Joel Barlow (March 24, 1754 – December 26, 1812) was an American poet and diplomat, and French politician. In politics, he supported the French Revolution and was an ardent Jeffersonian republican.
He worked as an agent for American speculator William Duer to set up the Scioto Company in Paris in 1788, and to sell worthless deeds to land in the Northwest Territory which it did not own. Scholars[who?] believe that he did not know the transactions were fraudulent. He stayed in Paris, becoming involved in the French Revolution. He was elected to the Assembly and given French citizenship in 1792.
In his own time, Barlow was known especially for the epic poem The Columbiad, a later version of the Vision of Columbus (1807), though modern readers[who?] rank The Hasty-Pudding (1793) more highly.
He was the American consul in Algiers and helped to draft the Treaty of Tripoli, which was a peace treaty that ended the barbary pirate attacks on North African city states. From 1811 until his death in Zarnowiec (Poland) on December 26, 1812, he was also the US Minister to France.
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