Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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YOUTH
33
was confined in bed for two days. (Whenever I would go to raise up out of bed I would become so dizzy that I could scarcely see.)
In the night of the second day of my sickness, my nose took to bleeding which made me feel better the next morning.
It so happened that one of the students was coming into town that day (Samuel Montgomery of Pittsburgh) and I concluded I would come in with him as he asked me to.
When I left Canonsburg your letter had not arrived. So that I wrote to Mr. Mercer to forward it as soon as it arrived, but never­theless I did not receive it until about two weeks after you wrote it. Although you told me not to wait for your letters when I wrote, still I expected it every day, so that I was put beyond the regular time.
I hope you will pardon me for writing to you so extensively on the money subject. But at the same time I will let you know that a boy comes out mighty slim in Canonsburg without some of it in his pocket. Pa had not told me that he would furnish me with as much money as I needed or I would not have troubled you on that account. As we were all talking over different subjects the other evening, among others the subject of the Navy was talked of. Now to be Midshipman is just what I fancy. Pa is away in Washington County at a temperance meeting and will return this evening I think.
With these few lines I will hurry to a close by stating that we are all well and in good spirits. Hoping that you will ever be blessed with the same qualities, your ever affectionate and justly dutiful brother,
Stephen.
I will try hereafter to come up to the mark in the letter-writing line.
The idea of entering the Navy which so appealed to Stephen seems to have been abandoned, as it is not men­tioned again. A few days later there is a letter from his father to William which gives a clear idea of Stephen's
character at this time:
Pittsburgh, September 3, 1841. . . . . I regret extremely that Stephen has not been able to appreciate properly your generous exertions in his behalf by avail­ing himself of the advantages of a college education, which will cause him much regret before he arrives at my age and he will no doubt express these regrets in much sorrow to you, should you both live long after I shall be no more. He is at school now with Mr. Moody, a first rate teacher of mathematics in Pittsburgh and it is a source of much comfort to your mother and myself that he does not appear to have any evil propensities to indulge; he seeks no associates and his leisure hours are all devoted to musick, for which he possesses a strange talent.
At this time William B. Foster, Sr., was mayor of Alleghany City. There was some idea of sending Stephen back to Athens to school, but nothing came of it. He spent the winter at home and remained a problem to his







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