Ins and Outs of Circus Life
Safe at home at last, and just fourteen days after our arrival General Welch's party arrived from Rio Janeiro, they having completed their trip. On the first of June we made our first show for the summer season at Yonkers, with the following company, including, of course, myself:
John J. Nathan, two and four-horse rider.
William Kincaid, rider.
John May, clown.
George Hoyt, acrobat.
Edwin Woods, rider and acrobat.
Margaret Woods, rider.
Walter Howard, rider.
Louise Howard, rider.
Washington Chambers, rider.
George J. Cadwalader, rider.
Louis Lipman, rider.
Francis (Pop) Whittaker, ringmaster.
James W. Banker, advertiser (and one of the oldest showmen of the country).
William A. Delevan, manager.
From Yonkers through New York state, showing in the following places: Sing Sing, Fishkill, Newburg, Orange, Newtown, Cairo, Osborneville, Prattsville, Stanford, Delhi, Walton, Franklin, Oneonta, Chemung, Elmira, Havana, Burdett, Mecklenville, Ithaca (at this place, where we showed July 4th, we all had to wear overcoats that day, as the weather was fearful, it being nearly cold enough to freeze), Truemansburg, Essex, Factoryville, Union and Binghampton; then across to Pennsylvania, showing in South Bend, Montrose, Brown's Hotel, Wilkesbarre, Berwick, Bloomburg, Dansville, Louisburg, Milton, Jersey Shore, Lockhaven, Copley Hall, Millerstown, Duncan's Island, Harrisburg, Wummelstown, Mount Joy, Catawissa, Minersville, Pottsville, Hamburg, Reading, Boyatown, Trap, Germantown, Philadelphia (two weeks), Westchester, Cotesville, Paradise, Lancaster, Columbia and Little York.
Leaving Little York we went by road to Baltimore, it raining the whole time, so that every one was pretty well wet through when we arrived there.
In Baltimore we opened at the Front Street Theatre, and besides our regular circus business, we produced while there, a spectacular piece, entitled, "Israel Putnam of '76," with Charles J. Rogers (who had joined us in Philadelphia) in the title role.
After showing one month in Baltimore, we went back to Philadelphia and opened there at the National Theatre, where we remained showing until the spring of 1845. In Philadelphia we produced pantomimes, and also another celebrated spectacular piece entitled, "Mad Anthony Wayne." Here also we engaged the celebrated modern Sampson, "Ricardo." Ricardo was a half breed, being Indian and Mulatto, and was really the strongest man that I ever saw previous to 1844, or since that time. He used to lift a steamer shaft reported to weigh twenty-three hundred pounds, and also used to lift eight hundred pounds with one hand.
In February of 1845 we left Philadelphia and went on to New York and showed there one mouth at the old Park Theatre, producing "Mad Anthony Wayne" there also.
In New York Nathan got another apprentice in the person of Francis Pastor, a brother of the now celebrated variety theatre owner, "Tony" Pastor.
From New York we went back to Philadelphia and remained there until April, when we broke up after a very successful season. During this stay in Philadelphia we produced a piece entitled, "The Spy of Philadelphia," with the since celebrated Barney Williams in the title role. Williams impersonated seven different characters, and he would only have me to attend to him during his changes.
In the summer of 1845 we started out for the season from Philadelphia with the following first-class company:
John J. Nathan, rider.
William Kincaid, rider (pupil of John J. Nathan).
Francis Pastor, (pupil of John J. Nathan).
John May, clown.
William Nichols. rider.
Horace Nichols, ringmaster.
George Dunbar, juggler and plate spinner.
Washington Chambers, rider.
James Runnells, acrobat
Edwin Woods, rider.
Margaret Woods, rider.
John Diamond, jig dancer.
Tony Whittemore, singer.
Bob Edwards, celebrated imitator of birds. and whistler.
William A. Delevan, manager and myself.
It was during the following season that, for the first time, eight horses were driven in a band wagon, (our driver being ail American named Brown) and later on in the season ten horses were driven by the same driver.
The first time in America that 5 high was done on three horses in 1845, was done by John J. Nathans, G. J. Cadwalader, Edward Woods, Edward Kincade, and myself.
We started out for that summer from Philadelphia in April, opening first at Norristown, and then proceeding through Pennsylvania, we showed in a good many of the towns of our former route, and also in the following new towns of that state (I of course do not mean that the towns were now, but that that was the first time we had showed in them for some considerable time): Pottsville, Trapp, Boyertown, Hazelton, Mauch Chunk, Berwick, Bloomsburg, Laceyville, Tunkhannock and Towanda.
From Towanda we crossed over into New York State, opening there at Factoryville, then on to Chemung, Elmira, Havana, Burdett, Jeffersonville (now called Watkins), Dundee, Penn Yan, Rushville, Canandaigua, Geneva, Waterloo, Lund, Victor Lyons, Avon, Batavia, Caledonia, Rochester, Brockport, Albion, Medina, Lockport, Lewiston and Niagara Falls (where I first had the extreme pleasure of seeing those splendid Falls. Then no bridge crossed the Falls, the people having to cross in small boats below the Falls. While standing up above those Falls, and watching the water as it goes over them, a person looks and thinks at the same time of the greatness of that Being who created all things).
From the Falls we went to Towanda, then to Buffalo, Williamsville, Angelica, Gowanda, Ellicottville, Freedonia, where they at that time burnt natural gas, then Naples, Bath and several other places in that state, and then crossing into Pennsylvania, from Painted Poet to Lawrence, Pa. from there to Covington, and then Blossburg, Block House, Williamsport, Muncy, Milton, Danville, Northumberland, Lunbury, Lewisburg, Jersey Shore, Bellefonte, Lewistown, Miftlintown [?], Mechanicsville, Carlisle, Lancaster, Shippinsburg, Greencastle, and other towns in that state. The last place in Pennsylvania was Greencastle, and we then crossed over to Hagarstown, Maryland, then to Booneville, Frederick, Clarksville, Rockville, Georgetown, then to Washington, D. C., from which place we crossed to Virginia to Alexandria, then to Baltimore, where we showed for two weeks under canvas.
From Baltimore we took the railway cars for Philadelphia, where we showed for two weeks at the National Theatre, at the expiration of which time I, Cadwalader and others went through to New York to join Colonel Mann, who was then forming another company for South America and, the West Indies. Cadwalader came to New York, but on arriving there, changed his mind about going with us, and thought he should stay at home and get married, and allow me to go alone. He was married in Philadelphia shortly after we set sail for South America, and did not enter the ring from that time until he again joined us in the spring of 1846.
The company who sailed with us from New York on board of the brig Broom (Captain McGuire) for South America, were as follows:
William Johnson, rider.
