Carlos Trower/ African Blondin                                                                                Scotland 1862


Scotland 1862

First mention of The African Blondin is in Dundee 05/02/1862 appearing in the Pinder and Swallow partnership.   However it has not been established if the Scotland performances pertain to Carlos Trower.  It appears that the dates conflict with the Carlos Trower performances at the Grand Union Celebration of the Emancipation of the British West India Islands at Myrtle Avenue Park Brooklyn on  02/08/1862.   Therefore the 1862 Scotland performances have been given a separate Header together with an interesting narrative where appropriate, regarding similar performances by other artistes.  

Please note that the following Moorish acrobat information has been for research purposes only,  there is no evidence that the Young African  is  Mat lopez  The African Blondin who appears in Scotland 1862 or indeed Carlos Trower.   However, the performances of all three persons  and age similarities are  obvious.

Saturday 5th October 1861.  Our Journey starts in Southampton.       Author's additional comments appear in blue

Amongst the passengers by the steamer EUXINE  which brought home the Bombay mail on Saturday [Southampton], were some Moorish acrobats who are going to exhibit in this country.   One of them is a light rope dancer and will it is said, be a formidable rival to Blondin. 

The Moorish acrobats next appear in Cork Ireland.

16/12/1861   Location   Cork Ireland   Venue   Lavitts Quay  

A Young African (the only acknowledged rival of the Great Blondin) will cross the  river Lee with an old woman upon his back , on a rope extended from Lavitts Quay to Conded Quay.                                               

16/12/1861   Location  Cork Ireland   Venue   Lavitts Quay

A difficult feat for a man or rather a boy, the performers age does not apparently exceed fifteen crossing the river Lee on a light rope.   The performer who was described on the bill as the Young African walked slowly across the river, reached the opposite side turned and came back

 17/12/1861   Location   Cork Ireland   Venue  River Lee  

The singular and difficult feat of man or rather a boy, the performers age does not apparently exceed fifteen.

20/12/1861   Location   Cork Ireland   Venue   Lavitts Quay

A feat was performed by the same young member of Bell’s circus troupe   When crossing for the second time he had strapped to his back another young fellow of colour, said to be his brother.

16/12/1861   Location   Cork Ireland   Venue   Lavitts Quay

The performers age does not apparently exceed fifteen crossing the river Lee on a light rope.   He again re-appeared with one of the younger boy performers of the circus on his back dressed as an old woman.  

05/02/1862   Location   Dundee   Venue   The circus Dundee

We observe Messrs Pinder and Swallow announce the first appearance of the African Blondin on Thursday evening.                                   Is this the Young  African who performed at Lavitts Quay Cork or  Mat Lopez, (see next entry) or another performer ?       

19/02/1862   Location   Angus   Venue   Lindsay Street   Pinder and Swallow’s Circus.            

Part of the entertainment is the young Mat Lopez’s performance on the high rope.

05/05/1862   Location   Alyth   Venue   The Exhibition Circus         

06/05/1862   Location   Kirriemuir   Venue   Pinders Circus 

The African Blondin, walked up a rope to the height of forty feet, carrying his brother on his shoulders.  

07/05/1862   Location   Forfur   Venue   Pinders Circus

This Troupe [Billed as The Exhibition Circus] will be performing upwards of four months in Dundee .    Most carefully selected artistes among them will be found Mr W.B. Seal The Great Clown, Miss Fanny Brady Trick Act rider, Mr Geo. Boorn somersaults on horseback, The Bedouin Arabs, The Air Bounders and the African Blondin the only man that has achieved anything equal to his far framed rival.  [Mr W.B.Seal is noted as the Sole Manager of the Proprietors]   An astonishing list of the Scotland performances can be seen in the final section of this Page. 

16/05/1862   Location   Elgin   Venue   New Exhibition Circus 

30/05/1862   Location   Elgin   Venue   Exhibition Circus

An announcement that The African Blondin (a young darkie about eighteen years of age) would ascend a wire stretched for the top of the marquee to the ground with his brother on his back.

06/06/1862   Location   Not given   Venue   New Exhibition Circus

Return visit of the New Exhibition Circus the African Blondin will make his terrific ascent from the ground to the summit of the marquee.

