DescriptionJoseph Hewes Document Signed. One page, 8.25" x 11.5"; Chowan County, North Carolina; August 10, 1777. A legal filing written in the hand of Benjamin Joy and signed by him, Joseph Hewes, and Archibald Corrie. In part: "Know all men by their presents that Mr. Benjamin Joy, Joseph Hewes, and Arch. Corry all of the County and State oferd. and hold and stand [paper loss affecting one word] bound unto Evan Skinner High Sheriff of the County...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 thei 10th Day of august 1777..." Boldly signed "Joseph Hewes".
On the reverse of the document is docket dated October 22, 1778, written and signed by Evan Skinner, Sheriff of Chowan County. "I Evan Skinner Sheriff of Chowan County do hereby assign the within obligation and condition to William Cumming the plaintiff therein named his [?] 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."
Condition: The document has flattened folds. There is a line of text that has suffered loss due to ink burn; with additional bits of paper loss at line 3, the "s" at the end of Hewes' signature, and the paraph and seal of Corry's signature.
Joseph Hewes (1730-1799), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born in Princeton, New Jersey. After graduating from Princeton University, he became an apprentice of a merchant and later became a very successful merchant in his own right. Hewes moved to North Carolina at the age of 30 and was elected to that colony's legislature in 1763. After being re-elected numerous times in the legislature, Hewes was chosen as one of North Carolina's representatives to the Continental Congress. At the start of the American Revolution, Hewes, a successful ship owner, put his entire fleet at the disposal of the Continental Navy. As secretary of the Naval Affairs Committee of the Continental Congress, he was, in effect, America's first secretary of the Navy. A member of the Continental Congress (1774-1776) and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Hewes accepted reelection to Congress in 1779 despite health problems, but failed to retain his seat and died a few months later.
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