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Status: Complete


[superb circus edifice. For many seasons this
company, with its adjuncts, occupied the win-
ter months - say from October to about May -
in performances. We have referred to these ex-
hibitions, in a desultory way, as we proceeded
from season to season in our theatrical annals,
and so far as pertains to the ring performances,
we simply mentioned them in a general way, as
their sameness forbids any further enlarged de-
tails. In the latter part of 1848, and in the
years 1849 and '50, Welch's stage corps was very
extensive and talented, and numberous melo-
dramatic pieces of very imposing character and
scenic splendor were produced on a most exten-
sive scale, so much so as to have had very se-
rious effects upon the treasuries of the regular
theatres, they being of that attractive power to
draw the masses of the play-going community,
and to interest the children of the richer classes.
Welch & Co. had large means to back their ac-
tive enterprises, and did not spare money to
attract public favor to their well-conducted es-
tablishment. We cannot afford space or leisure
to go into minute details of the annals of this
amphitheatre, but will give a synopsis of its
prominent stage performances under that pan-
tomimical mel-dramatic director and mechani-
cal artist, Joseph Foster.

The season of 1847 - '8 commenced early in the
autumn of 1847 with ring performances, and
there were gradually produced prodigious horse
dramas. The equestrian and stage manager
was Joseph Foster; riding master, F. Whitta-
ker; clown to the circle, John May. The prices
of admission were: [to?] boxes and parquet, 25
cents; private boxes, 50 cents; gallery, 12 1/2
cents. They produced a grand military piece
founded on the events of the French revolution
of 1848, with tableaus, civil and military. It
was written by Mr. neafie, the tragedian, and
called "Vive La Liberte; or, The French Re-
volution of 1848." This was brought out in
March, 1848. the characters were - Mr. Odillon
Barrot, leader of the reform party, Mr. Neafie;
Louis Phillippe, King of the Franch, Mr. Am-
herst; M. Guizot, Minister of the royalists, Mr.
Browne; M. Lamoriciere, appointed General by
the reform cabinet, Mr. Marchael; M. Marrast,
editor of the Nationale, Mr. Young; Prefect of
Police, royalist, Mr. Brunton; Carrotte, a butch-
er, Mr. De Angelis; Blaize, a pompous, self-
styled Empereur, Mr. Radcliffe; Forgeron, a
blacksmith, Mr. Bonnie; coiffeur, a barber and
hair dresser, Mr. Macklin. There were nine or
ten other characters of minor import by Messrs.
Ruth, Quayle, C. Fester, Bayly, C. King, Byrne,
Calladine, Winnemore, Master R. Rivers, and
others of the equestrian corps. Madame La
Duchesse d' Orleans, Miss Mary Duff; Ninette, in
love with Jaques, (with a song,) Mrs H Phil-
lips; Manat, an apple woman, wife to Blaize,
Mrs. Judah. Ladies of the court, of the gay
salons, &c., by the corps de ballet. The riders
were Mr. J. J. Nathans, the Masters Pastor, E.
Derious, with his buffo ponies Romeo and Ju-
liet, Richard Rivers, a ne plus ultra rider, F.
Pastor, T. Neville, a most graceful performer on
the single horse, the Rivers' family in gymnas-
tic exercises. Samuel Lee, the American Aloides,
whose superhuman powers gave him the title of
the Mythologic Demigod. This youth (superb
in manly proportions) was most extraordinary
in his muscular power and physical force; he
handled and tossed with the ease of apples,
three real cannon balls, brought from the ar-
sonal, each one weighing forty-five pounds,

throwing them into the air upwards of twenty
feet, and catching them on his neck unshrink-
ingly. These, with many more feats of a simi-
lar nature, which he performed to the astonish-
[ment?] of crowded audiences.

A new and unique original equestrian melo-
drama, was founded on a tale of the hickwoods
of Georgia, entitled " The Horse [?]af's Le[?]
[?]or, The Falls of Fallo[?]," in two acts. The
[?]ery, from [?]ntic sketches, by John
Wiser. The mountain machinery by T. Mo-
clung. It was written by Joseph Foster, or by
him arranged. Among the many very singular
effects intended to give reality to this drama,
was the erection of a rude edifice to represent a
building known in 1770 as the Fox Inn. The
stage was so laid out and contrived as to afford
a faithful idea of the road to Clarksville, cut
through a dense pine forest In order to com-
prehend the action and circumstances of this
scene, it was composed of a parlor below and a
gallery above, with various compartments to
[?]cidate the passing events. A rude chimney-
[?]ace was seen, above which firearms were hung
through a window and door was seen a pine
wood, a road, and nearby a water trough for
cattle. A rough stone stairs at the back of the
parlor communicated with the gallery above.
The events occurred simultaneously in these
apartments above and below, as well as in the
pine wood, road, &c. The leading characters
were - Ned Daley, leader of the gang of horse
thieves, Mr. Neane; Mrs. Blossom, Mrs. Mos-
sop; Ellen, Daly's daughter, Miss Mary Duff

April 3d, 1848, benefit of Mr. Brunton, vocal-
ist. The operatic melo-drama of "Blue Beard,"
with all the music - Selim, a Spahi leader, Mr.
Brunton; Svahis, Messrs. Quayle, Solomons,
Ruth, Blankman, Wagstaff, &c.; Abomelique,
Mr. Neafie; Shacaba[?] his valet, Mr. Weaver;
Fatima, the betrothed Salim, Mrs. H. Phil-
lips; Irene, Mrs. Brunton, (late Miss Fox, of
the Chesnut street house;) Beda, Mrs. Palmer.
There were the usual ring performances. This
was this very pleasing [?]rs, by G. colman, the
younger, and the orig[?] music by the once
popular Michael Ke[Keith?] converted to a horse
piece to suit [?] day for spectacle.

