From the Daily News:
With the American Revolution raging in the fall of 1776, a British battleship sailed to Whitestone to punish a patriot.
Mortar shells crashed into the home of Francis Lewis, who had recently signed the Declaration of Independence. He wasn't there, but soldiers destroyed his estate and imprisoned his frail wife.
He lost nearly everything for the fledgling nation.
Nearly two and a half centuries later, Lewis' descendants fear his sacrifice is largely forgotten in Queens, and they want to honor their ancestor with a tribute near the site of his home.
New York City was home to three signers of the Declaration of Independence, but not a single abode of theirs remains.
Like Francis Lewis' estate, the South Bronx home of signer Lewis Morris was trashed by the British. Housing projects and boarded-up buildings mark the site today.
The British also seized the Brooklyn Heights mansion of signer Philip Livingston and turned it into a hospital.
Among New York State’s four signers, the only home that still exists belonged to William Floyd, a wealthy land speculator who resided in Mastic Beach, L.I.