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Aiken was the “stock dramatist” for this house. He died in Jersey City, N. J., May 13th, 1876. Boucicault's “The Octoroon was first given here Feb. 6th, 1860, and ran for six weeks. The season closed March 24th and reopened March 31st, with John Greenwood, Jr., acting manager, Delmon Grace, T. Hadaway, and the company about the same as in the previous season. J. B. Ferndon's début was made the afternoon of the 31st, as Don José in “Don Cæsar de Bazan.” “Jeanie Deans,
"Jeanie Deans," dramatized from Scott's “Heart of Midlothian," was first acted here April 2nd, with Delmon Grace as David Deans. Prof. Hutchings, the "Lightning Calculator," opened April 30th; “Dot, or the Cricket on the Hearth,” was played May 7th; “Charlotte Temple” 28th; and Harry Pearson appeared June 18th in "Old Honesty.
The season of 1860-1 began Sept. ioth. E. A. Taylor was stage manager, and in the company were Joseph E. Nagle, Geo. H. Clarke, W. L. Jamieson, E. Hayland, Messrs. Bridgman, Brown, Geo. Brookes, Hadaway, Chapman, De Forrest, Mrs. R. France, Mrs. J. J. Prior, and the Misses Agnes St. Clair, F. France, and H. Alford. The opening production was “Joseph and his Brethren,” followed by “Rose Elmer,” “Masaniello,” “The Magic Well,” “Smiles and Tears, or the Lear of Private Life," "The Isle of St. Tropez,” “Love and Elopement,” “The Woman in White,” “Gitanelli,” and “The Patriot's Dream." The season closed with a benefit to E. A. Taylor, July 8, 1861. The season of 1861-2 opened Oct. 7 with E. A. Taylor as stage manager. In the company were J. E. Nagle, Hadaway, Bridgman, W. L. Jamieson, George Brookes, E. Haviland, G. H. Clarke, H. Cunningham, H. E. Chapman, Thomas, Dubois, Mrs. J. J. Prior, Mrs. R. France, Mrs. Le Brun, and the Misses C. Alford, Le Brun, Jenny Walters, Rosa France, Addie Le Brun and Harriet Walby. The initial production was “Great Expectations,” dramatized from Dickens' novel of the same name by Geo. L. Aiken. This play ran until Oct. 12, when it gave way to “The Angel of Midnight.” Dec. 3. “The Earl's Daughter,” a new romantic drama, was presented. Dec. 24 a spectacle called “Undine, or the Spirit of the Waters," another version of “The Naiad Queen," took its place, and was followed in turn by“ Sadak and Kalasrade,” “Hop o' My Thumb,” and “Adelaide of Dresden." The season closed on July 5, and on the 7th a Summer season of light operas by the Holman Opera Troupe was given for four weeks. The next season opened Sept. 8 with “The Phantom.
“ Charles the Second," "Young America," "Raoul," "Frederick the Great," “The Drunkard,” “The American Sailor," "Giles, the Miller's Man,
"“Uncle Foogle," "Perfection,” “The Dark Cloud,” “The Wreck Ashore," "The Old House at Home," "The Sister's Sacrifice,” “Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady,” “'Twas I," "The Haunted House,” “The Nervous Man," and "The Duke's Device" were played during this season. Samuel A. Emery, the English character actor, made his American début March 30 in "The Shadow on the Wall.” Failing to meet with the success he anticipated, he returned to England the following September. His daughter, E. Winifred Emery, was here with Henry Irving. The season closed July 4.
A summer season opened Aug 3, 1863, with Corson W. Clarke as director, and Sylvester Bleecker as stage manager. In the company were Milnes Levick, T. J. Herndon, J. Bridgman, R. G. France, Harry Cunningham, W. Daly, W. M. Holland, J. Petrie, J. Henry, and S. Jeffard, Mrs. J. J. Prior, Mrs. R. G. France, the Misses Jenny Walters, Louise Carman, and Mlle. Louise, dancer. The principal productions of the season were “Raffaele, the Reprobate,” "Still Waters Run Deep," "Diamond Cut Diamond,"
Away with Melancholy," "The Haunted Chamber,” “ Quite at Home,” “A Wife for Half an Hour,” and “Only a Penny. The season closed Sept. 12 with “The Drunkard” for C. W. Clarke's benefit.
