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    Civil War Era Theater. 1861 Boston Museum Playbill for The Octoroon. 4.75" x 17.25" playbill for the three Christmas Day, December 25, 1861 performances of this popular melodrama concerning Southern plantation life and a romantic relationship between a white man (George Payton) and a women (Zoe) who is one-eighth black. The playbill was printed in Boston by F.A. Searle. The playbill has shadows of glue residue at the top and bottom corners without affecting text.

    "The Octoroon," was written by Irish actor, playwright, manager Dion Boucicault (circa 1820-1890). This antebellum melodrama was second only to "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in popularity during second half of the nineteenth century. In England, the play was given a happy ending for the mixed-race couple. In the United States, the play ends with Zoe's death in order to avoid shocking American audiences with an interracial marriage. The Ford's Theatre playbill for the performance of "Our American Cousin" on Friday, April 14, 1865, the night President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth, included an announcement that "The Octoroon" would be performed the next evening, April 15. The play, of course, was cancelled for obvious reasons.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
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