Virginia's Hercules

Peter Francisco was a Revolutionary War Legend remembered as a 6' 6", 260 pound "Virginia Hercules." Found abandoned as a small child on a wharf in what is now Hopewell, Virginia. Legend has it he was wearing expensive clothes and claimed that he had lived in a mansion, leading some to suspect he was kidnapped nobility. Francisco ended up being raised in Virginia, where he eventually witnessed Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. One of Francisco's more ridiculous feats of strength during the war (which fueld his legendary status) involved stealing a 1, 100-pound cannon from the British and hauling it on his own back, eluding two British solidiers by faking surrender, clubbing one off his horse and spearing the other with a bayonet.  He then stole the horse, rode over to rescue a fellow soldier, and killed his comrade's captors.  These exploits and others prompted George Washington to remark, "Without him we would have lost two crucial battles, and perhaps the war....he was truly a one-man army."  Francisco died of appendicitis in January 1831 and was buried with full military honors in Shockoe Hill Cemetary in Richmond.

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