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Philip Barrett, 1838-1900
Gilbert Hunt, the City Blacksmith
Richmond, Va: James Woodhouse, 1859.


Philip Barrett (1838-1900) compiled Gilbert Hunt, The City Blacksmith (1859) as a tribute and financial help to Hunt, who was elderly at the time of publication. Hunt was born around 1780 in King William County, Virginia, and he was taken to Richmond when his master's daughter was married. While in this household, he learned carriage making. During the War of 1812, Hunt worked for the army as a blacksmith and was guardian of his master's shop and property. After being sold twice, he purchased his freedom for approximately $800 and opened his own blacksmith shop. Hunt reports that the highlight of his life was an eight-month visit to Africa. Hunt engaged in several heroic acts, including a rescue during a penitentiary fire and another during a theatre fire in Richmond. After chronicling these proofs of Hunt's contributions to Richmond, Barrett closes his work with a poem entitled "The Blacksmith's Night," by Rev. R. Hoyt.

Monique Prince

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