Dorkus Johnson, rider.
Johnson's Daughters, riders.
William Hobbs, rider and acrobat
Louis Lipman, rider.
Moses Lipman, vaulter.
Walter Howard, clown.
Captain John De Camp, ringmaster.
John Garvey, slack rope and performer of heavy feats.
John Garvey, Jr., acrobat.
Washington Chambers, scenic rider.
Hiram Day, acrobat.
Signor Pereis, contortionist.
It was on the twelfth day of November, 1845, that we sailed from New York, and at the expiration of forty-five days we dropped anchor at Merinam, Brazils, after encountering some of the severest gales it has ever been my lot to encounter, we not being able to take an observation for twenty-one days. One of our horses was also killed during the passage.
At Merinam they refused to allow us to land until the end of the fifth day after our arrival, and when we did land we only showed there five days, and then re-embarked and sailed to Surinam, then to Berbice and Demerrara, from which place we sailed to the West India Islands, showing in Barbadoes. At Barbadoes I was given a benefit by the management, and had an immense audience.
At that time a Scotch regiment had not been long on the island, and up to then had never paraded outside of their barracks; but their Colonel, Colonel Keith, when he heard of my benefit, marched his men with the band at their head, right down to the circus. It was a novel sight to us to see the kilt soldiers with their band playing national airs on the bag-pipes marching through the streets. Previous to my appearance that evening, Colonel Mann, our proprietor, had offered me a present of a new suit of clothes if I would turn four somersaults on the back of the horse as he went once around the ring. I done it, and the applause was tremendous. After the performance was over a cold collation was served to the soldiers in our dressing room, at which Colonel Keith and Colonel Mann presided. Colonel Keith made a very pretty speech, thanking me for my efforts to please, and promising me the same support should we ever meet again. I thanked him and said I hoped to meet him often under similar circumstances. They then re-formed and marched back to their barracks.
I have since heard that Colonel Keith was killed in the Crimean war (while leading a brilliant and gallant charge) at the head of his regiment. He was brave, and died a true soldier's death.
Then from Barbadoes to Tobago, St. Thomas, Santa Croix and Porto Rico.
At St. Juan de Porto Rico they refused to allow us to open for any performances, as we had arrived there during the period of Lent, and the people of those islands being, as a rule, Roman Catholics, and strict ones at that, it was as much as we could do to get permission to leave the harbor; but at the end of four days, and on the seventeenth day of March, 1846 we at last prevailed upon them to allow us to go, which, I can assure you, we did in quick time after getting permission.
We arrived in New York on the 3d of April after a stormy passage, and at once disbanded the company and formed a new one for a tour of the New England States.
The company comprised the following eminent artists:
Charles Rivers, Frederick Rivers, Richard Rivers, acrobat.
Walter Howard, rider.
Madame Louise Howard, rider.
Madame Libbie Aymar, rider.
John Wells, clown.
Wells Family, riders.
John Gossin, clown.
Madame Lucinda Gossin, rider.
Henry Naegels, tumbler.
Nicholson Johnson, ringmaster.
Washington Chambers, rider.
Hiram Day, acrobat.
Signor Pereis, contortionist.
William Day, slack-rope walker.
John Shindle, rider and acrobat.
Captain De Camp, ringmaster.
James Carter, banjo player.
John Garvey & Son, acrobats.
Robert Edwards, comic singer.
George J. Cadwalader and myself, riders.
John Drake, manager.
We opened at Albany on the twenty-third of April as "Welch and Mann's celebrated Circus."
From Albany we went to Hoosac Fall and Troy, and then crossed to North Adams, Massachusetts, then continuing through that State we showed in South Adams, Great Barrington, Blanfield, Westfield, Springfield, Cobbetville, Palmers Depot and Southbridge, then to Woonsocket Falls, Pawtucket and Providence, Rhode Island, then back again to Massachusetts, to Lancaster, Concord, several other places, and then into Boston, opening under canvas where the Park Theatre now stands.
We showed in Boston for three weeks, and during our stay the city authorities granted us a great concession, they allowing us to remain open one Saturday evening it being the 4th of July.
From Boston to Roxbury, Dedham, Charlestown (where we planted our canvas on Bunker Hill), Salem, Andover and Lowell, then across to New Hampshire to Nashua, Manchester (where the authorities refused to allow us to show, but we simply crossed the river and showed in Franklin), Meredith Bridge (now called Laconia), Bristol, Wentworth, Haverhill, Charleston, Hanover, Cornish, Claremont, Walpole, Keene and Winchester, then to Vermont, making our first show there on an island in a river dividing New Hampshire and Vermont, at Brattleboro, then clean back to Massachusetts to Bloody Run and Greenfield, then to Rhode Island, opening at Woonsockt Falls, from there to Chippatchit, where we planted our canvas on Governor Dore's battle ground. While performing there I accomplished a feat that had up to that time never been accomplished by any member of the circus profession in any part of the world, and that is, turning a somersault on the bare back of a horse while the horse is going at a gallop round the ring. For this Colonel Mann made me a present of five dollars, which, at that time was a large amount to me. At this time that somersault was considered quite a wonderful feat, and my market value in the profession went up considerably on the strength of that. Then, of course, every rider commenced to try, but the first to do it in public after that was James Robinson, who done it in 1851. Colonel Mann from that time made a still larger feature of me on his bills, and I have no doubt that I was quite an attraction. To accomplish that feat had cost me hours and hours of hard work, but I am amply repaid for it all in knowing that I was the first circus rider in the world to publicly throw a somersault on a bare-backed horse.
From Chippatchit to Providence, Rhode Island. At this place the news reached us of the death of the great Oscar R. Stone, and, as a mark of respect to him, we that evening draped our canvas with crape, and also wore crape on our left arms for one week afterwards.
From Providence by easy stages, and showing nearly every day until we reached Quincy, at which place we were honored by a visit from Ex-President John Quincy Adams and his wife, who came to see our performance on an invitation from our manager.
This was the last show we made in Massachusetts, as next day we went back to Providence and shipped all our baggage by boat to New York, after which, the company mounted their horses and rode through to Stonington, a distance of nearly seventy-five miles. We left Stonington the night of our arrival there by boat for New York, and on receiving our baggage, we crossed to Jersey City, showing there three days, and then continuing through the state, showing in Newark, Rahway and Newtown.
From Newtown we crossed to Easton, Pennsylvania, from thence to Allentown, Bethlehem, Doylestown, Willow Grove, Rising Sun, and then into Philadelphia, where we put up for winter quarters on the first of October at our old winter house, the National Theatre. Our company in Philadelphia that winter were:
George J. Cadwalader, rider.
Edwin Derious, rider, with his dancing mare, Haidee, and his two ponies, Romeo and Juliet.
