Guide to the Aldridge Collection

Collection Title: Aldridge Collection
Dates: 1846-1959
Bulk Dates: 1846-1959
Identification: MS 4
Creator: Scobie, Edward
Extent: 5 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: The Aldridge Collection consists of materials relating to 19th century African-American tragedian Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1967) and his children, mainly his daughter Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge, known as Amanda Ira Aldridge (1866-1956) who composed under the pseudonym Montague Ring. Included in the collection are correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, musical manuscripts and scores, personal and legal documents, articles, and memorabilia.
Acquisition Information: Most of the original Aldridge materials were received from Edward Scobie. Photocopies of documents and correspondence which comprise the later additions were gifts of Owen Mortimer. Both are noted Aldridge scholars.
Processing Information: Processed by Sigrid Pohl Perry in September 1982; revised in February 1993, January 1999, September 2001, April 2004; encoded version revised in March 2006.
Conditions Governing Use: Copyright for materials resides with the literary executors of individual letters and documents. All users must comply with federal copyright regulations.
Conditions Governing Access: Available for research.
Preferred Citation: Aldridge Collection, Manuscript Series IV, Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University Library
Repository: Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/spec
Email: special.collections@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3635

Biographical/Historical Information

Ira Frederick Aldridge was born in New York City on July 24, 1807, to Reverend Daniel and Luranah Aldridge. He received his education at New York's African Free School and the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Although he performed in amateur productions in New York, his performance did not receive notice until he debuted as the first black actor at Royal Coburg Theatre, London on October 10, 1825 in the role of Prince Oroonoko of Africa. He toured in the British Isles and the European continent, receiving special acclaim in Poland and Russia; one of his most frequent roles was Othello. In 1825 Aldridge married Margaret Gill of England; after her death in 1864 he married Countess Amanda von Brandt of Sweden. His grown children included Ira Daniel Aldridge, teacher of languages; Ira Frederick Olaff Aldridge, musician and composer; Irene Luranah Pauline Aldridge, opera singer; and Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge, known as Amanda Ira Aldridge (1866-1956), teacher and composer under the name of Montague Ring. Aldridge became a naturalized British subject in 1863. He died August 7, 1867 while on a theatrical tour of Poland, and was buried in Lodz, Poland on August 9, 1867.

Scope and Content

The Aldridge Collection consists of materials relating to 19th century African-American tragedian Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1967) and his children, mainly his daughter Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge, known as Amanda Ira Aldridge (1866-1956), who composed under the pseudonym Montague Ring. Materials related to Ira Aldridge include transcriptions of letters, honors and citations, copies of legal documents, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Amanda Ira Aldridge materials include correspondence, musical manuscripts and scores, and an autobiographical statement. This collection also contains articles about Ira Aldridge and his theatrical career by Edward Scobie and Owen Mortimer.

