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George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes (August 25, 1742 – November 5, 1840) [1] was a participant in the political protests in Boston at the onset of the American Revolution. and one of the last survivors of the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. Later he fought in the American Revolutionary War as a militiaman and privateer. Shortly before his death at the age of 98, Hewes was the subject of two biographies and much public commemoration.

Contents

Political activity Edit

In his biographies, written at the end of his life, Hewes recalled that his participation in the Patriot movement began on March 5, 1770, when he joined the mob of Bostonian apprentices and craftsmen present at what is now called the Boston Massacre. Hewes joined the crowd in support of the apprentice who was trying to collect on a debt from British Captain John Goldfinch. Hewes was unarmed during the riot that ensued, but nonetheless he suffered injury when British Private Kilroy struck him in the shoulder with his rifle. On his way home that night Hewes had a verbal confrontation with two British soldiers, which he related in an official deposition the next day.

On December 16, 1773, Hewes joined the band of Bostonians who protested the Tea Act by dumping tea into Boston Harbor. an event now called the Boston Tea Party. The protesters divided themselves into three boarding parties, each going aboard one of the three tea ships, Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver. Hewes was appointed "boatswain " of his party that boarded Dartmouth, mostly on account of his "whistling talent." In his capacity as boatswain, Hewes went to the captain of the boarded ship to demand the keys to the tea chests. He also fought with Captain O'Connor, a fellow protester who was trying to take some of the tea for himself. According to Hewes, it took three hours to empty every tea chest and throw the content into the Boston Harbor. Like the other protesters, Hewes then quietly returned to his place of residence.

In January, Hewes was at the center of the events surrounding the tarring and feathering of John Malcolm. one of the most publicized incidents of its kind in the Revolutionary period. Malcolm was what would later be known as a Loyalist. a supporter of royal authority. A Bostonian, he worked for the British customs service, and pursued his duties with a zeal that made him unpopular. Commoners often "hooted" at Malcolm in the streets, and sailors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. tarred and feathered him in November 1773. [2] On January 25, 1774, according to the account in the Massachusetts Gazette. Hewes saw Malcolm threatening to strike a boy with his cane. When Hewes intervened to stop Malcolm, the two began arguing, with Malcolm insisting that Hewes should not interfere in the business of a gentleman. When Hewes replied that at least he (Hewes) had never been tarred and feathered, Malcolm struck Hewes hard on the forehead with the cane, knocking him unconscious.

Hewes was treated by the noted Patriot doctor, Joseph Warren. The cane left a scar which would be visible on Hewes's forehead for the rest of his life. He went to a magistrate's office to swear out a warrant for John Malcolm's arrest.

That night, a mob seized Malcolm in his house and dragged him into King Street, where, over the objections of Hewes, he was stripped to the waist and covered with tar and feathers. They then took him to the Liberty Tree. where they first threatened to hang him and then threatened to cut off his ears if he did not apologize for his behavior and renounce his customs commission. Malcolm relented and was sent home. The event was reported in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Military service Edit

In 1775 Boston was put under martial law. Like many Patriots, Hewes fled the city. He sent his family to Wrentham, his father's hometown. He himself had to escape Boston by boat. For the majority of the war years Hewes stayed with his family, providing for them. For a few months of each year, however, Hewes signed up to fight, sometimes in the militia and sometimes as a privateer .

Hewes' first period of military service began in the fall of 1776 when he sailed aboard the privateering ship Diamond. It was a successful three-month voyage, resulting in the capture of three enemy vessels. Hewes later recalled that when the voyage dragged on longer, and no additional prizes had been captured, he joined the crew in threatening to mutiny if the captain did not sail back to Providence. Hewes served in the militia for one to three months of 1777. [3] In 1778 he served for another month, seeing action at the Battle of Rhode Island .

In 1779 Hewes signed on with the Connecticut ship of war Defence for an eventful seven-and-a-half-month voyage. After capturing four ships and thousands of dollars in prize money, the ship's captain, Samuel Smedley. refused to give Hewes his share.

