Laurens chose Hamilton as his second.²¹ Hamilton and Laurens arrived late to the duel, despite having chosen the location. J. C. Hamilton gives no date for this letter, but includes it with material for December, 1779 (JCHW description begins John C. Hamilton, ed., - He knew what he was doing when he ran on that battlefield at Combahee River - Here's a theory.
Tasked with stopping British foraging expeditions outside Charleston, Laurens found himself engaged in small skirmishes and intelligence gathering operations.On August 27, 1782, a British force of about five-hundred Tories and regulars headed up the Combahee River on an expedition to locate and capture supplies for the garrison of Charleston. It muddies the waters, but as historians it’s our job to dive… On July 14, 1779, Laurens Ternant will relate to you how many violent struggles I have had between duty and inclination—how much my heart was with you, while I appeared to be most actively employed here—but it appears to me that I shd be inexcusable in the light of a Citizen if I did not continue my utmost efforts for carrying the plan of black levies into execution, while there remains the smallest hope of success.Just two weeks before Lauren died in South Carolina, Hamilton It requires all the virtue and all the abilities of the Country.
John Laurens’s gravestone is inscribed with a fitting tribute: DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI “Sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s Country” Sources. As soon as the war ended Hamilton would be penniless and adrift, just as he had been before leaving Nevis. Once in America, Hamilton had a romantic relationship with Robert Troup, his roommate at King’s College, but it ended when Troup’s career, and then the war, took them in different directions.⁴ When George Washington invited Hamilton to leave his position as the captain of a New York artillery company and join Washington’s military “Family” as an aide-de-camp in March 1777, Hamilton had no idea that his time of being alone was almost over.⁵ That same year, John Laurens returned to his home country with his own broken heart.⁶ A romance in Europe with fellow South Carolinaian Francis Kinloch had ended painfully when Kinloch chose to remain loyal to Great Britain. Laurens’s response, however, seems to have been far more approval than Hamilton anticipated or wanted from Laurens. Laurens felt so strongly about the Revolution that he was willing to give up everything he had, and he became frustrated and angry when others were not willing to do the same.¹¹ Hamilton could easily match Laurens for passion, but Hamilton was more cynical; if he had ever expected that Americans could be trusted to make great sacrifices for liberty, two years of watching the Revolution bogged down in politics and self interest had changed his mind.¹² In John Laurens, Hamilton found the only example of how he believed every American should be. You know the opinion I entertain of mankind, and how much it is my desire to preserve myself free from particular attachments, and to keep my happiness independent on the caprice of others. Though the war would continue for two more years, this victory made a complete British triumph impossible, and left only the question of whether Britain would keep the territory it had managed to win.Hamilton wrote to his now six months pregnant wife on October 18th to tell her of the victory and inform her that he would begin his journey home in about two days.⁴⁶ While Schuyler did not take precedent in Hamilton’s life, the baby was a different story. His career of virtue is at an end. Congress approved the concept of a regiment of slaves in March 1779, and sent Laurens south to recruit a regiment of 3,000 black soldiers; however, the plan was opposed, and Laurens was ultimately unsuccessful. Laurens had long believed that the only way for South Carolina to make it through the war was to raise a battalion of slaves, promising them their freedom in return for service. But as you have done it and as we are generally indulgent to those we love, I shall not scruple to pardon the fraud you have committed, on condition that for my sake, if not for your own, you will always continue to merit the partiality, which you have so artfully instilled into ⟨me⟩.”In 1779, Laurens left Washington’s service when he was elected to the South Carolina state legislature.
He was portrayed by Anthony Ramos in the Broadway Production of Hamilton. Determined to return to South Carolina, and in the expectation of being freed by a prisoner exchange in November 1780, Laurens wrote to George Washington and requested a leave of absence from his service as aide-de-camp: My dear General. Laurens seems to have left a mark on the Hamilton family as well: Hamilton’s son John C. Hamilton (apparently named after John Church, though it is interesting to note that Hamilton gave the name John to his first son after Laurens’s death) named his son Laurens. Josiah George He goes on to tell Laurens that he will forgive him, as long as Laurens promises to continue to “merit” Hamilton’s love. Their stunning success led to victory at Yorktown and the surrender of General Cornwallis. By March, however, the military situation in South Carolina was beginning to become desperate, and Laurens decided it was time for him to return home. Over the next few months, Laurens and Hamilton settled into life in Washington’s Family. Laurens mentioned this to Hamilton in a letter written while they were briefly separated on assignments, informing Hamilton that someone needed to write a reply to Lee, and suggesting Hamilton do it because Laurens said “I do not think, either that I can rely upon my own knowledge of facts and style to answer him fully, or that it would be prudent to undertake it without counsel.”¹⁹ Laurens closed this letter “my dear boy.” Much has been written on the subject of Laurens’s choice of closings for different letters.
Great article and information! Laurens arrived at Charleston in April 1777. “Quit your sword my friend,” Hamilton beseeched Laurens, “put on the It is unclear how and when Hamilton learned of Laurens’s death. I feel the loss of a friend I truly and most tenderly loved, and one of a very small number.Buried near the battlefield, Laurens’ remains were later moved to his father’s plantation.
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