Hopkinson, Francis

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Hopkinson, Francis,

1737–91, American writer and musician, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Philadelphia. A practicing lawyer, Hopkinson was also an accomplished poet, essayist, and musician and is considered the first native American composer of a secular song, My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free (1759). Hopkinson represented (1776) New Jersey in the Continental Congress and later (1776–78) served as chairman of the Navy Board (as such he may have designed the American flag) and as treasurer of the Continental Loan Office (1778–81). He wrote in support of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and returned to public office in Pennsylvania, where he served as judge of the U.S. District Court (1789–91).


See his essays and writings (3 vol., 1792; repr. 1968); biographies by G. E. Hastings (1926, repr. 1968) and O. G. Sonneck (1905, repr. 1966).

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Hopkinson, Francis

(1737–91) public official, author, musician, judge; born in Philadelphia. The first graduate of what is now the University of Pennsylvania, he became a lawyer, operated a dry goods store, then moved to New Jersey and returned to practicing law. He represented New Jersey at the First Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence. He helped design the first national flag (1777). He also published many political satires and pamphlets, most aimed against the British. A minor poet, he was an accomplished harpsichordist; he wrote music for this instrument and is arguably the first native-born American composer of classical music. After serving on the Pennsylvania admiralty court (1779–89), he was a U.S. district judge in Pennsylvania from 1789 until his death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Twain's response first made clear that he was not himself guilty of plagiarism because his story was borrowed, not stolen; "he got it from Hopkinson Smith," referring to Francis Hopkinson Smith, the well known artist, writer, and engineer, best known today for designing the foundation for the Statue of Liberty.
Supplementary views of the jury are provided through newspaper commentary on both cases and through a long poem titled "Adrian's Assertion" by Francis Hopkinson, signatory to the declaration of Independence and at the time he wrote the poem a Federal District Court Judge, and through the novel Modern Chivalry and the legal handbook Law's Miscellanies, by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Hugh Henry Brackenridge.
In the 1920s and 1930s the celebration of four anniversaries--the centennial of the birth of Stephen Foster (1826-1864), the bicentennials of the births of George Washington (1732-1799) and Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791), and the sesquicentennial of the founding of the United States--increased interest in related antiquarian artifacts, and brought the musical contributions of two Pennsylvania composers to the attention of a general audience.
Francis Hopkinson, in his balled "The Battle of the Kegs" (1778), satirized the British reaction during an actual incident, a mine attack launched by David Bushnell on the British fleet in Philadelphia in Jan.
Channel 4 drama boss Francis Hopkinson tells us: "This fourth series will introduce several new characters and storylines will be broadened to include more of life on the estate."
history, John Fiske; A New England Nun and Other Stories by Mary Wilkins Freeman, offering expert portrayals of Massachusetts farm folk undergoing deformation of character or spirit in an era that was leaving them behind; Main-Traveled Roads, stark short stories and sketches against a background of dreary midwestern farm life, by Hamlin Garland; Colonel Carter of Cartersville, a novelette about a gentleman of the old South down on his luck, which made Francis Hopkinson Smith a popular author; and a final collection of poems and prose by the aging Walt Whitman, Goodbye, My Fancy.
He prepared a collection of his works, The Miscellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings of Francis Hopkinson (3 v.
C4 drama boss Francis Hopkinson says: "If society is becoming more consumerist, then Cheshire is the glitzy heartland of that new wealth.
It has been suggested that Francis Hopkinson, a member of the Continental Navy Board from 1776 to 1778, was the father of the Stars and Stripes.
Francis Hopkinson made an amusing but scurrilous reference to Howe's amorousness in <IR> THE BATTLE OF THE KEGS </IR> (1778).