George Christy

George N. Christy (born George Harrington) (November 6, 1827 – May 12, 1868) was one of the leading blackface performers during the early years of the blackface minstrel show in the 1840s.[1]

George Christy
Sheet music cover for songs by Christy's Minstrels, 1844. E. P. Christy shown in circle at top.
George Harrington
OccupationStage actor, singer

Born in Palmyra, New York, his career began as a star performer with his stepfather E. P. Christy's troupe Christy's Minstrels; in two and a half years with them he earned $19,680, a fortune for those times.[2][3] Jim Comer credits him with inventing "the line", the structured grouping that constituted the first act of the standardized 3-act minstrel show, with the interlocutor in the middle and "Mr. Tambo" and "Mr. Bones" on the ends.[4]

He died in New York City from cerebral edema in 1868.


  1. Lott, 1993, 174.
  2. Lott, 1993, 267.
  3. Belcher.
  4. It is possible that he has him confused with E.P. Christy.



  • Belcher, W.H., Interesting Career of Judge John W. Rea, originally from Passaic County Historical Publication, Vol. II, No. 1, September 1, 1931. Accessed 6 Sept 2005.
  • Comer, Jim, Every Time I Turn Around: Rite, Reversal, and the end of blackface minstrelsy. Accessed 6 Sept 2005.
  • Lott, Eric. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-507832-2.

Further reading

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