Smith, William Henry Sedley (1806-1872) Archive of Correspondence, Ephemera, and Other Material. Including approximately seventy autograph letters signed from family members, theatre contacts, and other professional connections (some addressed to a Mr. Price), i.e., Junius Brutus Booth (1796-1852); Nathaniel Prentice Banks (1816-1894); Edwin Forrest (1806-1872); Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891); George Vandenoff; George Frederick Cooke; Charles Mathews the elder; Fanny Kelly; Michael Kelly; Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873); Frederick Reynolds (1833-1915); and others; [along with] approximately sixty carte-de-visites of actors, musicians, and performers, some signed [and] approximately fifty cabinet cards of the same, some signed; and other notes and clippings, including a lock of hair. Sedley Smith (1806-1872) was a British actor, author, and stage manager who first appeared in the United States at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 1827. He was both actor and stage manager at the California Theatre in San Francisco, and many of the photographs in this archive depict 19th century California performers. (2 boxes)
The P.T. Barnum letter is especially interesting, he writes concerning Sedley Smith's "great moral drama, entitled 'The Drunkard.'" Barnum notes the success of the play in Philadelphia, and writes because he wishes to back a New York production of the show at his "Lecture Room" venue.
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