a.k.a. “Little Mac”
Born in Brockville, July 11, 1844
“Little Mac” was the stage name under which Ebenezer Nicholson performed with shows such as Dan Bryant’s Minstrels during the 1860s.
Small in stature but big in talent, this local boy gained fame all over North America. Ebenezer Nicholson, born in Brockville, and known as“Aben” by his family and friends, made his theatrical debut in the United States with”Dan Bryant’s Minstrels” who travelled around the continent, when minstrel shows were all the rage. At some point he adapted the stage name of “Little Mac.” This was also the derogatory nickname given to Union General, George B. McClellan at the time of the Civil War.
This well-dressed young man from Brockville was a well-known performer the day he posed for a New York photographer. Ebenezer Nicholson grew up in Brockville, and later became a Minstrel Show performer.
This is Aben Nicholson in his stage costume and make-up for his role as “Little Mac“.
While home in Brockville visiting his parents, Aben went to the photographer’s studio to have his picture taken with his friend, Mike Reid.
[These photographs can be viewed full size in a separate window by double clicking on the picture on this page until you reach the enlarged version further in the system]
Sources: This set of photographs was originally owned by Michael J. Reid, one of Ebenezer Nicholson’s friends in Brockville. They were handed down in the Reid family. The shot of Aben in his dark suit was taken in the Clarke’s Union Photographic Gallery, 643 Broadway Ave, New York. The two photos of “Little Mac” were taken in the studio of D. Frederick’s & Co., 587 Broadway Ave., New York. You might notice he’s wearing two different costumes, so they were probably taken on two separate occasions. The fourth picture is taken here in Brockville at the International Gallery owned by A.C. McIntyre. Michael J. Reid and Aben Nicholson are posed against the classical backdrop which started to show in photographs taken in 1866 by the McIntyre Studio.