura Keene's theatre 
New York, Miss Mitchell leasing the building for that 
purpose. J. W. Collier -was the Landri/; A. H. Daven- 
port, Diddier ; J. H. Stoddart,. Father BWrbeaud ; Mrs; 
Hind, OldFadet; and Mrs. J. H. Stoddart, Madelon. The 
play ran for four weeks, and from that time forward 
has been the leading feature in Miss Mitchell's reper- 
tory. Dramas have been Written for her by the score, 
to be tried and to be thrown aside. Those which have 
been retained are nearly all of them the work of Mr. 
Wauldauer. Her characters are in a great measure her 
own creations; from the simplest elements she builds 
a personation peculiar to herself. Little Barefoot, tdt 
instance; nothing could have been more barren ol 
characteristic or incident than that role when first 
placed in her hands, and yet she has moulded it into 
one of the most touching portraitures of the st£lge. 
As our record shows, in her eai'lier days she played a 
great variety of parts, and her personation now of 
J'ane Eyre shows her ability to act something besides a 
child's part :' but it is as Barefoot and Faneh'on especially 
that she lives in the hearts of the people. Of the 
latter character in particular, poets and essayists ape 
never tired of writing. It is one of those perfect bits 
of acting before which even the chronic fault-finder 
is dumb arid opens not his mouth. No play and no 
player of the present period have so long retained 
their popularity as " Fanchon " and Maggie Mitchell. 
Miss Mitchell was married at Troy, October 15th, 
1863, to Mr. Henry T. Paddock, of Cleveland, and is 
the mother of two Or three bright and beautiful children. 
It is a pleasure to record that this season of 1879-^80 
is as brilliant and profitable to her as any of the many' 
that have preceded it. 

March 14th, 1867, Parepa Eosa appeared in concert 
with Carl Eosa, J. E. Thomas and S. E. Mills, for the 
benefit of the fire department. Euphrosyne Parepa 


was born in Edinburgh, in 1836. Her father was a 
Wallachian nobleman named Georgiades de Boyescue ; 
her mother was Elizabeth Seguin. The father dying, 
left his youTig widow dependent upon her own effort 
for support, and adopting the -profession of music, she 
trained her daughter in the art; Her debut was made 
at Malta, under the stage name of Parepa, in 1S56( as 
Amina, in "La Sonnambula." After two years sing- 
Mig in the south of Europe, she appeared in London, 
and in 1863, married Captain Carvell, of the East 
India service, and retired from the stage. Her domes- 
tic life was brought to a close by the death of her 
hvjsband in 1865, and the loss of all her property. In 
September, of that year, she came to America, under 
H. L. Bateman's management, and sang in concert 
with unbounded success. Her efforts in oratorio 
created great enthusiasm, no singer since Jenny Lind 
having been received with greater popular favor. She 
also appeared occasionally in Italian opera: She mar- 
ried Carl Eosa, the violinist, and in 1869, organized 
the best English opera company ever heard in America, 
and with which she travelled successfully for three 
seasons, appearing for the first time in Albany, in 
opera, January 8th, 1870, at this hall, in " The 
Marriage of Eigaro." Her very large figure was 
not adapted to the stage, but her audience forgave 
every thing for the sake of her glorious voice and 
her unvarying good nature and kindness of heart. 
In 1872-3, she was a member of the Italian company, 
at the khedive's palace in Cairo, and the next season 
was intending to make the tour of England and come 
again to America, but she died in London, January 
2 Lst, 1874, lamented by thousands in both hemispheres. 
On the 20th of April, 1867, Eistori played Mary^ 
Skiart, and December 27th of the same year, EMzaheth. 
Adelaide Eistori, marchioness del Grille, was born in 
1821, at Oividale in Friuli, Italy. She came of a 
family of actors, and was brought up upon the stage, 
playing comedy at first, and after her marriage, tragedy. 
" Eistori ! " wrote Jules Janin — " she is tragedy itself. 


She is comedy itself. She is the drama." Charlotte 
Cushman sent word across the Atlantic : " The world 
does not hold her equal." She first appeared in Paris 
in 1855, and has twice visited the United States, iri 
1867 and in 1875. It is probable that she may come 

March 18th and 19th, 1868, Charles Dickens read 
The Christmas Cai'ol, and Trial from Pickwick, Dr. 
Marigold, and Bob Sawyer's Party ; tickets, $2. May 
14th-16th, three nights of Edwin Booth ; September 
15th, Fanny Kemble Butler's readings. 

April 14th, 1869, Clara Louise Kellogg in concert. 
Clara Louise Kellogg, according to the cyclopsedias, 
was born in 1842, at Sumter, South Carolina, of New 
England parentage ; read difficult music at sight when 
only seven years old and made her dAut in opera, in 
1861. Her career in both English and Italian opera, 
is well known. 

October 27th, Edwin Forrest appeared as Richelieu^ 
played without scenery or drop curtain, an American 
flag being dropped betweea each scene. 

In the summer of 1872, the hall was transformed 
into an " opera house ; '' that is, orchestra chairs were 
put in, the seats behind them were elevated in tiers, 
and the stage was enlarged and beautified with scenery, 
curtain and private boxes. ' The exits also were 
improved. It was opened November 12th, with read- 
ings by Mrs. Scott-Siddons, and has since received its 
share of patronage. 

In 1879, under the agency of Willia,m Appleton, 
Jr., a floor was arranged to go over the seats, so 
that it is again used for dancing, and a scheme has 
been devised by which more room is given to per- 
formers on the stage. It is a v&vj handsome hall and 
a favorite with the managers of the higher class of 

Martin opera house, as it is now termed, is the large 
hall in the upper part of the building erected by 
Oeorge Martin, in 1870, corner of Beaver and South 
Pearl streets and running back to William street. 


The main floor is reached by two flights of stairs, from 
the street. Martin's new hall, as it was first called, 
was opened by a grand ball of the Burgesses corps, 
February 21st, 1871. The first dramatic performance 
was for Frank Lawlor's benefit, March 2d (before 
mentioned). General John S. Dickerman was the 
first agent for the hall, and managed to secure a large 
number of travelling combinations to appear there. 

Perhaps the most note-worthy event, was the appear- 
ance, February 14th, 1872, of Nilsson a.a Lucia, in 
Italian opera, supported by Brignoli. Christine Nils- 
son (Mme. Rouzaud) was born at Hussaby, Sweden, 
August 3d, 1843. Her father, a peasant, conducted 
the music of the little village church, and played the 
violin. From him Christine and her brother Carl 
picked up a little idea of the art divine, and going to 
sing and play at the fairs in the market town, Chris- 
tine's remarkable voice attracted the attention of a 
magistrate, who interested himself in her behalf, and 
thus she came to be musically educated. After study- 
ing at Stockholm and Paris, she made her debut in the 
latter city, in "Traviata," in October, 1864. In June, 
1867, she appeared in London, and in September, 1870, 
in New York. Her marriage with Auguste Rouzaud, 
a merchant of Paris, took place at "Westminster Abbey, 
in July, 1872. She was again in the United States 
in 1873-4. 

On the 11th of March, 1872, at 9 o'clock in the 
morning, fire broke out in the upper part of Martin 
hall building, and did damage to the amount of several . 
thousand dollars. Repairs were made during the 
summer, and the hall was reopened August 15th, with 
a concert by Sullivan's band, under the auspices of the 
Jackson corps. It was said the repairs and improve- 
ments had cost $50,000. General Dickerman continued 
as agent, and the first dramatic performance to follow 
the fire was given September 13th and 14th, by John 
E. Owens and company. Many notable engagements 
have been played here, amdng them the first appear- 
ance in Albany of George L. Fox, the famous Humpty 


Dumpty clown, who played a week in September to 
$6,000. In October, Charlotte Oushman appeared 
here for the last time in Albany as an actress, playing 
Lady Macbeth. Meg Merrilies, and Queen Katherine. She 
subsequently gave readings on the same stage, Novem- 
ber 27th. 

The hall is a favorite with minstrel and variety 
troupes on account of its size ; but it is identified with 
no class of amusements in particular, all sorts being 
given there, from gr&,nd opera to sparring matches. It 
is provided with a false floor, by which seats are raisefl 
in tiers, or they can be removed when the room is 
required for dancing. Mr. Thdodore Mosher is now 
the agent. 




IN putting together the record of which the preceding 
chapter is the conclusion, the compiler, warned by 
the endless diversions which some dramatic historians 
have inflicted on their readers, has endeavored to 
refrain from moralizing, or otherwise protruding his per- 
sonal views upon many phases of the subject, which 
have temptingly presented themselves, feeling assured 
that the intelligent reader ^— and his readers, of course, 
are all intelligent — is fully competent to make his 
own comment, draw his own inference, and formulate 
his own opinion. In view of this amiable forbearance, 
a few reflections may now, perhaps, be tolerated, or at 
the worst, like many another "moral," be skipped 
altogether, and the narrative lose nothing, and the 
reader — not much. 

