Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HEWES, George Robert Twelves, one of the " Boston tea-party," born in Boston, Massachusetts, 5 November, 1731; died in Richfield, Oswego County, New York, 5 November, 1840. His only instruction was from the wife of the town-crier, who taught him to read and write. He supported himself by fishing, hunting, and rude shoemaking, until 1758, when he made an unsuccessful attempt to enlist in the Colonial army against the French. He was unable to pass muster, made an equally unsuccessful attempt to enter the navy, and through necessity returned to his trade. In the various disturbances in Boston at the time of the stamp act, Hewes, who was excitable but patriotic, was one of the foremost. He took an active part in the destruction of the tea in December, 1773, and is probably the only man who ever confessed to a share in this transaction. His own account is given in "The Boston Tea-Party," a memoir of his life (New York, 1834). Hewes was imprisoned with other patriots, but escaped, and entered the navy. He afterward joined the army, and was stationed at West Point under General Alexander McDougal. After the Revolution he returned to Boston, and again led a seafaring life. He removed to Richfield many years previous to his death, and in his extreme age was supported by the residents of the town. "In his 107th year, Hewes is described as "a hale old man, with blue eyes undimmed by age, and with alert faculties." At the dedication of the Bunker Hill monument he was a guest of the city of Boston.
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