Thomas Dartmouth Rice: The Original Jim Crow

In 1837, after 11 years spent pursuing his composing career in Europe, Anthony Philip Heinrich returned to the United States. He tracked down his 20 year old daughter Antonia in New York City — he hadn’t seen her since she was an infant, as explained in 1837: A Year in Classical Music, vol. 4. There was a popular entertainer working theaters at the time name Thomas Dartmouth Rice. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of 1837: A Year in Classical Music, vol. 4:

“One New York performer who was doing very well at the time was named Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He put on blackface and did a minstrel show at New York’s Bowery Theater. The songs he sang portrayed dimwitted Southern slaves, and were enormously popular with the Yankees. The stage name Rice used for these minstrel shows was Jim Crow.”

This entry was posted in 1837 blog, Topics in History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply