Primary Documents: Blackface Performance General News Items

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The following bibliographic sources were used in JUBA's research. Specific bibliographic sources are also linked from individual person, event, venue and troupe pages.

The Bibliography contains all sources used to compile the Early Blackface Minstrelsy in Britain Database. At this stage of our data entry, most documentation you will find here will be from nineteenth century daily and weekly British journals, searched by our Research Participants; all such entries are linked to one or more of the database entries: Event, Individual, Troupe, Venue, Documentation.

Theatrical Journal (London) July 3, 1847: 209-210:1.
Theatrical Journal (London) June 29, 1844: 206:2.
Info in Record: Suggestion (in the “Chit Chat” section) that Mr. Dunn, “the celebrated English Jim Crow” will travel to America “at the suggestion of Mr. Rice.”
Theatrical Journal (London) July 17, 1847: 226:1.
Info in Record: Description of “Mr. Frederick Canfield, the American Sampson”, which notes that Canfield had previously been engaged by “Mr. Rice, the celebrated Jim Crow, at the Eagle Street Theatre, Buffalo”
Theatrical Journal (London) January 25, 1845: 28:2.
Info in Record: Discussion of performances by Mr. Dunn – “the English Jim Crow” in New York, Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia. Suggests that he has been “tolerably successful in his engagements”
Theatrical Journal (London) October 16, 1847: 336:2.
Info in Record: Description of music’s journey from the Caribbean to American Minstrel song.
Theatrical Journal (London) July 26, 1845: 236:1.
Info in Record: Mention of T.D. Rice’s performances in Baltimore, and note that “he is expected to visit England in the fall”
Theatrical Journal (London) December 4, 1847: 394:2.
Document Note: Reprinted (with slight variations) in this paper on December 11, 1847. Info in Record: Advertisement for Sheet Music: “The Nigger’s History of the World,” written by Mr. R.W. Pelham.
Theatrical Journal (London) July 26, 1845: 236:1.
Info in Record: Brief mention of performances by Ole Bull under the “American Theatricals” heading. Seems to suggest he was recently in London.
Theatrical Journal (London) March 13, 1847: 85:1.
Info in Record: "An anecdote about Mossop, the doctor, making a very long pause in “The Revenge.””.
Theatrical Journal (London) July 26, 1845: 236:2.
Info in Record: Brief mention of performances by Mr. Booth in Richmond (under the “American Theatricals” heading.)
Theatrical Journal (London) April 24, 1847: 135:1.
Info in Record: Brief note: “We have been requested to contradict the following statements:…That the Female Ethiopians have just arrived from America; and it is also untrue that they were seen purchasing a bottle of Everett’s Premier in the Waterloo Road.”
Theatrical Journal (London) July 26, 1845: 236:2.
Info in Record: Brief mention of performances by Russell in St. Louis (under the “American Theatricals” heading.)
Theatrical Journal (London) April 24, 1847: 135:1.
Info in Record: Brief note under “Theatricals and Music in America”: “Christy’s Minstrels are at present in this city [Boston]. They have become great favourites in their line.”
Theatrical Journal (London) December 27, 1845: 412:1.
Info in Record: Description/review of the Christmas Pantomime at the Victoria Theatre, which is entitled Tippitywitchet; or, Harlequin Tim Bobbin and the Witches of Lancashire” (perhaps in reference to the minstrel song?)
Theatrical Journal (London) January 21, 1843: 23:2.
Info in Record: In the Chit Chat column under the title “Advice Gratis,” there is this note: “We advise Mr. Rice, of Jim Crow notoriety, to keep his Yankee Notes in his pocket, they not being fit for English circulation.”
Theatrical Journal (London) February 25, 1843: 64:1.
Info in Record: In the Chit Chat column under “Good Farming:” “Sambo, is your master a good farmer?” O, yes, massa, fuss rate farmer – he make two crops in one year.” “How is that Sambo?” “Why, he sell all his hay in de fall, and make money once; den in de spring he sell de hides of cattle dat die for the want of de hay, and make money twice.”
Theatrical Journal (London) November 18, 1843: 368:1.
