On This Day in History -
November 11, 1779

Joseph Hewes funeral at Christ Church

Joseph Hewes

On this day in history, November 11, 1779, the funeral for Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia and "Father of the US Navy," was held at Christ Church in Philadelphia. Hewes was a very successful shipping magnate with a fleet of his own ships from Edenton, North Carolina. He was only 44 years old when he was first elected to the Continental Congress.

Because of his shipping experience, Hewes was appointed as head of the Naval Committee by Congress. His first responsibility was to oversee the arming of four ships Congress voted to arm. Hewes turned his own ships over for the Navy's use and also helped General George Washington draw up his initial plans for the war.

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