Description

    Joseph Hewes Exceedingly Rare Autograph Document Signed "Joseph Hewes" three times. One page, 9" x 13.75". [Edenton, North Carolina], July 3, 1779. Headed: "A Schedule of the Taxable Property of Joseph Hewes exclusive/ of what he has in Co. with Robt Smith & Nathl. Allen." In full, "120 Acres of Land adjoining The Town, House & Kitchen thereon/ 2 Lots opposite to No. 190 & 191 in the New plan of the Town with Ware Houses Wharf &c./ 1 Lott No. 13 - Stores Kitchen Stable &c. thereon/ 50 acres of Land & House thereon adjoining McGraths Land./ Negroes Viz,/ Frank, a Cripple has not done a days work for 12 months past/ Cuff, a Cripple has not done a days work for 12 months past/ Gun about 45 years old/ Will upwards of 50 years old/ Sam about 35 years old/ Tancy a wench about 25 years old/ Peter a child 6 months old/ Flora a wench about 40 years old/ Peg a Girl 12 years old/ Mourning a Girl 7 years old/ Joan a Girl 4 years old/ Mirtilla a Girl 3 [years old]/ Rachel a wench 25 years old/ Sam a Child 4 years old/ Hannah a Girl 2 years old/ Betty a wench about 40 years old/ a Plantation in Tynel containing 225 acres no House on it/ delivered to William Bennett Esqr." On verso, Hewes has penned, "Joseph Hewes's/ Taxable property 1779." A few days before his wedding, Joseph Hewes' fiancée died suddenly. He remained a bachelor for the rest of his life. At the start of the American Revolution, Hewes, a successful ship owner and merchant, 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. Just four months before his death in Philadelphia at age 49, Hewes handwrote and signed this schedule of his estate. Lightly stained, the entire document has been expertly strengthened with crepeline for preservation and is in fine condition. According to Charles Hamilton in Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts, "Hewes' autograph is of great scarcity. Of the fifty-six immortals who signed the Declaration of Independence, only a few are harder to obtain." This remarkable document bears three signatures of Joseph Hewes!

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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