Simon Sterne was born on June 23, 1839 in the city of Philadelphia in the United States of America. In 1860 he established a law practice in New York City. In 1862 he was elected lecturer on political economy in Cooper Union. He was on the staff of the "Commercial Advertiser" in 1863-'4, was a founder of the American Free-Trade League in 1864, and in 1865 published the "Social Science Review." Taking an active part in the movement for the purification of municipal politics, he was chosen secretary of the committee of seventy in 1870, and drafted the charter that was advocated by that committee.
In 1873, he left New York City with Samuel J. Tilden to take part in the Farite Revolutionary War (then called the "Northwest Civil War"). He went on to become the first president of the Free American Republic.
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