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MORDECAI MANUEL NOAH (1785-1851) Mr. Noah was born in Philadelphia, July 19, 1785, the son of Portuguese Jewish descent, it being stated by some sources that his father not only fought in the Revolutionary Army, but was a sufficient friend of George Washington to have the latter attend his wedding. In his early years, he was apprenticed, according to the custom of the day, to a carver and gilder, but he spent most of his evenings in the... more...

MRS. MERCY WARREN (1728-1814) Most of the literature—orations as well as broadsides—created in America under the heat of the Revolution, was of a strictly satirical character. Most of the Revolutionary ballads sung at the time were bitter with hatred against the Loyalist. When the conflict actually was in progress, the theatres that regaled the Colonists were closed, and an order from the Continental Congress declared that... more...

ROYALL TYLER (1757-1826) William Dunlap is considered the father of the American Theatre, and anyone who reads his history of the American Theatre will see how firmly founded are his claims to this title. But the first American play to be written by a native, and to gain the distinction of anything like a "run" is "The Contrast," by Royall Tyler. Unfortunately for us, the three hundred page manuscript of Tyler's "Life," which is in possession... more...

MAJOR ROBERT ROGERS (1727-1795) Robert Rogers, a soldier of fortune, is the Davy Crockett of Colonial times. Born at Dumbarton, New Hampshire, on November 17th (some authorities say 1730, another 1731, while the Dictionary of National Biography says 1727), he was the son of James Rogers, a farmer living in a frontier cabin at Methuen, in upper Massachusetts. Robert's boyhood was spent in an atmosphere characteristic of pioneer life. He had... more...

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF GENERAL WORKS A large bibliography of standard works on the American Theatre was given in Volume I of the present collection. A very few of the titles have been repeated here, with the additional inclusion of books which will present the essential spirit of modern American playwriting. Some of these works mentioned contain further bibliographies, and these will enable the student to go as far in the field as desired. There are... more...