Together, they met with King Louis XVI, among others. Loyalists had notified the British of Laurens’s plans, and they prepared an ambush. Laurens returned from France in time to see the French fleet arrive and to join Washington in Virginia at the Siege of Yorktown. John fought at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. With the American and French victory at Yorktown, John’s father Henry Laurens would finally be released from the Tower on December 31, 1781, in exchange for General Lord Cornwallis. The New York Times & Arno Press, New York, New York, 1969. "We have sunk the Africans & their descendants below the Standard of Humanity," he wrote, "and almost render'd them incapable of that Blessing which equal Heaven bestow'd upon us all." If you want to search for records for any name in this family tree, or for any other family name, just click below on the first letter of the family name you are interested in. For two years beginning in June 1772, he and one brother attended school in Geneva, Switzerland, where they lived with a family friend.  After Henry Laurens returned from imprisonment in London, he had his son's remains moved and reinterred on his own property, the Mepkin Plantation. He was first named a delegate to the Continental Congress on January 10, 1777, and served in the Congress from then until 1780. Once he was no longer a prisoner of the British, Congress appointed Laurens, at Hamilton’s suggestion, as a diplomat to France. When the war began, John was studying law in London. Young John grew up benefiting from the enslavement economy. ", On August 26, Laurens reported to General Mordecai Gist near the Combahee River. Lafayette observed, "It was not his fault that he was not killed or wounded [at Brandywine,] he did everything that was necessary to procure one or t'other. ", Upon his release, Laurens was unwillingly appointed by Congress in December 1780 as a special minister to France. 8087933, citing Laurens Family Cemetery, Moncks Corner, Berkeley County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave . With dire circumstances in the south, Congress resolved, “That it be recommended to the states of South Carolina and Georgia, if they shall think the same expedient, to take measures immediately for raising three thousand able bodied negroes.” Congress also suggested that the blacks be formed into separate battalions “according to the arrangements adopted for the main army, to be commanded by white commissioned and non-commissioned officers.” Despite all this, when Laurens brought the proposal before the South Carolina state legislature, he was met with hostility and protest. He camped with Washington’s army at Valley Forge during the brutal winter of 1777–1778 and then distinguished himself once more at the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey in June 1778. John Laurens was a descendant of Huguenots, who fled France for religious liberty. While doing reconnaissance for the Continental Army, under the leadership of Baron von Steuben, Laurens’ horse was shot out from underneath him; Laurens himself survived with minor injuries. John returned to America in May and returned to the service of General Washington. He was the President of the Continental Congress from November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778. National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C. John Laurens was the oldest son of Henry Laurens, a South Carolina plantation owner and trader of enslaved people, and Eleanor Ball, a planter’s daughter. He embarked for Charleston in December 1776, leaving his pregnant wife behind in London with her family. John and his two younger brothers, Henry Jr. and James, were tutored at home, but after the death of their mother, their father took them to England for their education. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. Upon reaching Charleston, Laurens was put in charge of some rear guard troops who were in danger of being overrun by the enemy.
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