The History of Theater - In One Amazing City

Ricketts' Circus Comes to the End of Its Run - Blog Post and Bibliography for Episode 6

Ricketts' Circus Comes to the End of Its Run - Blog Post and Bibliography for Episode 6

Above, the portrait of J.B. Ricketts by Gilbert Stuart, in the collection of the National Gallery. Inscription, lower left: "Portrait of Mr Rickarts Horse Equestraine [sic] Friend of the artist  Gilbert Stuart; Inscription, lower right: "Portrait of Rickarts Horse Equestrian An Intimate Friend of Gilbert Stuarts." (Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington)

Below, a monochrome print of the Art Pantheon, seemingly a reduction and recoloring of the image you can see in the blog for the previous episode. This version was found in a clipping placed within the scrapbook for Charles Durang's History of the Philadelphia Stage, available online courtesy the Penn Library (see Bibliography, below).


Art Pantheon and Oeller's Hotel


A memorial print of Ricketts, c. 1800.


Rickett's on Cornplanter, jumping over another hors


Below, an admission token to Ricketts' Circus, with the Ricketts family’s coat of arms on the reverse. (Courtesy of American Numismatic Society)


Admission coins to Ricketts Circus

Pennsylvania historical marker, 12th and Market Streets, Philadelphia (photo by P. Schmitz)


Selected Bibliography:

Brooks, Lynn Mattuck, John Durang: Man of the American Stage. Cambria Press, 2011.

Flexner, James Thomas,
George Washington: Anguish and Farewell (1793-1799). Little, Brown & Co. 1972.

Decastro, J., The Memoirs of J. Decastro, Comedian. Sherwood Jones & Co., London, 1824, p. 149.

Greenwood, Isaac J., The Circus: Its Origins and Growth prior to 1835, with a sketch of Negro Minstrelsy. William Abbat, New York, Second Edition, 1909.

Jando, Dominique, Philip Astley and the Horsemen Who Invented the Circus. Circopedia, 2018.

The Memoir of John Durang, 1785-1916. Historical Society of York County and the American Society of Theatre Research, by Pittsburgh Press, 1966.

Miller, Richard C., “The Federal City: 1783-1800” in Philadelphia: A 300-Year History, Russell F. Wiegley, editor. W.W. Norton & Co., 1982.

Moy, James S., John Bill Ricketts’ Circus: 1793-1800. PhD Thesis, Ann Arbor, University Microfilms International, 1977, p. 94.

Pollock, Thomas Clark, The Philadelphia Theatre in the Eighteenth Century. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1933.

Toll, Robert C. On With The Show! The First Century of Show Business in America. Oxford University Press, 1976.

Whitman, Matthew, “John Bill Ricketts, One Mystery Unraveled” Online article dated December 7, 2014