Detail, Morris Brothers, Pell & Trowbridge's Minstrels

Rascality: When driven to labor by the compulsive power of the white man, he performs the task assigned to him in a headlong, careless manner, treading down with his feet, or cutting with his hoe the plants he is put to cultivate - breaking the tools he works with and spoiling everything he touches that can be injured by careless handling.  Hence the overseers call it rascality, supposing that the mischief is intentionally done.  But there is no premeditated mischief in the case, - the mind is too torpid to meditate mischief, or even to be aroused by the angry passions to deeds of daring.  Dysaesthesia, or hebetude of sensation of both mind and body, prevails to so great an extent, that when the unfortunate individual is subjected to punishment, he neither feels pain of any consequence, or shows any unusual resentment, more than by a stupid sulkiness. In some cases, anaesthesiae would be a more suitable name for it, as there appears to be an almost total loss of feeling.  The term rascality, given to this disease by overseers, is founded on an erroneous hypothesis and leads to an incorrect treatment, which seldom or ever cures it.

Dr. Samuel Cartwright, "Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race," The New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, May 1851

Real blacks:  The Georgia Minstrels (colored, and all born so) have introduced several in the ordinary routine of minstrel  business, all of which seem to take with the public.  The performance consists of the usual elements of songs (comic and sentimental), dances, banjo solos, farces, etc., but there is a freshness and novelty about them, combined with the piqant idea of their being rendered by real blacks, independent of the aid of burnt cork...

"Footlight Flashes: Dramatic and Musical Matters in San Francisco," San Francisco Chronicle, May 14, 1876, p. 1.


Representations:  A structured reconfiguration of reality, roughly equivalent to "sketch."  The Morris Brothers, Pell & Trowbridge's Minstrels published an advertisement for the troupe that offered miniature scenic glimpses of various elements of their performances.  These graphic glimpses were described as representations.