MT & Minstrelsy


The notices at left are from the Newark Daily Advertiser for Tuesday, 8 December 1868. This is only one of many instances I could include of how often MT's contemporaries would have seen him or his work in the immediate context of blackface minstrelsy. In the column right next to the review of his "American Vandal" lecture in the Detroit Free Press of Wednesday, 23 December 1868, for another example, is this announcement for "Newcomb's Minstrels":

These well-known minstrels will appear at Young Men's Hall on Thursday and Friday evenings. Their reputation is high wherever they have been, and doubtless they will receive a hearty welcome here.

For a last example: while I was looking through the 1 January 1869 Cleveland Leader for a notice about MT's lecture in Akron, I found this item on the same page:

COOL BURGESS' MINSTRELS. -- It is a fact long admitted that Cleveland is one of the strongest points in the country for minstrel shows, but never in our experience have we known our people to be so susceptible to the attractions of this class of amusement as they have shown themselves during the past eight days. We have been visited during this time by three companies, two of which took away a handsome amount of scrip, while the third, now with us, promises to do its predecessors and go them better. Brainard's Hall was filled last evening, and the very excellent entertainment was enthusiastically received. Cool Burgess was thoroughly himself, and as the "bright particular star" of the evening, shown with an effulgence that made all happy. He was ably assisted by Campbell, Radcliffe and Causland as his immediate aides in the funny business, and together they constituted a coterie of lively negro delineators as were every seen in one combination. The musical portion of the programme was well-rendered, and altogether the performance was quite unexceptionable. They will appear again this evening, with an entire change of programme.