Hewes served in the militia twice more,in the autumn months of 1780 and 1781. Once in the closing years of the war Hewes hired a substitute to avoid the draft. The "extreme pressure of his circumstances" and the need to provide for his family precluded another tour with the militia. [4] Hewes' most enduring memories of the war were of a temporary increase in the dignity of his position. The democratic style of leadership in the militia and aboard the privateers left its mark on Hewes, and he never forgot the respect he received from his social superiors during this time. [5]

Later life Edit

George Hewes lived in Wrentham until after the outbreak of the War of 1812 .He and Sally had fifteen children, and probably eleven survived birth. [6] He remained a poor shoemaker. In 1812 two of his sons followed in his footsteps and joined the militia. Apparently their willingness to fight was unusual for Wrentham citizens at the time. [7]

After the war George and Sarah Hewes followed a few of their children to Richfield Springs in Otsego County, New York. George was then seventy-four years old. Even in his old age he continued to earn money making shoes. Sarah died in 1828 at the age of 77. In his later years he relied on various friends and relatives for support, moving from house to house. He became, however, a notable figure in the community, being one of the last survivors of the Revolutionary War and appearing at Independence Day festivities in his militia uniform every Fourth of July. During these years Hewes converted to Methodism and began reading the Bible frequently.

The 1830s were a period when the American Revolution experienced a revival in the public memory. Battles and events from the revolution were being newly commemorated. [8] During this period, in 1833, a writer named James Hawkes discovered Hewes in Richfield Springs and wrote a biography about him, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party .

Hawkes's book became popular, and in 1835 Hewes toured New England as a celebrity. He sat for a portrait by Joseph Cole. called simply The Centenarian. which now hangs in the Old State House in Boston. Benjamin Bussey Thatcher wrote a second biography, Traits of the Tea Party. He was the guest of honor at an elaborate ceremony on the Fourth of July attended by the lieutenant governor and by other Revolutionary War veterans.

Hewes was injured in an accident on July 4, 1840, as he was boarding the carriage to go to the annual festivities. He died on November 5, 1840. He was 98 years old, although believed at the time to be 109. He was buried without public commemoration in Richfield Springs; in 1896 he was reburied ceremoniously in the town's Grand Army of the Republic cemetery for veterans.

  1. ^ "George Robert Twelves Hewes". American National Biography Online. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. ^ Young, 47.
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution" Volume VII .p.792 reports: "Hewes, G.R'T Twelves, Private, Capt. Samuel Cowell's Co. Col. Benjamin Hawes's regt.; service from September 25, 1777, to Oct 30, 1777, 35 days, on a secret expedition. Roll sworn to in Suffolk Co."
  4. ^ A Citizen of New York James Hawkes. A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party, with a Memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a Survivor of the Little Band of Patriots Who Drowned the Tea in Boston Harbour in 1773 (New York: S. Bliss, printer, 1834), 74–75; Quoted in Young, 65.
  5. ^ Young, 66.
  6. ^ Young, 69.
  7. ^ Young, 70.
  8. ^ Young, xv.

External links Edit

  • A retrospect of the Boston tea-party, with a memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a survivor of the little band of patriots who drowned the tea in Boston harbour in 1773 on the Internet Archive
  • Traits of the tea party. being a memoir of George R.T. Hewes, one of the last of its survivors on the Internet Archive
  • Booknotes interview with Alfred Young on The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution. November 21, 1999.
  • Plainville 1930: Its Industries and History at the Digital Library

Other articles

George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes

Infobox Person
name = George Robert Twelves Hewes


image_size = 200px
caption = A portrait of Hewes painted by Joseph G. Cole in 1835.
birth_date = August 25, 1742
birth_place = Boston. Massachusetts
death_date = November 5, 1840
death_place = Richfield Springs. New York
occupation = Shoemaker. militiaman. Privateer
spouse = Sarah "Sally" Sumner

George Robert Twelves Hewes (August 25, 1742-November 5, 1840) was one of the last survivors of the American Revolution. He participated in the political protests in Boston at the onset of the Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. Later he fought in the American Revolutionary War as a militiaman and privateer. Shortly before his death at the age of 98, Hewes was the subject of two biographies and much public commemoration.

Hewes was born in the South End of Boston, the son of George Hewes, a poor shoemaker who had moved to Boston from his family home in Wrentham, Massachusetts. George Robert Twelves’ unusual middle name probably came from the mother of his mother, Abigail, whose maiden name was Twelves. [Young, Alfred F. "The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution" (Boston:Beacon Press, 1999), 17. ]

At the age of fourteen Hewes was apprenticed to a shoemaker named Downing. Disliking both his master and his craft, Hewes tried to enlist in the British army but was rejected for being too short (he stood at only 5 feet, one inch tall). Upon turning twenty-one in 1763, Hewes opened his own shoemaking shop and began a long, poverty-stricken career. In January 1768 he married Sarah “Sally” Sumner, the daughter of a Baptist sexton. Before being caught up in the political unrest of 1770, Hewes was an average member of Boston’s lower class, never belonging to any church or association, and never participating in politics.

