Joseph Hewes, a native of New Jersey, was a Quaker and went to Princeton College. Afterwards he became a wealthy merchant and appeared by 1760 in Wilmington, NC as a wealthy shipping merchant. From 1766 to 1775, Hewes was elected to the NC Provincial Assembly. In 1775, he was sent to the Continental Congress as a representative from North Carolina. Hewes broke with the Quakers and pushed for War with England. He signed the Declaration of Independence and was appointed Secretary of Naval Affairs. He was so involved in war work, his health failed and he died in Philadelphia in 1779 from exhaustion and overwork.