Reenactor Noah Lewis is Honored to Portray Artillerist Edward Hector

November 27th, 2018 History,News and Events

When Noah Lewis arrived for his first Christmas reenactment at Washington Crossing Historic Park, he wasn’t wearing a regimental coat.

This was 15 years ago, and Noah had just gotten serious about being a reenactor.

A fellow reenactor had promised to bring him a regimental coat, but he didn’t arrive. Noah couldn’t stand the thought of missing out on the reenactment, even in the brutal cold, so he went ahead without one.

After Washington’s speech, which Noah listened to while shaking from the cold, a spectator approached and noted that Noah was doing a great job of looking cold.

Since then, he’s perfected his depiction. Noah’s friends even call him “Ned,” the nickname for the black artillerist and war hero that he portrays: Edward Hector.

“My perception of blacks at the time was that they were all either poor manual laborers or slaves,” Noah says. “But as I learned about Hector, I realized that just wasn’t true. It’s quite possible that without their contribution, the Continental Army wouldn’t have won.”

Hector was, as Noah describes him, a free man, a hero of the Battle of Brandywine, and one of the first blacks to fiddle in Conshohocken.

“The neat thing about learning about Hector,” Noah says, “is that it’s like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle where you find that one elusive piece that brings it all together. It’s a real honor to portray this man. Black contributors to our freedom really deserve proper credit.”