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MM 4 1 PAGE SEC DAILY EAST OREGONIAN, PENDLETON, OREGON, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1908. SIXTEEN PAGES. History of the Jefferson- Family The Jeffersons and The Rivals are so losiMy associated that he who would write "a history of one must write the l'istorv nf tV. -. The i y Itself. It was in August, 1774, that Richard Brinsley Sheridan, then a hoy in his twenty-third year, was commissioned by the manager of the famous old Cover.t Garden theatre in London to write a comedy. With the exception of a very few minor scenes, young Sheridan had no idea whatever as to what should constitute the comedy. Despite his youth, "he was a writer of Considerable note, and, confident of his ability and strong in his hopes, he set to work. Early in December of the same year, he delivered to the Co vent Garden theatre manager the manuscript of The Rivals. A masterpiece of comedy had been born and wonderful was the career that awaited it, a career that would have been lost to the world but for the per' sistence of its boyish author. First Time Failed. The play was immediately put Into rehearsal and on Jan. 17th, 1775, it was produced for the first time on any stage. It was a dismal failure; a failure because of the wretched performance of the actor to whom was allotted the role of Sir Lucius O'Trigger. His performance was so bad, and it marred the work of the other artists to such an extent, that the play was almost hooted from the stage on the Opening night. Young Sheridan had faith in his play and insisted upon its being pre sented the second night. It was pre sented and failing again, was then withdrawn. The author took his manu script, made several minor chances. secured another actor to portray Sir Lucius O'Trigger and prepared to try again. A Dramatic Triumph. The play, which had received the widest notoriety on account of its first night's fiasco, was again presented. The audience assembled at the theatre with the one idea of hooting the play from the stage. But nothing of the kind occurred. This night, the genius of voung Sheridan was to be vindicated. The new actor,- in the part of Sir Lucius, had fully grasped all the deli cacies of the role and added suih finesse and artistic atmosphere to the entire performance that the audience sat spell-bound. They left extolling its merits and the talent of him who had cre.ited it. The play became a fad. The best people of London became enamored of it to such an extent that it was not long until the fame of the play had reached the ears of the king. The royal family witnessed the pro duction and with the approval of royalty, The Rivals soon developed Into the most astounding comedy Success that London had ever known. Sheridan's fame was established and In The Rivals one finds that indesfrib sble something that is a combination of boyish charm, youthful under standing, boyhood philosophy, and a knowledge of life that is totally different from that exploited by the writers whose vouth, with its optimism, is lost to them, and upon whom the pessim ism of age is steadily encroaching. A Jefferson Enters. In 1774, while Sheridan was working on the manuscript of The Rivals, Thomas Jefferson, an actor who was born in 1746 and who was the first of the distinguished family to adopt -a stage career, became a member of the company then under the manage ment of David Garrick, who was, at that time, considered the greatest actor of his day. Mr. Jefferson was essentially a come dian, and about this time Garrick, who had a fondness for the heavier styles of playing, decided to refrain from appearing in any comedies. This was the opportunity for Jefferson, who at once assumed the principal comedy roles in all of the David Garrick pro ductions. It was about 1779 that Garrick produced The Rivals for the first time. Of course it was only natural that Garrick's principal comedian should be allotted the part of Bob Acres. Here it was that the combination of a Jefferson portraying the part of "Fight ing Bob' began and ever since that of all that talented family of Thespians, the Moved actor whose name has been vntU:; on even' heart. Joseph Jeliersun the third (repte anting the fourth generation), was born in Philadelphia on Feb. 20th. 1S29, and at the early age of three years, made his theatrical debut. His first appearance on the stage was a very unexpected affair, so far as the audience was concerned. He first really began in what was then the rage, Living Statues. The boy witnessed many of these entertain ments, and won a juvenile reputation for himself for his imitations of these statues. In fact, young Jefferson was imitating everything and everybody that came to his notice. Genius began to show its presence early in Joseph Jeffer son, the third. MimiciJT. D. Rice. It happened that eventually the boy saw T. D. Rice, a popular per former of that period, who was creating a furore as a burnt cork comedian. Mr. Rice's performance was filled with little mannerisms capable of imitation and to the surprise of everyone, our Joseph Jefferson then only three