Hewes, Joseph (1730–1779), a Revolutionary War patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was born in Kingston, New Jersey. Hewes moved to Edenton, North Carolina, and became a wealthy merchant. He was a member of the colonial assembly, 1766–75, and of the Continental Congress, 1774–77 and 1779. As chairman of the committee on marine, he was in effect the first civilian head of the U.S. Navy, functioning much like a secretary of the navy. It was through his efforts that John Paul Jones, who became a national hero during the Revolutionary War, was given a naval commission and command of a ship.
President Jefferson sent a couple of his representatives over to France to buy the city of New Orleans. What he got was the Louisiana Purchase, a patch of land that nearly doubled the size of the young nation.
Forget George Washington’s cherry tree and Ben Franklin’s inveterate womanizing. You're about to meet patriots you've never heard of, plus a few you thought you knew.