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Jerry Bryant, leader of the famous Bryant's Minstrels, dies suddenly in New York City, aged thirty-two

Jerry (O'Neill) Bryant, circa 1860, detail
04/08/1861
Jerry O'Neill, whose stage name was "Jerry Bryant," was the eldest of three brothers from Chesterfield, New York who led the Bryant Minstrels during their period of wild popularity just before the Civil War.  They began in 1857, performing in black-face before huge crowds in the north-east with songs like group member Dan Emmett's "Dixie."  Jerry Bryant died of a brain seizure two months before his thirty-third birthday.  His brothers continued the group during the war and after. (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
"Death of Mr. Jerry Bryant," New York Times, April 9, 1861.

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