Henry Laurens

Henry Laurens (1725 - 1792)

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Henry Laurens
Born in Charles Town, South Carolinamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in St. John's Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolinamap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Feb 2010 | Last significant change: 14 Nov 2018
18:32: Nicolas LaPointe edited the Biography for Henry Laurens (1725-1792). [Thank Nicolas for this]
This page has been accessed 1,037 times.

Categories: Berkeley County, South Carolina, Slave Owners | American Founding Fathers | Signers of the Articles of Confederation | President of the Continental Congress | Namesakes US Counties | American Revolution | South Carolina Notables.

U.S. Continental Congress President
This person was a President of the US Continental Congress
Join: US Presidents Project
Henry Laurens served during the American Revolution
Service started:
Service ended:
Preceded by
4th President
John Hancock III
Henry Laurens
5th President
of the Continental Congress
1 Nov 1777 - 10 Dec 1778
Succeeded by
6th President
John Jay



Henry Laurens is Notable.

Henry Laurens



Henry was born March 6, 1724 at Charles Town (Charleston), South Carolina. He was a son of John Laurens and Esther Grasset.[2] However, his headstone indicates a birth of February 24, 1725.[3] The family were French Huguenots (John Calvin Protestants).[4]

Early Life

Henry received his education at Charles Town and after a three year trip to London to work with James Crokatt in international business, he returned to Charles Town and opened his own import export business in 1747.[2]

Slave Trader

Henry was partners in the Charleston slave trading company, Austin and Laurens. They had the contract to action the Grant, Oswald & Company slaves from Sierra Leone, West Africa who were imported through the infamous Bunce Castle. Henry's company provided him a handsome income at 10% commission for the eight thousand slaves they sold during the 1750's.[4] He also imported other goods, but by far his most profitable was slaves.

Rice Planter

The three thousand acre Mepkin plantation outside of Charleston was the place Henry made his home. He eventually acquired three substantial plantations in South Carolina and several in Georgia, too. He grew rice and indigo, owning some twenty thousand acres in total.[5]


Henry married on 06 July 1750, South Carolina to Eleanor Delamere Ball, "Nelly." She died in 1770.[5]

Henry and Eleanor had fourteen children, but only four survived to adulthood, and only three outlived Henry.[6] Three of these were sons who Henry sent to London for their educations.[5]

  1. John b October 28, 1754
  2. Eleanor b 1755, d 1764
  3. Martha b November 3, 1759, m. Dr. David Ramsay
  4. Henry Jr. b July 23, 1763, d May 27, 1821, m. Elizabeth Rutledge
  5. Mary Eleanor b April 26, 1770, m. Charles Pinckney

American Independence

Henry made significant contributions to the American Revolution and to the adoption of the constitution. He served on the committee in 1783 which negotiated with Great Britain for approval of the treaty which recognized American independence.[4]


Henry died December 8, 1792 and was cremated and ashes buried at Mepkin in St. John's Parish, Berkeley County, South Carolina.


Laurens Family Cemetery, Moncks Corner, Berkeley, South Carolina
Find A Grave Memorial# 6780566


  • Laurens County, South Carolina is named in his honor.


  1. Source: Image Citation: National Archive. Accessed 9 March 2015. URL: http://www.archives.gov/research/military/american-revolution/pictures/images/revolutionary-war-092.jpg
  1. From the National Archives: Henry Laurens
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Klos, Stan "President Henry Laurens", Web accessed July 14, 2014
  3. Find A Grave: Memorial #6780566
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ross, Mrs. Andrew "The Huguenots" The Connecticut Nutmegger. (Vol 18 1985, Page 5) Glastonbury, CT: Connecticut Society of Genealogists, 1970-. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.) Web accessed July 14, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 American Eras, "Laurens, Henry (1724-1792)." 1997. Encyclopedia.com. Web accessed 14 Jul. 2014
  6. Wallace, David D., The Life of Henry Laurens With a Sketch of the Life of Lieutenant-Colonel John Laurens, (Pages 58-59) New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1915, Web accessed July 14, 2014

See also:


  • Thank you to Cathryn Hallett Hondros for her contribution of the digital image from the National Archives to this profile on 9 March 2015.

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No known carriers of Henry's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Henry Laurens
Henry Laurens

Henry Laurens
Henry Laurens

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On 1 Feb 2018 at 21:46 GMT William Collins wrote:

https://archive.org/details/lifehenrylauren00wallgoog gives a fair amount of the history of Henry.

On 9 Mar 2015 at 21:41 GMT Cathryn (Hallett) Hondros wrote:

Henry is 21 degrees from Rosa Parks, 22 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 16 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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