Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FISHER, Clara, actress, born in London, England, in 1811. She first appeared in burlesque plays in London at the age of six, and thereafter, for about five years, acted in the principal theatres of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1822 she returned to Drury Lane theatre, London, performing the characters of boys and soubrettes. In 1828 Miss Fisher came to the United States and made her appearance at the New York Park theatre in operettas, burlesques, and extravaganzas, most of her characters being in extreme contrasts, and requiring rapid changes of costume. With the many she was particularly successful in the delivery of Scottish heroic song. Her "Hurrah for the Bolmets of Blue" and "All the Blue Bonnets are over the Border" were great favorites. Of her ballads, "The Dashing White Sergeant," "Buy a Broom," "Since then I'm doomed," and "Home, Sweet Home." became universally popular. In this manner, for several years, Miss Fisher traveled throughout the Union with great popularity. Children were named for her, and young ladies affected her lisp and manner. Eventually, however, her budget of songs was too often rehearsed, her half dozen plays were worn to weariness, and she had nothing new to offer. In 1834 she was married to James C. Maeder, an Irish musician, and then betook herself to playing parts in the legitimate drama with only qualified success. At the instigation of her husband, she ventured to appear in opera, but beside skilled vocalists her voice showed great imperfection, both as to quality and education, and she was soon compelled to retire. Her last appearance on the stage was in 1851, in New York City. It is difficult to account for the "Clara Fisher craze" of 1830, for it was founded on limited dramatic ability and moderate personal attractions. Hers were only the comparatively, small accomplishments of ballad singing, romping, and dancing, in plays that; were adapted to her capability.
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