has transcribed for us, the following pages
referring to Barlows found within these volumes.
Note: the initials LCD are for Lyman Copeland
Volume 11 CC, pages 201 & 202
LYMAN COPELAND DRAPER
Mr. Barlow -- inventor
of various things--Planetarium, & native of Nicholas
County, Kentucky: has always lived in this state, came
to Lexington about 30 years ago.
When a youth, his father
taught him with his brothers and sisters (if any) orally,
the principles of astronomy, explaining to them the order
and motions of the bodies in the solar system. When 12
years of age, he went to school in Nicholas County, to
a Mr. Geoghagan (Gohagan). Mr. G. was explaining to the
scholars how the earth went round the sun, revolving on
its own axis. He held a representation of the earth, with
the poles horizontal, and remarked that it was immaterial
how it was held, as there was no up and down in space.
Not so, Mr. G., exclaimed young Barlow, but this way --
and went to show that the poles of the earth had always
the same relative position. After school, the teacher took
(drew) my scholar to one side, and asked him how he could
know these things. Barlow had no other opportunities --
than such as these -- and the aid of no books ever, at
any time, but the tables of the nautical almanac.
About two years perfecting my planetarium.
For notice of the Planetarium see pamphlet
he gave me.
Also Observer and Reporter -- Lex., Nov. 26-53
1. It represents nature.
2. It is nothing like the pendulum, its motions, so far from being continual
repetitions, are never the same. There are no motions alike.
3. The motions represented are the actual.
4. Many of the actual phenomena or the heavens, such as new-moons, etc., can
be accurately explained.
5. The relative size of the sun, and the relative distance of the inferior
planets, it would be very inconvenient to represent, and the planetarium does
not exhibit them.
I don't think in words. The words are the
When I think of music, I think of form
When I think of a table, I think of something
of such divers(ity?)
There are 4 elementary
principles in nature. Mathematics, Chemistry, Poetry --
this imagination, and Music form and symmetry.
If I take a boy to learn
him and he cannot understand (what I mean by) music, I
dismiss him. That is music, said he, pointing to a small
wheel with curved spokes.
Mr. Barlow has a book in
preparation in New York (to be brought out by a man) to
accompany and explain the planetarium.
Volume 15 CC, pages 201 - 204 From: ____ Barlow, planetarium (Cir LCD)
"My father, William Barlow, never
went to school a day in his life: Lived on Staunton River
in Campbell Co. -- Virginia. At 18, he went to learn the
trade of a house carpenter in Richmond, Virginia. By working
extra hours he earned some money.
This enabled him to attend
the lectures of a man from England, on astronomy -- about
40 attended in the class; by which he got a clear idea
of astronomy, for the lecturer understood his subject.
In after life this enabled him to instruct his family.
He never afterwards had any book connected to astonomy
but an almanac.
My father came a single
man to Kentucky about 1787. A company was about going back,
and he wished to make one, that he might, as he said, get
him a wife. They replied that they couldn't spare him,
as he was a carpenter, and promised to get him a wife and
bring her out --describing to him the your (Sally Kimbrough);
and when the company returned, they came down the Ohio,
landed at Maysville. My father met them at the Lower Blue
Licks, and at once picked the woman out from the whole
company. They were married in Kentucky. I was born in 1791,
and I had a brother two and a half years older than I.
There were of the Kimbrough emnigration party twelve or
fourteen families. My father lived at Conway's Station
-- no structure -- but just a neighborhood. It was 2 1/2
miles from the Irish Station, and 1 1/2 from the Summits.
My mother's father lived 4 miles from where she did.
We never ate bread till
we raised corn. They would let you have corn for seed,
and do without themselves -- but no money could buy it
The whip-saw was once the
only mode of making lumber. A saw-mill, by water power,
in Virginia was destroyed by some persons because it took
away from them their employment with the whip-saw.
Stone-Hammer (Son Ths Metcalf)
married a Miss Mason. He was the first man I ever voted
for -- for the State Legislature. I was not old enough
to vote till the 3d day.
The Bible, was then, from
necessity, a school book. School teachers were generally
remarkably ignorant. A boy was reading in the Bible, and
gave the word iniquity its proper pronunciation. In-i-qui-ty
did you call that -- said the teacher -- call it in-iqui-ty.
The boy picked up his books and hat, and without saying
a word, went home.
Their mode of spelling,
as a reading exercise was today -- a by itself a--able--able.
This was abbreviated by habit, into the expresson --a b
self a o, b' self o. Dilworth's Spelling book was then
in universal use.
West was the first person
in the United States, to make a steam engine. Yet in Lexington,
it was a two inch cylinder, and four inch stroke. It had
no air pump -- this was it's defect -- and could not be
compensated for, by having two condensers. This would never
have answered. He dammed Elkhorn, there in Lexington, and
put a boat in it, in which he put his engine. The boat
was not big enough for a man to get in. The engine, as
a power, had not been perfected at the time of West's trial.