In looMng over the dramatic history of a century, 
the most natural question that arises is, "Has the 
stage degenerated ? " a question still sur les tapis, as it 
has been ever since Roscius was an actor in Rome. 
They were averring the fact in Shakspeare's time ; 
Oolley Gibber deplored- it almost as much as the 
Gockney school of 1817 did four-score years later; 
while Carpenter and the critics who have succeeded 
him in America, have, as a rule, echoed the lamen- 
tation of their English brethren^ down to the present 
time ; each generation in turn glorifying the one or 
two next preceding it. Now either the Drama must 
have been, likie our first parents, perfection to start 
with, in (?rder, after centuries of deterioration, to 
exist in its present by no means despicable state, or 


else its degeneracy has been somewhat over- stated. 
Let us not forget, then, after all, that, this doleful jere- 
miad may be, in part, only the endless refrain of " the 
good old days," heard everywhere, about every thing ; 
the recollection of " the light that never was on sea or 
land "—the reflection of " the Heaven that lies about us 
in our infancy," and which gilds the play-house of our 
youth with a glory never equalled in later years. For 
" in the light of common day," it must be admitted 
that in many respects the theatre has kept up with 
the march of modern improvements which has char' 
acterized the last century. In the matter of machiaerj^ 
scenery and appointments, an advance has been made, 
which all will admit. In front of the curtain, too, the 
changes have been equally as great, and quite as im- 
portant. The loud and noisy pit, so boisterous at 
times as to drown the voice of the actor, is heard no 
more ; the occupants of the boxes no longer feel at 
liberty to spit upon the people below them, and the • 
" third tier, " of which it is a shame, almost, to speak, 
seems to-day as much of an impossibility as African 
slavery. It is extremely doubtful, indeed, whether, if 
the finest acting of which we have any account, were 
reproduced in 1880, with all the circumstances and 
customs attending it a hundred years ago or less, 
money enough would be taken at the door to pay the 
—not gas, but oil bill. 

But our pessimists while admitting all this, still 
shake their heads and ask: Where are the great 
actors ? How thrives the legitimate drama ? And so 
far as tragedy and tragedians are concerned, we may 
well echo: Where, indeed? For of all the changes 
in theatrical fashions during the last thirty years, the 
decline of tragedy is the most apparent. From being 
the central feature of the drama, it is now only revived 
at intervals, to display the talent of some individual 
performer. It is said by some, that this is because 
there are no tragedians, but there are none simply 
because there is no demand for them. When George 
Frederick Gooke, the greatest tragedian America has 


ever seen — came to these shores, it was because he was 
"wanted here, and coming, was appreciated, even in 
ruins as he was. The elder Kean was much run after, 
till he brought disgrace upon himself, a,nd the elder 
Booth drew crowded houses when nothing but his 
wreck remained. The later coterie of American 
tragedians, Scott, Addams, Eaton, and Forrest, each 
had his partisans, who thronged the theatre to applaud 
their favorite when he appeared, and to criticise his 
rivals, when they came. But these, all but Forrest, 
fell by the way, and he lived to find himself much 
neglected. Ti'agedy has little in keeping with frivolity, 
and frivolity is the characteristic of the age. Tne 
humorist is the best paid man in literature ; the bur- 
lesque writer, the most fortunate of playwrights. Each 
newspaper keeps its funny man, who is permitted to 
write every thing from head-lines to leaders, while the 
reporter, who cannot caricature as well as chronicle, is 
of little value. The lawyer ornaments pleas with 
puns; the judge renders his decision with a Pinaforic 
epigram; jurymen's hearts are won with a merry tale, 
and the prisoner himself goes laughing to the soafEold. 
From the clown in the ring to the clergy in the taber- 
nacle, the object in life is to create a laugh. In such an 
era of universal cachinnation, it is not strange- that 
tragedy, the study of the deepest passions of the human 
breast, should drop from the category of populai 
amusements ; and with its representatives no longer in 
demand, the siipply fails, naturally, or, at least, is not 
manifest. ' To be sure, the race has not entirely died 
away, and never will. We still have Edwin Booth, an 
intellectual reflection of his father's geniu.s ; MoCul- 
lough, apt scholar in the school of Edwin Forrest, and 
Barrett, ambitious, refined and scholarly— all three good 
actors — not great. Charlotte Cushman, as yet, has no 
successor, unless it be Mary Anderson, of whom, 
although there is every thing to hope, it is not time to 
speak with certainty. 

The people want to laugh, but they do not laugh at 
the same plays which amused their predecessors. With 


tragedy has gone, also, its concomitant, the old-fashioned 
one-act farce, with its broad grimace and broader jest, 
and this is not greatly to be deplored. There is no 
req,son to lament over the fact that decency is, to-day, 
obligatory upon managers and actors ; that the vulgar- 
ity of Barnes, of Hilson, of Burton, and of most of the 
old time comedians, would not be countenanced in an 
ordinary variety show ; that the indelicacy which used 
to set the pit a-roaring, has gone out, and with it much 
of the profanity with which genteel comedy was 

"But is the stage any the more moral? " interrupts 
our desponding friend ; " I admit that "Rabelais is no 
longer read, but, are not Ouida's novels still selling? 
How about 'Oamille,' and the scores of French emo- 
tional dramas, of which it is the type? What can you 
say to two or three years of ' Black Crook ? ' Eemem- 
ber and explain, if you can, the abnormal growth of 
blonde, dyed and padded burlesque ! Palliate, if you 
dare, the rottenness of 'Champagne and Oysters,' and 
the other French dishes which have been so popular. 
Apologize for " — 

We^beg to be excused. There is no more reason 
why we should do so than in exalting the present 
cleanliness of English literature, compared with the 
days of Smollett, Sterne, and Fielding, we should be 
brought to bay with questions about the Police Gazette 
and the Shady Side library. There is this to be said : 
That while there are enough people in the great cities, 
who revel in uncleanliness, to make it profitable for some 
managers to prostitute the stage, the growing tendency 
■of the times is against it. It is worth while to notice 
thatlnost of the objectionable features above mentioned 
are to be spoken of in the past tense. " Camille," to 
be sure, has reached the dignity of a standard drama, 
but its morality is stoutly defended by excellent per- 
sons. "The Black Crook," while, like all mere spec- 
tacles, demoralizing to' dramatic art, owed less of its 
success to nudity than was at first supposed. Without 
its magnificent settings, managers undressed women. 


and exhibited them to benches as vacant as the legiti- 
mate drama is sometimes played to. English burlesque 
transformed into the American article, although still 
presenting comely shapes, is as carefully guarded from 
double entente as the columns of a religious news- 
paper — more so than some that could be named. 
The French farcical comedies were indefensible and 
therefore short-lived. But this is a digression. 

Admitting the decline of tragedy, we come to 
comedy, and just who are comedians it is a little diffi- 
cult to say. All players were once called such, but 
under that head Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle, Maggie 
Mitchell as ^anchon, and Frank Mayo as Davy Crockett 
may well be placed ; and, of course, Denman Thomp- 
son as Joshua Whitcomb. And with such representa- 
tives, we may proudly look back upon preceding 
generations, and ask, Where have these actors been 
excelled ? It may be said that these are single parts and 
that their representatives are eminent in nothing else 
— which may, in part, be true, and, in part, is not true. 
So far as the argument is concerned, it does not matter. 
The times have changed since the elder Booth, played 
Hamlet and Jerry Sneak on the same evenings, Tlie 
public no longer care for versatility, and bave ceased 
to expect it. As some one else has said, E. L. Daven- 
port would bave been a greater, had he not been so 
good an actor: that is, he played so many parts so 
well, he became identified with none. We are to look 
at the stage as it is; and on it we find, not alone those 
just mentioned, but others doing certain parts as well 
as any parts have ever been done, at any time in the 
drama's history. Without regard, then, to how much 
any one actor contributes to the result, as fine playing 
can be seen to-day as ever there could be (tragedy alone 
excepted.) Aside from the works of the Master, who 
was not for a day, but for all time ; and a few, a very 
few dramas who have survived a score or more of 
years, the plays of the present day will compare favor- 
ably with the same class of literature in any generation 
hat has preceded it. For instance, in melo-drama, 


what will exceed in any . desirable point, "The Two 
Orphans " or "A Celebrated Case " ? How many com- 
edies have been as successful, and as deservedly so, as 
' Our Boys " ? Was any thing ever nearer perfect on 
the stage than " Old Love Letters " ? We' are only 
giving examples ; not making a list, by any means. 
In short, (and we mnst be short), the literature of the 
stage is cleaner; stage effects are better; audiences 
ire of higher culture; theatres from box-office to stage- 
door are better managed ; more money is paid to sup- 
port them, and they are better worthy support, than 
those of a hundred, or fifty, or twenty-iive years ago. 
The stage has not degenerated any more than litera- 
ture, or art, or music, has degenerated. It is part of 
the age in which we live ; partaking of its foibles and 
weaknesses, it is true, but of its culture and refinement 
as well. Let us not, then, in paying such mighty 
honors to the past, be quite so contemptuous of the 
present; remembering that the time is coming when 
our own era will, in like manner, be apotheosized — 
when the dramatic critic of 1900 and something will 
quite overshadow the clairns.of all contemporaneous 
artists by his theatrical reminiscences of 1880, declaring 
with emphasis quite unanswerable, 

" There were giants in those days." 




