Agnes Danforth Hewes

Agnes Danforth Hewes (1874–1963) was born in Tripoli to missionary parents and her formative years in Lebanon inspired a lifelong love of foreign cultures. She was awarded the Newbery Honor for Glory of the Seas (1934) and The Codfish Musket (1937) as well as for Spice and the Devil's Cave (1931).

Her other titles include Spice Ho!, With the Will to Go, Two Oceans to Canton: The Story of Old China Trade, A Boy of the Lost Crusade, The Iron Doctor, Anabel's Windows, Swords on the Sea, The Golden Sleeve, and The Sword of Roland Arnot.



Agnes Danforth Hewes was an American writer of children"s literature, three times a runner-up for the annual Newbery Medal


Hewes was born in Tripoli, Lebanon (then part of Syria), to medical missionary parents working for the American Presbytery Board of Missions, Galen Bancroft Danforth and Emily Reynolds Calhoun Danforth. Galen had graduated from Amherst College in 1867 and then studied medicine in Germany and Edinburgh, eventually following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a medical doctor, receiving his medical degree from New York University in 1871.

Her early childhood overseas had a huge influence on her life and writing. Hewes's father died of a fever and pneumonia on July 9, 1875—shortly after she was born—in Lebanon, and her mother died on January 12, 1881. Hewes was left in the care of a nurse and household servants.

Hewes's maternal grandfather was another missionary, Doctor (Rev) Simeon Howard Calhoun.

Calhoun died in Buffalo, New York, on December 13, 1876. Review Simeon and Emily Calhoun"s other daughter, Susan Howard Calhoun (Hewes" aunt) married Review

Charles Newton Ransom and they were also missionaries in Lebanon. These formative years in Lebanon greatly inspired Hewes"s lifelong love of foreign lands and cultures:

My fairy godmother"s priceless gift to me was to let me live my first twelve years in Syria.

That, in a nutshell, is my feeling about Syria! That is why I wrote my first book, because I loved Syria so much—its magnificent brilliant scenery, its dear warm-hearted people, its customs come down from the Bible times, its beautiful dignified speech, its rich historical background—that I wanted American children to love it, to see it with my eyes.

I felt as if no one could afford to miss knowing my Syria. I feel so still. Hewes apparently graduated from Elmira College, in Elmira, New New York They had several children between 1902–1916, including Mary, who wrote a book about her mother in 1967.

Hewes wrote her first of many youth books in 1923, several of which dealt with culture clashes and early international trade.

She eventually settled in San Francisco, California, and died there on September 30, 1963.

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6 Items found
Boy of the Lost Crusade
by Agnes Hewes, illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren
from Houghton Mifflin
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Codfish Musket
by Agnes Hewes, illustrated by Armstrong Sperry
from Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc.
for 8th-12th grade
1937 Newbery Honor Book
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$45.00 (1 in stock)
Coonskin for a General
by Alma B, Weber, et al., illustrated by Kurt Werth
from American Book Co.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage History & Biographies (Location: VIN-HIS)
Glory of the Seas
by Agnes Hewes, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth
1934 Newbery Honor Book
Spice and the Devil's Cave
by Agnes Hewes, illustrated by Lynd Ward
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
for 7th-10th grade
1931 Newbery Honor Book
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Spice and the Devil's Cave
by Agnes Hewes, illustrated by Lynd Ward
from Dover Publications
for 4th-10th grade
1931 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)