Maplewood History: Cora Clamorgan – Part Two

Included in my previous post, Cora Clamorgan – Part One, was a copy of one of the earliest articles I was able to find on this unfortunate subject which is the Clamorgan family having been found to have some negro blood and the repercussions thereafter.  That article appeared in the Seventh Edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on June 9, 1911.

This post is a copy of an article that appeared in the Night Edition of the St. Louis Star on that same day.

I have much more information yet to post on this particular incident from the Clamorgan family history.  Again, I would encourage everyone interested to read Julie Winch’s well-researched and well-written book, The Clamorgans – One Family’s History of Race in America.  It truly is a great book.

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to comment or contribute information.  I truly appreciate it.

Doug Houser     May 17, 2020

7 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Cora Clamorgan – Part Two

  1. Regarding Mark’s desire to see the video of the Maplewood play mentioned, I contacted the playwright, Nancy Bell and here is what she said. ” I’m attaching a script here, feel free to share it but please make sure people know it has a copyright and is NOT to be posted and shared online or widely. I’m fine with you to share it with a few friends, but not, like, your whole email list. Hope that makes sense..

    Regarding the video…unfortunately, that I don’t have access to, nor would I be able to give it to you even if I did due to Actor’s Equity very strict rules about how archival videos are used. I’m sorry about that!”

    We are too, Nancy. It was a wonderful performance of a wonderful play. Nancy is very busy. Check out her link. https://www.nancyellenbell.com/

  2. Doug, thanks for the clarification on the play. I do not recall ever hearing about it before you mentioned it. I am wondering if I thought the street closure was another Taste of Maplewood type thing that was happening because I travel Sutton several times a week and know when my route has to change because of events there. But I am drawing a complete blank on this one.

    So as far as you know there was nothing recorded or video taped on those nights? Seems like this is something not only neat but interesting that I would have thought it might have been captured somehow. Even any still shots of the event?

    • On the contrary, Mark. I believe the folks that put on the play recorded it in every which way possible. I don’t doubt that many of the folks in the audience made recordings of their own as well. Your questions cause me to wonder if it would be possible to get a video of the play at this late date. I’ll check and let you know. It would be cool to hire one of those large outdoor screens and play the video In either the Ryan Hummert or Sutton Loop Park. Would have to be after this virus thing is over, I guess. I’ll see what I can find out. I imagine there are many people just like you who would have been interested in seeing the actual play but missed it somehow. Stay tuned.

      • That would be great to see. The history of this town is so interesting to me and this would be something to see. Just your description of the play makes it sound interesting to even try to imagine. Thanks for checking into it.

  3. Doug,
    You mentioned in the other post about Clara that there was a 3 act play about Maplewood people that was very interesting. And that it would probably never be done again. I am curious as to why you say that? This seems to be am important telling of our history and I am thinking it should be shown again if at all possible. Or maybe someone recorded the play as it was happening.

    If nothing else a copy of the script might be something worth reading to learn more about Maplewood and it’s citizens.

    • Hey Mark,
      Cora Clamorgan was referred to as Clara in the play by Nancy Bell. It is not a 3 act play but rather an 8 scene play. The confusion is because I called it a three-of-a-kind event meaning that it was actually a one-of-a-kind event that was performed on 3 separate nights.
      The reason I said it would probably never be performed again is because it was a large, elaborate production. Sutton was closed. The stage set was put up in the middle of the street, directly in front of the Maya Cafe, facing west. This allowed for the Saratoga parking lot to be used as space for the audience. How large was the audience you might ask? I don’t know about Friday night. Saturday night I was told had an audience of about 1400. I was there Sunday night and it was unbelievably crowded. I think the Saratoga parking lot was nearly filled. Neither my wife nor I had any idea there would be so many people. We were stunned.
      As I mentioned previously there were 10 foot puppets, some of which magically appeared, to the delight of the audience, on the roof of the Maya. This was a production of the Theater Department of St. Louis University. They have had other plays like this, that I know of, in the Grove, in Clayton and downtown. I expect the corona virus will put the kibosh on their activity in the coming year.
      I have a copy of the script. I am happy to share a PDF of it with anyone who is interested. I’m fairly certain the playwright would not mind but it is easy enough to check if anyone feels it’s necessary.