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January 2004


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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
William MacKay <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Jan 2004 15:47:04 -0500
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"A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
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I assume that you are familiar with Shane White's excellent Stories of
Freedom in Black New York, which includes a chapter on Hewlett.

Bill MacKay.

-----Original Message-----
From: George Thompson [ mailto:[log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> ]
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 12:34 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Albany Newspapers between 1800 - 1820

If anyone is doing research in Albany newspapers or other sources,
1822-1826, I am very interested in learning more about the following
episodes in the history of "The African Theatre" and the career of James
Hewlett, its star actor:

Dramatic.  The African Company have closed their Theatre, in Mercer-street,
in consequence of the epidemic, and have gone to Albany to perform a few
nights.  They will probably rusticate until frost.  There are three corps
dramatiques now in the north; two white and one black.
National Advocate, October 12, 1822, p. 2, col. 4

A house opposite the Columbian hotel was also fitted up by a Mr. Brown, for
an African theatrical company, which opened December 19th, [1823] with
H. P. Phelps, Players of a Century.  A Record of the Albany Stage.  Albany:
Joseph McDonough, 1880, p. 56.

A small stage was erected in front of a fountain, and on those boards
strutted the African champion, Hewlet.
"The Albany Theatre,"  in Joel Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany
from Its Discovery to the Present Time, referring to 1826.

Hewlett continued to travel and perform through the rest of the 1820s and
the early 1830s, and any reference to his appearances anywhere would be


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ.
Pr., 1998.

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