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Thompson Westcott scrapbooks of Charles Durang's history of Philadelphia theater between the years 1749 and 1855

Ms. Coll. 1316

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Durang, Charles
Creator:
Westcott, Thompson
Title:
Thompson Westcott scrapbooks of Charles Durang's history of Philadelphia theater between the years 1749 and 1855
Date:
1868
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1316
Extent:
2 linear feet (6 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
A native of Philadelphia, Thompson Westcott (1820-1888) was one of the city’s leading journalists and historians of his generation. Westcott's scrapbooks consist of the complete series of the 267 chapters of Charles Durang’s history of theater in Philadelphia between the years 1749 and 1855, published as weekly installments in the Sunday Dispatch from 1854 to 1863. Including page numbers, indexes, and lists of illustrations, the six volumes are interleaved with images of theaters and portraits of famous actors and artists, as well as with personal correspondence, playbills, and additional clippings on theatrical subject.
Cite as:
Thompson Westcott scrapbooks of Charles Durang's history of Philadelphia theater between the years 1749 and 1855, Ms. Coll. 1316, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

A native of Philadelphia, Thompson Westcott (1820-1888) was one of the city’s leading journalists and historians of his generation. He studied English at the University of Pennsylvania, and later completed the study of law under Henry M. Phillips, until he was admitted to the bar in 1841. Westcott began his writing career with humorous pieces published under the name "Joe Miller Jr." in newspapers such as St. Louis Reveille,  New York Mirror, and  Knickerbocker Magazine. In 1841, he officially entered journalism and became law reporter for the  Public Ledger. A few years later, in 1848, John Lawlor, Robert Everett, and Edward J. Hincken, founders of the  Sunday Dispatch, offered Westcott a position as main editor of their newspaper. Westcott worked for the  Dispatch for thirty-six years, until his retirement in 1884. In the meantime, he collaborated as a writer or editor with a number of other city papers and publications, including  The Philadelphia Inquirer (1863-1871),  Commercial List, the  Old Franklin Almanac, and the  Public Ledger Almanac.

In addition to his career as a journalist, Westcott established himself as a local historian, primarily through his series on the history of Philadelphia, which he published weekly in the Sunday Dispatch between 1867 and 1884. In 1884, he published the three-volume book  History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884, which he co-edited with another prolific historian of the time, John Thomas Scharf (1843-1898). Westcott was the author of several other works, including  Life of John Fitch the Inventor of the Steam-Boat (1857),  Taxpayer’s Guide (1864),  Names of persons who took the oath of allegiance to the State of Pennsylvania, Between the Years 1777 and 1789, with a History of the "Test laws" of Pennsylvania (1865),  Chronicles of the Great Rebellion Against the United States of America (1867),  Centennial Portfolio (1876), and  The Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia: with some notice of their owners and occupants (1877).

Thomas Westcott compiled a set of scrapbooks which includes the complete series of the 267 chapters of Charles Durang's history of theater in Philadelphia between the years 1749 and 1855. These chapters appeared in three different series in the weekly newspaper Sunday Dispatch from May 7, 1854 (Vol. VII, No. 1) to April 19, 1863 (Vol. XV, No. 52). Primarily active as a dancer, actor, and ballet master, Charles Durang (1794-1870) drew upon his life-long experience with the Philadelphia theatrical scene to write a historical work after his retirement from the stage in 1853. Partly based upon the notes of his father John Durang (1768-1822), America’s first professional dancer; and integrating notes of the editors of the  Dispatch (including, probably, Westcott himself), Durang’s history was never published in book form. In 1868, Westcott arranged the clippings from the  Dispatch in a six-volume set of scrapbooks titled "History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855." The scrapbooks, which include page numbers, indexes, and lists of illustrations, are interleaved with hundreds of images of theaters and portraits of famous actors and artists, as well as with personal correspondence, playbills, and additional clippings on theatrical subject.

