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[227] stage limited to martial themes. We find the Anti-Masonic agitation represented in such a play as Captain Morgan or the Conspiracy Unveiled (1827), while toward the close of our period the adventures of Walker in Nicaragua, the Mormon emigration, and the California gold fever find dramatic expression. Most important, of course, was the great question of abolition, reflected in the run of G. L. Aiken's version of Uncle Tom's Cabin, which was first acted at the Museum in Troy, New York, in September, 1852, and after long runs there and elsewhere was performed almost nightly in New York City from 18 July, 1853, to 19 April, 1854. Though it was not the first1 stage version it distanced all others as to popularity. It follows the book quite closely in its language but is melodramatic in the extreme and is really a succession of scenes rather than a play. The same criticism may be applied to Mrs. Savage's Osawattomie Brown, which placed on the stage of the Bowery Theatre on 16 December, 1859, a dramatic account of the raid of I November.

The line is not easy to draw between these patriotic spectacles, dealing with events that have now become historic, and the comedies which reflected contemporary manners and customs. Both tend to become melodrama, and it would be fruitless to classify rigidly the large number of melodramatic comedies that are recorded as having had their day on the stage. Among plays of which record of performance has been kept, about four hundred in number, the largest group would be that of comedy, and it was from this group that the most significant plays from the point of view of stage development evolved.

In our first comedy, The contrast, Tyler developed the stage Yankee in Jonathan, and though J. Robinson's Yorker's Stratagem (1792) and Barker's Tears and Smiles (1807) contain Yankee characters, it was not till The forest Rose, by Samuel Woodworth, was placed on the stage in 1825 that a Yankee character was developed which permanently held the boards. The part of Jonathan Plowboy was played afterward by Henry Placide, G. H. Hill, Joshua Silsbee, and others. In the preface2 to the play it is stated that Silsbee played Jonathan for

1 See Brown, T. A., History of the New York stage, 1903, vol. I, pp. 312-319, for an interesting account of the different dramatizations of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

2 Woodworth, S., The forest Rose, Boston, 1854. For Woodworth, see also Book II, Chaps. v and VI.

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