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A Musical Review
Book and Lyrics by Ann Boaden
Music by Joan Beaumont
Colonel George Davenport (1783 – July 4, 1845) was a 19th-century American seaman, frontiersman, sutler, soldier and Indian trader. The present-day city of Davenport, Iowa is named after him.
In the spring of 1816, Davenport accompanied the U. S. Army as sutler [provisioner] to the island of Rock Island in the Mississippi River where Fort Armstrong was about to be established. After his discharge, he became a trusted and successful merchant who established trading posts along the Rock River and traded with the local tribes in Illinois and the Iowa Territory for several years. Not long after his arrival, he built a double log cabin. This “mansion” became the first permanent residence built in the Rock Island-area.
On July 4, 1845, Davenport's family went to the mainland to celebrate Independence Day. Davenport, who wasn’t feeling well, stayed behind. During the afternoon, bandits forced their way into his home. In the struggle that followed, Davenport was shot in the leg. The robbers bound him and tortured him for force him to turn over $20,000 which they believed that he kept in his home. Davenport died later that evening from a loss of blood.
This is an incredibly tuneful and beautiful musical based on the Colonel’s life. It tell’s Davenport’s life-story for his youthful days as a British tar, through his romance with his future wife, the then Margaret Bowling Lewis, his move to Rock Island and hints at his relationship with Margaret’s daughter, Susan Lewis. Along the way we meet other famous Americans, including Blackhawk, and President Andrew Jackson. In short, it is a series of vignette - a musical history of our America during the first half of the nineteenth century.
18 speaking parts. 15 men and 2 women
"#" denotes Soloist
John Long Member of the Banditti of the Prairie
John Baxter Member of the Banditti of the Prairie
Aaron Long Member of the Banditti of the Prairie
William “Judge” Fox Member of the Banditti of the Prairie
Robert Birch Member of the Banditti of the Prairie
Susan Lewis # Daughter of Margaret; step-daughter to
George Davenport # Sailor, Sutler, Trader Soldier. The
Margaret Bowling Lewis Davenport # Davenport’s wife
Young George Davenport (about 18) An injured seaman
Antoine Gouque # A trader with the Indians; Davenport's
friend and partner
Winnebago Chief Chief of the Winnebagos
Indian#1 Member of war party
Indian#2 Member of war party
Indian#3 Member of war party
Blackhawk # A war chief
President Andrew Jackson # President of the United States
Chorus of twelve Soldiers and Townsfolk
[These ‘double.’ First as soldiers and frontier folks, then as Indians, and later as town’s people]
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