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64 STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
P. S. I have not yet done anything at the "night funeral," etc., but will probably make something of it one of these days.
The "night funeral" of the postscript is evidently a reference to an idea for a song, but nothing seems to have come of it, as there is no song containing such an idea. The song "Oh Boys, Carry Me 'Long," was published about a month after the date of the second letter, by Firth, Pond & Co., as "A Plantation Melody, Written and Composed by Stephen C. Foster."
Oh, boys, carry me 'long, Der's no more trouble for me,
I'se gwine to roam
In a happy home Where all de niggers am free!
E. P. Christy was probably the most successful of all the black-face minstrels of that time. He claimed to be the originator of the "minstrel show." The first minstrel troupes consisted of quartets, each man, in addition to singing, being able to play an instrument, usually either the banjo, the "fiddle," the "bones" or the tambourine. One of the first of these quartets was organized by "Dan" Emmett, the author and composer of "Dixie."
In 1842 Christy organized a large troupe in Buffalo, introducing the form of entertainment afterwards associated with the name "minstrel show." In addition to its size this company was an innovation in the fact that they sat in a semicircle on the stage, with "interlocutor" and "end-men." Their ballads were sung by a solo voice with the entire company joining in the chorus. Christy was also the first to introduce dialogue and "jokes" between the various members of the company, as well as injecting "varieties" into the second part of his entertainment.
The Buffalo company was disbanded, and Christy's real career did not begin until 1846. Before his death he achieved both fame and fortune. "Christy Minstrels" was a name to conjure with in those days, and he had a