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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Peter Francisco

 
 
Peter Francisco Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 8, 2010
1. Peter Francisco Marker
Inscription.
Abandoned on the wharf at City
Point, now Hopewell, in 1765, he was
taken as a small boy to Buckingham
County, where he grew to gigantic
size. Enlisting at 16 he served
under Washington with distinction
in the North. Later in the South
he became a hero of the Revolution
at such battles as Camden and
Guilford Courthouse. His feats of
strength were legendary and he
served Virginia well until his
death in 1831.

Erected in his memory by
the Commonwealth of Virginia
and
the James River Branch, APVA.
1973

 
Erected 1973 by Commonwealth of Virginia and the James River Branch, APVA.
 
Location. 37° 18.243′ N, 77° 17.25′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street and East Broadway Avenue, on the left when traveling north on North Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 North Main Street, Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dr. M. L. King, Jr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line);
Peter Francisco Monument image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 8, 2010
2. Peter Francisco Monument
John Randolph (approx. 0.2 miles away); Depot Field Hospital (approx. ¼ mile away); Union Fort (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Army of the James Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); City Point Defenses (approx. 0.6 miles away); U.S. Government Bakery (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
 
Regarding Peter Francisco. "On June 23, 1765, a small boy was abandoned on the wharf at City Point (now Hopewell, Virginia). An eyewitness account states: a foreign ship sailed up the James River, dropped anchor opposite the dock, and lowered a longboat to the water with two sailors in it. Then a boy of about five years was handed down and rowed to the wharf, where he was deposited and abandoned. The boat returned quickly to its ship. The ship weighed anchor at once, sailed back down the James River, and was never heard from again. The child did not speak English and no one understood what he said, except that he kept repeating “Pedro Francisco.” Thus, the local citizens called him Peter Francisco.

Peter Francisco grew into
Hopewell Municipal Building image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, July 8, 2010
3. Hopewell Municipal Building
a giant man, six feet six inches in height and approximately 260 pounds. During the Revolutionary War Francisco became its most notable private soldier. Legends of Francisco’s strength abound. Unable to fight with a regular sized broadsword, at Lafayette’s request, Washington had a special sword, measuring some five feet long, forged for Francisco. During the retreat from Camden, Francisco singlehandedly pulled an 1,100 pound American cannon free from its gun carriage. It was said that a team of six mules were unable to dislodge it. After the war, Francisco went home to Buckingham County to lead a quiet life. He was appointed sergeant-at-arms of the Virginia Senate. Married three times, he fathered many children. Peter Francisco died January 1831 and is buried in Shockoe Cemetery." Murals, Monuments and Statues of Hopewell, Virginia
 
Also see . . .
1. Peter Francisco: A One Man Army. (Submitted on July 9, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Peter Francisco, Giant of the American Revolution. Sons of the American Revolution (Submitted on July 9, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

3. Peter Francisco: Remarkable American Revolutionary War Soldier. October 1998 issue of American History magazine (Submitted on July 9, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

4. Hercules of the Revolution. Sixth generation descendant of Peter Francisco who tells Peter's story through dramatic impersonation, novel and documentary. (Submitted on July 11, 2010, by Travis Bowman of Davidson, North Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Colonial EraHeroesNotable PersonsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 956 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 9, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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