My Illustrious Namesake
If memory serves (and when does it not?), my ancestors first came to the “New World” in 1630. A Barlow left England with little money, but somehow while on a ship for a long time, arrived with enough to buy much of what is now central Connecticut. Three or four generations later, Joel Barlow was born in Redding. He attended Yale, where he wrote an epic poem about, of all things, a snowball fight. Other students liked it. The experience with snow may have come in helpful when he worked as a chaplain for George Washington during that horrible winter at Valley Forge. His work there left him well connected by the end of the war, and he published and was able to sell another long poem, “The Vision of Columbus”. He was then able to marry and go to Europe and into shipping. First he negotiated with the Bey and Dey of Tunis and Tripoli to procure the release of US citizen sailors who had been captured. He did this in part by assuring the north African rulers that the USA was not, indeed, a Christian nation, which he was able to convince President John Adams to go along with. In London and Paris, he met and became friends with many of the outstanding people of the day, smuggled one of Tomas Paine’s manuscripts from prison and then arranged his release, and eventually returned to the USA, where he bought the nicest home in Washington DC and renamed it Kalorama (utilizing classical Greek instead of French). There he and his wife often entertained Thomas Jefferson and Dolley Madison. But an earlier episode caught up with him and he had to return to Europe…
While in London, he’d met William Playfair, a glib con-artist, and utilized that contact to sell land in Ohio to Frenchmen, to help pay of the Revolutionary War debt. 500 French folk looking for a better life where candles grew on trees and pigs didn’t mind one taking a slice from their rumps arrived in November and set about cutting trees, which they didn’t’ know what to do with and so buried. Then they began to die, and by Spring only 83 remained. But they have descendants in Gallipolis, OH today, so that’s OK. One prospective customer, Napoleon Bonaparte, didn’t get to participate in that adventure due to his mother saying no, but did get to invade Russia, and Barlow was sent to arrange something or other with him. There was another bad winter, and racing back from Moscow (pronounced ‘mos-coh’ with a long o), Barlow caught cold and died in Poland, but not before writing another poem, a much better one, about a raven.
His poem “A Hasty Pudding” was his most popular one, and from it comes the name of one of the Ivy League secret societies like Skull and Bones, that remain active today. His huge epic “The Columbiad” was widely subscribed to (bought) but maybe never fully read. He also wrote the marvelously titled, “Advice to the Privileged Orders” (of which I don’t imagine there’s much need to speculate on whether they took said advice, although there is, to this day, a bust of Barlow in the White House).
From googling I can add details:
Joel Barlow, a leading political thinker, writer, diplomat and poet, plus the most global actor of the US Revolutionary War generation, born 24 March, 1754, and raised by parents Samuel and Esther (Hull) Barlow at Redding, Connecticut, was a fifth generation descendant of John and Ann Barlow (son John, grandson Samuel, then another Samuel, then Joel’s older siblings and Joel). Two John Barlows, father and son, arrived together from England and settled at Fairfield, Connecticut, about 1630. John Barlow bought Barlow Plains, Connecticut, and the family became gentlemen farmers. Joel entered Dartmouth College, but transferred and graduated with honors from Yale, class of 1778, a classmate of Noah Webster (of dictionary fame). Too liberal in his thinking to be given a teaching post at Yale, he took an additional Divinity course, became licensed as minister of the Congregational church and then chaplain in Washington’s Revolutionary army, serving three years, until the end of the war. He was home from army duties long enough to marry Ruth Baldwin, the sister of a Yale classmate, on December 26, 1779; they married in secret because of her father's initial objection. In 1782 they moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Joel joined Elisha Babcock as partner in the magazine American Mercury. He wrote political pamphlets, satires and poetry. He was one of a group of satirical writers, mostly Yale men, called the 'Hartford Wits' (earlier, the ‘Connecticut Wits’). He soon published the first version of his American epic in verse, “The Vision of Columbus”, in which he was the first writer in English to use the words 'civil', 'civic' and 'civilization’ with their modern meanings; also in it he projected a future international council quite like the United Nations, dedicated to peacekeeping, cultural exchange, and development of the arts. He studied law, opened a law office in Hartford and in 1785 the general association of the Congregational church chose him to revise the Psalms of Dr. Watts. He continued to work on his epic poem, which became "The Columbiad," for 30 years.
