Francis Lewis

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For other people named Francis Lewis, see Francis Lewis (disambiguation).
Francis Lewis
Francis Lewis.jpg
Born (1713-03-21)March 21, 1713
Llangurig, Wales
Died December 31, 1802(1802-12-31) (aged 89)
Resting place Trinity Church Cemetery, New York City
Occupation Merchant, politician
Known for signer 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 Llangurig, Powys, Wales, he was the child of Morgan Lewis and Anne Pettingale.[1] He was educated in Scotland and attended Westminster School in England. He entered a mercantile house in London, then moved to Whitestone, New York in 1734. He was taken prisoner and shipped in a box to France while serving as a British mercantile agent in 1756. On his return to America, he became active in politics.

He was a member of the Committee of Sixty, a member of the New York Provincial Congress, and was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775. In 1778, he signed the United States Articles of Confederation. From 1779 to 1780, Lewis 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 and denied her a change of clothing or adequate food for weeks while in captivity.[2][3] She died not long after.[4]

His son Morgan Lewis served in the army during the Revolutionary War and later held many offices in New York State, including Governor.


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

One of Francis Lewis's granddaughters, Marianne Robertson, married Rev. John Bird Sumner, Archbishop of Canterbury. Another of Francis Lewis's granddaughters, Louisa Lewis Robertson, married Rev. John Mathias Turner, archbishop of Calcutta. A third daughter, Ann Robertson married Sir James Wellwood Moncrieff, Bart of Tullibole. Their son, Thomas Campbell Robertson, became Lieutenant-Governor of the North Western Provences, he was also District Magistrate of Kanpur, he married twice, first, Amelia Jane Elliot, they had 2 sons and 1 daughter. After Amelia's death he married again, Emma Mary Anderdon, they had no children. Francis Lewis's great-grandson, Manning Livingston, died at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. He also has many great relatives stretching all the way to Oregon. His great-great-great grandson was Hollywood director William A. Wellman, and his great-granddaughter was author and actress Anna Cora Mowatt. Sculptor Eugenie Shonnard is a descendant of Lewis through her mother Eugenie Smyth Shonnard.[5]

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


  1. ^ Williams, Prof. David. Welsh Biography Online. "Francis Lewis (1713–1802)" National Library of Wales (2009) Accessed May 13, 2013. [1]
  2. ^ "Francis Lewis, New York". Signers of the Declaration. National Park Service. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "What Happened To The Signers Of The Declaration?". The Arts Mechanical. Retrieved 5 July 2016. She dies not long after her release. 
  5. ^ Proske, Beatrice Gilman, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture: Volume II. The Trustees, Brookgreen Gardens, 1955 p. 267

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