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
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.