John Laurens letter to Henry Laurens

John Laurens letter to Henry Laurens

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Laurens, John, 1754-1782
Title: John Laurens letter to Henry Laurens
Dates: 1774 December 7
Quantity: 1.0 folder (1 letter)
Coll. Number: ms722

Biographical/Historical Note

John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. He gained approval by the Continental Congress in 1779 to recruit a regiment of 3000 slaves by promising them freedom in return for fighting. He died in 1782, but his father manumitted their slaves as he had intended.

"Henry Laurens (March 6, 1724 [O.S. February 24, 1723] – December 8, 1792) was an American merchant and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as President of the Congress.

Laurens had earned part of his wealth by operating the largest slave-trading house in North America. In the 1750s alone, his Charleston firm oversaw the sale of more than 8,000 enslaved Africans.[2] He was for a time Vice-President of South Carolina and a diplomat to the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War. He was captured at sea and imprisoned for some time by the British in the Tower of London.

His son John Laurens persuaded the Continental Congress to allow slaves to enlist in exchange for freedom and was authorized to recruit a regiment (3000 men). He believed that Americans could not fight for their own freedom while slaves were held. After John died during the war, the senior Laurens later freed his slaves, as his son had urged."

Source: "Henry Laurens." Wikipedia.

Scope and Content Note

A letter from John Laurens, Chancery Lane on December 7, 1774, to his father Henry Laurens, Charleston, South Carolina regarding England's reaction to the revolt of the American colonies, including that of the Parliament, the King, and Lord North.

Index Terms

Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Foreign public opinion.
United States--Politics and government--To 1775.

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Laurens letter to Henry Laurens, ms 722 Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Letter was laid in publication of the Bradford Club, no. 7, in C. C. Jones manuscript collection.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Letter, 1774 December 7