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PHILAD^, April 6, 1795.

DEAR SIR, I delayed acknowledging your favor long ago rec, until I could inform you of the prospects of Mr. Bailey in whose favor it was written. I have now the pleasure to tell you that altho' his wishes are not to be immediately fulfilled, he is looking to obtain, under the auspices of Mr. Buckley and Mr. Randolph, a share of employment hereafter which may be very valuable to him. valuable to him. I congratulate you on the public intelligence just recd from Holland which gives joy to all true Republicans, and wish you all the private happiness which an exchange of your former troubled services for the shade & tranquillity of your present life can afford. Remember, however, that as you have not chosen any longer to labour in the field of politics, it will be expected by your friends that you cultivate with the more industry your inheritance on Parnassus. With my best respects to Mrs. Freneau, I remain, Dear Sir, Your friend and your S., Js. MADISON, JR.

It seems the old leaven yet remained in Freneau, and the republishing of his patriotic verses caused it to effervesce in the form of a diminutive production, printed in his own little office at Mount Pleasant. It was called "The Jersey Chronicle," and its first copy appeared on the second of May, 1795. It comprised eight quarto pages, seven inches by eight, and was headed by a quotation from the editor's favorite poet, Horace :

"Inter sylvas Academi quærere verum."

This journal was issued weekly, and was, as the editor assured his readers, "intended to review foreign and domestic politics of the times, and mark the general character of the age and country."


During the same month in which it first saw the light as a complete thing, Freneau combined gratitude, business, and courtesy in a letter to Mr. Madison. The former sentiment was awakened by the appointment of his friend, Mr. Francis Bailey, to the position

he had solicited Mr. Madison to interest himself in procuring for him; the second was to announce the nativity of the seven by eight; and thirdly and lastly, he congratulates him on his marriage, which had taken place a good part of a year before. This letter is so characteristic of the man that we will insert it in full.

MONMOUTH, May, 20th, 1795.

MY RESPECTED FRIEND, - By some accident your kind letter of April 6th was a long time in finding its way hither, having not come to hand till the 17th. inst. I sincerely thank you for the interest you have taken in Mr. Bailey He is a good Republican and a worthy honest man, which qualifications, I have thought, entitled him to some notice from the Government, in his line of business - I was heartily laughed at, however, a few weeks ago in N. York, by some Aristocrats, for having in my Letter to you or Mr. Buckley, I forget which, extolled his Military Services in the late war. I am sensible he never cut off the heads of Giants or drove hosts before him, as some have done; at the same time it ought to be remembered that he was an officer in the Pennsylvania Militia in the season that tried Men's Souls (as Paine says) and I believe never acted otherwise than became the character in which he acted

I meet you at least half way in your congratulations on the public intelligence received from Holland. It is but another step toward the advancement and completion of that great and Philanthropic System which I have been anticipating for many years, and which you as well as myself, I hope, will live to see realized. When I first went to reside in Philada in 1791, I wished to be one of those who would have the honour and happiness of announcing these great events to the public through the medium of a newspaper. A variety of circumstances however, needless to trouble you with, urged my departure from that city after completing a two years publication. As I mean to pass the remainder of my days on a couple of hundred of acres of an old sandy patrimony, I have, by way of filling up the vacuities of time set on foot a small weekly newspaper calculated for the part of the country in which I am Should you have any curiosity to see it I will

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forward it to you free of all expense except that of postage. I will not make high promises in regard to what it may contain. It will scarcely be expected that in a rude, barbarous part of the country I should calculate it for the polite taste of Philadelphia.-Should your fixed residence be in Philad I can transmit the Papers to you once a week by the Public Post, who stops every Wednesday at my door. A Letter put Á into the Post Office at Philadelphia on Saturday morning, will be sure to reach me on Wednesday. The public papers some time ago announced your marriage- I wish you all possible happiness with the lady whom you have chosen for your Companion through life- Mrs. Freneau joins me in the same, and desires me to present her best respects to your lady and yourself and should you ever take an excursion to these parts of Jersey, we will endeavour to give Mrs. Madison and yourself" if not a costly welcome, yet a kind-"

