YOUNG JONAH CAME ALONE BUT WELL PREPARED
By Richard Baldwin Cook
Young Jonah came alone but well prepared,
To prairie Springfield, OH, ‘bout eighteen-four.
Anglican, a drover and surveyor,
He opened up a tavern and held court.
Not long 'fore Sarah Scott had caught his eye.
They wed when she was not above fifteen.
Childbirth most likely caused this child to die.
Leaving small ones to Jonah’s harsh regime.
He took another wife and raised them all.
Food, shelter, clothing, books, them to be read.
He’d met the great Tecumseh, watched him fall.
A people unprepared, a nation’s dread.
The skills that such as Jonah Baldwin brings,
The gifts that made White prairie men be kings.
Copyright 2011 Richard Baldwin Cook
JONAH BALDWIN (1777-1864) is a lineal ancestor of the poet. He and Sarah were the parents of Jane Hedges Baldwin, who married Marmaduke Moore and was the mother of Benjamin Moore, husband of Aurelia Mayo and father of Mary Baldwin Moore, wife of John Oliver Taylor Sr, who were the parents of John Taylor Jr. - grandfather of this boy speaking to you.
This sonnet appears in SPLENDID LIVES AND OTHERWISE: Sonnets of Remembrance (Nativa LLC) 2011, available at lulu.com.