Northwestern

Aldridge Collection Edit

Summary

Identifier
MS 4

Dates

  • 1846-1959 (Creation)
  • 1846-1959 (Creation)

Extents

  • 5.00 Boxes (Whole)

Names

Subjects

Notes

  • 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.

  • Biographical 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.

  • 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

  • Scope and Contents

    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.

Components