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Who Was Francis Hopkinson?
November 11, 2008, Volume 55, No. 12



Francis Hopkinson in a portrait engraved by J.B. Longacre from a Hopkinson family painting; from the University of Pennsylvania Archives Collection.

Francis Hopkinson was born in 1737 as the son of Penn founder Thomas Hopkinson. He was a member of the first class of the College of Philadelphia and earned his AB in 1757. Most famous for his role as a patriot, Hopkinson held a number of state positions prior to the American Revolution. Later he was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a member of the Constitutional Convention, both milestones in American history. He was also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, congressman and federal judge.

In addition to politics, Hopkinson wrote poetry, satire and music. He is credited with designing the original Orrery Seal for Penn and assisting in the design of the Seal of New Jersey and the Great Seal of the United States.

Hopkinson was a trustee of both the College and Academy of Philadelphia (1778-1791) and the University of the State of Pennsylvania (1779-1789), which merged as the University of Pennsylvania in 1791, the same year he died.

For more information about him and other early figures in Penn’s history, seewww.archives.upenn.edu/people/1700s/hopkinson_fra.html


Related: Mellon’s $6 Million Grant to Support Graduate Education in Humanities

Almanac - November 11, 2008, Volume 55, No. 12