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
as he speaks of not receiving any more money from Firth, Pond & Co. until he has delivered the songs due them. This would either indicate a regular salary, or a habit of drawing in advance on future royalties.
The salary contract with Lee & Walker of Phila­delphia, to which Mahon refers, could not have amounted to much, as that firm appears on the records of the Copy­right Office in Washington as the publisher of only one song by Stephen Foster, " 'Jenny's Coming O'er the Green,' Ballad, Written and Composed for the Clark's School Visitor by Stephen C. Foster," which was copy­righted in 1860. Foster wrote three other songs for "Clark's School Visitor," but the publishers' name is given as "Daughaday & Hammond, Philadelphia." If he wrote extensively for the Philadelphia publishers, he must have done so under another name, which is not probable, as in these latter days his name was of more value than his music.
Among Morrison Foster's papers there are numerous statements of royalty payments to Stephen's widow and daughter made by Wm. A. Pond & Co. (the successor to Firth, Pond & Co.) on the sale of songs, up to very recent years, when the last copyright expired. There are no royalty statements from any other firm, and I have never seen anywhere a reference to royalties paid him by any other publisher. Judging from the evidence, it seems probable that in 1860 the contract with Firth, Pond & Co., upon which Stephen had been living for about nine years, in fact since the time when they took over his business affairs and undertook to publish all his compositions, was, for some reason, broken off, and he was compelled to take his songs to other publishers who paid him small sums outright for them. Perhaps the music publishing business was hard hit by the war, and the publishers were no doubt glad to get Foster's songs for a small cash payment, while Stephen, without a regu­lar income and with no business ability or experience,

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