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5 8 Youth's Golden Gleam
the handling to center not upon an individual but upon an old Kentucky home.
Why did Stephen make this change? His political affiliations—"the Fosters were always ardent Democrats"23—may have checked his first thought of employing a theme which had become widely associated with the Abolitionists. More likely it was simply due to the artist in Stephen. His artistic judgment would lead him to seek the universal. So, instead of echoing a novel which performed its own high mission of anti-slavery preaching, Stephen developed a song which was broad enough to represent the negro, the South, and the longing for home of human beings everywhere.