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March 15, 2018 / Joanne Yeck

 Buckingham Notables: Peter Francisco, Part III

Courtesy Society of the Descendants of Peter Francisco


In April of 1958, Charlottesville’s Daily Progress ran an article remembering the Revolutionary War hero who grew up in Buckingham County. Click here for Peter Francisco, Part I.

Eventually, Peter Francisco moved to Richmond. According to the article, he helped save lives in the 1811 theater fire in Richmond. The article’s unnamed author vividly recounts the scene, “When he saw people being crushed by the panic and others being burned, he returned to the blazing building and carried many back to safety. One lady whom he rescued testified that Francisco had saved 30 people to her positive knowledge.”

Puzzling historians, Francisco, in his humility, requested that his name be omitted from the list of rescue workers . . . a convenient detail for those who wish to place Peter Francisco and his good deeds in many settings.

Late in life, he became the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Virginia legislature, dying on Sunday, January 16, 1831. The House of Delegates adjourned for the day in respect for the great man.

Annually, four states—Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland—celebrate Peter Francisco Day on March 15. Slate River Ramblings is delighted to remember him today. He left big shoes, complete with silver buckles, to fill.

For much more about Peter Francisco consult, “From Waif to Legend: Peter Francisco, in “At a Place Called Buckingham.”



Leave a Comment
  1. mrsandreapotts / Mar 15 2018 8:57 pm

    Happy Peter Francisco Day to all!

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 16 2018 7:50 am

      Our Local Hero!

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