Ralph Keeler (1840 - 1873) - Author Collection
Ralph Keeler was an American actor, traveling minstrel theater performer, and journalist. He began his career when he was not more than eleven years of age. As a runaway child, he became part of a minstrel troupe that travelled around the country, including a stint along the Mississippi River in a showboat. Leaving that life behind to pursue an education, he made his way to Europe where he enrolled as a student at Heidelberg University. Returning to America after the Civil War, he gravitated to San Francisco. There he began to appear as a columnist—normally using the pen name “Allaquiz.” He then moved back east, where he joined the lecture circuit and continued in journalism. He went to Cuba in 1873 as special correspondent of the New York Tribune, and suddenly and absolutely disappeared. He is supposed to have been murdered and thrown into the sea.