Peter Francisco was a Portuguese-born American Patriot and soldier who fought for the 10th Virginia Regiment in several important battles during the Revolutionary War. George Washington reportedly stated that without him, the Patriots would have lost two major battles and perhaps the war, calling him a “One Man Army.”
Kidnapped and taken from his family in the Azores at the age of five, little Pedro Francisco was found alone on a dock in Virginia. When he was sixteen, in 1776, he enlisted in the Continental Army. He spent time at Valley Forge and fought in many battles throughout the war, including Brandywine, Germantown, Stony Point, Camden and Guilford Court House. These later battles were a part of the “Southern Campaign,” which led directly to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown, which Francisco witnessed.
Peter Francisco is another example how the American Revolution and the cause of freedom and liberty belong to people of all backgrounds, races, and nationalities. To this day, Portuguese-American groups commemorate Francisco’s deeds in annual celebrations.
If George Washington said we might have lost the war without him, who are we to argue?
To learn more about Peter Francisco and see possible discussion questions for your local society meeting, download the Patriots of the Round Table Peter Francisco Fact Sheet.