From Our Special Collections: Francis Bellamy


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BELLAMY, Francis
Manuscript of the Pledge of Allegiance, undated

Francis Julius Bellamy (1855-1931) has been described as "our most quoted alumnus." The 1876 University of Rochester graduate earned this distinction by composing The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. In 1892 Bellamy was employed by the Boston magazine The Youth’s Companion. As part of the celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of the voyage of Christopher Columbus to the western hemisphere, the magazine promoted the idea of a flag ceremony on Columbus Day in every school in America. Bellamy wrote the Pledge for students to recite as flags were raised over schoolhouses across the country. Over the years additional words have been added to Bellamy’s original Pledge, but it is still recited by millions of school children every day.

Shown is a copy of the Pledge in Bellamy’s hand and his 1876 UR graduation photograph.From the Francis Bellamy Papers

For more information, see also: The Story of The Pledge of Allegiance to The Flag and Francis Bellamy '76