Lew Dockstader

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Lew Dockstader
Dockstader in blackface, 1902
Born George Alfred Clapp
(1856-08-07)August 7, 1856
Hartford, Connecticut
Died October 26, 1924(1924-10-26) (aged 68)
New York City

Lew Dockstader (August 7, 1856 – October 26, 1924) was an American singer, comedian, and vaudeville star, best known as a blackface minstrel show performer. Dockstader performed as a solo act and in his own a popular minstrel troupe.[1]


He was born George Alfred Clapp on August 7, 1856 in Hartford, Connecticut to Chester Clapp and Sarah Reed. He married Lucin Brown on December 20, 1883 in Hartford and had a daughter, Mildred Havlin Clapp, who married Warren Palmer.[1]

In 1898 he teamed up with George Primrose to form Primrose and Dockstader's Minstrel Men, which toured the vaudeville circuit till 1904.

Dockstader appeared on film in a number of comedy shorts from 1905 to 1907.[2] He played the title role in the 1914 feature silent film "Dan".[3]

His wife died in 1919. In January 1923 he was injured in a fall in New Brunswick, New Jersey from his nascent cancer. His last performance was at Keith's Star Theater in December 1923. He died on October 26, 1924 in New York City of bone cancer on his left leg, at age 68. His funeral was at All Angels' Church and he was buried in Kensico Cemetery.[1]

Performers with Dockstader's Minstrels[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Lew Dockstader, Minstrel, Is Dead. Famous Comedian Succumbs to a Bone Tumor at His Daughter's Home at 68". New York Times. October 27, 1924. Retrieved 2015-02-02. 
  2. ^ Charles Musser (1991) Before the Nickelodeon, University of California Press
  3. ^ Lew Dockstader on IMDb
  4. ^ "Neil O'Brien Dies at 85. Retired Minstrel Once With Primrose and Dockstader". New York Times. January 14, 1954. Retrieved 2015-02-02. 

External links[edit]