john laurens death letter

More battles and skirmishes were fought in South Carolina during the American Revolution than any other state, reported the Post and Courier in December 2019. “There’s nothing like standing in the place where it happened.”. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. ). There's a letter for you from South Carolina [HAMILTON] It's from John Laurens. Now that the site has been discovered, the Trust can include it in the South Carolina Liberty Trail, a driving route that calls attention to sites in the state where battles and skirmishes of the American Revolution took place. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. When he died, that important voice in what he was advocating for then disappeared.”, Hamilton lamented the untimely death of his friend.

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Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). Colonel John Laurens, a soldier and statesman from South Carolina, was killed in his home state on the banks of the Combahee River. No purchase necessary. One Hamilton blog notes that, considering how much the more-famous man wrote, his few words about the death of Laurens—just seven lines—speaks to either how little he cared, or how impossible it was for him to talk about. Photocopy. The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust exists to preserve and contextualize the state’s hundreds of military sites, about 200 of which date back to the Revolutionary War. He was.

Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. “We’ve identified 72 battlefields across the state that we’d like to preserve or interpret.”. That is, until now.

In the musical, Alexander Hamilton receives news of his friend Laurens’ death in a letter. He was paroled but killed two years later in a skirmish on Combahee River, South Carolina. Winner will be selected at random on 12/01/2020. A contingent of the Continental Army led by Brigadier General Mordecai Gist planned to intercept them at a ferry crossing. While surveying the ground for Revolutionary War-era artifacts, the archaeologists found an example of a “slave tag” dated to 1836, when the field was a rice mill, Atlas Obscura reports. Laurens advocated for manumission, or for slaveowners—including his father—to free the people they enslaved for labor.

There, he befriended Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton. “It’s going to be a chance for people to go out on car trips and visit these sites,” Doug Bostick, director of the SCBPT, tells Isaac Schultz at Atlas Obscura. The scene is not included in the soundtrack, so Laurens’ sudden death sometimes comes as a surprise to viewers. Since the site is still on an active hunting ground, it is not as accessible as the other couple hundred revolutionary sites.

Laurens was killed and the howitzer captured. “He’s an honest-to-god abolitionist in South Carolina in the 18th century,” Bostick tells Atlas Obscura. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. Cookie Policy Terms of Use

The letter is … The team found the spot where the Battle of Tar Bluff was fought by combining historical evidence like a hand-drawn map with modern technology like LIDAR and metal detectors. California Do Not Sell My Info Vote Now! “He loves the idea of fighting for the Patriot cause; he was not going to turn this opportunity down. But while the ramparts of Yorktown were preserved—as were other Revolutionary War sites, such as the places where Alexander Hamilton and George Washington died—the location of Laurens’s last battle was lost to time. Fifty years after American independence, on the very ground where an abolitionist had died for his country, the young United States was still profiting from slavery. The footwear would have been well-suited to tromping through the London mud that preserved it. The day he died, in August 1782, he was just 27 years old. Bostick tells Atlas Obscura that he can point to the site of Laurens’ death within 30 feet. Not all of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust’s work is about solving historical mysteries. Some archaeological finds—including a tag from an enslaved person dating to 1836—point to the afterlife of the site, as a rice mill.

It requires … All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. But Laurens wasn’t roaming around to help clear out the redcoats, despite the fact that he had enlisted with Nathanael Green’s wing of the army. Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. He wanted to make his mark as a young officer,” says Doug Bostick, the director of the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust. In 1772 he was admitted to Middle Temple, London, to study law. I'll read it later [LAURENS] But I will gladly join the fight [ELIZA] No.

Still, when he got word that American forces were moving down the Combahee to intercept some Brits, who were said to be hungry enough to pillage nearby rice farms, Laurens sprang into action. But while Laurens’ troops set up their howitzer artillery, a large-caliber cannon with a short barrel built to fire clusters of grapeshot, the British spotted them, according to a SCBPT statement.

