First Universalist Church (Bridgeport, Connecticut)

Bridgeport CT - full

Photo of the cast of "Prophet of Good Luck," a play given by members of the First Universalist Church in Bridgeport, Conn., and written by the Rev. Bernard Ruggles (published by him in 1916). The play includes a cast of characters including John Murray ("Pioneer of Universalism"), Thomas Potter ("The Prophet of Good Luck"), Captain Winthrop Sargent ("A retired sea captain"), Jabez Mason ("A dogmatic deacon"), Captain Eli Jones ("A jovial skipper"), Gabriel and Joshua ("Rollicking farmer lads"), A Bailiff, Eliza Neale ("The Lily Lady"), Mistress Mercy Allen ("A bustling but benevolent matron"), Mrs. Judith Sargent Stevens ("A charming and accomplished widow"), Prudence MacRae ("A pert Scottish maid"), Little Abigail Edwards ("A quaint little Colonial Miss"), and a mob in Gloucester.

The first Universalist meetings were held in Bridgeport in 1841, and the society was organized in 1844. It is likely that the play was performed in the hall of the church's parish house, the 1881 addition (the gift of Phineas T. Barnum) to the 1851 church building on Fairfield Ave. in Bridgeport. [Photo: bMS 902/6 (12)]