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46 Youth's Golden Gleam
three concert halls and three theaters where there were abundant offerings in music and in the drama.
We can imagine how pleasing to Stephen were these cultural and artistic advantages. He was, as his brother Morrison testified, 'Very fond of the society of cultured people and men of genius in walks entirely different from his own."21 It was characteristic that, in later years, he treasured a letter praising his songs sent to him by Washington Irving.22
In the literary group at Cincinnati during the 'forties, genius was represented by the women: there were actually three who were to win recognition in the history of American literature: the Cary sisters and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Of Alice Cary's prose studies Clovernook, Whittier said,23 "They bear the true stamp of genius." When Alice and her younger sister Phoebe brought out their Poems, the critics of the East were enthusiastic. Cincinnati readers of the New York Home Journal—and we know Stephen Foster was one of them—must have taken pride in this editorial reference in the issue of June 9, 1849:
Alice and Phoebe Cary reside upon some "mount of song" in the vicinity of Cincinnati where, the papers tell us, they were recently visited by our neighbor, the pilgrim philosopher of The "Tribune. Mr. Greely will, per-