He was bedridden, possibly sick with malaria, when he received word of the upcoming skirmish. John Laurens (1754-1782) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Henry Laurens (the president of Congress) and Eleanor Ball Laurens. © 2020 Atlas Obscura.

In the musical, Alexander Hamilton receives news of his friend Laurens’ death in a letter. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy.

Letters reveal he had a passionate relationship with John Laurens. In the show, a young Laurens challenges an older general, Charles Lee, to a duel after Lee talks smack about Washington.

“Laurens got out of his sick bed because he could smell a fight coming.”. Using metal detectors, they found musket balls, a bayonet and howitzer grapeshot strewn across the battlefield.

When he died, that important voice in what he was advocating for then disappeared.”, Theresa Machemer is a freelance writer based in Washington DC.

Laurens reportedly fell from his horse and was buried near the site.

But on their way out of town, they raided local rice fields and plantations. Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. Once historic sites are identified, there’s still the work of restoring and preserving them on both public and private land. [item identification], John Laurens letter, MS 483, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia. 4.0 p. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. “The weight of the lead balls we found gave away the caliber, which gave away the weapon, which gave away which army was firing, and from there, we were able to paint a pretty clear picture of the Battle of Tar Bluff,” he says. (The state had assumed the battle was at the Hanging Rock geological formation, when in fact it was adjacent to it.) United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783. Website:, Continue

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, where he was first portrayed by actor Anthony Ramos.

In the summer of 1782, the British forces that remained in South Carolina had taken refuge in colonial Charlestown, while American militias marched across the state as they solidified their near-victory.

Report on military situation after the failure of the Savannah siege; reinforcements necessary; mentions Count d'Estaing. This slave trade is well known to historians, but this is the first known wreck from it. “All during his military career, [Laurens] has shown reckless bravery,” archaeologist Mike Yianopoulos, who led the work at the Tar Bluff battlefield, tells the Post and Courier. or “It’s going to be a chance for people to go out on car trips and visit these sites,” Bostick says. Why Did Ancient Egyptian Scribes Use Lead-Based Ink? 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). It helps to be curious, low to the ground, and not afraid to look a little silly. The letter is a photocopy of the original in the New York Public Library. John Laurens was born in Charleston into a wealthy family that made its fortune from the sale of enslaved Africans.

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society.

Laurens returned to America in 1777 to fight in the Revolutionary War; he was wounded at Germantown. Offer subject to change without notice. Some of it is about updating historical information that may be dated or imprecise. There’s a painful irony in the Antebellum-era “slave tags” that were discovered on the field where Laurens died. At the time, British forces were close to defeat; they had lost badly at Yorktown the previous October. A sizable group of British soldiers beat the smaller, underpowered American force to the banks of the river. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed.

With some help from his father—Henry Laurens was also a member of the Continental Congress—the young Laurens was able to snag a position as an aide-de-camp for George Washington. Archaeologists with the South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust have located the battlefield where Revolutionary War officer John Laurens died in 1782, Adam Parker reports for the Post and Courier. As the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War approaches, the path Laurens took to his death—the aptly-named “Laurens Run”—is set to be conserved as a trail. The field where Laurens was ambushed was later the site of two Civil War skirmishes. “We’d like to preserve as many of the Revolutionary War battlefields as we can,” Bostick tells the Post and Courier.

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Lee also reportedly called Laurens and Hamilton “earwigs.”) After Laurens fought at the Battle of Brandywine, Marquis de Lafayette said, “It was not his fault that he was not killed or wounded … he did everything that was necessary to procure one or t’other.”, Laurens was notable not only for the company he kept and the dangers he faced, but for the causes he championed. When the Americans arrived at a place called Tar Bluff, the British ambushed them, barraging the revolutionaries with grapeshot—heavy, spherical lead rounds that were often assembled in clusters resembling a metal bunch of grapes. Is this Rome's first beachhead in the Isles?

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