January 30 - Way out West

Story topics
Related Story

On January 30, 1900, Paul Laurence Dunbar recited from his poetry and fiction during an appearance at a Denver church.  Paul was in Colorado seeking relief from tuberculosis.

The famous colored poet and story writer, one of the most famous literary characters in the world, will give a long program in Trinity M. E. Church on Tuesday evening, January 30th.  This is his first and may be his last appearance in an extended program this year.  This program includes some of Mr. Dunbar’s most famous pieces, both humorous and pathetic.

"Paul Laurence Dunbar at Trinity M. E. Church."  The Colorado Statesman (Denver, Colorado).  January 27, 1900.  Page 9.

Readings by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Assisted by the College of Music, University of Denver
Trinity Church, Tuesday evening, Jan. 30, at 8 o'clock.



The Poet and His Song
In the Morning
A Coquette Conquered
Aunt Tempy's Triumph
Dat Ol' Mare o' Mine
The Party

Church bulletin, no date [January 1900].  Paul Laurence Dunbar Papers, Ohio History Connection (Microfilm edition, Roll 4).

Trinity M. E. Church, Denver

Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, photographed by L. D. Regnier, c. 1888 - 1890.  Western History Department, Denver Public Library (Denver, Colorado).  Call number X-25627.

Paul spoke at a large stone church in Denver that was built in 1887 and still stands at Eighteenth Avenue and Broadway.  The sanctuary was designed like a theatre and had excellent acoustics, enabling Paul to speak to an enormous crowd without amplification.

The reading at Trinity on the thirtieth was a great success, more than two thousand people being in the house, and a more enthusiastic audience I have rarely seen.

Paul Laurence Dunbar to Booker T. Washington, February 8, 1900.  Booker T. Washington Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

The audience which gathered in Trinity Church last night to hear Paul Laurence Dunbar heard that author's poems at their very best.  Whatever might be the mere poetic value of the pieces, the author's rendering of them enhanced that value a hundredfold.  Trinity Church has rarely been as well filled as it was last night.  The floor was filled to overflowing, the galleries were crowded and there were some standing listeners.

"A Peep at the Plantation."  The Denver Republican (Denver, Colorado).  January 31, 1900.

The engagement was under the auspices of the Trinity Reading College.  The people laughed and applauded Dunbar's humor and expression in a manner that proved him a genius.  Pleasing expressions were on everybody's tongue as the audience left the church.

"Dunbar Reading."  Unidentified newspaper clipping [Denver, Colorado].  February 3, 1900.