• 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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  • Pet Restrictions in Effect March 15 through Labor Day

    Dogs/other pets (except for service animals) are not allowed in the wilderness or on any of Fire Island's federally owned oceanfront beaches from March 15 through Labor Day to help protect threatened and endangered beach-nesting shorebirds. More »

  • Backcountry Camping Permit and Access Procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Watch Hill or points west, and involve a 1½ to 8 mile hike. More »

  • Attention Watch Hill Ferry Passengers

    Due to channel conditions, delay or cancellation of ferry service between Patchogue and Watch Hill may occur. For updated ferry schedule information, please call 631-475-1665.

William Floyd

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).

He Dared to Sign
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.

The Floyd Family
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.


Learn More About the Declaration of Independence and its Signers

-Thomas Stone National Historic Site (Maryland)
- Adams National Historical Park (Massachusetts)
- Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)

Did You Know?

PWC passes a green channel marker in bay near wooded shoreline and salt marsh.

The use of personal watercraft (PWCs or JetSkis) is restricted within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore. While not permitted at National Park Service facilities or near shorelines, PWCs may use the marked channels to access some of the Fire Island communities. More...