Levi J. North, rider, with his dancing horse, "Tammany," and his trick ponies, Jennie Lind and Black Maggie.
Dan Rice, clown.
John May, clown.
John Gossin, clown.
Sam Lathrop, clown.
Joe Pentland, clown.
William Kemp, clown.
Charles J. Rogers, scenic rider.
William Hobbs, rider and somersault thrower.
James Hernandez, rider (pupil of old John Robinson).
Charles Rivers, acrobat.
Fred Rivers, acrobat.
Richard Rivers, acrobat.
John Wells, clown.
Wells Family, riders.
Richard Sands, rider. He brought to America the dancing horse, Mayfly; trick pony, Cindrella; fighting ponies, Deaf Burke and Tom Spring, and ponies Damon and Pythias.
Walter Howard, rider.
William O. Dale, vaulter, threw with us that season, eighty-seven consecutive somersaults.
William Stout, two and four-horse rider.
Thomas Nevilles, backwards rider.
Walter Aymar, bare-back rider.
William and Albert Aymar, acrobats.
Morris and Jesse Sands, somersault throwers.
Thomas McCarthy, vaulter.
Madam McCarty, Rider.
Louise Howard, rider.
Hiram Day, acrobat.
Frank (Pop) Whittaker, ringmaster.
John J. Nathan, two and four-horse rider.
Frank Pastor, rider.
William Pastor, acrobat.
Charles J. Foster, actor.
Joseph Foster, stage manager.
Luigi Germani, the greatest juggler on horseback that the world ever had, he juggling with five balls in one hand, while his horse galloped the reverse way of the ring.
And also last, but I hope my readers will not think least, your humble servant, Master John H. Glenroy.
In Philadelphia that season we produced some of the finest spectacular pieces, among them being "Damon and Pythias," and representations of the principal battles fought in Mexico. Our stage manager looked after their production, and among our actors, were Charles Foster, Mr. Hoyt and a Messrs. Marshall and Jones, all good actors.
It was during this season also that while in Philadelphia I was offered twenty-five dollars if I would go into the ring and turn four somersaults on the bare back of a horse while it was going once around the ring. I practised at it one day, and next evening I went into the ring and done it. This was one of the greatest feats of those days, and at the present time few men can do it.
On New Year's day of 1847, while we were producing a spectacular piece entitled, "The Battle of Monterey," I met with a severe accident, for one of the performers, in firing a musket held the muzzle so close to my arm that he blew away the flesh for four or five inches along my right arm. The wound has disfigured my right arm and hand for life, as several of the arteries and sinews were severed by the force of the powder and the wadding. I never discovered who fired that shot, and, although I was laid up for a long period, I consider at the present time that I was very lucky that I did not lose my arm.
From that time until May I did not again go into the ring, as my arm was in no condition for work until that time.
In the latter part of March of 1847 we closed our winter show in Philadelphia and then Welch and Mann dissolved partnership, Welch forming a company for home tour.
The company comprised the following members:
Walter Howard and wife, Edwin Derious, William Stout, Thomas Nevilles, Rivers Family (composed of Fred Rivers, Charles Rivers, wife, daughter and pupil, and Richard Rivers) Hiram Day, Dan Rice, Horace Nichols, Henry Naegels, G. J. Cadwalader and myself, all being under the management of George Davenport.
We started out from Philadelphia on the twelfth day of May and showed in several towns in Pennsylvania on our way to the State of New Jersey, in which state we showed in following towns (among others) Bordentown, Monmouth Court House, (where we showed on Monmouth Battle field) Mann Hallow, Trenton, Princeton, New Brunswick and Newtown, then to New York State showing at Newburg, Albany, Troy, Ballston Spring, Saratoga, Sandy Hill, Glens Falls, Ticonderoga, Keysville, Plattsburg, (where we showed on the old Battle Field, on the fifth day of July, the fourth that year comming on Sunday; then crossed over into Canada, for the first time in my life, opening at St. John, at which place, our canvas was pitched close to the Emigrant sheds, where at that time the emigrants were dying by the score of ship fever. A more heartrending sight I never saw, and all of us were glad when our time came to leave there; then on to Montreal where we remained a week, receiving a hearty reception from the Canadians.
While showing in Montreal Cadwalader received a telegram calling him home on account of his wife's illness and I was left to take care of myself, no very hard task as at that time I was nearly twenty years of age.
The day after he left, a messenger arrived from Welch's western Company (who were then showing in Ohio) asking our manager to send on a rider as most of their riders had left them. I asked permission to be allowed to go and it was granted and about the latter end of July I started with the messenger for Akron, Ohio. We left Montreal by boat which took us up the canal to Oswego, Lake Ontario, then down the lake to Rochester, then by cars to Buffalo at which place I took charge of a pony (Black Maggie) of Levi J. North's who had been left behind by him when he was there on account of her being with colt.
We left Buffalo for Cleveland by boat, I taking with me the pony and colt. At Cleveland not being able to find a more suitable conveyance I was compelled to take passage on a canal boat for Akron. The Captain of the canal boat was a person named Charles Castle, and after leaving him at Akron I did not again see him until 1851, when I was with Rice's Circus, and I then found him in the capacity of advance agent for the circus, and he proved to be one of the smartest and best advance agents that America ever had - Castle is now dead.
On arriving at Akron I went into the ring the same evening after a very fatiguing journey.
The company then showing with Welch were:
John J. Nathans and his two pupils (Frank & William Pastor).
Levi J. North, to whom I handed over his ponies, for my care of whom he graciously thanked me.
Ed. Woods and wife, Nicholson Johnson, Washington Chambers, John May, Francis Brower, Neil Jameson, William A. Delevan, manager.
Leaving Akron two days after my arrival there, we showed in the following places during our tour of Ohio: Massillon, Canton, Chillicothe, Zanesville, Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and Hamilton. Then across to Indiana showing there in Richmond, Indianapolis, Crawfordville, Loganport, Delphi and Elkhart. From Elkhart we crossed into Michigan showing in Cassopolis, at which place I was seized with a bad attack of fever and ague. I was so ill that I could not appear in the Ring but I kept along with the company, thinking that I might soon get well enough to do so. I travelled with them through Centreville, Schoolcraft, White Pigeon, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Marshall; I leaving Marshall a week ahead of the company for Ann Arbor, but finding that I got not better after staying there a week or ten days, I took the train for Detroit having made up my mind to go to Philadelphia. From Detroit I went to Buffalo by boat, then by train to Albany, by boat to New York City and then by train to Philadelphia, arriving there after an arduous and painful ride (tour) of four days.
I lay there ill from that time (October 1847) until March, of 1848, when thinking myself sufficiently strong I went on to New York City and fulfilled a short engagement of two weeks at the old Ampitheatre.
