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.