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266 The National Music of America.
effect and reproduced it with infinite beauty and charm. Among all these writers one stands preeminent, — Stephen C. Foster. Foster's great-grandfather was Irish, coming to America from Londonderry. His father, who was a tasteful player upon the violin, lived some time in Virginia and then settled in Pittsburg, and here the best American folk-song writer was born upon a most appropriate date, July 4th, in 1826. The Southern element which speaks so eloquently from many of his songs, came from his mother (Eliza Clay-land Tomlinson), a descendant of one of the oldest Maryland families. She was a woman of high culture and much poetic attainment.
Foster is said to have much resembled his mother, whom he fairly adored ; in fact his devotion to both his parents was a marked characteristic in this most gentle nature. He was timid and shrinking in his ways, never in the least self-assertive, and extremely modest. Although educated at Athens (Pa.) Academy