Info in Record: Note about Jim Crow Rice in the “Chit Chat” column: “It is possible that Jim Crow Rice would consent to play Drury Lane for ten pounds a night, but it is not probable that Mr. Bunn will engage him for even ten pence.”
Theatrical Journal (London) February 7, 1846: 43:2-45.
Info in Record: ”Tales of the Drama, By an Old Stager. No. IV. – The Jealous Husband”. The first installment of a (seemingly fictional) story about a jealous, Othello-like actor.
Theatrical Journal (London) February 13, 1851: 53:1, 54:1-2.
Info in Record: “Anecdotes of the Stage:” The story of pranks Cook and Cartwright played on each other, including one when Cook was playing Othello, and Cartwright covered Cook’s face with “whiting” and his wig with flour. Cartwright was declared drunk and the performance was canceled for the evening in spite of a house “filled to the ceiling.”
Theatrical Journal (London) February 28, 1846: 68:2-69:1.
Info in Record: Piece bemoaning the furor for ‘popular’ American entertainments, including dioramas, risqué tableaux vivans, exhibitions of dwarves, etc. The author claims, “more troops [sic[ of trans-Atlantic melodists (as if one had not heard and seen enough of them ere this) still come pouring in to inundate the metropolis with their Yankee ditties”.
Theatrical Journal (London) February 28, 1846: 69-70.
Info in Record: An anecdote about a stage-struck boarding school boy from the author’s youth. Amongst other things, the author claims, this boy disturbed his classmates by blacking up and playing out the murder scene from Othello.
Theatrical Journal (London) March 21, 1846: 96:2.
Info in Record: A brief piece under the heading ‘To Correspondents’, which reads as follows: “Jim Crow. – You are right, my sable hero, your dingy brethren are finely gulling John Bull, the banjo is the ascendant. We confess ourselves astonished at the success of many of the imitation of blacks. Sweeny was the best nigger melodist of the lot until the arrival of the Ethiopian Serenaders. They are undeniably clever.”
Theatrical Journal (London) June 9, 1852: 183:2.
Theatrical Journal (London) July 11, 1846: 223:1.
Info in Record: A brief mention of T.D. Rice’s recent performances at the Greenwich (seems to be in New York).
Theatrical Journal (London) September 13, 1849: 290:2.
Info in Record: Short ad in the column: “American Theatrical.” Notes that "Christy's Minstrels are giving concerts at Fort Hamilton".
Theatrical Journal (London) August 15, 1846: 263:1.
Info in Record: ’Chit Chat’ item, which claims that “Mr. Rice, the celebrated ‘Jim Crow,’ has been deprived of speech and the use of his limbs, by a stroke of paralysis.”
Theatrical Journal (London) October 24, 1846: 341:2.
Info in Record: Brief mention of recent performances by “The Ethiopian dancer, John Diamond” at the Greenwich Theatre in New York.
Theatrical Observer (London) May 1, 1844: 1.
Info in Record: Discussion of the state of the Theatre in America
Theatrical Observer (London) November 8, 1844: 1.
Info in Record: Author describes meeting the original Jim Crow in Cincinnati; gives info on some minstrel songs, etc.
Theatrical Observer (London) September 11, 1844: 1.
Info in Record: Lengthy description of the fiddle playing style of "a man out in Mississippi named Carey".
Theatrical Observer (London) May 1, 1844: 1.
Info in Record: Comment that "Ole Bull" the Fiddler is a greater sensation than "eminent tragedian Macready".
Theatrical Observer (London) January 24, 1844: 2.
Info in Record: Mention that "Ole Bull" and his violin all the rage in America, playing to large crowds.
Theatrical Observer (London) January 20, 1844: 1.
Info in Record: Description of performance of "Ole Bull, extraordinary genius of the violin" followed by positive review from Philadelphia.
Theatrical Observer (London) January 3, 1844: 2.
Info in Record: Small editorial on the Macready’s empty houses and the public predilection for musical artists.
University of Bristol, Kathleen Barker Collection KB/3: Grey Horse Playbill, Aug. 20, 1844
Info in Record: Performance Type: Variety Performers Listed: “assisted by a real and natural Nigger” Days & Times: “will shortly be produced” (sometime after August 20, 1844) Venue Name: Grey Horse Concert and Ball Room, High Street Program Info: “The Nigger Minstrels is in course of Rehersal [sic[“ Other: (surrounding acts at venue)