Upon Westcott’s death in 1888, historian John Thomas Scharf, who had co-edited with Westcott the History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884 (1884), acquired a large portion of Westcott’s papers and collections. In 1891, Scharf gave them to Johns Hopkins University, as part of a larger donation of archival material mostly relating to the history of the southern states. Westcott’s set of scrapbooks was probably part of that donation, as “Durang’s History of the Philadelphia Stage” was explicitly mentioned by Scharf in the accompanying letter. However, in June 1915, the scrapbooks were sold in Philadelphia by auctioneer S.V. Henkel. At the beginning of the following year, Westcott’s scrapbooks joined the University of Pennsylvania special collections, as a gift of one of the university trustees, businessman Morris Lewis Clothier (1869-1947). Especially after their conversion to microfilm in 1956, Westcott’s six scrapbooks have been widely consulted and referenced by theater, music and cultural historians, not only for their textual context, but also for their extremely rich iconographic and documentary apparatus. A volume VII, microfilmed with the six Durang/Westcott scrapbooks, contained playbills and other material post-dating and not related to Durang - it is not covered here.

Scope and Contents

Durang's history of Philadelphia theater was published in the Sunday Dispatch in three series, each bearing a different title:  The Philadelphia Stage: From 1749 to 1821 (first series, 75 installments published from May 7, 1854 to October 7, 1855);  The Philadelphia Stage From 1749 to 1855 (second series, 56 installments published from June 29, 1856 to August 2, 1857); and  The Philadelphia Stage From the Year 1749 to the Year 1855 (third series, 136 installments published from July 8, 1860 to April 19, 1863). The three series were distributed by Westcott among the six volumes so that each volume contains a similar number of pages. Volume I covers the years from 1749 to 1817-18; volume II from 1817-18 to 1826-27; volume III from 1826-27 to 1831-32; volume IV from 1831-32 to 1841-42; volume V from 1841-42 to 1849-1850; and volume VI from 1849-50 to 1855. All the scrapbooks include page numbers, a handwritten index, and a list of portraits. Westcott inserted portraits and other images, as well as personal correspondence, playbills, and additional clippings relating to Durang's chapters, resulting in a remarkably thorough representation of the history of Philadelphia's theater history. The chronological order in which Durang presents the historical events, combined with the author’s limited use of narrative flashbacks and flash-forwards, makes the indexes useful to locate any mention or image of a given figure or institution active or relevant in a specific period of time. Please see the container list for more detailed information on each volume.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 August 25

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Siel Agugliaro

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Morris L. Clothier, January 21, 1916

Processing Information note

Formerly Dewey 812 P54D.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At Maryland Historical Society:

J. Thomas Scharf Collection, 1730s-1892, MS 1999, including a portion of Thompson Westcott's papers.

Other similar but less inclusive scrapbooks of Durang's history can be found at the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Harvard Theater Collection, the University of Texas at Austin, the Columbia University Library, and at the Washington State University Library (Robert Cushman Butler Collection).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Arch Street Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.).
  • Chestnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Form/Genre(s)
  • Autographs (manuscripts)
  • Correspondence
  • Engravings (prints)
  • Scrapbooks
Geographic Name(s)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--History
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs
Personal Name(s)
  • Clothier, Morris L. (Morris Lewis), 1868-
Subject(s)
  • Actors
  • Actors--Portraits
  • Circus--History
  • Drama--History and criticism
  • Performing arts
  • Theater
  • Theater--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
  • Theater--United States--History--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Volume
"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 1. 1749 to 1818. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume I includes the first 55 chapters (I to LV) of the first series, published in the Sunday Dispatch from May 7, 1854 (Vol. VII, No. 1) to May 20, 1855 (Vol. VIII, No. 3), for a total of 118 pages of text. Because Charles Durang was born in 1794, he could not rely on personal recollections for the description of most of the events that took place in this period. Possibly also for this reason, this scrapbook is the one that covers the widest chronological span, from 1749 to 1818, with only 61 pages of text devoted to the years up to 1800.

