Famous Masons

Many men throughout history have been members of our fraternity.

In these pages we will present you with them and try to impress upon you the great men that have been Masons.

Famous Mason Categories
Articles of ConfederationAstronautsBusinessmenEntertainersExplorers and FrontiersmenGovernorsMilitary Leaders
PoliticianPresidentsSenatorSigner Declaration of IndependenceSportsSupreme Court JusticeUS Constitution

declaration-independence-close-up-14280675Members on this page Masonic Signers

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a new nation—the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. A committee of five had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence. The term “Declaration of Independence” is not used in the document itself.

Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The national birthday, Independence Day, is celebrated on July 4, although Adams wanted July 2.

Photo of Joseph Hewes

Joseph Hewes

Masonic Signers of Declaration of Independence
Birthday: January 23, 1730 Deceased: November 30, 1779

Biography

Hewes was a member of Unanimity Lodge No. 7, visited in 1776, and was buried with Masonic funeral honors.

Native of Princeton, New Jersey, where he was born in 1730. Hewes’s parents were members of the Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers. Immediately after their marriage, they moved to New Jersey, which became Joseph Hewes’s home state. Hewes attended Princeton but there is no evidence that he actually graduated. What is known is that he became an apprentice of a merchant and in fact became a very successful merchant. After finishing his apprenticeship he earned himself a good name and a strong reputation, which would serve him well in becoming one of the most famous signers of the Declaration of Independence for North Carolina, along with William Hooper and John Penn. Hewes moved to Edenton, North Carolina at the age of 30 and won over the people of the colony with his charm and honorable businesslike character. Hewes was elected to the North Carolina legislature in 1763, only three years after he moved to the colony. After being re-elected numerous times in the legislature, Hewes was now focused on a new and more ambitious job as a continental congressman.

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