John Augustus Stone

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John Augustus Stone
John Augustus Stone
John Stone by Jacob Eichholtz
Born(1801-12-15)December 15, 1801
DiedJune 1, 1834(1834-06-01) (aged 32)
Cause of deathSuicide
Resting placeMachpelah Cemetery, Philadelphia
OccupationActor, Dramatist, and Playwright
Known forMetamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags

John Augustus Stone (December 15, 1801 Concord, Massachusetts – June 1, 1834 Philadelphia) was an American actor, dramatist, and playwright, best known as the author of Metamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags.[1]


He appeared on the New York stage beginning in 1822. He wrote Metamora, as a vehicle for Edwin Forrest, who offered as a prize $500 and half of the proceeds from the third night.[2] William Cullen Bryant headed a committee which chose Stone's play as the best of 14 submitted.[2] The play, first produced in 1829, told the life of King Philip.

He married Mrs. Amelia Greene Legge, an actress. She later married Nathaniel Harrington Bannister.[3]

Stone suffered periods of insanity and he committed suicide by jumping into the Schuylkill River.[4] He was buried at Machpelah Cemetery in Philadelphia. That cemetery was closed in 1895 and the bodies moved to North Mount Moriah Cemetery (AKA Graceland)in Yeadon PA, which is not affiliated with the nearby Mount Moriah Cemetery, which was later abandoned. His grave at Machpelah was marked by a monument erected by Forrest.[4] The inscription reads: "Erected to the memory of the author of 'Metamora' by his friend, Edwin Forrest". Some sources cite Forrest's success with Stone's plays and his paltry remuneration as causing his suicide.


In addition to Metamora, Stone wrote a number of other plays:

  • Montrano, or Who's the Traitor, 1822 Philadelphia [5]
  • Restoration, or the Diamond Cross, 1824 Chatham Garden Theater in New-York.
  • Tancred, or the Siege of Antioch 1827
  • La Roque; a Regicide Charleston
  • Fauntleroy; or, the Fatal Forgery Charleston
  • Touretoun
  • Banker of Rouen
  • Tancred, King of Sicily March 16, 1831
  • The Demoniac, or the Prophet's Bride April 12, 1831
  • The Ancient Briton, March 27, 1833 [6]
  • The Knight of the Golden Fleece, or The Yankee in Spain, 1834[7]

None of them enjoyed Metamora's success.


  1. ^ Personal recollections of the drama: or Theatrical reminiscences, Henry Dickinson Stone, C. Van Benthuysen & sons, 1873
  2. ^ a b Arthur Hobson Quinn (1936). "Stone, John Augustus". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Ehrlich, Eugene and Gorton Carruth. The Oxford Illustrated Literary Guide to the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982: 205. ISBN 0-19-503186-5
  5. ^ History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884, Volume 2, John Thomas Scharf, Thompson Westcott
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2010-06-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ The Knickerbocker, Volume 4, Peabody & Co., 1834

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