©Barlow Genealogy 1998-2005


Portrait by Robert Fulton, owned by Mr. S.L.M. Barlow of NYC From the original painting by Chappel in the possession of the publisher. Johnson, Fry & Co. publishers, New York. Entered according to act of Congress AD 1863 by Johnson, Fry & Co. in the clerks office of the district court of the southern district of NY. NYC. An engraving of this picture was sued as frontispiece to the deluxe editon of the Columbiad. Frick Art Reference Library

Joel Barlow , Poet, Patriot, Statesman

Joel Barlow Memorial

Written by Edson Barlow / deceased

This spring, on June 28, 1998, there was a modest ceremony in a village in Poland. Its purpose to put a bronze biographical tablet dedicated to Joel Barlow, one of our earliest American diplomats, in the churchyard at Zarnowiec, Poland, where he died and was buried in 1812. The event is organized and the tablet donated by The Joel Barlow Memorial Fund, in cooperation with the American Center for Polish Culture and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR) of the U.S. State Department.

The following account of Joel Barlow's life was written for the bronze tablet dedication ceremony by Leslie Hill-Levitt Latham of West Redding, Connecticut.

"Joel Barlow was born on March 24, 1754, and raised at Redding, Connecticut, by his parents, Samuel and Esther (Hull) Barlow. He was a fifth generation descendent of John and Ann Barlow (Joel-5, Samuel-4, Samuel-3, John-2, John-1) who came to America and settled at Fairfield, Connecticut, about 1640.

He graduated from Yale in 1778. Too liberal in his thinking to be given a teaching post at Yale, he took an additional Divinity course and joined Washington's army as a chaplain, serving for three years until the end of the Revolution. (He slipped home from his 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.) "At the close of the war in 1782 the couple moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where Joel joined in publishing the magazine American Mercury, wrote political pamphlets, satires, and poetry. He was one of the group of satirical writers - mostly Yale men -called the 'Hartford Wits.' At that time he finally completed and published the first version of his American epic in verse, The Vision of Columbus. It is said that in this work 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 very much like the United Nations of today, dedicated to peacekeeping, cultural exchange, and development of the arts.

"In 1786, Barlow studied law and was admitted to the Bar. He worked as a promoter for the Scioto Land Company (a huge tract of Ohio wilderness opened by the government for settlement.) In 1788 Barlow went to Paris to promote the sale of the Scioto Land to European emigrants.  A large group of bourgeois French refugees 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 the wilderness.
By the time Ruth joined her husband in Paris in 1790, the American organizers of the Scioto Company were exposed as profiteering frauds; however, Barlow was officially audited and proven innocent. (The colony, named Gallipolis, survived despite the hardships; but Barlow's reputation with his own countrymen had been seriously damaged.) "Barlow had been in Paris at the fall of the Bastille on July 14 1789. He was a friend of Thomas Paine and other revolutionary sympathizers, English and American. His major tract Advice to the Privileged Orders and verse-satire The Conspiracy of Kings were written in London, where he and Ruth had gone to avoid the Jacobin disorders. The 'Advice' so offended the British government that it banned the book and tried to arrest Barlow, who fled into hiding in Paris. However, 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 in 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 political division of the new Republic.

"Fluent in French, sympathetic to the new French republic, and successful in business, the Barlows were popular with the reformers, intelligentsia, and such scientific innovators as the balloonist Montgolfier. They were close also to Robert Fulton, who arrived in France in 1797, and worked for some years on the prototypes of his steamboat, torpedo boat, and other engineering projects. Fulton later did the illustrations for a large, handsome, second version of Barlow's epic, heavily revised and retitled The Columbiad, published in Philadelphia in 1807.

"In 1796, in Washington's second term, Barlow resolved our first hostage crisis. He was sent to Algiers as consul to help with implementation of our 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. He stayed on as consul for a year after the hostages departed and returned to Paris in 1797.

"In 1805,after 18 years abroad, the Barlows returned to America, hoping to spend the rest of their lives at home. Thomas Jefferson wanted Barlow to write an American history. In 1807, at Jefferson's urging, they moved to Washington to a house and small estate Barlow named 'Kalorama,' 'beautiful view' in Greek. However, in 1811 President James Madison appointed Barlow as Minister to France. His task was to negotiate for compensation for French damages to American shipping, and to make a trade treaty. Reluctant, but always desirous of serving his country, Barlow took his wife, his nephew Thomas as secretary, and returned to France in 1811, only to meet with many delays Napoleon was busy making war on almost every nation in Europe.

