Cowell and Williams though born in Britain both spent long periods in the States. c1860-1 Mrs Cowell appears to have been something of a theatre critic and occasionally reviewed The Williams's performances. On at least one occasion Williams wrote to Sam Cowell in disparaging terms. Reading between the lines they may have been rivals to some extent. It was common at that time to plagiarise the works of others and make additional verses to existing stage songs, Villikins for example, had several editions with 'extra verses'. Sam also had a tendency to take existing negro songs from the South where he grew up and claim them as his own work.