Skip to main content

Francisco, Peter

Francisco, Peter

FRANCISCO, PETER. (1760?–1832). War hero. Possibly Portugal and Virginia. Put ashore from a strange ship and abandoned near the present Hopewell, Virginia, when he was about four years old, Peter was reared by Judge Anthony Winston, an uncle of Patrick Henry. The boy's true name and origin are not known. He grew into a 6-foot, 6-inch giant and joined the 10th Virginia Regiment at the age of 15. He was wounded at the Brandywine (September 1777) and met the Marquis de Lafayette when they were both receiving medical treatment. After fighting at Germantown and Fort Mifflin, he re-enlisted and was seriously wounded by a musketball at Monmouth on 28 June 1778. He was one of the twenty-man, forlorn hope of a troop led by Lieutenant James Gibbons at Stony Point on 16 July 1779, and one of the four who reached the final objective. Despite a bayonet slash across the abdomen received in this action, he also took part in the assault on Paulus Hook, slightly more than a month later, and is credited with splitting the skulls of two grenadiers. At the expiration of his second enlistment he joined the militia regiment of Colonel William Mayo. In the rout at Camden, South Carolina, on 16 August 1780, he is said to have carried off a 1,000-pound cannon to prevent its capture, and to have rescued Colonel Mayo after he was taken prisoner. Francisco then joined the mounted troop of Captain (Thomas?) Watkins and took part in the subsequent guerrilla operations of Colonel William Washington's dragoons. At Guilford, North Carolina, on 15 March 1781, he was twice wounded by bayonet while charging at the head of Nathanael Greene's counterattack.

Found lying among the dead at Guilford, Francisco was rescued by a Quaker. He recovered and volunteered as a scout in the operations against British raiders in Virginia. At a place called Ward's Tavern he was surrounded by nine of General Banastre Tarleton's dragoons, but managed by ruse and by single combat to fight his way out, leaving at least two of the enemy dead. He took part in the siege of Yorktown.

After the war he served for many years as sergeant at arms in the Virginia House of Delegates. In 1824 he accompanied Lafayette on a tour of the state. He died in Richmond in 1832.

SEE ALSO Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Moon, William A. Peter Francisco: the Portuguese Patriot. Pfafftown, N.C.: Colonial Publishers, 1980.

                            revised by Michael Bellesiles

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Francisco, Peter." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Francisco, Peter." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 17, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/francisco-peter

"Francisco, Peter." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Retrieved November 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/francisco-peter

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.