Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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BOYHOOD
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describing her trip to Louisville and her visit there are full of gayety and sparkle: "I fear, my dear Father, you will think this a very frivolous letter," concludes one of them after several pages devoted to parties and social gossip.
The death of Charlotte left Ann Eliza the oldest child. She was twenty when the letter, quoted above, was written. Later she married the Rev. Edward Y. Buchanan, a brother of President Buchanan, and lived to be nearly eighty years of age.
The younger children, who were at this time going to school "with such happy faces," were Dunning, aged eleven, Morrison, nine, and Stephen, five. Stephen's first experience with school had occurred shortly before this at an "infant school" conducted by a Mrs. Harvey, an elderly lady, and her daughter, Mrs. Morgan. The incident is described by his brother Morrison, who tells how Stephen was called up for his first lesson in the let­ters of the alphabet, and had not proceeded far in this mystery when his patience gave out, and "with a yell like that of a Comanche Indian, he bounded bareheaded into the road and never stopped running and yelling until he reached home, a mile away."
In the following year, a letter to William from his mother, dated "Pittsburgh, July 9, 1833," describes a long trip by river steamer which she took with Henrietta (aged fourteen) and Stephen. Later in the same year Henrietta in a letter to William speaks of Stephen:
We are all well, except Ma, . . . and little Stephy had his eye bitten by a spider and it was very much swollen indeed, but he is getting well too.
About this time, the three younger boys were attend­ing a school founded by the Rev. Joseph Stockton, an old friend of the Foster family, who had come from Meadville to "Alleghany Town," across the river from Pittsburgh. He was the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Alleghany as well as Principal of the Alleghany







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