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comedy. His Crummles was so capital that the name adhered to him through life. He achieved his triumphs by spurning the conventionalities of ordinary actors, and founding for himself a school of naturalness and intellectuality which gave a marked degree of freshness to all his efforts. Great is the artist's triumph! Yet, at least upon the stage, it is but fleeting and ephemeral, and may be annihilated by the merest accident. Mitchell could easily counterfeit the exuberance of drollery, and just as easily draw tears by the pathos and naturalness of his acting in serious drama. He was a man of strict integrity, though rigidly economical in his business arrangements. He was exceedingly popular with his employees and his patrons, and made the Olympic the jolliest theatre in the city. We have had no New York manager more able, more vigorous, more capable of catering to the public taste than William Mitchell. At the close of the season, affected almost to tears, he bade adieu, forever, to his audience, who had thronged the theatre to witness his last personation of the wellknown Crummles. Poor Mitchell passed rapidly from the world's memory, like a bubble on the current of some sunlit stream, which sparkles gaily for a while, then bursts and is seen no more. He died in this city May 12, 1856, after a long period of suffering. His disease was paralysis, which, while it destroyed his physical powers, left his mind as clear and vigorous as ever. It is said that he died poor. He did die in poverty, and his friends had begun the work of getting him a benefit, when they were anticipated by his death.
William E. Burton tried to resuscitate the Olympic, opening it Sept. 9, 1850, and he acted here in “The Serious Family” Sept. 17, and in “Poor Pillicoddy” Sept. 19. Sept. 20 “The Daughter of the Stars” was the title of a play presented, with Mr. Howard as Hon. Anthony Hawkstone, and the extravaganza “ Jennyphobia" with George Skerret as Visjuice and Mr. Conover as Seeds. The performance closed with “Alcestis." Sept. 21 "Dobson & Co.," * Alcestis,” “ Actress of All Work," and " Jennyphobia" was the bill. Burton's management closed Sept. 26. He paid Mitchell $1,200 for all his possessions in this theatre. During Burton's lesseeship he called the house “The Olympic Branch of Burton's."
Fellows' Minstrels took possession Sept. 30, and continued five nights. It was reopened Nov, II by W. A. Asche & Co., with a vaudeville company, consisting of W. Copland, Mr. McDougal, Linden, Miss Sheppard, Joseph Jefferson, and Mrs. Henry. The programme was: “A Struggle for the Pants,” “ Peep at 6 P.M." and “My Precious Betsy.” During the evening the Ethiopian Rabel Family gave feats in legerdemain. This management closed Nov. 19. The house was afterwards let for various kinds of entertainments, and to any one who could pay the rent.
"Burgthall's German National Theatre" was what it was called when it opened June 18, 1851. “Hurmoristiche Studien," a twoact farce by Lebrun, followed by Herr E. Zwing and wife, acrobats and magicians, and a Tyrolienne dance executed by Demoiselle Thérèse La Tourier formed the programme. June 20“Die Schule der Verlietten” (“The Love Chase") was acted; June 24, “Der Vater Der Debutantin” (“The Father of the Young Actress”), when Herr Burgthall made his first appearance here; June 25 was opera night, when was sung, for the first time in America, the romantic opera entitled “Preciosa,” by Karl Maria Von Weber. The house was shortly after remodelled into a store and occupied by the Cheshire Crystal Glass Co. Several other kinds of business were carried on in the building. It was discovered to be on fire at 3 o'clock on the morning of Dec. 20, 1854, and the building was entirely consumed, including the City Assembly Rooms, which were situated above the theatre.
John Nickinson had three daughters: Charlotte, Virginia, and Isabella. Charlotte married Mr. Morrison of the Land Department, Canada. She was afterwards a successful manageress in Montreal, Canada. Mr. Morrison was at one time on the staff of the New York Times. Virginia was married to Owen Marlowe, the well-known light comedian, and died in this city March 7, 1899.
HE place of amusement, if it could be so called, known as Hope
Chapel, was formerly a church and was let for panoramas, lectures, and similar entertainments. There were two halls, known as the upper and lower halls. The building was situated on the east side of Broadway, just below Eighth Street. For a long time it failed to prove a paying speculation. A minstrel band called the Californians appeared here, but their stay was brief. It was occupied on Sunday evenings by the Spiritualists, who retained possession of it for a number of years. Upon their leaving, it remained unoccupied for a long time, but was eventually fitted up as a lecture room, and, not proving a popular place of resort, was soon vacant again. On March 28, 1853, Dr. Valentine commenced a brief stay here, assisted by Mme. Lovary, vocalist, and Herr Stoepel, performer on wood and straw instruments. In December Dion Bourcieault was announced to appear in a course of “literary soirées." They were in the form of lectures, and were entitled “Sketches of European Society,” “Woman and Her Rights (?) and Her Wrongs," “ My Literary Life, or the Vicissitudes of a Man of Letters in London and Paris," and "The Story of the Stage." Dion Bourcicault was at that time a young, dapper, bald-headed fellow, with lots of ability and a firm determination to make his way in the world.
