New York in Ten Tours, Including Hoyt’s A Trip to Chinatown.
An imaginary Manhattan ‘Trip’ to see a theatrical comedy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown
Rare title ostensibly offering travelers’ advice on visiting and organized coach itineraries of New York City, but whose main purpose was to promote performances of A Trip to Chinatown, at Hoyt’s Madison Square Theatre.
The pamphlet presents suggested tours of Manhattan, but a close reading of the “Fifth Tour” reveals that it is an extended description of the plot and characters of this theatrical comedy set in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
For this entertaining and enjoyable trip we engage passage in advance, in order to be sure of seats—the trip made in Hoyt’s Madison Square Theatre, a vehicle that seats only about 800 passengers. It is made daily, except Sundays, at 8:30 P.M., with an extra “Trip” on Saturdays, at 2 P.M. ...more than 500,000 people have taken this Trip since it was inaugurated in 1891. So long as busy people want to separate themselves from their cares…we see no reason why the fun, and music, furnished on Hoyt’s A Trip to Chinatown should not sustain its present reputation of being the most enjoyable thing in New York. (p47 and p50)
Adding to this light-hearted text is a cover illustration by Henry Pruett Share (1853–1905) showing a diverse coaching party of men and women including, oddly, a man, hooded and well-wrapped up clutching a cat. Is he the character “enveloped in numerous coats” from the play, the Boston hypochondriac who goes to California to die?
An issue of the Indianapolis Journal from July 9, 1893 (p11) reports that author John H. Martin was an Indianapolite who had been working that summer in New York in the employ of Hoyt & Thomas “...and in writing special articles for the newspaper syndicates” It continues: “[h]e has recently published a little book, ‘New York in Ten Tours,’ which has for its object the advertising of Hoyt’s ‘A Trip to Chinatown’ and incidentally to serve as a guide for visitors to the metropolis.”¹
Description: New York in Ten Tours, Including Hoyt’s A Trip to Chinatown.
New York: The Winthrop Press, (1893). 64pp. Illustrated wraps. 6¼ x 4¾ inches. Advertisement on back cover. Near fine.
One copy at Columbia. Note. 1. Indianapolis Journal 9 July 1893 — Hoosier State Chronicles: Indiana’s Digital Historic Newspaper Program accessed online.