Item #80459 Histories of Metamora. John Augustus STONE.

Histories of Metamora

Item #80459

[STONE, John Augustus]. Histories of Metamora, the Last of the Wampanoags, and Nick of the Woods, the Wandering Demon of the Forest. Phila.: Turner & Fisher, 1844. 1st ed. 36pp. Portrait frontis, titlepage vignette, illus. Orig. pictorial wrappers. Wrappers starting, light scattered foxing, else a very good. First edition. Very rare. Worldcat locates three copies. No copy has been offered in the trade since 1936. Illustrated. A novelization of Stone's play Metamora: The Last of the Wampanoags; An Indian Tragedy in Five Acts. (See Weglin, p. 174.) The play was the result of a contest begun by the actor Edwin Forrest who, on 28 November 1828, offered a prize of $500 for the best original play, and met such criteria as, "a tragedy, in five acts, of which the hero, or principal character, shall be an aboriginal of this country." Forrest was searching for a vehicle for his own strengths to boost his career. The submission from actor and playwright John Augustus Stone-Metamora, or the Last of the Wampanoags-took the prize. The selection committee for Forrest's the competition was William Cullen Bryant, Fitz-Greene Halleck, James Lawson, William Leggett, Prosper M. Wetmore, and J. G. Brooks. All were closely associated with the New York journalistic scene and, like Forrest, ardent supporters of General Jackson. The play opened on 15 December 1829 and was an instant hit. The play was produced across the country. Stone, however, saw almost nothing from the play. When Stone died, Forrest placed a monument on his grave that read: "To the Memory of John Augustus Stone, Author of Metamora, by His Friend Edwin Forrest." Metamora has been called the major Indian play of the nineteenth century and a significant script because of its association with and importance to the career of Edwin Forrest, that giant of the early American stage. Metamora's character was inspired by New England chief, MetacometTEVE1337 or King Philip, who was famous for attacking the English in 1675-1676. In 1671 the English settlers grew suspicious of Metacom, demanding that the tribe surrender their guns. Finally in 1675 when three Wampanoag's were tried and executed for the murder of another Native American, who had been acting as an informer for the settlers, Metacom led a bloody uprising. This marked the last major attempt by the Indians to drive out the New Eng.

Price: $2,500.00

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