Saturday 19 May 2012

May 19, 1876

There were just three items of note in the Hamilton Spectator of May 19, 1876.
The first was a follow up question concerning the family of the executed killer of Nelson Mills, Michael McConnell:
“ Shortly after the execution of Michael McConnell there was considerable talk about providing some assistance to his widow and children, who were represented to be in deep distress, and it was rumoured that a subscription list was being circulated for that purpose. We have been informed that no aid has been given to the family as yet. Was the subscription list a failure, or what has become of it?”
The second noteworthy article was a review of the world famous actor/comedian Sothern who had appeared in the Hamilton the night before:
“A very large audience greeted the celebrated actor, Mr. E. A. Sothern, at Mechanics’ Hall last night. The play of David Garrick has been presented in Hamilton on former occasions, but with the initial character personated by Mr. Sothern, it was a new revelation last night. The part is one which requires talent of a versatile order, combining in it, as it does, several different styles of acting. It would be needless to speak of Mr. Sothern’s representation of the comedy parts, in these he could scarcely have a superior; in the declamatory and pathetic portions, although scarcely equal to his comedy, he displayed an ability which proves that in these he would have shone as conspicuously as in comedy, had he applied himself to their cultivation. As a delineation of the character of David Garrick, the whole part was a complete success. The intoxication scene was an excellent piece of acting, in fact there was nothing to indicate that the inebriety was not real instead of simulated. It is understood that Mr. Sothern may pay this city another visit some time during the present year, and whenever such a visit is possible for him, he will be certain of a hearty welcome. Might we suggest that a little less applause than that of last night would be welcome both to the actors and the thinking portion of the audience. Some of Mr. Sothern’s finest touches were utterly lost night, owing to the exuberant enthusiasm of the audience. “

Finally, the summer concert series of the Thirteenth Battalion Band was underway:
“The first of the series of XIIIth Band concerts took place last evening. There were a great many present, taking into consideration that Sothern was at the Mechanics’ Hall. The programme was very well selected, and the played in the 13th’s usual style under the baton of Mr. Robinson. The Overture to William Tell was especially very good, and the Vocal Lancers were played in excellent time. These concerts will undoubtedly become as popular as they deserve to be.”

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