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The Religious Affiliation of
a Signer of the American Declaration of Independence
Francis Hopkinson is regarded as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate from New Jersey.
Francis Hopkinson was an Episcopalian.
He was identified as an Episcopalian by the Dictionary of American Biography, published in 1936. (Source: Ian Dorion, "Table of the Religious Affiliations of American Founders", 1997).
From: B. J. Lossing, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, George F. Cooledge & Brother: New York (1848) [reprinted in Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, WallBuilder Press: Aledo, Texas (1995)], page 85:
Francis Hopkinson was born of English parents, at Philadelphia, in the year 1737. His mother was the daughter of the Bishop of Worcester [in the Church of England], and, like her husband, was well educated, and moved in the polite circles of England. They maintained the same standing in Philadelphia...
From: Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975), pages 82-83:
During his busy public career, the ambitious Hopkinson managed to leave his stamp on the fields of music, art, and literature. His "My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free" (1759) probably represents the first American composition of secular music; his "Temple of Minerva" (1781), the first American attempt at opera. In art, he was noted particularly for his crayon portraits and his work on heraldic emblems. But his literary attainments surpassed all his others.
Between 1757 and 1773, Hopkinson contributed numerous poems and essays, many of them in a humorous and satirical vein, to various periodicals. The following year, he began advancing the patriot cause. A profusoin of widely read and influential pamphlets, essay,s and letters, often presented in an allegorical style, derided and ridiculed the British and the Loyalists, outlined colonial grievances, and encouraged the colonists. The Prophecy, written in 1776 before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, predicted that event. After the war, Hopkinson continued to treat political and social themes, and became one of the best known writers in the United Staets.
While a Federal circuit judge, Hopkinson died in Philadelphia at the age of 53. He was laid to rest in Christ Church Burial Ground.
Portrait: from Robert G. Ferris (editor), Signers of the Declaration: Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, published by the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service: Washington, D.C. (revised edition 1975).
Webpage created 13 November 2005. Last modified 22 November 2005.
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