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WHEREAS, Peter Francisco was abandoned as a young child near the present-day site of Hopewell, Virginia, in 1765, and was taken in by Judge Anthony Winston to live and work as an indentured servant; and
WHEREAS, Peter Francisco listened to Patrick Henry’s historic “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech through a window of St. John’s Church in Richmond on March 23, 1775, and eagerly joined the fight for American independence as a soldier at age sixteen; and
WHEREAS, Peter Francisco displayed remarkable courage in many battles, saving the life of his commanding officer, and surviving multiple injuries over the course of the war; and
WHEREAS, he went on to witness General George Washington’s decisive victory at Yorktown, Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Peter Francisco served as the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1825 until his death on January 16, 1831, after which he was honored by the Virginia House of Delegates and buried with military honors in Richmond’s Shockoe Cemetery; and
WHEREAS, Peter Francisco served his nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia with great distinction and made important contributions to the history of our Commonwealth and nation; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is proud to honor Peter Francisco’s service to our Commonwealth and nation by recognizing March 15th as Peter Francisco Day;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 15, 2020, as PETER FRANCISCO DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.