Meet Alf. Doolin, circa 1875
Any resident of the Fifth ward who does not know Alf. Doolin is not posted on local celebrities of color. Alf. Doolin is a civil rights brick of the West End. Doolin is a trump card on bottom work, and can fix your chair bottoms better than new. ‘Tis his forte and he will play you thereon with a plano-forte degree of amiability. On Sundays Alf. Doolin has a serious tendency. He puts on a three-story plug hat, a swallow-tail coat and wears “yallow” gloves, a big collar, dangerously elongated boots with pin-back attachments. He might pass for a Christian deacon of color. He can talk politics, astronomics, religion and hydrostatics with fluency.
Hannibal Clipper Sept. 19, 1875; via Hannibal Free Public Library's digital website