"...and touch the universal heart."
Triumph at Chickering Hall

View Images

In November 1887 Riley was invited by the prestigious International Copyright League to appear on stage with the greatest literary figures of the time. Excited by the prospect of being included in such august company, Riley wrote to both Bill Nye and James Newton Matthews confidentially, but with irrepressible ebullience, about the invitation. James Russell Lowell presided over the program which spanned the evenings of November 27 and 28. The selections Riley chose to present were "When the Frost is on the Punkin" and the "Object Lesson." His efforts were met with such enthusiasm that he was asked to perform the second evening as well. Riley was at the height of his career as a platform performer and publicly acknowledged as an equal by his peers.