The portion of Durang’s history included in the scrapbook mentions the first instances of theatrical performances in Philadelphia (including those of the Hallam Company – later renamed American Company), and discusses the vicissitudes of the theaters that were opened in the city during those decades, including the Society Hill Theatre, the Southwark Theatre, the Northern Liberty Theatre, the Chestnut Street Theatre, the Apollo Street Theatre, and the Olympic Theatre (later renamed Walnut Street Theatre). Theatrical seasons are described in full detail by Durang, especially after the mid 1790s, following the opening of the Chestnut Street Theatre. A whole chapter (XXV) provides a history of the circus in Philadelphia, and the next chapters also include references to theatrical performances, concerts, and other forms of live entertainment that took place in circuses and outdoor locations, including Ricketts Circus and the Vauxhall Gardens. References to the contemporary theatrical life in England and in other American cities (New York City, Boston, Baltimore, and Annapolis, among others) can also be found in the text.

The volume contains engravings and drawings of theatrical institutions such as the Southwark Theatre, the Chestnut Street Theatre (destroyed by fire in 1820), the Ricketts Amphitheatre, the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden (London), the Richmond Theatre (Richmond, VA), and the Old Federal Street Theatre (Boston). The scrapbook is also embellished with a conspicuous number of portraits of actresses, actors, and other theatrical figures, such as William Shakespeare, Daniel Terry, Anna Marcella Lydall , Sarah Siddons, Charles Macklin, Henry Mossop, Spranger Barry, Thomas Sheridan, Thomas King, James William Dodd, Elizabeth Singer Rowe, John Bannister, William Parsons, John Moody, Susannah Maria Cibber, Ann Street, Robert Bensley, Isabella Mattocks, Charles Macklin, John Philip Kemble, Robert Bensley, Jane Powell, John Henderson, Elizabeth Yates, Thomas Holcroft, Charlotte Melmoth, Elizabeth Barry, Frances Abbington, Mary Ann Wrighten, Maria Theresa Bland, Colley Cibber, William Dimond, Fanny Fleming, Thomas Hull, Thomas Cooke, Maria Duncan, John Bernard, Samuel Phelps, and Edmund Kean, among others. A few autographs letters, some written by Charles Durang himself, are also included. Finally, a small collection of playbills, mostly from the 1820s, was inserted in the final part of the scrapbook. Most notably, the collection features the playbill of the play Douglas; or, The Noble Shepherd (performed at the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, on November 27th, 1820), which saw the first appearance on stage of actor Edwin Forrest.

A list of the portraits included in the volume is located at the beginning of the scrapbook, while a general index is placed at the end. The source and date of acquisition of the entire set (“g[ift] Morris L. Clothier, 1-21-[19]16”) are penciled on the first page of the list of portraits.

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"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 2. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume II contains 118 pages of text, including the remaining 20 chapters of the first series (LVI to LXXV) and the first 33 chapters (I to XXXIII) of the second series. The chapters of the first series were published in the Sunday Dispatch between May 27, 1855 (Vol. VIII, No. 4) and October 7, 1855 (Vol. VIII, No. 23), while those belonging to the second series appeared between June 29, 1856 (Vol. IX, No. 9) and February 8, 1857 (Vol. IX, No. 41).

In the final part of the first series, Durang comments upon the last years of the old Chestnut Street Theatre, up to the fire which caused its closure in 1820. The first appearances on stage of Edwin Forrest, as well as the Philadelphia debut of British actor Edmund Kean, are discussed at length. In this portion of the series Durang also describes the new Chestnut Street Theatre (opened in 1822), and provides a long list of all the American plays produced in Philadelphia before 1822.