vears old began giving Imitations of Mr. Rice that were scream- nglv funny. Kice himself saw them and The Jeffcrcon Favorite. During the many years that Mr. Jefferson wus before the public, al though he was well known for his rendition of several other parts, Uiat of Boh Acres was always his favorite. He claimed be found more pleasure in portraying Bob than any other char acter in his entire repertoire'. He played It more than one thousand times and in each performance, found something of new interest. When Mr. Jefferson and W. J. Florence formed their famous com bination, Mr Florence found in the part of Sir Lucius just as many things to interest him as Mr. Jefferson founds in Bob. The Boys Follow. And now comes the most peculiar coincidence of the entire romance of The Rivals and the Jeffersons. Two of Mr. Jefferson's sons, Joseph and William, each considered the play the finest example of theatrical litera ture in existence They have never abandoned this idea, and even to-day, either of these two young actors ad vance argument after argument in support of their contention. When , Jefferson and Florence were at the height of their fame, the two young Jeffersons never missed a pro duction of the old play. Joseph, the waxed enthusiastic. Much to the boy s ' euer Df the two, from the time he was delight. Rice helped him to perfect his j a boy had but one ambition, the one imitations, and it was but a few weeks dens to plav the part of Sir Lucius until this mere baby could accomplish j O'Trigger in his father's company. nearly every move made by Rice him- The youn(Ter son had just as great , . .. ... 'ambition, only his dream was to live Rice suggested the idea of having out aRain the i,fe o( Bob AcreSi as his me fjuv api-eur on vac aiagc wuu nun ancestors, for generations back, had ana tne iatner, realizing uiai tne ; ijved jt out for tnc d Thespian mantle was to fall upon the shoulders of his son, interposed no j objection and the stage career of i Joseph Jefferson, the third, began. Thrown on Stage. j delight of thousands. Joe Realizes Ambition. After Mr.. Florence died, young Joe Jefferson was chosen to succeed him as Sir Lucius. He claimed at that time, that his life's ambition had been It had not been publicly announced j realized for. At List, he w:s Uir Lu.-ins that voung Jefferson would appear with How thoroughly artistic was his Mr. Rice, and only a few of the actors fal performance can .be attested by themselves knew that the boy was to ! lhe tremendous ovation he received appear. 1 hose who did, however, were j on hjs tlrst appearand. Both press thrown into consternation when Rice, I ani public, the country over, had in grotesque make-up, and carrying I been fairly imbued with the idea that his old carpet bag. appeared on the sir Lucius O'Trigger had virtually stage without the bov. I died with Mr. Florence. How erroneous Rice began his performance as usual was tW8 jdea can t,e appreciated when and after about three minutes, opened j the vounger Jefferson fairlv electrified the carpet bag to get, as he stated, his i the theatre-going world with his per- handkerchief. Then came a gasp of feigned surprise and after a severe shaking of the bag, out rolled young Joe Jefferson, m The audience fairly shrieked its approval. It may be said with all truth that the greatest actor America has ever known was fairly thrown on the stage. formance of that role in his father' company. Critics attended the first night to ridicule the young Jeffersui, to kill him by comparisons of his work with that of Florence. Nothing awful hap pened Those who were prepared to belittle the efforts of the young player Rice recognized in the boy a worthy j changed their ridicule to praise and' he rival, for his work that evening was as clear cut, as distinct, as much imbued with personality, as that of any pro fessional could have been. Appears in Chicago. In 1838, the boy's father, after negotiations with the manager of a theatre in Chicago, then a town with a population of a little more than 20O0, journeyed to the city for which such a brilliant history was just be ginning. With him, over that memorable journey by canal and on horseback, he took his son, the family paying for their passage by giving a number of entertainments on the old, slow moving boat, the proceeds of which went to the captain. In Chicago, the children were given every advantage possible at that time. The father, with his great fondness for drawing and painting, instilled his knowledge into the mind of his son, but always the longing for the stage was uppermost in the boy's mind. As Legitimate Actor. During the awkward age, from 12 to 15, young Jefferson appeared but seldom. In the meantime, the first theatre in Chicago burned and on its site was erected a more modern play house. Is was in this temple of amusement that our Joseph Jefferson, whose name is reverenced throughout all stageland, first appeared as a legitimate actor. It was in Chicago, too, that he was eiven the treasured manuscript of The Rivals, which the father had brought from England. The boy had often heard his father talk of