The Pledge of Allegiance

Francis Bellamy was born in Mount Morris, New York, where his father, David Bellamy, was working as a pastor for the Baptist Church. In 1859, David accepted a call at the First Baptist Church in Rome, New York. He remained there until he died in 1864. Francis began schooling and graduated from Rome Free Academy (RFA) in 1872, later becoming RFA's first president of its Alumni Association. The following year, he entered the University of Rochester where he studied for the Baptist ministry. After his graduation in 1876, Bellamy entered the Rochester Theological Seminary. The following year from his graduation he began his ministry at the Baptist Church of Little Falls, New York. On June 1, 1881, Francis married Hattie Benton of Newark, New York. In 1885, Francis left his church in Little Falls for the Dearborn Street Church in Boston.

Bellamy received his fame by writing the Pledge of Allegiance, which is spoken every morning, in every school, in the United States of America. He wrote this pledge in his home in Boston, for a magazine called The Youth's Companion.

The Pledge of Allegiance was:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."

In 1915, he joined the Erickson Advertising Agency, in New York City, where he was an account executive and copywriter. He resigned in 1921 to go into semi-retirement. The next year, he decided to leave New York City and live in Tampa, Florida, with his second wife, Marie Morin. His first wife, Harriet, had died in 1918. He was working at companies like the Tampa Gas and Tampa Electric when he died on August 28, 1931, at the age of seventy-six. He was buried in the Rome Cemetery, in Rome, New York., with the words of his Pledge of Allegiance inscribed on his grave marker.

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