"A Narrative of the Capture of Henry Laurens, of His Confinement in the Tower of London," 1780


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Document Description:

Henry Laurens, a native of Charleston, became an important figure in the Revolutionary War, serving as a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress and later as its president. In 1780, Laurens was appointed as Minister to Holland by the congress. While sailing to Holland to carry out his duties, Laurens was captured by the British. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London until December 1781, when he was exchanged for Lord Cornwallis. These excerpts from Laurens' account of his imprisonment detail the conditions of his confinement. An integral figure in the Revolutionary War, Laurens and his imprisonment shed light into the political aspects of the war.

Note: The copy shown here is from an 1857 printing of some of the South Carolina Historical Society's collections. The Historical Society no longer owns an original version of Lauren's narrative.


Laurens, Henry. "A Narrative of the Capture of Henry Laurens, of His Confinement in the Tower of London, &c., 1780, 1781, 1782." In Collections of The Historical Society of South Carolina, Vol. 1, 46 & 57-8.  Charleston, SC: S.G. Courtney & Co for the South Carolina Historical Society, 1857.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 8-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution—the beginnings of the new American nation and South Carolina’s part in the development of that nation.
Indicator 8-2.2 Compare the perspectives and roles of different South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including those of political leaders, soldiers, partisans, Patriots, Tories/Loyalists, women, African Americans, and Native Americans.
Indicator 8-2.4 Summarize events related to the adoption of South Carolina’s first constitution, the role of South Carolina and its leaders in the Continental Congress, and the ratification of the United States Constitution, including Henry Laurens’s actions, Charles Pinckney’s role, and the importance of issues debated during the Philadelphia Convention for South Carolina.
Note: Although this document was originally posted as part of a lesson specifically designed to teach the above standard(s), other Social Studies Standards may apply.


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Lessons Using This Document:

Henry Laurens in the Tower of London

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