A Description of Presentation  

Heritage Consulting Inc.

Get to know: Ned Hector

November 13, 2009 by Donna Ann Harris

Ned Hector is a Revolutionary War hero, a free black man, who was a teamster and noted for his courage during the retreat from the Battle of Brandywine, where he refused to give up his horses, wagon and the armaments he was carrying. Noah Lewis of Upper Darby, PA brings Edward “Ned” Hector to life as a costumed educator at presentations for children and adults alike at schools, clubs and historic sites. We were introduced to Noah by Judy Anastasi, President of the Norwood Historical Society in Delaware County, as an exemplary historian and teacher, as we continue our research for the Delaware County Public History Feasibility Study and Implementation Plan. Noah dresses in costume of the Third Pennsylvania Artillery Company to bring his message—his passion—about the role of African-Americans in the Colonial fight for freedom during the Revolutionary War. Noah says he is an unlikely person to serve as a Revolutionary War costumed interpreter given his background, but he is a convincing and meticulous researcher about his character, Ned. Noah uses both first person and third person interpretation throughout his presentations, which allows him, as Ned Hector, to explore universal themes about liberty, courage and responsibility. His teaching has been lauded throughout the region and he returns year after year to certain elementary and middle schools as teachers continue to invite him to bring Revolutionary War lessons to life. You should get to know more about Ned Hector and Noah Lewis. View the web site at www.nedhector.com for more information.

A Sample of Ned Hector's Classroom Presentation  

Photo: Michael Perez/Philadelphia Inquirer


Ned runs into the room with a look of panic; he cautiously peers out a window).
“To arms, to arms! The Red Coats have broken through our lines!”

He then looks around at the unfamiliar surroundings
“Where are the Red Coats, and who are you?”

The teacher asks, “Tell us who are you first?”

Ned confirms that the teacher is a patriot. Then Ned gives the teacher a paper to be read aloud.
“My orders.”

  March 10, 1777

Let it be known that Edward “Ned” Hector has been assigned to
Captain Hercules Courtney’s unit of the
3rd Pennsylvania Artillery Company. From there he is ordered to
report to Colonel Proctor’s Regiment in Brandywine, Pennsylvania for
the defense of Philadelphia.

There under the command of General Washington he is
to serve to halt and repel the advancing British forces.



After his orders are read, Ned states

“Last thing I remember is the Red Coats breaking through our lines and over-running our position. I ran into an odd fog and here I am.

It was our assignment to stop the Red Coats from taking Philadelphia. Or at least to slow them down enough so the Continental Congress could relocate our capital from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.

You see, if our leaders, Jefferson or Franklin or Adams are caught, they will be hung as traitors and our efforts to be free will end.

I hope we won’t be remembered as cowards. When the soldiers at Brandywine ran we left a lot of rifles and cannons. I went back and saved what I could to keep those thieving red coats from using them against us. I had charge of the ammunition wagons for the artillery. And I will not let them have it!

Why should I, a black man, risk my life to fight for a country that enslaves my people?

I’d heard the words of Jefferson. About how “all men were created equal and endowed with unalienable rights by God.” Like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

They are grand sounding words. I hope he meant them. They may not be true for many of my people now,

but I hope with God’s help some day they will be. That is, if we can win.

You know there’s a lot of us colored people that feel the same. I hears about 3000 or more of us are fighting.

Of course you know that lying ol’ King George promised freedom to all slaves who would fight for the king. But it does not figure, look at how he treats his own people.

He taxes the colonies without representation. We can only buy things with his stamp on it. He treats us all like slaves.

I’d heard in Boston the boys did something about it. They gave fat ol’ King George a tea party he’ll never forget!

But enough of such things.”


Typical Engagement Questions

If this is the future then pray tell me… Did we win?

What happened to the General?

What’s a president?

Why are you dressed so oddly?


Ned’s Observations

Blacks and Whites learning together equally.

There are girls in the class.

There are so many different people of such I have never known. (if other cultures are present )


Rifle Demonstration (no powder or shot)

Explain expressions such as “lock, stock and barrel,” “flash in the pan,” and “go off half cocked.”


A Plea to be Remembered

Remember we who fought.

Remember why we fought.

Remember not to give up your freedom nor abuse it.

Remember freedom came at a high price. Many of my dear friends have died trying to win it. And if need be I will too!



I’ve got to find my way back to my regiment. Who knows one person can make a difference. Maybe I’m the one … maybe you are. Bye!


For more information contact:
Noah Lewis

11 Wellington Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082-3320


  Copyright NTLewis 2004