Ann Borden Hopkinson

Ann Borden HopkinsonAnn Borden Hopkinson
Wife of Francis Hopkinson, Lawyer and Signer of the Declaration of Independence
1747 – 1827 A.D.

In the Pennsylvania Chronicle and Universal Advertiser, of Monday, September 5, 1768, appeared the following wedding announcement:

“Bourdentown, Sept. 3.
“On Thursday last Francis Hopkinson, Esq., of Philadelphia, was joined in the Velvet Bonds of Hymen, to Miss Nancy Borden, of this place, a lady amiable both for her internal as well as her external Accomplishments in the Words of a celebrated Poet:

‘Without all shining, and within all white,
Pure to the sense, and pleasing to the sight.'”

Ann Borden, who married Francis Hopkinson in Christ Church, Bordentown, Sept. 1, 1768, was the daughter of Judge Joseph Borden, a prominent and wealthy citizen of New Jersey. He was proprietor of a boat and stage line running from Philadelphia to New York, and during the Revolutionary period an active patriot, member of the first Revolutionary Convention which met in New Brunswick in 1774, and of various committees afterward.

Nancy Borden, as she was usually called, was a handsome, vivacious girl, well educated for the times and highly accomplished. She and her sister Maria, who married Thomas McKean, also a signer and afterward Governor of Pennsylvania, were said to have been the most beautiful women of New Jersey. She seems to have been admirably fitted to be the life companion of the brilliant young lawyer who was both poet and musician as well as man of affairs.

Francis HopkinsonAfter his marriage, Hopkinson took up residence in Bordentown and began the practice of law. He was a member of the Provincial Convention at New Brunswick in 1774, and of the first Continental Congress as a delegate from New Jersey, and afterward, Chief Justice of the State. He maintained his home in Philadelphia, and a handsome country place at Bordentown where he and his family lived until 1779, when he returned to Philadelphia to take up his duties as Judge of the Court of Admiralty. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and by appointment of President Washington, Judge of the United States District Court for Pennsylvania, in 1789. He died in 1791, in the fifty-third year of his age. His wife survived him thirty-six years, dying in 1827.

Ann and Francis Hopkinson were the parents of nine children, five boys and four girls. Three boys died in infancy.

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Reference: The Pioneer Mothers of America: A Record of the More Notable Women of the Early Days of the Country, and Particularly of the Colonial and Revolutionary Periods by Harry Clinton Green and Mary Wolcott Green, A.B. Third Volume, Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.