Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

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

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River Commerce                   15
boats going in all directions—stages, omnibuses, carts, drays and canal boats.
In this general prosperity the firm of Irwin & Foster had their share. Their specialty, the daily; packet service between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, flourished. They joined with their neighbors in Cassilly's Row, Athearn & Hib-bard, Agents, in representing the Cincinnati and Louisville Line of Packets and jointly advertised two light-draught steamers plying daily between these cities.17 To those shipping eastward they proudly announced themselves as agents for the "old, established and popular Line, D. Leech & Co.," which transported to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Bos­ton. "The old and established character of the Line is a sufficient guarantee to shippers that their interests will be well attended to."18
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When the river packets of Irwin & Foster were due to arrive, Stephen would put down his bookkeeper's quill and, in his capacity as clerk, go from the commission office to the levee.19 We have his own picture of a packet churning into port. In Stephen's steamboat melody, "The Glendy Burk," he tells in negro dialect that the crew sings "de boatman's song"; that "de smoke goes up and de ingine roars, and de wheel goes round and round." What Stephen saw when he went aboard one







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