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R. Duff, son of an Englishman in the employ of the East India Company, and she was born in London, Eng. She came to America with her husband in 1810, and made her debut in Boston as a dancer, and her first appearance on the stage as an actress. Her first appearance in this city took place Sept. 5, 1822, at the Park Theatre, as Hermion in "The Distressed Mother." Mary Duff had thirteen children, seven of whom survived her. They were Mary, James, John, Eliza, Matilda, and Thomas.
After a season as call boy for Mr. Duffy (playing small parts) in 1835–36, Hough retired from the stage in 1837, and for six years was in the newspaper business. He published the first Rochester Evening Express. Subsequently he started The Carthagenian, at Carthage, N. Y., The Watertown (N. Y.) Register, and The Black River Times. He returned to theatrical work in 1846 as business manager or "bill-writer" for several of the largest organizations in America. At present he is living in retirement at Detroit, Mich.
John Gibbs Gilbert appeared here July 7, 1836, as William Tell, It was on the stage of this theatre that many who afterward achieved fame made their first appearances, including Nathaniel Bannister, who was at the Chatham Theatre in 1831, that being his first appearance in this city. His wife was Amelia Green, afterwards Mrs. Legg, then Mrs. John Augustus Stone, and, in 1835, Mrs. Bannister. Bannister died in this city Nov. 2, 1847. He wrote the equestrian drama " Putnam" in 1844.
The season of 1836–37 lasted up to October, 1837, except for two weeks' intermission. William Rufus Blake was director. Mr. and Mrs. William Sefton (Ann Duff Waring, afterward Mrs. J. W. Wallack, Jr.) opened Aug. 7. 1837. The house was now under the management of Mr. Earle, from London, who began Nov. 13, 1837, and after a month's direction resigned the management to Mr. Flynn, the tragedian, who, six months afterwards, gave the theatre into the hands of William Rufus Blake. Mrs. William Sefton reappeared July 28, 1838, playing Claude Melnotte to Mrs. Geo. Barrett's Pauline. John Dust, afterwards well known as manager of the Olympic Theatre, was property boy here under Dinneford's management. One day he lost a live goose (one of the “properties "), and was discharged. I believe that was his last appearance behind the curtain of a theatre. Mary and Rosina Shaw made their first appearance in New York Dec. 13 in the farce “An Agreeable Surprise”: Lingo, with the songs, “ Amoa Mass” and “Such Realities,” Rosina Shaw; Cowslip, with songs, "Cross the Field” and “Such a Charming Fellow," Mary Shaw. This was followed by “The Review, or the Wags of Windsor": Caleb Quotem, with songs, “I'm Parish Clerk" and "What's a Woman Like?" Rosina Shaw; after which, “The Poor Soldier," with Mary Shaw as Nora, and Rosina Shaw as Patrick, with songs. Mrs. William Rufus Blake was in the
company at the time, as were Mr. and Mrs. James Charles. The latter was the first wife of Thomas Hamblin. Rosina Shaw is the sister of Charlotte, Josephine, and Mary Shaw. Mary and Rosina were known as the Shaw Sisters in concerts throughout the country. Gifted with fine, natural soprano and contralto voices, they were much sought after, being considered among the most attractive players before the public. Rosina Shaw was married to Charles Howard at Albany, N. Y., in June, 1845. He died in 1858, and two years later she was married to Harry Watkins, who died in New York, Feb. 5, 1894. In October, 1860, she appeared at the Lyceum Theatre, London, Eng., as Francine in “ Grist to the Mill."
“ The Earthquake” was played here Nov. 12; J. R. Hall opened Dec. 3 as Christopher Strap; and “ Gasparado the Gondolier" was seen Dec. 4; Frank Rea made his début Dec. 13 as Young Norval in "Douglas.” After the death of her father, Mary Shaw married Arthur Livermore Fogg of Baltimore, Md., and after his death returned to the stage. Her last appearance on the stage was at the National Theatre, Cincinnati, Ohio, during the season of 1869–70. She died in that city Jan. 23, 1894. When the Varieties Theatre, New Orleans, La., was first opened, Thomas Placide was the manager, and he selected Mrs. Charles Howard (Rosina Shaw) as his leading lady. The wisdom of this choice was manifested by the fact of her maintaining the position for five consecutive years. She is now in the Forrest Home. Charlotte and Josephine, the elder sisters, made their first appearance on the stage in 1839 at Peal's Museum, Baltimore, Md. Charlotte was wedded to Dr. Fred Houck, of Baltimore, Md., in 1843. He died in 1851. The father, John Shaw, died at Philadelphia in 1842, and was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in that city.
“ Dreams of Fate, or Sarah the Jewess," was presented Nov. 19; William R. Blake retiring from the management, Wm. Dinneford took charge. For John Sefton's benefit, Jan. 7th, 1839, “ Qliyer
Twist " was produced, cast thus: Bumble, John Sefton; The Artful Dodger, Mrs. C. R. Thorne; Bill Sykes, C. R. Thorne; Nancy Sykes, Mrs. W. R. Blake; Oliver Twist, his first appearance, Chas. Mestayer. “The Thousand Isles " was produced here on Feb. 2, with J. P. Adams in title rôle; “The Main Question " was given Feb. 19; "Timon of Athens," adapted to the modern stage by N. H. Bannister, was played for the first time in this city April 8; “Here She Goes, and There She Goes " was first given Feb. 25, 1839.
