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    Description

    Jeanie Gourlay Struthers Archive of Seven Autograph Letters, most signed in full, various sizes (5" x 6.5" to 7.5" x 11"), places (mostly Milford, Pennsylvania) and dates. Struthers was the actress in Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre on the night of Lincoln's assassination. This archive is comprised of the following: one letter to Frank Queen of the New York Clipper, 1867, advising where to forward letters and reporting that "business is very fine" (mounting traces, faults, but very early); four to collector A.E. Fostell, 1908-1909, commenting on Our American Cousin (". . . there was a mistake in the Washington bill. I am down as Mary Trenchard, it should have been Mary Meredith. I saw the piece last winter with Southern. In my time it was change of scene, while now it is one act set, which made a great difference in my part and also in Asa Trechard's"); advising that he get O.H. Oldroyd's book about the Lincoln assassination; reminiscing about "the Marsh troupe of children", playing Australia in the early 1860s, offering family photos to copy, and stating that she has "one of the original [Ford's Theatre] playbills but will not part with it" while offering a souvenir copy sent her by Oldroyd; the last discusses ". . . why I do not give for money what I know about the assassination. . . . Money is always acceptable, but the notoriety I do not like. An actress always likes praise and notice for parts well rendered, otherwise we don't want to get into the papers, at least that is my view"; two to a would-be historian of Ford's Theatre, Mr. Mudd, 1914-1916, the earlier suggesting he get pictures from Fostell and pointing out that "W.J. Ferguson was the call boy of the theatre, but also played parts. His name was in the bill that night to play Lieut. Vernon therefore it is useless for him to deny the fact", and commenting on David Belasco; the later mentioning that she granted an interview to the Philadelphia Public Ledger because "it was time I should give to the public my experience of the night [of] April 14, 1865" and that it brought many letters from old friends including Helen Truman, "which proves . . . I am not the only one living woman. Have you a list of the [cast] members you know have passed away, and have you...a picture of Mr. Hawk, if not I could lend you one . . . . W.J. Ferguson is still . . . living . . . has been corresponding all along with Harry Hawk in England." Together with a 5" x 6.5" autograph note signed, n.p., n.d., mentioning Oldroyd's book; a typed statement of her experience on the assassination night (not signed, but bearing her name in an unknown hand); an autograph letter signed by her brother Thomas D. Gourlay, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1909, rather testily refusing to write out a copy of a letter for Fostell as the original "has a money valuation"; and a small, mounted copy print (ca. 1909) of a vignetted bust portrait of Gourlay as a young woman. All have been well-kept and are fine.

    Provenance
    : Fostell; Charles Hamilton Galleries, New York, 31 July 1969.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 777

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