Stephen Foster, 1826 – 1864

September 11, 1847 – Stephen Foster’s song “Oh! Susanna” is first performed at a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Known as “the father of American music”, Foster was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best-known are “Oh! Susanna“, “Camptown Races“, “Old Folks at Home“, “My Old Kentucky Home“, “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair“, “Old Black Joe“, and “Beautiful Dreamer“. Many of his compositions remain popular more than 150 years after he wrote them. Despite his popularity, Foster did not profit greatly from the publication of his songs, and he died in poverty at the age of 37.

This stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service on May 3, 1940 as part of its Famous American Series and is Scott Catalog No. 879.

stephen collins foster


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