Joseph Hewes - Philadelphia, PA
N 39° 57.122 W 075° 08.888
18S E 487346 N 4422443
Quick Description: The grave of Joseph Hewes is located at Christ Church Burial Ground in Old City Philadelphia. He is buried next to another patriot and fellow Declaration signer, George Ross.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/23/2011 2:37:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMCXNA
Joseph Hewes was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Joseph Hewes was born at Kingston, New Jersey (now Princeton) on January 23, 1730 at his parents' estate called Maybury Hill. After his apprenticeship and with some financial help from his father, Joseph set up his own mercantile business and soon became a prosperous merchant, living alternately in Philadelphia and New York. Joseph relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1760 at the age of 30, where he built a prosperous mercantile and shipping business.
Mr. Hewes earned a solid reputation with his Edenton neighbors and was first elected to the Provincial Assembly State House of Commons in 1766, a position he was continually reelected to until the legislature was dissolved by the Royal Governor in 1775. Hewes was an early advocate of appealing to the British through reasoning, rather than through military rebellion. Nonetheless, he used his influence to encourage North Carolinians to form a State Convention to second Massachusetts' call for a Congress of all the colonies. He began to serve as a member of North Carolina's Committee of Correspondence in 1773. Committees of Correspondence were formed in each colony to inform the other colonies of news that was relevant to the patriots' cause.
When the First North Carolina Provincial Congress met in 1774, Mr. Hewes was elected as a delegate, a position he held until 1775. Because of his steadfastness to the American cause, Mr. Hewes was elected by the State Convention to attend the Continental Congress in 1774. He went to Philadelphia where the First Continental Congress began its session in September, taking his seat in Congress on the 14th. Joseph Hewes was 44 at the time. He served in the Continental Congress from 1774-76 and again in 1779.
At the beginning of the year 1776 and due to his experience with shipping, Joseph Hewes was appointed the head of the Naval Committee. He gave his fleet over to the use of the Continental Navy and oversaw the disbursement of funds to equip all naval vessels in the service of the Continental Navy. In his role as Secretary of the Navy, which was not a given title at the time, Mr. Hewes assisted General Washington in drawing up his initial plans of operation for the pending war. Mr. Hewes served as Secretary of the Navy until his death in 1779.
Joseph Hewes went on to vote for independence from Great Britain on July 2 and for Jefferson's formal Declaration of Independence on July 4th, signing the parchment copy with the other delegates on August 2nd.