Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

I bought this CDV assuming that it was some unidentified Irish or minstrel dancer. (The seller thought he was a toreador.) It turns out the dancer is none other than Sam Hague, the notorious manager of Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels, allegedly the first all-black professional minstrel troupe (which toured Britain right after the Civil War).

Views: 115

Comment by Strumelia on June 24, 2015 at 7:37pm

Is there anything on the back?

Tap shoes?   Was Sam known to dance, or play music?

Comment by Bob Sayers on June 24, 2015 at 7:46pm

Nothing on the back, sadly.  Hague started out in Britain as a minstrel jig dancer, I believe.  I don't know if he played any instrument.  Tony Thomas might know.  But he's the one who capitalized on the idea of taking a group of freed slaves (as well as other African American performers, including Thomas Dilward aka "Japanese Tommy") overseas around 1866.  

Comment by Don Meade on May 5, 2016 at 9:26pm
Hague was a clog dancer, one of the best. Starting in the 1840's with Fred Wilson, English wooden-shoe dancers began displacing "jig" dancers in American minstrel and variety theaters. Hague partnered Tim Haye and Dick Sands, two other renowned cloggers, before transitioning to management. After touring as co-manager of a minstrel troupe, he briefly retired from the stage to open a bar in Utica. An all-black minstrel troupe visited, and Hague took it over and launched a tour of England, where he found that an integrated cast proved a better draw.

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