Original Document
Original Document
Stephen Foster to E. P. Christy, June 12, 1851

I have just received a letter from Mess. Firth, Pond and Co. stating that they have copy-righted a new song of mine ("Oh! boys, carry me ‘long") but will not be able to issue it for some little time yet, owing to other engagements. This will give me time to send you the m.s. and allow you the privilege of singing it for at least two weeks, and probably a month before it is issued, or before any other band gets it (unless they catch it up from you). If you will send me $10 immediately for this privilege I pledge myself, as a gentleman of the old school, to give you the m.s. I have written to F.P. and Co. not to publish till they hear from me again. This song is certain to become popular, as I have taken great pains with it. If you accept my proposition I will make it a point to notify you hereafter when I have a new song and send you the m.s. on the same terms, reserving to suit myself in all cases the exclusive privilege of publishing. Thus it will become notorious that your band brings out all the new songs. You can state in the papers that the song was composed expressly for you. I make this proposition because I am sure of the song's popularity.

Credit: Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California; Elliker, 95-96 [Emerson, 175]
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