Carlos Trower / African Blondin Time line
Note various name changes throughout the Time line. Author's additional comments appear in Blue.
1850 Birth place and year unconfirmed. Marriage and death certificates show 1850. 1881 UK census records that Carlos was born in NYC, however extensive USA research has not supported this information.
June /1861 The AA walks Website offers a comprehensive account of this Rudyard Lake performance adding that Carlos was a pupil of the great Charles Blondin.
My guess is that this performance was performed at a later date [ June / July 1878 shown in the Carlos Performances section] I have not been able to find a reference of this African Blondin or Carlos Trower performance in the UK Newspaper Archives. Also there appears to be no evidence that Carlos was a pupil of Blondin. A principle historian at the Niagara Falls Public Library kindly replied to my question regarding Carlos being a pupil of the original Blondin and said " If Mr. Trower had been here as a light rope performer with Blondin during either of those years [1859 and 1860] it certainly would have been noted in the extensive press coverage given to the performances" My thanks to the Niagara Falls Public Library for their welcomed reply. However if future evidence is found that Carlos had performed under a different name I will contact the Library with this information.
Other than the above entry, the first mention of an African Blondin is 05/02/1862 appearing in Dundee with the Pinder and Swallow partnership.
05/02/1862 The Circus Dundee. We observe Messrs Pinder and Swallow announce the first appearance of the African Blondin on Thursday evening.
02/08/1862 The first mention of the name Trower in connection with a tight rope performance is when an article appeared in the Anglo African Volume 1 No. 18 under the heading Eastern items. " There is a celebrated African tight rope performer Professor C.L. Trower who is entertaining New Yorkers with his feats. He professes to rival Blondin, and he is going to Europe to eclipse the daring of the Frenchman. 04/08/1862 In relation to the above a C. La Martien Trower performance was printed in a Brooklyn Eagle newspaper advert in New York. "The first of a few future appearances of Prof. C. La Matien Trower [ I believe to be Carlos Trower] at the Grand Union Celebrations held at Myrtle Avenue Park Brooklyn to celebrate the Union celebration of Emancipation in New York, the West Indies and the District of Columbia"
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. Other than in Scotland, This is the first mention of The African Blondin in the UK . Further Cambridgeshire publications of the African Blondin performances confirm that this is Carlos Trower.
02/10/1864 Marriage of Myra Clay and Carlos Lamahie Trower The Parish Church Longton Stafford. Myra Clay age 17, spinster, father Herbert Clay, profession bricklayer Carlos, age 19 bachelor, performer of gymnastics, father George Trower profession, theatrical.
14/01/1865 Christening of Carlos Trower in parish of Ripley. Parents Myra and Carlos, surname lammotta Trower, Rope dancer. Is this the son that appears with Myra in the 1871 UK census ? residence 67 Mill Street, Kingston Upon Hull. Carlos age is given as five months, should this be five years or is this another son with the same name? This census record does not include husband Carlos and son Collis at the same address. (see next entry)
12/12/1865 Birth of Collis Lamanto son of Myra Trower formerly Clay. Place of birth Ripley Derbyshire. Father Colllis lamanto Trower tight rope walker Myra’s residence Greenwich Ripley
17/07/1868 Beverley. In a field adjacent to Beverley Cattle market Carlos suffered serious injuries when the rope gave a sudden snap and the performer with the balancing pole in his hands fell to the ground. Carlos lay on the grass with the balancing pole underneath him to all appearances lifeless. He was carried to his lodgings, and it was found that one of his arms and wrist were broken. He lies in a precarious state.
18/04/1869 Theatre Royal Harlepool. Newspaper article records Carlos is performing admirably, running backwards upon the rope from the furthest part of the stage to the top of the gallery, heavily chained, and then enveloped in a sack brought down the whole house with wonder and applause.
14/12/1869 Leeds Music Hall. Carlos had a severe fall whilst passing along on one of his dangerous expeditions. The rope suddenly gave way, and he was precipitated into the pit, a distance of from 25 to 30 feet one man received a blow which broke his nose, whilst others were slightly hurt.
16/01/1870 Hull Mechanics. As before his fall, Carlos is performing with some wonderful feats upon the High Rope.
16/02/1870 Carlos takes yet another tumble from his rope into the middle of a crowded pit. The performer fell on a soft gentleman and was not hurt himself
11/05/1872 Sheffield Sheaf House Gardens. Note the following name change from Prince of the Air. A Pupil of Blondin is used once more. Proprietor has engaged the services of the renown African Blondin. The Son of the Desert. Pupil of the original Blondin.
04/08/1875 New York Myrtle Avenue Park The Emancipation Jubilee. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brother J.A. Trower is manager of the celebrations. Prof. Charles Trower, the only African Blondin, is also expected.
