Born Philadelphia, probably 1808; lived there in 1840–41 when first exhibited at the Artists' Fund Society. Kept ties with Philadelphia, but traveled widely in Pennsylvania for twenty-five years, painting in Pottstown, Harrisburg, Lewisburg, Milton, as well as in Delaware, Washington, D.C., Nashville. About 1886, settled in Jefferson, Pa., where he died 15 November 1886.
William Kloss Treasures from the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985)
John F. Francis traveled throughout Pennsylvania and made trips to Tennessee and Ohio painting portraits. He also painted several still lifes, a few animal pictures, and signs and banners. His wife and two children died in the 1850s and he never remarried. Francis had works in the Artists’ Fund Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1840 and in three annual shows of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.