the possibilities of the part of Bob Acres and he remembered that his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, had all achieved success in the role. Then came the idea to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors the ambition to again give the world another Jefferson as Bob Acres. Carefully he read the play and learned, with something akin to abso lute horror, that it was almost totally memorable night that combination has i unfit for modern presentation. continued. A Joseph Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson, the first, died In 1807, leaving behind him a wife and two sons, the elder of whom was called Joseph. He was lorn in 1774. As a young man, Joseph evinced a de cided talent for the stage, and in 17'Jo, in a very mediocre company, he por trayed Bob Acres in one of the small English cities. He appeared in the part for several performances and then, for some reason which is now unknown, abandoned the play. Comes to America He came to America in 1797, bringing with him a carefully constructed prompt-book of The Rivals. This he never personally used in America, yet he treasured it and gave it to his son, who was born in 1804. This young man was also named ioseph after his father. This makes im Joseph Jefferson the second al though he represented the third genera tion concerned in this narrative. This young man, at a very early age, showed a decided talent for paint ing. This talent vas fostered by his parents, and it was not until he was nearly twenty years of age that the family trait asserted itself in a yearning for the stage. Throughout his entire life, he nevev abandoned his first love, painting. He was a distinguished artist and some of th? most precious heirlooms now in the possession of the Jefferson family are specimens of the artistic handiwork of J'fseyh Jefferson, the second. While still a voung man, he married Miss Cornelia f ranees Thompson, at that time the most noted singer in America. There were four children born of this union, two of whom died in infancy. The other two were Joseph Jefferson, the third, our Joe Jefferson, and Cornelia Jefferson. The Great Jefferson. We are now down to our own dear When Sheridan wrote the play per formances began at 5.30 and (i o'clock in the evening and lasted until mid night. Long talky scenes were, at that time, prevailing marks of dramatic construction. It was on these anti quated lines that Sheridan had con structed The Rivals. The original ending of the comedy was not in ac cord with modern ideas, so young Jefferson set to work to revise the play and make it conform to the demands o' the modern audiences. The Graceful Epilogue. With him, this work was a labor of love. Carefully he did his work and won derfully well, too. The abrupt ending of the old play he changed and, thanks to his effort. The Rivals can now boast of a graceful and beautiful epilogue. The All Star Cast. This version Mr. Jefferson used for upward of fifteen years, during which time the possibilities of the role of Bob appealed to him to such an extent that he was continually making minor improvements, and studying out and planning a generally reconstructed version. About twenty years ago, Mr. Jeffer son finally completed a manuscript of The Rivals. In it, he had eliminated every talky scene and every super fluous word. He gave the play its most delightful ending, and it was this version that he used during the remain der of his life, and which he handed down to his son and namesake, Joseph Jefferson, the fourth. It was this version that the famous all star cast used during their memor able tour of this country in 1800. This company, composed of Joseph Jefferson, Nat Goodwin, Wm. H. Crane, 'rands Wils m, Joseph and E. M. Hol land, Kobert J aber, .Mrs. John IJrew Julia Marlowe, and Fannie Kice was it must be admitted, the greatest com pany that ever appeared in any one play and the full value of Mr. Jeffer son's version of The Rivals was ia Old Joseph Jefferson, the bm known I emy way worthy u kbiUty was unanimously pronounced a dis tinguished success. Once again The Rivals had changed ridicule to praise, as it had done away back there in Engl. mil, more than a century before. As long as the elder Jefferson ap;eared upon the stage, his son was prominent in his support and naught but praise has been showered upon his efforts. Willie Jefferson's Daring. Meanwhile the younger son, Wil liam, was begging for the opportunity to play Bob Acres, his father's role. He knew every line, every gesture, of the entire play. He had faith in his ability and his father shared it with him. In 1S98, when the father was ap pearing in Pittsburg, Pa., Willie went to visit him. That trip to the Smokv City is an epoch in the boy's life. The father was taken suddenly ill. It was impossible for the old gentleman to appear that evening, and, with every seat in the house sold, disaster seemed imminent. Willie begged for the opportunity to play the part; to take the place of him who stood foremost on the American stage. It was the height of daring, but finally the father, believ .ng in his boy, and