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Medeleon, 1827-1829 N 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Rollin Howard wench.jpgRollin Howard aka Ebenezer G.B. Holder (1840 - June 19, 1879) was one of the most cultured and capable female impersonators of minstrelsy. After the American Civil War, female impersonators became more common in minstrel shows, and Howard was considered one of the leading performers in such roles, along with Francis Leon and Eugene d'Amelie.[2]

Rollin Howard appeared on the legitimate stage for about five years previous to his minstrel debut, which was made with Wood's Minstrels in the Spring of 1860. In the fall of that year, for a brief period, he was associated in the management of Howard and Campbell's Minstrels. In 1861, he made his first appearance with Hooley and Campbell's Minstrels in New York, and for several seasons played successful engagements with nearly every prominent minstrel company there was.


Rollin Howard (in wench costume) and George Griffin

About 1870 he left minstrelsy, and after a period in opera, played several years in variety houses. In 1868 he played Topsy in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and in 1878 was manager of the Melodeon Music Hall in Philadelphia.

Among songs that Howard performed, he was credited with "arranging" on one of the first sheet music publications for Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me in 1869.[3] The song was extremely popular, and though the exact authorship is not clear, at times Howard has received some authorship credit.[4][5]

Rollin Howard was born in New York City about 1840; he died in Boston, MA, June 19, 1879.


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  1. ^Vem och vad 1996, p. 442. Helsingfors 1996. ISBN 951-50-0800-X
  2. ^"Muumi-töistään tunnettu graafikko Tuulikki Pietilä kuollut". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20121017043742/http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/artikkeli/Muumi-t%C3%B6ist%C3%A4%C3%A4n+tunnettu+graafikko+Tuulikki+Pietil%C3%A4+kuollut+/1135244441115
  3. ^Hassel, Ing-Marie. "Tove Janssons mumintroll" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2007-04-09. http://www.zein.se/ing-marie/mumintrollen.htm
  4. ^Ahola, Suvi (2008). "Jansson, Tove (1914–2001)". Biografiakeskus. Fletcher, Roderick (trans.). Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. Retrieved 2013-05-28. http://www.kansallisbiografia.fi/english/?id=1395
  5. ^"Graphic Artist Tuulikki Pietilä Dies at 92". YLE. 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2013-05-28. http://yle.fi/uutiset/graphic_artist_tuulikki_pietila_dies_at_92/5735338