Composers and their stage works 

The Poor of New York

Dion Boucicault

(1857) Melodrama depicting the rise and fall of Gideon Bloodgood during the financial panics of 1837 and 1857.

Paul Fairweather, who has deposited $100,000 in Bloodgood's bank, hears a rumour the following day that the bank is about to fail and rushes back to withdraw his money. When Bloodgood refuses to give him the money, the incensed Fairweather attacks him but is stricken suddenly with apoplexy and dies.

As he falls, the deposit slip drops and is surreptitiously pocketed by Tom Badger, a clerk who had witnessed the deposit being made. The next day Fairweather's body is found in a gutter.

Twenty years later, in the middle of the panic of 1857, the Fairweather family is shown as destitute, while the Bloodgoods are living luxuriously on the stolen funds. Meanwhile, Badger, who has been blackmailing Bloodgood, is arrested at the banker's request in an attempt to recover the deposit slip. When the slip is not found on Badger's person, Bloodgood sets fire to the clerk's rooming house in order to destroy it. After being rescued by the police, Badger accuses Bloodgood of arson and incriminates him in Fairweather's death. With Bloodgood's arrest, the money will be returned to the Fairweathers.

When this play appeared in other cities, it was reworked and retitled accordingly; for example in London, it became The Poor of London.