Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Francis Hopkinson

New Jersey

Glaces at our Colonial Bar, 11 The Green Bag 220, 221 (1899)
[no author indicated]

Composer, playwright, poet, and lawyer; signer of the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey; first graduate of the University of Pennsylvania

Francis Hopkins was born in Philadelphia. His father, Thomas Hopkinson, was also a lawyer. He was a practicing lawyer, an accomplished poet, essayist, music composer, and accomplished harpsichordist. Hopkinson represented New Jersey in the Continental Congress and is frequently credited for designing the American flag. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence representing New Jersey. He would later serve as judge of the U.S. District Court (1789-91) in Philadelphia.

Hopkinson's son, Joseph (1770-1842), was also a lawyer. He was elected to Congress in 1814 and served six years before returning to his law practice. He was appointed a federal judge in 1828 by President Adams, a position to which his father had been appointed by George Washington. He too, was a patron of the arts. He wrote at least one song, "Hail Columbia," edited the first American edition of Shakespeare and was the founder of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Francis Hopkinson
George & Evert Duyckinck, Cyclopedia
of American Literature

Francis Hopkinson
Samuel Kettell, Specimens of Ameircan Poetry with Critical
and Biographical Notices
201-210 (New York: Benjamin Blom, 1829)(vol. 1)

Francis Hopkinson
The Lives of Eminent Philadelphians, Now Deceased

Judges of the United States Courts
Federal Judicial Center

Francis Hopkinson

Francis Hopkinson

Battle of the Kegs
song lyrics


Evert A. Duyckinck & George L. Duyckinck, The Cyclopaedia of American Literature 219
(Philadelphia: William Rutter & Co., 1880)(Vol. 1)

Poetry & Lyrics

Francis Hopkinson, A Collection of Psalm Tunes with a few Anthems and Hymns Some of them Entirely New, for the Use of the United Churches of Christ Church and St. Peter's Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Printed by William Dunlap, 1763)

______________, A Psalm of Thanksgiving (Philadelphia: 1766)(subtitled: "adapted to the Solemnity of Easter: To be performed on Sunday, the 30th of March, 1766, at Christ Church, Philadelphia)

______________, A Tory Medley (Philadelphia: 1780)

______________, An Ode for the 4th of July, 1788 ([Philadelphia]: [1788])


Francis Hopkinson, The Miscellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings of Francis Hopkinson, Esq. (Philadelphia: Printed by T. Dobson, 1792) [online text]

Source: Glances at Our Colonial Bar (pt. I)
11 Green Bag 220-225, at 221 (1899)


George Everett Hastings, The Life and Works of Francis Hopkinson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926)(New York: Russell & Russell, 1968)(1955)

Oscar George Theodore Sonneck, Francis Hopkinson, the First American Poet-Composer, (1737-1791) and James Lyon, Patriot, Preacher, Psalmodist (1735-1794); Two Studies in Early American Music (Washington, D. C.: Printed for the author by H. L. McQueen, 1905)(New York: Da Capo Press, 1967)

Bibliography: Articles

Dixon Wecter, Francis Hopkinson and Benjamin Franklin, 12 (2) American Literature 200-217 (1940)