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A TALE OF TWO BORDER CITIES
"The cities are full of pride Challenging each to each—" —Kipling
P ITTSBURGH and Cincinnati were rivals in industry and trade in the 'forties, with the latter—before the era of steel —somewhat more populous and prosperous. Their rivalry is reflected in the acerbities and pleasantries of their newspaper editorials.
There is a happy reciprocal relation between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, a tale of two cities, in respect to the early compositions of Stephen Foster. Two of his youthful Pittsburgh songs, "Old Uncle Ned" and "There's a Good Time Coming/' were published by a Cincinnati music firm. Three songs which Stephen wrote while in Cincinnati were sung for the first time before Pittsburgh audiences.
The occasion for these first performances relates to a Pittsburgh confectioner named Andrews who followed a newspaperman's advice. When the Pittsburgh Daily Commercial Journal announced a concert of Christy's Minstrels in late October 1846, the writer of the item scolded about the old Odeon Theater: