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King of RagtimeScott Joplin and His Era$

Edward A. Berlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.001.0001

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An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

(p.85) Chapter 6 An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900
King of Ragtime

Edward A. Berlin

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

Joplin was not satisfied with being a composer of piano rags, marches, and songs; he sought success and recognition in musical theater. His first effort in this direction—probably an early version of what would later be published as The Ragtime Dance (1902)—was at Wood’s Opera House in Sedalia on November 24, 1899. Originally performed by Joplin, his brother Will, his student Arthur Marshall, and colleagues at the Black 400 and the Maple Leaf clubs, the show evolved with additional performances at different venues that winter and in the spring and summer of 1900. At least one performance also included Joplin’s brother Robert. Notices of later performances mention Henry Jackson as co-director. It was during this period that Joplin began his marital relationship with Belle Jones and was instrumental in forming a Republican club for black Sedalians and a baseball team.

Keywords:   The Ragtime Dance, Maple Leaf Club, Black 400 Club, Will Joplin, Robert Joplin, Arthur Marshall, Henry Jackson, Belle Jones

To his growing list of publications, Scott Joplin had now added two rags in 1899 and was on his way toward ragtime greatness. But such greatness would not satisfy him; with hindsight, we can see that he wanted recognition as a serious composer for the musical theater.

The Black 400 Club had held cakewalk events where respectable members of white society attended as observers; this is the scene depicted on the cover of Something Doing, Joplin’s collaborative rag with his student Scott Hayden, published in 1903 (fig. 6.1). The existence of a substantial white audience for entertainment by black dancers must have suggested to Joplin an opening that he could fill. This idea resulted in The Ragtime Dance, an extended musical work with a singing narrator and featuring African American dancers. The Ragtime Dance was not published until 1902, but there is both testimony and evidence of its presentations in earlier versions in 1899 and 1900.

Joplin’s one-time student and colleague Arthur Marshall told Blesh and Janis in 1949 that The Ragtime Dance was performed in Sedalia at Wood’s Opera House before 1900, and that Joplin’s brother Will sang the music;1 Marshall gave additional information in a letter dated January 27, 1950:

The Drama Co. was formed and rehearsed very strenuous. Mr. Will Joplin was a lead character in the featuring of Joplin’s Ragtime dance. Latisha Howell, Ludie Umbles, another girl I can’t recall her name, myself, Murrte Whittley, Henry Jackson, Frank Bledsoe, Henry Burres[s], Lourenda Brown.

Latisha specialized Last Rose of Summer and Old Kentucky Home. Her stage name was Zaorada Tosschatie used when prima donna of (p.86)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.1. Cover of Something Doing (1903), depicting a white society audience watching a cakewalk by black dancers.

McCabe’s Minstrels. I did ragtime specialities on the piano and some numbers with other members of the company. Scott Hayden did some of the same. Joplin played piano when we were performing other than quartette and specialities. There was new joiners but some of us left for other jobs and it finally disbanded.2

Joplin’s brother Will had arrived in Sedalia a month earlier with the Kentucky Rosebud Quartette, with which he sang baritone. The group gave a performance (p.87) in the office of the Sedalia Capital and was immediately hired by Albert Kahn, owner of the St. Louis Clothing Store, for a series of free concerts at the store.3 Marshall had described Will as “the lead character” in the Ragtime Dance performance, which tells us that he was the narrator and the dance caller. Of the other performers mentioned by Marshall, there is information about a few: Latisha Howell was a frequent performer in Sedalia and St. Louis before joining the McCabe Minstrels. In at least one notice, she was referred to as “Letitia Marshall,” apparently pairing her with Arthur Marshall, who was also in the company.4 Henry Jackson was a pianist and composer, a collaborator with Joplin, and a railroad porter on the M.K.&T. Frank Bledsoe was a bass who sang with several Sedalia quartets. I know nothing of the others mentioned. It’s not clear what Marshall means by “specialties,” but he refers to vocal quartets that included Joplin, telling us that the production had a variety of acts. The last sentence states that the drama company lasted for a period of time before it “finally disbanded.”