The regular season began Sept. 14, with E. F. Taylor, stage manager and Robt. Cutler, "property man." J. E. Nagle, W. L. Jamieson, T. Hadaway, Louis J. Mestayer (first appearance here), E. Haviland, W. Holland, H. Cunningham, Hughes, Frank S. Finn (first appearance here), F. Wood, John Bridgman, John Flood, and W. H. Daly, Mrs. J. J. Prior, Mrs. France, and the Misses C. Alford, J. Flood, Olive Priestly, Carrie Monell, Harriet Walby, and Addie Le Brun comprised the company. Oct. 5 D. L. Morris commenced an engagement and was followed in succession by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Gomersal, English comedians, and Major Pauline Cushman June 4, 1864. The season closed July 9, and was followed by a season of pantomime, in which Tony Denier, C. K. Fox, G. C. Davenport, and M. A. Grossi appeared, lasting until Sept. 1o, 1864.
The last season of this house commenced Sept. 12, 1864, with E. F. Taylor stage manager, and R. Cutler property man. Milnes Levick, Louis Mestayer, W. L. Jamieson, J. Delmon Grace, F. Bridgman, E. Haviland, T. Hadaway, B. C. Porter, Tony Denier, R. J. France, Harry Cunningham, Mrs. J. J. Prior, Mrs. J. D. Grace, Mrs. Kook, Mrs. France, Mrs. Carrie Jamieson (formerly Miss C. Alford), and the Misses J. Cleaver, H. Walby, and Carrie Monell composed the company. C. W. Taylor's “The Signet Ring of King Solomon " was the opening production, and "Wait. ing for the Verdict" followed. On Dec. 26 “The Ring of Fate" was seen. Jan. 23, 1865, “The Union Prisoner, or the Patriot's Daughter” was played, and on Feb. 6 “Azucena, or the Gipsy's Oath." Feb. 20 Laura Keene's “Workingmen of New York” was
presented, and March 20 J. B. Studley appeared in “William Tell.” "Maremma of Madrid ” followed April 3. Henry Leslie's drama, “The Orange Girl," was first played in this city April 20. Early in May the Boone Family were engaged for the matinees, and on the 22d Emilie Melville was seen in “The Heiress of the Hidden House. She afterwards appeared in “Dot, or the Cricket on the Hearth,” “The Daughter of the Regiment," "Jenny Lind at Last," and other plays. The last week of the season commenced on July 3 and terminated July 8, closing with “Eustache Baudin," which had the following cast:
From April 16 until the 26th, in common with the other places of amusement, the dramatic performances were suspended on account of the assassination of President Lincoln.
Among the curiosities in the building were a portion of the historical Charter Oak of Connecticut, a horse and rider turned into stone, Prof. Hutchings, the lightning calculator, Woodroffe's Troupe of glass-blowers, the fat woman, Rosina Richardson, Anna Levan, the giantess, Prof. Livingston, and Mme. Lacompte, astrologer.
The house was reopened July 10 for a summer season, with a pantomime company, consisting of C. K. Fox, Tony Denier, Master Timony, M. Leon Chenat, M. Grossi, and Mlle. Auriol (afterwards Mrs. Tony Denier). “The Green Monster, or the White Knight and the Giant Warrior," was the initial pantomime, which continued until noon of Thursday July 13, when the building was entirely destroyed by fire. The alarm was given about a quarter before one o'clock, and the conflagration spread with great rapidity. The flames were first discovered in the basement of the establishment, and, owing to the combustible nature of its contents, the building was soon wrapped in flames. In three quarters of an hour the Ann Street wall fell outwardly, and half an hour later the Broadway end came down with a sound like the roar of distant artillery. At 2. 30 the last of the walls fell in.
NEW YORK'S FIRST CIRCUS
HE first circus performance given in this city was at what was
on the outskirts of the city, in 1811. A stage was built in the open air; it was merely a platform about six feet high, ten or
twelve feet wide, and about sixty feet long. There was no ring for the display of horsemanship, nor any charge for beholding the performance; the company relied on the generosity of the spectators for remuneration, a lady handing round the tambourine. They soon afterwards removed to the lot at Prince Street and Broadway. A ring was formed, and the performance commenced every day (except Sunday) at about 4 o'clock, and was kept up till dark.
