Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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them out, nor they him. As far as achievement is con­cerned, his life was over. He had sung his song. During the remaining years of his life, he wrote many songs, par­ticularly during the last two years, which were numer­ically the most productive of all, but he was content to repeat himself. He ventured into no new fields. He did not seek a deeper, more subtle expression or a larger musical vocabulary. Whatever the experiences of his later life, they are not in any way mirrored in his music, which remains at the end as simple and ingenuous as it was in the beginning.
A search through old scrap-books and the files of Pitts­burgh newspapers of the 1850's fails to reveal any men­tion of his name, but gives an idea of the stage of cultural development of the Western city at this period. Jenny Lind gave a concert in Masonic Hall, Pittsburgh, in 1850, an occasion which was marred by the presence of a crowd of rowdies who shouted, whistled, and even indulged in throwing rocks. One rock penetrated into the dressing-room of the Swedish nightingale, who was so shocked that she refused to repeat her concert in Pittsburgh.
However, she returned the following year, and sang again on November 13th, 1851. On the latter occasion the crowd about the landing dock of the steamboat was so dense that it was feared she could not land. In the course of time, the familiar figure of P. T. Barnum ap­peared with a veiled lady on his arm. A way was made through the crowd and they were driven off to the Monongahela House. Then the real Jenny Lind slipped quietly off the boat and also went to the Monongahela House.
After her concert, which passed off without any exhibi­tion of rowdyism, a statement to the contrary being indignantly denied in the papers the following day, the crowd in the hall and surrounding streets was so dense that she remained in the hall until midnight; then she

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