Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

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

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106             STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER
From this time until Stephen's death, a few months later, they continued their collaboration. Cooper's story of Stephen's death, which is undoubtedly the true one, is as follows:
"Early one winter morning I received a message say­ing that my friend had met with an accident; I dressed hurriedly and went to 15 Bowery, the lodging-house where Stephen lived, and found him lying on the floor in the hall, blood oozing from a cut in his throat and with a bad bruise on his forehead. Steve never wore any night-clothes and he lay theie on the floor, naked, and suffering horribly. He had wonderful big brown eyes and they looked up at me with an appeal I can never forget. He whispered, 'I'm done for,' and begged for a drink, but before I could get it for him, the doctor who had been sent for arrived and forbade it. He started to sew up the gash in Steve's throat, and I was horrified to observe that he was using black thread. 'Haven't you any white thread,' I asked, and he said no, he had picked up the first thing he could find. I decided the doctor was not much good and I went down stairs and got Steve a big drink of rum, which I gave him and which seemed to help him a lot. We put his clothes on him and took him to the hospital. In addition to the cut on his throat and the bruise on his forehead, he was suffering from a bad burn on his thigh, caused by the overturning of a spirit lamp used to boil water. This had happened sev­eral days before, and he had said nothing about it, nor done anything for it. All the time we were caring for him, he seemed terribly weak and his eyelids kept flutter­ing. I shall never forget it.
"I went back again to the hospital to see him, and he said nothing had been done for him, and he couldn't eat the food they brought him. When I went back again the next day they said 'Your friend is dead.' His body had been sent down into the morgue, among the nameless dead. I went down to look for it. There was an old







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