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).
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