Monthly Archives: January 2014

Taking Stock


In this note the inventor Robert Fulton (1765-1815) writes to Joel Barlow (1754-1812), an American poet and diplomat, reporting on the number of copies of Barlow’s The Columbiad found in a publisher’s warehouse. The note dates from February 1812; Barlow was to die unexpectedly in December of that year while on a diplomatic mission in Poland (and not from the news that 534 copies of his book were as yet unsold). This note is one of many documents in the Joel Barlow Collection at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library that traces the printing history of Barlow’s The Columbiad (1807), which is an expanded version of his epic poem The Vision of Columbus (1787).