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FRANCIS BAR BER.
COLONEL FRANCIS BARBER was the son of Patrick Barber, Esq., who was born in the county of Longford, in Ireland, at a place called the Scotch Quarters. His maternal ancestors were Scots, of the name of Frazer, and he married Jane, the daughter of Francis Frazer, some years before his migration to America, in 1749 or 1750. After a short residence in New York, he removed to the then small village of Princeton, in New Jersey, where the subject of this memoir was born, in the year 1751. After Francis had entered the college, or the classical school attached to it, his father removed into the county of Orange, in the state of New York. He received appointments to civil offices under the colonial and state governments of New York, and his ashes now repose in the family cemetry in Orange county, beside the untimely grave of his gallant and lamented son. After FRANCIS BARBER had finished his education at Princeton he took charge of the academy at Elizabethtown, New Jersey; and the classical department under his charge was soon distinguished. He was charged with the instruction of several young men, who in after life rose to the highest eminence. Among others, Alexander Hamilton was placed at this school by Governor Livingston, himself a ripe scholar, whose preference for the school is the best evidence of his confidence in the teacher. Upon the breaking out of the revolutionary war, Francis BARBER, with his two younger brothers, John and William, devoted themselves at once to the service of their country. John commanded a company in the New York line, and Francis and William were officers in the New Jersey line. FRANCIS received a commission from congress, bearing date the 9th of February, 1776, as major of the third battalion of the New Jersey troops.
On the 8th of November of the same year he was appointed by the legislature of New Jersey Lieutenant Colonel of the third Jersey regiment, and was commissioned by congress on the first of January, 1777. Not long after, the office of inspector-general of the army was conferred upon Baron Steuben, and Colonel Francis BARBER received that of assistant inspector general. In a letter addressed to him by the baron at the time, he says,_"I make no doubt but with a gentleman of your zeal and capacity the troops under your inspection, will make great progress in the military discipline, and the good order prescribed in the regulations."
Colonel BARBER was in constant service during the whole war. Although a strict, nay rigid disciplinarian, always scrupulously performing his own duty, and requiring it from all under his command, yet so bland were his manners and his whole conduct so tempered with justice and strict propriety, that he was the favorite of all the officers and men, and possessed the friendship and confidence, not only of the general officers, but of the commander-in-chief. He served with his regiment in the northern army, under General Schuyler. He marched with the army from Ticonderoga to join General Washington, previous to the battle of Trenton. Colonel BARBER was in that battle, and also in that of Princeton which so soon followed it. He was engaged in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth, and in the latter was severely wounded. Even when unable to remain in the field, his active spirit was employed in devising means of usefulness, as is shown by the following letter from the commander-in-chief, dated July 9th, 1778.
I was this afternoon favored with your letter of the 8th instant. While you are at Elizabethtown, I wish you to obtain the best intelligence you can, from time to time, of the enemy's situation, and of any movement they may seem to have in view. For this purpose you will employ the persons you mention, or such others as you may judge necessary. Whatever expense you are at upon this occasion, will be repaid on the earliest notice. I am extremely happy to hear your wound is in so favorable a way. I hope it will be better every day. Though I wish for your services, I would not have you to rejoin the army before your condition will admit of it with the most perfect safety.
I am dear sir,
On the 14th of the same month, the commander-in-chief acknowledges the receipt of another letter of Colonel BARBER's of the 13th, expresses his obligations for the intelligence it contains, begs him to continue his endeavors to procure every information he can, concerning the enemy, and closes with his best wishes for his speedy recovery, and with much regard, &c.
In 1779, Colonel BARBER served as adjutant-general with General Sullivan in his memorable expedition against the Indians, and was slightly wounded at the battle of Newtown. At the close of the campaign, he received from the general a highly complimentary testimonial of his conduct in that department of the army. During the expedition, Colonel BARBER kept his wife constantly informed, not only of his personal safety, but of the movements, progress, and success of the army, and the letters preserved of that correspondence, furnish, probably, as particular and detailed an account of the expedition, as is any where to be found.
On the 8th of January, 1780, Washington entrusted to him the important and highly delicate duty of enforcing in the county of Gloucester, in West Jersey, the necessary requisition made throughout the state for grain and cattle, to relieve the distresses of the army.
The Jersey brigade was again conspicuous at the battle of Springfield, where Colonel BARBER was actively engaged. In this battle, fell that high minded and gallant youth, Lieutenant Moses Ogden, the brother-in-law of Colonel BARBER. When the mutiny, first of the Pennsylvania, and afterwards of the Jersey line, threatened the dissolution of the army, Colonel BARBER received from the commanderin-chief, the following, in the hand writing of General Hamilton.
New Windsor, January 21st, 1781. Dear Sir,
With no less pain than you communicated it, I receive the information contained in your letter of yesterday. This affair, if possible, must be brought to an issue favorable to subordination, or the army is ruined. I shall therefore immediately march a detachment to quell the mutineers. Colonel Frelinghuysen will impart to you what I have written to him. In addition to that, I am to desire you will endeavor to collect all those of your regiments who have had virtue enough to resist the pernicious example of their associates. If the revolt has not become general, and if you have force enough to do it, I wish you to compel the mutineers to unconditional submission. The more decidedly you are able to act, the better.
Your most obedient servant,
The mutineers had threatened to shoot any officer who should attempt to restrain or in any way molest them. Notwithstanding this threat, it was supposed by many of the officers that the Jersey troops entertained so high a regard for Colonel BARBER, and his influence over them was such, that he might safely appeal to their patriotism and honor as soldiers, and in this way lead them to submission.
The popularity of the officer had an influence in restraining many, and the decisive measures of Washington, together with the partial