Campbell’s Minstrels – Opening Night

Event Information

Campbell’s Minstrel Hall

Proprietor / Lessee:
M. C. Campbell [minstrel]

Price: $.25; .50 orchestra seats; $2 private boxes

Event Type:
Minstrel, Orchestral

Record Information


Last Updated:
6 May 2011

Performance Date(s) and Time(s)

27 Jun 1864, 8:00 PM
28 Jun 1864, 8:00 PM
29 Jun 1864, 8:00 PM
30 Jun 1864, 8:00 PM
01 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM
02 Jul 1864, 8:00 PM

Program Details

Frank Leslie, stage manager.

Part I - Adolph Nichols: Grand Instrumental Overture (orchestra)
Gounod: Faust opening chorus (company) [minstrel version: Campbell’s]
[Isaacs; Million:] “When the moon with glory brightens” (new) (Gould)
“When Johnny comes marching home” (Davis)
“Our good old friends” (Scott)
[Gilmore:] “Seeing Nelly home” (Campbell)
[Warden:] “Tapioca” (new) (Budworth)
[Harvey; Richardson:] “No one to love” (Leslie)
Finale - “See, Sir, See” (Scott and company)
Part II - “Why did you go away” (McCaire)
Ballad, “Thou art so near and yet so far” (Leslie) [Reichardt: Du bist mir nah und doch so fern]
“Springfield mountain boys” (with 1,273 original verses) (Budworth, Davis, Gulick, Hodgkins)
“Robin Ruff / Robin Ruff and Gaffer Green” - vocal duet (Leslie and Scott)
Strange scenes from The Stranger (an original travestie) (Davis, Whiting)
“Two effeminate children, The” (Gould and Leslie)
The African Apollo (as illustrated by Scott)
Banjo solo [unidentified] (original) (Budworth)
Unoterpsichoreanclogpedality clog dance (as illustrated by Collins)
“Magic echo” - cornet solo (Bailey)
Lebanon Shakers, The (Davis, McCaire, Whiting, Scott, Leslie)
“Rock me to sleep, Mother” - guitar solo, with variations (Gould)
Scenes in an apple orchard (Budworth and McCaire)
“Uncle Sam” - song and dance (Whiting)
Part III - Dan Emmett: “U. S. G.,” (plantation scene) (entire troupe)

Performers and/or Works Performed

aka Grand instrumental overture
Composer(s): Nichols [minstrel-vn]
Composer(s): Isaacs
Text Author: Million
Participants:  Napoleon W. Gould
Composer(s): Gilmore
Participants:  Ned [Campbell's] Davis
aka My good old friends
Composer(s): Winner
Participants:  Ainsley Scott
Composer(s): Gilmore
Text Author: Gilmore
aka When I used to work
Composer(s): Warden [composer]
Participants:  William S. Budworth
Composer(s): Harvey
Text Author: Richardson
Participants:  Frank [minstrel] Leslie
aka Thou art so near and yet so far ; Beloved star; Thou art so near
Composer(s): Reichardt [composer]
Text Author: Oxenford
Participants:  Frank [minstrel] Leslie
aka African Apollos
Participants:  Ainsley Scott
aka Exempt Shaking Quakers; Exempt Shakers from Lebanon Town; Lebanon Shakers, The ; Shaking Quakers
aka U. S. Grant; USG; plantation festival scene; US Grant; Ulysses S. Grant
Composer(s): Emmett
Text Author: Emmett
Participants:  Campbell's Minstrels


Advertisement: New York Clipper, 04 June 1864, 64.
Announces opening as “on or about” June 10.
Advertisement: New York Herald, 05 June 1864.
Announces Opening Night as June 20.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 11 June 1864.
“Frank Leslie, of Bryant’s Minstrels, has been engaged for the stage department with M.C. Campbell’s Minstrels.”
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 11 June 1864.
Announces opening night as June 20.
Announcement: New York Herald, 13 June 1864.
Long article, with detailed description of Campbell’s New Minstrel Hall.
Announcement: New York Clipper, 18 June 1864, 78.

Advertisement: New York Clipper, 18 June 1864.
Announces opening night as June 20.  “Frank Leslie, stage manager.”
Advertisement: New York Herald, 26 June 1864.
Large ad (including program) and a series of small ads with individual instruments/talents.  “Ned Davis produces all his new puns, oddities, funny sayings. . . . Frank Leslie sings his beautiful ballads.”
Advertisement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 26 June 1864, 8.

Announces the opening of the hall. 

COMMENT: This is the only ad for a minstrel show in the German papers.
Announcement: New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung und Herold, 27 June 1864, 8.

Announcement: New York Clipper, 02 July 1864, 94.
“M.C. Campbell, the manager of the troupe, is an original Campbell, having been in the professions many years, travelling [sic] with various bands as performer, and finally coming out as a prominent manager.”
Announcement: New York Clipper, 02 July 1864, 94.
Long article with a description of the new venue, a list of the members of the company, and a full program for the first evening’s performance.  Campbell’s Minstrel Hall was “erected on the site of Hoym’s Dutch Theatre, Nos. 199 and 201 Bowery, opposite Spring street.  The lot of ground is two hundred and nine feet deep, by fifty front, on the Bowery, and forty feet back, is one hundred and three feet wide.  The Hall is circular in form, and has a parquet and dress circle, and four private boxes.  The dress circle will seat 300 persons and the parquet 700, in all 1000 persons, with standing room and room for camp stools for at least 300 more. . . . Francisco Eben . . . Grand Instrumental Overture (composed by Adolph Nicols) . . . ‘Robin Ruff’”
Advertisement: New York Clipper, 02 July 1864, 95.

Review: New York Clipper, 09 July 1864, 102.
“The attendance on the opening night was immense, if not immenser, the Hall being crowded in every part, and hundreds turned away unable to obtain even a sight of the stage. . . . The company engaged by Mr. Campbell is composed of some good artists.  The instrumental music is not very good, but the vocal music makes up for the shortcomings of ye disciples of cat-gut and brass instruments.  The first part of the programme was decidedly the best of the entertainment.  The singing was good, the quartette being very fine, each artist’s voice blending together in harmony, and creating melody most dulcet.  The opening chorus from ‘Faust’ was well executed.  Mr. Ainsley Scott sang ‘Our good old friend’ with much sweetness.  He possesses a beautiful baritone voice, and always holds his audience spell bound; but although an excellent singer, he makes none of the best of middle men.  W.S. Budworth and Ned Davis are on the end.  Of the abilities of both of them we have previously spoken in the Clipper.  Budworth sang “Tapioca” in the first part, and was encored.  Mr. Leslie sang “No One to Love” very sentimentally.  About one of the best things of the evening was the vocal duett of ‘Robin Ruff and Gaffer Green,’ by Leslie and Scott. . . . Master Lewis [sic] executed a clog dance very cleverly.  He does not execute many steps, but what he does are good.  Taken altogether, the performance was a long one, and we hope that Campbell’s Minstrels will become as popular on the East side of the town as Wood’s and Bryant’s Minstrels are on Broadway.”