• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

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  • New Backcountry Camping procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »

William Floyd

William Floyd (December 17, 1734 - August 4, 1821) was a delegate from New York in the First Continental Congress in 1774. As a member of the Second Continental Congress, from 1775-1783, 41-year-old William Floyd was the first of the New York delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.

Floyd also served as a member of the New York State Senate from 1777-1778 and from 1784-1788. In March 1789, Floyd was elected to the First United States Congress (1789-1791). He was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention in 1801, and after moving to Westernville, New York in 1803, served again as a member of the New York State Senate in 1808.

William Floyd was an important plantation owner and leader during his time on Long Island. Today his home, the William Floyd Estate, is part of Fire Island National Seashore.

 
Portrait of an older gentleman, William Floyd, standing with cane in front of his mid-1700s manor house on Long Island.

William Floyd in front of his Long Island manor house (reproduction of 1792 painting by Ralph Earl).

NPS photo

William Floyd was one of eight children born to Nicoll and Tabitha Floyd on the prosperous plantation at Mastic. As the oldest son, William inherited the plantation from his father in 1755 at the age of 20. A leader in business and society of his community, William also took up the colonial cause against Great Britain. He and his first wife Hannah Jones had three children by 1767. William became a colonel in the militia in 1773, and represented New York in the First Continental Congress in 1774.

In 1777, William, Hannah, and family left Long Island during the British occupation. Hannah died in 1781. The rest of the family returned to Mastic in 1783. In 1784, William married Joanna Strong, and and they had two daughters together. This portrait was painted around 1792. Note that the house is prominently featured in the background.

In 1803, at age 69, Floyd left Long Island with his family to establish a new home in Westernville, New York. He built a large frame house in 1803-1804 and lived in it until his death in 1821.

William Floyd left the Mastic property to his son Nicoll Floyd, II.

You can learn more about William Floyd and his family by joining a tour of the manor house.

Whenever you visit the William Floyd Estate grounds, always protect yourself from ticks. During the summer and early fall, you should also be prepared to avoid mosquitoes.

 

 

 

The William Floyd House in Mastic Beach, Suffolk County, NY, which is now a part of Fire Island National Seashore, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1980.

The General William Floyd House on Main Street in Westernville, Oneida County, NY, little altered and on the National Register of Historic Places since June 17, 1971, remains in private ownership.

National Park Service links:

 
William Floyd's signature etched in granite block.

Learn More About the Declaration of Independence and its Signers

Ben's Guide to the U. S. Government for Kids:
(U. S. Government Printing Office site)

About the Declaration of Independence
Signing the Declaration of Independence

Historic Places Commemorating the Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Visit Independence National Historical Park
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Great Essentials Exhibit in West Wing of Independence Hall

If you're visiting Washington, D.C., stop by Constitution Gardens to see the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial.

Visit other National Park Service sites which include the home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence:

Did You Know?

Man reads interpretive sign in front of remnants of brick foundation.

The first Fire Island Lighthouse was built at the end of Fire Island in 1826. Today, the Fire Island Inlet is more than five miles west of this foundation. You can see the remnants of the first structure when you visit the present lighthouse, constructed in 1858. More...