This was my first engagement on my own account as my apprenticeship with Cadwalader expired in the fall of 1847; I having served Twelve years and three months under Cadwalader, and during that time our relation, both in and out of business, was always very pleasant.
After finishing my engagement in New York I went to Brooklyn and showed there one week playing there at the time of the death of John Jacob Astor.
While I was playing in Brooklyn, Van Orden (Spaulding's Brother-in-law), came to see me and I entered into an engagement with him to travel for Dan Rice's Circus to open at St. Louis. He also engaged in Brooklyn Monsieur Le Thorne, Ben. Furnish, Hiram Day and a young Rider named David Reid.
We left Brooklyn for St. Louis and travelled by boat all the way. And on our arrival at Cincinnati we stayed for a day to rest ourselves, and there we met our Home Volunteers returning from the Mexican War. The men were in a destitute condition, their clothing being in rags and hardly a boot on their feet; but the people of Cincinnati had an immense reception provided for them, the streets being profusely decorated and all the Clothing stores being thrown open free to the men, so that the soldiers would get something to wear, and that same evening a banquet was tendered to the men. From Cincinnati we took the boat to St, Louis, It occupying four days for us to get there, and there we met Rice. On the twenty-fifth day of May 1848 Rice opened in St Louis with the following additions to the people brought on by Van Orden, viz: Francis Rostin, William Canada, Thomas Osborne and William Nichols. While showing in St. Louis a gentleman of that town presented me with a gold headed riding Whip as a mark of his appreciation of my clever riding.
At St. Louis Rice chartered a stern wheel boat called the "Alleghany Mail," on board of which we travelled the remainder of that season. After showing in St. Louis for four days, we left on the boat for Galena (the home of the then captain, now Ex President Grant).
After one weeks' sail we reached Galena, where we remained showing for two days, and then continuing our trip, we showed at Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa, then at Rock Island, Illinois; from Rock Island to Musquetine, Keokuk and Montrose, Iowa, then to Navoo, Illinois. At this town the wife of the deceased Joseph Smith (the Mormonite, who used to preach there) came on board to visit Rice, and had supper that evening with him.
From Navoo we went to Carthage, at which town Joe Smith and his brother Hiram had a short time previous been shot while trying to escape from the jail there. The mob killed Smith and his brother on account of the feeling that at that time was against the Mormons.
From Carthage we crossed to Missouri, showing there at Hannibal and Louisiana, then back once more to Illinois, showing in that state at Quincy and Alton; then Cape Gerardo, Missouri; Cairo, Illinois; Paduka, Brandonburg, Smithland, Hoarsville and Louisville, Kentucky; Shawneytown, Illinois; Mount Vernon, New Albany and Madison, Indiana.
From Madison we ran uP to Cincinnati, and taking in a supply of coal there, went up to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, it taking us just one week to get to Pittsburg from Madison. At Pittsburg we were joined by H. P. Maddigan, wife and daughter. The daughter went by the name of "Mella Rosa" on the bills.
Then from Pittsburg we went to Beaver Dam,where we were joined by Burnell Runnells, wife and daughter, and after showing there for one week, we went to Wellsville, making our last show in Pennsylvania there.
From there we crossed to Ohio, showing in Wellsburg. Steubenville, Ripley and Guyandotte; then to Maysville, Kentucky; from there to Fulton, Ohio, and then to Covington and Newport, Kentucky, from which place we went back to Cincinnati, where we showed for one week. Then turning round we went down the river to Dixies Landing, Tennessee, and then to Memphis. Leaving there we crossed to Helena, Arkansas, and then New Maderick, Missouri: from thence to Vicksburg and Natchez, Mississippi. From Natchez to Lake Providence, Louisiana; Rodney, Mississippi, and then to Grand Gulf, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge (at this place General Zachary Taylor, then running for President, came down to the circus, and after the performance I met and shook hands with him, and he invited me to call next day and see his horses which he had used in the campaign. Needless to say, I did so, and was well received by the General, who personally conducted me to see the horses, and greatly praised my ability as a rider. The same night that the General attended the circus, our band, after the performance was over, went to the barracks, where the General was staying, and serenaded him for over two hours).
We showed in New Orleans one month, and then, cholera having broken out, Rice left us and placed the circus in the hands of H. M. Whitbeck, Captain Whiting and William Nichols. Under the new management we went up into the Bayou Country and remained showing there for two months.
There joined us previous to our departure for the Bayou country, James McFarlane and John Goodspeed. After closing our tour of the Bayou country, we went on to Vicksburg, Natchez and Memphis, and then started out for St. Louis, where we intended to close our tour. It was during our stay in New Orleans that I first heard the cry of "Hey Rube." It came about this way. Thomas Osborne was a member of our company, and one evening during our stay, he went with some of the rest of the company to a dance house, and there got into trouble and was knocked to the ground with a slung shot. On being knocked down, he shouted out "Hey Rube" to one of the other members of the company, and every member of the circus who was in the hall immediately went to his assistance, and from that time forth the cry of "Hey Rube" has been known as a rallying signal among circus men when in trouble.
While on the Mississippi the river rose so high that instead of being able to moor at the wharfs, as is of course, customary, we were compelled to moor to trees, as we were really sailing over what would be, when the river was at its normal height, dry land.
On our arrival at St. Louis we found the place crowded with steamers ready to carry passengers to St. Jo, as the gold fever then was prevalent, and thousands were endeavoring by one way or another, to reach California.
Rice met us in St. Louis, and again took charge of his company, and after showing there for ten days, he started out with a reorganized company in April of 1849, on the steamer Juas, for Cincinnati.
Our company were:
Dan Rice, clown and proprietor.
Jean Johnson, rider and tight-rope performer.
H. P. Maddigan, Indian rider.
Rosa Maddigan, rider.
Ben. Burnish, scenic rider.
Thomas Osborne, two-horse rider.
Mons. Le Thorne, cannon ball performer.
John Hoppier, English and French clown.
Mons. Sterling, acrobat.
Frank Rostin, ringmaster.
On our way from St. Louis to Cincinnati, and while opposite Gerardo, the after crank of the steamer broke, and for the remainder of our voyage we could only use one wheel, but for all that, we arrived safe enough at Cincinnati, where we remained for one week. We then went to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where, after showing a week, we took out our wagons and prepared for our summer tour of 1849. We then remained showing in Pennsylvania for six weeks, making in that time a, pretty fair tour of that state.
From there we crossed into New York State, and, during our stay in Syracuse it happened to be fair time, and we gave five performances a day, four of the five being in the great state fair grounds, and the other daily show being each evening in the town. We spent about two months travelling in the State of New York and then crossed over into Pennsylvania, where we showed in a few towns on our way to Maryland.