He was heralded in his advertisements with a considerable flourish of trumpets as the successful author of “ London Assurance," " Old Heads and Young Hearts," "The Irish Heiress, and other plays. But in spite of his success as a dramatic author, the public somehow could n't be persuaded to accept him as a lecturer, and this in the face of the fact that he had promised faithfully to initiate them — as it were— into the mysteries of London fashionable life, and tell them funny stories about the living originals from whom he drew the characters of Sir Harcourt Courtly, Dazzle, Dolly Spanker, and Lady Gay. It was all in vain, however. The public either did n't believe the bold Bourcicault, or else did n't care to be made a party to those secrets which he proposed to disclose. So he read his lectures to empty benches. At first he gave them on Tuesdays and Thursdays; on Dec. 19 he commenced to give them nightly.
The Boone Children were the first successful attraction that appeared here. Feb. 6, 1854, they took a benefit, with the balcony scene from “Romeo and Juliet," and scenes from “ Julius Cæsar, “The School for Scandal," “ The Honeymoon," and "The Merchant of Venice.” Hope Chapel then fell into disuse for a time, and was not opened for regular entertainments until Jan. 15, 1855, when it was called “ Donaldson's Opera House,” H. W. Donaldson beginning his season with a minstrel company. Their stay was a brief one. , “The Academy of Minstrels " was the next name given to this house. It was opened Aug. 20, 1856, by Frank Hussey and Joe Taylor with a minstrel troupe, consisting of Hussey, Taylor, P. Sterling, C. F. Shattuck, S. S. Purdy, Frank Leslie, Walter Fields, D. Dellimore, J. Childs, Carroll B. Isaacs, H. Heron, Buckley, and Gibson. Sept. 3, Adolph Nicholls, violinist, and M. J. Solomons, clarionetist, joined, and a few days later the place was suddenly closed.
The house underwent many changes of management for the next five years. Lola Montez lectured here on “ Beautiful Women” Feb. 3, 1858, and on Feb. 8 her subject was “ Wits and Women of Paris." William Davidge commenced a series of lectures on the works of Charles Dickens Dec. 8. Mr. and Mrs. Henri Drayton, who had been giving their drawing-room entertainments at the French Theatre, 585 Broadway, opened here Nov. 8, 1859. They presented for the first time in America a new version of “ Love's Labor's Lost." They continued for a number of weeks. Catherine Lucette and Capt. Morton Price opened here March 9, 1860, in their drawingroom entertainments. Gen. Tom Thumb came early in April. On Jan. 15, 1861, “Blind Tom” first appeared in this city. Panoramas, concerts, lectures, continued the attractions presented here for a long time.
The name of the place was again changed and on May 23, 1864, Mrs. Harriet Holman opened it as “The Broadway Academy of Music," with “Cinderella." “ The Daughter of the Regiment,” “ The Bohemian Girl," "Beauty and the Beast,” followed. In the organization were Sallie and Júlia Holman, Mrs. Harriet Holman, Alfred Holman, W. H. Crane, and others. This house was next opened as “ The Theatre Comique" by Harry Leslie, tight-rope walker and pantomimist. A variety entertainment was given by H. Leslie, W. H. Stratton (banjoist), Harry Merritt, G. Leslie, Rhody McGuire, Fanny Wilton, Clark Brothers, and Miss Garrett. David Braham was the musical director. Isabella Solaro, a female magician, appeared in July, 1864, and was followed by Woodruffe's Glassblowers. Effendi Oscanyan, the Turkish lecturer, took this place for a few nights, and rechristened it "The Meddah." Sig. Blitz, Jr., opened here with his ventriloquial and magical entertainment Aug. 14, 1865. Mina Geary, J. N. Senia, and Gustave Geary joined forces with Sig. Blitz in September. He closed Sept. 23, and during his lesseeship he called it “Blitz's New Hall.” E. Byron Christy had a benefit Jan. 25, 1866. D. T. Corrie's Panorama of Scotland commenced Feb. 19, with Corrie as lecturer, Henry Leslie, P. Rafferty, Scotch tenor; Agnes Sutherland, the Scottish nightingale, and Maggie McLeod, vocalists. These people remained four weeks, Mr. Corrie having a benefit March 16, under the patronage of the members of the New York Caledonian Club, when James Cummings, Scotch vocalist, made his first appearance in New York
in five years.
