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Oscar Wilde In America

a selected resource of oscar wilde's visits to america

Lawrence, KS

The Decorative Arts | Liberty Hall | Friday, April 21, 1882



Newspaper Report

The Daily Journal (Lawrence, KS), April 22, 1882, 4



Newspaper Advertisement

Lawrence Daily Journal, April 18, 1882, 1



As to lecture title

Advertised as The English Renaissance, but, owing to the smaller houses, Wilde had written to his manager, Col.W. F. Morse in early March to say:

"Kindly see that I am not advertised to lecture on 'The English Renaissance'. I have not delivered that lecture since February 11, and yet I am always advertised for it. It is very annoying, and besides, 'The English Renaissance' is printed in the Seaside, so people think they know it, and stay away. The lecture is on 'The Decorative Arts.'"


However, Morse was clearly not as diligent as he should have been, and even by this date was still advertising the wrong lecture. On this occasion the change had to be made at the last minute as described below:


Lawrence Daily Journal, April 21, 1882

historical note

Liberty Hall
orner of 7th Street and Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS (now 644 Massachusetts Street)

Built: 1856
Opened: 1856
Dedicated: 1870 by Reverend Bently, a Baptist minister, who suggested the name because Abraham Lincoln had once called Lawrence the "cradle of liberty"
Seating capacity:
Remodeled: 1882 as Bowersock Opera House (J.D. Bowersock)
Destroyed (fire): February 18, 1911
Replaced: January 20, 1912 by a new Liberty Hall (extant)



Unverified information suggests Wilde's accommodation was the Eldridge House, which is likely given the low number and quality of hotels in Lawrence in 1882. The hotel is shown below with this caveat until primary source evidence is discovered.

Eldridge House
Built: 1865


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