DID YOU KNOW?

Francis J. Bellamy, author of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in 1892, lived in Tampa from 1922 until his death in 1931.

 

 

 

 

The 1930 census of Tampa shows Francis and 2nd wife Marie Bellamy living at 2926 Wallcraft Ave. His occupation was "Advertising Manager, Public Utilities."

Unveiling the marker from the Tampa Historical Society that honors Francis Bellamy. Six year old Colleen Griffin unveils the plaque at Curtis Hixon Convention Center on Nov. 21, 1974. She’s held up by Hampton Dunn, past president of the Tampa Historical Society, as County Commissioner Betty Castor, who gave dedicatory address, and MacDill Air Force Base color guard look on.

Francis Julius Bellamy (May 18, 1855 – August 28, 1931) was an author, editor, and publicity director born in Mount Morris, New York in 1855. He attended Rome Free Academy in Rome, NY, the University of Rochester (1872–1876) and the Rochester Theological Seminary (1876–1880). He was an American Baptist minister who wrote the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1892. It was published in the Youth's Companion, which was a nationally circulated magazine for adolescents, and by 1892 was the largest publication of any type in the United States, with a circulation around 500,000.

Including his years at previous journalism jobs, Bellamy had spent nineteen years in advertising in New York City. He had played a part in the development of the advertising industry from its infancy to a fabulous world of signboards, neon lights, double page color ads, and the beginnings of radio commercials. The "Madison Avenue" advertising world had arrived in New York City with his blessing and help. Bellamy believed in high pressure advertising but believed it still could be truthful advertising. He believed that advertising should create the demand for the increasing output of American industry. He saw selling as very important to business and saw advertising copy as his specialty.

In 1922 he decided to leave New York City for the remainder of his life in Tampa, with his second wife, Marie. His first wife, Harriet Bellamy, had died in 1918. In 1920 he had married Mrs. Marie Morin, who had been a successful business woman in the women's hat business in New York City.

In 1926 Francis Bellamy began working part time as the advertising manager for the Tampa Electric Company after he convinced the management that the company needed systematic publicity and advertising that he could develop. On July 15,1931, he was fired from this part time job at the Tampa Electric Company and on the same day he applied for and received a similar job with the Tampa Gas Company. He died on August 28, 1931, in Tampa, Florida, at the age of seventy-six.

The Pledge of Allegiance, which is inscribed on his tombstone in Rome Cemetery, Rome, NY, was originally "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  It has been modified four times.
 

Bellamy Elementary School on Wilsky Blvd. in Tampa is named in honor of Francis Bellamy.  The school was built in 1974, dedicated in 1975, and rededicated in 1995. The school colors are appropriately, red, white and blue. On May 14, 1992, a celebration was held commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pledge of Allegiance.
 


 

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