Name

Philip Freneau

Career

Arts/Writing

Occupation 1

Mariner

Occupation 2

Poet

Region

NA/Mid-Atlantic region

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Born

1752

Died

1832

Source

ANB

Text

Poet and polemicist

In July 1778, Freneau� enlisted as a private in the First Regiment of the New Jersey militia. Although his service as a scout won him promotion to the rank of sergeant, Freneau found time to publish American Independence, a passionate indictment of British rule. Only days after the pamphlet appeared, Freneau decided to combine his duties as a militiaman with the somewhat more lucrative career of a coastal privateer. While ferrying tobacco to St. Eustacia in May 1780, Freneau was captured by a British man-of-war and incarcerated on the prison ship Scorpion, which anchored in the Hudson River. After six weeks of ill treatment he was released�

In 1784 he returned to the Caribbean, this time as the captain of his own brig. His romantic adventures provided his pen with inspiration but did little for his purse. Nearly broke after six years at sea, Freneau determined to return�

At the age of forty-one� Freneau decided to return to the sea. The remainder of his life was spent aboard the John, a schooner that carried salt and cider to southern ports, and at a small farm on the outskirts of Freehold, New Jersey

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Record ID: 495