John Laurens letter
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John Laurens letter

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Laurens, John, 1754-1782.
Title: John Laurens letter
Dates: 1779
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0483

Biographical/Historical Note

John Laurens (1754-1782) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Laurens (the president of Congress) and Eleanor Ball Laurens. In 1772 he was admitted to Middle Temple, London, to study law. He married Martha Maning of London in October 1776; she died in France in 1781. Laurens returned to America in 1777 to fight in the Revolutionary War; he was wounded at Germantown. Laurens fought under General Washington for much of the war and in 1778 defended Washington's honor in a duel with Major-General Charles Lee (Lee was wounded). In 1779, Laurens was elected to the South Carolina Assembly, but he withdrew in order to remain in active duty. When Charleston, South Carolina, was captured in 1780, Laurens was taken prisoner. He was paroled but killed two years later in a skirmish on Combahee River, South Carolina.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a letter from John Laurens to his father, Henry Laurens, 1779, reporting on the military situation after the failure of the Savannah siege and stating the necessity of reinforcements. In the letter, Laurens mentions Count d'Estaing. The letter is a photocopy of the original in the New York Public Library.

Index Terms

Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794.
Georgia--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Laurens, John, 1754-1782.
Letters (correspondence)
Savannah (Ga.)--History--Siege, 1779.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.

Location of Originals

Original letter in the New York Public Library.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], John Laurens letter, MS 483, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Alexander A. Lawrence, 1953.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

Item 1: John Laurens to Henry Laurens, 1779 October 23 ( 4.0 p. )
Sent from Charles Town. Report on military situation after the failure of the Savannah siege; reinforcements necessary; mentions Count d'Estaing. Photocopy.