Francis HOPKINSON, Congress, NJ (1737-1791)


HOPKINSON, Francis, (father of Joseph Hopkinson), a Delegate from New Jersey; born in Philadelphia, Pa., September 21, 1737 (O.S.); was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1757; the first native American composer of a secular song in 1759; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1761 and commenced practice in Philadelphia; secretary of a commission of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania which made a treaty between the Province and certain Indian tribes in 1761; appointed collector of customs at the port of Salem, N.J., in 1763, and at New Castle, Del., in 1772; settled in Bordentown, N.J., in 1774 and resumed the practice of law; member of the Provincial Council of New Jersey 1774-1776; member of the executive council from January 13 to November 15, 1775; was admitted to practice before the bar of the supreme court of New Jersey on May 8, 1775; elected an associate justice of that court in 1776 but declined the office; Member of the Continental Congress from June 22 to November 30, 1776; a signer of the Declaration of Independence; elected on November 18, 1776, to serve on the Navy Board at Philadelphia; returned to Philadelphia in 1777; treasurer of the Continental Loan Office in 1778; judge of the Admiralty Court of Pennsylvania in 1779 and reappointed in 1780 and 1787; member of the constitutional convention in 1787 which ratified the Constitution of the United States; judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania 1789-1791; died in Philadelphia, Pa., May 9, 1791; interment in Christ Church Burial Ground.


Hastings, George E. The Life and Works of Francis Hopkinson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present