Subjects

Personal Name

Aldridge, Ira Frederick, -1867

Andrews, Cyril Bruyn, 1885-

Dalrymple, Vivian

Hayes, Roland, 1887-1977

Kovačević, Mihailo, 1891-1961

Lindfors, Bernth

Mortimer, Owen

Ring, Montague

Scobie, Edward

Subjects

African American actors


Container List / Contents

  • Ira Aldridge material
    • Ira Aldridge materialBox 1, Folder 1
      • Correspondence (13pp.)Box 1, Folder 1, Item 1
      • Ira Aldridge – typescripts transcribed from letters (8)Box 1, Folder 1, Item 2
      • Annie Binn to AldridgeBox 1, Folder 1, Item 3
      • Mr. & Mrs. Dease (dinner invitation)Box 1, Folder 1, Item 4
      • Rosa Hennebert to AldridgeBox 1, Folder 1, Item 5
      • R.H. Gibbons & Co. To AldridgeBox 1, Folder 1, Item 6
    • Ira Aldridge materialBox 1, Folder 2
      • Honors and citations (9pp.)Box 1, Folder 2, Item 1
      • Hapsburg Court, 1853. Kazan, 1865.Box 1, Folder 2, Item 2
      • St. Petersburg. Czar Alexander Nicoliav, January 9, 1859Box 1, Folder 2, Item 3
    • Ira Aldridge materialBox 1, Folder 3
      • Documents (copies)Box 1, Folder 3, Item 1
      • Marriage certificates (2pp.) - Aldridge & Margaret Gill, 1825; Aldridge & Countess Amanda Von Brandt, 1865Box 1, Folder 3, Item 2
      • Verification of birth & death of Rachael Margaret Frederika Aldridge (1p.)Box 1, Folder 3, Item 3
      • Deaths of Ira Aldridge's parents (4pp.) Lurana Aldridge, 1817; Daniel Aldridge, 1840Box 1, Folder 3, Item 4
      • Death certificates (9pp.) Margaret Aldridge, 1864; Amanda Aldridge, 1915; Lurana Aldridge, 1932; Ira Aldridge (Polish and English), August 8, 1867Box 1, Folder 3, Item 5
      • Memorial by Ira Aldridge for certificate of naturalization in England, 1863 (4pp.)Box 1, Folder 3, Item 6
    • Performance place-list (1p. holograph)Box 1, Folder 4
    • Contemporary newspaper clippings (16pp.)Box 1, Folder 5
    • Ira Aldridge materialBox 1, Folder 6
      • Posthumous newspaper clippings (31pp.); copies of clippings on Aldridge's death (7pp.)Box 1, Folder 6, Item 1
      • Photocopy of photo of the restored gravesite for Ira Aldridge in Lodz, Poland.Box 1, Folder 6, Item 2
    • Belt used by Aldridge as OthelloBox 1, Folder 7
    • Ira Aldridge materialBox 1, Folder 8
      • Photographs (24pp.) Aldridge in various roles (21); Roscius; Othello (signed lithograph)Box 1, Folder 8, Item 1
      • Photographs (24pp.) Ira Aldridge (mounted; retouched)Box 1, Folder 8, Item 2
    • Tintype photo of Ira F. And Ira D. AldridgeBox 1, Folder 9
    • Constitution for Poland and Russia, , inscribed to Aldridge (29pp.), 1863Box 1, Folder 10
    • Property deeds (2)Box 1, Folder 11
    • Personal estate materials: will in Vivian Dalrymple's handwriting; letter to Mrs. Aldridge from S. May (4pp.); insurance policies (10pp. oversize)Box 1, Folder 12
    • Letters to Mrs. Aldridge (4pp.); A. Boeker; H. Reeck (?)Box 1, Folder 13
    • Ira Aldridge miscellaneous clippings and photograph (19pp.)Box 1, Folder 14
    • Facsimile score, , composed by Amanda Ira Aldridge; also published as .Box 1, Folder 15
    • Amanda Aldridge's scrapbook with photographs, etc. re: Ira Aldridge (44pp.)Box 2, Folder 1
    • Cyril B. Andrews, “Black Ebony” manuscript (151pp.)Box 2, Folder 2
    • Cyril B. Andrews, “Ira Aldridge: the African Roscius” notes and mss. with Ida Shepley's magazine article (15pp.)Box 2, Folder 3
    • Ira Aldridge organizations; Charlotte Marshall “In Memorium” (3pp.)Box 2, Folder 4
    • Owen Mortimer, “Mr. Aldridge of the Theatre…;” with notes (34pp.)Box 2, Folder 5