After gaining celebrity for writing an epic poem to celebrate the American Revolution (subscribers included George Washington, General Lafayette, and the King of France, Louis XVI, to whom the poem was dedicated; the support of France for the US independence movement had been essential; without a French blockade, General Cornwallis would not have run out of bullets for his army), Barlow moved to Europe to peddle land on the Ohio frontier to potential French immigrants. His most popular poem was "Hasty Pudding", a work in three cantos showing decided poetic genius, written in France in 1793, where he was representing the "Scotia Land Company". In 1788 Barlow he’d gone to Paris to promote sale of a huge tract of Ohio wilderness opened by the government for settlement, to European emigrants. A large group of bourgeois French refugees, many wearing wigs, traveled hopefully to settle in Ohio. But no preparations had been made by the American promoters for their reception, and they met terrible privations in wilderness considered a paradise to the area’s natives. Little was as it had been promoted, and Barlow’s reputation suffered.
However, now fluent in French, he wound up with a front-row view of the French Revolution. Sympathetic to the new French republic, and successful in business (Ruth had somehow become a shipping magnate), the Barlows were popular with reformers, intelligentsia, and scientific innovators including balloonist Montgolfier and inventor Robert Fulton, who arrived in France in 1797, and worked for years on prototypes of his steamboat, torpedo boat, and other engineering projects. Barlow was in Paris at the fall of the Bastille on July 14 1789, and was a friend of Thomas Paine (he helped him publish the first part of “The Age of Reason”, after smuggling it from prison, before helping obtain Paine's his release) and other revolutionary sympathizers, French, English and American.
By the time Ruth joined him in Paris in 1790, the American organizers of Barlow’s employer, the Scioto Company, were exposed as profiteering frauds; however, Barlow was officially audited and cleared. The colony, named Gallipolis, survived despite the hardships; but Barlow's reputation with his own countrymen had been seriously damaged. He took some land there as a kind of commission- payment, and encouraged relatives to utilize it. I inherited a piece of that land, right on the Ohio River, the main source of what prosperity Gallipolis ever had. It’s possible that that parcel of land has never been bought or sold.
Barlow wrote ‘Advice to the Privileged Orders’ and ‘The Conspiracy of Kings’ in London, where he and Ruth went to avoid the Jacobin disorders. The 'Advice' so offended the British government that it banned the book and tried to arrest Barlow, who fled back to Paris, where his Letter to the National Convention of France (proposals for a new French constitution) so impressed the Assembly delegates that they made him an honorary citizen of the new Republic (1792), an honor he shared with Washington, Hamilton, Madison and Paine. In the final throes of the Terror, when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793, Ruth was still safe in London, and Barlow was in the southeast of France helping friends organize the Savoy, newly captured from Italy, as a division of the new Republic.
Algiers formally declared war on the United States in 1785, and within a few years, 300 U.S. citizens, mostly sailors, were in captivity in Northern Africa. In 1795 he was appointed by President Washington as consul to Algiers and diplomatic agent to the rest of the Barbary States, charged with concluding treaties with three countries-Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis. He was able to get into effect an important treaty with them. Article 11 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary states, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” The Senate vote in favor of this treaty was unanimous.
Wealth came to Barlow suddenly and mysteriously, perhaps through shipping activities begun in Hamburg. After becoming a member of the French National Convention, he renounced his faith in Christianity, proclaimed Deism and swore allegiance to Thomas Jefferson’s brand of American democratic principles. Shuttling back and forth from Paris to London, he befriended most of the radical writers of the day, including Thomas Paine, William Blake, feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of the author of “Frankenstein”), her husband, anarchist writer and publisher William Godwin, and Thomas Malthus, prophet of population growth. He also became friends with the Marquis de Lafayette, whom he had likely met during the US Revolutionary War. Barlow’s business schemes in post-Revolutionary France made him extraordinarily wealthy, and Ruth soon owned at least 10 ships. When they returned to the USA in 1805, after 18 years abroad, they bought a well situated piece of property outside Washington DC and named it Kalorama ('beautiful view' in Greek), a miniature palace situated high on a hill surrounded with 50 acres of forest and views of Georgetown, the White House and Capitol, Alexandria, & the Potomac. They had 3 carriages and 8 servants, and made Kalorama a center of early DC high society until they returned to Paris in 1811 when Joel, despite having hoped to spend the rest of his life at home, was named minister to France.
President Madison sent letters to Joel written in code; Ruth conveyed diplomatic secrets enclosed in letters to Dolley Madison, the First Lady.
