Lillian Russell Papers

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Lillian Russell papers
Creator: Russell, Lillian, 1861-1922
Call Number: D.18
Dates: 1878-1886
Physical Description: 1 box
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Related Materials
Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Ephemera
Collection Overview
Title: Lillian Russell papers
Creator: Russell, Lillian, 1861-1922
Call Number: D.18
Dates: 1878-1886
Physical Description: 1 box
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Lillian Russell (1861-1922) was born Helen Louise Leonard, the fifth daughter of Charles E. Leonard, a newspaper publisher, and Cynthia Rowland (Van Name) Leonard, a feminist and author. Lillian was born in Clinton, Iowa, but the family moved in 1865 to Chicago, where she was educated in the Convent of the Sacred Heart, and the Park Institute. In 1877 or 1878 Mrs. Leonard left her husband and moved to New York, where Lillian studied singing under Leopold Damrosch, in hopes of an operatic career. She joined the chorus of a Brooklyn company of H.M.S. Pinafore in 1879, however, and two weeks later married the orchestra leader, Harry Graham. They were divorced after the death of their infant son. Meanwhile, she made her first appearance on Broadway November 22, 1880, at Tony Pastor's Theatre, as Lillian Russell, the English Ballad Singer. She toured with Pastor's company the following summer, then appeared under several managers in succession.

Lillian Russell married her second husband, composer Edward Solomon, in May 1884, then sailed with him for England. There she was first successful in Solomon's Polly, or the Pet of the Regiment. They returned to New York in the winter of 1885, and toured the following season, but Solomon was arrested for bigamy in the fall of 1886 and Lillian joined the J.C. Duff Opera Company. She toured with Duff for two years, then returned to New York in 1888 to appear at the Casino under the management of Rudolph Aronson. In 1891 she opened at the Garden Theatre as the star of the Lillian Russell Opera Company.

Russell married John Haley Augustin Chatterton, who was appearing under the stage name of Giovanni Perugini, in 1894. They separated six months later, and were divorced in 1898. Between the years 1895 1899, she appeared in several operas which did not draw well, so in 1899 she joined Weber and Fields, where she continued until 1904. Because of the deterioration of her voice, she switched to straight comedy, and toured from 1906 1908 under the management of James Brooks, but soon returned to singing.

In 1912 Lillian Russell married Alexander Pollock Moore, owner of the Pittsburgh Leader, and essentially retired from the stage. In the following years she wrote a newspaper column, advocated woman suffrage, and lectured on health, beauty and love. During World War I she recruited for the Marine Corps, sold war bonds, and raised money for the American Legion. She toured Europe in 1922 as special investigator on immigration for President Harding, and reported in favor of isolationism and restricted immigration. She died in June, 1922, survived by her fourth husband, and her daughter Dorothy, by her second marriage.

Scope and Content
The Lillian Russell Papers are comprised of one box containing nine folders of correspondence, notes, ephemera, and a photograph of Lillian Russell. The collection consists of letters written by Lillian Russell and Edward Solomon to Constance DuFlon, chiefly during the 1885-1886 tour, which deal with the daily occurrences and conditions of a touring company. There are also letters to Constance DuFlon from Fred Solomon, the company buffoon, Fanny Davenport and Jesse Millward.

Subject(s):
Actors
Theater
Traveling theater
Correspondence
Russell, Lillian, 1861-1922
Solomon, Edward, 1855-1895
Access
The Lillian Russell papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Lillian Russell papers, D.18, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of RochesterRelated Materials
Dictionary of American Biography

Notable American Women

Parker Morell. Lillian Russell: The Era of Plush (NY: Random House, 1940).

Richard O'Connor. Duet in Diamonds: The Flamboyant Saga of Lillian Russell and Diamond Jim Brady in America's Gilded Age (NY: Putnam, 1972).


Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 1-5Correspondence, 1878-1886
Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence, undated
Series II: Ephemera
Box 1, Folder 7Summons and complaint against Vitalia Duflon, 1886
Box 1, Folder 8Notes and ephemera, 1886
Box 1, Folder 9Photograph of Lillian Russell


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