The engine had been made a practicable power, for some
time before Fulton thought of his side paddles. The efforts
were failures -- for 30 years -- till Fulton took an old
schooner, and made side paddle wheels. West used oars.
Fitch had oars. Evans invented the high-pressure engine.
He overloaded his boat with the weight of his engine. Everybody
was astonished when Fulton put side-wheels to his schooner.
I never lived in Mr. West's family. Have visited him. I
did not go to Lexington to live till after Mr. West's death.
He died just about the time I went there. I went in 1824.
West got all the knowledge he had -- about the engine --
from a cyclopedia, which was before Nicholson's. West's
son was a portrait painter -- spent his life in Europe.
A daughter married a trifling sort of man -- a nobody.
There were but these two children who grew up.
I convinced Mr. West of
two things. The first was, that time began. I showed to
him that you might add -- and keep adding -- but however
big the sum -- you could not get a sum so large that you
could not subtract it all at once.
The other was -- an argument
-- to prove to there was a God. If matter had been hurled
into existence by chance, it would have been ruled by chance.
There is just as much reason to doubt that there is space
-- because we cannot conceive that soace has termination
(where it ends) -- or number --because we cannot conceive
where they can stop -- or of matter, because we do not
know its origin, as to doubt the existence of God, because
we cannot conceive of him.
My father instructed in
astronomy at home. I made all my calculations, in my own
way, myself, and then I went to Prof. Dodd with them to
(have them calculated). If our figures did not correspond,
then I knew I was wrong. In my caluclations, I made acres
--See Collins' Kentucky page 273 and note
for some account of West's steamboat.
Volume 15 CC, Pages 229-231
From the writings of Walter McCormick....
Thomas (Wm? LCD) Barlow,
the father of Wm. and Ths, of the planetarium, lived about
50 miles this side of Richmond, Virginia _ I think in Prince
Edward Co: A plain, common, uninformed farmer, with very
moderate means. The son William went to Richmond and learned
the joiners business there -- worked at it there anyhow.
He afterwards came out to Kentucky, settled in Nicholas
County, then Bourbon, about 15 miles from Millersburg--
married Sally Kimbrough (this evidently Wm. Sr LCD) William
undertook blacksmithing, employed Sam Long -- who was a
blacksmith, to carry on the shop for him --i.e. to set
up shop. Long; near the close of the year married a niece
of Barlow's. After one year managing the shop for Barlow,
Long concluded he could make more money to go off and carry
on for himself. Barlow consented, although before he employed
Long had possessed no knowledge of the blacksmith trade,
he now detered to carry on the shop himself. In his mechanical
genius, he had in this year that Long was in his shop,
made himself a better blacksmith than Long himself was.
From this, Wm. Barlow and his two sons, extended his operation
into all kinds of working in iron, into gunsmithing --
of the gun, they made the barrel, stock and all.
The sons and father had an encyclopedia
which they read.
Ths(?) Barlow Sr. came
out to Kentucky, lived an died on about 50 acres of land
in this neighborhood in Nicholas - 50 acres very thin land:
Were there from my earliest recollection in 1790. They
lived to an old age -- he and his wife. I saw her die at
his son, William's -- must have been 80. He was dead before
that. He was an Irishman - she a Dutch woman.
William Barlow had no more religion than
his father, was a confirmed deist, his wife a pious Baptist.
Thos Barlow was in this
field till grown. He must have been grown --22-- when he
had that conversation with Gehagen, who was a sort of Methodist
Thomas was the second
son of William Barlow, he could barely write --read very
indifferently-- this; when he was as old as twenty-two.
He had only a common English education -- little of that
-- neither grammar nor geography: Had never had much (any
further education.) He used to take a Dictionary about
with him while he worked, and read it over. He always loved
_ ress. Never made anything. Married Keziah West. Went
down into Mason. While there it was he got to studying
about steam. Came back to Nicholas and married, and I think,
had one child when he went to Lexington to live with Bruce.
Worked with Bruce in Lexington. After he had two or three
children, his wife had to go back to her father's. After
awhile -- a year or so -- he came along with a carriage
to get her. Went to town to Mason to work in a gun-smith
shop. From there, came back -- set up shop, and got married.
Made some of the finest guns ever made in that county.
The father in the blacksmith shop, the boys in the gun-smith
Thos. West, Keziah's father, died at a
tavern in Millersburg. Had lived in Paris. Was a blacksmith.
James Barlow was another
younger son -- a still greater mechanical genius than his
brother, Thomas. He was out on a hunting excursion -- acted
the part of a Baptist preacher for his party, and preached
for them regularly. Was very talented but, loved drink,
which finally caused his death. He never professed religion.
Died about St. Louis -- about 20 miles.
...Ask Barlow at Lexington abt. West and
first steam boat....
Note from Kent: .... I
tried to copy the manuscripts exactly as it is on the original,
it rambles, and in the paragraph about marrying Keziah
West, appears not to be written chronologically....