New York: McLoughlin Brothers, [n.d., 1874]. First edition. Spine reinforced with archival tape. A bit of creasing to wrappers and throughout and a bit of light toning, but overall a very good copy of a fragile item. Original stiff paper wrappers printed in color with title and illustration. 10.75 inches by 9 inches. 10] ll. 12 half-page chromolithograph illustrations: 10 printed on the leaves and 2 on the interior of the wrappers. Item #16817
The Mulligan Guard” was an 1873 song and comedy sketch with lyrics by the Irish-American actor and songwriter Edward Harrigan (1844-1911) and music by the composer David Braham (1834-1905). Harrigan and the young actor Tony Hart (1855-1891) incorporated songs like “The Mulligan Guard” into their Broadway performances like The Mulligan Guard Picnic (1878) and The Mulligan Guards’ Ball (1879). The Mulligan Guard plays satirize a neighborhood “militia” made up of Irish immigrants in the United States and is inspired by the tensions across ethnic and racial lines in Brooklyn, where Harrigan grew up and lived much of his adult life. In their Mulligan shows, Harrigan and Hart often portrayed the Irish and German immigrants who populated Brooklyn and took on the roles of racist caricatures of black people.
The Ten Little Mulligan Guards was adapted for children from Harrigan and Braham’s “The Mulligan Guard,” though OCLC notes that the music in The Ten Little Mulligan Guards is only the chorus of the original song and that the original lyrics have been replaced with new verses for children. The children’s version of “The Mulligan Guard” in the present item maintains the premise of a group of Irish-Americans intending to protect their neighborhood and includes a caricature of a black man who marches with the Mulligan Guard The illustrator of The Ten Little Mulligan Guards is not credited in the item nor in its OCLC listing, but the illustrations may have been the work of Edward Cogger. Cogger illustrated dozens of items for the McLoughlin Brothers publishing company between about 1855 and 1900, including the “Aunt Louisa” and “Uncle Ned” picture book titles listed on the back of the present item.