Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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DRIFTING
81
1849 and May 5th, 1853, which henceforth become null
and void. The signature of Stephen Foster has been
removed from this contract and given to an autograph
hunter, name unknown.
In 1854 was published "The Social Orchestra for Flute
or Violin; A collection of popular melodies arranged as
solos, duos, trios and quartets. By Stephen C. Foster."
The "Introduction," dated "New York, January, 1854,"
says:
The publishers herewith offer to the public a collection of instru­mental music, the melodies of which have been taken from among the most popular operatic and other music of the day, and arranged in an easy and correct manner, as Solos, Duets, Trios and Quartets, suitable for serenades, evenings at home, &c. Having long noticed the want of such a work, they have determined to issue one that will meet with general approbation, and have confided the task of select­ing and arranging the melodies to a gentleman of acknowledged taste, and composer of some of the most popular airs ever written in this or any other country, as will be seen by reference to the name on the title page.
"The Social Orchestra" contained arrangements of seven of Foster's own songs, as well as an original schot-tische, four quadrilles, a "Village Festival Jig" and the "Old Folks Quadrille" in five parts. For his work in compiling and arranging "The Social Orchestra" Foster received $150.
The following letter, which we publish unexpurgated, was written to his friend, William Hamilton:
Pittsburgh, Jan. 16th, 1857. Dear Billy:
Your letter from Point Pleasant has been received and I am glad to know of the whereabouts of the great North American ballad singer. When can you promise to appear again before a Pittsburgh audience? Masonic Hall can be had now.
I have also had an engagement tendered me, but I declined. Kleber is going to give a concert and he has offered me the post of first anvil player in the "Anvil Chorus" from a new opera. I was unwilling to go through the course of training and dieting requisite for the undertaking and consequently declined. I understand that he has sent to Europe for a "first anvil." We have had another little political brush in the election of Mayor, but there was very little excitement. I have not yet received the Cincinnati Gazette and suppose that puff has not appeared. I will send you by this mail a copy of "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" if I can find a copy. Mit is now living with us. James Buchanan returned yester-







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