Barlow had invited Fulton to live at Kalorama, which he did for ten years. When Fulton finished his steamboat, the Clermont, Barlow arranged a millpond for Fulton to try it out. Thomas Jefferson often visited Kalorama to consult with Barlow on foreign policy matters as well as gardening and agriculture. Jefferson wanted Barlow to write an American history, which he was engaged in writing when he was appointed United States minister to France in 1912. Fulton later did the illustrations for a large, handsome, second version of Barlow's epic, heavily revised and re-titled ‘The Columbiad’, published in Philadelphia in 1807, then republished in London in 1811. After Joel’s death Kalorama became the home of his favorite nephew, Thomas Barlow, and his wife, Frances Anica "Preble" Barlow.
Barlow’s career as a diplomat had begun simultaneously with his work for the Scioto Land Company, which was purportedly to help pay of the Revolutionary War debt. In 1796, in Washington's second term, Barlow was sent to Algiers as consul to help with implementation of a peace treaty with that state and to secure the release of more than 100 American seamen, some of whom had been held captive by the Algerian corsairs since 1785. It required great patience and diplomatic skill on his part not to mention payment of substantial sums to local officials, but he succeeded where others had failed, thus resolving the US’s first hostage crisis. At first, the Bey, furious at the seizure of one of his ships by the British and French, proved so scary that Pudding had scarcely dared to leave his quarters. The French council was taken away in chains and his assistant threatened with “a thousand bastinadoes”; when Pudding had an audience with the Bey, one of the court officials was strangled in his presence. Barlow was in North Africa two years, staying on as consul for a year after the hostages left. The agreements lasted until 1802, when bombardment was chosen instead of negotiation, which had come to seem foolish (in the Marine Hymn’s “Shores of Tripoli” conflict, only one US sailor died, from heat stroke).
Later, upon the resignation of the American Minister to France in 1811, President Madison persuaded Barlow accept the appointment and try to arrange a commercial treaty with the Napoleon’s government. His task was to negotiate for compensation for French damages to American shipping, make a trade treaty and improve relations between Napoleon and the USA. Reluctant, but desirous of serving his country, Barlow took his wife and nephew Thomas as secretary, and returned to France, only to meet with many delays as Napoleon was busy making war on almost every nation in Europe. Emperor Napoleon, engaged in a winter campaign against Russia, summoned Barlow to meet him in Poland, at Wilna (now Vilnius). The French armies had been utterly defeated by the Russians and the Russian winter. Napoleon fled south, ignoring the appointment with Barlow, who followed through freezing weather toward Germany with his staff, Thomas and other diplomats. Fleeing pursuing Cossacks, over 50,000, maybe 100,000 died. The diplomats missed Napoleon, who hurried straight on toward France to raise another army, with clearly little, if any, thoughts of the USA. Barlow died of pneumonia, exposure or maybe nutritional complications, Christmas, 1812. Riding in a carriage over frozen fields, they’d reached tiny Zarnowiec, between Warsaw and Krakow, Poland – where a memorial to Barlow remains today. It took nephew Thomas more than two weeks to bring the sad news to Ruth in Paris, and 3 more months before the news reached America. Barlow was mourned widely in France, but President Madison was more distressed by the lack of a new treaty.
The French 500 of Gallipolis, home to my father, his father and grandfather, etc., came over the rough Atlantic for reasons centered on feasts, balls, gay music and other forms of amusement and indulgence, hopefully without self-denial or time in religious service. They wanted to retain a pampered way of life increasingly insecure in their home country, but some, instead, got scalped by Natives who must have been quite amazed to discover the nature of their wig hair.
Col. William Duer, a New York politician, and Joel Barlow, young poet and diplomat, were partners in this unholy enterprise, with the inappropriately named William Playfair. Colonel Duer was a Congressman who had used his public office for the promotion of large undertakings in which he was deeply involved financially, as many another official like him has done since, and had also happened beforehand.
In 1719, the French Mississippi Company, after having proclaimed Louisiana a paradise rich with gold and silver, awash with precious stones and tame buffaloes, collapsed. A Scotsman, John Law, had presided over its propaganda machine, which proclaimed that, in a town of “nearly 800 very comfortable and well-appointed houses, each one of which has attached 120 acres of land for the upkeep of the families, nothing almost is wanting, but industrious people and numbers of hands to work.” Share prices had rocketed from 150 to 18,000, but then Law’s bank collapsed, his paper money lost over 80% of its value, and Law fled to France for his life. That, however, was a lifetime earlier, and the mechanics of propaganda and speculation had once again come to appear shiny, new and unassailable.