In his biographies, written at the end of his life, Hewes recalled that his participation in the Patriot movement began on March 5, 1770, when he joined the mob of Bostonian apprentices and craftsmen present at what is now called the Boston Massacre. Hewes joined the crowd in support of the apprentice who was trying to collect on a debt from British Captain John Goldfinch. Hewes was unarmed during the riot that ensued, but nonetheless he suffered injury when British Private Kilroy struck him in the shoulder with his rifle. On his way home that night Hewes had a verbal confrontation with two British soldiers, which he related in an official deposition the next day.

On December 16, 1773, Hewes joined the band of Bostonians who protested the Tea Act by dumping tea into Boston Harbor. an event now called the Boston Tea Party. The protesters divided themselves into three boarding parties, each going aboard one tea ship. Hewes was appointed " boatswain " of his party, mostly on account of his "whistling talent." In his capacity as boatswain, Hewes went to the captain of the boarded ship to demand the keys to the tea chests. He also fought with a fellow protester who was trying to take some of the tea for himself.

A month later, Hewes was at the center of the events surrounding the tarring and feathering of John Malcolm. one of the most publicized incidents of its kind in the Revolution period. John Malcolm was a Bostonian who worked for the British customs service. Malcolm was known as a hard-line Loyalist. a staunch supporter of royal authority. As a Patriot, Hewes had often provoked Malcolm by "hooting at him in the streets." On January 25, 1774, according to the account in the " Massachusetts Gazette ", Hewes saw Malcolm threatening to strike a boy with his cane. When Hewes intervened to stop Malcolm, the two began insulting each other, after which Malcolm struck Hewes hard on the forehead with the cane.

Hewes was treated by the noted Patriot doctor, Joseph Warren. The cane left a scar which would be visible on Hewes' forehead for the rest of his life. He went to a magistrate's office to get a warrant for John Malcolm's arrest.

That night, a mob seized Malcolm in his house and dragged him into King Street, where, over the objections of Hewes, he was covered with tar and feathers. They then took him to the Liberty Tree. where they first threatened to hang him and then threatened cut off his ears if he did not apologize for his behavior and renounce his customs commission. Malcolm relented and was sent home. The event was reported in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.

In 1775 Boston was put under martial law. Like many Patriots, Hewes fled the city. He sent his family to Wrentham, his father’s hometown. He himself had to escape Boston by boat. For the majority of the war years Hewes stayed with his family, providing for them. For a few months of each year, however, Hewes signed up to fight, sometimes in the militia and sometimes as a privateer .

Hewes' first period of military service began in the fall of 1776 when he sailed aboard the privateering ship "Diamond." It was a successful three-month voyage, resulting in the capture of three enemy vessels. Hewes later recalled that when the voyage dragged on longer, and no additional prizes had been captured, he joined the crew in threatening to mutiny if the captain did not sail back to Providence. Hewes served in the militia for one to three months of 1777. In 1778 he served for another month, seeing action at the Battle of Rhode Island .

In 1779 Hewes signed on with the Connecticut ship of war "Defence" for an eventful seven-and-a-half-month voyage. After capturing four ships and thousands of dollars in prize money, the ship's captain, Samuel Smedley. refused to give Hewes his share.

Hewes served in the militia twice more, in the autumn months of 1780 and 1781. Once in the closing years of the war Hewes hired a substitute to avoid the draft. The "extreme pressure of his circumstances" and the need to provide for his family precluded another tour with the militia. [A Citizen of New York [James Hawkes]. "A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party, with a Memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a Survivor of the Little Band of Patriots Who Drowned the Tea in Boston Harbour in 1773" (New York: S. Bliss, printer, 1834), 74-75; Quoted in Young, 65. ] Hewes' most enduring memories of the war were of a temporary increase in the dignity of his position. The democratic style of leadership in the militia and aboard the privateers left its mark on Hewes, and he never forgot the respect he received from his social superiors during this time. [Young, 66. ]

George Hewes lived in Wrentham until after the outbreak of the War of 1812. This period of time was relatively unremarkable. He and Sally had fifteen children, and probably eleven survived birth. [Young, 69. ] He remained a poor shoemaker. In 1812 two of his sons followed in his footsteps and joined the militia. Apparently their willingness to fight was unusual for Wrentham citizens at the time. [Young, 70. ]

After the war George and Sarah Hewes followed a few of their children to Richfield Springs in Ostego County. New York. George was then seventy-four years old. Hewes never escaped from the poverty that haunted him his entire life. Even in his old age he continued to earn money making shoes. Sarah died in 1828 at the age of 77. In his later years he relied on various friends and relatives for support, moving from house to house. He became, however, a notable figure in the community, being one of the last survivors of the Revolutionary War and appearing at Independence Day festivities in his militia uniform every Fourth of July. During these years Hewes converted to Methodism and began reading the Bible frequently.

