A resolution co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin paying tribute to one of the most famous privates of the Revolutionary War was approved by the full Assembly Monday.
The resolution would designate every March 15 as Peter Francisco Day in New Jersey to recognize his many acts of bravery and contributions during the Revolutionary War.
Known as a giant of a man, Francisco, a man of Portuguese descent, stood at 6-feet, 6-inches tall, approximately one foot taller than the average man at the time.
His strength and size gained him much notoriety during the war, and his courageous nature led to incredible stories of his life, some impossible to verify, being told and retold for many generations.
Francisco fought through several battles while sustaining injuries, and he made daring escapes from seemingly impossible situations. Francisco’s bravery is celebrated across the United States, especially among the Portuguese community.
“Peter Francisco led a remarkable life filled with adventure, turmoil and triumph," said Pintor-Marin, D-Essex. "He was kidnapped from the Portuguese islands as a child and left abandoned in Virginia, only to be taken in by a man who raised him as an indentured servant. But his tragic upbringing didn’t stop him from becoming a widely regarded private in the Revolutionary War, in which he famously fought in battles while severely injured and even once saved the life of his colonel."
Pintor Marin noted that there is a park named after Francisco in the Ironbound section of Newark, where many Portuguese immigrants settled.
"I believe designating a day in his honor will further preserve his great legacy,” Pintor Marin said.
The resolution, AJR-157, also co-sponsored by Assembly Democrats Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, passed the Senate last week and now heads to the Governor’s desk.