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date: 15 October 2019

Howard, George Cunnibell locked

  • Sandra Jean Graham

Extract

(b Halifax, NS, Canada, 1815; d Cambridge, MA, Jan 19, 1887). Actor and impresario of Canadian birth. An 1842 theatrical engagement in Boston united him with 13-year-old Caroline Emily Fox (1829–1908); they married in 1844. Fox had a family act with her brothers George L., James A., Henry N., and Charles K., which Howard later managed. Howard asked Fox’s cousin George L. Aiken (1830–76) to write the first dramatization of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which debuted at the Troy (NY) Museum on 27 September 1852 and toured until 1857. The cast was a three-generation family affair: Howard as St. Clare; Mrs. Howard as Topsy (in blackface); their 4-year-old daughter Cordelia (1848–1941) as Little Eva; Mrs. E. Fox (Caroline’s mother) as Aunt Ophelia; George Fox as Phineas Fletcher; Charles K. Fox as Gumption Cute; and Aiken doubling as George Harris and George Shelby. Howard wrote several songs for the play, including Mrs. Howard’s hit “Oh! I’se So Wicked.” Although Cordelia Howard retired at age 12 and the extended Fox family eventually dispersed, the Howards devoted their careers to the play. In ...

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