his boy's faith, ;onsented that Willie should appear as Bob. A Pronounced Success. What dreams were his that night Willie Jefferson alone can tell. He dressed for the part, and, with a vast audience waiting there to see the great Joe Jefferson (for the substitution was not announced), he stepped out upon the stage as Bob Acres. For him, too, ambition had been realized. So masterly was his performance; so accurate was it in every detail; so closely did it resemble the work of the elder Jefferson; that few in the audience were aware that a change had been made. Voice, eyes, gesture, every movement of the body, were identically the same. The long years of waiting and patient study had borne fruit. The next day the change was an nounced to the Pittsburg papers and with one voice, the critics sounded the praise of another Jefferson. Willie Jefferson, playing in his father's very shoes, had jumjied into fame. Another Jefferson had been given to the world. So faithful was his performance that from that night until dear old Joe Jefferson closed his eyes forever, Willie always went with his father's company as his father's understudy. A Strange Contrast. Heredity, strange law that governs so much in this universe of ours, has played a wonderful part in the life story of the Jeffersons. But the story is not yet complete, for, aside from this handing down of talent from father to son, of the passing of the play from generation to generation, there is another side, a side as intensely in teresting, if not even more so, than that which has been related.! The elder Jefferson was possessed of what might be called a dual per sonality. To his intimate friends, he was more like a grown up schoolboy than anything else. Always fond of a practical joke and with a. merry greeting and a joyful demeanor, he was the embodiment of all that one would expect of the world's greatest comedian. ' To the stranger he would casually meet, he was the dignified and sincere gentleman, straightforward in all of his business dealings, and always possessing an attitude that demanded respect. In Other Ways In a professional way, he likewise possessed a dual personality. In pre- fiaring for the presentation of a play, le would cold-bloodedly figure out every possibility. He was a thorough master of every bit of dramatic tech nique. He knew what was possible and how to obtain it and it was this sort of careful preparation that made him famous. Q On the other hai., when occasion demanded it he was the personifi cation of spontaneity. Almost uncon sciously, he could grasp the possibilities Of a situation and extract fiora it ths comedy element. This is, beyond a doubt, a wonderful talent, permitting, as it does, its possessor to do what he wants to do in arT almost unconscious manner. The possession of this dual per sonality stamped Joseph Jefferson as a genius. He possessed those three greatest things an actor can hope to attain: a thorough knowledge of all that can be attained in theatricals: a knowledge of just how they could be attained, ana the power of in stantaneously grasping a situation in order that none of the comedy points be lost The Young Joe Jefferson. These different talents are the price less heirlooms of the sons, and to one has been given that which was denied the other. Joseph has a most brilliant under standing of the technique of the drama. In this line, he was always a most pro found student, and in it, he was greatly helped by his father. YVhen the old gentleman was work ing on a play, young Joe was his con stant companion. It was nothing else than this close study of his father's methods that perfected him in his knowledge of theatricals and the drama. The elder Jefferson, too, was a most astute business man always upright in his dealings, never making a bar gain unless it was entirely satisfactory to him, but, once that bargain was made, fulfilling it to the letter and de manding as much of him with whom it had been made. Young Joseph inherited too, this talent, and although business docs not appeal strongly to him, when he does enter its realm, he is keen, shrewd and his father over again. Genial Willie Jefferson. The younger son, Willie, is the personification of the characteristics of the father that were best known to the intimate friends of the loved actor. In the language of the day, if there was ever a little imp of merriment mischievous and prankish full of effervescent humor and an uncontroll able and gigantic fondness for practical jokes and good fellowship, it is Willie. In a professional way, he is bubbling over with merriment and can grasp the comedy situations in an instant, Yet, when he endeavors to arrange thing? beforehand, to map out a campaig., j to be strictly followed, his plans al-' ways fail. , j Willie Jefferson is spontaniety it- j self, l lis methods of procedure during a performance are totally different from that of his brother, yet his results are as eminently satisfactory. Favored of Providence. For business, he has not the slight est desire and to enjoy himself is his delight. After his work, .a the theatre is done, and for a