"From: ""George R. Gibson""
Subject: A Ferguson teaching Dan Emmett to play banjo.
"Hans Nathan's book, Dan"
"Emmett and the Rise of Negro Minstrelsy, has a reference to a Ferguson"
"in Western Virginia in 1840. The quote is in Chapter 7, and is as follows: ""The"
Cincinnati Circus Company was started in the spring of 1840 ... We opened in
"Cincinnati soon after our arrival, and spent the season of 1840 traveling in"
"Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and Kentucky ... [Emmett] during the season of 1840, was"
"a member of our orchestra, and while we were traveling in Western Virginia found"
"a banjo player by the name of Ferguson ... Emmett wanted us to engage him, but"
my partners objected to increasing our expenses. We were only giving an
"afternoon performance that day, on account of a long route ahead; the wagons"
"were about starting, when Emmett ran up shouting: 'Ferguson willwork on"
"canvas, and play the banjo, for ten dollars a month.' I answered, 'Tell him to"
"jump ona wagon,' which he did, and when we reached Lexington, Kentucky, in"
the fall ... Ferguson was the greatest card we had ... During this season Emmett
"learned to play banjo ..."""
"Dan Emmett, of course, was"
"perhaps the most famous of the blackface minstrels - he wrote, among other"
"songs,Dixie, which became the anthem of the South during the Civil War. I"
"know this is a stretch, but I wouldlike to know if Ferguson genealogists"
have any information about banjoplaying circus performer. I am a
researcher working on American banjo history.
George R.