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The National Music of America. 231
Gem,' etc. I visited London in 1847, and found the song claimed as an English composition. (Perhaps it is, I being an Englishman by birth.) During my absence from the land of my adoption, Osborn failed in business, and the plates of my song were sold to Mr. Benteen, of Baltimore. Thus it went out of my possession, much to my regret and loss. " I am sir,
" Respectfully yours, etc.
" Thos. A Becket, Sr. « To Rear-Admiral Preble, U. S. N?
It may be added that Messrs. Lee & Walker, of Philadelphia, the successors of the Mr. Willig mentioned above, published a later edition, of which the title-page reads " Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean; arranged by T. a Becket, Esq." In one English edition (1866) the song is credited to D. T. Shaw, U. S. A.
Thus "The Red, White, and Blue" follows the example of many national songs in burying its origin in claims and counterclaims. It is sometimes known as the " Army and Navy Song" because it sings