Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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THE FAMILY                               3
and speeches appropriate to the occasion. Just at noon, as the guns were firing the national salute, a son was born in the Foster home, "The White Cottage." This child was named Stephen Collins Foster.
The Foster family was Scotch-Irish, of that remark­able race which has played so important a part in the history of this country and has produced so many leaders in all lines of cultural and material progress, represented in music by Stephen Foster, Edward Mac-Dowell and Ethelbert Nevin.
Alexander Foster, Stephen's great-grandfather, was the first of the family to come to America. He emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, about the year 1728, and settled in Little Britain Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Robert Fulton. Of his nine children, the eldest, James, married Ann Barclay and removed to Berkeley County, Virginia. It was through this grandmother, Ann Barclay, that Stephen was related to Judge John Rowan of Bardstown, Ken­tucky, one of that State's first United States Senators, in whose house he is said to have written "My Old Kentucky Home." James Foster, Jr., served in the Continental Army in the War of the Revolution and was at Yorktown when the war was brought to an end by the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. William Foster, the second son of Alexander, became a Presbyterian minister, pastor of the congregations of Octorara and Doe Run. During the Revolution his speeches became so offensive to the British that General Howe sent a troop of horsemen to arrest him, but this attempt to muzzle the "fighting parson" failed, and he lived to a green and highly respected old age.
William Barclay Foster, Stephen's father, was the third son of James Foster, and was born in Berkeley County, Virginia, in 1779. At the close of the war, a number of Scotch-Irish families emigrated from Berkeley County to Western Pennsylvania and settled about

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