In Maryland we showed in Hagerstown, Booneville, Frederick City and Baltimore. In the City of Baltimore we pitched our tents on the old Bellair lot, between High and Low Streets, and after showing there for two weeks, the company broke up in the month of October, 1849.
During the second week of our stay in Baltimore I was the unfortunate hero of another accident. At that time we were doing pony races nightly, and one night one of the boys, who had ought to have been there to ride one of the ponies, neglected to turn up in time, and I volunteered to ride. The race was to be three times around the ring, over hurdles, and at the end of the third time, Rice, who was playing starter for the race, was to drop the flag, which would finish the race. The pony I had to ride was rather fretful, and had to be looked pretty well after while a person was riding him. After we had ridden four times round, and Rice never seeming to notice us or drop the flag, I kept looking at him and shouting to him to drop his flag and finish the race, which by that time was becoming tiresome. In trying to attract Rice's attention, I quite forgot the fretfulness of my pony, and he, in rising to one of the hurdles, swerved, caught the top bar with his knees, and fell, bringing me to the ground with him. The other five ponies who were following, all fell over us, and I had pretty nearly all the breath squeezed out of me. One of the ponies struck me with his foot, and when I was picked up (after they had got tile ponies off me) it was at first feared that I was dead, but after twenty minutes I recovered, and was much the worse for wear, except a few slight bruises. I came back to the ring to assure the audience of mY safety, and was there greeted with tumultuous applause.
It was during this fall of 1849 (about November) that Rice sustained a great loss; in fact it came nearly ruining him. It seems that along in August, 1849, Rice purchased, through Spaulding and Van Orden (who were lawyers as well as circus proprietors), a farm in Greene County, New York State (about five miles from New Baltimore), on the Hudson River. Rice moved his family and goods all down to the farm, but as soon as Rice and Spaulding quarrelled, which they did at the beginning of the fall, Van Orden went down to Greene County (while Rice was absent) and levied on the farm under a power of sale, which was contained, I believe, in a mortgage which Van Orden claimed to hold. Van Orden took possession of everything and left Rice nearly destitute. Rice from that time waged a fierce war against Spaulding and Van Orden, and I believe, and can safely vouch for it, that it cost Rice over one hundred thousand dollars for law charges and damages for slander during the next three years.
The following is one of the songs composed and sung by Rice about that time:
You hear that sound! You hear that sound!
We hear him, we hear him coming down the lane;
He comes to steal with might and main -
He stole! He stole my last chicken away.
Now, pray ye believe me, the truth alone I sing,
He came when I was absent, and meanly stole my last chicken away.
But I am the old boy to go it strong,
Though my body is short, my nose is long.
And in these words of war and wit,
I tell you I'll I give that party fits;
For Van Orden did say, Oh!
That this was but a one-horse show;
But the one-horse show is hard to beat,
As you may see by Van's defeat,
After we broke up In Baltimore, in October, I rested until the latter part of November, and then joined a circus belonging to Sands, which was then showing in Baltimore. I Performed with them only two weeks, when I had to give it up, finding out that the injury which I had received in the fall was still troubling me, being worse than I expected.
I thought then that I would take a good rest, so I remained in Baltimore doing nothing until April of 1850. In that month I left Baltimore for Philadelphia, to see if anything in my line of business was open there for me, but finding nothing there, I went on to New York City and waiting there until June, I at last succeeded in obtaining an engagement with a circus then just getting ready for the road, under the management of Rivers, Runnels & Franklin.
The circus was not a very large concern, but I must say it boasted a pretty fair array of talent, and when we opened in New York on the corner of Eighth Street and Fourth Avenue (where Brokaw Bros.' clothing store now stands), the following persons composed the company:
Louise Brower, formerly Madame Howard.
Henry Connover, contortionist.
George Orrin (then called George Honey, and the father of the now celebrated circus proprietors, George and Edward Orrin), and myself.
It will be noticed that this was a small company, but my readers will see that it was composed of first-class people.
After showing in New York for one week, we crossed over to Williamsburg, and from there we, went down to Staten Island. From Staten Island we came up to Jersey City, and there took the train for Patterson, New Jersey, and after showing there for two days, we came right back to Fort Hamilton, Long Island.
At Fort Hamilton we chartered a steamboat to take us up Long Island Sound, so as to save the trouble of going over-land. We showed in the following places on the Sound: New Rochelle, Hempstead, Glen Cove, Green Point and Sag Harbor. At Sag Harbor we showed on the Fourth of July, and then broke up and returned to New York.
When we all arrived in New York, we found nothing going on, so we reorganized again under the same management and went up to Sing Sing, where a camp meeting was in progress. After showing there one week, this company again broke up, and we returned once more to New York.
At this time (the middle of the year 1850) the Hudson River Railroad only went as far as Sing Sing, a distance I believe, of about thirty-five miles from Forty-Second Street, New York City.
Shortly after my arrival in New York City. I met George, F. Bailey, agent for Aaron Turner, and I entered into an engagement with Turner, through him, Immediately going on to Perth, New York State, to join the circus. At that place the railroad was just commencing to be laid (July 29,1850).
The company at that time with Turner was composed of the following artists:
Napoleon Turner, two and four-horse rider.
James Myers, general performer (he has since become proprietor of one of the finest circuses on the road, and as I am told, went to England some 28 years ago, but I believe is not doing so very well there, as, to the best of my knowledge, his visit to the British Isles has not been quite a financial success; in fact it has been a decided failure, as he has been sold out more than once while there).
James Ward, rider.
Mike Lipman, slack-rope walker.
Edward Rochelle, acrobat.
Henry Rosenberg, general performer.
Harrison Huff, ringmaster.
Doctor Genung, our manager.
And myself, at that time doing my bare-backed somersault throwing.
Starting out from Perth on the 30th of July, we journeyed through New York State, then into Pennsylvania, and from there back to New Jersey. where, after showing at Gloucester, Long Cummings and Salem, we went over to Maryland, and ran down the coast of that state, showing in Elton, Salisbury, Queens' Landing and Snow Hill, and as that was as far as we could go in Maryland, we turned around and showed over the same road until we struck Keesport, New Jersey, from which place we went on to and showed in Toms River, Barnegat, Freehold. Bordentown, Mount Holly, Trenton, Princeton, Brunswick and Rahway.
At Rahway, on the twenty-second of November, the weather was so cold that the water froze in our dressing rooms, although we bad a fire in the room; and although we were booked to play in Newark, we all refused to give another performance, so the management were compelled to break up for the season.
To get even with us, they refused to pay us until we had got the horses, wagons, &c., to Harlem, New York City, when we received our money on the twenty-third of November. 1850.
