Lot #165
Joseph Hewes Document Signed

Rare document from the North Carolina signer

This lot has closed

Estimate: $3500+


Rare document from the North Carolina signer

Secretary of the Naval Affairs Committee during the Revolutionary War (1730-1779) who signed the Declaration of Independence, one of only three Quakers to do so. Revolutionary War-dated manuscript DS, one page, 8 x 11.5, August 10, 1777. Document from Chowan County, North Carolina, in part: "Know all men by these presents that Benjamin Joy, Joseph Hewes, and Arch Corry all of the County and State afor'd are held and stand…bound unto Evan Skinner High Sheriff of the County afor'd in the full…sum of one thousand pounds to the which payment will and truly to be made and done like bind ones selves and heirs and Exect. Administrators and signors family by these Presents Sealed with our Seal, and dated the 10th Day of August 1777." Docketed on the reverse by Skinner: "I Evan Skinner Sheriff of Chowan County do hereby assign the within obligation and condition to William Cumming the plaintiff therein named…and administrators to be sued for according to the statute in such care made and provided in. Witness Whereof I have hereto set me hand and seal this 22nd day of October 1778, Evan Skinner Sheriff." In very good to fine condition, with some scattered stains, and professional repairs to areas of ink erosion.

Born in New Jersey, Hewes had settled down in North Carolina in 1760 and was subsequently elected to the state legislature in 1763. When he was made Secretary of the Naval Affairs Committee in 1776, he found the fledgling American Navy in a poor state and, as a successful merchant, was able to provide his own extensive fleet of ships and outfit them for battle. He also selected the most capable men as commanders, including the great John Paul Jones. Afflicted with ailing health, Hewes had to return home shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence and passed away in 1779 at just 49 years old. Hewes’s untimely death has made his autograph especially scarce, and he is considered among the ‘very rare’ signers of the Declaration.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021

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