Du Ponceau, Pierre Étienne


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(1760–1844), born in St. Martin, Île de Ré, France, came to America (1777) as secretary to Baron Steuben, and served in the Continental army until illness forced him to retire (1780). As a U.S. citizen he was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar. In addition to works on international law he wrote philological treatises that include English Phonology (1817) and Grammatical System of Some of the Languages of the Indian Nations of North America (1838), and an early plea for native expression, A Discourse on the Necessity and Means of Making Our National Literature Independent … (1834). He also wrote books on Pennsylvania history and on the Constitution. His autobiography was published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History (1939–40).

From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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