The 1830s were a period when the American Revolution experienced a revival in the public memory. Battles and events from the revolution were being newly commemorated. During this period, in 1833, a writer named James Hawkes discovered Hewes in Richfield Springs and wrote a biography about him, "A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party".

Hawkes's book became popular, and in 1835 Hewes toured New England as a celebrity. He sat for a portrait by Joseph Cole. called simply "The Centenarian", which now hangs in the Old State House in Boston. Benjamin Bussey Thatcher wrote a second biography, "Traits of the Tea Party." He was the guest of honor at an elaborate ceremony on the Fourth of July attended by the lieutenant governor and by other Revolutionary War veterans. All along his route he was adored by the public for his age, his health, his pleasant demeanor, and for his role in the seminal events of the Revolution.

Although Hewes was not by any means a pivotal player in the Revolution or an important public figure, he helped to secure the American Revolution as an important event in American history. He was rediscovered at a time when the Boston Tea Party and other early events of the revolution were also being rediscovered. He continues to be notable today through his biographies, which give the impressions of a common person of the revolution reflecting on his participation at the end of his life.

Hewes was injured in an accident on July 4, 1840, as he was boarding the carriage to go to the annual festivities. He died on November 5, 1840. He was 98 years old, although believed at the time to be 109. He was buried without public commemoration in Richfield Springs; in 1896 he was reburied ceremoniously in the town's Grand Army of the Republic cemetery for veterans.

Only eight generations separate Hewes from his descendants living today.

[http://boston-tea-party.org/account-george-hewes.html Eyewitness Account of the Boston Tea Party by George Hewes ]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010 .

Mega Essays - George Robert Twelves Hewes

MegaEssays.com 1. Shoemaker

Young, the author of The Shoemaker and the Tea Party presents the trials and tribulations of a common Bostonian named George Robert Twelves Hewes. . George R. . George R. . History is written and rewritten because men like George Robert Twelves Hewes stepped up with great honor to public acts and revealed his private memories. . George R. .

2. Shoemaker and the Revolution

Young shows us a glimpse of the American Revolution through the eyes of George Robert Twelves Hewes, a poor shoemaker of the "Humble Class". What do we know about Hewes? . Hewes played a vital role throughout the Revolution. . In each of these events Hewes played a part. . In fact, the war cost Hewes. .

3. George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Hewes was born in Boston in 1742 but moved to New York when he was eight. . "Abigail Hewes must have been desperate to control George." This statement refers to how Abigail would punish George very heavily for the littlest things. . As George Hewes got older, more Americans were rebelling against Britain's ruling. . Th.

4. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party 5. Collection Robert Frost Essays

The poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is a first person narrative tale of a monumental moment in the speaker's life- Frost can be considered the speaker. . In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", Frost presents the idea of man facing the difficult unalterable predilection of a moment and a lifetime. . >From Rober.

1. Shoemaker

Young, the author of The Shoemaker and the Tea Party presents the trials and tribulations of a common Bostonian named George Robert Twelves Hewes. . George R. . George R. . History is written and rewritten because men like George Robert Twelves Hewes stepped up with great honor to public acts and revealed his private memories. . George R. .

2. Shoemaker and the Revolution

Young shows us a glimpse of the American Revolution through the eyes of George Robert Twelves Hewes, a poor shoemaker of the "Humble Class". What do we know about Hewes? . Hewes played a vital role throughout the Revolution. . In each of these events Hewes played a part. . In fact, the war cost Hewes. .

3. George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Hewes was born in Boston in 1742 but moved to New York when he was eight. . "Abigail Hewes must have been desperate to control George." This statement refers to how Abigail would punish George very heavily for the littlest things. . As George Hewes got older, more Americans were rebelling against Britain's ruling. . Th.

4. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party 5. Collection Robert Frost Essays

The poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is a first person narrative tale of a monumental moment in the speaker's life- Frost can be considered the speaker. . In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken", Frost presents the idea of man facing the difficult unalterable predilection of a moment and a lifetime. . >From Rober.