John Stark gives us a hint of what Joplin was planning. A few weeks after publishing Maple Leaf Rag, he placed this notice in a Sedalia paper: “John Stark, formerly of this city, has made a number of successful ventures as a music publisher since removing to St. Louis, and has in preparation a ‘Black American’ cake walk, which will be published next week.”5 I don’t know what Stark could have meant by “a number of successful ventures as a music publisher,” for up to this point his only publication from St. Louis was Maple Leaf Rag. Whatever plans he had to publish a “Black American Cake Walk, he never followed up on it. A month later, Sedalia newspapers announced a cakewalk event scheduled at Wood’s Opera House (fig. 6.2), an event that featured dance and a vocal quartet, and seems to have been what Marshall had described:

An Entertainment Arranged by Home Talent Minstrels.

The “Home Talent Cake Walkers and Minstrel company,” composed of colored people, have arranged a fine programme to be rendered at Wood’s opera house next Friday evening [Nov. 24].

One of the features will be a cake walk for prizes between professional cake walkers from Kansas City and Sedalia.

Besides the cake walk, there will be buck and wing dancing and music by the “Pork Chop Greasy quartette,” composed of John and Len Williams, Richard Smith and John Nelson. This quartette is one of the best in the city and all the latest songs will be sung.6

Reviews the following day applauded the performances:

A number of the colored people of the city gave an entertainment at the opera house last night. There was music by good vocalists, dancing by people who are dancers from the cradle to the grave, and cake walking by walkers who are born “cuttin’ shines” and who go through life (p.88)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.2. Wood’s Opera House.

easily and gracefully. The show was a very creditable one, but the patronage was light.7

Encouraged by the reviews and undaunted by the small attendance, the company took the show on the road: “The colored company which gave a performance at Wood’s on the night of the 23d [it was the 24th], will go to Marshall [Missouri] Saturday night.”8 I could find no reviews of the performance in Marshall.

Sedalia newspapers note the arrival in December of Joplin’s brother Robert, a notable dancer, and he joined the company for several performances, at least one performance in the nearby town of Houstonia:

The social club, composed of colored people, will give a cake-walk and entertainment at the D. O. H. hall tomorrow night. Rob’t. Joplin, of Omaha, Neb., a professional cake-walker, will be among those who take part.


R. B. Joplin, of St. Louis, a brother of the celebrated Scott Joplin, assisted by Virgil Bradley, Jesse Holland, Adah Burress and other colored (p.89) folks, of Sedalia, gave a cake walk last night at the Social club, 106 Main.


A number of colored young people, including R. B. Joplin, Richard Smith, James Ellis and their ladies, went to Houstonia today to give a cake walk and entertainment in the hall there tonight. … Henry Jackson will furnish the music.9

I am not aware of any Ragtime Dance performances through the winter or early spring of 1900, but by early summer Joplin had prepared a new version. He scheduled a major event at the Forest Park theater for June 27, advertising it with large ads for six days in the Sedalia Capital, for which the expense probably represented a significant financial investment:


Introducing Scott Joplin’s latest composition, “The Rag Time Song and Dance Quadrille,”

Will be Given at Forest Park One Night

June 27

This will be the hottest of its kind ever given in Sedalia, as the best talent in the city has been secured. Scott Joplin, the author of “The Maple Leaf Rag,” is the director, and having had an experience in this line of business for several years, everybody can look for a real rag time reception.

