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EJP's New Orleans Google Map http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=202426891661796490166.0004998bf9253de0ef10d&z=16
EJP's Charleston Google map http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=202426891661796490166.000499abaac0b5ef84052&ll=32.778507,-79.930043&spn=0.012232,0.027788&t=h&z=16&layer=t

previous: Harrisburg, Pa, Jan. 1897  

Central Hotel
Charlotte, NC  
Feb 15th 1897

My dear daughter Neppie, 

I will now try to write to you a history of my proceeding since Providence.  We went to train after performance on Sat night -- reach NY after 7 AM.  I took a cab for DesBrosses ferry -- crossed to New Jersey in time to take 8:30 train for Phila, got there at 11:50.

John, Jack and Hattie took me to Broad St. [Philadelphia] station.  The train from New York was due there 6:47 -- Mr. Zack, our new business manager met me at the gate, and I left John, Jack and Hattie there, looking after me through the bars. 

Charlotte is a very pretty place, and I find myself in the hotel where Mr. Kirby died - and have talked with the colored boy who worked for him five or six years - He asked about Lizzie and Fannie.  I had no idea of coming to this house and finding it to be the hotel the Kirbys had lived in so long or finding anyone they knew. 

We start at 1:30 in the morning for Asheville NC -- get there 3 PM.  Next Morning start earlier for Knoxville  -- have a change of cars and get there late in the afternoon.  But Mr. Zack has told me that after that - the trips will not be so hard. 

They are as follows Knoxville, Tenn., 18th Chattanooga, 19th Birmingham, Ala 20th, Macon, Ga 21st Sunday, 22nd Savannah, Ga 23rd Charleston SC, 24th Augusta Ga, 25th & 26th Atlanta Ga, 27th Pensecola, Fla [sic], 28th New Orleans for a week.  March 8th Cincinnati Ohio, 15th Phila, 22nd Harlem.  This is all I know so far.  I have heard we go to Buffalo and Chicago again -- but not officially.  Guess we will close about 1st of May. 

I am now going to take a rest - have not had my clothes off for two nights and feel uncomfortable.  Love & Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Ted -  Your loving Mother 

I began to write Phillips. I am half asleep

Hotel Imperial 
Knoxville, Tenn. 
Feb 17th 1897 

My dear Son, 

Have had some heavy traveling and loss of sleep.  Left Asheville after performance last night at 1:30 AM.  Got here at 4:45 AM.  Went to bed soon as I got my room in the above hotel, and have remained there until 4:30.  Am now dressed & ready for supper. 

We leave after performance tonight at 4:30 in the morning.  Get to Chattanooga at 11.  Give a matinee at 2 and night performance.  Then leave for Birmingham, Ala but exactly when I cannot say - but the untimely hours and loss of sleep - and the extra matinee rung in on us.  

Saturday will be in Macon Ga., Savannah, Ga.  Tuesday Charleston, Wed Augusta, Ga., Pensecola, Florida and Sunday New Orleans, when we shall have a little breathing time for a week.  By that time hope to be able to tell you where we go after that - but at present it is doubtful.   Love and Kisses my dear children three to you all from your loving Mother   

St Charles Hotel 
Charleston SC 
Feb 23rd 1897 

My dear Son, 

Left Savannah this morning at 5:50, reached here about 11.  A lovely day, just warm enough to enjoy walking.  I went out to the Battery -  rode out in street car and walked back - the sea breezes felt lovely.  

We leave at 7 in the morning for Augusta. Play a mat[inee] and night there and then to Atlanta for two nights - on Saturday night Pensacola - Monday 1st of March New Orleans where the long season of Gay Parisians closes Sat night March 6th.

Such was the order of Chas Frohman put up on call board last Evening.  It was rather a surprise, for we had been told we were to play in Cin'ti, Phila and Harlem after leaving New Orleans - but Charles has changed his mind and we go straight through to New York, or where we want to go.  I shall go to Phil[adelphia] to mend my clothes and get rid of my clothes and trunks. 

We left Mr. [W.R.] Shirley ill in Savannah - was not able to play last night and may not join us again until we reach Atlanta on Thursday.  I am sleepy and am going to take a little snooze before going to shop, so excuse a short letter this time.  Love and Kisses to you all from your loving Mother    

EJP's Charleston Google map http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=202426891661796490166.000499abaac0b5ef84052&ll=32.778507,-79.930043&spn=0.012232,0.027788&t=h&z=16&layer=t

Charleston Bibliography
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston,_South_Carolina#Museums.2C_historical_sites_and_other_attractions
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Charleston,_South_Carolina#Postbellum:_1865_-_1945

Hotel Aragon 
"Open all year" 
Cable address "Aragon Atlanta" 
Atlanta, Ga. 
Friday Feby 1897 

My dear Son, 

Played last night to a good house.  Play this afternoon and tonight - and leave very early in the morning for Pensacola Florida.  Play there tomorrow night and Sunday push on to New Orleans where we are to open on Sunday night.  

