Joseph Hewes, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (signer of the "Declaration of Independence")

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Joseph Hewes

Also Known As: "Declaration Signer"
Birthdate: (49)
Birthplace: Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, United States
Death: November 10, 1779 (49)
Place of Burial: Christ Church Burial Ground Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania, USA [unmarked]
Immediate Family:

Son of Aaron Hewes and Providence Hewes

Occupation: Secretary of Navy
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Hewes, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (signer of the "Declaration of Independence")

Joseph Hewes was a native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he was born in 1730. Hewes’s parents were members of the Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers. Immediately after their marriage they moved to New Jersey, which became Joseph Hewes’s home state. Hewes attended Princeton but there isn't any evidence that he actually graduated. What is known is that he became an apprentice of a merchant and in fact became a very successful merchant. After finishing his apprenticeship he earned himself a good name and a strong reputation, which would serve him well in becoming one of the most famous signers of the Declaration of Independence for North Carolina, along with William Hooper and John Penn. Hewes moved to Edenton, North Carolina at the age of 30 and won over the people of the colony with his charm and honorable businesslike character. Hewes was elected to the North Carolina legislature in 1763, only three years after he moved to the colony. After being re-elected numerous times in the legislature, Hewes was now focused on a new and more ambitious job as a continental congressman.



First U.S Secretary of Navy, signer of Declaration of Independence

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Birth: Jan. 23, 1730 Death: Nov. 10, 1779

Signer of the Declaration of Independence from North Carolina. Born in Kingston, New Jersey, to a Quaker family, he worked as an apprentice to a Philadelphia merchant. At age 25, he moved to Edenton, North Carolina, where he became a successful merchant. Just days before he was to marry a young woman named Isabella Johnston, she took sick and died. Heartbroken, he would never marry. For the ten years prior to the Revolution, he served in North Carolina’s legislature, and in 1774, he was elected to the First Continental Congress. He served in the First and Second Continental Congresses, from 1774 to 1777, and again in 1779. A workaholic, he was often found laboring at his desk, from dawn to dusk, often without pausing to eat or drink. Because of his experience with shipping, he was made Chairman of the committee that helped establish the US Navy. Hewes became the first executive head of the United States Navy, although he did not have this official title at that time. In December 1775, he appointed John Paul Jones a Navy officer, and provided him with his first ship; John Paul Jones would become one of America’s greatest naval heroes. His war efforts brought him more problems – in 1775, the Quakers, who hated war, denounced the Continental Congress. John Hewes broke with his Quaker faith and never returned. Hewes himself was torn by the thought of independence. Even after several battles and after helping to establish the Navy, Hewes still had reservations about declaring independence. On the critical day of the vote for independence, he suddenly cried out that he would vote for independence, and suddenly praying aloud, “It is done and I will abide by it!” Illness forced Hewes to leave the Congress on October 29, 1779, and twelve days later, he died at the age of 49. Many believed that he died from overwork. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)


Family links:

Parents:
 Aaron Hewes (____ - 1755)
 Providence Worth Hewes

Burial: Christ Church Burial Ground Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania, USA [unmarked]


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Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Apr 26, 1998 Find A Grave Memorial# 2773 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2773

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Joseph Hewes, U.S. Secretary of the Navy (signer of the "Declaration of Independence")'s Timeline

1730
January 23, 1730
Princeton, Mercer, New Jersey, United States
1779
November 10, 1779
Age 49
November 10, 1779
Age 49
Christ Church Burial Ground Philadelphia Philadelphia County Pennsylvania, USA [unmarked]