Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

His Life And Background In Cincinnati 1846 - 1850 by Raymond Walters

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2                Youth's Golden Gleam
It was there that he rounded into manhood, his personality enlarging under the cultural influences of the Queen City of the West.
It was in Cincinnati, with its exceptional musical environment, that he completed his self-education and advanced from apprentice­ship into the mastery of his musical creative-ness.
It was there, with Kentucky across the river and negro roustabouts singing on the wharves, that he came to know the South and negro life.
It was there that he met the performers of theatrical minstrelsy and began professionally to compose for them.
It was there that the die was cast: he would not follow business—he would make his career as a composer of music.
In addition to the three years of his resi­dence we have records of a journey from Pitts­burgh to Cincinnati with his mother and sister when Stephen was a small boy, and of another visit, along with his wife and daughter, when he was a man of thirty-two. These are here set forth in due order.
In this chronicle there is every effort to avoid prettifying and exaggeration and to tell simply and in proportion the story as it emerges from letters, newspapers, court rec­ords, church records and other documents of the era. Because it inspired and gave color and feeling to the songs of Stephen Foster, his background of these years is sketched some­what fully—the river, the city, and the near-

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