"Finally, the Emperor, engaged in a winter campaign against Russia, summoned Barlow to meet him in Poland, at Wilna (now Vilnius). But the French armies were being utterly defeated by the Russians and the Russian winter. Napoleon fled south, ignoring his appointment. His staff, Barlow, Thomas, and the other diplomats, fled through the freezing weather toward Germany to escape the pursuing Cossacks, missing Napoleon, who hurried straight on toward France. Barlow died of pneumonia in the tiny village of Zarnowiec, between Warsaw and Krakow, on December 24, 1812. (There is disagreement about the date; the existing church tablet in Poland gives it as December 26.) It took his nephew more than two weeks to bring the news of his death to Ruth in Paris, and it was three months before the news reached America. Joel Barlow was mourned widely in France, but President Madison was more distressed by the lack of the treaty than the loss of the man. Perhaps this diplomat, patriot, and man of letters had stayed abroad too long."
Photograph of the original plaque and guest register         Click thumbnail to few full image
Extracted from: Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania Volumes I-III

Joel, born March 24, 1754, first entered Dartmouth College, but was graduated with honors from Yale, class of 1778, a classmate of Noah Webster. He early showed talent of a superior quality.

He was an intimate friend of Thomas Paine, who probably at that time had not become imbued with infidelity. He studied law and divinity, and after being licensed as minister of the Congregational church became a chaplain in the Revolutionary army, serving until the close of the war. In 1773 he opened a law office in Hartford and became partner with Elisha Babcock in editing The American Mercury. In 1785 he was chosen by the general association of the Congregational church to revise the Psalmsof Dr. Watts. In 1787 he published his "Vision of Columbus". 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 1795 he was appointed by President Washington consul to Algiers, where he effected a very important treaty, also one with Tripoli. In 1805 he returned to the United States and settled near Washington, D. C., where he purchased beautiful "Kalorama" afterwards the home of his favorite nephew, Thomas Barlow, and his wife, Frances Anica "Preble" Barlow. In 1808 he published his greatest poem "The Columbiad" which was republished in London in 1811. 

He was engaged in writing a History of the United States in 1812, when he was appointed United States minister to France. While on his way to confer with Emperor Napoleon at Wilna, he was seized with a fatal illness and died at Zarwanica, Poland, October 02, 1812. He married Ruth Baldwin, of New Haven, Connecticut, a sister of Honorable Henry Baldwin, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Joel Barlow US Consul Gen of Algiers ©National Portait Gallery Smithsonian Institution   Art  Resource NY


Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripol, of Barbary

There is a firm and perpetual Peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, made by the free consent of both parties, and guaranteed by the most potent Dey and regency of Algiers.
If any goods belonging to any nation with which either of the parties is at war shall be loaded on board of vessels belonging to the other party they shall pass free, and no attempt shall be made to take or detain them
If any citizens, subjects or effects belonging to either party shall be found on board a prize vessel taken from an enemy by the other party, such citizens or subjects shall be set at liberty, and the effects restored to the owners.
Proper passports are to be given to all vessels of both parties, by which they are to be known.  And, considering the distance between the two countries, eighteen months from the date of his treaty shall be allowed for procuring such passports. During this interval the other papers belonging to such vessels shall be sufficient for their protection.
A citizen or subject of either party having bought a prize vessel condemned by the other party or by any other nation, the certificate of condemnation and bill of sale shall be a sufficient passport for such vessel for one year; this being a reasonable time for her to procure a proper passport.
Vessels of either party putting into the ports of the other and having need of provissions or other supplies, they shall be furnished at the market price. And if any such vessel shall so put in from a disasterat sea and have occasion to repair, she shall be at liberty to land and reembark her cargo without paying any duties. But in no case shall she be compelled to land her cargo.
Should a vessel of either party be cast on the shore of the other, all proper assistance shall be given to her and her people; no pillage shall be allowed; the property shall remain at the disposition of the owners, and the crew protected and succoured till they can be sent to their country.
If a vessel of either party should be attacked by an enemy within gun-shot of the forts of the other she shall be defended as much as possible. If she be in port she shall not be seized or attacked when it is in the power of the other party to protect her. And when she proceeds to sea no enemy shall be allowed to pursue her from the same port within twenty four hours after her departure.
The commerce between the United States and Tripoli, the protection to be given to merchants, masters of vessels and seamen, - the reciprocal right of establishing consuls in each country, and the privileges, immunities and jurisdictions to be enjoyed by such consuls, are declared to be on the same footing with those of the most favoured nations respectively.
The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli as a full and satisfactory consideration on his part and on the part of his subjects for this treaty of perpetual peace and friendship are acknowledged to have been recieved by him previous to his signing the same, according to a reciept which is hereto annexed, except such part as is promised on the part of the United States to be delivered and paid by them on the arrival of their Consul in Tripoly, of which part a note is ikewise hereto annexed. And no presence of any periodical tribute or farther payment is ever to be made by either party.
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 theparties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
In case of any dispute arising from a notation of any of the articles of this treaty no appeal shall be made to arms, nor shall war be declared on any pretext whatever. But if the (consul residing at the place where the dispute shall happen) shall not be able to settle the same, an amicable referrence shall be made to the mutual friend of the parties the Dey of Algiers, the parties here- by engaging to abide by his decision. And he by virtue of his signature to this treaty engages for himself and successors to declare the justice of the case according to the true interpretation of the treaty, and to use all the means in his power to enforce the observance of the same.

