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Childs, Nathaniel (1847?-1898)

Musician, Playwright, Poet

Very little is known about Nathaniel Childs beyond what can be found in his connection to Willie Edouin’s small theatre group. Apparently, Nat Childs was “a well-known theatrical man” who originated from Boston (“Nathaniel Childs”). We know that he graduated from Harvard in 1869 and that he traveled from Boston, to New York, and ventured into Philadelphia through Edouin’s theatre group after entering the profession in 1876 (“Nathaniel Childs”). The capacity in which he served in the group is untenable, but it does seem that he worked primarily as a playwright, working with Edouin to produce the group’s farces and comedies like Dreams, Or Fun in a Photograph Gallery (1881) (“Hooley’s Theatre”) and Hiawatha! (1878) (“Haverly’s Theatre”). Childs also seemed to dabble in poetry, publishing at least one poem in the Washington based magazine, the Advocate of Peace , later renamed World Affairs (Childs 125). Childs was a known press agent for the “Way Down East” company, as well as an advance agent for English actor, Henry Irving (“Nathaniel Childs”).

The only mention of Nat Childs in relation to the Pfaffians appears in the New York Times obituary of Charles Pfaff, where Childs is identified as one of the "Knights of the Round Table" of the "lions of Bohemia" ("In and about the City" 2). Perhaps arriving too late to the Pfaffian scene (having a career in New York after the heyday of Pfaff’s), Childs’s place at Pfaff’s is uncertain.

Suffering from the failure of his play, Little Miss Nobody, Childs fell into depression of heavy drinking and self-destruction. Culminating on October 28th, 1898, Nathaniel Childs ingested “forty-five grains” of morphine and then shot himself in the head, leaving behind his wife. (“Nathaniel Childs”).