Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

A Biography Of America's Folk-Song Composer By Harold Vincent Milligan

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2                STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
surpassed. The 4th of July, 1826, was the Jubilee of Independence, and the eyes of all spontaneously turned to the two veterans, so long divided by political differ­ences, more recent indeed than the Revolution, but al­ready of ancient date. It was hoped that they might meet once again, to shake hands over their life's work in the presence of an immense assemblage; some of whom might speak of it in the twentieth century as the most memorable sight an American ever witnessed. But both were very feeble and the hope was abandoned. The great day arrived and the old statesmen, for all they were absent, were not forgotten. From one end of the country to the other, wherever Americans were gathered together, the names of Adams and Jefferson were coupled in accents of gratitude and praise. Party pas­sions were completely drowned in the flood of national feeling which overspread the land. All day Adams was sinking rapidly, and without pain. His last audible remark is said to have been, 'Thomas Jefferson still survives.' But such was not the case. Jefferson died at noon on that Fourth of July, and Adams shortly before sunset. There are few more striking circum­stances, and no more remarkable coincidences, in his­tory."
Synchronous with the ending of these two great lives, a third life was just beginning, a life destined also to exercise a powerful, though less tangible influence on the human race.
Colonel William Barclay Foster was one of the leading citizens of the frontier community which centered in the thriving young city of Pittsburgh. His home at Law-renceville, on the hills above the city, was naturally chosen for the celebration of Independence Day. In the assembled crowd were many veterans of the Revolu­tion, as well as survivors of the War of 1812, and of various conflicts with the Indians; the woods back of the house were the scene of a "barbecue," with band music







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III