In the first chapters of the second series, Durang discusses the activities of the new Chestnut Street Theatre, as well as that of other institutions such as the Walnut Street Theatre, the Prune Street Theatre, the Tivoli Garden Theatre, and the Olympic Circus. As in the final part of the preceding series, every season is described in full detail. Additional anecdotes and biographical descriptions of famous actors, such as Junius Brutus Booth, Charles William Macready, and Charles Mathews, are also included.

The collection of portraits and engravings added by Westcott to the volume features a wide number of figures quoted by Durang in the text and variously connected with the Philadelphia theatrical scene – among them, Louisa Cranstoun Nisbett, Joseph George Holman, Robert William Elliston, Anna Maria Crouch, Charles Incledon, Ann Catley, Sarah Bartley, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, James William Wallack, Susanna Centlivre, Elizabeth Inchbald, John Philip Kemble, Alexander Rae, William West, Edwin Forrest, Edmund Kean, Sarah Siddons, Joseph Jefferson, Maria Gibbs, Dorothea Jordan, Ann Street Barry, Elizabeth Billington, Junius Brutus Booth, Charlotte Goodall, Thomas Potter Cooke, Julia Dean, Elizabeth Hopkins, John Fawcett, Maria Theresa Bland, John Henderson, Elizabeth Hartley, François-Joseph Talma, Mademoiselle Mars, John Bannister, Charles Mathews, Elizabeth Farren, William Farren, Eliza Logan Wood, Anna Thillon, Sarah Egerton, Maria Foote, Mary Ann Davenport, Sam Cowell, Maria Theresa Kemble, Fanny Maria Kelly, and Charles William Macready. The volume also includes several engravings of American and European theaters, opera houses, and other performance venues, such as the Prune Street Theatre, the new Chestnut Street Theatre, and the New Adelphi Theatre of Philadelphia, the Holliday Street Theatre (Baltimore), the Bowery Theatre (New York), the Tremont Theatre (Boston), the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, the Surrey Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, and Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre (London), the Queen’s Theatre and Opera House (Edinburgh), the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin and the Théâtre de l’Opéra-Comique (Paris), the Schauspielhaus (Cologne). Autographs include a handwritten payment receipt, penned by actor William Warren, and a signed portrait of actor Robert Dempster.

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"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 3. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume III includes the last 23 chapters (XXXIV to LVI) of the second series, and the first 22 installments (I to XXII) of the third and last series, for a total of 118 pages of text. The chapters belonging to the second series were published in the Dispatch between February 15, 1857 (Vol. IX, No. 42) and August 2, 1857 (Vol. X, No. 14), while those included in the third series came out between July 8, 1860 (Vol. XIII, No. 2) and December 2, 1860 (Vol. XIII, No. 32).

In this portion of his history, Durang chronicles the seasons of Philadelphia theaters from 1826-27 to 1831-32. The author presents a cast list for the most important performances, and in some cases even quotes contemporary playbills and reviews. Special events include the Philadelphia debut of actor Charles Kean and the performances of Metamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags, a tremendously successful play produced at the Arch Street Theatre at the beginning of 1830, and featuring Edwin Forrest in the main part. Opera singer Maria Malibran, who toured the United States from 1825 to 1827 and performed in Philadelphia during these same years, is the focus of a whole chapter discussing her life and career (series III, chapter XIII). A new theater, the Arch Street Theatre, was inaugurated in 1828 and soon became one of the most important institutions in the city along with the Chestnut Street Theatre and the Walnut Street Theatre.

