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Joel Barlow. Watercolor on ivory, 1806, by William Dunlap. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Barlow.


Barlow, Joel (24 March 1754–26 December 1812), businessman, diplomat, and poet, was born in Redding, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Barlow and Esther Hull, fairly well-to-do farmers. Barlow was born the second-to-last child in a large family. Given the size of the family and their farm, Barlow could receive formal education only from the local minister, an education probably interspersed with farm chores. When Barlow was eighteen, his father arranged for his schooling at Moor’s Indian School (now Dartmouth) in Hanover, New Hampshire. Barlow began his studies there in 1772, yet his father’s death shortly thereafter made it necessary for Barlow to return home. He entered Yale College with the class of 1778. At Yale Barlow began to give evidence of an interest in poetry, in moral and political philosophy, and in science as a key to the improvement of the human condition. His first published poem, a broadside publication, was a satire in pseudobiblical verse about the bad food served in Yale commons. Although he wrote poems throughout his college days, Barlow’s best-known college verses were verse orations delivered at two Yale commencements, ...


March, William (18 September 1893–15 May 1954), writer and business executive, was born William Edward Campbell in Mobile, Alabama, the son of John Leonard Campbell, a timber cruiser, and Susan March. His childhood was spent in the small timber communities of West Florida and South Alabama, and his schooling ended at the age of fourteen when he began work in the office of a local sawmill. He left home at the age of sixteen for Mobile and obtained a position in a law office. He accumulated sufficient savings to put himself through a high school course of study at Valparaiso University (1913–1914) and subsequently to enter the law school of the University of Alabama as a special student (1914–1915). In 1916 he went to New York and became a subpoena server for a law firm....