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FRANCIS DUCLOS - A Units Overseas Chapter of DAR located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada!!


Francis Duclos was born in December, 1754 in Versailles, France, to Huguenot parents. In 1772, he set sail aboard the Le Fameux, on a commercial voyage to Santo Domingo, where many European traders brought their goods to be sold in Caribbean ports. He remained in Santo Domingo until early 1774, then moved to Philadelphia. Later that year, he married Annie Custis, a niece of Martha Washington, and acquired land near Lawrenceville, New Jersey.


In 1775 he joined the Army at New Brunswick, N.J. During the course of his service to the Revolutionary cause, Duclos fought at the battles of Trois Rivieres (Quebec), Shorthills, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. He was wounded twice and held prisoner on two other occasions. While still officially serving in the Army in 1779, he was appointed Captain of the armed boat King of France and later The Fly by the Board of Admiralty, Philadelphia, and captured nine enemy gunboats near Little Egg Harbor. In 1781, he was again taken prisoner and confined aboard the prison ship New Jersey.


He was later released in a prisoner exchange, and here there is interesting speculation that he continued his service as a spy for the Revolution, using his French language skills to live unnoticed among the British in Montreal and the southern regions of Quebec. Francis Duclos was described as being "a man of twenty-five years, five feet five inches in stature, with black hair and a fair complexion." George Washington said of Duclos:
   "Ensign Duclos of Maxwell's Battalion was taken prisoner in Canada and is now on his Parol - as he is like to be promoted by our State to the rank Lieutenant in the 2nd New Jersey regiment, and he is retired from the service in September 1780."

In February 1779, Duclos was promoted to first lieutenant in the 2nd New Jersey Regiment, and he retired from the service in September 1780.


After the War, he moved to New York and later Vermont and periodically lived in Quebec. He had three children with Annie Custis. (Their eldest daughter Pheno, is interred in lower Manhattan in the cemetery of St. Paul's Chapel adjacent to the World Trade Center site). Duclos married two more times: to Rosetta Kilborne, with whom he had three children; and later to Polly Westover, with whom he had two children.

Francis Duclos died on May 7, 1844 at 5:00 a.m. in the home of his son, Philip Writer Duclos, in East Sheldon, Vermont. The family bible page records his age as 89 years and five months. His gravesite is in East Sheldon, VT.


Francis Duclos left many descendents in Montreal and other parts of Quebec, Vermont and New York.

The Duclos family became a family of "doers," and has made a significant contribution to building the province of Quebec and the City of Montreal.

Three of our founding members are direct descendents of Francis Duclos, and we are very proud to honour his illustrious service to George Washington and the American Revolution.

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This site was updated on June 15, 2009