20/10/1875 Barnstaple Parish Church. Marriage of Annie Fances Emmett and Carlos Trower. Annie Frances Emmett, age 23, spinster, residence Barnstaple, father, Henry Emmett, Coachman. Carlos Trower, age 25, bachelor, Travelling acrobat, residence Barnstaple. Father Charles Trower, Travelling acrobat Witnessed by William and James Youngs
07/03/1876 Bristol. Birth of daughter Celia Annie Frances Trower. Parents Carlos Trower, occupation High Rope performer, Annie Trower. Residence 7 Christmas Steps Bristol Gloucestershire. Celia performed with Carlos in her early years and was billed as The Black Star.
29/03/1876 Location Belfast Botanic Gardens (Easter Monday). The African Blondin will kindle a fire and cook an omelette and conclude by carrying his son Carlos Trower, on his back across the high rope.
18/06/1876 An Era article. I Carlos Trower, the original African Blondin and Prince of the Air, beg to caution proprietors and fête committee against a person using my name. Prosecution will follow should this notice be insufficient.
12/05/1877 Morecombe Gardens. African Blondin who crossed the Falls of Niagara on the High rope. As stated previously, my research has not found evidence of this statement.
29/06/1878 Rudyard lake. North Staffordshire Railway. Cheap half day excursion to Rudyard Lake on Saturday June 29. Engagement at enormous expense of the original African Blondin, The prince of the Air! This is his last performance in England, previous to his departure to Melbourne, Australia and America , having arranged to re-cross Niagara.
07/07/1878 Rudyard lake Leek. Prince of the Air. The original African Blondin appeared before 50,000 people during two weeks. To-day the 6th is my last appearance in England. Sail to America July 18th. First appearance the 1st August at Myrtle Park Brooklyn New York. Agent Percy Williams
17/07/1878 The African Blondin sails to America on steamer Ageral, walked mast to mast
28/07/1878 Prince of the Air. The original African Blondin arrived in America. He will go through his marvellous daring performances on the high rope Aug 1st at Myrtle Park Brooklyn. Splendid picture posters. Agent Percy Williams.
01/08/1878 Myrtle Avenue Park Emancipation day Coloured people’s Celebration. Professor Trower, a brother of the manager Mr J.A. Trower, and a professional sleight of hand man, performed a number of entertaining tricks. He was driven off in an open barouche drawn by a dashing bay team he has the good fortune to be the possessor. Manager J.A. Trower and his Brother [Carlos] will engage in a similar celebration on the 8th inst. at New Haven Conn.
03/08/1878 Myrtle Avenue Park Coloured people’s Celebration
08/081878 Appears at Hamilton Park Newhaven Connecticut
04/09/1878 Myrtle Avenue Park Masonic Building fund. The executive committee are John C, M.W.G.M. , J.A. Trower, Grand treasurer, and Wm. A. Tolbert, Grand secretary. M. Carlos Trower will give a tight rope performance, and Messrs. Wm.H. Johnson of Albany, and J.S. Bowen, of Long Island will deliver orations.
09/09.1878 Appears at Myrtle avenue Park Brooklyn
15/09/1878 Appearing at Brighton Beach, Colney Island. Agent Perry Williams.
07/11/1878 Returns to UK appearing at Swansea
30/03/1879 The Era. Mons. Blondin attention has been lately to the announcement of an African Rope Walker, advertising himself as Blondin in Leeds. Mons. Blondin, the only Blondin is compelled to give public notice to Managers' and Artistes' ; and if, after this notice , anyone should infringe on his rights he will then place the matter in the hands of his solicitor. The African Blondin was appearing in Leeds with Thornton's Varieties on this date. Mons. Blondin's notice was printed in The Era on several occasions, however Ron Howard could find no evidence that any legal action was taken. In April of the same year Mons. Blondin once again mentions the African Rope Walker and adds, " Having the audacity to state that he has crossed the falls of Niagara" placing the previous Carlos accounts in doubt that he [ Carlos] indeed made the crossing.
06/11/1880 Wellingborough. The African Blondin Australian Company have been performing in the Exchange, and several places in the vicinity of Wellingborough. Signs are that Carlos has formed his own theatre company based at Niagara Cottage Wellingborough Northampton UK, working as an agent to supply professional performers to arrange or share salary.
25/12/1880 Wellingborough Corn Exchange. The Great African Blondin will give his second Grand concert. The Star Australian Company will appear Dec. 27 and 28. Is this another theatre agent venture with a slight change of name ? as noted above.
14/01/1881 Wellingborough. Birth of daughter Jynetta Caledonia. Father Carlos Lamantine Trower, Mother Annie Frances Trower formerly Emmett, Father’s occupation Artist, Address 48 Winstanley Road Wellingborough Northampton. Ron Howard's grandmother
1881 UK Census. Charles Frower, Head Age 31. Born New York City America, Gymnast (Performer). This is the only mention to date of Carlos being born in New York
12/08/1882 Rosherville Gardens. The figure of the African Blondin has been turned into artistic account by Mr John Willis, photographer by the aide of what is known as instantaneous photography. The Negro, the rope, and the sand- bags which steadied it together with a few interested spectators, are all faithfully depicted.