    • Edward Scobie's notes from interviews with Aldridge family (171pp.)Box 2, Folder 6
    • Aldridge articles (see box 4 for additional articles)Box 2, Folder 7
      • Dr. McCune Smith, typescript of Anglo-African Magazine article (11pp.)Box 2, Folder 7, Item 1
      • Owen Mortimer, “Ira Aldridge, Shakespearean Actor,” Crisis (17pp.), April, 1955Box 2, Folder 7, Item 2
      • Stanislaw Dabrowski, “Othello on the Lodz Stage in the 19th Century,” (excerpts; 3pp.), 1947-1948Box 2, Folder 7, Item 3
      • Eugene Szwankowski, “Ira Aldridge in Poland,” (2pp.), 1953Box 2, Folder 7, Item 4
      • Dr. Bernth Lindfors, “Ira Aldridge: Shakespearean Tragedian” (7pp.)Box 2, Folder 7, Item 5
      • Miscellaneous brief articles and clippings re: Aldridge (4pp.)Box 2, Folder 7, Item 6
  • Materials on Slavery
    • Bills (2) on the registry and manumission of slaves (20pp.)Box 2, Folder 8
    • MiscellaneousBox 2, Folder 9
      • George III. Act to prevent slave importation (2pp.)Box 2, Folder 9, Item 1
      • The Pictorial Times (1p.), 1846Box 2, Folder 9, Item 2
    • (9 issues, 64pp.)Box 2, Folder 10
    • Miscellaneous correspondence re: Ira Aldridge and Amanda Aldridge (copies, 5pp.)Box 2, Folder 11
  • Amanda Aldridge materials
    • Programs, reviews, clippings; autobiographical statement in Amanda's hand (34pp.)Box 3, Folder 1
    • Portrait of Amanda Aldridge by Nellie M.H. Edmunds (1p.)Box 3, Folder 2
    • PhotographsBox 3, Folder 3
    • PhotographsBox 3, Folder 4
    • PhotographsBox 3, Folder 5
    • Obituary; posthumous article; prayerbook used at Amanda's burial (13pp.)Box 3, Folder 6
    • Clippings and reviews of Amanda's students; advertisement for Amanda's teaching with list of her pupils (26pp.)Box 3, Folder 7
    • Jenny Lind material (49pp.)Box 3, Folder 8
    • Articles on the death of Dr. Phillips (2pp.)Box 3, Folder 9
    • Amanda's Schumann songbook (104pp.)Box 3, Folder 10
    • S. De Mensenkamp –signed photo (1p.)Box 3, Folder 11
    • Fred Aldridge material (6pp.) Includes copy of the score for Luranah by Ira F. Aldridge.Box 3, Folder 12
    • Luranah Aldridge material (74pp.)Box 3, Folder 13
    • Montague Ring (pseud.) piano-vocal scores, programs (48pp.)Box 3, Folder 14
        Scope and Contents: The Bride, 1910; Mirette, serenade, 1934; Supplication, 1914; Blue Days of June, 1915; Little Rose in My Hair, 1917; At Cupid's Ball, 1923; Summah Is de Lovin' Time, 1925.
    • MSSBox 3, Folder 15
      • Carl Henschel, Lullaby autograph mss. (4pp.)Box 3, Folder 15, Item 1
      • M.B. Bridgetower, Diatonica Harmonica mss. (5pp.)Box 3, Folder 15, Item 2
  • Correspondence
    • Amanda Aldridge to Cyril B. Andrews, (5pp.), 1940Box 4, Folder 1
    • Amanda Aldridge with Vivian Dalrymple, (6pp.), 1950-1952Box 4, Folder 2
    • Amanda Aldridge with Vivian Dalrymple, (20pp.), 1953Box 4, Folder 3
    • Amanda Aldridge with Vivian Dalrymple, (47pp.), Jan - June, 1954Box 4, Folder 4
    • Amanda Aldridge with Vivian Dalrymple, (37pp.), July - Dec, 1954Box 4, Folder 5
    • Amanda Aldridge with Vivian Dalrymple, (20pp.), 1955Box 4, Folder 6
    • Amanda Aldridge correspondence from music publishers and admirers, (17pp.), 1901-1955Box 4, Folder 7
    • Marian Anderson to A. Aldridge, (11pp.), 1928-1931Box 4, Folder 8
    • Cyril B. Andrews correspondence, (35pp.), 1934-1949Box 4, Folder 9
    • Vivian DalrympleBox 4, Folder 10
      • Vivian Dalrymple to A. Aldridge, (8pp.), 1954Box 4, Folder 10, Item 1
      • Vivian Dalrymple with Gregory, Rowcliffe & Co., (3pp.), 1956Box 4, Folder 10, Item 2
