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Francis Hopkinson
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Judge
    (October 2, 1737-May 9, 1791)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Lawyer, jurist, author, musician and composer
    Delegate to the Second Continental Congress from New Jersey (1776)
    Signed the Declaration of Independence
    Designed the US flag (1777)
    Judge for the Admirality Court of Pennsylvania (1779-89)
    US District Court Judge (1789-91)
    Wrote the satires 'A Pretty Story' (1774), 'The Political Catechism' (1777) and 'A New Roof' (1787)
    Wrote the songs 'My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free' (1759) and 'The Battle of the Kegs' (1778) and the opera 'Temple of Minerva' (1781)
    Before the American Revolution, he worked as a tax collector for the British.
    During the Continental Congress, he relieved his boredom by drawing caricatures of his fellow delegates.
    The flag he designed featured six-pointed stars.
    His request to be paid for creating the flag was rejected by the Treasury on the grounds that he was not the only person consulted on the design and that as a civil servant he had already been adequately paid.
    He played the harpsichord and organ.
    His 'Temple of Minerva' was the first American opera and was a favorite of Washington and Jefferson.
    One author claimed his anti-British satire 'The Battle of the Kegs' was 'perhaps worth as much as the winning of a considerable battle.'
    Since he initially asked for just 'a quarter cask of the public wine' as payment for designing the flag, each year on his birthday workers at Christ Church in Philadelphia take a bottle of wine to his gravesite and share it in his memory.

Credit: C. Fishel


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