Life and Letters of Joel Barlow, LL.D., Poet, Statesman, Philosopher: With Extracts from His Works and Hitherto Unpublished Poems

By Charles Burr Todd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
1780-1783.

THE uncertainty as to his prospects, indicated in the last letter, continued into the summer of 1780. Toward the end of this summer he was commissioned a chaplain in Poor's Brigade of the Massachusetts line, and in September joined the brigade, then engaged in guarding the passes of the Hudso. Motives both of patriotism and self-interest prompted him to this step, the army being then sadly in need of able and properly qualified chaplains. He evidently took the step with reluctance, and chiefly from the solicitations of friends. Some of these are indicated in a series of letters from Abraham Baldwin, then a chaplain in Putnam's division, and which also contain pleasant descriptions of camp-scenes and an interesting allusion to the "Vision of Columbus." The first is dated in May, 1779, at Redding, where the division had wintered. "To-day," wrote the future senator, "we have been over to General Putnam's to a splendid entertainment, which, if I should use you as they frequently do the public, I should describe to you at large as to guests, covers, toasts, and music, but shall only tell you in all that it was very agreeable, such as you might expect from a collection of careless, friendly, sensible gentlemen whose plan of life precludes any great multiplicity of interests and vexations, and permits them to enjoy each other. Major Putnam was fitting for a journey through New Haven. I have stolen a few minutes to write you by him. . . . I doubt not you have frequently thought of me since my sudden elopement, how I made out, how enjoyed myself, etc. The plan and scene of action you are but too well acquainted with.

-24-

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Life and Letters of Joel Barlow, LL.D., Poet, Statesman, Philosopher: With Extracts from His Works and Hitherto Unpublished Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Introductory Note. iii
  • Joel Barlow. 1
  • Chapter II - 1778-1780. 10
  • Chapter III - 1780-1783. 24
  • Chapter IV - 1783-1788. 46
  • Chapter V - 1788-1795. 55
  • Chapter VI - 1795-1797. 115
  • Chapter VII - 1797-1805. 151
  • Chapter VIII - 1805-1811. 204
  • Chapter IX - 1811-1813. 256
  • Chapter X - Personal. 289
  • Index. 305
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