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[220] unimportant. This period is noteworthy also for the beginning of organized dramatic criticism in New York in the work of a group headed by Peter Irving and Charles Adams, who met after the play, wrote critiques in common, and secured their publication.

The next period begins naturally with the work of James N. Barker of Philadelphia and John Howard Payne of New York. Barker's first play, Tears and Smiles, was produced in 1807. This comedy continued the representation of contemporary manners started in The contrast and reflected also the reproduction of recent events in the reference to the Tripoli pirates. In his dramatization of historical American life in The Indian Princess (1808), probably the first dramatic version of the Pocahontas story, and Superstition (1824), whose motif was the witchcraft delusion in New England, Barker represents the American playwright working with native material. Even in Marmion (1812) he put in King James's mouth a ringing speech which, while seeming to apply to Scottish conditions, actually reflected the feeling of America toward England in 1812. Marmion was played as late as 1848. Payne, unlike Barker, represents foreign influence. From 1806 when his Julia, or The Wanderer, was acted in New York, his dramatic work consisted largely of adaptation from English, French, and German sources. His complete bibliography1 records sixty-four plays, of which nineteen were published. His most significant work was done in the field of tragedy, such as his Brutus, first played in London in 1818, or in comedy like Charles II, first performed in London in 1824, while the bulk of his work is composed of melodrama or farce. It was in his opera of Clari (1823) that the song Home sweet home was first sung. Payne's achievement can hardly be properly rated until it is ascertained how much of his work is original, and so far as his treatment of native material goes, he is not so significant as lesser dramatists such as M. M. Noah, who made a brave attempt to dramatize American history in She would be a soldier (1819) and Marion (1821). She would be a soldier was based on the battle of Chippewa in 1812. It proved popular; Forrest acted the Indian Chief in 1826, and it was repeated as late as 1848.

1 See Bibliography.

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