After leaving Turner, I made a one month's engagement with S. B. Howes, and rode for him at the Old Bowery Amphitheatre until the end of the, year, when, my engagement coming to an end, I thought I would take a much needed rest, so I lay off in New York for the remainder of that winter,
In March of 1851, I made an engagement with William Stone to break horses for him for a circus which he was going to open in April, and under that engagement I went through to Philadelphia with another man named Henry Gardiner. He and I together, managed in four weeks to break enough horses for Stone to open with, and on the twenty-third day of April we opened in Camden, New Jersey, under the title of the "World's Circus, proprietor, William Stone," with the following company.
Henry Gardiner, and myself, riders.
Silas Baldwin, juggler and plate spinner.
Charles De Vere, clown and slack-rope walker.
Thomas King, clown and acrobat.
Frederick Rentz, rider.
Harrison Huff, ringmaster.
Thomas H. Williams, cannon- ball performer, leaper and juggler. (This artist had then just returned from South America after an absense of eight years from the United States, having showed during that time all through the Brazils and before the Emperor Don Pedro I. He, I believe, up to this day remains unequalled and unexcelled in his branch of the profession. He then, and still, I believe, uses the stage name of Signor Thomas Guilluamus Henrico, which had been conferred upon him in the Brazils by the Emperor during his stay there. A little further on I shall have something more to say about this artist, which will convince all who read it that, besides being a good performer, he was also an honest, good and just man, something then and now very rare in the profession).
From Camden we made a tour of New Jersey. and just before arriving at Salem, which occurred about six weeks after our start, not having received any money, or at least very little of what was due to us from Stone, and it coming to our ears that Stone had given Williams a judgment bond over the whole concern, I went that night and saw Williams, and having explained to him how we were all situated, he generously offered to give up his bond if I thought we would benefit any by it, and then we arranged the following plan between us. I was to go as soon as we reached Salem, and get a lawyer to represent every member of the company, and have the lawyer prepare attachments for each of us, and then as soon as he (the lawyer) would reach the circus, Williams would vacate his judgment bond, thus giving the lawyer the right to attach for each member of the circus. The whole plan worked well, and at twelve o'clock, midday, Williams vacated his bond, and our lawyer placed the attachment on. Stone raved and swore, but it was no use, we were obdurate, and the whole concern was sold on the tenth of June by the sheriff, and we all got part of the money due us; in fact, a good deal more than we expected.
It is to Williams' generosity we owe what we did get, for, had he not done what he did, I doubt if any one of us would ever have received one single cent. Williams received quite an ovation from the members of the company, and if any of them besides myself are living today, they will all, I am sure, bear testimony as to how thankful and grateful we felt towards him.
Since that time I have never had the pleasure of performing in the same company with Williams, but lie now resides in Boston (the place of his birth) and once or twice a week he drops into the hotel and has a long chat over times gone by. Williams, although sixty-four years of age, has not given up all thoughts of the stage, and he hopes soon again to appear before the public in fact, he would never have left it, had it not been to yake care of his aged mother, a lady over eighty years of age, to whom Williams remains faithful).
NOTE. - It is only a few weeks ago that the author and Mr. Glenroy, with several friends, went to see Mr. Williams, and, as a return for our visit, he very kindly got all his appliances together, and gave us a short practice, extending over an hour, and the author hereby testifies that he never before saw such an exhibition, and, considering the age of the exhibitor, the performance was simply marvellous, he, in his performance, using cannon balls weighing forty, fifty and sixty pounds, and throwing them around and catching them in the hollow of his arms or on the back of his neck, and thinking no more of it than if the solid iron was india rubber. And then in balancing, he took a rifle with the bayonet on it, and placing through the trigger guard of the rifle, two swords, and then hanging also on the rifle three ordinary chairs, he took it all up, and placing the bayonet on his chin, he ballanced and held them there for several minutes. The whole of his performance was simply marvellous. The author talks from experience, as he was a manager of a variety and dramatic theatre for five years).
After Williams left us in 1851 it seems he crossed to England, and was there immediately engaged by the then celebrated Batty, the largest and greatest circus proprietor then in the world. He showed there in London with him, and at Drury Lane Theatre at the time of the "Great World's Fair" at Hyde Park, and after finishing his engagement with Batty, he went to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, in England, at each place causing quite a sensation by the uniqueness of his performance.
From Liverpool he crossed over to Dublin, Ireland, and there he was treated (if possible) better than in England, and on his benefit night at the Theatre Royal, Dublin he was highly complimented by the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, who sent for him to come around to his private box after the performance, and there publicly thanked him and made him a present. That night, also, most of the elite of Dublin were represented in the boxes and stalls of the theatre, and the pit as it is termed there (or parquette and orchestra, as it is called in America), was crowded to suffocation with soldiers and civilians, the Lord Lieutenant having distributed over five hundred tickets among the soldiers then in Dublin. Williams tells me that a finer sight he never saw than that, and he says that could he to-day go back to England or Ireland, he would very gladly do so. It is not because I am personally acquainted with Williams that I say so much in his favor, for could I say ten times as much, I would not then be able to say one quarter what he deserves.
After selling out in Salem, I returned to Philadelphia, and there made an engagement with a person named Coleman, who had bought most of Stone's concern. I and others of the former company went on with him and opened at Camden, New Jersey, but after three days' show, the company left him and refused to play any more.
Stone's wife came on about that time, and having bought out Coleman, she engaged all of us, and going down to Cape May we showed there ten days, when, becoming disgusted with the management, the company finally disbanded. I was luckier than the rest in the last two ventures, as I received all that was due to me, both from Coleman and Mrs. Stone, but the others did not
After leaving Mrs. Stone at Cape May. I went on to Philadelphia, where, after resting one week, I hired a curiosity in the form of a no-haired or india-rubber mare. I paid twenty-five dollars a week for her, and took her to Cape May, and then to Salem, just making expenses for two weeks. While at Salem, Dan Rice's agent came on to see me, and I made an engagement with Rice, through the agent, to travel with him (Rice) for the remainder of that season. I immediately gave up the mare and went to Philadelphia, and settled up my affairs preparatory to joining Rice at Albany.
On the third of August, 1851, we opened at Albany with the following company:
Dan Rice, clown.
Jean Johnson, bare-backed rider.
Omar Richardson, rider and globe performer.
James F. O'Connell, the celebrated tattooed man.
Thomas Burgess. clown.
Henry Gardiner, rider and acrobat,
Libbie and Kate Rice, riders.
Frank Nash, ringmaster.
Madame Nash, rider.
Charles Brown, comical clown
And myself, doing somersault riding and leaping.
From Albany, after showing three days, we commenced our tour by canal boats, and showed in Hudson, New Baltimore, West Troy, East Troy, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Little Falls and Mohawk.
