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 families.†Floyd's mind, by the communication which he
enjoyed with those who were enlightened, became stored with rich and varied
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,
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 ...
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