Nathaniel Freeman papers  1773- [1818]
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Biography

Nathaniel Freeman, (1741-1827) surgeon, jurist and statesman, was prominent in Massachusetts politics during and after the Revolutionary War. Born in Dennis, Massachusetts, to Edmund Freeman, he represented Sandwich in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1773, and was appointed chairman of the town's newly formed committee of correspondence. In 1775, he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and served there again in 1778-1780. He served in the Massachusetts militia, becoming a brigadier general by 1781, and was honorably discharged in 1793. During and after the Revolutionary War, Freeman acted as the Barnstable County superintendent and as the judge of probate in of the Court of Common Pleas (1775-1811). In 1811, he was appointed chief justice of the Massachusetts Court of Sessions. He retired from medicine in 1804.

The committee of correspondence was responsible for investigating reports of Tory activity, conducting hearings, and administering the oath of allegiance in the Cape Cod area. In 1778, the committee investigated the activities of Edward Davis, who was seen in the company of known Tories. The inquiry exposed a group of Loyalists, their lines of communication with sympathizers in other towns and with the British at Newport, and their attempts to pass counterfeit money. The committee also supervised the training and equipping of local militia, and maintained communications with other neighboring committees.

Freeman was twice married, first to Tryphosa Colton (d. 1796) of Killingly, Connecticut, and then to Elizabeth Gifford. In all, Freeman had 20 children, including Nathaniel Freeman, Jr. (1766-1800), a Massachusetts congressman, and Russell Freeman (1782-1842) a Maine lawyer.