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Documentary Production and Distribution News

Bequest Films Announces the Return of Portuguese Patriot Peter Francisco to Azores Homeland on Terceira

posted May 1, 2013, 15:20

Direct descendant of Portuguese American Patriot Peter Francisco, Travis Bowman, will bring his ancestor to life in revolutionary war-era battle garb at Lajes Field, the US Air Force Base on the island of Terceira in the Azores, where Peter originated. Bowman has performed close to 100 dramatic impersonations of his great-grandfather around the United States. This is his first trip to his ancestor’s homeland. He will be performing at the Lajes Community Center on Saturday, May 25, and also at the local Portuguese theater on a date to be determined.

The trip will coincide with the Day of Pentecost, which is the same day Peter Francisco was believed to have been kidnapped 250 years ago by pirates who eventually abandoned him on a Virginia shore in early America. Bowman will also visit Porto Judeu, the small community where Peter spent his early years and where Peter’s birth record was discovered at Santo António in 1960. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to do what my ancestor never could,” Bowman says, “To learn about his roots and to visit his homeland.”

Bringing Peter Francisco to Life on the Big Screen
Travis Bowman founded Bequest Films at the beginning of 2013 and will be scouting film locations for a full-length feature movie based on his novel Hercules of the Revolution, first published in 2009, about his Revolutionary War ancestor. The historical fiction novel opens with Patrick Henry’s famous speech, “Give me liberty or give me death,” which he delivered at St. John’s Church in Richmond. The story then takes readers from Peter’s early life in the Azores through the time he spent fighting for America’s independence. Interwoven is a timeless love story between Peter and Susannah Anderson, daughter of a prominent Loyalist family.

Bowman’s book has been called “the American Braveheart story,” and he believes the film will bring tourists from all around the world to Portugal similar to the tourism Scotland experienced after the movie Braveheart about William Wallace.

About Peter Francisco
Peter Francisco was called the “Hercules of the Revolution” because of his enormous size, massive strength, and unbelievable bravery. Born in the Azores, Peter was kidnapped and abandoned by pirates when he was five years old, then bought as a slave. He won his personal freedom and, ultimately, that of a nation, by enlisting and serving in the Continental Army. George Washington had a six-foot broadsword made for him and even made the claim that we would have likely lost the whole Revolutionary War without Peter Francisco. His legacy continues today with five monuments that stand in his honor and a US bicentennial stamp that enshrined him in 1976, in addition to the four states that observe Peter Francisco Day.

About Travis Bowman
Seventh generation descendant, Travis Bowman, is similar in stature standing the same height and looks remarkably similar to one of Peter’s portrait paintings. As an actor, Bowman enjoys performing dramatic impersonations of Peter with a six-foot replica broadsword similar to the one George Washington had made for him. Bowman has performed before tens of thousands all across the country and before many dignitaries including the 1st Lady of Portugal. In 2010, Bowman produced a short documentary that won a Platinum Aurora Award in 2011 and still airs on select PBS stations around the country.

Travis Bowman will be performing on these upcoming dates:

  •     May 4th - McAllen, Texas, United States
  •     May 11th – Portuguese Embassy, Washington, DC, United States
  •     May 17th – Richmond, Virginia, United States
  •     May 25th - Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal
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