A great deal of information is given on the managerial aspects regulating the life of these artistic centers, and on the actors, singers, writers, and other figures who were involved during those years. Many such figures appear in the rich iconographic portion of the volume, which includes portraits of Emma Albertazzi, Geneviève-Aimé-Zoë Prévost, Marie Taglioni, Antonio Guerra, Sarah Egerton, Charles William Macready, Marie Caroline Félix-Miolan, John Liston, Laure Cinti-Damoreau, William Dowton, James Henry Hackett, William Henry West Betty, Margaret Somerville, Madame Céleste, Charles Edward Horn, William Rufus Blake, Henriette Sontag, Giovanna Baccelli, Joseph Grimaldi, Armand Vestris, Lucia Elizabeth Vestris, John Philip Kemble, Giuditta Pasta, Rachel Félix, Margaret Martyr, John Vanbrugh, Edwin Forrest, Luigia Caldarini, Sam Cowell, Dorothea Jordan, Rebecca Davison, Caius Gabriel Cibber, John Pritt Harley, Carlotta Grisi, Stephen Kemble, Sarah Siddons, Thomas Sheridan, James Edward Murdoch, Elizabeth Rainforth, Charles William Macready, Calvin Edson, Thomas Apthorpe Cooper, Jane Stephens, Elizabeth Sharp, Edwin Booth, Charles Kean, Charlotte Cushman, Herr Driesbach, David Garrick, Harriet Waylett, Frances Abington, General Tom Thumb, Samuel Phelps, John Quick, Thomas Hilson, Samuel Reddish, Maria Malibran, Elena D’Angri, John Reeve, George Washington Dixon, Oliver Goldsmith, Julia Fortescue, and many others. The volume also contains engravings of the three main Philadelphia theaters (Chestnut Street Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, and Arch Street Theatre) and of other international venues such as the Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique (Salle Le Peletier) of Paris, and the Teatro Principal of Havana, Cuba. An autograph letter by Herr Driesbach, the famous lion tamer, is attached to the volume, along with an autographed portrait of actor George Handel Hill.

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"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 4. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume IV contains the next 40 chapters (XXIII to LXII) of the third and last series of Durang’s history, consisting of 120 pages of text. Those chapters appeared in the Dispatch between December 9, 1860 (Vol. XIII, No. 33) and September 15, 1861(Vol. XIV, No. 21).

The clippings contained in the volume offer a detailed account of the management and the most notable shows performed in the Philadelphia theaters – especially the Chestnut Street Theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, and the Arch Street Theatre – between the 1830-1831 and 1840-1841 seasons. Salient events include the rivalry between Edwin Forrest, based at the Arch Street Theater, and the members of the Kemble family, based at the Chestnut Street Theatre, in the early 1830s; the arrival in Philadelphia of the Montresor opera troupe and the first production of Italian operas at the Chestnut Street Theatre in 1833; and a detailed report of the successes and failures of several troupes and individual actors and singers who performed in Philadelphia during the decade.

For most of those artists, Westcott provided at least one portrait as part of the rich collection of drawings and engravings inserted in the volume. Notable figures include, among others, William Francis Brough, Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani, Pauline Garcia (Viardot), Henry Betty, Gabriel Ravel, Sarah Siddons, Charles Kemble, Fanny Kemble, Anne Maria Tree, William Smith, Lester Wallack, Henry Placide, Thomas Placide, William Warren, Charles Kean, Elizabeth Brunton (Yates), Walter Scott, Sarah Ward, John Sinclair, Tate Wilkinson, Anaïde Castellan Giampietro, James Edward Murdoch, Edwin Booth, Charles William Macready, Andrew Ducrow, James S. Wallace, Henry Erskine Johnston, Joseph Wood, Mary Giovanna Cawse, Mary Ann Paton, Tyrone Power, Ralph Sherwin, William Evans Burton, John Howard Payne, Madame Celeste, Samuel Phelps, John Reeve, Thomas D. Rice, Tryphosa Jane Wallis, Edwin Forrest, Mary Anne Goward, Robert Keeley, Margarita Graddon, Victoria Balfe, Francis Courtney Wemyss, Robert Hamilton, Robert Campbell Maywood, Charlotte Elizabeth Vanderhoff, John M. Vandenhoff, David Garrick, Robert William Elliston, Lucia Elizabeth Vestris, Elizabeth Kemble, Samuel S. Sanford, Edward Fitzwilliam, Fanny Fitzwilliam, Fanny Elssler, Mary Anne Stirling, Charlotte Cushman, Susan Cushman, John Braham, Peter Richings, Ira Aldridge, Giuseppe De Begnis, and Giuseppina Ronzi De Begnis. Included in the volume are also a few pictures of Philadelphia and other national and international theaters, such as the Arch Street Theatre, the Academy of Music, the Northern Exchange Theatre, the Coates Street Theatre, and Sanford’s Opera House (Philadelphia), the State Street Theatre (Columbus, OH), Niblo’s Opera House (New York City), the St. Charles Theatre and the American Theatre and Arcade Baths (New Orleans), East London Theatre (formerly Royalty Theatre, London), and the Paris Opera House (Palais Garnier, Paris). The scrapbook also includes a playbill of the show "Venitian [sic] Carnival, or Punch in Good Humour," arranged by French vaudeville artist Gabriel Ravel, and an original letter by playwright, publisher, and theater manager William Evans Burton.