George Robert Twelves Hewes - Military Wiki

George Robert Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes (August 25, 1742 – November 5, 1840) was a participant in the political protests in Boston at the onset of the American Revolution. and one of the last survivors of the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. Later he fought in the American Revolutionary War as a militiaman and privateer. Shortly before his death at the age of 98, Hewes was the subject of two biographies and much public commemoration.

Contents Early life Edit

George Robert Twelves Hewes was born in the South End of Boston, the son of George Hewes, a poor tanner and chandler who had moved to Boston from his family home in Wrentham, Massachusetts. which was located in present day Plainville, Massachusetts. Hewes's unusual third name evidently came from his maternal grandmother, whose maiden name was Twelves. [1]

At the age of fourteen Hewes was apprenticed to a shoemaker named Downing. Disliking both his master and his craft, Hewes tried to enlist in the British army but was rejected for being too short (he stood at only five feet, one inch tall). Upon turning twenty-one in 1763, Hewes opened his own shoemaking shop and began a long, poverty-stricken career. In January 1768 he married Sarah "Sally" Sumner, the daughter of a Baptist sexton. Before being caught up in the political unrest of 1770, Hewes was an average member of Boston's lower class, never belonging to any church or association, and never participating in politics.

Political activity Edit

In his biographies, written at the end of his life, Hewes recalled that his participation in the Patriot movement began on March 5, 1770, when he joined the mob of Bostonian apprentices and craftsmen present at what is now called the Boston Massacre. Hewes joined the crowd in support of the apprentice who was trying to collect on a debt from British Captain John Goldfinch. Hewes was unarmed during the riot that ensued, but nonetheless he suffered injury when British Private Kilroy struck him in the shoulder with his rifle. On his way home that night Hewes had a verbal confrontation with two British soldiers, which he related in an official deposition the next day.

On December 16, 1773, Hewes joined the band of Bostonians who protested the Tea Act by dumping tea into Boston Harbor, an event now called the Boston Tea Party. The protesters divided themselves into three boarding parties, each going aboard one of the three tea ships, Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver. Hewes was appointed "boatswain " of his party that boarded Dartmouth, mostly on account of his "whistling talent." In his capacity as boatswain, Hewes went to the captain of the boarded ship to demand the keys to the tea chests. He also fought with Captain O'Connor, a fellow protester who was trying to take some of the tea for himself. According to Hewes, it took three hours to empty every tea chest and throw the content into the Boston Harbor. Like the other protesters, Hewes then quietly returned to his place of residence.

In January, Hewes was at the center of the events surrounding the tarring and feathering of John Malcolm. one of the most publicized incidents of its kind in the Revolutionary period. Malcolm was what would later be known as a Loyalist. a supporter of royal authority. A Bostonian, he worked for the British customs service, and pursued his duties with a zeal that made him unpopular. Commoners often "hooted" at Malcolm in the streets, and sailors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, tarred and feathered him in November 1773. [2] On January 25, 1774, according to the account in the Massachusetts Gazette . Hewes saw Malcolm threatening to strike a boy with his cane. When Hewes intervened to stop Malcolm, the two began arguing, with Malcolm insisting that Hewes should not interfere in the business of a gentleman. When Hewes replied that at least he (Hewes) had never been tarred and feathered, Malcolm struck Hewes hard on the forehead with the cane, knocking him unconscious.

Hewes was treated by the noted Patriot doctor, Joseph Warren. The cane left a scar which would be visible on Hewes's forehead for the rest of his life. He went to a magistrate's office to swear out a warrant for John Malcolm's arrest.

That night, a mob seized Malcolm in his house and dragged him into King Street. where, over the objections of Hewes, he was stripped to the waist and covered with tar and feathers. They then took him to the Liberty Tree. where they first threatened to hang him and then threatened to cut off his ears if he did not apologize for his behavior and renounce his customs commission. Malcolm relented and was sent home. The event was reported in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Military service Edit

In 1775 Boston was put under martial law. Like many Patriots, Hewes fled the city. He sent his family to Wrentham, his father's hometown. He himself had to escape Boston by boat. For the majority of the war years Hewes stayed with his family, providing for them. For a few months of each year, however, Hewes signed up to fight, sometimes in the militia and sometimes as a privateer.

Hewes' first period of military service began in the fall of 1776 when he sailed aboard the privateering ship Diamond. It was a successful three-month voyage, resulting in the capture of three enemy vessels. Hewes later recalled that when the voyage dragged on longer, and no additional prizes had been captured, he joined the crew in threatening to mutiny if the captain did not sail back to Providence. Hewes served in the militia for one to three months of 1777. [3] In 1778 he served for another month, seeing action at the Battle of Rhode Island.

