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One of the most interesting figures to emerge from the American Revolution was John Laurens. Laurens was born October 28, 1754 in Charleston, South Carolina. Though being from the south, he was passionately anti-slavery. His father was a member of Congress and owned a large rice plantation. His father also operated one of the most successful slave markets in the country.


  • You can visit his grave at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina.
  • One of the most interesting figures to emerge from the American Revolution was John Laurens. Laurens was born October 28, 1754 in Charleston, South Carolina. Though being from the south, he was passionately anti-slavery. His father was a member of Congress and owned a large rice plantation. His father also operated one of the most successful slave markets in the country.

Because of his father’s rules, Laurens was not allowed to join the Continental Army until after he finished law school. He finally was allowed to join the army during the Philadelphia Campaign. After joining, he was immediately welcomed into George Washington’s military family. He quickly made friends with Alexander Hamilton and Marquis de Lafayette. He was made an Aide de Camp of Washington and awarded the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Laurens was very loyal to the American cause but saw an issue with one thing, slavery. Laurens, Hamilton and Lafayette successfully urged Washington to arm slaves and allow them to be free in return for military service.During the Southern Campaign of the war Laurens worked to recruit African-Americans into the Continental Army. 

Laurens served for a short time as an American minister to France, but returned home in time to participate in the Battle of Yorktown, where he led troops under Alexander Hamilton in the storming of Redoubt #10. Almost a year after the American victory at Yorktown, Laurens was killed in a fight with British forces at the Battle of Combahee River on August 27, 1782. You can visit his grave at Mepkin Abbey in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. 

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2019, October 24). John Laurens. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Laurens

John Laurens. (2019, October 24). Retrieved from https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/john-laurens

John Laurens (1754-1782) - Find A Grave Memorial. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8087933/john-laurens

Image Sources(Click to expand)

John Laurens (1754-1782) - Find A Grave Memorial. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8087933/john-laurens

John Laurens. (2020, March 23). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Laurens