Based in New York, ventriloquist Charles Young played many of the important venues of the late 18th century: Tony Pastor’s, Bunnell’s New American Museum, Harrigan & Hart’s Theatre Comique and Barnum’s Traveling Museum etc (the American Museum was defunct by then)
According to the blog Afflictor.com, this hilarious item ran in the Brookly Daily Eagle July 20, 1886:
“A Gallant Ventriloquist: Charles Young, a ventriloquist, who earns a living by exhibiting his acquirement at the West End, Coney Island, was arraigned before Justice Newtown there yesterday afternoon, on complaint of John Dunn, a cottager on the Island, who accused him of assault. Dunn told the Justice that Young had been out walking with his wife and when they returned home Dunn told Young that he should not be so free with another man’s wife. The gallant ventriloquist thereupon assaulted the remonstrating husband, who had him arrested. Young denied the charge and said he had a thousand young ladies to go out with, without taking another man’s wife. He was placed in $200 bonds to answer.”
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.