George Hewes Meeting with John Hancock
An interesting fact from George Hewes biography was the circumstances of his meeting with John Hancock. When Hewes was a shoemaker apprentice in 1763 he had a chance to repair shoes for John Hancock. When Mr. Hewes delivered his work to Hancock’s house he was invited to have a drink to his health.
On New Years day…George washed his face, and put on in his best jacket on, and went to John Hancock’shouse. George was very nervous. His heart was in his mouth. When he arrived at the door heknocked and took his hat off. Hancock’s servant answered the door.
“Is Squire Hancock at home, Sir?” asked Hewes while bowing to the servant.
Hewes was taken directly to the kitchen by the servant and asked to seat himself whilethe servant went upstairs to get Mr. Hancock. The servant returned from upstairs with a newlook of civility on his face. The servant escorted Hewes to Hancock’s sitting room and left himto take it upon himself to bow when Mr. Hancock entered the room. Hancock rememberedHewes when he entered the room where Hewes was left. When Hancock entered the room,Hewes stood and bowed to the rich merchant as a sign of his respect.
“Very well, my lad,” said Hancock, “now take a chair.”
Hewes sat down, scared the entire time “almost to death” he recalled, while Hancockput his hand into his pocket and pulled out a royal coin which he placed softly in Hewes hand.At the same time, Hancock thanked Hewes for his compliments and for being on time.Hancock then invited the young man to drink to his health. Hancock extended his glass toHewes and the clicked one another in a gentlemanly manner. Still very nervous, Hewesguzzled his drink and left quickly, but not before Hancock politely invited Hewes to return thenext New Year for a similar exchange.