Item #8859 Parsons and Pool’s Famous Ideal Uncle Tom’s Cabin And Tennessee Jubilee Singers. Will Parsons, F. E. Pool.
Parsons and Pool’s Famous Ideal Uncle Tom’s Cabin And Tennessee Jubilee Singers.
Parsons and Pool’s Famous Ideal Uncle Tom’s Cabin And Tennessee Jubilee Singers.

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[Parsons, Will and F. E. Pool.]

Parsons and Pool’s Famous Ideal Uncle Tom’s Cabin And Tennessee Jubilee Singers.

[Manchester, probably New Hampshire], 1895. Illustrated circular, 13.25” x 10”, pink paper. 4 pp., 6 b&w illus. CONDITION: Good+, 3” old tape repair to lower right corner of p. 2, a few chips and tears to margins and spine fold, spot of soiling to p. 1.

A scarce promotional circular for one of the more notable theater companies producing Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the late-nineteenth century.

Dramatizations of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel began in 1852, the year of publication, and from the beginning included elements of blackface minstrelsy—a well established form of stage entertainment by that time. The Parsons & Pool’s performances featured the Tennessee Jubilee Singers (a second incarnation of the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University, who are credited with popularizing jubilee singing), substituting a more dignified style of singing for the parody of blackface performers. The company toured throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic in the 1880s and 1890s.

This circular advertises a performance of “The Great! The Only! The Original! Parsons & Pool’s Famous Ideal Uncle Tom’s Cabin Co.” at the town hall in Manchester on September 10th, 1895. With all new scenery and accessories—not to mention the Tennessee Jubilee Singers—the production is billed as a “superb revival” of Stowe’s popular novel. Special highlights include the performances of Kate Partington and “Little Lura Thompson” as Topsy and Eva, “supported by a magnificent cast as played by this management over 2300 Times to Nearly 2,000,000 Delighted People.” Following a list of the cast of characters and a “Synopsis of Scenery, &c.,” the circular includes a message “To the Generous Public” from Parsons and Pool, who are careful to point out that “Ladies without escort need have no scruples in attending our entertainment, as the best of order will be rigidly enforced and gentlemanly ushers in constant attendance.” A “Caution” is also provided against patronizing the many “bogus concerns” that have copied their title and parts of their act, “murdering both language and plot with some of the poorest talent extant.” 

Bordered by vignette portraits of the proprietors, Will Parsons and F. E. Pool, the first page of this circular features five scenes from the story: the titular cabin, with a distant figure standing before it, portraits of Topsy with her banjo (captioned “Golly Ise so wicked”), “Eva & Uncle Tom,” and “Mark & his donkey,” and “The Escape of Eliza” through the dark woods. The final page shows the Tennessee Jubilee Singers, describing them as “The Finest Colored Singers In This Country. Introducing all the popular Negro melodies, besides their college glees. It is worth the price of admission to hear them sing.” Tickets ranged from twenty-five to fifty cents—“No Higher, No Extra.”

We find no examples of this circular in OCLC.

Item #8859

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