George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 February 1797]

6. Fine Rain most part of the day. Wind So. Wt. Mer: 48. Went to the Play of Columbus in the evening.

Columbus; or a World Discovered, a historical play, was presented at the New Theatre at six o’clock this evening “by particular desire.” Also on the bill was a farce called Barnaby Brittle; or a Wife at Her Wit’s End. The production of Columbus was an unusually ambitious one. The theater had been closed for several days before the first performance on 30 Jan., “on account of the extensive preparations” necessary for the new scenery, machinery, and decorations. Included in the production were a representation of a storm, an earthquake, a volcano eruption, and “a procession of indians and the first Landing of columbus” (Gaz. of the U.S. [Philadelphia], 23 Jan. and 6 Feb. 1797).

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