Duer stayed in the US while Barlow managed the office of the Scioto Company in Paris. This promised to better Barlow’s business affairs, which were hardly in good condition, and to insure interesting new acquaintances. There was never much organization to the company, but it involved also a Colonel Richard Pratt and other partners in the speculation including men of influence in the American Congress. When The Ohio Company desired an ordinance for the purchase of a tract of land northwest of the Ohio River, Colonel Duer explained in writing to Dr. Manasseh Cutler that if the ordinance were made to include five million acres instead of just a million and a half, the additional acres to be purchased by men whose names weren’t disclosed, the ordinance would go through, but otherwise not. The amendment was accepted, the ordinance passed; the Ohio Company closed its contract with the Government in October, 1787, and secured possession of a great tract of land. The Scioto Company, whose object was speculation alone, expected to pay for its tract in depreciated paper currency at the rate of eight or ten cents an acre, but the adoption of the National Constitution and the establishment of the Federal Government so raised the credit of its paper that the speculators were never able to pay for the lands, so when the French 500 arrived, they had no legal deeds.
In Paris, for a year Barlow had met with indifferent success in his new employment, perhaps because his habits of thought weren’t adapted to the land-office business, which at that time seemed to require the same combination of pushing self-assertion, lack of principle and disdain for truth found so frequently in lines of speculative adventure. Or maybe socializing and receiving the eminent men of letters who thronged his apartments, left him unfit during business hours. In an unlucky hour he made the acquaintance of William Playfair, an Englishman of vast assurance, who was familiar with the French language and Gallic temperament, and turned over to him the management of the venture, which had not proved to his taste. Barlow described Playfair as “an Englishman of a bold and enterprising spirit,” and “a good imagination,” (which he certainly had) and in entrusting the land sales to him, showed himself as either a singularly poor judge of character, or utterly regardless of the methods that might be used in disposing of the lands.
With Colonel Duer's power of attorney in his possession, Barlow sold three million acres to a "Company of the Scioto" in Paris, composed of a number of Frenchmen, Playfair and himself. It was this company which came into existence through a gross excess of authority illegally assumed by Barlow, that went into business under the management of Playfair. Playfair had a genius for rascality, and proved a most accomplished liar. Unrestrained by moral principle, he quickly mastered the problems blocking success in his new employment by stirring the emotions of the better class of Parisians, and setting them to thinking and talking of escape from discomforts threatening future of France. He contrived his snare in a prospectus depicting a delightful little boat ride from Havre de Grace, with refreshingly tonic ocean zephyrs bringing one to the lovely plain between the Muskingum and the Scioto rivers, where would be found a salubrious climate in which frost, even in winter, was almost unknown. The great river skirting it, destined in a few years to become the leading channel of territorial commerce, called by Natives "The Beautiful," or “The Great”, was so crowded by large and deliciously edible fish that they struggled in piscine rivalry to swallow the baited hooks or enter nets. Native trees produced great quantities of delicate flavored sugar; a peculiar plant yielded ready-made candles (cat-tails); coal, iron, lead, silver and gold were jutting out of every stony ledge and “a single boar and sow in the course three years would produce three hundred pigs without the least care being taken of them.” I've heard it claimed that the area between the Ohio River and Lake Eire became considered too magnificently bounteous to be worth fighting over for permanent habitation, as none would ever be able to long protect any of it from others, and that so, until Europeans came, it was shared between them as a hunting ground open to all, but can no more evaluate the truth of that claim than of another that the trees of the old growth forest there were so widely spaced that carriages could easily be driven through them...
At theaters, receptions, dinners and other social functions Barlow stood sponsor for this purported Elysium, which none of the promoters had ever visited, and about 500 French people of the better classes, sick of riots, executions, taxation, terror, and the impending menace of revolt and revolution, swallowed Playfair's bait, paid for land and received worthless deeds. With hearts full of thankfulness and great expectations, they bade farewell to their tumultuous native land, and in half a dozen vessels sailed for Alexandria, Virginia, most embarking early in February, 1790.