Page 36 — J. Howard Payne died April 9th, 1852, aged 
60 years and ten months. According to Mr. Gabriel 
Harrison's memoir (which we intended to follow), 
the date and place of birth and date of death, as 
inscribed on Payne's tombstone, in Tunis, are all 
Page 155 — The demonstration against young Burke took 
place December 12th, 1836, during Blake's manage- 
ment. It was Master Burke's first appearance in 
Albany after his return from Europe, and the play 
was " Romeo and Juliet." He was called upon by 
about a fourth of the audience to disavow the senti- 
ments of his father, who, it was alleged, had attacked 
Daniel O'Connell in the public prints. Dr. Burke 
was present, but was not permitted to speak. Young 
Burke was at last allowed to say that he was too 
young to meddle in polities, and ought not to be 
held accountable for the faults of others. This did 
not satisfy the rioters, howeyer, who were finally 
driven from the theatre and the play went on. 
Page 232 — Allen's epitaph should read : " Lofty and 

'sour to them that loved him ?io*," etc. 
Page 319 — We are assured that George Butler was 
mistaken and that the Menken monuraent was paid 
for, to the last dollar. 
Page 333 — Annie Waite was never a member of the 

Boston Museum company. 
Page 394 — Kate Claxton was divorced from Dore Lyon 
in 1877, and soon after married Mr. Charles A. 
The compiler is aware that several discrepancies in 
names have occurred, owing to the difierent ways they 
have been placed upon play-bills. In such cases, the 
index should be regarded as the nearest correct. Abso- 
lute accuracy seems well nigh impossible in a work of 
this kind ; and for such errors, typographical, and others 
as do not aflfect the sense, the compiler asks the indul- 
gence of the courteous reader. 



Abbott, Mrs. (Miss Buloid) 220, 240. 
Academy ol Music, 329 et seg. ; opening 
ol, 330; under Miss Trimble, 359; 
destroyed, 364. 

Lawlor's — See ' Division street 
Acbille, Mons. and Mme. (dancers), 126. 
Adams, John Jay, bis Hamlet, 109; 110. 
Edwin, 3« ; sketch, 346; 364, 378, 
383, 391. 
Addams, Augustus, birth and death, 
187; 188, 221 ; marriage, 240; 2M, 255. 
John P. (comedian), 221, 289. 
Addis, J. B., 355. 

Addresses, poetical: Opening Green 
street, 4S; Pearl street, 66; season 
1829-30, 142; 187; Duffy's benefit, 
192; Amphitheatre, 219; Mme. de 
Marguerittes, 284; Green street, 
296 ; Academy of Music, 331, 377. 
Alrlcan theatre, 56. 
Aiken, Geo. L., 2«8. 296. 
Albert W., 380, 383. 
Albany Advertiser, 63 ,- School for Scan- 
dal criticised, 75 ; Forrest criticised, 
81 ; on Kean, 91 ; on Mrs. Hughes, 
103; 120 ; on Duffy, 121 ; on Madame 
Teron, 151 ; on Mrs. Knigiht, 160 ; on 
Tyrone Power, 176 ; on Miss Watson, 
185 ; on Charlott oCushman, 204; 398. 
Argus, first dally issue, 62; on 
death of Duffy, 195. 
Circus— See circuses. 
Bellows, 254. 

Gazette, first advance notice. 20 ; 
first play bill, 21; postponement 
notice, 23; controversy, 27, 28; 30, 
33, 37, 398. 
Knickerbocker, 329. 
Microscope, 210. 
Mirror, 277, 313. 
Begister, 30. 42. 
Transcript, 276. 
Albaugh, John W., his lago, 94; sup- 
ports Kean, 157; 214; marriage, 
293; 306; sketch, 307 ; Albany debut, 
.308 ; as a star, 309; 319, 320, 321, 322, 
370, 872, 377, 378, 379; becomes man- 
ager ol the Leland, 396, 397. 
Mrs. J. W.— See Mary Mitchell. 
Albertine, Miss, 275, 276, .290. 
Aldls, Mrs. (Mrs. Stanley), 52. 

Aldrich, Louis, Mr. and Mrs., 300. 

Alger, Eev. W. R., on Forrest, 86, 87, 92 

AUen, Mr. and Mrs., 21, 22, 28, 227. 

Andrew Jackson, 23, 52 ; his wife, 
104; 120, 146 ; sings first negro song, 
165; salary, 172; biography, 227; 
as Forrest's dresser, 229 ; Esqiulmaux 
war dresses, 230 ; queer turtle soup, 
231 ; personal appearance, peculiar- 
ities and epitaph, 232. 

Amateur Theatricals, by British officers, 
in 1760, 16 et seq. ; in Green street, 
131 ; dramatic festival, 212 ; assisted 
by Jean Davenport, 213. 

AmlralUe, J., 160, 161. 

Anderson, Mr. (comedian), 33, 34, 52, 56 ; 
death, 57.- 
(James probably), 65, 69. 
David C, Mr. and Mrs., 218, 243. 
Elizabeth, 198, 209. 
James B., 275. 

Auderton, Mr., 272. 

Angus, long room— See Thespian hotel. 
Lottie, narrow escape of, 389, 390. 

Apollo concert room, 217. 

Appleton, William, Jr., 404. 

Archer, Thomas, 113. 

Archbold, Mr., 55, 56, 57. 

Army relief, 336. 

Armstroag, Mr., 53. 

Arthur, Master, 65, 69. 

Ashley, Stephen W., 330, 333, 337, 339, 
346, 353. 

Astor place riot, 256. 

Augusta, La petite, 97, 98. 

Austin, Mrs. (vocalist), 122; 

Ayling, Mrs., 307, 330, 335, 337. 

Aymar, Walter (equestrian), 218. 

Ayres, Jane (Mrs. Toomer), 235. 

Bailey, Hannah, 373. 

Josephine, 373. 
Baker & Farron, 375. 

Henrietta— See Mrs. Chanfrau. 
Baldwin, Joseph, 56. 

Mrs. J. (Mrs. Walstein), 55, 56, 57. 
Ball, Firemen's, 201. 
Ball & Fitzpatrick, 264. 
Ballet, how received, 121, 122. 
Bandmann, Daniel E., sketch, 389; 391. 

Mrs. D. E., ^9, 391. 



Bangs, Francis C, sketch, 292; 394. 

Barnes, David M., as manager, 256; 375, 
890 ; marries Rose Eytlnge, S91. 
Miss Courtney, 391. 
John. 101, 102, 106, 110, 111, 123,. 

Mrs. J., 56 ; her good fortune, 101; 
106, 110, 143, 145, 158, 169. 
Charlotte, sketch, 1T4; 344, 847. 
Lueien, 894, 375, 376 et seq.; before 
the mayor, 385 ; business done, 39S. 

Barnum, Phineas T., with Joice Heth, 
188; with Tom Thumb, 235; with 
the Bateman children, 259; with a 
baby show, 294. 

Barras,, C. M., 302, 380. 

Barrett, George H., in GUfert's company, 
64, 65; Sketch, 67; 69, 84, 1(@; as 
manager, 103; 121. 

Mrs. G. H. (Mrs. Henry), 67; 
sketch, 79 ; epitaph, 80; 84, 102, 121, 

Mrs. G. L., 60, 65; sketch, 67, 68; 
69, 91. 
Lawrence P., sketch, 388. 

Barron, Charles, 342, 364. 

Barton, Mr. (tragedian), 153, 1S8, 800. 
Maria (Mrs. C. T. Smith), 357. 

Bass, Charles, 322, 388. 

Bateman, H. L., 259, 403. 
Children, 859. 

Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Wm., 33, 84, 38, 47. 
Mr. and Mre. ¥. M., 357. 

Bear and dog fight, 32. 

Beaumont, Mr. and Mrs., 47, 48. 

Beheflts — of poor debtors, 34; Payne's, 
36 ; war suJferers, 48 ; for Portland, 
49; humane society, 51; of the 
Greeks, 58; Cooper, 99; Y. M. A., 
173; Duffy, 190; Canadians. 312; 
Brougham, 343 ; Kossuth, 363 ; or- 
phans, 275 ; Meeoh, 275 ; army relief, 
336 ; Barnes's 385 ; Chicago, 388. 

Bernard, Charles, 77, 84. 

