DANA, Francis

1743–1811

Biography

DANA, Francis, a Delegate from Massachusetts; born in Charlestown, Mass., June 13, 1743; was graduated from Harvard College in 1762; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Boston in 1767; delegate to the Provincial Congress in 1774; spent two years in England endeavoring to adjust differences between Great Britain and the American Colonies; State councilor 1776-1780; Member of the Continental Congress 1777-1778, and was one of the signers of the Articles of Confederation July 9, 1778; elected September 28, 1779, secretary to accompany John Adams, who was appointed a commissioner to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain and a treaty of commerce with Holland; appointed December 19, 1780, Minister Resident to Russia, but was never received as such; again a Member of the Continental Congress in 1784; judge of the supreme court of Massachusetts 1785-1791; appointed chief justice November 29, 1791, and served for fifteen years; member of the State convention which adopted the Federal Constitution in 1788; a founder of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; died in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Mass., April 25, 1811; interment in Old Cambridge Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Harvard University
Houghton Library

Cambridge, MA
Papers: In the Dana Family Papers, ca. 1757-1929, 0.5 linear foot. The collection primarily contains bills and receipts of Francis Dana and other Dana family members. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository and online.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Elbridge Gerry Papers, ca. 1772-1901, 1.4 linear feet. Correspondents include Francis Dana. A finding aid is available in the library.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Dana Family Papers, ca. 1654-1933, 87 boxes, 286 bound volumes, and 2 oversize containers. Other family members represented include Francis Dana. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Henry W. Taft Papers, 1759-1904, 1 box and 1 narrow box. Other authors include Francis Dana.

The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

New York, NY
Papers: n.d., 1 item. Includes autograph marginal notes of Francis Dana.
Papers: 1777, 1 item. A document signed by Francis Dana on August 29, 1777.
Papers: 1793, 1 item. A receipt signed by Francis Dana on April 12, 1793.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections

Albany, NY
Papers: In the Israel Keith Papers, 1777, 3 pages. A letter from Israel Keith to Francis Dana written on December 25, 1777. In the letter, Israel Keith apologizes to Francis Dana for the destruction of fences by the troops. He also discusses measures taken with the troops in an effort to prevent the damage, and apologizes for the difficulty in reducing the "rude peasants" to order.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Cresson, William Penn. Francis Dana. [Baltimore: n.p.], 1930.

------. Francis Dana, A Puritan Diplomat at the Court of Catherine the Great. New York: L. MacVeagh, The Dial Press, [1930].

Dana, Richard Henry. Address on Francis Dana. [Cambridge, Mass.: n.p., 1908].

------. Francis Dana. [n.p., n.d.]

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