Francis Lewis (1713-1802)

U.S. Founding Father & Member of the New York Provincial Congress

He was born in Llandaff, Glamorganshire, and was a nephew of the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. He was orphaned at the age of five and brought up by his aunt who sent him to be educated at Westminster School in London before serving an apprenticeship with a merchant. On inheriting his late father's properties at the age of 21 he sold them off and used the proceeds to acquire merchandise which he took to sell in New York, forming a partnership with Edward Annesley. He traded principally with Saint Petersburg, the Orkney Islands, and Africa, and on one occasion was imprisoned in France. Back in New York, he was elected to the New York Provincial Congress and served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1779, during which time he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence and afterwards served as Chairman of the Continental Board of Admiralty. In 1745, he married his business partner's sister and of their seven children only three (listed) lived to adulthood. He disinherited his daughter, Ann, for marrying an officer in the Royal Navy.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 24/04/2019 and last updated on 06/01/2024.