Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB



Previous Contents Next
DRIFTING
71
Foster's own suggestion, and it intimates that Christy paid for the use of the song, as in the case of "Oh Boys" and the other songs mentioned, and not for the credit of the authorship. ("I will willingly refund you the money which you paid me on that song, though it may have been sent me for other considerations than the one in question.")
Evidently, Christy gave his consent to have his name removed from the song, as Foster's name appears on all later editions, but he apparently did not accept Foster's generous offer to refund the money paid for the song, as it is mentioned in the royalty list drawn up by Foster in 1857, to which reference has already been made. It hardly seems likely that Christy would have paid as much as $500 for having his name on the song as author when the plan originated with Foster. If the amount had been as large as this, the refunding of it would have probably received more than a mere passing reference in the letter just quoted.
The intention expressed in this letter to lend all his energies to "the Ethiopian business" and establish his name as "the best Ethiopian song-writer" was not car­ried out. In fact, at the time the words were written, Foster's production of "Ethiopian" songs was practi­cally at an end.
An excursion to New Orleans, in 1852, is thus related by Morrison Foster:
In February, 1852, our brother, Dunning McNair Foster, came to Pittsburgh with his steamboat, the "James Millinger," to load a cargo for New Orleans. Stephen and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew L. Robinson (Mrs. Robinson was Susan Pentland), Miss Jessie Lightner, Mrs. William Robinson and her daughter, Miss Mary Ann, embarked with him on a pleasure trip to New Orleans. Miss Louisa Walker and her two brothers joined them in Cincinnati. There was a good deal of musical ability in the party, and they made the trip pleasant, not only for themselves, but for the other passen­gers as well.
On the return trip, brother Dunning found it would be more profitable to reship his freight and passengers at Cincinnati and return from there to New Orleans. They were transferred to Cap­tain Charles W. Batchelor's magnificent new boat, the peerless







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