HENRIETTA VINTON DAVIS.


The following item on Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis is from The Denver Star, Volume 26, Number 114, November 27, 1915

New York Audience Gives Noted Dramatic Reader Great Ovation

Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis was given a royal reception at Beth. Tphillah Fourth Moravian church the latter part of October, when she appeared in Shakespearean readings and electrified and charmed a large and appreciative audience by her splendid interpretation and rendering of the lines of the immortal bard. In scenes from “Macbeth,” “Richard III.,” “Romeo and Juliet/’ she follows to the letter Hamlet’s advice to the players, speaking “the speech trippingly on the tongue.” and as she proceeds we see Macbeth or mad Richard III. or the loving Romeo and Juliet as we imagine Shakespeare saw them after he had created them. It is difficult to say in which role Miss Davis excels, the humorous or the dramatic, for in response to an encore she gave in her most inimitable way a selection (humorous) from Dunbar, “Mammy’s Li’l Baby Boy/’ which completely convulsed the audience with applause. It was so perfectly natural and realistic one could almost hear •‘mammy’s Li’l baby boy” squall—a sort of black squall. When Miss Davis left the platform after this number had been given the audience lay back and roared its delight. The sexton of the church on the following day swept up nearly a dustpan full of buttons which Miss Davis’ contagious humor had burst from the garments of some of her pleased hearers. Professor Freeman of the Choral society and a number of his scholars furnished an excellent musical program.

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A scene from the play Christophe by William Edgar Easton

Reception to Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis


In the Evening Critic of April 24, 1883 is an article describing an appearance of Henrietta Vinton Davis at the home of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia, D.C. Her performance described below is followed by that of her teacher Marguerite Saxton.

The Evening critic. [volume], April 24, 1883, Page 1, Image 1

Hon. Frederick Douglass invited a few friends last evening to his residence in Uniontown to meet Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis, the young colored lady who is to make her debut in dramatic recitals on Wednesday evening, 25th instant, at Marini’s Hall.

Miss Davis recited very effectively scenes from “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It,” “Briar Rose” (a poem of great dramatic power by Bjornson), “Awfully Lovely Philosophy” and “Dancing at the Flat Creek Quarters.” Mr. Douglass, than whom there is no better judge, made a speech of congratulation, and predicted a successful future for Miss Davis.

Miss Marguerite E. Saxton, the preceptress of Miss Davis, upon a request from Mr. Douglass, gave a scene from “MacBeth,” and recited “Drifting.” Miss Saxton is so well and favorably known that the appearance of her pupil will be one of the events of the season.

Lynching of Elizabeth Lawrence, July 5, 1933, Birmingham, Alabama


From The Omaha guide. [volume] (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, July 22, 1933 via Chronicling America

Negro Boy Tells Of Lynching Of Mother

News of the lynching of a Negro woman, near Birmingham, three weeks ago, was brought here today by the son of the woman murdered, Alexander Lawrence Who narrowly escaped death at the hands of the same mob.

About three weeks ago according to the story told by the International Labor Defense by Lawrence, his mother, Elizabeth Lawrence, living about five miles from Birmingham was walking along a road when a crowd of young children threw stones and dirt at her. She scolded them severely, but did not touch them.

That night, she was murdered and her home burned down by a mob. Alexander was away at the time, and when he returned, he made a report to the county police. The only result was the reformation of the same mob which threatened to lynch him. He escaped, and fled north to Boston.

The International Labor Defense has set machinery in motion for an investigation of this lynching from its Birmingham office.