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Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918)


The petite, always youthful, comedienne Maggie Mitchell began her stage career with walk-on roles while still a child. At the age of twenty-one, she had an extended engagement in Cleveland that precipitated a “Maggie Mitchell craze” in that city and led to her first starring tour of the regional theaters. Mitchell did not achieve national celebrity, however, until 1861, when she appeared in the title role of Fanchon, the Cricket—a light, sentimental comedy adapted from a story by George Sand. Her sprightly performance captivated audiences and critics alike and brought her overnight stardom. Mitchell continued to play the role of Fanchon for the next twenty-five years and counted Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow among her many admirers.


Mathew Brady Studio (active 18441883)
Albumen silver print
Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

 

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