1861: New York
After leaving the steamer Banjo and the Mississippi River, Cotton returned to New York in the fall of 1860. Not long afterward, Lincoln was elected President. At that point he joined Hooley and Campbell's Minstrels, replacing Billy Birch. Hooley's troupe had been performing in and out of New York City for most of the year. The year 1861 would be similarly nomadic. The national hostilities began in the spring of 1861. Both of his brothers enlisted in the Union army. New York was a city awaiting news from elsehere, news of hostilities, or compromise, victory or defeat. Attendance at amusements flagged in preparation for something... ominous.