1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Philip Freneau

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 244.



Freneau (1752-1832) was of French descent, a native of New York. He graduated at Princeton, in the class of 1771. He wrote political satires, such as they were, on the Tories, which did good service in their day; and he was rewarded by Jefferson with an office. Early in the war he was captured by the British, and confined in one of the prison-ships in New York harbor. After the war he commanded a sailing-vessel, and got the title of Captain. He was an editor at times; but his newspaper speculations do not seem to have turned out profitably, and he died insolvent. He was prolific as a writer of verse, and there are several volumes of poems from his pen. He lived to the age of eighty, and perished during a snow-storm, in a bog-meadow, where he seems to have got lost, and which he had attempted to cross, near Freehold, New Jersey.