Miss Annie Smith, the Black Patti of Missouri,

Has consented to render some of her most beautiful and enchanting melodies, assisted Very ably by the Famous Warblers of Blackville,


In calling the composition “The Rag Time Song and Dance Quadrille,” Joplin was getting close to the title under which he published the music two years later. I am not certain of the identity of vocalist Annie Smith. By labeling herself “the Black Patti of Missouri” she invokes that popular name of Sissieretta Jones, the original “Black Patti,” whose sobriquet was intended to compare her vocal qualities with operatic diva Adelina Patti. Sissieretta Jones (1869–1933) had her own company, the highly successful Black Patti Troubadours, which featured popular music, dance, comedians, acrobats, and the like. But the show would always end with her own performances of operatic arias. Although “Annie Smith” is a common name, she may have been the piano accompanist of that name who worked with Sisseretta Jones in the late 1880s. I have not previously come across the Sedalia Medley Quartette, but its name is probably derived from Joplin’s earlier Texas Medley Quartette.

This presentation, which was co-directed by Henry Jackson, would seem to be a later version of what Joplin had presented at Wood’s Opera House the previous November 24 and later. The review in the Capital on June 28 described the event as a great success, with so many in the crowd coming from other (p.90) towns that the trains could not handle the demand. Joplin is described as the “king of rag-time players” and “not only a player, but … a composer of promise.”11 The event’s success spurred a repeat performance on July 11, and an announcement specified it would have “a complete new list of songs, and music.” A line that reveals the widespread interest in the show is “By request of Sedalia’s best society, there will be special accommodations for white people.”12 Of this latter event, both the Capital and Sentinel, without giving details, commented on the music’s originality. In addition, a writer for the Capital called Joplin and Jackson geniuses:

A good crowd attended the “Rag-Time” musicale given by Scott Joplin and Henry Jackson and all who were [present] … were struck with the originality of the music rendered.


Scott Joplin and Henry Jackson, the two young colored men who managed the musical at Forest park last night, and took the principal parts therein, are geniuses of no mean order; and with better opportunity would make their marks in the rag-time music world. There was a fair crowd at the park last night, and all who attended were pleased with the music and struck with the originality of the compositions.13

Joplin and Jackson then brought their show on the road, performing in nearby towns. A small notice in the Sedalia Capital in late September notes performances of the Joplin-Jackson Rag Time Musicale Company in Houstonia and Sweet Springs, towns northeast of Sedalia.14

Though the Ragtime Dance show was Joplin’s major endeavor in 1900, he was active in other matters as well. He seems to have been doing very well at this time, garnering considerable praise and appreciation of his talent, but evidence suggests his financial state was still precarious. In June, in the midst of all the planning and rehearsals that must have been necessary, he took time to play piano for a party given for a fourteen-year-old white girl, Florence Tyree.15

Earlier in the year, he fulfilled a commission from the newly formed Augustan Club of Sedalia to write a waltz for an upcoming dance: “Scott Joplin, well known as a composer, is at work on a piece of music to be dedicated to the Augustain club. The piece will be a waltz and will be quite a ‘hit’ in this city.”16

The Augustan Club (usually spelled “Augustain” in the Sedalia Democrat, “Augustian” in the Capital and Sentinel, and “Augustan” in the St. Louis Republic) was composed of twenty white men who chose a high-minded title—referring either to the classical Augustan age of ca. 43 BCE to 14 CE, or the English literary period of ca. 1700–1745—for an organization that seems to have primarily sponsored social events. Joplin fulfilled the commission with The Augustan Club Waltzes, completed in January 1900 but not copyrighted by Stark until March 25, 1901. Its actual date of publication is not known, but it was performed by the Second Regiment Orchestra at the club’s masquerade ball on (p.91)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Example 6.1. Scott Joplin, The Augustan Club Waltzes (St. Louis: John Stark & Son, 1901), A1–4.

February 19, 1900.17 Augustan Club Waltzes is a pleasant piece, showing Joplin’s usual professional assuredness, but it is not particularly distinctive. He decorates the first strain with yodeling motif (ex. 6.1).

