Thomas D. Rice

Thomas D. Rice

Thomas Dartmouth (T.D.) "Daddy" Rice (May 20, 1808 – September 19, 1860) was a comedian in the blackface form of comedy of the 19th century. Because he developed an immediately popular song-and-dance routine playing the role of an old black slave called "Jim Crow", he has also been called "father of American minstrelsy". [cite web
title=American Minstrel Show Collection

"Daddy" Rice was born in New York City. His act included the song and dance "Jump Jim Crow" which would later give its name to "Jim Crow" segregation laws in the southern United States. In the 1850s, he played the title role in one of the more prominent (and one of the least abolitionist) "Tom shows", loosely based on Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin". (Lott, 1993, 211)

Rice's greatest prominence came in the 1830s, before the rise of full-blown blackface minstrel shows, when blackface performances were typically part of a variety show or as an entr'acte in another play. Rice's playlet "Oh Hush! or The Virginny Cupids" was the most popular of the time. It is centered on a song "Coal Black Rose", which predated the playlet. Rice played Cuff, boss of the bootblacks, and he wins the girl, Rose, away from the black dandy Sambo Johnson, a former bootblack who made money by winning a lottery. (Lott, 1993, 133)



*Lott, Eric. "Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class". New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-507832-2.


* [ "Dance History Archives by Street Swing"]
* [ Encyclopedia Britannica]

NAME= Rice, Thomas D.
DATE OF BIRTH=May 20 1808
PLACE OF BIRTH=New York City, New York
DATE OF DEATH=September 19 1860

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