WILLIAM FLOYD was born on December 17, 1734
at Brookhaven, Long Island, New York.His father was Nicoll Floyd, a rich and respectable landholder
who was descended from a long line of Welsh farmers that stretched back
into the early seventeenth century.His studies were limited to a few of the useful branches of knowledge, and these were left unfinished, due to the death his father
while Floyd was young.His
father left him heir to a large estate and he rose to the rank of major
general in the militia. His wealth enabled him to be
hospitable and he opened his doors to an extensive circle of connections
and acquaintances, which included many intelligent and distinguished
by the communication which he enjoyed with those who were enlightened,
became stored with rich and varied knowledge.
During the early part of his life, he engaged in the
cultivation of his estate and took no active part in political affairs.He did however, being a strong Congregationalist, embrace warmly
the cause of independence when the Revolution began.He
was a friend to the people; and he entered into every measure that
seemed calculated to ensure them their just rights. These sentiments on
his part motivated a mutual confidence on the part of the people, and
led to his appointment as a delegate from New York to the first
Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774.
In the following year, he was again elected a delegate
to congress, and continued a member of that body until 1782. Floyd
assisted in dissolving the political bonds, which had tied the colonies
to the British government, recognizing that they had suffered numerous
oppressions for years. He served on many important committees, and by
his loyalty provided indispensable service to the patriotic cause.
Though he was a man who preferred hunting to politics, in his political
career, there was much to admire. He was consistent and independent. He
displayed great candor and sincerity to those who where different from
himself.His integrity was
so well known, that his motives were rarely, if ever, questioned. He
seldom took part in the public discussion of a subject, his views were
his own, and his opinions the result of reason and reflection.
Floyd served in various state positions, including state
senator and he had one term in the United States Congress.He continued to participate in public affairs and was an early
and warm supporter of Jefferson.He
was not a speaker, writer nor a orator, but in the work of the different
bodies in which he served, he was noted for his sound advice and
unflagging labor and his thorough knowledge of the business before him.He was eminently a practical man and few men were more respected.
Floyd was twice married, first to Hannah Jones of
Southampton, and after her death in 1781, to Joanna Strong of Setauket.He had five children altogether and his daughter Catherine, also
known as Kitty, was once engaged to James Madison.
Floyd suffered severely, like many of his fellow
patriots, the destructive effect of the war upon his property and the
serious inconveniences put upon his family. While Floyd was at
Philadelphia, the American troops evacuated Long Island and it was taken
possession of by the British army. His family was obliged to flee for
safety to Connecticut. His house was occupied by a company of British
horsemen, which made it their meeting place during the remainder of the
war. For nearly seven years, Floyd and his family were refugees from
their home and he was often in great straits, having nothing but his pay
as a delegate in congress to support himself and his family.
In 1784, he purchased an uninhabited tract of land on
the Mohawk River. He devoted several successive summers to its clearing.
Under his skilful management, and persistent labors a considerable
portion of the tract was converted into a well cultivated farm.He moved his family and made his home there in 1803.Although he was in his fifties when he undertook this project,
his bodily strength and activity were much greater than many who were years younger.He enjoyed
unusual good health and his mind was unimpaired to the end of his life.A year or two before his death, he appeared to be affected with a
general weakness, which continuing to increase, the lamp of his life was
at length extinguished. He died on August 4, 1821, and when he had
attained to the extraordinary age of eighty-seven years.
William, signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in
Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York, 17 December 1734; died in Weston, Oneida
County, New York, 4 August 1821. He was the son of Nicoll Floyd, of Brookhaven,
who was second son of Richard Floyd, second of the name, received from his
father only a moderate sized farm, and was engaged in its cultivation during the
earlier part of his life. Being a strong Congregationalist, like many Suffolk
County people, and fixed in his convictions on all subjects, he embraced warmly
the cause of independence when the Revolution began, until which time he had
taken no active part in political affairs. He was about forty years of age when
he first entered political life by being sent as a delegate to the Philadelphia
congress of 1774. The next year he was a deputy to the New York provincial
convention to choose delegates to the 1st Continental congress of 1775, and was
by it appointed a delegate to that body.
continued by successive reappointments a member of every Continental congress up
to 1782 inclusive. At the same time, from 1777 till 1783, he was state senator
under the first constitution of New York, being regularly appointed by that body
for the southern district, then wholly within the British lines, so that no
elections could be held. From 1784 till 1788 he was duly elected to the same
office from the same district. In 1787 and 1789 he was chosen a member of the
council of appointment. In the presidential elections of 1792, 1800, and 1804 he
was chosen one of the presidential electors, and in 1801 he sat for Suffolk
County in the Constitutional convention of that year. He was an early and warm
supporter of Jefferson.
education being only that of the country schools of his youth, he was not a
speaker nor orator, nor an accomplished writer. But in the work of the different
bodies in which he served he was noted for his assiduity, sound advice, and
unflagging labor and thorough knowledge of the business before them. He was
eminently a practical man, and his firmness and resolution were very great.
Although somewhat unpolished in manner, he at the same time possessed a natural
gravity and dignity that made itself felt.
not affiliated with the authors of these links nor responsible for each
William Floyd Estate
... grounds, and cemetery of the William Floyd family. William Floyd, a
War general and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in the ...
Floyd Parkway (Suffolk CR 46)
... The William Floyd Parkway (Suffolk CR 46), named after a signer of the
of Independence from the Shirley-Mastic area, is a four-lane divided highway ...
of William Floyd
... December 17, 1734. d. August 4, 1821. Signer of The Declaration of
Inscription: In Memory of General William Floyd Who died August 4, 1821 Aged ...
Signed for Independence
... take a stand in 1776, William Floyd signed the most ... By history-book
was not a man of ... one thing: He was a "Signer," a mark of
distinction held ...
COTTLE / Thankful NORTON
... William Floyd served in the Revolution as colonel of the First Regiment of
County, and was a member of the first Continental Congress and a signer of ...
Museum Collection Profile(NPS)
... the historical collection stems not solely from familial association,
was a signer of the Declaration of Independence) but from its collective ...