23/09/1882 The Great African Blondin. Specially engaged to appear at Breslau Germany
11/11/1882 Breslau Germany. The Great original African Blondin will sail for Germany Nov. 11th. No vacant dates. Agent W. Hoering, Wernherase 486 Prague.
10/03/1883 The Great African Blondin just arrived from Germany, finished most successful engagement at Breslau and Berlin
24/04/1883 Birth of Harry Carlos Trower. 134 Stanford Street Lambeth, Father Carlos Lamantine Trower, Mother Annie Frances Trower formerly Emmett, Father’s occupation Gymnast, informant AE Trower mother 134 Stanford Street Lambeth
27/08/1884 Crystal Palace. Foresters Fete`. A display by The African Blondin who made his first appearance [at Crystal Palace] on this occasion.
06/09/1884 Crystal Palace Foresters fete. The African Blondin was the great sensation of the day at the Foresters Fete at the Crystal Palace, and having entered into a twelve days engagement at the Palace, his wonderful performances have proved a great attraction. He wore medals won at Sydney, Northampton, Blackpool and the Potteries. We may remark that although the African Blondin would prefer to have no net spread beneath him, he does so at the desire of the Crystal Palace Directors.
08/08/1885 - 22/08/1885 - 29/08/1885. Location : Blackpool Venue : Raikes Hall. The company included the real African Blondin
04/04/1886 St Thomas’s hospital Westminster. Yesterday the surgical department at St Thomas’s hospital were engaged in attending on the person of Mr Carlos Trower aged 35 years professionally described as “a high rope Walker”. The unfortunate man, who lived at 101 Stamford Street Lambeth met with an accident of such serious character as to necessitate his removal to hospital.
12/06/1886 Northampton Blisworth Hotel and Gardens. Great African Blondin on the high rope (50 feet), performing twice during each day. Also Miss Celia, The Black Star (daughter of Great African Blondin) on the single trapeze. Special Railway arrangements leave Northampton and Towcester at intervals during the afternoon.
19/06/1886 Northampton. Remarkable exhibitions were witnessed during the day by the African Blondin Prince of the Air and Miss Celia, daughter of the African Blondin gave some performances on the trapeze.
17/07/1886 Woodstock Blenheim Park. In aid of the widows and orphans of the Court. Foresters Monster fete Blenheim Park Woodstock. Bank Holiday Monday 2nd Aug. 1886. By kind permission of His Grace The Duke of Marlborough the Marvellous African Blondin Prince of the Air will perform on a high rope 50 feet high.
18/09/1886 An Era Promotion. Wanted : By the African Blondin engagements. At liberty for Halls Theatres etc. This promotion was printed in The Era on four consecutive months.
31/10/1886 Baptism of Eva Trower at St John's church Lambeth. Father Thomas Lamingtine Trower 101 Stanford Street. Gymnast Mother Annie Frances Trower. Eva died in 1888, the same year as Joseph Augustus Trower who died in Brooklyn
09/04/1887 The Great African Blondin is endeavoring to obtain permission to cross the Thames from St Thomas’s hospital to the House of Commons on the occasion of the Jubilee, June 1st.
20/05/1887 Newark Scronce Hill Gardens. In aid of the funds of the Newark hospital May 30th 1887. The original African Blondin (Carlos Trower). This wonderful performer has had the honour of appearing before the most of the crowned heads of Europe. He has astonished thousands by his marvellous exploits on the high rope at the Crystal Palace, Sydney and in America at the falls of Niagara.
31/07/1888 Torquay. The great attraction was an individual described as The African Blondin but the dusky one disappointed the fine tastes of spectators by getting his hand smashed by a hammer just before the time announced for the performance to commence.
26/01/1889 Carlos Trowers admitted to the Grove Hall Lunatic asylum Bow
02/02/1889 Mr Editor of the Era: Sir, my husband Carlos Trower The African Blondin, has been very ill for some time, and three weeks ago went quite out of his mind. There are no hopes of his recovery, and he has been removed to Grove Hall Lunatic asylum Bow. I am left with three children unprovided for. If you will kindly mention this in The Era I shall feel more than grateful as I am sure there will be a few friends that will help me. Yours respectfully A.Trower 120 Stamford Street. January 31st 1889.
08/04/1889 Death of Carlos Trowers. Location Grove Hall Lunatic Asylum Bow, Carlos Trowers, Age 40 years, Occupation High Rope Walker, address 120 Stamford Street Lambeth, Cause of death General paralysis of the insane about one year, Registered 09/04/1889
27/04/1889 At the Peckham Theatre of Varieties by the kind permission of Mr A.F. Lovejoy, a ticket benefit will be given on Thursday next to the widow and children of the late African Blondin.
11/05/1889 The Library of Congress . Page 141 from May 11, 1889, issue of the New York Clipper v. 37. This item appears in the column "Deaths in the Profession”.
“ Carlos Trower, known as the African Blondin died April 8th at London Eng. after a long and painful illness. He was forty years of age, and left a widow and three children”.