Edward Eddy made his first appearance in public at this theatre, May 9, 1839, for Goodenow's benefit. He gave a recitation of “The Indian's Lament.” Barney Williams, then sixteen years old, made his début July 28, 1840, as Pat Rooney. It was a benefit performance. Barney had been a "super" for some time. Small, agile,
quick of apprehension, a fair singer, and a good dancer, his march was rapid and easy to what was then considered a high position. After being closed for several months the house was reopened Oct. 12, 1840, by George Handel Hill (better known as “Yankee" Hill) as Hill's Theatre. The company from the Park Theatre came here Jan. 11, 1841. “Money” was produced for the first time in this city Feb. 1, and the theatre was crowded for two weeks to witness it.
Mrs. Marietta Judah made her New York début on the night " Yankee" Hill took possession. During the summer of the same year she appeared at the Chatham Theatre, and also during the seasons of 1844-45–46. In 1851 she was married to John Torrence, the stage carpenter, and in February, 1852, in company with her husband, she went to California, where she remained till her death, which occurred in San Francisco, March 1, 1883. She was born in Orange County, N. Y., in 1829, and when quite young married Mr. Judah, the leader of a Boston orchestra. From the bent of her mind and her husband's connections, she embraced the stage as a profession, and with him travelled through the South. From her debut in San Francisco (April 14, 1852), she continued on the California stage up to May 4, 1878, being in the stock company of the California Theatre from Jan. 18, 1869, to 1878. From that period up to within a short time of her death she appeared but occasionally, and chiefly for charitable purposes. As an actress, Mrs. Judah's name will be pre-eminently associated with the character of the Nurse in “ Romeo and Juliet," an impersonation so excellent and unique that Adelaide Neilson confessed her Juliet was dwarfed beside it.
This theatre suffered badly during the dulness of 1840-41, and was frequently closed during those two years. It was opened in April under the name of "The Little Drury," but with no success. As the “Little Franklin " it was known Aug. 10, 1841, and in four days was christened “Old Drury." It was opened by John Morris in the spring of 1842 as a variety theatre. Master Diamond was one of the company, and was billed to dance “ The Cowchoaker," a burlesque of Fanny Elssler's “La Cachuca." The next manager was James Kemp, the English clown, who presented pantomime and specialties. George Lea was the next manager. Thinking to induce the “moral classes " to visit his exhibition, he changed the name of the edifice to “ The Franklin Museum,” in imitation of Barnum. This was late in 1848. Two performances were given daily, consisting of a series of tableaux vivants, variety and female ministrels, which were visited by thousands of persons of both sexes. During Purdy's run of "Uncle Tom's Cabin " at the Chatham, Lea exbibited on the stage magic-lantern views, and many a "country cousin " found him or herself here who thought it was Purdy's place of amusement. A brass band was stationed on the balcony to
attract the stranger. “Uncle Tom's Cabin was seen here Sept. 12,
Price of admission — Seats in Private Boxes, 50 cts.; orchestra seats, with
BENEFIT OF THE PROPRIETOR, GEORGE LEA.
LEA'S FEMALE MINSTRELS
Intermission of ten minutes, to obtain a refreshments” at the bar.
Diorama of “Uncle Tom's Cabin "exhibited in twenty-four tableaux, illustrat-
Miscellaneous and Terpsichorean Divertissement.
Mulligan, Spencer, Jones & Pearson
J. Mulligan, Thos. Donnelly
Mulligan and Jones
The house was then closed, and afterwards became a furniture
SOME MINOR THEATRES
Street, was occupied by P. T. Barnum in 1836, with his curi-
THE LITTLE BROADWAY
THE LITTLE BROADWAY was located on the east side of Broadway (No. 410), at the corner of Canal Street. It had formerly been known as The EUTERPIAN HALL, where miscellaneous entertainments were given, such as lectures and panoramas. The following is a copy of the opening bill :
(LATE EUTERPIAN HALL)
The manager begs leave to inform the public that this establishment, which has been fitted up in the most magnificent and costly style, will open for the
THIS EVENING, August 28, 1836.
The performance will commence with an Overture by Kupner.
in the form of a Dramatic Masque.
After which the Comedy, JOHN BULL. — Hon. Tom Shuffleton, Mr. Flynn; Dennis Bulgruddery, Mr.
Greene; Mary Thornberry, Mrs. Flynn.
To conclude with THE FOUR SISTERS. — Mr. Beauchamp, Mr. Flynn; Caroline (assuming
four distinct characters), Mrs. Flynn.
Susan, with songs, Mrs. Conduit. Entrance to the boxes, on Broadway; to the pit, on Canal Street. Boxes, 75 cents; pit, 25 cents.
Thomas Jackson was announced as manager, but Thomas S. Hamblin was the real proprietor. William Mitchell played here two weeks. It was afterwards converted into the APOLLO SALOON, and as such opened Dec. 7, 1836, under the management of Bragaldi & Palmer, for the performance of Italian Marionettes. Beard, or Female Curiosity," and the ballet of “ La Sylphide” composed the bill. The last dramatic performance was given on Sept. 5, 1837. The house remained unused for a long time. Finally it was refitted and opened as a hall for concerts and light entertainments, Sept. 29, 1852, as THE PEOPLE'S OPERA House, with Lipman's Opera Company as the attraction.
THE CITY THEATRE
This was a small place of amusement opened July 13, 1837, in the upper part of a building on Broadway, opposite St. Paul's Church, with John J. Adams as manager. One week sufficed Mr. Adams, and he resigned the position to his stage manager, Cowell. Two weeks of management were enough for Cowell, and the season came to an untimely end Aug. 7. Jacob W. Thoman was in the company. The theatre was afterwards opened as Miss Monier's DRAMATIC Saloon, but the season was a short and disastrous one, and the theatre soon passed out of existence.