The first party reached their destination on 8 June, 1790. These 40 erected eighty log cabins, twenty in a row, and a high stockade fence. Among them was Colonel Robert Safford of Woodstock Vermont, marker and chain man for the surveyor. The Colonel attacked and felled a sapling with his ax for the purpose of immortalizing himself by striking the first blow to win the site of Gallipolis for civilization, as he announced when the job was completed. The square having been cleared and the habitations built, the Colonel was pleased by the noble elevation of the river bank, which yet stands above the maximum high water mark, and concluded to settle there. ‘River Road’ now runs between the Ohio River and the town’s houses; my land is between the road and the river, and sometimes only a few square feet remains after the river rises, but my father claimed that with a dock there, navigation rights to all adjacent waterways would be automatic (which may be just another story).
When the main party arrived on 17 October, 1790, after carrying supplies ashore from the river, the first of many semiweekly French balls ever given in the Northwest Territory commenced, an evening enhanced by rouge, curling irons, powder, satin slippers and other accessories. Hastily prepared refreshments were served, while violins and lutes tenderly unwrapped were played. The leaves of the surrounding forest were stirred by musical vibrations never before known in that region, and Natives who lurked in its dusky recesses gazed in amazement upon gaiety unparalleled in the history of pioneer America.
Afternoons thereafter were given to various forms of amusement, the most popular indoors being cards and dice, with also fishing, swimming, boating, and skating, as weather permitted.
With the spring of 1791 came seed time, and with it ludicrous attempts at gardening by the former Parisians. They peeled potatoes before planting them, used for seed cooked peas and corn from glass jars, and dug trenches two feet deep for the deposit of the germs from which they expected a crop to spring! But for the utterances of a friendly old Indian, in another déjà-vu all over again kind of story, there would have been no harvest. He instructed how to plant and cultivate corn and other native crops, and when additional settlers arrived things did not look entirely desperate. Soon they were making watches, silverware, thermometers, barometers and even confections, becoming accustomed to felling trees, grubbing up roots, milking cows, hunting, making soap from old bones and grease, manufacturing garments from the skins of wild animals, and a hundred other tasks entirely new to them.
Of new employments, few attracted the attention that did the felling the great trees which covered the land needed for planting. It was a thrilling when one of these hundreds of years old grandiosities would topple. Groups would gather to witness the fall, but due to inexperience on the part of the choppers, they were on several occasions unable to control the direction of fall, and several persons were caught by branches and severely hurt. A few were killed.
Still, settlers found beautiful flowers, artichokes, and almond trees, and soon there were vineyards and some rice fields. H. M. Brackenridge of Fort Pitt, who was detained in the French town for some months by a severe attack of the ague, wrote that:
"Gallipolis, with the exception of a few straggling log houses, consisted of two long rows of barracks built of logs, and partitioned off into rooms of sixteen or twenty feet wide, with what is called a cabin roof and wooden chimneys. At one end there was a larger room than the rest, which served as a council chamber and ball room. Most didn’t cultivate anything but small garden spots, depending for their supply of provisions on the boats. They still assembled at the ball room twice a week; it was evident, however, that they felt disappointment, and were no longer happy.
"Toward the latter part of the summer, the inhabitants suffered severely from sickness and want of provisions. The situation was truly wretched. The swamp in the rear, now exposed by the clearing between it and the river, became the cause of a frightful epidemic from which few escaped, and many became its victims."
There were outbreaks of disease, especially autumnal fevers of the kind often prevalent in newly cleared country. The disillusioned settlers petitioned both Congress and President Washington for aid. A group of woodsmen from Marietta came, and soon a thriving river trade was established.
In 1796 Jedediah Morse, D. D., "minister of the congregation in Charlestown," published at Boston the second edition of his "View of the Present State of all the Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics in the known World", in which a short chapter is devoted to the "Territory N. W. of the Ohio." He put the population of Gallipolis at one thousand in 1792, and quoted with his endorsement several paragraphs from an anonymous pamphlet, which touch on the many true natural advantages of the Ohio country. Elsewhere it was reported that in 1796 the population was about three hundred.
Joel’s nephew Samuel, from whom I am descended, moved to Gallipolis in 1805. Samuel gave his son his name as a middle name, which became a tradition, so, I am Joel John Alfred Marion Stephen Samuel Barlow. One of my son’s is named Jit, nick-named Jit-Jo.
A taste of my great-great-great-great-great grand-uncle Joel Barlow’s poetry:
See the long pomp in gorgeous glare display’d,
The tinsel’d guards, the squadron’d horse parade;
See heralds gay, with emblems on their vest,
In tissu’d robes, tall, beauteous pages drest;
Amid superior ranks of splendid slaves,
Lords, Dukes and Princes, titulary knaves,
Confus’dly shine their crosses, gems and stars,
Sceptres and globes and crowns and spoils of wars.