The U.S. Census was taken in Sedalia on June 6, 1900. Joplin gave his birth month and year as October 1872 (fig. 6.3), which is obviously false since he had appeared in the 1870 census. He is listed as living at 801Washington Avenue, although I cannot be certain of the accuracy of the address because the census page has many erasures, cross-outs, and inconsistencies. Assuming the address is correct, it was the home of a white, German immigrant family, with Michael Seethaler (“head”) listed along with his wife and two sons. Also in the home is Susan Hawkins, a black woman who is confusedly also listed as “head”; below her are listed her daughter and lodgers Scott Joplin and Belle Jones. That Hawkins is “head” suggests that she rented rooms from Seethaler and sublet to Joplin and Jones. It looks as if there was an erasure of Belle’s last name and that it was originally entered as “Joplin.” She is the person identified by Blesh and Janis and many subsequent Joplin biographers as “Belle Hayden,” based on her earlier marital relationship with Joseph Hayden, the deceased older brother of Joplin’s student Scott Hayden. In this census, Joplin and Belle list themselves as single; he gives his occupation as musician, she as laundress. Belle also indicates she had given birth to three children, one of whom was still living. This child was Alonzo Hayden, who was raised mostly by his paternal grandparents Marion and Louise Hayden, at 133 West Cooper. On Alonzo Hayden’s social security application, he lists his mother’s name as “Belle Jones.”

From news accounts of July 1900 there is a glimpse of Joplin’s political, social, and organizational sides. On July 10, 1900, a notice was posted in the Sedalia Capital inviting Sedalia’s black voters to a meeting at D. O. H. Hall (formerly the site of the Black 400 Club) to organize “a permanent republican organization.” The invitation is signed by twenty-seven black Sedalians, with Henry Jackson’s and Scott Joplin’s names appearing at the top. Other signers include several former Maple Leaf and Black 400 club members, such as Jacob Powell, John Williams, F. L. Mack, James Ellis, Dr. C. S. Walden, Arthur Chastine, and even William Hubbard, the Maple Leaf member arrested for trying to shoot his mother-in-law. A week later, the organization, now with thirty-one (p.92)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.3. U.S. Census, 1900, Sedalia, Missouri, SD 7, ED 111, Sheet 7, enumerated on June 6, 1900.

members, was named the P. D. Hastain Republican Club, honoring a former Sedalian mayor who often spoke at African American meetings and who made it a practice to include black members on the town’s police force.18 While the club undoubtedly had a political purpose, it was rumored to be a subterfuge for allowing its members to revive the Black 400 Club:

Has Social Features.

The P. D. Hastain Club Not for Political Purposes Only.

The colored P. D. Hastain club appears to be a sort of rejuvenation of the colored 400 club, with plenty of beer and other “social features” on the side. Last night, one of the members tells the Sentinel there were 20 girls present and they enjoyed dancing and had plenty of beer, as, indeed, they have had at all of their meetings.19

Members of the black community further honored and assisted Hastain by forming a vocal quartet named after him—the Hastain Quartette—comprised of singers Dan and Rich Smith and Len and John Williams; the quartet was used at Hastain’s political rallies, for which Henry Jackson composed a campaign song. Honoring other white Sedalia officials who had acted on behalf of the black community, Scott Joplin and Henry Jackson organized a baseball team, naming it the Robb and Shortridge team, after Constable Robb and city attorney A. L. Shortridge. Shortridge, as the attorney appointed by the court to examine the Maple Leaf Club’s petition for incorporation, had recommended the petition’s approval.20

These two incidents—the formation of both the Republican club and the baseball team—reveal traits of Joplin not seen before. It shows him actively involved in community affairs; he participates in local politics and is instrumental in organizing events that have nothing to do with music. Further, the naming of both the Republican club and the baseball team show him as eager to gain approval from whites. This deferential view might make some readers uncomfortable, but the attitude must be considered in the context of the period. Joplin was only one of several black community leaders who agreed upon the names, an action that had the practical side of gathering influential support for their plans. Their actions reflect the positions taken by the foremost African (p.93) American leader of the time, Booker T. Washington. The opposing views and demands of such people as W. E. B. Du Bois were yet to reach a wide audience.

