Mark Twain introducing Polk Miller at Madison Square Garden Concert Hall, New York City, February 1894: “Mr. Miller is thoroughly competent to entertain you with his sketches of the old-time negro, and I not only commend him to your intelligent notice, but I personally endorse him. The stories I have heard him tell are the best I have ever heard.”

“The little round tenor on the end rolled his eyes and beat time with his foot; the tall solemn tenor next him opened his mouth until the ‘gallery gods’ held to their chairs to keep from falling in; the first bass with a white vest and dignity becoming his dress poured forth sonorous tones; while the short bass on the end ducked his head, looked at the audience from the corners of his slit eyes, and fairly growled… The little round tenor sang a laughing song with guitar accompaniment which proved amusing to the audience.”
– University Missourian, November 17, 1908

“Mr. Miller prefaced his entertainment with the statement that neither he nor his negroes would know a note if they stumbled over it in the road, and begged that they be not critical. They were not(…) Encore after encore followed each song.”
– The Times Dispatch, January 24, 1911

Polk Miller interviewed by the Richmond Journal, January 3, 1912: “There is a deep-seated, cruel and foolish prejudice in the North… against the negro as a race of people… Some of the Northern towns which wanted me, and wanted me badly, would write: ‘We are exceedingly anxious to have you, but our people don’t want the quartette, as our people do not like the negro.’”

“A countryman called at the store of Polk Miller yesterday morning with a pail of milk in which a snake about six inches long curled and wriggled. The countryman declared that the snake had made its appearance in the milk pail that morning, being passed from the cow in the milking operation.”
– Richmond Dispatch, June 29, 1902.


Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