In 1779 Hewes signed on with the Connecticut ship of war Defence for an eventful seven-and-a-half-month voyage. After capturing four ships and thousands of dollars in prize money, the ship's captain, Samuel Smedley. refused to give Hewes his share.

Hewes served in the militia twice more,in the autumn months of 1780 and 1781. Once in the closing years of the war Hewes hired a substitute to avoid the draft. The "extreme pressure of his circumstances" and the need to provide for his family precluded another tour with the militia. [4] Hewes' most enduring memories of the war were of a temporary increase in the dignity of his position. The democratic style of leadership in the militia and aboard the privateers left its mark on Hewes, and he never forgot the respect he received from his social superiors during this time. [5]

Later life Edit

George Hewes lived in Wrentham until after the outbreak of the War of 1812. This period of time was relatively unremarkable. He and Sally had fifteen children, and probably eleven survived birth. [6] He remained a poor shoemaker. In 1812 two of his sons followed in his footsteps and joined the militia. Apparently their willingness to fight was unusual for Wrentham citizens at the time. [7]

After the war George and Sarah Hewes followed a few of their children to Richfield Springs in Ostego County, New York. George was then seventy-four years old. Hewes never escaped from the poverty that haunted him his entire life. Even in his old age he continued to earn money making shoes. Sarah died in 1828 at the age of 77. In his later years he relied on various friends and relatives for support, moving from house to house. He became, however, a notable figure in the community, being one of the last survivors of the Revolutionary War and appearing at Independence Day festivities in his militia uniform every Fourth of July. During these years Hewes converted to Methodism and began reading the Bible frequently.

Rediscovery Edit

The 1830s were a period when the American Revolution experienced a revival in the public memory. Battles and events from the revolution were being newly commemorated. [8] During this period, in 1833, a writer named James Hawkes discovered Hewes in Richfield Springs and wrote a biography about him, A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party.

Hawkes's book became popular, and in 1835 Hewes toured New England as a celebrity. He sat for a portrait by Joseph Cole. called simply The Centenarian. which now hangs in the Old State House in Boston. Benjamin Bussey Thatcher wrote a second biography, Traits of the Tea Party. He was the guest of honor at an elaborate ceremony on the Fourth of July attended by the lieutenant governor and by other Revolutionary War veterans. All along his route he was adored by the public for his age, his health, his pleasant demeanor, and for his role in the seminal events of the Revolution.

Both Hawkes and Thatcher were amazed by Hewes's memory. Hewes remembered details of his stages of life clearly, and he could recall his memories smoothly. He could recall how things looked, how things tasted, and how he felt at that time even though he was in his nineties.

Although Hewes was not by any means a pivotal player in the Revolution or an important public figure, he helped to secure the American Revolution as an important event in American history. He was rediscovered at a time when the Boston Tea Party and other early events of the revolution were also being rediscovered. He continues to be notable today through his biographies, which give the impressions of a common person of the revolution reflecting on his participation at the end of his life.

Death Edit

Hewes was injured in an accident on July 4, 1840, as he was boarding the carriage to go to the annual festivities. He died on November 5, 1840. He was 98 years old, although believed at the time to be 109. He was buried without public commemoration in Richfield Springs; in 1896 he was reburied ceremoniously in the town's Grand Army of the Republic cemetery for veterans.

Notes Edit
  1. ↑ Alfred F. Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press,1902'), 17.
  2. ↑ Young, 47.
  3. ↑ "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution" Volume VII .p.792 reports: "Hewes, G.R'T Twelves, Private, Capt. Samuel Cowell's Co. Col. Benjamin Hawes's regt.; service from September 25, 1777, to Oct 30, 1777, 35 days, on a secret expedition. Roll sworn to in Suffolk Co."
  4. ↑ A Citizen of New York James Hawkes. A Retrospect of the Boston Tea-Party, with a Memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a Survivor of the Little Band of Patriots Who Drowned the Tea in Boston Harbour in 1773 (New York: S. Bliss, printer, 1834), 74-75; Quoted in Young, 65.
  5. ↑ Young, 66.
  6. ↑ Young, 69.
  7. ↑ Young, 70.
  8. ↑ Young, xv.
External links Edit
  • A retrospect of the Boston tea-party, with a memoir of George R. T. Hewes, a survivor of the little band of patriots who drowned the tea in Boston harbour in 1773 on Internet Archive
  • Traits of the tea party : being a memoir of George R.T. Hewes, one of the last of its survivors on Internet Archive
  • Booknotes interview with Alfred Young on The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution. November 21, 1999.
  • Plainville 1930: Its Industries and History at the Digital Library

Boston Tea Party Historical Society

George Robert Twelves Hewes

Robert Hewes was born in Boston, on September 5th 1742. When the Boston Tea Party occurred he was 31 years old. In his early life Robert was not fortunate to get a good education and his main employment was farming, fishing and shoe-making, which also was his father's trade. In 1758 he attempted to enlist in the army to serve against the French, but did not “pass muster”. He was later unsuccessful in his attempt to join the navy and then resumed shoe-making.

Mr. Hewes’ character was both excitable and patriotic which drove him to participate in various disturbances in Boston from the time of the passage of the Stamp Act. One of the most famous of such disturbances was the Boston Massacre of 1770. On March 5th Hews was among the crowd of Bostonian involved in the confrontation with British Soldiers. He received a shoulder injury from being stricken by a soldier’s rifle.

According to his official biography, Hewes involvement in the patriotic movement was inspired by a meeting with John Hancock that occurred when he came to Hancock's house to deliver fixed shoes.

He was among the foremost in the destruction of the tea at Boston on December 16, 1773. The patriots organized themselves in three groups to climb the three different tea ships and Hewes was selected to lead one of the groups. As a leader he was the one to go to the ship captain to demand the keys to the tea storage. He also distinguished himself by confronting and threatening a fellow protester who attempted to take some tea for himself.

After British clampdown on protests in 1775 and the introduction of martial law in Boston many patriots found themselves under the vigilant eyes of the British officers, Hewes was among them. He managed to escape and fled the city. He later entered the naval service of the colonies as a privateer.

After the war of 1812 Hewes and his family moved to Richfield Springs in Ostego County, New York. He continued to rely on his shoemaking trade to support his family until older age. Although he never became wealthy, Hewes was well respected in the community for his contribution to the cause of the American Revolution and for his personal character. Being one of the last survivors of the American Revolution made him a desired participant in memorial ceremonies.

Robert Hewes passed away on November 5, 1840 hen he was 98 years old.

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Essay George Twelves Hewes

Thread: George Twelves Hewes

George Robert Twelves Hewes was born and raised from a wretched family in Boston in1742.
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Around the 1760s George Hewes became an apprentice shoemaker. one of the lower ranking jobs.
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THE ESSAY STARTS HERE
George Robert Twelves Hewes was one of the last survivors of the American Revolution. He played a role in the political protests in Boston that led up to the War of Independence, and later fought as a privateer and militiaman. By the time of his death at the age of 98, he had become a celebrity for his personal qualities as well as for his role in gaining America's independence from England.

All the commotion in Boston by four thousand British soldiers in 1768 drew the Hewes into the resistance movement.
In 1768, the commotion caused by four thousand British soldiers garrisoned in Boston drew Hewes, born in 1742 under wretched circumstances, into the Patriot movement.

At first his concerns were personal; he took offense when British sentries challenged him and again when a soldier refused to pay for a pair of shoes.
(This is fine, but add 'again' after 'and')

He also witnessed other people been victimized by soldiers.
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This harsh upbringing shaped Hewes's personality.
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More events came to Boston, and his growing political consciousness had placed Hewes in the middle of the Boston Massacre.
In 1770, events placed Hewes in the middle of the Boston Massacre.

First, it started with the school boy Christopher Seider on February 23, 1770 when a Loyalist merchant fired into a crowd of apprentices who were picketing his shop, killing him (ten days before the Massacre).
On February 23, 1770, ten days before the Massacre, a Loyalist merchant fired into a crowd of apprentices who were picketing his shop, killing schoolboy Christopher Seider.


Second, Off-duty paid British soldiers moonlighted; taking jobs away from Bostonians, so the Bostonians sought revenge and beat a few soldiers.
Then a few off-duty British soldiers were beaten by Bostonians for taking away civialian jobs by moonlighting.

And so on March 5, 1770, the day of the Massacre, British soldiers came out in force to clear the streets of rowdy civilians throwing snow, ice, and rocks at them.
On March 5, British soldiers were out in force to clear the streets of rowdy civilians who were throwing snowballs, ice, and rocks at them.

