March 18, 2015
The American Revolution is extraordinarily important in American History, as it led to the independence of the thirteen colonies from the British. In The Shoemaker and The Tea Party, Alfred F. Young provides a recollection of stories from a colonist during the 17th Century. Before reading about the shoemaker, I only knew about the big name icons and vague detail about events that occurred during prior to the American Revolution. George Robert Twelves Hewes was a colonists that participated in the Boston Massacre and three years later dumping tea into the Boston Harbor. Hewes was a shoemaker in Boston, and just like many other colonists, he participated in many key events during the Revolutionary crisis. The average, working class shoemaker brought to light how important the massacre and the dumping of the tea really were for every colonist. Hewes took part of these events not in trying to be a historical figure, but to fight for his freedom. He might have thought he did not play a big role at the time but as an American, his importance in his history is extremely underrated. Through Hewes’ memory, incredible detail is provided about the early patriotism in founding America.
George Hewes was a child of nine born into a poor family. As a shoemaker, he was very humble and seemed that he saw no pride in what was doing. Being a unusually small man and a Roman Catholic, Hewes was denied the ability to join the army. He struggled after marrying Sally Summer and having three children to provide for his family being a shoemaker. As the time passed with his participation in the events that led to the war, his political perception towards the world changed. Hewes became involved and eager in the events that led to the Revolutionary War. He developed firm beliefs in right and wrong, and stood for his what he believed in. During the time of all the events in Revolutionary War, Hewes had fifteen children. Despite being poor, he continued his patriotism and kind heart nature by continuing to do good deeds for people. Eventually he finally became recognized for his efforts after being discovered in the 1830s by writers eager for Revolutionary stories. His memories were rare and became the core of two books that preserved both his name. Because of the lack of records, Hewes was only ninety-three and was one of the last man alive that participated in the Boston Tea Party. The cover of The Shoemaker and The Tea Party is the portrait his family made for him in his return to Boston. When looking at the painting of him called the “The Centenarian”, he is a very well-dressed man rather than the middle class shoemaker that he really was.
The memories Hewes experiences follows being a by standard during Stamp Act of 1765. As tensions began to grow between the colonies and England, British troops were sent into the city of Massachusetts. The soldiers were not paid well nor did the colonists enjoy them taking over their jobs and homes. The first memory was the shooting of the eleven year old Christian Seider by a British soldier. Then on March 5th, Hewes was on scene for the second event, as barber’s apprentice was in an altercation with a soldier for the overdue. Soon a fight broke out resulting in a crowd of angry colonists defending the boy. Hewes was justified they had every right to be there and became upset with Captain Preston ordering the to back-off. As the shots were fired, Hewes’ vividly remembered James Caldwell falling into arms wounded. He has horrified with results that occurred from a confrontation by the people led to deaths. The second memory was not bloody, but involves Hewes fighting for his freedom. For Hewes, the Massacre had stirred him into political action. By saying stirred, Young evaluates Hewes for his eagerness to fight for his freedom. The Tea Party was Boston colonist’s way to prove for their willingness to commit. Hewes volunteers in the Boston Tea Party of