Signed and sealed at Tripoli of Barbary the 3d day of Jumad in the year of the Higera 1211- corresponding with the 4th day of Novr 1796 by  JUSSUF BASHAW MAHOMET   Bey    SOLIMAN   Kaya   MAMET   Treasurer    GALIL   Genl of the Troops   AMET   Minister of Marine   MAHOMET   Coml of the city    AMET   Chamberlain   MAMET   Secretary    ALLY   Chief of the Divan

Signed and sealed at Algiers the 4th day of Argib 1211- corresponding with the 3d day of January 1797 by HASSAN BASHAW Dey and by the Agent plenipotentiary of the United States of America   [Seal] Joel BABLOW

I, Joel Barlow, agent and consul general of the United States of America for the city and Kingdom of Algiers, certify and attest that the seal standing uppermost on the page next but two preceding this [in the Arabic order] is that of the Regency of Algiers and that the signature above it is that of Hassan Bashaw Dey.

In testimony whereof I sign these presents with my hand and affix thereto the seal of the consulate of the United States at Algiers this 4th day of January 1797.   [Seal] JOEL BARLOW
From the original painting by Chappel in the possession of the publisher. Johnson, Fry & Co. publishers, New York. Entered according to act of Congress AD 1863 by Johnson, Fry & Co. in the clerks office of the district court of the southern district of NY.
Portrait by Charles Wilson Peale, 1807 Used by permission of the owner, Joel Barlow of Wash D.C., a descendant of Joel Barlow   Ankers Photography
The Joel Barlow Commemoration Committee of Redding Connecticut invites your participation, Saturday, June 22, 1935, in honoring the life and work of Joel Barlow, Poet, Patriot, Statesman, born in Redding, March 24th, 1754, son of Samuel and Esther (Hull) Barlow, died in Zarnowiec, Poland, December 26, 1812, in active services as United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France.

Program (Daylight Saving Time)
11:30 a.m. Ridgewood Inn, Redding Ridge. "Hasty Pudding" Breakfast: old New England Style.
Short talks after breakfast on "Joel Barlow, Prophet and Dreamer;" "The Redding Boy" by Hon. Daniel S. Sanford of Redding, Conn.; "The Hartford Wit and Editor" by Robert E. Stevenson, Editor of the Waterbury Republican, Waterbury, Conn.; "Yale Alumnus and Man of Letters" by Chauncey Brewater Tinker, Sterling Professor of Literature, Yale University; and others.
(Make reservations with Chairman, Mrs. D.S. Sanford, Ridgewood Inn., Redding Ridge. Seventy-five cents per person, paid before June 15, as accomodations are limited.)

3:00 p.m. Redding Green at Old Town House. (Center Church in case of rain.)
Commemoration Meeting.
Singing: America.
Address by His Excellency, the French Ambassador to the United States, Andre de Laboulaye.
Address: "Joel Barlow's Service to Peace, Rev. Dr. B.S. Winchester, of Georgetown, Conn.
"The Recessional", Kipling: Sung by Redding children.

