Fictional Character
"Hail! Hail!"
POD: December 15, 1826
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Enslaved resident of Mexican Texas

Lemuel was Adolphus Sterne's slave. He met the Marx Brothers when Sterne brought them home for dinner. Lemuel spoke Yiddish with Sterne, and did the cooking and the serving of their supper. As a slave, he had to wait until the white men finished their meal before he could eat. After supper, Sterne gave Lemuel a dollar and suggested he go to the nearby tavern.[1] Thus, Lemuel didn't learn the origins of the Marx Brothers as his master until the next day, although he was aware of Sterne's role in the planned establishment of the Republic of Freedonia.

The next morning, Sterne and the Marx Brothers discussed how they could use their knowledge to help the rebellion, specifically how to convince the other Americans and the local Cherokee to aid Fredonia. Leonard Marx argued that the best course of action was to convince all sides that the rebellion's leader, Haden Edwards, was actually stronger than he really was. To that end, Arthur Marx suggested that if they got the Cherokee to like them, the Cherokee might then trust and support the rebellion. Naturally he suggested comedy. At that, he and Julius Marx went into the mirror routine from Duck Soup to prove their point. Both Sterne and Lemuel were amused, with Lemuel pointedly saying that the brothers were funny, something he wouldn't have thought.[2]

Lemuel's status as a slave made Julius Marx uncomfortable, though he didn't say that out loud to Sterne.


  1. "Hail! Hail!", loc. 322-348.
  2. Ibid., loc. 393-444
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