Paul Revere and George Hewes

Although Hewes’ name is today largely lost in history, he was apparently well known in colonial times and during the 19th century. Esther Forbes’ classic 1942 biography of Paul Revere, which depended heavily on Paul Revere’s “many volumes of papers” and numerous late 18th and early 19th century sources, mentions Hewes repeatedly throughout her book. For example, when young Paul Revere went off to join the British army in the spring of 1756, he took along with him Hewes. “Paul Revere served in Richard Gridley’s regiment,” Forbes writes, noting Revere’s recollection that the army had certain requirements for its recruits. “All must be able-bodied and between seventeen and forty-five, and must measure to a certain height. George Robert Twelvetrees Hewes could not go. He was too short, and in vain did he get a shoemaker to build up the inside of his shoes; but Paul Revere ‘passed muster’ and ‘mounted the cockade.’”