THE BROADWAY CIRCUS
way and the corner of White Street. At one end of it was a bar where thirsty souls might indulge their bibulous inclinations in the intervals of the performance. The tambourine that at first had served in the double duty of orchestra and collection-box had now grown up into a band, consisting of three drums (one bass), a trumpet, and two fifes. The circus was afterwards leased by Dwyer and McKenzie, who with Mons. Breschard, the equestrian director, presented a mixed entertainment. The dramatic company consisted of Dwyer, Tyler, Collins, Hogg, Foster, Allen, McKenzie, Fisher, Southey, Horton, Drummond, Mrs. Wilmot, Mrs. Bray, Mrs. McKenzie, Mrs. Allfort, Miss Brobston, Miss Ellis, and Mrs. Melmoth. On May 20, 1812, the circus took the imposing name of “The New Olympic,” and the dramatic bill for that occasion was as follows:
THE WAY TO GET MARRIED.
Mr. Foster Captain Falkner Mr. McKenzie Lady Sorrell
Mrs. Allford Toby Allspice Mr. Fisher Julia Falkner
Mrs. Wilmot Caustic Mr. Southey Clementina .
Mrs. Bray This was followed by a pas seul executed by a Master Whale. The performance concluded with equestrian acts by the circus company, under M. Breschard's direction.
Mr. Hogg made his first appearance here May 29th as Sir Abel Handy, in “Speed the Plough," and Mrs. McKenzie, her first appearance in New York, as Amanthis in “The Child of Nature" on the 30th.
Mr. Robertson, of the Park Theatre, opened here July 24 as Reuben Glenroy in “Town and Country.” On Aug. 3rd, 1812, a performance was given for the benefit of the widow and six children of Mons. Placide, the father of the afterwards celebrated comedians. Mr. and Mrs. Twaits appeared as Grumio and Katharine in “Taming of the Shrew.' Aug. 12th, Mrs. Melmoth took her benefit and acted Fiammetta, in "The Tale of Mystery."
On Sept. 12th “Timour the Tartar" was presented, with Mr. Robertson as Timour and Mrs. Twaits as Zorilda. The house was closed for a few weeks, and was reopened on Nov. 4th, 1813, as “The Commonwealth Theatre," under the direction of Twaits, Gilfert & Holland. Among the actors who appeared were Mrs. Cornelia Francis Burke, widow of Charles Burke, who married Mr. Jefferson's father on July 27, 1826.
She died in Philadelphia in 1850 of consumption, leaving two sons, Charles Burke, and Joseph Jefferson the fourth, the present famous comedian. Also in the company were Holman, Dwyer, Waring, Burke, Robertson, Cauldfield, Fisher, Clarke, Anderson, Jacobs, Hathwell, Ringwood, Fennell, Jr., Miss Holman, and Mesdames Twaits, Burke, Clarke, Goldson, Horton, and Bates. Mrs. Belinda Goldson, a member of the company, was married to Mr. Groshon in 1816; retired in 1819, died Jan. 31, 1822, and her remains were interred in the old First Presbyterian Church ground, Main and Fourth Streets, Cincinnati, Ohio. When Spring Grove Cemetery was established in the same city a number of her old friends had her remains conveyed there, where a monument of white marble was erected over them.
Mr. John Bernard first appeared here Nov. 29th as Sir Peter Teazle with Mr. and Mrs. Holman as Charles Surface and Lady Teazle. The comedy “Know Your Own Mind” was presented, followed by the farce of “The Lying Valet.” The season terminated Jan. 10, 1814. When the Anthony Street Theatre closed, July 4, 1814, the company came here for one month.
In 1815 this theatre was again opened for a short season, which proved disastrous. The father of Emily Mestayer was a member of the company.
On Jan. ist, 1816, “Taming of the Shrew” and “Don Juan were performed; also, for the first time in New York, the melodrama of “Zembuca.” Mrs. Anderson, a daughter of the comedian Jefferson, made her first appearance in New York as Moggy McGilpen in “The Highland Reel;" and on the 24th her husband appeared for the first time as Robert in "The Curfew."
“The Forest of Bondy” was first seen in New York March 18th with this cast: Macaire, Mr. Simpson; Gontram, Pritchard; Blaize, Spiller; Florio, Mrs. Anderson; Lucille, Mrs. Darley; Dame Gertrude, Mrs. Wheatley. “Maid and Magpie” was first played here April ist with the cast : Henry, Mr. Simpson; Everard, Anderson; Dame Gerald, Mrs. Wheatley, and Annette, Mrs. Darley. John Barnes made his first bow in America April 22nd, as Sir Peter Teazle and Lingo in “An Agreeable Surprise.” "Accusation," by John Howard Payne, was first acted May roth. It was an adaptation from the French. For Simpson's benefit, June Toth, “Smiles and Tears," by Mrs. Charles Kemble, was pro