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Ravel Family

A CARD FROM GABRIEL RAVEL.—Mr. Editor: The unauthorized assumption of the Ravel family title for the purpose of dignifying in the popular esteem entertainments intrinsically mean and worthless is, unfortunately, of too frequent recurrence to challenge, ordinarily, a protest from myself or any other member of the Ravel family, the more especially as that we felt certain the popular intelligence would readily penetrate the character of the fraud and appreciate its object. Heretofore these unworthy attempts to usurp the artistic reputation it is the good fortune of my brothers and myself to have acquired at the hands of the American people have been confined to vulgar and obscure hands of itinerant performers; but it is with some surprise and no inconsiderable indignation I have noted the unwarranted deception attempted to be practiced upon the citizens of Washington by attaching the title of the Ravel family to certain performances now being given in that city under the direction of Mr. P.T. Barnum. I am unwilling to believe that a gentleman so familiar as Mr. Barnum undoubtedly is with the properties of the artistic world, and with the principles of fair dealing, could countenance so gross a fraud, and should confidently claim from him personally, the correction of this imposture act, if but that justice both to the community and to the management of Ford’s Theater, Washington, with whom I am about to commence a brief engagement, demand I should thus publicly declare that the adoption of the title, or of any professional distinction of the Ravel family, is an usurpation, wholly without color or warrant. I am myself—it seems scarcely necessary for me to add—the only member of the original Ravel family now in America—my brothers Antoine, Francois and Jerome being at present in France—and the legitimate representative, therefore, in this country of their professional reputation and artistic dignity.

Gabriel Ravel

Baltimore, Oct. 24, 1862

Evening Star October 25, 1862. Print.

(Washington, DC)