Joseph Hewes

Full of surprises, Joseph Hewes was both a Quaker and an advocate of Independence, a merchant who cheerfully aided in the non-importation act. In North Carolina Hewes “acquired the confidence and esteem of the people among whom he lived, and was soon called to represent them in the colonial legislature of the province. This distinction was conferred upon him for several successive years, with increasing usefulness to his constituents, and increasing credit to himself.” The year 1774 required the services of Hewes at the first Continental Congress in Philadelphia. Although North Carolina greatly encouraged their delegates to vote for Independence, it took Hewes some years of persuasion before he would sign the document for Independence. His signature ultimately secured the unanimity of the colonies.