John, 14 ; his card, 38 ; character, 
40, 44 ; first manager in Green street, 
44, 45; criticism on, 51, 52; as a 
star, 54. , 
Pierre, 272. 

Berthelon, D., 291. 

Bidwell, DoUie, 388. 

Bihin, Mons. (giant), 889. 

Bishop, Charles B., 307, 309, 330, 370, 375. 

Biven, Mr., 58, 60. 

Blake, Wm. Buf us, American debut, 58; 
60: biography, 78; 84; as manager, 
198; 206, 209, 211. 

Blanohard, W., 57. 

Bontanti, 379, 386. 

Boniface, Geo. C, 865, 366, 367. 

Boone' children, 289. 

Booth, Junius Brutus, Albany (Jeftut, 
69; biography, 70 et-seg.; burying 
the pigeons, religion, 71 ; excesses, 
nose broke, 72; Gould's criticism, 
73, 71: 108 ; stage fleht with Duffy, 
135; 187; correspondence, 182, 188; 
199, 215, 238,- 240; at the great lire. 

353 ; at len, 254 ; death 

scene < nboat, 854, 255. 

J. B., Jr.. 231 ; sketch, 323; 237. 
Mrs. J. B., Jr. (Agnes Perry), 
sketch, 823. 

Edwin, 253, 295, 387 ; sketch, 400, 

John Wilkes. 334 ; Albany engage- 
feents, 325, 326; wounded, 325; 
■ ■ attacked by a woman, 337 ; assassln- 
• ates the president, 327; death and 
burial, 387. 
Borchard, Mme. Compte, 340. 
Boucleault, Dion, 181, 295, 896. 

Mrs. D. (A^es Robertson), 895. 
Bo*ers, David P., sketch, 868; 290. 
' Mrs; D. P., sketch; 263; 371, 890, 
Bowler, Mr. and Mrs. Brookhouse, 330. 
Bradshaw, Mr. and Mrs., 374, 391. 
Bray, Mrs., 34, 36. 
Briare, Frank (amateur), 206, 313. 
Bridgford, John, 377. 
Broadway theatre— See Odeon. 
Brooke, Gustavus V., sketch, 2ffl, 348; 

393, 397. 
Brooks, Alice, 366. 

Brougham, John, 181; 240; sketch, 241; 
benefit, 243; 298, 354, 379. 

Mrs. J. (Mrs. Robertson), 224, 240, 
Mrs. J. (Miss Nelson), 241. 
Brown, Frederick, 77, 149. 
John Mills, 198, 306. 
Bryant, Dan, sketch, 357. 
Buchanan, McKean, sketch, 262; 345. 

Virginia, 263, 345. 
Buckley minstrels, 293, 396. 
G. Swaine, 373, 391. . 
Bulold, Miss— See Mrs. Abbott. 
Burgesses corps, 353, 267. 
Burke, Thomas, 34, 49, 209. 

Mrs. T. (Mrs. Jefferson), 49, 53, 309. 
Charles, sketch, 309. 210; 240, 269. 
lone, 321, 

Joseph, 120 ; sketch, 153, 154 ; dis- 
turbance, 155 (see correction, page 
413); 173, 184, 212. 
Burroughs, Watklns, 69, 105. 
Burton, Wm. E., 46, 113, 240, 241 ; sketch, 

398, 399; 303. 
Butler, Geo. H., 291. 
Byrne, P. C, 383, 384, 385. 
Byron, Oliver D., 375, 383. 

CampbeU, S. C, sketch, 340. 

J. C, 386. 
Canal celebration, 84, 85. 
Canoll, James, 313 ; sketch, 239; 243, 270, 

274, 290. » 

Capitol theatre — See Division street 

CarlinCourt', Mons., 30Q. 

Carmody, Prof., 235. 

Carroll, Mr. and Mrs. J. W., sketch, 360. 

Cassidy, Wm., 290. 

Castle, Wm., 840. 

Cavender, Leona, 373, 383. 



Celeste, sketob, 138, 133; 188 : sued by 

Duffy, 189; 198, 265, 2r8. 
Centennial obseryanoe, 13. 
Cbanfrau, F. S., sketob, 358, 353; 275, 
276; as manager in Green street, 
290; 306, 321, 853, 364, 379. 
Mrs. F. S., 306, 392. 
Chapman sisters, 370, 373, 387. 

WiUiam B., 120, 122, 125, 139, 252. 
Mr. and Mrs., 214, 244. 
George, 248. 
Cheer, Miss, 19. 

Chester, Mr. and Mrs. S. K., 360. 
Chippendale, Mr., 240. 
Cholera, 162. 
Christy minstrels, 236, 237. 

E. p., 237. 
Circuses, 32 ; Blanchard's, 57 ; 60, 61, 209 
—See Pearl street circus, Dallius 
street amphitheatre. 
Clair, Geo., death of, 396. 
Clare, Ada— See Agnes StanSeld. 
Claxton, Kate, 392; sketch, 894, 395. 
Clemens, John and Ned, 253, 254. 
Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, 377, 381. 
Clifton, Josephine, 144 ; sketch, 211; 212 ; 
plays with Forrest, 221. 
Ada, Z98, 344. 
Cline, Herr, 139. 
Clipper, N. T., 312, 350. 
Cole, John 0., 46 ; lectures Forrest, 86. 

Sadiee, 330, 336. 
Collier, Jason, 244. 
Collins, John, 181, 261, 274, 368. 
Common council proceedings, 26, 39. 
Cone, Henry, 255. - 

Conner, Fdmon S., sketch, 247; man- 
ager in Green street, 286; letter 
from, 289, 290. 
Mrs. E. S.— See Charlotte BajDes. 
Conway, William A., 80; sketch, 82; 

suicide, 83; 102, 103. 
Cony, Barkham, 190, 282. 
Cook, Mr., 32.. 

John, 130, 239. 
J. C, 330. 
Cooke, Mrs. (equestrian). 103. 

George Frederick, 32 ; his wedding 
tour to Albany, 37; 70 ; his toe-bone, 
90; bis clothes, 232. 
G. F.(?), 217. 
Coombs, Jane, sketch, 387. 
Cooper opera, 321. 

Thomas A., 81 ; sketch, anecdotes, 
criticism, 98, 99, 100; 149, 153. 
PrlsolUa, 99. 
Cordell, Miss; 34, 44. 
Coming, Erastus, 190, 192. 
Coughtry, Wm. H., 275. 
Couldock, C. W., 205, 251 ; sketch, 260; 
Eliza, 260, 352. 
Cowell, Jo., 259. 
Coyne, H. Gardiner, 296, 298. 
Crampton, Charlotte, sketch, 294, 295. 
Crouta, John, 243, 244, 246, 259. 
Cushman, Charlotte, 115 ; sketch, 199 ; 
why she went on stage, 200 ; in so- 


ciety, 201; love affair, death of 
brother, 202 ; practicing in Albany, 
203; future career, 204; farewells, 
205 ; criticism on, 206; 260, 262, 263, 
Susan, 201. 205. 
Cuyler, J. C, 239, 275, 290, 306, 326. 

BalUus street amphitheatre, 217 ; open- 
ing, 218; history, 820 et sea.: Are, 
227; 238, 2«l. 
Daly, Augustin, 396. 

• Julia, 282. 
Dargon, Augusta L., 365; sketch, 366, 

367; 369, 373. 
Davenport, A. H., 296. 

Fanny, sketch, 369, 370. 
E. L., 238, 240, 269, 292, 293, 340, 
368, 369, 370. 
Mrs. B. L., 292, 340. 
Dean, Amos, 87. 

JuUa (Hayne), 247, 248, 256, 294, 
306, 364. 
De Bar, Ben., 247, 872, 361. 
Denier, Tony, 371 ; as manager, 372, 373. 
Denin, Susan, 271, 272, 292, 341. 

Kate, 271, 279, 323. 
Denny, Frank Dwlght, 352. 
Derr, WiUiam K., 357* 397, 314. 
Dlckerman, John S., 275, 336, 405. 
Dickens, Cbarlesi 404. 
Dillon, Charles, 348 ; sketcb, 349. 
Dinnelord, Wm., ipS, 198, 199, 200, 203. 
Division street theatre — opening, 365, 
366 ; under Tony Denier, 371 ; under 
Keeble, 373 ; destroyed, 375. 
Dixon, Geo. W., 143, 144. 145, 165. 
Don, Sir Wm., 262, 282, 289. 

Lady, 262, 357. 
Doran, Dr., 95.' 
Dorion, Mrs., 55, 56, 57. 
Douglass, Mr., 19. 32. 
Drake, Samuel, 48, 49, 51. 
Mrs. S., 49. 

