No. 101







Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)


District 29 (Essex)


District 11 (Monmouth)

Assemblywoman  JOANN DOWNEY

District 11 (Monmouth)


Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Ruiz, Assemblymen Wirths and Space






     Designates March 15 of each year as Peter Francisco Day in New Jersey.



     As introduced.


A Joint Resolution designating March 15 of each year as Peter Francisco Day in New Jersey.


Whereas, Peter Francisco came from humble beginnings, kidnapped from Azores, the Portuguese islands, and abandoned as a five year old child in Virginia, and living in an orphanage until a local judge took the boy into his home and raised him more or less as an indentured servant; and

Whereas, Inspired after listening to Patrick Henry’s renowned “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775, Francisco joined the 10th Virginia regiment as a private at the age of sixteen; and

Whereas, Francisco’s strength and stature was widely recognized as he stood six feet, six inches tall in adulthood, almost one foot taller than the average man at the time, and weighed at least 260 pounds; and

Whereas, In addition to Francisco’s physical strength, he was well-regarded for his courage and fortitude in battles, fighting in several battles while sustaining injuries, and also saving the life of his colonel in one instance; and

Whereas, While on a mission, Francisco stopped at an inn and was surrounded by nine enemy soldiers who announced his arrest, but Francisco fought his way through the nine soldiers and was able to escape, even while sustaining his sixth and final injury of the war, a bullet wound; and

Whereas, Due to Francisco’s many feats of bravery and unusual strength, he was widely regarded as the most famous private of the Revolutionary War, and Francisco was present at the surrender of British General Lord Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown, which ended the war with Great Britain; and

Whereas, After his service in the war, Francisco completed his formal education, and became known not just for his role in the war, but also for his gentle and charitable nature, as well as for his fine singing voice; and

Whereas, In later years, Peter Francisco served as the sergeant-at-arms of the Virginia legislature until his death in 1831; and

Whereas, Peter Francisco served his nation with great honor and distinction, and his contributions to the nation are a testament to his character; and

Whereas, Today Peter Francisco’s bravery is celebrated across the United States, especially amongst the Portuguese Community that proudly sees the value of a Portuguese man that helped to build our great nation; and

Whereas, It is therefore fitting and proper, and in the interest of the State of New Jersey and its residents, to designate March 15 of each year as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey; now, therefore,

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    a.   March 15 of each year is designated as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey to recognize and commemorate the many contributions Peter Francisco made during the Revolutionary War.

     b.    The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation and call upon public officials, and all residents of this State, to observe “Peter Francisco Day” with appropriate events and programs. 


     2.    This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.





     This resolution designates March 15 of each year as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey to recognize Peter Francisco’s many acts of bravery and contributions during the Revolutionary War.

     Known as a giant of a man, Francisco, a man of Portuguese descent, stood at six feet, six inches tall, approximately one foot taller than the average man at the time.  His strength and size gained him much notoriety during the war, and his courageous nature led to incredible stories of his life, some impossible to verify, being told and retold for many generations.

     Francisco fought through several battles while sustaining injuries, and he made daring escapes from seemingly impossible situations.  His contributions have already been recognized by other states, and it is fitting for New Jersey to recognize them as well.