New York Times April 5 1904:
«An African Millionaire» Play found on Grant Allen's Stories Fails to Thrill
"If you can't be a bell cow, fall in behind," sang one of that noble band of poets, who are ever seeking to enlighten humanity and lift the burden from suffering mortals. It must have been rememberance of that sage advice that inspired Fred C. Whitney, theatrical manager, when he conceived and executed the direful idea of perpetrating «An African Millionaire» on an unsuspecting New York public.
A good many persons have heard by this . .. . of a certain amateur cracksman who, after having won fame and admiration in the pages of a novel, stepped with considerable distinction to the centre of the stage of this same Princess Theatre.
There is this point of resemblance between the effort last night and the one mentioned. In both the central figure is a thief, who pursues his villany under the very eyes of his victims. But «Raffles» had at least the semblance of play form, the present effort consists of a number of large chunks of book dialogue, strung together loosely and with neither consistent or consecutive interest. At the end of each act of «An African Millionaire» there is a mild sort of climate which reminds one distinctly of the case where the tail was supposed to wag the dog. The climaxes in this case wags nothing, though if the whole affair were not so utterly incompetent it might provide opportunity for a wag to wax merry. H. Reeves Smith, who appeared as several different characters, was, despite changes off wig and makeup, quite himself in each of them. Miss Minnie Dupree, and excellent actress in some parts, wrestled despairingly with two or three dialects. A character bit was fairly well played by Henry Rich, but to go into details as to the actors generally would be unnecessarily unkind. The occasion merits lilttle more than charitable silence.