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date: 15 November 2019

Claxton, Katelocked

(24 August 1848–05 May 1924)
  • Melissa Vickery-Bareford

Extract

Claxton, Kate (24 August 1848–05 May 1924), actress and manager, was born Catherine Elizabeth Cone in Somerville, New Jersey, the daughter of Spencer Wallace Cone, a lawyer and writer, and Josephine Martinez. Educated in private schools in New York, including Miss Rostand’s Institute, and married “ill-advisedly” at seventeen to Isadore Lyon, whom she later divorced (they had no children), Claxton claimed she went on the stage seeking “the independence of self-support.” Although in his literary pursuits her father had written several produced plays and her grandfather acted before he joined the clergy, Claxton’s family was not supportive of her chosen profession. But Claxton saw acting as one of the few professions that enabled women to match the earning power of men. Aware of the familial opposition she would face in New York, she opted to begin her theatrical career in Chicago....

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