The American composer Stephen Foster wrote many beloved songs, and perhaps the most famous is Beautiful Dreamer. Foster wrote the song near the end of his life, after his wife left him and his health was failing. Beautiful Dreamer earned a fortune, but it had not yet been published when Foster died in January 1864. His pockets contained just 38¢, and a scrap of paper bearing the words “Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts”.

In Stephen Foster's handwriting
In Stephen Foster’s handwriting

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