TRENTON - Paying tribute to one of the most famous privates of the Revolutionary War, Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey released the following statements on their measure (AJR-157) to designate March 15 of each year as “Peter Francisco Day” in New Jersey, which was signed into law Friday by Governor Phil Murphy.
“Peter Francisco’s story is one of courage and perseverance," said Houghtaling (D-Neptune).
"He was a true patriot who exemplified bravery, overcoming all obstacles in his path to fight for his country’s freedom. It is said he once fought his way past nine enemy soldiers who surrounded him, and was able to escape despite sustaining a bullet wound. Francisco was an integral part of the Revolutionary War and our country’s history, and he deserves to be remembered.”
“We all can draw inspiration from the life of Peter Francisco," Downey (D-Freehold) said. "His acts of bravery during the American Revolution are clear examples of his resilience and strength, and not just in character – at six foot, six inches and 260 pounds, he was likely among the strongest men of his time. I’m looking forward to taking time to celebrate Peter Francisco’s life and legacy on March 15 for years to come.”
Peter Francisco, born Pedro Francisco and known as the "Giant of the Revolution," was a Portuguese-born American Patriot who served under General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Francisco was wounded at the Battle of Monmouth Court in New Jersey and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown. According to legend, he performed a number of heroic acts throughout the war, reputedly slaying eleven enemy soldiers on the field of battle and single-handedly carrying a 1,100-pound cannon to keep it from falling into the hands of the British army.