In late July, Stark announced his publication of Swipesy Cakewalk, by Scott Joplin and Arthur Marshall.21 Blesh and Janis have dated Swipesy as composed while Joplin was still living in the Marshall household, but this assertion would place the composition in 1894 or 1895, which is probably too early.22 Regardless of when the music was composed, Stark’s announcement in the Sedalia Sentinel of July 23, 1900, close to the copyright date of July 21, 1900, is a good indication of when it was published.

Anecdotes about Stark’s obtaining Swipesy indicate it occurred in Sedalia. In a 1960 interview, Marshall spoke also of the title’s origin. He and Joplin had just delivered the manuscript and were standing in Stark’s office when they noticed two newspaper boys squabbling outside. Stark observed that one boy swiped a newspaper from the other and proposed that they name the piece “Swipesy.” In a variant of this story, told by Marshall’s daughter Mildred Steward, it was Joplin and Marshall, before entering Stark’s store, who witnessed the swiping and came up with the title.23

An early cover has small photographs of Joplin and Marshall (figs. 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6) on the sides of the lower half of the page, and a large photograph of a black boy—Swipesy—in the center. Later printings eliminated the Joplin and Marshall photos. Blesh and Janis, in another version of the rag’s naming, report that this center photograph was of a local shoeshine boy. Based on the boy’s sheepish appearance, which Stark thought made him look as if he had just swiped some cookies, Stark suggested they name the piece “Swipesy.”24 A rarely seen alternate cover has a cartoon of a boy carrying what might be a shoeshine box, surreptitiously biting the banana that a man is holding behind his back (fig. 6.7).25

Among Joplin’s publications are several on which his name appears together with that of a student or a younger colleague. These works offer both problems and opportunities for analyzing Joplin’s style. Which works were really collaborations, as opposed to pieces to which Joplin simply attached his name to promote sales? In cases of authentic collaborations, it may be possible to distinguish Joplin’s contributions from those of his collaborators. Testimony has it that in true collaborations Joplin and his co-composer worked on separate strains, so there may be evidence that Joplin modified the work of his co-composer.

Since Joplin did not turn his students’ works into something closely resembling his own suggests that he permitted them latitude in expressing their own musical personalities. There is evidence however, that he touched up the music of his collaborators, smoothing out rough spots and adding improvements. Joe Lamb told how Joplin, on first hearing his Dynamite Rag, immediately suggested that a two-octave chromatic ascent in both hands be changed to a passage with contrary motion, with the left hand descending chromatically.26 In another instance, Joplin told John Stark that a work of Arthur Marshall needed some rewriting before being engraved.27 It was part of Joplin’s musical nature to perceive alternatives and make changes. He did this even with his (p.94)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.4. Original cover of the Joplin-Marshall collaboration Swipesy Cake Walk, with portraits of Joplin and Marshall.

own music. Patterson reported that Joplin, while playing, invariably stopped to insert changes.28 He was continually seeing improvements in the music he composed and in music offered for his inspection.

Marshall told Blesh and Janis that when he showed Joplin the three strains he had composed for Swipesy, Joplin suggested that a fourth was needed. (p.95)

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.5. Portrait of Scott Joplin on the cover of Swipesy Cake Walk.

An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.6. Portrait of Arthur Marshall on the cover of Swipesy Cake Walk.


An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Fig. 6.7. Alternate, cartoon cover for Swipesy Cake Walk.

Marshall begged Joplin to provide another strain, which he did, writing what became the C strain.29 The musical evidence supports this assertion. The A, B, and D strains, all in B-flat, are unlike anything composed by Joplin. For example, the prominent fifth and fourths in the right hand in D3–4 would be uncharacteristic of Joplin (ex. 6.2a). It is not possible to know whether Joplin suggested changes in Marshall’s strains, but a likely detail might be the final measure of the introduction, which has voice-leading and contrary motion as expected from Joplin (ex. 6.2b).

