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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DOUGLASS, David, actor, born in England about 1720; died in Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. Mr. Douglass was a gentleman by birth and fortune, who had emigrated to Jamaica about 1750. Hither Lewis Hallam had transported his company after he found that the colonies could not yield a sufficient harvest in return for his labor, and here he formed a partnership with Mr. Douglass, who, after the death of Lewis Hallam, married his widow, and with her and the rest of the company visited the continent in 1758, where he established theatres successively in New York, Philadelphia, Newport, Perth Amboy, and Charleston, South Carolina, and between these localities he continued to travel, acting and superintending his company till congress closed the theatres by an act passed 24 October 1774. After this he returned to Jamaica, and was appointed a judge. In early life he had been a printer, and on his return he became a partner in a thriving printing establishment, and received a valuable contract from the government. He accumulated a fortune of £25,000.
His wife, an actress, born in England ; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1773. In her own country Mrs. Douglass had been an eminent actress at Goodman's Field's Theatre, London, as Mrs. Hallam, and was the leading actress of that threatre at the time of Garrick's first success. She came to America with her first husband, Lewis Hallam, in 1752, and made her first American appearance at Williamsburg. Virginia, 5 September 1752, as Portia in the "Merchant of Venice." She first appeared in New York at the theatre in Nassau Street, 17 September 1753, as Lucinda in "The Conscious Lovers." She had fine talents, and her favorite parts were the pathetic. Mr. Dunlap says: "In his youth he had heard the old ladies of Perth Amboy speak almost in raptures of her beauty and grace, and especially of her pathos in her representation of Jane Shore." She retired from the stage in 1769.
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