goodly portion of his time before it has commenced again, his entire idea of his private life is to enjoy himself to the absolute limit. Willie Jefferson is one of those lucky individuals whose geniality, whole souledness and absiHute loveableness, seems to have won the gods themselves, and Providence takes forethought for his welfare. Every business venture in which he embarks seems to turn out success fully and Joe insists that if Willie fell down in a well, Willie would probably find a half-peck or so of lost diamonds at the bottom. Willie Jefferson is the hannv-co. lucky side of his father, with all of the illustrious sire s catch-as-catch-can methods, while Joe is the busi ness man, the artist, the planner, and the possessor of the father's marvelous knowledge of technique. These are the mental legacies inherited by the young men, men whose place on the stage is already amply secured and whose names will be long remembered. The Physical Resemblance. The physical resemblance of these two boys to their father is marked. Features are absolutely the same and one who has looked into the face of the lamentexl Joseph Jefferson sees the dear old features again in the faces of the boys. In the atteorapsnying profile pictures of the father and his sons, this resem blance is easily sequ. In the center is the father. Before htM W Joseph Jefferson, his elder son and on other side is his younger boy, Willf All that is kn the face of the father is found in the fact of the one boy or the other. Did one not know that these pictures had been made from three photographs, taken from life, it would be easy to believe that some artist, studying the two boys, had drawn a composite picture for that central figure. In Joe, there is less of the humor and the twinkle of the eyes which were so characteristic of his father. In Willie Jefferson, this is found to a marked degree, and though the years have not yet been sufficient to work the familiar wrinkles about the face, one knows of a certainty that will come there. f In Willie, there is less of the sterner sides of the father, and this, in its turn, is found more fully develop ed in Joe. It is a fascinating study this study of portraits, with its contrasts and resemblances, its likenesses and its opposites. The more one studies that picture the more there is that he sees hidden there. "I Am a Jefferson." This, in brief isf the wonderful life story of the Jeffersons. This is a little insight into the romance of The Rivals and the jeffersons and the more one thinks over the story, the more wonder ful it becomes. A play and the names of the players inseparably connected for 133 years! Five generations of actors in one fam ily! That in itself is a wonderful record, and yet, how doubly wonderful is it when one remembers that each repre sentative of each generation has ap peared in the same role. Each father has, in turn, handed down to the son a priceless legacy of talents, genius and a knowledge of technique of the drama, linen has handed down likewise, his own prompt book of that master piece, The Rivals. The first Jefferson he with whom we began the story away back there in 1774, walked penniless into London and the second and third generation found it necessary to act as a means of livelihood. The fourth generation was more favored with the goods of this world and the elder Jefferson, at the time of his death, left a goodly fortune. This the lxys among whom are Toe and Willie have all turned to - . IF M . eood account, xei one ana an insist Mm Oregon Theatre Mr. Mitchell takes pleasure in announcing Joseph and William W. JEFFERSON and Jan exceptionally talented company in Richard Brinsley Sheridans' classical comedy THE- RIVALS Sunday, October 4 New Oregon Theatre TONIGHT Georgia Harper in ) "All the Comforts of the Home' Prices 50c and 25c, on sale at Pendleton Drug Co. Orpheum Theatre J. P. MEDRNACH, Proprietor Change of Program Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Absolutely New Pictures. Johnson's Orchestra will Play Even ngs. j Best Picture Machine Made. SHOWS AFTERNOONS AND EVENINGS. Adults 10c, Children 6"to 10 years 5c, Children under 6 years, free. See the Twin-Dime Across the Street. THE NEW DIMB Moving Pictures Like Life Entire change of Program- every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Absolutely'fire-proof'and the best ventilated theatre in the ci.ty. A Better Show at the Same Price ADULTS 0c CHILDREN 5c that the most valued leracy left them ts the fact that they can look the world in the face and say proudly and in ail mkfulnM. "I am Itfaiaoa.!! CAKKLESSNKSS IS HKSrONSIUMO for the soiling of many nice dress and other garments, but llttlo satis faction can be obtained from the cul prits. You can, however, have the satisfaction of having your clothing carefully cleaned so they will look like new at Sullivan's dying and cleaning establishment. When spots cannot be removed, our skill and ex perience enables us to dye the gar ment a darker lilinde of most pleiislng effectiveness. ssasamau'wuey bt -s . CifygSteam Dye Works Phone Main 169. Its E. Alts ?l COPVftlOHT. A ..e I