Mrs. Fanny A. (Miss Denny), 149, 
158 ; sketcb, 161, 162; 163. 
Alexander, 60. 
Drew, Frank, 272, 290, 

John, sketch, 268; 290. 
Mrs. John (Mrs. Hunt, Mrs. Mos- 
sop), as a prodigy, 116; 120, 237, 240, 
251, 268, 259, 276. 890. 
Driesbach, Herr, 264, 878, 279. 
Drummond, W. 0., 79. 
Du Bois, Fred. A., 252, 267, 323, 397. 
Duff, John 49. 
John, 285. 

Mrs. Mary, 75, 76, 101, 169, 840. 
Miss Mary (Mrs. Addams), 239, 246. 
Duffy, James, 264. 

Wm., 56, 58,61 ; professional debut, 
110; 120; flrst benefit, 121; manages 
circus, 124; 126, 128, biography, 129 
et sea. ; bis Phasarius, 168, 159; 
16-', 163, 173, 183, 184, 187; Buffalo 
enterprise, 188; beneflt, 100: et seg. ; 
death, 194; obituary, 195; funeral, 


rang, Mr. and Mrs., 57, 104. 

caiarles, 396. 
Qbam, Mrs., 193, 199, 206. 
olap, Wm., 13, 18, 30, 32, 37, 46. 
ret, Marie, 292. 

7er, Jolui H., sketcli, 46; fleatli, 47; 
106, 125. 
Dtt, Mr., 240. 

»n, Chas. H., aketcH, 207; 212, 213. 
irle, David, 105, 139. 

Cliarles, 101,105.. 

E. A., 136; 3S8. 

Harry, 105, 125, 126, 128, 139, 233. 

Sophia (Mrs. La Forrest), 136. 

MlS3, 105. 233. 
ly Edward, 220; sketcli, 233, 334; 237, 
240, 246, 248 ; as manager, 256, 257; 
364, 289, 294, 296, 298, 321, 323, 324, 
328, 364, 371, 372, 378, 379, 392, 399. 

Mrs. E., 246, 294. 

Mrs. E.— See Henrietta Irving. 
vardSf Carlton, 290. 
ridge, Lilly, 391. 
s, Horenoe (Sappho), 372, 373. 

Leila, 390. 

Miss, 49, 51. 
lore, Mr., 305. 

ery Miss, 137 ; miserable death. 138; 
143, 145, 169. 

met, Joseph K., sketch, 367; 370, 383. 
mons, Lizzie, 303. 
;lish, Wm. B., 302. 
ot, Mr.., 132. 

ott & Miranda opera, 320. 
el, Agnes, 369, 891, 392, 395. 
,ine, Mr., 286. 
ns, Hose, 372. 
inge, Harry, dehut, 212; 290. 

Kose, debut, 291 ; sketch, 292; 294. 

jroni, Sig., 32. 

ti, 187. 

ren, Mr. and Mrs. G., 256, 272. 

Ikner, Thomas, 65 ; sketch, 68. 

raitt. Amy, 138. 

titer, Charles, 238. 

?uson, R. v., 378, 381. 

ron, Mme. (vocalist), 150, 151, 163. 

rero, Sig., 187. 

d, J. E., 199, 214. 
ding, Mr., 120, 148. 
1, Henry J., 138. 

Kichard (killed), 278. 

T., 398. 
s— Kichmond, Va., 39 ; South Pearl 
street theatre, 187; of 1848, 248, 253, 
254; Academy of Music, 364; Divi- 
sion street, 375; Brooklyn, 395; 
Martin haU, 405. 
ler, Kate, 358. 
ler, Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, 105. 

Alexina, 105, 159,, 198. 

Oceana, 105. 

John Aubrey, 112, 159. 

Clara, 112; Albany debut, 113; 
sketch, 114; 125, 154— see Mrs.Maeder. 

e, Moses W., 369, 371. 

Fiske, Marian, 369, 371. 

Fleming, WUliam M., manager of the 
Odeon, 245 ; 252, 353 ; manager in 
(Jreen street, .301, 302. 

Floating theatre, 237. 

Florence, Wm. J., 246; sketch, 273; 298, 
303, 379, 384. 

Mrs. Wm. J. (Miss PrayJ, 246; 
273, 298, 379, 384. 

Flynn, Thomas, and Booth, 72; mar- 
riage, 109; 120; plays Rip Van Win- 
kle, 121; 198, 217 ; in Providence, 256. 

Forbes, Wm. C, 105, 120, 128, 136. 

Forrest, Edvrin— erects Stone's monu- 
ment, 75; Albany debut, 80.; early 
criticism on, -81; supports Conway, 
82, 84 ; a£ Hassarac, 84 ; on a lark, 
85 ; in jail, 86 ; sermon on gambling, 
87; supports Kean, 91; first inter- 
view with Eean, 93 ; hit as lago, 94 ; 
as Harvey 'Birch, 97 ; as Bion, 101 ; 
leaps through a barrel of Are, 102 ; 
plays Buckingham to Hyatt's Rich- 
ard, 103 ; as a star, 106 : quarrel with 
Macready, 107 ; as Lear, 110; 119. 120, 
121, 131, 134, 135, 146; Metamora, 
148; gift to Y. M. A., 149; 153; as 
the Gladiator, 168, 159 ; dismisses an 
audience, 160, 161; 163, 173, 184, 203 ; 
return from Europe, 213 ; 215 ; at the 
amphitheatre, 221 ; Greene wins a 
bet from, 222, 228 ; anecdotes, 222. 
223, 229 ; Addams his rival, -Hi ; and 
Eddy, 248 ; divorce suit, 270, 271 : as 
Claude Melnotte,286; 343.391,392,404. 
WUliam, 120 ; sketch, 121 ; as man- 
ager, 128 ; 135; wounded, 137; 142, 
143, 148 : appeal for benefit, 152; 160. 
163 ; death, 173. 

Forsberg, Harold, 377, 387. 

Poster, Geo. (Gaslight), 282, 283, 285. 
Hernandez, 371, 380. 

Fox, C. K., 271, 288. 

Geo. L.. 288, 405. 

Freeberthyser, H., 290. 

Freeman, Isabella, 324, 343. ■ 

Freylinghauseu, Rev. T., 17, 18. 

Frost, Amy, 306. 

Fuller, Thomas— as manager, 211, 212; 
outwitted, 213. 

Fursman, J., 235. 

Fyfte, Kitty, 330; sketch, 335; 336, 338. 

fjnig TJTp 173. 

Gannon, Mary, 210, 234, 235, 251, 252, 255, 

357 358 
Gates, Wm.F., 102, 220. 
Gazonac, 86. 

Gayety theatre, 304 ; opening, 305 ; his- 
tory, 306 et seq. > 
Germon. G. C, 206, 272, 288. 
GUbert, John, 120. 
.loseph, 246. 
Mrs. W. H., 113. 
Wm. J., 370. 
Gilfert, Charles, 47; opens Pearl. street 
theatre, 64; 80, 100, 101; death of, 




GilEert, Mrs. C. (Miss Holman), i7, 74, 92, 
102, 153, 169. 

GUlesple, Wm. F., 260. 

Gimtoede, Mr., 32. 

Gladstane, Mary, 340. 

Glenn, S. W., 296, 328. 

Glenny, T. H., 34S, 352. 

Godey, Mrs. (Miss Durang). 105, 159. 

Godfrey, H. L., 290. 

Gomersal, Mr. and Mrs., 346, 357. 

GoodiUl, W. fi., 289, 294. 

Gossln, John, aiS. 

Grace, J. Delmon, 330, 334, 337. 

Grande, Miss, 294. 

Grant, Mrs., 16. 

Gray, Mrs., 69, 84. 

Ada (Mrs. C. A. Watkins), sketch, 
346, 347; 388, 391. 

Green, Mr. and Mrs, 0., 159. 

Greene, John— as stage manager, 134: 
sketch, 146; 147, 162, 172, 173; on the 
Power riot, 175; 192, 196, 309, 212; 
and Forrest, 223, 223; 247. 

Mrs. J., 146; sketch, 147, 148; 162, 
172, 192, 196, 209, 213, 213, 222, 247. 

Green street theatre — projected, 38; 
built, 40 ; opened, 41 ; history, 41 et 
seq.; made Into a church, 54; 62, 165, 
227, 247, 253, 357, 267, 2!'4 ; re-opened, 
281 ; history resumed, 281 et aeq. 

Greer, SDss, 136, 140. 

Greenwood, Mr., 125. 
Miss, 343, 346. 

Grey, Edwina, 372. 

Griffln, E. M., 230, 290. 

Griffith,*, p., 341. 
Wm., 339. 

Grisi, HI. 

Halckett, James H.— his Mons. Mallet, 
58 ; sketch, 110, lU ; 125, 143, 149, 220. 
Hall, Emma, 346, 348. 

James H., 218, 220, 236, 243. 
Hallam, Lewis, 13, 18, 19. 

Lewis, Jr., 19, 22, 30, 31. 