13/06/1862   Location  Forres   Venue   Exhibition Circus  

21/06/1862   Location   Turriff   Venue   New Exhibition Circus 

01/07/1862   Location   Arbroth   Venue   New Exhibition Circus  

12/07/1862   Location   Leslie   Venue   The Exhibition Circus 

The African Blondin ascend to the top of the marquee.  He made his ascent carrying a boy on his back.

16/07/1862   Location   Anthruther   Venue   The Exhibition Circus  

Accident to the African Blondin who appeared on the rope with a little boy on his back.  The African loosing his footing fell to the ground, a height of about 20 feet.  It was found  nothing serious had occurred to the adventurer and the little boy.

17/07/1862   Venue   Promotion   The Exhibition Circus

This well known and far famed equestrian company have performed one hundred and twenty six consecutive nights in Dundee.            A few are  listed  in the final section of this Page.

17/07/1862   Location   St Andrews   Venue   The Exhibition Circus  

18/07/1862   Location   Kirecaldy   Venue   New Exhibition Circus  

18/07/1862   Location   Fluthers   Venue   Not given

The African Blondin a mere boy, made his daring ascent on a wire 200 feet in length in plunging rain.

19/07/1862   Location   Dunfermiline   Venue   Exhibition Circus  

23/07/1862   Location   Kinross   Venue   Horse Market Park 

27/07/1862   Location   Kinross   Venue   Market Park Kinross

31/07/1862   Location   Sterlin   Venue   Corn Exchange 

The African Blondin carried another young fellow on his back, and went through some feats of great daring on the rope.

02/08/1862   Location   Brooklyn   Venue   Myrtle Avenue Park  Grand Union Celebration. of the Emancipation of the British West India.

There is a celebrated African Tight rope performer Professor C.L. Trower who is entertaining New Yorkers with his feats.   If a recorded performance of the African Blondin in Scotland  was on 31/07/1862, then C.L. Trower (Carlos Trower) also performing as the African Blondin in Brooklyn on 02/08/1862 could not be the same person.   

22/08/1862   Location   Coatbridge   Venue   New Exhibition Circus 

A Young African, said to be  only 14 years of age performed a difficult feat of walking on a wire rope.  The Young African  ?? got his little brother of seven years old and strapped him on his back.  

24/08/1862   Location   Airdrie   Venue   New Exhibition Circus  

I could not find any further references to the African Blondin Scotland performances, but will continue my search.                                List of performances that may or may not have  been mentioned above.                                                                                                             Two performances daily at :-

Laurencekirk 7May,   Stonehaven 8 May,   Aberdeen 9/10/12/13 May,   Bervie 14 May,   Keith 19 May,   Dufftown 20 May,  Charlestown 21 May,   Rothon 22 May,   Elgin 23 May,   Coxon 28 May,   Dinwall 29 May,   Inverness ?   Portmahomack 31 May,             Tain 2 June,   Alness 3 June,   Beauly 4 June,   Fort George 5 June,   Foress 6 June,   Fort George 7 June,   Elgin 10 June,    Lossiemouth 11 June,   Fochabers 12 June,   Buckie 13 June,   Cullen 14 June,   Newburgh 7 July,   Auchtermuchty 8 July,               Leslie 9 July,   Leven 10 July,   Elie 11 July,   Anstruther 12 July,   St Andrews 14 July,   Cupar Fife 15 July,   Kirkcaldy 16 July,         Burnt Island 17 July,      Dufermiline 18/19 July,   Falkirk 26 July,   Grangemouth 28 July,   Bo’ness 29 July,   Linlithgow 30 July, Bathgate 31 July,   Mid Calder 1 Aug,   and Leith 2 August.


27/06/1863   Location Ely Cambridgeshire  UK   Venue   Annesdale  

A large concourse of people assembled at the Annesdale to witness the light rope performance of the African Blondin ; who, upon a rope fixed across the river, executed several feats.  He accomplished the feats of cooking a dinner upon the rope, and walking across blindfolded which was done in a creditable  manner    This is the first mention of The African Blondin  in England.   Further Cambridgeshire newspaper articles prove that this African Blondin was Carlos Trower.    Was this the Young African who appeared in Cork,  Mat Lopez who appeared in Scotland or Carlos Trower who appeared in Brooklyn? 

This Page contains edited versions of Newspaper publications.    Contact Ron Howard for a comprehensive copy of the fascinating and detailed article/s.