    • Amanda Aldridge CorrespondenceBox 4, Folder 11
      • Vincent D'Indy to A. Aldridge, (1p.), n.d.Box 4, Folder 11, Item 1
      • Charlotte Marshall poem to “Miss Ira Aldridge” (1p.)Box 4, Folder 11, Item 2
    • Roland Hayes to A. Aldridge, (38pp.), 1919-1922Box 4, Folder 12
    • Michel KovatchevichBox 4, Folder 13
      • Michel Kovatchevitch corr., (8pp.), 1939-1954Box 4, Folder 13, Item 1
      • Letter to M.K. from A.A. (?) re: photograph sent by father at her birth, (2pp.), n.d.Box 4, Folder 13, Item 2
    • Michel Kovatchevitch and Vivian Dalrymple corr., (39pp.), 1956-1957Box 4, Folder 14
    • Owen Mortimer coresondenceBox 4, Folder 15
      • Owen Mortimer correspondence to A. Aldridge, (3pp.), 1953Box 4, Folder 15, Item 1
      • Owen Mortimer correspondence to Vivian Dalrymple, (2pp.), 1953Box 4, Folder 15, Item 2
      • Owen Mortimer correspondence to Edward Scobie, (2pp.), 1954Box 4, Folder 15, Item 3
      • Owen Mortimer correspondence with A. Aldridge, (48pp. copies), 1953-1955Box 4, Folder 15, Item 4
    • Paul Robeson correspondence with A. Aldridge, (2pp.), 1920s?Box 4, Folder 16
    • Arthur Schomberg correspondence, (17pp.), 1935-1938Box 4, Folder 17
    • Edward Scobie correspondence, (18pp.), 1951-1956Box 4, Folder 18
    • Mildred Stock correspondenceBox 4, Folder 19
      • Mildred Stock correspondence to A. Aldridge, (2pp.), 1953-1955Box 4, Folder 19, Item 1
      • Mildred Stock correspondence to to Edward Scobie, (18pp.), 1953-1956Box 4, Folder 19, Item 2
      • Mildred Stock correspondence to Owen Mortimer, (14pp. copies), 1955-1959Box 4, Folder 19, Item 3
    • R.H. Thomas correspondence re: Ira Aldridge, (1p.), 1934Box 4, Folder 20
    • Eva Wagner correspondence & photos sent to A. A., (7pp.), 1896-1897Box 4, Folder 21
    • Miscellaneous correspondence with Amanda Aldridge, (34pp.), 1888-1955Box 4, Folder 22
    • Owen Mortimer biography of Ira AldridgeBox 4, Folder 23
      • Press release for Speak of me as I Am: the Story of Ira AldridgeBox 4, Folder 23, Item 1
      • Press clippings re: Ira Aldridge's death (copies)Box 4, Folder 23, Item 2
      • Notes re: Aldridge researchBox 4, Folder 23, Item 3
      • Prospectus of Aldridge biography by MortimerBox 4, Folder 23, Item 4
      • Re: Owen Mortimer's biography: Speak of me as I Am: The Story of Ira Aldridge, photocopy, 22pp.Box 4, Folder 23, Item 5
      • Barry Smith, “Black Man on a White Stage,” review of Mortimer's biography, published in Our Alma Mater, Christmas, appended with notes by Mortimer, 1996Box 4, Folder 23, Item 6
    • Owen Mortimer articles (copies with signed presentations by Mortimer)Box 4, Folder 24
      • Owen Mortimer, “The Soviet Union Honors Ira Aldridge,” with note and copies of corr. by O.M., (11pp.), 1958, 1993Box 4, Folder 24, Item 1
      • O.M., “Research on Ira Aldridge: A Journey of Discovery in Theatre History,” 27pp., 1959Box 4, Folder 24, Item 2
      • O.M., “Now Join Our Hands: Ira Aldridge's Entreaty,” (16pp.), 1995Box 4, Folder 24, Item 3
      • O.M., trans., Uta Sadji, “Ira Aldridge - African Actor on German Stages,” Etudes Germano-Africaines, no. 91, pp. 91 - 95. (9pp. - 2 copies), 1991Box 4, Folder 24, Item 4
      • O.M., “Journey's End: Ira Aldridge and Poland,” (7pp.), 1996Box 4, Folder 24, Item 5
      • O.M., “Ira Aldridge, Knight of Saxony, (7pp.), 1807-1867, 1996Box 4, Folder 24, Item 6
      • O.M., “Theophile Gautier on Ira Aldridge, (8pp.), 1858, 1997Box 4, Folder 24, Item 7
