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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HODGKINSON, John, actor, born in England in 1766; died near Bladensburg, Maryland, 12 September, 1805. In 1.792 he came to this country, and first appeared at the Southwark theatre in Philadelphia as Belcour, in the "West Indian." Soon afterward he appeared in New York on his opening night at the John street theatre as Vapid in "The Dramatist." Later he went to Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities. In 1793 he bought out the interest of John Henry in the theatrical firm of Hallam and Henry, and in 1798 became the active manager of the Boston theatre. On the opening night of that year he recited a prologue written by Robert Treat Paine, and later in the season, when President John Adams attended the theatre, introduced and sang for the first time the song of "Adams and Liberty." His career was checkered by successes and misfortunes, until he retired from management in favor of William Dunlap. One of his favorite characters was that of Osmond in "The Castle Spectre." Dunlap says his real forte was low comedy. Such was his versatility that in a single season, in Charleston, South Carolina, he acted eighty different characters, and such his memory that, after a few readings, he could recite perfectly any new part. He was also an efficient stage-manager. Hodgkin-son wrote several short-lived plays that were never published.--His wife, Arabella, actress, born in England about 1765; died in New York city in September, 1804, appeared as Miss Brett at the Haymarket theatre, London, in 1784, and subsequently joined the company of comedians in Bath. In 1792 Miss Brett came to this country in company with Hodgkinson, and shortly after their arrival in New York city she was married to him. Her first appearance here was at the Southwark theatre in Philadelphia, within the year of her arrival. In the year following she became a member of the company of the John street theatre in New York, and, in course of time, she visited other large cities of the Union. Mrs. Hodgkinson's ability was confined to singing parts, and the personation of romps and young girlish characters.
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