Theatre in the Antebellum South, Volume 2 by Philip G. Hill

By Philip G. Hill

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Caldwell, notwithstanding, seceded from his duty to the Public, and his obligation to his employer on the second night of the representation of King Henry 8th. The very act of seceding from his duty, was a positive violation of his contract, independent of an express regulation of the Theatre, which for such an offence, gives the Manager the power of dismissing the Performer so offending. Without enforcing such regulations, how is it possible for a Manager to fulfill his duty to the Public? No man, I believe, feels that duty more strongly than myself; but a moment's reflection must produce the conviction, that unless a Manager possess the power to make Performers amenable to the rules of his Theatre, he must necessarily be unable to perform his duty to the Public.

The riot upon which the symposium focused was the culmination of a series of events stretching over many months. Joseph George Holman, manager of the Charleston Theatre, had brought James H. Caldwell from England to Charleston for what proved to be the start of a long American career. Within a few months, however, Caldwell and Holman quarreled, and eventually Caldwell resorted to the local newspapers to lay his case before the public. Caldwell was young, handsome, and popular, whereas Holman was imperious and distant, and the public rallied to Caldwell's cause.

All the after communications were verbal. I disgress to state this word verbal has been an unfortunate one for me; however, experientis docet, and I hope the ultimate will prove cheaply tooto that note Mr. H. verbally replied, he would in one week accede to the proposal contained in it. (I hope Mr. ) Now, altho' Mr. H. was "extremely anxious" to receive this proposal from me. Altho' he offered in the presence of a few friends, his noble blood, high elated with ripe Champaigne, to give me a check for $1000, if I would only make this proposal to him; and, anticipating the terms of my proposal, unhesitatingly asserting and declaring he would acceed to it instantly.

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