Hopkinson

Hopkinson

[hop-kin-suhn]
Hopkinson, Francis, 1737-91, American writer and musician, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Philadelphia. A practicing lawyer, Hopkinson was also an accomplished poet, essayist, and musician and is considered the first native American composer of a secular song, My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free (1759). Hopkinson represented (1776) New Jersey in the Continental Congress and later (1776-78) served as chairman of the Navy Board (as such he may have designed the American flag) and as treasurer of the Continental Loan Office (1778-81). He wrote in support of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and returned to public office in Pennsylvania, where he served as judge of the U.S. District Court (1789-91).

See his essays and writings (3 vol., 1792; repr. 1968); biographies by G. E. Hastings (1926, repr. 1968) and O. G. Sonneck (1905, repr. 1966).

Hopkinson, Joseph, 1770-1842, American jurist, b. Philadelphia; son of Francis Hopkinson. A successful lawyer, he helped to defend (1804) Justice Samuel Chase in impeachment proceedings and was associated with Daniel Webster in the Dartmouth College Case; he was also a Federalist Congressman (1815-19) and a federal judge. He is mainly remembered as the author (1798) of the words of Hail, Columbia.

See biography by B. A. Konkle (1931).

(born Oct. 2, 1737, Philadelphia, Pa.—died May 9, 1791, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) U.S. political leader and writer. After a brief business career, he launched a successful legal practice in New Jersey. He was appointed to the governor's council in 1774, and in 1776 he represented New Jersey in the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, and he later wrote articles that helped win ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He served as judge of the admiralty court for Pennsylvania (1779–89) and as U.S. district judge (1789–91). An accomplished harpsichordist and composer of religious and secular songs, he was also known for his poetry and literary essays and for his design of numerous governmental and organizational seals.

Learn more about Hopkinson, Francis with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Oct. 2, 1737, Philadelphia, Pa.—died May 9, 1791, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.) U.S. political leader and writer. After a brief business career, he launched a successful legal practice in New Jersey. He was appointed to the governor's council in 1774, and in 1776 he represented New Jersey in the Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, and he later wrote articles that helped win ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He served as judge of the admiralty court for Pennsylvania (1779–89) and as U.S. district judge (1789–91). An accomplished harpsichordist and composer of religious and secular songs, he was also known for his poetry and literary essays and for his design of numerous governmental and organizational seals.

Learn more about Hopkinson, Francis with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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