4:00 p.m. Procession to old Congregational Burying Ground
Hymn: America the Beautiful.
Address, by the Representative of the Government of Poland. "Joel Barlow."
Presentation of Memorial Tablet, by Mrs. Bessie Barlow Crane, on behalf of kinsmen and fellow townsmen.
Acceptance: First Selectman George W. Banks.
Bugle: Taps.
Children strew flowers.
Pledge of faither in Freedom and Democracy, by Niel Sanford, Registrar, Bard College, of Columbia University.
Singing: "Faith of Our Fathers."

During the preliminaries for this commemorations, kinsmen of Joel Barlow have expressed a desire that a Genealogy of the descendants of John Barlow of Fairfield, Conn. (d. 1674) be published. A considerable amount of material for this purpose was collected some years ago, by a member of the family. It can be amplified and brought down to date by co-operation of the kinsmen. Please send data to Miss Clara M. Hill, R.F.D., Ridgewood, Conn.

Those desiring to share in the gift of the tablet to the Town, send contributions to Tablet Chairman, Mrs. Bessie Barlow Crane, 300 West Main Street, Waterbury, Conn.

Those desiring to loan or give books, manuscripts, pictures or maps for the exhibit June 22nd, or for the permanent collection to remain in Redding Library, address Chairman of Joel Barlow Loan Exhibit, Mrs. B.S. Winchester, Georgetown, Conn.

Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division      Click to view published image

Joel Barlow High School       Easton/Redding Connecticut

100 Black Rock Turnpike    Redding, CT 06810

(203) 938-2508 Redding / (203) 334-8003 Easton    Fax: (203) 938-9602
Biographical Memoirs of Sebastion County Arkansas  / Concerning Joel Barlow's sister-in-law. Clara Baldwin Bomford

Mrs. Martha A. "Dillard" Bomford was born in Arkansas in 1832, and is a daughter of John Penn and Sallie Price "Moore" Dillard, both of whom were born in Virginia.
They came from Virginia to Arkansas by water, landing at the mouth of the Arkansas River, and from there went to Moore's Rock, on ponies and pack horses, which place they reached in 1822.

While in Virginia they followed merchandising, but fter coming to Arkansas engaged in farming.

In 1833 they commenced to keep a large boarding house at Fort Gibson, Chickasaw Nation, for officers, and continued it until 1840.

The father represented his county in the State Legislature, and his union with Miss Moore was blessed in the birth of twelve children, four of whom are still living: Mrs. Elizabeth G. "Rosser", Mrs. Solomon F. Clark, Mrs. M.A. Bomford and Mrs. Sarah P. Bossert.

Major Dillard, formerly of Fort Smith, was a brother of Mrs. Bomford, and served through the Mexican War as captain under Colonel Yell, and as major in the late war, Confederate States Army, in General Fagan's brigade. John and Lucy "Penn" Dillard were the grandparents of Mrs. Bomford, the grandmother being a branch of the family of the famous William Penn.

The maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Polly "Price" Moore, were Virginians, and moved to Arkansas in 1818.

Major B. Moore sent outthe first bale of cotton from this part of the State, and raised the first tobacco.

Mrs. Bomford spent her early life in Sebastian County, and attended school in Van Buren and Fort Smith, where she acquired a good English education.

In 1851 she was married to Dr. George Erving Bomford, who was born March 31, 1820, in Washington, D.C., the son of Col. George and Clara "Baldwin" Bomford.

The former was chief of ordinance at Washington, and the latter was a sister-in-law of Joel Barlow, the author.

Dr. Bomford was reared and educated in his native city, read medicine under Dr. Wilson, and attended lectures at Boston and Philadelphia, and received his diploma. He practiced several years in Washington, then moved to Fort Smith, Ark., in 1848, and immediately began practicing in that town.

He was post surgeon of Fort Smith before and during the war, and was a Royal Arch Mason, a Democrat, and a member of the Episcopal Church.

He has three sons: George D., of St. Louis, Mo., Erving, a druggist of Fort Smith, and Henry, a plumber of Fort Smith. 

Ancestry Chart of Joel Barlow

Arts Index