Lawyer; author. Born– November 22, 1823, Milton (Caswell County), North Carolina (moved to Alabama in 1835). Parents– Thomas and Mary Jane Gorman Barr. Education– University of Alabama, B.A., 1841, M.A., 1842. Read law with Attorney Harvey Ellis in Tuscaloosa; admitted to the bar in 1843. Served in the Mexican War; rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Practiced law in Tuscaloosa; managing editor of the Tuscaloosa Observer. Published humorous stories based on daily life in Alabama in the New York weekly newspaper Spirit of the Times. Campaigned for a Congressional seat in 1857-58, but withdrew from the race to prevent a party split. Appointed consul to Australia by President James Buchanan, but died on the voyage, May 18, 1858.
Beidler, Philip D. The Art of Fiction in the Heart of Dixie: An Anthology of Alabama Writers. University of Alabama Press, 1980.
Hubbs, G. Ward, “Introduction,” to Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama: The Humor of John Gorman Barr. University of Alabama Press, 1981.
Rowdy Tales from Early Alabama: The Humor of John Gorman Barr. University of Alabama Press, 1981.
A collection of the papers of John Gorman Barr is held by the W.S.Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama.