Hewes, Joseph (hyōz) [key], 1730–79, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Kingston, N.J. He moved (1760) to Edenton, N.C., and became a wealthy merchant and shipper. As a member of the Continental Congress (1774–77), Hewes helped establish the American navy and obtained a commission for John Paul Jones in 1775. Reelected to Congress in 1779 he died during the session.
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