During the remainder of the season up to May, 1866, concerts were given by the pupils of Sig. Clements, the Hutchinson Family, Mrs. E. A. Payne, F. W. Mollenbauer, Mrs. Georgia Sheppard, Mrs. Clinton Price, G. W. Craw, John Prume, H. B. Lasserne, J. S. Thompson, F. Bergner, Mary M. Ruton, Mrs. S. P. McDonald, Hattie M. Gibbs, Mrs. Therese McKenna, M. Louis Dachauer, Mrs. C. E. Whelan, Henry Byron, Stephen Massett, and George Guy; and readings, lectures, and literary entertainments by Henry Morford, Mrs. Prosser, Mr. and Mrs. George Vandenhoff, Mrs. H. C. Watson, Mrs. E. Van Buck, and Mr. De Cordova.
KELLY & LEON'S
"HE house having been without a regular manager for some time,
Kelly & Leon took a lease of the entire building for two years. They got possession May 1, 1866, and completely renovated and altered the premises, making a billiard saloon out of the lower hall and converting the upper one into a minstrel hall. They let out the dwellings over the hall, the stores on either side of the entrance, the billiard saloon and basement, receiving therefor, in the shape of rent, more money than they were actually paying for the entire premises, and leaving them the minstrel hall free of rent. They opened Oct. 1. In the company were Edwin Kelly, Francis Leon, Frank Moran, John Allen, Oberist, E. P. Fairbanks, George and Willie Guy, G. W. Jackson, George Christy (for a short time), Nelse Seymour, Dick Sands, Sam Price, William Butler, Sig. Bretano, Garatagua, and afterward Eph Horn. Frank Moran was on the bones end, Johnny Allen, tambourine, and Edwin Kelly, interlocutor. In their first part were thirteen performers and a pianist, besides the three mentioned above. They closed the season, June 22, 1867, and went on a brief travelling tour, returning and opened their second season July 29, 1867. They now had in their organization Delehanty and Hengler, F. Williams, Add Ryman, Nelse Seymour, Sam Price, Harry Stanwood, Hogan and Hughes, Kelly, Leon, and others. A. L. Parkes was the business manager.
William Henry Delehanty died in this city May 13, 1880, of hasty consumption. His last appearance in public was at Harry Miner's Theatre, this city, April 17, 1884, with his partner, Hengler. He composed many songs and dances, which became very popular, among them being “Little Bunch of Roses," "When Flowers Blush and Bloom,” “Pretty Jessie,” “Apple of My Eye,” “I Hope I Don't Intrude,” “Strawberries and Cream," and “Beautiful Pink and White Roses." His first appearance in this city was Aug. 12, 1867, with Hengler at Kelly & Leon's Minstrels. Thomas Michael Hengler died at Greenpoint, L. I., Aug. 21, 1888.
In consequence of the shooting and killing of Thomas Sharpe (brother of Sam Sharpley, the well known minstrel performer) by Edwin Kelly, this house was closed for a while, but reopened Dec. 17, when Geo. W. H. Griffin appeared as interlocutor. Rollin Howard, Dave Reed, W. H. Brockway, George Guy, Oberist, W. H. Butler, Heywood, J. H. Budworth, and G. W. Jackson made up the company. Leon made his reappearance Feb. 3, 1868. Joseph Murphy (the present Irish comedian) joined the company April 20. Mr. Murphy was the champion bone-player. Jas. Blamphin, harpist, appeared April 27, as did F. B. Naylor, a clever tenor. June 8 Edwin Kelly reappeared. He had been tried for the shooting of Sharpe at the Fifth Avenue Opera House, and promptly acquitted. The season terminated June 27, 1868.
The company opened their third season Aug. 31. They charged a higher price of admission than was ever before demanded by a minstrel band — $1.50, $1, and 50 cents. They commenced making a feature of opera burlesque Feb. 3, 1867, when the “Grand Dutch S” was presented in a manner never before attempted by a minstrel band in this country, and equal in costumes and general appointments to any production at our theatres. The piece had a great run, and made many thousands of dollars for the managers. This was followed in rapid succession by other burlesques. When they opened their last season they had in their first part thirty-five peo
1 See history of Madison Square Theatre for particulars.