Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0162

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162
Stephen Collins Foster was bom in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on the 4th of July, 1826. He was the Youngest child of William B. Foster, a merchant of Pittsburg, and mayor of his native city, member of the State legislature, and a Federal officer under President Buchanan. His sister was the wife of Rev. Edward Y. Buchanan, a brother of the President. The com­piler of the Franklin Square Collection recalls his keen enjoyment of the organ of the Episcopal church at Par­adise, a country parish in Lancaster county, Pennsyl-
vania, of which Mr. Buchanan was for many years the rector. Mrs. Buchanan always played at the Sunday morning service, and since we have learned to enjoy the songs of her brother, none of which had then been written, we seem to understand more the spell under which the music of this gentle, gifted lady brought and held us as a child. She too had inherited " a dou­ble portion of the divine gift of music." For the facts in the sketch here given we are indebted to an article by Mr. Robert P. Nevin, of Pittsburg, who says : The
MASSA'S IN THE COLD GROUND.
Rather Slow, with Feeling.
Stephen C. Foster.
'—4-
evidences of a musical capacity of no common order were apparent in Stephen at an early period. Going Into a shop one day, when about seven years old, he picked up a flageolet, the first he had ever seen, and comprehending, after an experiment or two, the order of the scale on the instrument, was able in a few min­utes, uninstructed, to play any of the simple tunes within the octave with which he was acquainted. He Was a boy of delicate constitution, not addicted to the
active sports or any of the mc7« tigorois habits of boys. A recluse, owning and soliciting no guidance but that of his text-book, in the quiet of the woods, or, if that were inaccessible, the retirement of his chamber, he de­voted himself to music. At the age of seventeen he went to Cincinnati into the office of his brother, discharging the duties of his place with faithfulness and ability. His spare hours were still devoted to his favorite pursui> although his productions were chiefly preserved in
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