I am, Sir,

With Great Esteem

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Your friend and humble Servt


Freneau was an original thinker; he combined the quickness and brilliancy of mind of the French with the firmness of belief in his own opinions for which his Huguenot ancestors were noted; and his natural frankness of disposition caused him to feel the necessity of asserting his opinion upon all subjects of importance, whether others cared for it or not. Moreover, as he considered his opinions correct, he was naturally desirous of having others adopt them also. Not being ambitious, and asking nothing from the hands of his country or its representatives, he was quite indifferent to the latter, and desired only to serve the former; therefore, he had nothing to fear from either. The "Chronicle' was a spirited little journal, but Freneau's thoughts were ahead of the times, and the fact of its being carried on by one person, and he at some distance from the political centres, prevented it from being a success. Freneau's


business affairs were something like Horace Greeley's model farm, whereof it is said everything cost him double what he could get for it; therefore, wearied of providing the public with reading matter at his personal expense, Freneau allowed the paper to die a natural death. Before we bury it, however, we will quote one article contained in its issue of April 16, 1796. The person of whom it speaks, Captain Hodge, was a prisoner in the old sugar-house during the Revolutionary War. The article was copied from an English paper, and runs thus:

"It is with great satisfaction that we have it in our power to announce to the public the safety of the crew and troops on board the "Aurora'1 transport, one of Admiral Christian's fleet, which has for some time been given up as totally lost. Her masts and rudder were carried away by a violent gust of wind about three weeks ago, and from that time she remained a helpless log on the water, kept afloat only by the manual exertions of the people at the pumps. Three vessels bore down to the wreck in this intermediate space, but did not - whether from choice or inability, we do not presume to say-offer her - offer her any assistance. On Tuesday last, being about ten leagues west of the Lizards, Captain Hodge of the ship Sedgely,' of Philadelphia, was so fortunate as to fall in with her, and without the least hesitation determined, at the hazard of his own life and that of his crew, to rescue these miserable people, one hundred and sixty in number, from that fate which so long had threatened them, and which from that time, they must have met in a few hours. It should be recorded to his honor that his humanity, aided by nautical skill, triumphed over the dangers that awaited his exertions in the boat; for he brought the whole of them safe to his own ship,


1 This name probably revived in Freneau tender memories of his own beautiful ship, the "Aurora," which, indeed, it may have been.


except one man, who was literally drowned in the boat. The troops are Germans, and have behaved with a sensibility that evinces much gratitude to their deliverers. They have tendered Captain Hodge one thousand guineas, which he has refused, saying that he finds sufficient remuneration in his own breast for the trouble he has had. One of them, on being asked if Captain Hodge treated them well when he had them on board, exclaimed: Sir, this brave American does honor to his country; he gave us all he had; he is a king of men, and we are bound to kiss his feet as long as we live.' After the Aurora' had parted company with Admiral Christian, she had to encounter most dreadful weather. She soon proved so leaky that the pumps became useless, and it was with the utmost difficulty that she was kept above the water by all hands being employed in bailing. Such was the fatigue experienced by the soldiers and crew, that some are said to have died in consequence. They were all, when taken on board the American ship, reduced to a very feeble state. At the time this friendly ship came up, the 'Aurora' was scarcely afloat, and every further effort to prolong a painful existence had been given up by the people on board."

One may imagine the real pleasure with which Freneau commemorated this noble act in his journal; for no one was ever more willing to give praise when justly due than was he; nor has any one ever more generously brought to light, or before the eyes of others, any heroic or virtuous action. He did not wish this noble deed of his countryman to fall into oblivion, and for this reason we insert it here.

After the obsequies of the Chronicle,1 Freneau paid a visit to his brother Peter in Charleston, in which city he had many friends and was greatly appreciated. Amongst his acquaintances there were, we learn from

1 There is a copy of this paper in the N. Y. Hist. Soc.

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