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Henry Laurens

Male 1724 - 1792  (68 years)


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  • Name Henry Laurens 
    Born 6 Mar 1723/24  Charleston , South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 8 Dec 1792  Mepkin Plantation, Charleston , South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I168571  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 20 Jan 2014 

    Family Eleanor Delamere Ball,   b. 10 Apr 1731, Charleston, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 May 1770, South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years) 
    Married 6 Jul 1750  South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Henry Laurens,   b. 25 Aug 1763, Charleston , South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1821, Charleston , South Carolina, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years)
    Last Modified 20 Jan 2014 
    Family ID F70619  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • (son of John Samuel Laurens and Esther Crosset)
      Henry Laurens (March 6, 1724 [O.S. February 24, 1723] \endash 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. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and President when the constitution was passed on November 15, 1777.
      Laurens had earned great wealth as a partner in the largest slave-trading house in North America (Austin and Laurens). In the 1750s alone, this Charleston firm oversaw the sale of more than 8,000 enslaved Africans. 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, a colonel in the Continental Army and officer on Washington's staff, believed that Americans could not fight for their own freedom while holding slaves. In 1779, he persuaded the Continental Congress to authorize the recruitment of a brigade (3000 men) of slaves, who would be given their freedom after the war. However, when he presented it to them, the South Carolina Provincial Congress overwhelmingly rejected the proposal, and instead voted to use confiscated slaves as payment to recruit more white soldiers. John Laurens was killed in a skirmish in South Carolina in 1782.