This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 the most interesting scenes occurs in Blanche of Brandywine (1858) by J. G. Burnett, in which Howe deliberately puts himself in Washington's power in order, apparently, to offer him a dukedom. After refusing in terms which are refreshingly human, considering the usual vocabulary allotted to the Father of his Country in literature, Washington calmly lets his antagonist depart in peace. Patriotism must have covered a multitude of sins in this class of drama, for it otherwise is difficult to explain the success of John Burk's Bunker Hill (1797), hard to recognize as the work of the author of Joan D'arc. Dunlap's Glory of Columbia is not bad, and such a play as Love in 1876 (1857) by Oliver Bunce must have given a good opportunity for a clever actress. Leaving the Revolution, we find the troubles with the Barbary States celebrated in eight plays, beginning with Mrs. Rowson's Slaves in Algiers (1794), which is made a vehicle to express abolition sentiments in general. The War of 1812 was reflected in such popular plays as She would be a soldier of Noah (1819), and R. P. Smith's The eighth of January (1829), and The triumph at Plattsburg (1830). As an illustration of the quick reflection of events upon the stage we find a statement in Durang1 that on 8 December, 1812, there came news of the capture of the Macedonian by the United States and that on I December a patriotic sketch entitled The return from a Cruise was performed at the Chestnut Street Theatre, in Philadelphia, including a part for Captain Decatur. Almost as prompt had been the dramatization of the victory of the Constitution over the Guerriere. The fight occurred on 31 August, 1812. On 9 September, William Dunlap's Yankee Chronology was played in New York, while on 28 September, the opening night, a play was on the stage in both Boston and Philadelphia. Clapp tells us2 that “in the early days of the theatre, every public event of sufficient importance was immediately dramatized, and during the progress of the war, the spirit was kept up by the frequent production of pieces in honour of our naval victories.” The Mexican War furnished its quota of plays, none, however, of special significance. Nor was the ready appeal to the
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.