The Papers of Henry Laurens


[Page 312]

Henry Laurens to Lachlan McIntosh

Dear Sir_

Having but a very Short time allowed for Saving this opportunity I can barely write the needful in Answer to your favours of 20th. Ulto. & 8th. Inst.
I have, although never was Man in my Situation of Life driven to greater difficulties to raise Money, advanced £226.5 to Mr. Charles Johnston[1] & thereby ransomed your Negroes Ben & Glasgow_ the difference between that Sum & the Account which you Sent me arises from a Charge for printed Advertisements_[2] there will be a further Acct. for Work House ffees of about £25_ which I Shall pay when they are taken out_
they have in the most possitive terms declared they would not return to your plantation willingly_ if they are carried there by force[Page 313] they will leave it again the very first opportunity_[3] these declarations incline me to follow that part of your instruction for Selling them which I Shall endeavour to do upon the best terms as to time price & Credit_

I remain &ca_

LB, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed "Lachlan McIntosh / forwarded by Mr Dupon"; dated "19th. August. 1775_".
[1.] Charles Johnston was a partner in the firm of John Simpson & Co., with John Simpson and James Graham. HL to John Simpson & Co., Aug. 16, 1775, HL Papers, ScHi; The Papers of Henry Laurens, VI, 419n.
[2.] John Simpson & Co. gave notice in the S.C. General Gazette, July 7, that three Negroes brought to Charleston by the packet boat from Pensacola had been lodged in the Charleston workhouse. Two of the men—Ben and Glasgow—said they had run away from Lachlan McIntosh about a year earlier. All three had sought refuge in the Creek Nation. The owners could claim their slaves by paying the charges for lodging at the workhouse and the advertisement.
[3.] Mclntosh claimed that both slaves had been loyal and were the most valuable servants he owned until they were induced to run away "with that Villain the Indian Doctor who conveyed them to the Nation." Mclntosh noted that both men, Ben 40 years of age and Glasgow 25, were able sawyers, boatmen, and shingle makers, and that they were "of the Corrsmann or Congo Country." Despite their value to him, McIntosh instructed that they be sold at Charleston "to save any further Expence or risque." McIntosh to George Houstoun, [July 26], 1775, Lilla Mills Hawes, ed., Lachlan McIntosh Papers in the University of Georgia Libraries, University of Georgia Miscellaneous Publications, No. 7 (Athens, Ga., 1968), p. 14.