Hewes joined his fellow townspeople and stated “They were in the king's highway, and had as good a right to be there” as the British troops.
Hewes, an apprentice shoemaker, was part of the crowd. He refused to clear the streets, telling a British officer that they were "in the King's highway, and had as good a right to be there as the British troops."

It led the British to open fire killing five workingmen.
In the end, the British opened fire, killing five men.

Not only did Hewes know four of the five workingmen shot down that night by British troops, but one of them, James Caldwell, was standing by his side, and Hewes caught him as he fell.
Not only did Hewes know four of the five men shot down that night, but one of them, James Caldwell, was standing by his side, and Hewes caught him as he fell.


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Outraged, Hewes armed himself with a cane, only to be confronted by Sergeant Chambers of the 29th British Regiment and eight or nine soldiers
this is fine, but omit the comma after "soldiers"

all with very large clubs or cutlasses.

armed with cutlasses and clubs.

Chambers seized and forced his cane, but as Hewes stated in a legal deposition, "I told him I had as good a right to carry a cane as they had to carry clubs."
C hambers seized Hewes' cane to force it away from him, but as Hewes stated in a legal deposition, "I told him I had as good a right to carry a cane as they had to carry clubs."

This deposition, which went on to tell of the soldiers' threats to kill more civilians, was included in a pamphlet called "A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Bosto n," published by a group of Boston Patriots.
Add an apostrophe after "soldiers" like this -- soldiers'
Add a comma after Boston, inside the quotation mark

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Hewes was also involved in the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, he turned up as a volunteer at the Tea Part y, o rganized by the radical Patriot leaders of Boston.
(This is fine. Just add a comma before "organized")

Hewes had been singled out and made a minor leader, and played his role well. Boarding all the ships and breaking the tea boxes then throwing it overboard.
By now Hewes had become a minor leader of the resistance, and he played his part well, boarding the ships and throwing crates of tea into Boston Harbor.

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In January 25, 1774 Hewes was coming along Fore Street; found John Malcolm an odious Bostonian who had many accomplishments as well, threatening a boy, with his cane.
On January 25, 1774, Hewes was coming along Fore Street when he saw a boy being threatened by John Malcolm, a despised customs inspector and Loyalist who had once been tarred and feathered by New Hampshire sailors for his overly strict customs fees.

Hewes engaged a conversation with Malcolm retorting, that it would be ashamed to strike a boy with a blunt object.
Hewes told Malcolm that it would be shameful to strike a boy with a cane.

Malcolm called him a vagabond, but Hewes quickly responded “be that as it will, I never was tarred nor feathered anyhow.”
Malcolm called him a "vagabond." Hewes responded by saying, "Be that as it may, I was never tarred nor feathered anyhow."

Malcolm struck Hewes, leaving a deep wound on his forehead
At that, Malcolm struck Hewes with the cane, causing a deep wound on his forehead and knocking him unconscious.

, and was taken to the doctor. But Malcolm was taught a lesson as Hewes triumph over him.
In one of the most publicized incidents leading up to the Revolutionary War, Hewes' fellow Bostonians seized Malcolm in reprisal, tarred and feathered him again, then dragged him to the Liberty Tree, where he was forced by threats to apologize.


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During the Revolutionary War, Hewes fought as a militiaman and signed up for several sea voyages as a privateer attacking British shipping. At the end of the War, he sank back into obscurity and the grinding poverty that he was born into, and which he never escaped.

He is known today through the two biographies that were written about him in his old age. They show a picture of a common man nobly connected to extraordinary events.


DEAR STUDENT: I think you should delete all the rest

Near the end of his life, public interest returned to the historical events of the War, and Hewes was lionized as one of its last survivors.
Hewes was a well poor, honest, brave and respectful man. He was motivated by his personal experiences that shared with large numbers of other Bostonians. Hewes spoke out against all brutality. And throughout his life he was extremely sensitive about his class status, so he took action with others in his rank and condition Bostonians. He was neither a rascal nor a vagabond, “though a poor man was in as good credit in town as he was.” For man to accomplish so much, and not any recognition, no statues, stamps, or streets on his behalf is absolutely obscured. A man of greater ability or ambition might have seized the moment, using his reputation as a Patriot to win fame or fortune, but that was not Hewes's goal. He was a nobody who briefly became a somebody in the Revolution and, for a moment near the end of his life, a hero like our abolitionists who wanted to end slavery, wrote books or poems about freedom and like our women who fought to vote. All of them shared the same goal to be treated equally as everyone else.
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Last edited by Ann1977; 25-Sep-2009 at 02:58.