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Abandoned!: The Story of Peter Francisco, Hero of the Revolution

Abandoned!: The Story of Peter Francisco, Hero of the Revolution

by Jan Fleet Umhau


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Peter Francisco was said to be the most famous private soldier in the Continental Army. Commander George Washington claimed he couldn't have won the war without him. Yet today, few Americans have heard of this remarkable soldier.

A finely dressed little boy named Peter who spoke no English was abandoned on a Virginia wharf, where the Appomattox and the James rivers meet, near a town now called Hopewell. Where had he come from? Why was he abandoned?

Peter Francisco's is a model American story. Cast ashore with nothing, literally, but the clothes upon his back he learned a trade as a blacksmith, found a calling in the army and managed to acquire an education. By sixteen, Peter had grown to be six and a half feet tall, a foot taller than the average man of his day. More remarkable than his height was his great strength. He was known as an American Hercules, the Virginia Giant, and a One-Man Army. At Valley Forge, Peter served with George Washington, who commissioned a huge sword to be made just for him.

Peter's exploits were of such renown that a print of an engraving, One Against Nine, illustrating his 1781 action against Tarleton's Raiders, was hung in a place of honor in many parlors after the Revolution.

He married well and went on to live a long and successful life, which included six fine children. When Peter Francisco died in 1831, he was given a State funeral with full military honors. The officiating minister took note of Peter's strength "...Superior to that of any man in [his] time...exerted in defense of the country which [he called home.]" Peter never remembered where he had come from, but 200 years after he was born, in 1960 his birth certificate was found in the Portuguese Azores.

Written for middle-schoolers and others, this story is a work of fiction based on facts that will give an overview of the American War for Independence told through the exciting exploits of Peter Francisco.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490501406
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/10/2013
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Jan Fleet Umhau, author of Potomac Captive: The Adventures of Henry Fleete, is a native of North Carolina where Peter Francisco engaged in some of his most celebrated exploits. Her Revolutionary ancestors, like Peter, were from Virginia.

She attended Hollins College (now University) in Virginia and holds a Summa Cum Laude degree from the University of Maryland. A world traveler and lecturer, she was named Maryland's Mother of the Year and has been inducted into Maryland's Senior Hall of Fame. Her great joy includes her twelve grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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