UTC
The Washington Post
Unsigned Notice
Washington, D.C.: 24 March 1895

THE FIRST BLACK FACE

Origin and Development of Negro Minstrelsy in America.

THE OLD PLANTATION SONGS

Interesting Data Collected by the Celebrated minstrel Comedian, George Christy, Concerning His Calling

  Mrs. Edwina Forrest Fair, a daughter of the famous George Christy, who established negro minstrelsy in New York in 1847, chatted with me the other day very entertainingly regarding her father's career. She gave me his old scrapbook to refer to and several excellent photographs and some old-fashioned engravings.

  It seems so long since the days of the Christy minstrels that I rather expected to see an older looking woman than George Christy's daughter appears to be. She is an enthusiast over her father's memory. She has another sister living and also a brother, George Harrington, who, instead of perpetuating the family trade mark, has been known chiefly through his "beefsteak dinners" at the old Morgue Club. . . .

  "Another friend of [my father], my brother tells me, was Theodore Thomas, who used to black up and do 'nigger business.'

  "And why not? Didn't Edwin Booth try it. It was a pity that my father did not live to make a great name as an actor in white, for he was considered a remarkable low comedian. In burlesque he used to sustain from one to half a dozen characters in a piece, and exhibit wonderful versatility. He made a great hit with his Topsy in a burletta on 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' He had a singularly sweet singing voice, and as a dancer he had few equals. He was also a contortionist, and seemed blessed with every physical possibility.