Lords of themselves and leaders of mankind
On equal rights their base of empire lies,
On walls of wisdom see the structure rise;
Wide o’er the gazing world it towers sublime,
A modell’d form for each surrounding clime.
To useful toils they bend their noblest aim,
Make patriot views and moral views the same,
Renounce the wish of war, bid conquest cease,
Invite all men to happiness and peace,
To faith and justice rear the youthful race,
Till Truth’s blest banners, o'er the regions hurl’d,
Shake tyrants from their thrones, and cheer the waking world.
Some other of his poetry was a bit more poetically inspired:
Advice To A Raven In Russia (1812)
Black fool, why winter here? These frozen skies,
Worn by your wings and deafen'd by your cries,
Should warn you hence, where milder suns invite,
And day alternates with his mother night.
You fear perhaps your food will fail you there,
Your human carnage, that delicious fare
That lured you hither, following still your friend
The great Napoleon to the world's bleak end.
You fear, because the southern climes pour'd forth
Their clustering nations to infest the north,
Barvarians, Austrians, those who Drink the Po
And those who skirt the Tuscan seas below,
With all Germania, Neustria, Belgia, Gaul,
Doom'd here to wade thro slaughter to their fall,
You fear he left behind no wars, to feed
His feather'd canibals and nurse the breed.
Fear not, my screamer, call your greedy train,
Sweep over Europe, hurry back to Spain,
You'll find his legions there; the valliant crew
Please best their master when they toil for you.
Abundant there they spread the country o'er
And taint the breeze with every nation's gore,
Iberian, Lussian, British widely strown,
But still more wide and copious flows their own.
Go where you will; Calabria, Malta, Greece,
Egypt and Syria still his fame increase,
Domingo's fatten'd isle and India's plains
Glow deep with purple drawn from Gallic veins.
No Raven's wing can stretch the flight so far
As the torn bandrols of Napoleon's war.
Choose then your climate, fix your best abode,
He'll make you deserts and he'll bring you blood.
How could you fear a dearth? have not mankind,
Tho slain by millions, millions left behind?
Has not CONSCRIPTION still the power to weild
Her annual faulchion o'er the human field?
A faithful harvester! or if a man
Escape that gleaner, shall he scape the BAN?
The triple BAN, that like the hound of hell
Gripes with three joles, to hold his victim well.
Fear nothing then, hatch fast your ravenous brood,
Teach them to cry to Bonaparte for food;
They'll be like you, of all his suppliant train,
The only class that never cries in vain.
For see what mutual benefits you lend!
(The surest way to fix the mutual friend)
While on his slaughter'd troops your tribes are fed,
You cleanse his camp and carry off his dead.
Imperial Scavenger! but now you know
Your work is vain amid these hills of snow.
His tentless troops are marbled thro with frost
And change to crystal when the breath is lost.
Mere trunks of ice, tho limb'd like human frames
And lately warm'd with life's endearing flames,
They cannot taint the air, the world impest,
Nor can you tear one fiber from their breast.
No! from their visual sockets, as they lie,
With beak and claws you cannot pluck an eye.
The frozen orb, preserving still its form,
Defies your talons as it braves the storm,
But stands and stares to God, as if to know
In what curst hands he leaves his world below.
Fly then, or starve; tho all the dreadful road
From Minsk to Moskow with their bodies strow'd
May count some Myriads, yet they can't suffice
To feed you more beneath these dreary skies.
Go back, and winter in the wilds of Spain;
Feast there awhile, and in the next campaign
Rejoin your master; for you'll find him then,
With his new million of the race of men,
Clothed in his thunders, all his flags unfurl'd,
Raging and storming o'er the prostrate world.
War after war his hungry soul requires,
State after State shall sink beneath his fires,
Yet other Spains in victim smoke shall rise
And other Moskows suffocate the skies,
Each land lie reeking with its people's slain
And not a stream run bloodless to the main.
Till men resume their souls, and dare to shed
Earth's total vengeance on the monster's head,
Hurl from his blood-built throne this king of woes,
Dash him to dust, and let the world repose.
In the late 60s and early 70s, Joel Barlow High School in Redding Connecticut had a huge computer, almost as big as Decatur, Georgia’s Stone Mountain.
Labels: Dolley Madison, Gallipolis Ohio, Joel Barlow, John Law, Kalorama, Ohio Company, Scioto Company, The Age of Reason, William Blake, William Playfair