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"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 5. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume V includes the following 36 chapters (LXIII to XCVIII) of Charles Durang’s history, for a total of 119 pages of text. These chapters were originally published in the Dispatch between September 22, 1861 (Vol. XIV, No. 22) and June 8, 1862 (Vol. XV, No. 7).

In this part of his work, Durang offers an extensive description of the management and life of the most important Philadelphia theaters between the 1841-1842 and 1849-1850 seasons. The author comments upon the vicissitudes of several actors, impresarios and artists active in the city in those years, most notably William Evans Burton, Charlotte Cushman, Edward Loomis Davenport, Charles William Macready, and Edwin Forrest. In particular, the escalating rivalry between Macready and Forrest is documented by numerous chapters, from its early stages in 1844 – when both actors were cast in the same role in the same play by two different theaters, the Arch Street and the Walnut Street – to further altercation in England in 1846 and the final lawsuit announced by Macready in November 1848. A copy of the announcement in which the British actor proclaims his intention to sue Forrest is included in the volume. These chapters also discuss the growing importance of Italian opera in the city, which was visited by travelling companies such as the Havana Opera Company (1847) and the Max Maretzek Italian Opera Company (1848).

Westcott offers numerous portraits of all these figures, along with a considerable number of engravings depicting numerous artists and impresarios such as Fanny Cerrito, James Rogers, Susan Cushman, William Evans Burton, Elizabeth Yates, Edward Fitzwilliam, Fanny Fitzwilliam, James William Wallack, George H. Hill, Charles Kemble, John Brougham, Lucia Elizabeth Vestris, Isabella Glyn, William Wheatley, Henry Woodward, William Dowton, William Creswick, William Maybury Fleming, Joshua Silsbee, Phineas Taylor Barnum, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Maria Gibbs, John Liston, Harriet Waylett, George Jamieson, Henri Vieuxtemps, George H. Barrett, Gustavus Vaughan Brooke, Charles Bass, Mary Ann Povey, Anna Cora Mowatt, Charles Kean, Lucille Western, John Sinclair, Eliza Logan, Ira Aldridge, Laura Keene, Mary Taylor, Arabella Goddard, Julia Dean, Henry Compton, George John Bennett, Fanny Cooper, Hanry Marston, Robert Keeley, Barney Williams, Ann Bishop, Federico Beneventano, John Edward Owens, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Booth, Amalia Patti, Carlotta Patti, Elena D’Angri, Maurice Strakosch, Caroline Richings, Julia Dean, Hector Berlioz, Alexina F. Baker, James Hudson, Charles Walter Couldock, McKean Buchanan, Francis Marion Brower, Teresa Rolla, and many others. Images of Philadelphia theaters such as the Arch Street Theatre and the Walnut Street Theatre are also present, as well as another engraving depicting the Continental Theatre fire of 1861— a famous accident in which seven performers lost their lives. The scrapbooks also contains a few manuscript documents, including a note by actor Edward Loomis Davenport, and two additional letters from actors and managers Francis Courtney Wemyss and Louisa Lane Drew.