April 7th, Miss Ma[Mary] Duff's beenfit. On this
occasion, "the accomplished and highly finished
dancer, Miss Anna Walters, will have the honor
of making her first apperance in this theatre,
in a celebrated dance of Spain, as the tribute of
respect to Miss Mary Duff, by permission of the
proprietor of the Walnut Street Theatre."
"Mrs. H. Phillips, the vocalist, will sing some
of her heart-touching melodies of Ireland."

"The collectanea of female beauty and ele-
gance, even the bright battalion of amazonian
maids, will exhibit the tact and precision with
which they conquer and captivate all who dare
present themselves within reach of their sub-
duing attractions. All the artistes will greatly
exert themselves for a sister whom they esteem
an ornament to her profession. The arrange-
ments are thus: First, 'The Horse Thief's
Leap;' then ring performances, and a gorgeous
spectacle greatly compressed, called 'The
Queen of Love; or The World Will Last!' "

This was a hodge podge piece founded on Bur-
ton's play on that subject, and which he took
from the poet John Dryden, and which was now
rehased and quartered to pantominical mor-
ceaux by Joseph Foster. Cleopatra, Miss M.
Duff; Ant[?] Mr [Neafie?]; Ventidius, Mr.
Young. The heading of such a bill is worthy
of the preservation of all theatrical quidnunes.

April 15th, a new historical, patriotic drama
(three acts), written by Walter M. Leman,

called "The Night Hawks; A Legend of the
Black Rangers" - Gen. Washington, Mr. Mar-
chael; Gen. Wayne, Mr. Bayly; Gen. Knox,
Mr. Wagstaff; Gen. Greene, Mr. George; Jeff.
Hett (a Yankee), Mr. Charles Foster; Mojer
Tracy (a Tory), Mr. G. F. Browne; Capt. Her-
bert (Tracy's son), Mr. Neafie; Diggs, Mr. J.
Sefton; Maria Waltham, Miss Mary Duff. The
scenes lay on the Wissahickon, and at Chesnut
Hil and their vicinities; the play ending with
the battle of Germantown.

Most of the pieces we have herein mentioned
were repeated often throughout this season until
Saturday, April 22d, 1848, when th[the?] ouse[house?]
[?]sed with Joseph Foster's benefit. [?] had
produced innumerable new pieces of the sensa-
tion species to tickle the tastes of the ground-

The grand traveling decorated car of General
Welch's troupe, with a brass band, paraded
through the streets of [?] announcing the
[?] closing up of this most prosperous season.
The chief attraction was the legendary [Heroic?]
spectacle (three acts), founded on the fabulous
fancies of Padre S. Si[?]ni, which had been
shaped into a dram[?] form and semblance
nearly a century before the suburban play-
house, known in London as Saddler Wells;
also, at the Royal Grove, Westminster Bridge;
and also at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, en-
titled St. George and the D[?]; or, The Seven
Champions of Christen[?] - St. George, of
England, Mr. C. Foster [?] St. Patrick, of Ire-
land, Mr. Williams; St. Andrew, of Scotland,
Mr. White; St. Denis, [?]ance, mr. Quayle;
St. Jago, of Spain, Mr Ber[?]ie; St. Antonio,
of Italy, Mr. Calladine; [?] with a beautiful
ballad, Mrs. H. Phillips [?]ame Durbin, Mrs.
Judah. There were about th[?]rty Egyptian parts,
by this numerous corps, in addition to one hun-
dred supernumeraries.

After the spectacle a silver vase was presented
to the beneficiary, in the name of the prop[?]
ters and performers, in acknowledgment of his
unwearied assiduity and exceeding talent in the
invention and production of a series of specta-
cles never equaled in this country. This vase,
elegantly wrought, was exposed to view at the
theatre box office window, on Chesnut street,
one week before the night of presentation.
Thus, with a vaiety of other side dish per-
formances, the enterainments closed with a
burlesque opera, called "The Revot of the
Tailors; or, The Falls of the Schuylkill," with
moonlight scenes at F[?]unt [Fairmount]. It would take
a ream of paper [?] the vast doings set
down upon the [?] bills of circus fare.
Welch's Olympi[?] in June.

The National circus [?]tre was subsequently
let by Gen W[?] to Messrs. Long &
dinmore who opened [?] 5th, 1848, with the
Ethiopiean troupe who had lately occupied the
Chesnut Street Theatre. They were named
"The Sable Harmonists," and had gained a re
putation in negro singing. The company was
as follows: Mr. Jenkins, banjo; La Conta,
bone castanets, A[?]ms; violin, Rudolph; tam-
borine, Henry; [?]cond banjo, Cripp; triangle,
Picaninny. In their bills they said: "The
style is excellent; the prices moderate; the
theatre elegant; the hours observed; and
what is better than all, parents, guardinas,
brothers and lovers, can bring their connec-
tions with confidence, for the gentlemen com-
posing this troupe have determined that not a
word or insinuation shall be uttered or conveyed
that may have a tendency to discompose the]

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