1872, Vagabond Adventures
Keeler, Ralph. "Three Years as a Negro Minstrel," Atlantic Monthly, 24:141 (July 1869)
---. Vagabond Adventures, Boston: Fields, Osgood & Co., 1870.
A portion of Ralph Keeler's brief life included working with a minstrel troupe on the Mississippi River. This was probably in 1856, while with a troupe that included Johnny Booker and Dave Reed. Keeler's autobiographical account titled "Three Years as a Negro Minstrel" was first published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1869. The following year it was collected with several other autobiographical vignettes in Vagabond Adventures. Keeler disappeared on assignment in Cuba in 1873. Commentary by his friends was postponed for many years, and, finally, penned as literary obituaries.
"Vagabond Adventures," Atlantic Monthly (Book Review), December 1870, 759-760.
Howells, William Dean. Literary Friends and Acquaintance: A Personal Retrospect of American Authorship, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1900, 275-279.
Twain, Mark. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. 377-383.