Joplin’s section, strain C, is clearly his and shares with another collaborative work from this period a trait that is apparently commented upon by Campbell. It is a peculiar statement that on the surface seems to have little significance—that Joplin liked the seventh chord.30 Considered in the context of this strain, we see that with the upper-neighbor motif in mm. 2 and 3 he forms not seventh chords as measured from the bass, but prominent seventh intervals in the right hand (ex. 6.2c). This may be what Campbell had in mind.


An Approach to Musical Theater, 1899–1900

Example 6.2. Scott Joplin and Arthur Marshall, Swipesy. Cake Walk (St. Louis: John Stark & Son, 1900): (a) D1–4; (b) Introduction 4–A1; (c) Cl–4.

In late August, Joplin apparently visited Topeka, Kansas, a distance of about 150 miles from Sedalia and easily reached by railroad. He probably visited the office of a local newspaper, the African American Topeka Plaindealer, for that paper had the following notice:

Scott Joplin of Sedalia, Mo., is destined to be one of the best rag time writers in the country. He composed the famous Maple Leaf rag. His music is sold by Carl Huffmam [sic], Kansas City, Mo. Call on any music dealer in the country for his music. For particulars, address Scott Joplin, Sedalia, Mo.31

Carl Hoffman published Joplin’s Original Rags. That the paper connected Hoffman to Maple Leaf Rag instead of Stark is probably a reporter’s error; it’s possible, also, that Hoffman was selling Maple Leaf along with its own publications. Maple Leaf is cited here as “famous,” and Joplin had cited the piece in his Joplin-Jackson Musicale advertisement in June, which suggests that Will Stark’s statement in 1909 that it took a year to sell the first four hundred copies of Maple Leaf might not quite correct; it would take sales of more than 400 copies to make the music famous. There is no supporting evidence, but it is possible that the sales number was misrepresented to reduce Joplin’s royalties.

(p.98) Joplin was enjoying a degree of success and fame in Sedalia by 1900, and he was also revealing new sides of his character and of his aspirations. Not content with being known only for his ragtime music, he made tentative steps toward musical theater, a field that would allow him greater expressive depth. He appears as a leader in his community, helping to form both a political club and a baseball team. This must have been a satisfying time for him, and there were bigger things on the horizon. In St. Louis, he would receive praise that vastly overshadowed the acclaim from Sedalia.


(1.) JaNo, 22 (Arthur Marshall -2-). This information is also included, with embellishments, in TAPR, 69.

(2.) JaNo, 29 (Marshall extract cont.). I quote Marshall’s original letter as it appears in JaNo. The passage appears also in edited form and combined with (p.385) Marshall’s comments from another page about Joplin’s later opera, A Guest of Honor (JaNo, 30 [Arthur Marshall—letter of 2/5/50]). It’s clear that Blesh and Janis had mistakenly assumed that the term “Drama Company” referred only to the group that performed the opera, but the context in JaNo is clear that it refers also to the group that performed the Ragtime Dance.

(3.) “Made Sweet Music,” SeCa, Oct. 11, 1899, 1.

(4.) “Vaudeville and Minstrel,” NYCl, March 7, 1903, 40.

(5.) “‘Black American’ Cake Walk,” SeCa, Oct. 8, 1899, 1.

(6.) “A Cake Walk,” SeD, Nov. 19, 1899, 4. Other notices appeared in SeS, Nov. 20, 1899, 7, and SeCa, Nov. 24, 1899, 5. The name “Pork Chop Greasy” comes from Irving Jones’s coon song I’m Livin Easy (F. A. Mills, 1899), which has the line “I’m livin’ easy, on pork chops greazy.” Composer Charles Ives mentions hearing this song in 1893–94, long before the publication date, and later playing it in a New Haven theater (Charles E. Ives, Memos, ed. John Kirkpatrick [New York: W. W. Norton, 1972], 56–57).

(7.) “Last Night’s Entertainment,” SeCa, Nov. 25, 1899, 5. A similar appraisal was given in the SeS, Nov. 25, 1899, 2.

(8.) “Snap Shots,” SeCa, Nov. 28, 1899, 8. The performance was on the 24th, not the 23rd. See also, SeS, Nov. 28, 1899, 2.

