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Ernestine afterwards became Mrs. William R. Floyd. Our Country's Sinews” and “Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady" were the plays produced. The first named had this cast: Herrman Gray E. L. Davenport | Nelly
Miss Melissa Jew . H. Watkins Alex. Jerrold
Mrs. Elmore Feb. 25 “The Drunkard” was acted together with “Black Eyed Susan,” Harry Watkins as Edward Middleton. E. L. Davenport played William in “Black Eyed Susan," and Watkins, Gnatbrain. On Feb. 26 " Pizarro was played, with Davenport as Rolla, Watkins as Alonzo. This was followed by “The Coroner's Inquest, or the Unexpected Witness," and ""Black Eyed Susan."
Between the second and third play Ernestine and Annie Henrade did a pas de deux ; Feb. 27, Brutus," "Laugh When You Can,” and “Coroner's Inquest” formed the bill; Feb. 28, “Coroner's Inquest,” “ Laugh and Grow Fat,” the farce “Mons. Tonson," and "Lord Darnley."
In "Mons. Tonson,” C. Sage from the French Theatre, New Orleans, made his first appearance in this city The programme stated that this was the first time a French actor had ever appeared on an English stage in an English play. March 2 "Charity's Love" was given for the first appearance here of Mrs. E. L. Davenport as Charity. "Live and Let
Live” was also acted; March 5 Anna Cora Mowatt's comedy, "Fashion, or Life in New York," was done. E. L. Davenport played Adam Trueman, H. Watkins, Snobson, and Mrs. E. L. Davenport, Gertrude; March 6 "Fashion" was repeated, with "My Guardian Angel ;” March 7 Mrs. E. L. Davenport took a benefit, when "Joan of Arc,”
Eccentricity Crinoline,” and “The Honeymoon formed the 7 programme. Conrad Clarke made his first appearance here as Florinel in the first piece; March 9 Wilkins' play, “The Scalp Hunters,” was acted for the first time in this city; March 12 the five-act play “Egyptian,” followed by a benefit, March 14, for E. L. Davenport, when three acts of “The Egyptian," song by Fanny Den ham, comic song by Jas. Connor, “The Robber's Wife," and “The Scalp. Hunters, was the programme; March 16, T. W. "? Meighan's drama, “Modern Insanity" and "Black Eyed Susan; March 19 Harry Watkins took a benefit, when the "Green Hills of the West," a fancy dance by Salome Secor (afterwards Mrs. S. Duffield), “Eccentricity Crinoline,” and song by Fanny Denham were given. March 21, “Richard III." and "Green Hills;" March 23, for the first time in America, John H. Wilkins' drama, “The 2 Man with the Red Beard;” March 27, first time on any stage, “The Sheriff's Wife," written by Mr. Morris, a lawyer of this city.
Mrs. E. L. Davenport acted the leading rôle; March 28, “The Merchant of Venice," also the Scotch drama “Lord Darnley,” and the play of “Wealth.” The season terminated March 31, with the “Bride of Lammermoor," "Fashion,” and “The Rough Diamond."
After Burton left Chambers Street the theatre was closed for a time, when the premises, which were held at the sum of $215,000, though originally purchased less than ten years before for $15,000, were rented to the United States Government for judicial and other offices at $16,000 per year. Alterations to suit the new condition of things were made and all interior traces of the building formerly dedicated to Momus were wiped out. The Federal offices were retained in the building until it was sold to the American News Company, Jan. 29, 1876, for $180,000, who, shortly after, had the theatre building torn down and a large edifice erected for their business.
HE place of amusement known as “The Pantheon " was a
a man named Smith Sloan. It was situated on Avenue D. near Second Street. Jim Carpenter, banjoist; Joe Miles, dancer; Charles Fisher and R. M. Carroll were in the company. The place did fairly well for a few months as a Minstrel hall. Then Sloan introduced the Model Artists, under the leadership of Bruce Norton. They also did very well for a short time, but the authorities stopped the performance on grounds of morality. It has been stated that Dan Bryant appeared here, but he never did.
SMALL hall known as “The Pinteaux," situated a few doors
below the old New York Hospital near Duane Street, 184647. Here musical entertainments were given by first class artists; also a minstrel company, composed of Gus Mead, David Jacobs, John Turpin Kitts, Raymond, and others. Model artists exhibited here also.
Bowery, was opened by Charley White, Nov. 24, 1846. This was the first cheap theatre in New York City, the prices of admission being 12%2 cents to the parquet, and 614 cents to the gallery. R. and C. White were proprietors. Negro minstrelsy by White's Serenaders was its principal attraction. It was destroyed by fire in October, 1847, but was at once rebuilt and reopened by Charley White. The shilling tickets (1242 cents) gave each holder a refreshment coupon, which entitled him to a drink or a cigar. On March 12, 1848, the premises were damaged by fire, but repairs were quickly made, and the theatre was reopened April 4, 1848. May 20, 1849, it was again destroyed by fire, after which a five story house was erected on the same site.
Among those who became famous in the minstrel world afterwards, and who appeared here, were Master Juba, Neil Hall, tambourine; Bill Smith, bones (Smith was noted for his large mouth); Frank Stanton, banjo; Clem Titus, violin jig player, and Zeke Backus, violin jig and reel accompanist. One of the greatest successes was George White's singing of “Run, Nigger, Run, the M. P. Will Catch You," and "Come Back, Stephen.” Salaries ranged from $6 to $12 per week, with exceptions in favor of T. D. Rice and John Diamond. George Lea purchased the lease (June, 1852), which had five years to run, for $600. Charles White closed April 22, 1854, and George Lea opened April 24, having closed his Franklin Museum at 175 Chatham Street. The lower floor was a large wholesale furniture store. The two floors above the auditorium were occupied by the furniture dealers for the manufacture of their stock. George Lea changed the name to “The Franklin Museum, and it was so known until it was torn down at the expiration of Mr. Lea's lease. Tableaux vivants were among Mr. Lea's attractions.
