John Laurens was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War, best known for his criticism of slavery and his efforts to help recruit slaves to fight for their freedom as U.S. soldiers. In 1779, Laurens gained approval from the Continental Congress for his plan to recruit a brigade of 3,000 slaves by promising them freedom in return for fighting. The plan was defeated by political opposition in South Carolina, and Laurens was killed in the Battle of the Combahee River in August 1782.
|Born:||October 28, 1754, Charleston, South Carolina, British America, (now Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.)|
|Died:||August 27, 1782, Combahee River, near Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Buried at:||Laurens Family Cemetery, Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, South Carolina, U.S.|
|Years of service:||1777–1782|
|Battles/wars:||American Revolutionary War, Battle of Brandywine (WIA), Battle of Germantown (WIA), Battle of Monmouth (WIA), Battle of Coosawhatchie (WIA), Siege of Savannah, Siege of Yorktown, Battle of the Combahee River †|
|Spouse(s):||Martha Manning Laurens (1757–1781)|
|Relations:||Henry Laurens (father, 1724–1792), Eleanor Ball (mother, 1731–1770), Martha Laurens Ramsay (sister, 1759–1811)|
About John Laurens
Soldier and statesman during the American Revolutionary War who became known for his criticism of slavery. He was portrayed by Anthony Ramos in the acclaimed musical Hamilton.
He was tutored at home before his mother died. His father then took him to England to finish his education.
His life came to an end during the Battle of the Combahee River.
He married Martha Manning in 1776. He had siblings named Frances, Martha, Henry, James, and Mary, and was born to parents Henry Laurens and Eleanor Ball.
He developed a close relationship with Alexander Hamilton.
Information related to John Laurens
- https://archive.org/details/yourDutifulSonJohnLaurens-ExcerptsFromHisCorrespondenceWithHis Your Dutiful Son, John Laurens (excerpts from Laurens’ correspondence with his father)
- https://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent:”Laurens, John” Correspondent:”Hamilton, Alexander” National Archives: Founders Online (correspondence of Laurens and Hamilton)
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