This has been a most trying two weeks I have ever gone through in travelling, and I do not think I could stand another two like them.  I look for pretty hard work and discomfort in New Orleans next week.  The crowds will be annoying and the accommodations very scarce and expensive, but I hope to pull through. 

They are sending some of the Co home to New York by boat - a five days ride, but Mr. Zack has said he will try and send me by rail - and I hope he will be successful.  I do not care for boating in March on the Atlantic Coast.  I hope to reach Phila by Wednesday 10th of March.  And Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie & Teddie darling from their loving Mother 

Mother and I were both excited to find that EJ Phillips had been to Pensacola, Florida, where grandson Ted ended up after going to Annapolis, serving in the Navy and marrying Em Turner Merritt.  Albert happily spent a number of years living down the street from them, fishing in Pensacola Bay and gardening, though Neppie spent most summers in Middletown (and most of 1938 for which we have Albert's letters recounting what was happening in her absence).   

Atlanta Constitution Feb 24  1897 The attraction at the Grand Thursday and Friday will be "The Gay Parisians," with the original company which was seen for 200 consecutive nights at Hoyt's theater, New York, followed by long runs in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Manager Charles Frohman sends here also the entire original scenery used in the New York...Feb 25  An amusing farce is to be seen at the Grand tonight and Friday. It is "The Gay Parisians," a comedy which Manager Charles Frohman has presented with great success in New York, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia, with probably one of the most excellent companies that has been seen in farce for many years. Feb 26 The patrons of the Grand were treated to a clever farce comedy production last night in "The Gay Parisians." All the parts were well cast and the play was one of the most amusing seen here this season.

Atlanta Bibliography

Aragon Hotel Postcard  http://www.oldplaces.org/vintage_images/ga_atlanta_2.html
Atlanta Constitution, Proquest 1868-1945
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Atlanta#Post_Reconstruction_to_Present

EJ Phillips has connections with New Orleans in the  1870s through Ben DeBar and Lawrence Barrett.

1044 Carondelet Street 
New Orleans La 
March 2nd 1897

My dear Son, 

I was so tired on reaching here Sunday Morning and playing Sunday night that I had to put off writing until today.  Great time of Mardi Gras is in full blast and processions and Balls & are all that people are thinking about.  We have had two big houses, but the fun ends tonight and the Fast begins tomorrow.  Then we may not do as well. 

I have had very hard work for the past two weeks, but this week will not be so hard, only two Matinees, and no travel.  We leave Sunday Morning and are due in Phila & New York Tuesday Morning,  thus ending the long run of Gay Parisians.  I feel that I need a rest and am not sorry -- much as I dislike to lose my salary. 

I have not any news and may not write again until I reach Phila.  I am so tired.  Love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Ted and yourself from your loving  Mother

next: Recalled from retirement 1898

After John Nickinson died in 1864 EJ Phillips was for some years a member of the famous stock company Ben DeBar  [History of the American Stage} at St. Louis. She went from St. Louis to New Orleans to play old lady parts at the Varieties Theatre, the leading stock theatre at New Orleans, under the management of Lawrence Barrett (1838-1891).  

Ben DeBar (1812-1877) had been "stage manager for Noah Ludlow and Sol Smith at the St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans, when they retired in 1843 he assumed management of their  New Orleans and St. Louis  theatres.   St. Charles Theatre, New Orleans, LA http://cinematreasures.org/theater/3200/  First opened 1830s, burned 1842. Rebuilt a year later, burned 1899.

This 1897 trip to New Orleans seems to have been her first for many decades. Carondelet Street is about 8 blocks from the Mississippi, and considerably south of the French Quarter.  The Gay Parisians appeared at the Varieties Theater, on Canal Street, which would seem to be the same one Lawrence Barrett managed in the 1870s.  

EJP's New Orleans Google Map http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=202426891661796490166.0004998bf9253de0ef10d&z=16

New Orleans Bibliography
Times Picayune New Orleans Readex 1848-1900
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_Orleans#The_Civil_War
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_New_Orleans#Late_19th_Century:_Reconstruction_and_Conflicts

St. Charles Theater Stock Company, New Orleans North American Theater Online http://asp6new.alexanderstreet.com/atho/atho.detail.companies.aspx?companycode=org0007233  Ben DeBar 1853-1878

Last revised Nov 26, 2014

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