Friday, November 25, 2011

Mercy Coles sort of, with Shakespeare, the Booth brothers and the Broadway Theatre, New York City

I'm finishing off the transcribing of Mercy Coles' diary from their trip through Ohio and New York back to Prince Edward Island - She writes that they went to the Broadway Theatre [owned by Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth] on November 12, 1864 and saw a 'capital' show [Salon Shanghai if I can decipher clearly].

Image from New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Central Park
Just under 2 weeks later, on November 25, 1864, the 3 Booth brothers - Edwin, John Wilkes, and Junius Brutus Booth Jr performed together for the first and only time, in a one night performance of Julius Caesar, as a fundraiser for this statue of Shakespeare in New York City.
Not only that, but less than an hour into the show, Confederates set fire to the city, including the house that adjoined the theatre. The theater was packed and the crowd were beginning to panic until Edwin Booth stepped forward to calm them. In the end the theater was saved.

Back to Mercy later this week.
Follow @CmedMoore