Mrs. (nee Tuke), 30. 
Hambltn, Thomas S., sketch, 85; .62, 

Mrs. Thomas S., 106, 113. 
Hamilton, John, 139; salary, 172; 177, 

192, 194, 195, 196. 
Hammond, 8. H., 290. 
Harcourt, John W.. 243, 246. 
Hardy, Mr., 218, 220. 
Harkins, D. U., 330, 369. 
Harland, Ada, 388. 

Harrison, Mr. and Mrs., 199, 309, 213, 221. 
Hartzell, Eev. J. H., 391. 
Hastings, H. J., 27.5, 290. 
Hatch. Mrs., 101, 109. 
Hayman, Mr., 33, 34. 
Heller, Robert. 369. 
HeloLse, Mile.. 123, 158. 
Henderson, Wm., 274, 276, 296, 298. 

Mrs. W. (Kttle), 274, 296, 298, 373. 
Henri. Mrs. C, 363. 
Henry, John. 19. 
Heme, James A., 307, -341, 354. 

Heron, Bijou, 301. 

Matilda, sketch, 800, 301 ; 354. 
Herring, Fanny, 324, 358. 
Hield, Mr. and Mis., 209. 

Jr., 343. 
Hill, Geo. H. (Yankee), 111 ; sketch, 137, 

138; 174,209,217. 
Hllson, Mr. and Mrs., 7S, 76, 158. 
Hinds, Wm. P., 353, 383, 385. 
Hoffman, Gov., 373. 
Hogg, John, 31. 
Holland, Geo., 113 ; sketch, 149, 150; 237, 

255, 256. 
Holman, Geo., 47, 50, 105. 

Miss, 47, 50, 64r-See Mrs. GlUert. 
SalUe, 3a. 
Holt, Ellse, 369. 
Horn, Charles E., 122, 163. 
Hosmer, Jean, sketch. 348 ; 354. 
Hospital, Albany, 19, 29, 227. 
Hotto, H. A., 3iS. 
Houghton, Capt., 243. 
Howard, G. C, 386, 287, 288, 289, 294, 296, 

300, 321; 322. 
Mrs. G. 0., 287, 288, 294, 296, 300, 

331, 322. 
Cordelia, 287, 288, 294, 296, 300, 

331, 322. 
Howe, J. B., 303. 
Hows, J. W. S., 187. 
Huggins, Mr., 57, 59. 
Hughes (Mrs. Young), 45, 90, 103, 112, 

Hunt, Mrs. Henry— See Mrs. Drew. 
Hutchlns, Mr. and Mrs., 143, 143. 

S. B. (amateur), 212. 
Hutin, Mme., 121, 123, 126. 
Hyatt, Geo. F., 65, 68, 69, 84, 103. 
Hyer, Tom, 236. 

Ince, Annette, 296. 

Industrious fleas, 188. 

Ingersoll, Mr., 199. 

Irving, Henrietta (Mrs. Eddy), 234, 378, 

Italian opera, 187, 336. 

Jack, John H., 375. 

Jackson, A. W., 214, 218, 230, 235. 

Mmnie, 368. 
Jamieson, Geo., 271. 
Janauschek, 373 ; sketch, 384. 
Jarrett, Henry C, 307. 
Jefferson, Joseph, 31, 128, 129. 

Mrs. J., 31. 

Joseph, 3d, 209, 210. 

Mrs. J., 2d (Mrs. Bnrke), 128, 139. 

Joseph, 3d, first newspaper notice, 
210; 211, 269, 272; in Green street, 
284, 285; 307, 322, 390. 
John, Mrs., 56. 

Johnson, Richard M., 161, 163. 
Joice, Heth, 188, 189. 
Jones, George (Count Joannes), 286, 297, 

Mrs. G. (Melinda), 237, 238, 278, 
284, 289, 297, 298. 

Avonia (Mrs. Brooke), 297, 398. 



Jonea,"W., 156. 

Jorflan, Mrs. Emily (Miss Thome), 331, 

3i5, 353. 
Judali.Mr., 57, 59, 125, 138, 137. 

Kames, Geo. S., Wt. 
Kane, Cbarles, sketch, 239; 357, 276; as 
a painter, 377, 278 ; 282, 385, 290, 291, 
297, 306, 307. 337, 895. 
Kean, 'Charles, 36, 70, 96: appears in 
Albany, 156; sketch, 157, 158 ; 351. 

Mrs. C. {BUen Tree), 157 ; sketch, 
351, 352. 

Edmund, 37, 70;, Byron on,, in 
Albany, 88; sketch, 89; riot, 90; 
criticism on, 91, 92 ;. on Forrest, 93, 
94; as Shylock, 95; letter from 
Albany, 96; death o(, 96. 
Thomas, 14, 18. , 

Keeble, Walter, sketch, 367, 368, 369, 371 ; 

as manager, 373, 375; 381, 387. 
Keene, Arthur (vocalist), 77, 78, 105. 
Keller troupe, 298, 303. 
Kellogg, Clara Louise, 404. 
Kelly, liydia, 85, 139. 
Kemble, Adelaide, 171, 172. 

Charles, 70; in Albany, 168; sketch, 
169; letterfrom, 171, 173; 174. 

Fanny, 48. 79, 101, 133 ; hit at, 161 ; 
in Albany, 168'; sketch, 169 ; extract 
from journal, 171; her Julia, 172; 
174, 186. 207. 
John, 37. 
Kendall, Ned, 218. 
Kent, Eliza, 136, 139. 
John, 139. 

P. M., aro. 

Kimberly, Harriet, 375, 298, 320, 331, 

383, 334. 
Klncade, Lizzie, Wl. 
Kinlock, Mrs.,' 116. 
Kirby, J. Hudson, 221. 
Knickerbocker hall, 235. 
Knight, Mrs. E. (Miss Povey), 160. 

Harry, 128, 136, 163, 173. 
Knowles, J. Sheridan, sketch, 186; 188. 
Kossuth benefit, 263. 

La Combe, Mrs., 104. 

La Forrest, Mrs., 128, 136, 139. 

Lafayette, Gen., 76. 

Lamb, Mr., 55, 56, 60, 6.5, 101. 

Lanahan, T. J. (amateur), 375. 

Lander, Mrs. Jean Davenport, as a prod- 
igy, 313,214; 361, 371. 

Lane, Louisa. 116.— See Mrs. Drew. 

Langley, Georgie, 377, 378. 

Lansing, Mr., 206, 314, 316. 

Lauri family, 382. 

Lawlor, Frank J., 320, 321, 345. 333; as 
manager, 365 el xeq.; benefit, 371. 

Leake, W. H., sketch, 339, 341. 

Learock, Geo., 371, 373. 

Lease of theatre, 141, 163. 

Leavltt, A. J., 339, 291, 303, 305. 

Le Brun, Mrs., 330, 333. 334, 3.37, 378. 
Marie, 334, 339. 

Ledger, N. Y., 297. 

Leffler, Mr., 398. 
LefflngweU, M. W., 358, 370. 
Leland, Charles, 377. 

opera house, 396, 897. 
Lement, Mr., 105, 110. 
Le Moyne, W. J., 288, 341, 342. 
Leonard, j. A., 333. 
Leslie, John (painter), J34, 163, 173, 173, 

Letton, Kalph, 82. 
Levlck, Milnes, 333. 
Lincoln, Abraham, 324 ; assassination of, 

335, 345. 
Lind, Jenny, 133, 236. 
Lindsley, Mr., 49, 65, 138. 
Lingard, J. W. (suicide), 393. 
Little church around the comer, 150. 

Nell, 373, 382. 
Locke, Yankee, 320, 364. 

E. A., 358, 373, 375. 
Logan, 0. A., 156, 172, 313. 

Eliza, 361, 294. 
Lola Montez, sketch, 265, 266 ; perilous 

adventure, 397. 
Lonsdale, Annie and Addie, 309, 310. 
Lorraine, Harry, 398. 
Losee, C. H., 296, 303. 
Lotta, sketch, 249; early criticism of, 

350; 383,391. 
Lovell, H. v., 351, 356, 367, 384. 

Mrs. H. v., 351, 384, 385, 290. 
Lucas, Mr., 33, 34. 
Lyman, Levi, 189. 

MacAllister, 289. 

MacDonnald, H. J., 387, 396. > 

Macready, William C, 70 ; sketch, 106 ; 

criticism on, 107; sonnet on, 108; 

115 ; and Charlotte Cushman, 304 ; 

211 ; vfhy he did not play a second 

engagement in Albany, 234 et seq. ; 

riot, 256. 
Maeder, Mrs. Clara Fisher (nee Clara 

Fisher), 115 ; 199,200; at the museum, 

251, 355, 276; 353, 357. 
James G., 115, 199, 300, 255, 256. 
Fred. G., 116, 357, 371. 
Makeah, Miss (Mrs. VandenhofE), 274. 
Mallet, Mons., 52, ,58. 
Manuel, R. S., 340. 
Marguerittes, Madame de, sketch, 38;! ; 

manager in Green street, 283, 284, 

Marshall, Wiseman, 346, 247; 294. 
Marsh's juvenile comedians, 300. 
Martin, Geo., 404. 

