Francis Lewis

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Francis Lewis
Francis Lewis.jpg
Born(1713-03-21)March 21, 1713
DiedDecember 31, 1802(1802-12-31) (aged 89)
Resting placeTrinity Church Cemetery, New York City
OccupationMerchant, politician
Known forsigner of the United States Declaration of Independence
Francis Lewis signature.png

Francis Lewis (March 21, 1713 – December 31, 1802) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York.


Born in Llandaff, Wales, he was the only child of Morgan Lewis and Anne Pettingale,[1][2] his father and maternal grandfather were both clergymen. He was educated in Scotland[citation needed] and attended Westminster School in England. He entered a mercantile house in London, then moved to Whitestone, New York in 1734, he married Elizabeth Annesley, the younger sister of his business partner, on June 15, 1745. He was taken prisoner while serving as a British mercantile agent in 1756 and sent to France for imprisonment. On his release and return home, he became active in politics.

He was a member of the Committee of Sixty, a member of the New York Provincial Congress, and served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1779. In 1778, he signed the United States Articles of Confederation, and in 1779 served as the Chairman of the Continental Board of Admiralty.

His home, located in Whitestone, in Queens, New York, was destroyed in the American Revolutionary War by British soldiers, who also arrested his wife, Elizabeth, and denied her a change of clothing or adequate food for weeks while in captivity, her hardships in captivity ruined her health and led to her death in 1779 after being released in a prisoner exchange.[3][4]

He helped his son Morgan Lewis open a dry goods business named Francis Lewis and Son. Morgan served in the army during the Revolutionary War and later held many offices in New York State, including Governor.

Lewis died on December 31, 1802, although his memorial in Trinity Church Cemetery gives his year of death as 1803.


Memorial to Francis Lewis at Trinity Church Cemetery, New York City.

In Queens, New York, Francis Lewis High School and P.S. 79 "The Francis Lewis School" are named after Lewis. The Francis Lewis Boulevard, which locals tend to refer to as "Franny Lew," stretches almost the entire north/south length of the borough. Francis Lewis Park is located under the Queens approach of the Bronx Whitestone Bridge. A Masonic Lodge, Francis Lewis #273, is located in Whitestone.


  1. ^ "LEWIS, Francis, (1713 - 1803)". The Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ Williams, Prof. David. Welsh Biography Online. "Francis Lewis (1713–1802)" National Library of Wales (2009) Accessed May 13, 2013. [1]
  3. ^ "Francis Lewis, New York". Signers of the Declaration. National Park Service. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  4. ^ Hirshon, Nicholas (July 3, 2011). "Francis Lewis' descendants want tribute to Queens signer of Declaration of Independence". New York Daily News. Retrieved 18 January 2016.

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