At Mohawk, James Robinson's company, who were resting at Utica, paid us a visit, and we gave them a very hearty welcome. A few days afterwards, while passing Utica, Rice gave us permission to go ashore and visit Robinson's company. They were right glad to see us, and we remained there all night, making things pretty lively there during our stay.
From Utica we continued up the canal to Buffalo, showing at all the places of any note on the canal side and after showing one day in Buffalo, Rice chartered the steamer Empire State to take us to Cleveland, Ohio.
All our horses and baggage was placed on board of the steamer, and then Rice asked the captain to tow the canal boats over to Cleveland also. The captain, after a great deal of opposition, consented, but declined to be responsible for the safety of the boats on account of the storms then prevalent. Rice consented to this, and we started out from Buffalo, and shortly after we started a storm came on, and the hawser connecting the boats parted. All we could do then was to run down alongside and take off the men from the boats, which was accomplished after much difficulty, but we had to allow the canal boats to go their own way. The storm kept on, and we succeeded in making Cleveland after about twenty hours steaming, and at the entrance to the harbor we saw a schooner founder, and it took five men at the wheel of our steamer to enable us to enter that harbor in safety.
I never thought before that, that such a storm could rise on Lake Erie.
The only loss of life among our party was the death by drowning from one of the canal boats of Rice's bull terrier. Rice did not place a headstone over his grave, because we could not determine just where that bull pup had wandered into the happy hunting ground from this vale of tears.
As soon as we reached Cleveland, Rice purchased three new canal boats, and next day we got news that the others had been discovered bottom up on the shore at Dunkirk, Lake Erie.
After showing two days in Cleveland, we left there on the canal boats for Portsmouth, Ohio, on the eighth day of September. While showing in Portsmouth, Rice purchased the steam boat Zachary Taylor, for which he paid nine thousand dollars, and for the remainder of that season we used to travel on board of her.
From Portsmouth we went to Cincinnati, and were joined there by Frank Farwell, now dead, but at that time the great show-bill printer of Boston and New York, who was on a pleasure trip.
After showing in Cincinnati for one week, we went on to Madison, and then to Louisville, where Farwell left us. From Louisville we continued on down the rivers Ohio and Mississippi, showing at the following places: Brandenburg, Smithland, Cairo, Dixies Landing, Memphis, Helena, New Madrid, Vicksburg, Waterloo, Natchez, Lake Providence, Rodney Grand Gulf, Baton Rouge, Red Church, Lafayette, and then into New Orleans, where we showed the remainder of the winters of 1851 and 1852, the company during that stay boarding and sleeping on board of the old Zac. Taylor.
That winter while we were showing in New Orleans (in Frenchtown), Spaulding & Rogers came along with their concern and planted their canvas right alongside of ours, expecting to drive us off; but they did not; in fact, at the end of two days they packed up and left.
Spaulding had with him then the great English clown, William F. Wallet, we, of course, having as clown, Dan Rice. Each were eager to see the other, so the second evening Wallett came over to our place and Rice took him and showed him all through the circus, and then took him into the ring and introduced him to the audience. After the introduction Rice made a brief speech, saying that be considered Wallett a friend of his, and that as long as Wallett lived, he would never starve, as he would always have "Rice" by him. Wallett responded, saying that he thanked Rice heartily, and he could assure Rice that he reciprocated his feeliings, and all the rest he could say was that while he (Wallett) lived, Rice would always have a "Wallett" at his disposal.
One more remark here as to Wallett. I, myself, think that a better clown never stepped into a ring (meaning nothing detrimental to Rice) and I can safely assert, without fear of contradiction, that a more whole-souled, generous man than Bill Wallett (as he was generally known among the profession), never lived.
In the beginning of 1852, Wallett, having had some slight disagreement with Spaulding, he left them and came on to New Orleans, when Dan Rice eagerly jumped at the chance to engage him. He played there with us for four weeks, and drew immensely all the time. During his engagement, Rice and he, alternately, played clown and ringmaster - one night Rice clowning to Wallet's ringmaster, and the next night Rice playing ringmaster to Wallett's clown.
We showed the whole of that winter season to very good audiences, doing the best business I had seen done for some years, and there was good reason why we should, for I believe that at that time we had performing with us as good a company as ever performed in the United States or any other part of the world.
The following are the names of our company in the beginning of 1852:
Dan Rice, clown.
Libbie and Kate Rice, riders.
Jean Johnson, rider, tight-rope performer and leaper.
Omar Richardson, rider, acrobat and globe performer.
Julian Kent, comic singer.
Frank Robinson, acrobat.
Monsieur Cassimer, the greatest drummer of that time. He played on twelve drums simultaneously.
Frank Wash, ringmaster.
Madame Nash, rider.
Monsieur Isidor, bare-back rider.
William Walker, equestrian manager, slack rope and globe performer.
William F. Wallett, clown (for one month).
John Murray, cannon-ball performer.
George Holland, polandrical ladder and globe performer.
James Reynolds, clown and acrobat.
Frank Rostin, ringmaster.
Sir Isaac Newton Waite, rider and acrobat.
George Beatty, rider and acrobat.
Tom Burgess, clown.
James F. O'Connell, tattooed man.
John Church, slack-wire performer.
Annie Church, slack-wire performer.
William Odell, somersault rider and double-somersault thrower.
Jesse Star, gymnast.
George Sweet, the greatest tight rope dancer of his time.
Victoria Johnson, principal lady rider.
The Great Herkline, tight-rope dancer.
Horace Smith, scenic rider.
And myself, bare-back somersault rider.
I, from 1846 down, had been doing the somersault bare-backed, and my only rival was James Robinson, who done it in 1850-51, and along in 1852 we were still the only ones doing it in the states.
We closed the winter season in New Orleans in the latter part of March, 1852, and started out on the old Zac. Taylor for a river show for the surnmer season. We showed all along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and eventually brought up at St. Louis in August, where we remained, showing ten days.
One or two little incidents happened during this season on the river, which I might as well relate here as anywhere else.
While we were showing in New Madrid, Missouri, the Justice of the Peace for that place came lounging down to the circus with an old clay pipe in his mouth, and looking more like a tramp than a justice.
