Rhode Island johnny-cake, fresh from the board


Poem in 10 stanzas.
At head of text: "When Joel Barton [i.e. Barlow], the celebrated American poet, was a minister at some foreign court ... he often made a stroll among the peasantry, and refreshed himself with a bowl of hasty pudding and milk, which he declared more luxuriant than the banquets of courts. He thought it no disparagement to eulogize in his poetic writings; and I, being a great lover of hot Johnny-Cake, thought I would in a ballad,--so here it is". The reference is to Joel Barlow's long poem "The hasty pudding", first published in 1796.
Text includes references to Jedidiah Morse's American gazetteer (1797), Nathanael Greene, Oliver Hazard Perry, Benjamin Bourne (1755-1808; U.S. congressman, 1790-96; district court judge, 1796-1801, etc.), and James Burrill, Jr. (1772-1820; U.S. senator, 1817-1820); there are no later references.
Brown University, John Hay Library copy has dated "1862" in pencil, possibly a contemporary inscription; accompanied by a card, with note in pencil: "Who wrote R.I. Johnny Cake. The original is signed 'Farmers Exchange' Glocester RI June 2 without the year--it is from an old newspaper probably, as early as 1815 there are many verbal changes." The text includes numerous variants from an earlier broadside printing (184-?) also in the John Hay Library, though it is the same in substance and in no way updated.

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"Rhode Island johnny-cake, fresh from the board" (1862). Harris Broadsides. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:287999/



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    Broadsides are single-sheet publications, often issued as ephemera or announcements. The Harris Broadsides Collection is a comprehensive collection of American poetry published in broadside format from colonial times to the present. The collection offers materials covering a broad spectrum of …