    • Mortimer correspondence re: Aldridge articlesBox 4, Folder 25
      • Fountain Peyton to O.M., (1p.) with Fountain Peyton, “Ira Frederick Aldridge,” (13pp. copy), 1950, 1917Box 4, Folder 25, Item 1
      • Marie Trommer to O.M., (4pp.) with Marie Trommer, “Ira Aldridge, American Negro Tragedian and Taras Shevchenko, Poet of the Ukraine", 1952Box 4, Folder 25, Item 2
      • Marie Trommer to O.M., 1952 (4pp.) with Marie Trommer, “Ira Aldridge, Story of a Friendship,” 1939 (9pp. copy), 1952, 1939Box 4, Folder 25, Item 3
      • Owen Mortimer miscellaneous correspondence, copiesBox 4, Folder 25, Item 4
    • Bernth Lindfors, miscellaneous articles on AldridgeBox 4, Folder 26
      • “The Signifying Flunkey: Ira Aldridge as Mungo”, 1993Box 4, Folder 26, Item 1
      • “‘Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice’: New Biographical Information on Ira Aldridge”, 1994Box 4, Folder 26, Item 2
      • “Ira Aldridge, ‘The African Roscius’”, 1996Box 4, Folder 26, Item 3
      • “The Perils of Playing the Provinces,”, 1997Box 4, Folder 26, Item 4
    • Miscellaneous maps and photographsBox 5, Folder 1
      • Map with Aldridge tours marked; map of Russian EmpireBox 5, Folder 1, Item 1
      • 19 photographic reproductions of Aldridge, family membersBox 5, Folder 1, Item 2
      • 1 photographic reproduction of King Leopold of BelgiumBox 5, Folder 1, Item 3
    • Queen Victoria's African ActorBox 5, Folder 2
      • Owen Mortimer, "Queen Victoria's African Actor". Wangaratta, Victoria, (82pp.), 1999Box 5, Folder 2, Item 1
      • Dr. Gregory Haines, Book review of "Queen Victoria's African Actor" by Owen Mortimer, 3pp. (2 copies), with two letters from O.M. to R. Maylone, (4pp.), December, 1999Box 5, Folder 2, Item 2
    • UntitledBox 5, Folder 3
      • Press clippings, publicity cards and noticesBox 5, Folder 3, Item 1
      • O.M., “Research on Ira Aldridge: A Journey of Discovery in Theatre History,” Typescript photocopy, 1959Box 5, Folder 3, Item 2
          Scope and Contents: Includes copies of corr. Between O.M. and Mildred Stock, erratum by O.M., and prospectus of O.M.'s biography of Aldridge.
    • Owen Mortimer miscellaneousBox 5, Folder 4
      • Fact sheet on Ira Daniel Aldridge (2pp.)Box 5, Folder 4, Item 1
      • Printout from O.M. website on Ira Aldridge (4pp.)Box 5, Folder 4, Item 2
      • Owen Mortimer resumeBox 5, Folder 4, Item 3
      • List of photocopies given to McCormick Library of Special CollectionsBox 5, Folder 4, Item 4
      • Last will and testament of O.M., photocopy, 1999Box 5, Folder 4, Item 5
      • O.M., “Regarding Owen Mortimer's biography: "Speak of Me as I Am: The Story of Ira Aldridge”Box 5, Folder 4, Item 6
    • Robin Scott Peters. "The African Tragedian"., October 7, 2000Box 5, Folder 5
        Scope and Contents: Performed October 7, 2000, University of Hawaii at Manoa. (18pp. copy) With correspondence to and from Owen Mortimer (5pp. copies); publicity photograph, program, and copies of Peters' correspondence and reviews (3pp.)
    • Owen Mortimer miscellaneousBox 5, Folder 6
        Scope and Contents: Barry Smith, “Black Man on a White Stage,” review of Owen Mortimer's biography, "Speak of Me as I Am" (12pp.) ; Mortimer's correspondence with Barry (3pp.); Copy of correspondence with Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney (3pp. copy)
    • Ira Aldridge exhibit, Wangaratta City Library, Victoria, Australia, July 2000Box 5, Folder 7
        Scope and Contents: Photographs of exhibit (2) and photocopies of publicity (3pp.)