Biography and History

Philip Morin Freneau is usually referred to as the "poet of the American Revolution." Born in New York, he graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1771. Although Freneau had produced several poems before college, it was the experience of pre-Revolutionary War Princeton that turned his interest to public writing. Political concerns led Freneau, James Madison, and their friends Hugh Henry Brackenridge and William Bradford, Jr., to revive the defunct Plain Dealing Club as the American Whig Society. Charged with literary and political enthusiasm, Freneau and Brackenridge collaborated on a picaresque narrative, Father Bambo's Pilgrimage to Mecca in Arabia, which presents comic glimpses of life in eighteenth-century America. In later years, Freneau was the editor of several newspapers, the most important of which was The National Gazette, Jefferson and Madison's Republican response to Alexander Hamilton's Federalist paper, Gazette of the United States.

Source: From the finding aid for C1061