(9.) Respectively: “Cake-Walk Tomorrow Night,” SeD, Dec. 11, 1899, 7; SeS, Dec. 13, 1899, 8. “News in Colored Circles,” SeS, Dec. 16, 1899, 5; also “Snap Shots,” SeCa, Dec. 12, 1899, 5. I cannot clarify the conflicting information of whether Robert Joplin had arrived from Omaha or from St. Louis. Sedalia newspapers occasionally mention a Robert Joplin as early as January 1898, but this was not Scott Joplin’s brother; it was a white youth who was frequently in trouble.

(10.) SeCa, June 22, 1900; repeated June 23, 2; June 24, 6; June 26, 6; June 27, 6. Also, in SeS: June 21, 1900, 5; June 22, 4.

(11.) “King of Raggers,” SeCa, June 28, 1900, 8.

(12.) In SeS: July 8, 1900, 1; July 10, 1900, 4 (repr. July 11, 1900, 8).

(13.) Respectively: SeS, July 12, 1900, 6; “The Joplin-Jackson Musical,” SeCa, July 12, 1900, 1.

(14.) “Snap Shots,” SeCa, Sept. 28, 1900, 5.

(15.) SeS, June 21, 1900, 1.

(16.) “Will Honor a Local Club,” SeD, Jan. 2, 1900, 1. See also, in the “Snap Shots” column of SeCa, Jan. 3, 1900, 8, and Jan. 31, 1900, 5.

(17.) Respectively, in SeD: “Will Give a Masque Ball,” Feb. 4, 1900, 5; and “The Masqued Ball,” Feb. 20, 1900, 2.

(18.) In SeCa: “To Organize a Club,” July 10, 1900, 1; “Another Club,” July 13, 1900, 1; “Bowron to Speak,” July 17, 19011, 1; “At the Hastain Club,” July 18, 1900, 1. See also in SeCa: “Colored Republicans,” March 23, 1898, 1; “Big Colored Meeting,” March 25, 1898, 1.

(19.) “Has Social Features,” SeS, July 17, 1900, 8.

(20.) In SeCa: “The Hastain Quartette,” July, 21, 1900, 1; “Snap Shots,” July, 18, 1900, 5. An editorial in the black SeT, March 8, 1902, 2, cites Shortridge as “a warm friend of the colored people.” Constable was an elected position.

(21.) SeS, July 23, 1900, 4.

(22.) TAPR, 26–27.

(23.) Tichenor, “Arthur Marshall,” 84; “Arthur Marshall: His Daughter’s Memories,” RagT, Nov. 1990, 2.

(24.) TAPR, 52–53.

(25.) Sedalia resident Ollie Martin, whose mother (Beatrice Martin) knew both Joplin and Marshall, insisted that the title was always pronounced with a short “i” [”Swippsy”]. This pronunciation is not supported by any of the anecdotes of the title’s origin or the cartoon on the alternate cover.

(p.386) (26.) Russell E. Cassidy, “Joseph F. Lamb: A Biography,” Ragtimer, Summer 1966, 31–32. Dynamite Rag was renamed Joe Lamb’s Old Rag; it is published in a folio titled A Little Lost Lamb: Piano Music by Joseph F. Lamb (no publication data included in the folio, but sold by Ragtime Press, http://rtpress.com/).

(27.) Letter from John Stark to Arthur Marshall, Aug. 24, 1906. Letter is owned by the Trebor Tichenor estate.

(28.) JaNo, 13 (Sam Patterson -2-).

(29.) JaNo, 23 (Marshall -3-). Marshall confirmed this account in a letter to Robert Allen Bradford, printed as “Arthur Marshall—Last of the Sedalia Ragtimers,” RagT, May 1968), 5.

(30.) Campbell, “Rags to Ragtime,” 13.

(31.) “Personal Notes,” Topeka Plaindealer, Aug. 31, 1900, 3; also in Sept. 7, 3.