foundation, and might reward the descendants in prosecuting the claim.
Joseph Hewes, born 1735, died 1779, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence of July 4th, 1776, from North Carolina, was long a resident of Edenton. He was a native of New Jersey, and a merchant.
He was a member of the Colonial Congress at New Berne in 1774, and in Hillsboro in 1775; often a member of the House of Commons, and a member of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, 1774 to 1777, and 1779 to 1780.
He died while in Congress at Philadelphia, on November 10th, 1779. He left a large fortune but no children to inherit it. He was possessing in person, and of great amenity of manners. His original miniature, beautifully executed, now in the possession of Miss Iredell, at Charlotte, shows that he was very handsome and of amiable countenance.
Mr. Hewes was a man of exquisite delicacy and refinement; he had been the accepted suitor of Isabella, the sister of Samuel Johnston. She died just previous to her nuptials, and he soon followed her to the grave.*
It is not very complimentary to our state pride that neither one of the signers of the Declaration, as delegates from the state, were native sons of North Carolina. William Hooper was a Boston man, Hewes, a New Jersey man, and John Penn, a Virginian.
Hugh Williamson, born 1735, died 1819, one of the signers of the Constitution of the United States, from North Carolina, resided for a long time in Edenton.
He was a native of Pennsylvania, born December 5th, 1735, at Nottingham, a physician by profession.
He represented the town in 1782, and the County of Chowan in 1785, in the legislature. In 1782, he was elected by the Provincial Congress of North Carolina, a member of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, and served till 1785, and again in 1787-'88. In 1787 he, with William Blount and Richard Dobbs Spaight, was delegate to the convention which formed the Constitution of the United States, and their names are appended to that immortal instrument.
From his advocacy of the constitution, which was not accepted by North Carolina, he lost much popularity. But this was but momentary, for he represented the Edenton district in the First and Second Congress in the House of Representatives, (1789 to 1793.)
He served his country faithfully at home and abroad; was appointed at the head of the medical staff, by Governor Caswell and was with him at the battle of Camden, 1780. He was literary in his tastes, and wrote (1812) a History of North Carolina. He died suddenly in New York, (where he had removed and where he had married,) on May 22d, 1819.
Stephen Cabarrus, born 1754, died 1808, represented Edenton in the legislature from 1784 to 1787, and the county from 1788 to 1805, with some intermission, and was an acceptable speaker of the House of Commons from 1800 to 1805; from him Cabarrus County derives its name. He resided and died at Pembroke, near Edenton.
He was a native of France, and possessed the usual great wit and vivacity of his countrymen. That he was popular is shown from the repeated elections of the people, and that he was a useful member is evident by his long service as speaker. He lies buried at Pembroke, a large marble slat marks the spot of his last resting place. It is thus inscribed:
"In memory of Stephen Cabarrus, who departed this life on the 4th of August, 1808, aged fifty-four years."
Honorable Charles Johnson was a useful and distinguished citizen of Chowan County. He often represented the county in the senate, (1781 to '92,) and in 1782, 1789, was speaker of the senate. He represented the district in
Index - Contents