Barlow, Joel

Barlow, Joel (1754-1812) Writer, Diplomat: Joel Barlow was born in Redding, Connecticut on March 24, 1754. In 1780, he served as a chaplain to the Continental Army. Seven years later, his epic poem, "Vision of Columbus," was published. In 1788, Barlow went to France for private business reasons, but became caught up in the politics of the French Revolution. He received an honorary citizenship from the French government for his writings from this period, although the works shocked his previous friends and acquaintances. His most famous poem, "The Hasty-Pudding," published in 1793, expressed the longing of an American in France for his country. Barlow became the American Consul to Algiers in 1796, and was able to negotiate the release of Americans taken prisoner at sea. Barlow urged President Adams to promote reconciliation with France. His strong pro-French position alienated him from much of the Connecticut elite. In 1807, Barlow's revised and expanded version of his epic poem, "The Columbiad," appeared. President Madison asked Barlow to take part in negotiations with Napoleon. On his way to meet the emperor, Barlow died in Zarnowiec, Poland, on December 24, 1812.