Links to History

Stephen Foster is considered one of the earliest published American composers to write songs based on American themes. His inspirations came from the realities of life in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and throughout the United States in the mid 1800’s, in addition to the same European influences of his contemporaries. The Stephen Foster Story depicts American life at a time that can seem so distant to us now. African American history as it intersects with Stephen Foster’s history is an element where it is important to examine historic context. Some characters and events are based on actual history and others are not. While the people and stories depicted throughout this show are a blend of fact and fiction, the abuse of enslaved people of the United States and the hurtful practice of blackface minstrelsy was very real. Here, we highlight some historic connections to the show and more.

About Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster (1826 – 1864) was America’s first great songwriter. Considered one of the earliest…

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andrew Carnegie

1836 – 1919 Industrialist, Philanthropist Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in…

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Lem Reed

1877 – 1955 Connection outside the show The legendary Lem Reed made a tremendous contribution…

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Stephen Foster

1826 – 1864 Composer A prolific writer, Foster composed and arranged over 200 pieces of…

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