' opera house, 295, 404 et seq. 
Mason, C. K., 183. 
Matinees, 293, 294, 382. 
Mathews, Charles, 390. 
May. John, 318. 
Mayo, Frank, letter from, 334 ; 335 ; 

sketch, 355 ; 356, 363, 383. 
Maywood, Robert C, sketch, 97, 98; 146. 
MoCall, E. C, 360, 387, 395. 
McCullough, John, sketch, 343. 
McKlnney, D. D., 215. 
MoMahon, Mrs., 297. 



McVloker, Mary (Mrs. E. Booth), 803. 

McWade, Robert, 373: sketch, 382, 385. 

Meade, James H., 302. 

Meech, Henry T., 106, 161, 239; sketch, 
250; 863, 368; benefit 275 stortes 
• about, 277. 

:$[eehan, John, 366. 

Meer, Reuben, 207. 

Meldrum, R. S., 341, 342. 

Melville, W. T., 371, 372, 387. 

Menken, Adah Isaacs, 304; sketch, 310 
et aeq.; early Ufe, 311; Parisian 
triumphs, 312; poetry, associates, 
313; first rides Mazeppa, 314; the 
rehearsal, 315; accident, 316; ber 
success, 317 ; two estimates of, 318. 

Merry, Harley, 379, 381. 

Mestayer, Mr. and Mrs., 54. 
Emily, 342. 
Louis, 284, 285. 

Miles, R. E. J., 314, 315. 

Missouri, Miss, 144, 211. 

Mitchell, Charlotte, 290. 
Emma, 293. 

Mary (Mrs. Albaugh), sketch, 293. 

Maggie. 114; as Young Norval, 

272; early triumphs, 274, 275; 29 , 

292, 293, 294, 296, 298, 369; her Fan- 

chon, 401, 402. 

Moakley, John, 221, 246. 

Monler, Virginia, 187, 206. 

Monk. Ada and Minnie, 300. 

Montague, Winnetta, 892; sketch, 393, 
394; 395. 

Montez, liOlar-See Lola Montez. 

Montez, Manette M., 208. 

Montgomery, Walter, sketch, 385, 386; 
death, 393, 394. 

Moody, John, 14, 18. 

Moore, Carrie A., 351. 
Margaret B., 395. 

Moorehouse, Mr., 260. 

Morange, W. D., 144, 173, 182, 399. 

Morris, PeUx J., letter from, 373, 374. 

Morrow, Thomas B., 275. 

Morse, Louise, 307. 

Mossop,;Geo., 136, 220, 258. 
Mrs. G.— See Mrs. Drew. 

Mortimer, E. L., 373. 

Mowatt, Mrs., 238: sketch, 268, 269. 

Murdoch, Frank, 334, 335. 

James E., sketch, 163; criticism, 
164; at the Museum, 261; at the 
Gayety, 306. 

Murphy, Joe, 371. 

Murray, Mr., 14, 18. 
Dominlok, 373. 

Museum, Albany— established, 32 ; con- 
certs at, 56; 106, 116, 126, 127; re- 
moral, 151 ; curiosities, 188 ; yaude- 
Tffles, 217; 219; history, 233 et aeg.; 
made a theatre, 249 ; dramatic his- 
tory, 250 et seq. ; stories about, .i77. 

NeaSe, A. J., 269, 284, 291, 294, 821. 
New Constitution theatre, 32. 
Newspaper discussion, 24, 27. 
Newton, Eliza, 364. 

Nichols, 0. T., 346t 348. 

S. H., 217 et sea. 

Mrs., 281, 341, 342. 
Nlcklnson, John, 149, 204, 206, 241: 
sketch, 257 ; 259. 

Charlotte, 241, 257. 
Nilsson, Christine, 405. 
Norton, John S., 373. 
Noah, Mrs., 274. 

Gates, Alice, 370, 387. 
Odeon theatre, 239, 240; opening, 243; 
history, 244 et seq. ; destroyed, 248; 

Ogden,'R. D., 352, 353. ' 
Opening addresses— See Addresses. 
Ormsby, Mr., 32. 
Orton, Josephine, 342, 371. 
Owens, John E., sketch, 354; 370. 
Oxley, John H., J87, 215, 282. 

Paganlnl, 185. 
Palmer, E. D., 283. 
Parepa (Rosa1, 380, 391. 
Parker, Jenny, sketch, 344. 
Parks, Geo., 391. 
Parlati, L., 378, 381. 
Parsloe, 0. T., 163, 236. 

C. T., Jr., 373. 
Parsons, Charles B., 109; sketch, 110; 

conversion, 208, 209. 
Partington, Sally, 387. 
Pavilion theatre, 59. 
Payne, J. Howard, sketch, 34; as aprod- 
igy, 35 ; writes Home, Sweet Home, 
36— (see also, correction page, 413.) 
Peace festival, 60. 

Pearl street circus— opening, 100, 101; 

102, 103, 111, 113, 120; under Duffy, 

124; under Eberle, 139; collapse, 


Pearl street theatre— See South Pearl 

street theatre. 
Pelby, Wm., 118, 137, 160. 
Pemberton, Mr;, 60. 
Phelps, Fanny Morgan, 354. 
Phillips, Adelaide, 235. 

Gus (Oofty Gooft), 371, 391. 

Lydla, 186. 

Moses S., 110, 120, 133. 
Picturesque theatre, 59, 60. 
Pitt, Mr. and Mrs. CD., 256. 
Placlde, Henry, 35, 62, 112, 139, 198, 256. 

Thomas, 104, 165, 198. 

Jane, 60, 104. 

Mrs., 60.51. 
Plunkett, Ada Parker, 342, 344. 

Mr. and Mrs. H. P., 272. 
Polyanthus, The, 144. 
Ponisi, Mr., 272, 276. 

Mme., 343. 
Pope, Mrs. Coleman, 256. 
Porter, Mr. (giant), 210. 
Potter, Estelle, 280, 289. 
Povey, John, 232, 234. 
Power, Tyrone, 134, 146; sketch, 174; 
the disturbance, 175, l76 ; hlslmpres- 



sions ot the riot, 177, 178, 179, ISO; 

criticism on, 181. 
Preston, Henry W., 214, glS, 316, 381 ; 
: suicide, 282; 884. 

Mrs., 214, 216— (see Mrs. Nloliols.) 
Price, Fanny B., 363. 
Proctor, Joseph, 185. 
ProTOst, Mary, 341. 
Pruyn, J. V. L., 130. 
Pyne & Harrison's opera, 296 

Ealton, D. E., 352, 353. 
Band, Bosa, 381. 
Rankin, McKee, 344, 345, 363. 
Ravel troupe, 290. 

Marietta, 368, 391. 
Raymond, Henry J., 291. 

John T., 828 ; sketch, 399 ; 400. 
Kate 372 
Belgnolds,'Kate, 354, 364, 371. 
Rice, Dan, 219. 

J. B., 281, 236, 237. 
Thomas D. (Jim Crow), 165, 166, 
Elohardson, Aaron, 396. 
Rlchings, Peter, 78, 110, 272, 294, 296, 301, 
306; death, 360. 

Caroline (Bernard), 78, 278, 294, 
306, 864, 359, 384, 387, 391. 
Richmond theatre disaster, 39, 48. 
BUey, Mr., 162. 
Riggs, T. G., 388. 

Riots— Kean, 90, 96 ; Macready, 111, 256 ; 
Burke, 155 (see also, correction page, 
413) ; Power, 175 et seq. 
Roberts, Elijah J., 109, 110. 
James, 145, 159, 206. 
J. B., 306. 
Robertson, Agnes (Mrs. Boucicault), 295, 
Hopkins, 48, 51. 
William, 48, 49, 51, 52. 
Mrs. (Mrs. Burroughs), 65, 69. 
Robinson, Yankee, 368. 
Roche, Prank, 346, 348. 
■ Bock, Mary (Mrs. Murray), sketch, 116 ; 
early days, 117; Walter Scott her 
patron, 118 ; marriage, 119 ; still liv- 
ing, 120; and Henry WaUack, 185; 
supports Eean, l56; 158; last ap- 
pearance in Albany, 235. 
Booker, Myron H., 290. 
Eussell, T. B., 206, 224, 225, 226. 
Eyan, Sam., 271, 297, 323. 360. 
Ryer, Geo., 330, 833, 337, 339, 840, 344, 

Eynor, Mrs., 307, 381. 

Salsbury, Charles, 222, 306. 
Sandford, 0. W., 105, 106, 109. 
Sappho— See Florence Ellis. 
Scott, James E., 110, 192, 198, 199, 208, 
281, 837, 245, 256, 372, 382. 
James M., 104, 110. 
Scott-Siddons, Mrs., 383, 383, 385, 386. 
Scoville, W. H., 272, 289. . 
Soudder, J., 32. 126. 

Seaver, Ben]. W., 183, 240. 

Seebach, Marie, 386. 

Selden, Sate, 345. 

Seward, Fred. W., 290. 

Shewell, L. E., 274, 890. 

Siamese Twins, 188, 189. 

Simpson, Alex., 56, 58; SO, 67, 104, 109, 

Sinclair, Mr., 61. 

Catherine (Forrest), 270, 271. 
Sterrett, Geo., 272, 274. 

Mrs., 274, 376, 291, 292. 
Eose, 274. 
Sloman, Mr. and Mrs., 120, 144. 
Smith, Charles T., 336, 259, 267, 374, 276, 
391, 395, 296, 298, 301, 303, 380. 
Geo. Frederick, 56. 
John, 224, . 

Capti John B; (bill poster), 277, 
304, 313 et neq. 
J. Wesley, 275. 
Sidney, 303, 329, 330, 337. 
Sol, 50, 52, 53, 131, IBS. 
Sothern, E. A., 322, 323. 
Southey, Mr., 33, Si, 44. 
South Pearl street theatre, 45 ; its erec- 
tion, 62, 63; opening, 64; under 
Gllfert, 64 et seq.; under H. Wal- 
lack, 104; under Sandford, 105; 
under E. J. Eoberts, 109; under 
Geo. Vernon, 110; under Duffy & 
Forrest, 128 et aeq. ; Are, 187; under 
Dinueford & Blake, 198; under Ful- 
ler, 311; under Preston, 214; be- 
comes a church, 216; 351 — See 
Academy of Music. 
Spaekmaa, J. B., 307, 323. 
Spauldlng, Dr., 219, 285. 
Stanfleld, Agnes (Mrs. Noyes), 360; 
sketch, 362 ; death by hydrophobia, 
Stanley, Emma, 296. 
State street theatre, 56, 57. 
St. Clair, Eosa, 387, 391. 

Same, 301. 
Sterry, E. C, 381, 387. 
Stetson, E. T., 330, 333, 333, 327, 389, 371. 
Stevens (dwarJ), 210. ■ 
Stlokney, Mrs., 113, 198, 246. 
Stoddart, George W., sketch, 337, 388; 
339, 341, 346. 

Mrs. G. W. (nee Annie Taylor), 
sketch, 337, 338; 339, 340^ 341. 344, 
346, 381, 381, 386. 
James H., 384. 
Stone, John Augustus, 66, 57 ; sketchy 
75 ; canal ode, 85 ; 91, 104, 148, 162, 

Mrs. J. A. (Mrs. Legge, Mrs. Ban- 
nister), 66, 57, 66, 68, 69^ 91, 92, 143. 
Henry D., 128, 213. 
Strang execution, 106. 
Stratton, Ohas. S. (Tom Thumb), 236, 236. 
Street, Alfred B., 219, 285, 341. 

W. L., 381. 
Sylvester, Louise, 360; sketch, 361, 362; 
Julia, Mrs., 360. 



Talbot. Mr. and Mrs., 55, 56, 5& 101, 

Taylor, James H., 296. 

Mary, 235, 2BT, 210, 251, 252. 
Ohaa. W., 139, 140, 214, 2K, 21* 
220, 233, 243, 251, 257« 258, 286. 
Telbln, Bose, 252. 
Ten Eyek, Jolin, 290. 
Thacher, Mayor, 324, 373, 385. 
Thayer, E.. 67, 105, 159. 
Tbesplan Mirror (Payne's), 35. 

hotel, 30, 32, 33, 38, 40, 55, 57, 78, 
128, 227. 
Thompson, Mr., 59, 60, 105. 

Mr., 243, 246, 247, 290, 305. 
Lysander, 269, 286. 
Charlotte, 270, 323. 
Lydia, 380, 381. 
, John, 370. 371. 
Thome, Mr., 173. 

Charles B.. 256. 
E. F., 381. 
Tllden, Miss, 77, 84, 91, 139. 
Thumb. Tom— See Stratton. 
Tree, Ellen— See Mrs. C. Kean. 
Trimble, John M.— as a builder, 249; 
260, 252, 294; as manager. 329 etseg.; 
benefit, 341 ; 353 ; death, 358. 
J. M., Jr., 33U, 331. 
Miss A. G. (Mrs. Barnes), manage- 
ment, 359 et seg. 

opera house, 115, 246; built and 
opened, 376, 377. 
Trowbridge, Henry, 126, 127, 250. 
TurnbuU, Julia, l(i4, 116, 139. 
Tweddle hall, 205, 398 et seg. 
Twibill, Matilda (Mrs. Flynn), 109, 120, 

Tyrrell, T. M., 272, 282, 284, 285. 

Underner, Mr., 172, 218, 243, 298, 378. 
Union college, 35. 

Van Denburgh, T. H., 264. 
VandenhoS, John, sketch. 211. 
Geo., sketch, 224; 261, 271. 
Mrs. Geo. (Miss Makeah). 
Van Vechten hall, 255, 294. 
Varry, E., 3.'2. 
Veeder, Wm., 366, 370. 
Vernon, Geo., sketch, 112; 130, 122, 125, 

126, 142, 143. 
Mrs. Geo., sketch, 112; 122, 142, 

143, 235 ; at the Museum, 240 ; 241, 

281. 276, 357. 358. 
Vestris, The, 126. 

Vlennoise Danseuses, 246, 252, 397. 
Vilallave, Jose, 59. 
Villa, Sam. B., 346, 348. 
vining, Fanny (Mrs. Davenport), 238, 

Walte, Annie (Mrs. Leake), 325, 330,331 ; 

sketch, 333; 337, -339, 345. 
Wall, Mr. (harper 1, 184. 

Harry, 369. 
Wallace sisters, 387. 

Wallack, James W., 125 ( sketch, ISi; 

Henry, sketch, 79; manager of 
Pearl street theatre, 104,/105,;,123( 

J. Ww, Ji!.,.340. , . 

J. Lester, 185. 

Fanny, 252, 253, 260. 
Waller, Mr., 298, 300, 302. 

Mrs., 298, 300, 302, 371, 375. 
Walstein, Mr. and Mrs., 57, 60, 105, 142, 

Ward, James T., 307. 

James M.. 369, 373. 

Thoma«, 286. 
Waring, Leigh, 44, 46, 78. 
Warner, Mary A., 263. 
Warren, Mrs., 60. 

William, 208, 221 ; sketch, 236; 240, 

Mary Ann, 236. 

Geo. W., 255, 399. 
Warwood, Prof., 330. 
Watklns, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, 272, 386, 
379, 383. 

Mrs. C. A.— See Ada Gray. 
Watson, Charlotte, 185, 186. 
Waugh, Amelia, 391. 
Waverly, Chas., 373, 387. 
Webb sisters, 300, 320. 
Weber, Lisa, 369. 
Webster, John, 381. 
Weed, Thurlow, 256, 341. 
Weidman, Charlene, 371, 378, 373. 
Weiss, Mme., 246, 337. 
Wells, Mary, '251, 267, 272. 
Wemple, S. V., HI. 
Wemyss, F. C, 160. 

Miss C, 240. 

Western, Helen, 302, 303, 321, 328, 354. 

Lucille, 302, 303, 321, 364, 370. 
Weston, Lizzie, 272, 296. 
Wheatley, Mrs., 46, 47. 

Emma, 186, 198. 

Julia, 187. 

Wm., 290. 
Whipple murder, 106. 
Whitelock, Mrs., 48, 189. 
Wilkinson, Charles, 352, 353. 

• Lillie (Marden), 352, 353. 
wmiams, H. A., 53, 60. 

Mrs. H. A. (Mrs. Maywood), 53,97. 

Barney, 181, 219; sketch, 24ff; 255, 
260, 289, 294, 353, 368, 386. 

Mrs. B. (Mrs. Mestayer, nee Pray), 
sketch, 245 ; 260, 273, 289, 294, 353, 
368, 386. 
Willis, N. P., 271. 
Wilson, Alex., 315. 
Winans. John, 273, 276. 
Winohell, Mr., 198, 233. 
Winter, William, 205. 
WoodhaU, D. M., 275. 
WoodhuU, Mr., 131, 139, 
WooUs, Mr., 19. 
Worrell, Sophie, sketch, 368 ; 369. 

Irene, sketch, 368; 369. 



Wray, Mr., 104, 
Wren, Geo., 396. 

Toune, Mr., 39. 

Mrs.— (see Mra. Huglies), 39, 44. 50. 

Toung, CSharles, 75, 76, 101, 108. 
Young Men's Association, 149. 

ZavlstowsM sisters, 384. 
ZeHer, Ernest, 305, 342. 
Zoe, 346i 363, 367.