American Patriot William Floyd [1734-1821]

Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:

We might not have even noticed William Floyd in history had he not been in place and time a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was like countless others in the early history of our nation. From a family which had emigrated from the old country, this time from Wales, William Floyd was born in Brookhaven, Long Island in 1734. Despite the prominence of the parents, he received no academic education outside the home, and only the barest of education in the home. The eldest son with seven younger brothers and sisters, at age 20, he found himself as the owner of the estate of his parents when both of them died within two months of each other.

Not interested in political matters up to the time of the American Revolution, he busied himself in military matters, even reaching that rank of Major General in the New York militia. But when the issues of separation from England were brought to the fore in the mid seventeen hundreds, he entered the political fray. His fellow Long Islanders sent him as their representative as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1774. Indeed, with the exception of one year when the State of New York needed his presence in state government, William Floyd represented his constituents at succeeding congresses until 1783.

Now, it is true, there were no passionate speeches which have been handed down to us in the mighty decisions of Congress with his name attached to it. But he was the first of New York representatives who signed his name and sacred honor to the Declaration of Independence. For that, we should recognize him.

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