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First Name: Peter

Last Name: Francisco

Birthplace: PRT

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 1760

Date of Death: 16 January 1831

Rank: Private

Years Served:
Peter Francisco
'Hercules of Revolution'

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Peter Francisco
Private, 10th Virginia Regiment

Peter Francisco was born in 1760 in Portugal.

Francisco was found by the docks, abandoned at about the age of five in what is now Hopewell, VA. He became an indentured servant. He was said to have grown to a height of 6 feet 6 inches. In 1776 at the age of 15, he was permitted to enlist as a private in the 10th Virginia Regiment. He re-enlisted two more times and was injured at least four times, once being left for dead.

His feats were legendary. He reportedly picked up a one-thousand pound cannon and hauled it on his back off the battlefield in New Jersey. Another story tells how he singlehandedly escaped from nine British soldiers that were holding him prisoner and escaped with their horses. His strength, size and bravery led to him being called "Hercules of the Revolution" and "The Giant of Virginia."

After the war he became a wealthy store owner and was named Sergeant-of-Arms for the Virginia House of Delegates. He was a national hero in the 1800s with children's books written about him and several states setting aside the 15th of March as "Peter Francisco Day."


Several monuments and parks are named in his honor.

In 1975, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate his service to his country.

An original eighteenth century engraving of Francisco is on display at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA.

Death and Burial

Peter Francisco died on 16 January 1831. He is buried at Shockoe Hill Cemetery in Richmond, VA.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
His strength, size (6 feet 6 inches) and bravery led to him being called "Hercules of the Revolution."

Honoree ID: 2515   Created by: MHOH




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