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"History of the Philadelphia Stage, Between the Years 1749 and 1855. By Charles Durang. Volume 6. Arranged and illustrated by Thompson Westcott, 1868", 1868.
Scope and Contents note

Volume VI includes the final 38 chapters (XCIX to CXXXVI) of the third series of Durang’s history, for a total of 110 pages of text. These installments appeared in the Dispatch between June 15, 1862 (Vol. XV, No. 8) and April 19, 1863 (Vol. XV, No. 52).

Here Durang discusses the theatrical seasons of several city institutions, such as the Chestnut Street Theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, the Arch Street Theatre, the Musical Fund Hall, and Welch’s National Circus, Theatre, and Hippodrome, up to the closure of the second Chestnut Street Theatre in 1855. Prominent events include the Italian opera season at the Chestnut Street Theatre, under the management of impresario Max Maretzek, and the parallel programming of Jenny Lind’s performances at the Musical Fund Hall. A biographical sketch of Jenny Lind, complete with a description of her career in the United States, is provided. The volume also includes other clippings concerning the closing of the second Chestnut Street Theatre in 1855, the opening of the third Chestnut Street Theatre in 1862, and the renovation of the Arch Street Theatre in 1861, after Louisa Lane Drew assumed the management of the theater. A brief article by L. G. Thomas, originally published in the Sunday Dispatch and titled "Reminiscences of Private Dramatic Associations," is also found in the final part of the scrapbook.

A wide number of artists, impresarios, and theatrical figures are portrayed in the images added by Westcott to the volume. Among them are Philip Rohr, William Warren, Harriet Waylett, Joseph Jefferson, Ephraim Horn, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, William F. Wallet, Giovanni Battista Belletti, Marie Taglioni, George John Bennett, Virginia Howard, John Brougham, John Henderson, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Booth, John Philip Kemble, Phineas Taylor Barnum, Jenny Lind, Teresa Parodi, John Gilbert, Mary Amelia Warner, James Edward Murdoch, Laura Keene, William Henry Don, John Drew, Gustavus Vaughan Brooke, Lola Montez, Julia Bennett Barrow, Edwin Forrest, Laura Addison, Jean Margaret Davenport (Mrs. Lander), Peter Richings, Max Maretzek, Mary Anne Stirling, Lizzie Weston, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, George E. Locke, Lester Wallack, Gabriel Ravel, Henriette Sontag, Cora De Wilhorst, Charles William Macready, Thomas Potter Cooke, Isabella Glyn, William Dowton, John Edward Owens, Kate Josephine Bateman, William Farren, John Liston, Louisa Pyne, Giulia Grisi, McKean Buchanan, Adeliaide Phillipps, Susanna Centlivre, Charlotte Thompson, Edwin Pearce Christy, Charles Walter Couldock, Marietta Alboni, and George Frederick Cooke. A list of “maiden and married names of actresses” is located at the beginning of the volume, and offers researchers a useful research tool as they reconstruct the career of famous female performers. The scrapbook also contains images of numerous theaters and cultural institutions, both in Philadelphia and in other U.S. cities, such as the Philadelphia Academy of Music, the Walnut Street Theatre, the City Museum of Callowhill Street, and Welch's National Circus (at the National Theatre) in Philadelphia, Astor Place Opera House, Castle Garden Theatre, Pike's Opera House, Booth’s New Theatre, and Brougham’s Theatre in New York City, and the New National Theatre and the People’s Theatre in Cincinnati, OH. Finally, the volume comprises a small number of autograph letters, including one by theater manager John Sefton, and another one by actor and theater manager John Drew.

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