Rice ordered him away from the circus, not knowing who he was, and on his refusal to go, Rice bandied him pretty roughly while pushing him away. Away went the old judge, and then Rice discovered - too late - who it was. In about an hour a messenger came hurrying to the circus, and informed Rice that the judge was coming down with a pistol to shoot him, and told Rice to keep out of the way for a time, as the judge was a bad man when aroused and having a little whiskey aboard. Rice kept out of the reach of the angry judge as long as he could, but Dan at last getting tired of hiding, came out of the boat and along the wharf, and came just behind the judge while he was inquiring of some people it they had seen Rice. Rice saw an old horse pistol, in his band, and stepping quickly forward be snatched the pistol and fired it off, and then handing it back to the judge, he said, "Here judge, here's your pistol, I am Dan Rice." They then came to explanations, and Rice invited him on board the boat with his friends, and they all came down and drank champagne until the early hours of the morning. The judge was then dressed a good deal better than when we saw him in the afternoon, and looked more like the gentleman, that we found him to be on closer acquaintance. That ended our first adventure.
The second came about as follows:
Spaulding & Rogers that season had had built for them a floating palace, on board of which they used to give their performances. There had from 1849 down been great rivalry between Rice and Spaulding, and Spaulding done all he could to ruin Rice. They used to come to where we were showing, and show in opposition to us, but after about a month of that work they gave it up, as, instead of ruining Rice, it was harming them. Finding that did not pay, they tried another scheme. It seems that being a day ahead of us at Shawney town, they left for Caseyville, and on the way there they ran hard aground near the latter spot. It took them nearly a day to get off, and then they thought that they would place the buoys so that we would surely run aground. They altered the buoys, and then lay about three or four miles above to watch developments. When we came near the spot our pilot (a very clever young man named Allan Sutton) ordered one of the men to heave the lead, and ordered the engineer to let the vessel go slowly ahead, as he could not imagine how the river had got to be the way the buoys marked it. Sutton soon discovered that the buoys had been purposely placed in the wrong place, and he sheered off and struck the right channel, and as we steamed further up the river and saw the floating palace, we soon knew who it was had wilfully mis-placed the buoys. We greeted them with ironical cheers as we passed them. At our first stop after that Rice composed and sang the following song, and he continued to sing it for some time after this occurrence:
Some New York sharps, I'd have you know,
They struck upon a plan -
They built a boat on the river to float
To ruin this old fool Dan.
And as they failed in previous attempts,
And found it was no go,
They surely thougt the palace would prevent
Success to the one-horse show.
And oh, the one-horse show, my boys.
It is the show for fun;
And like this country's motto,
You find us "many in one."
This floating scow from Cincinnati
Which passed here the other day,
The mechanics there that did work at her
Did not get all their pay -
Notwithstanding they were told
By Messrs. Van Orden & Co.,
That Commodore Spaulding had plenty of gold
To ruin the one-horse show.
And now, if he has plenty of gold,
Then I should like to know
Why the palace was attached and nearly sold
By the friends of the one-horse show.
They try to ring the public in
By a church-bell chime,
And after you have paid your money,
All you hear is an organ grind -
Which squeaks and squalls most mournfully,
And makes a doleful sound,
And seems to say, "Oh, sinners pray,
Why the devil don't you kneel down
And prepare to meet your fate;
Which I tell them is below,
Or return to Dan before it's too late,
What belongs to him and his one-horse show.
They tried to catch me in a trap
As I left Shawneytown;
At Caseyville I they laid false buoys
To lead me hard aground,
But Allan Sutton was wide awake,
And knew the channel to a spot;
Says he, "Old Zac can never be caught
In such a shallow plot."
Our manager, Whitbeck, stood on our deck
A laughing at the "Scow,"
His compliments to Spaulding sent,
To beware of the one-horse show.
It's now we are over Treadwater Bar,
All dirty tricks we shun;
We always keep in the channel deep,
Our land-marks are "honor and fair."
So you wealthy men on the floating scow,
To the breeze unfold your flag,
But do not touch the one-horse show,
For it's an awful snag.
So leave me alone, keep to yourselves,
To break me it's no go;
For the thing is out, old Dan is about
With an awful one-horse show.
The third incident took Place at St. Louis.
Rice had a pony named Henry Clay, which very few could ride, and that time being just after the death of the celebrated statesman, Henry Clay, he advertised in St, Louis that this pony would run a three-heat race on a certain night in the ring.
No one could be found to ride him, and at last I volunteered, and that afternoon I exercised him a good deal, so that when night came he went over those hurdles just as if he had been used to it all his life, and I won three straight heats with him, where Rice never expected I could win one; in fact, Rice said that he expected to see me come over the pony's head at least half a dozen times in each heat. The applause at the end of the race was tremendous, and the ladies cheered, waved their handkerchiefs and showered bouquets down on top of me. That is the third and last incident of our five months' show on those rivers.
After finishing our ten days' show in St. Louis, we started out once more on board the old boat, commencing this time at Alton, Illinois, and continuing on we showed at Hannibal, Louisiana, Quincy, Carthage, Warsaw and Keokuk. From Keokuk we crossed over to Montrose, a distance of twelve miles. Our way laying through rapids, we took the horses by road, so as to lighten the steamer sufficiently to enable her to pass safely through the rapids. On our way by road, and seven miles from Keokuk, we stayed for lunch, and where we stayed, the liquor laws are such that if you drink inside of a place where liquor is sold, the seller and the buyer are both heavily fined; but as the old saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention," and it is proved in that place. The way they get over their liquor laws is, they sell the liquor inside the hotels, and the buyer simply goes outside and drinks it, thus, as you see, evading the whole question.
On arriving in Montrose, Mrs. Smith, the Mormon prophet's wife, once again visited us and had dinner with Rice.
From Montrose we went on to Rock Island, Galena, Dubuque, Davenport, Musquetiene, St. Louis, Waverley, Dixies Landing and Memphis.
At Memphis I had a slight disagreement with Rice, arising out of my refusal to take part in the street parade. I had informed Rice previous to the expiration of my contract with him (which expired two months previous to our arrival in Memphis, which was on the third of October), that I should not take part in any parade after the third day of August. The day we arrived in Memphis, on our manager coming to me and asking me to take part in the parade, I refused. Rice then came along, and asked me why I would not turn out. I told him what I had already said, that I should not again be seen in a street parade. Rice then said, "If you don't turn out, you can leave." I immediately left the boat and went up to the Southern Hotel. Next day Rice sent for me and asked me to come back, but I refused, and asked Rice to settle with me, so that I could leave Memphis next day for New Orleans. Rice then said, bring your things back to the boat, and you can go down the river with us until we meet the New Orleans boat, and then Whitbeck (our manager) will go on to New Orleans with you and pay you what I owe you there (Rice then owed me $280). I accepted his offer, and came back to the boat but would not perform. Three days afterwards we met the New Orleans boat, and Whitbeck and I boarded it and went to New Orleans, where I received what was due to me.
Rice and I parted excellent friends, and although I have never performed for him or with him, I have met him since that time, and our friendship still remains perfect, at least on my side it is, and I believe it is on Rice's. How is that Mr. Rice?
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