HUMBLE place of amusement called "Novelty Hall
was situated at the N. E. corner of Pearl and Centre Streets, and was opened by Matt Brennan, although his name was not announced as such to the public. Here Luke West, Matt Peel (then known as Matt Flannery), Flavin, and Dave Reed, commenced the practice of their profession.
In this hall the first variety show was given in this city - from 1844 to 1848. The second floor was called the “Hall of Novelty. " Admittance was 674 cents. Spanish money was accepted in preference to our own money. For instance, if you wanted to go to the Bowery Theatre in those days you could get into the pit for a Spanish shilling (1242 cents), but the price was 13 cents in American coin.
The performance at the Hall of Novelty consisted of a minstrel band, with Dave Reed as end man. He played the bones. During the season of 1845–46, Dick Carroll danced here for three nights, and John Daniels, the high kicker; Joe Miles, jig dancer; Richard and others of note.
MONROE HALL IT T was in Monroe Hall, away over on the East side, that the
Exempt Firemen's Association was organized in 1842. The first floor of the building was used as a bar-room — first by Owen Brennan, and later by Matt Brennan and Pat Lysaght. All of these men held high political positions.
HAT was called simply “Concert Hall” was situated at 404
Broadway, and used for exhibitions of various kinds. It was opened Aug. 8, 1842, by P. T. Barnum with the “Fejee Mermaid." Mr. Lyman was manager, under the assumed name of Prof. J: Griffin. Barnum continued here only one week.
PALMO'S CONCERT ROOM On the corner of Broadway and Chambers Street was “ Palmo's cupied by Tiffany, Young & Ellis as a jewelry store, the basement as a restaurant, the second floor by the concert room. The Shoe and Leather Dealers' Bank was also in this building. Charley White appeared for a short season with the Kentucky Minstrels. In May, 1843, Sam S. Sanford, with Lull, the banjo player, Major Burke, violinist, and John Diamond, bones, occupied this hall.
T 472 Broadway was Mechanics' Hall occupied from March
22, 1847, to Feb. 22, 1857, by E. P. Christy's Minstrels. George Christy was bones and Earl H. Pierce tambourine. The company became very popular, and the hall was crowded night after night for several years. The rendering of the plaintive negro melodies appealed with great force to the lovers of simple music, and Christy's Minstrels were peculiarly happy in their selection and singing of such ballads. Mr. Christy was the first man to establish minstrelsy on a firm basis, and it was here that he accumulated the bulk of his wealth. For a number of years he had the Ethiopian field to himself, and well did he profit by it. In 1854 he abandoned the business. In a fit of temporary insanity he jumped out of the second story window of a house in which he resided in this city, May 9, 1862, and received injuries from which he died May 21. His remains were conveyed to Greenwood cemetery. He always had a singular desire to utter large words, and, as he was comparatively uneducated, he was not invariably happy in his choice of them. . Hence, when laboring under this aprehension of mental disorder, he would say to all whom he met: “Sir, is my language intellectual? Do I express myself intelligently? Do you think me perspicuous?"
Mr. Christy was among the first to establish the present popular style of Ethiopian entertainments. He organized a small party in Buffalo, in 1843. The troupe consisted of E. P. Christy, George Christy (Harrington), L. Durand, and T. Vaughn. They were then called the Virginia Minstrels, and travelled principally in the Western and Southern country. Soon after their organization, Enom Dickerson and Zeke Bachus were added to the company, and they then assumed the name of “Christy's Minstrels." They first appeared in New York in 1846, at Palmo's Opera House. On their second engagement in this city they appeared at what was then called the Alhambra, on Broadway near Prince Street, and from thence went to the Society Library, afterwards Appleton's building, and then to Mechanics' Hall. In the latter part of October, 1859, a dispute arose between George Christy (real name Harrington) and E. P. Christy, and George Christy left the concern, and became the partner of Henry Wood, with whose minstrels he began perform ing on Oct. 31, 1853, at 444 Broadway. The withdrawal of George, and his opposition at the lower house, injured the business of E. P. Christy, and about the middle of July, 1854, he abandoned the business.
Aug. 21, 1854, Henry Wood and Geo. Christy leased this hall. In the company were Geo. Christy, Frank Raynor, N. W. Gould, Vaughn, Christian, Vase, William Birch, R. M. Hooley, Keenan, Lewis, and others. Henry Wood also had charge of 444 Broadway, which he continued to manage with a minstrel company, and George Christy appeared at both houses on the same night. 444" was burnt down Dec. 20; the two companies combined and appeared here the following night. The Marsh Troupe of Juvenile Comedians occupied this hall the season of 1856. The next attraction was Raynor & Pierce's Minstrels, consisting of Earl H. Pierce, George (“ Pony”) W. Moore (end man), J. W. Raynor (interlocutor), David S. Wambold, Billy Burton, W. P. Collins, Governor Meeker, Joe Brown, jig dancer, Tom Christian, Tyrolean singer, Anthony Nish, John Donniker, and Frank Raynor. Their last performance here was on Saturday night, Feb. 21, 1857, for the benefit of Larry Hyer, brother of Tom Hyer, the pugilist. The Bryant Brothers' Minstrels opened here the following Monday. Dan, Neil, and Jerry Bryant secured T. Prendergast, Dick Carroll, Tommy Pell, G. W. H. Griffin, Chas. Fox, old Dan Emmett, and others at that time well known in the profession. The house was opened in a very modest way, Feb. 23. Their success was assured