The Papers of Henry Laurens

[Page 317]

Henry Laurens to James Laurens

My Dear Brother

My late Letters to you have been dated the 24th. June per Rabbit, Capt Fraser. 2d. 19th. July per Sandwich Packet Scorpion Man of War 19th. per Sandwich Packet.
For Public News I refer to your Nephew J Laurens to whom I have written a very long Letter by this conveyance.
Your Accounts of Sale remain unperfected, I have scarcely seen Mr. Petrie since my last perhaps owing to my almost total absence from home_ I will make a point of sending for him some day this Week in order to state an Accot. & transmit it to you by Capt Wilson_[1] Mr. Hawkins who is in a poor state of health dined with me some 5 days ago & consulted on the propriety of Packing up his most valuable Goods to be in readiness to send in the Country, I encouraged it by shewing him that I was doing so at home_ Mepkin will be our first stage in case of need_ he complains heavily of some of the purchasers at your Sale & has made no additional Payment of Money._ Mr. Graves is now employed on the Company Books with whose conduct Mr. Hawkins is well pleased.
Auba is well_ Betty with her, in Idleness as to you, & not yet brought to Bed_ Ishmael was here to day_ George is plagued by those excrescences on his Shoulder which you knew of, now much increased & I beleive he has been too cowardly to submit to the Doctors knife this last Week_ Wise[2] Doctor Garden assured me a few Days ago they might be taken off with safety & not much pain. Chloe has deducted 3 days last Week for Sickness which is all the Certificate she produced of her invalidity_ Statira cost you 10/. tother day & lost one of her Teeth by it_ Cato I see about the Street very fat, I am to dispute the point with his present Master about a Livery which he demands but I will not grant_
I have seen Mrs. Petrie[3] twice & Mrs. Rattray once since you left us & Mrs. Bampfield not much oftner_ but they are all well_
[Page 318]
I lately Paid Mr. Ralph[4] the Balance of your Account £148.11.6 but you had deducted £10.16.3_ to which he submitted altho he could not account for it. I promised to mention it to you_ this Man is in a way to be much distressed by slackness in his Trade, I am contriving to help him._ many other Tradesmen are also suffering._
Mr. Hawkins tells me he has a large Sum of Currency belonging to the Company but can meet with no Bills, I have a prospect of helping him to some in a Week or two but I suppose a very high Exchange will be demanded_ Mr. LePoole assures me he has been offered 805. that is 15 per Cent._ bad for those whose necessities require Remittances in Sterling_ but Beef is still 18d. per weight & we shall have a superabundance of Flour Rice & Corn in two Months time. Mr. Hawkins is looking out for good parcels of Indigo_ I advise him to be cautious_ regard the quality & price & remember if we persevere in our Nonimportation there must of course be a less demand in England for Indigo_ an article upon which 50. per Cent & more has been frequently lost._ he shall not want my advice & assistance upon any occasion._
Our Summer has been very tolerable I don't remember one Calm hot day since you left us_ nor have we been a day without Rain for a Month or six Weeks past_ Charles Town is extremely healthy_ Crops of every kind will be large unless early frosts shall happen in that case those whose plantations had been drowned in the Spring & later Replanted will suffer loss_ some Planters began Harvest last Week_ this moment Walley brings me tidings that Maum Betty is brot. to Bed & desires some Sugar & some half a dozen other articles_ which I have ordered, she has a Girl & is very well_
My Love & good wishes attend you all & I remain with great affection & esteem

My Dear Brother Yours.

Henry Laurens.

[Page 319]
ALS, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed on cover "Mr. James Laurens / at the Carolina Coffee House / London. / per Eagle Packet_"; dated "Charles Town So Carolina 20. August / 1775."; docketed "Henry Laurens_ / Chas. Town 20 August 1775". LB, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed "James Laurens / London / per Eagle Packet"; dated "20th. August 1775.".
[1.] Capt. James Wilson had arrived at Charleston from London, July 27, 1775, in the ship Portland. Advertised to sail for London on September 10, he did not embark until September 28. S.C. Country Journal, Aug. 1, 1775; S.C. General Gazette, Sept. 29, 1775.
[2.] "Wise" written over "Weak".
[3.] Elizabeth (Holland) Petrie.
[4.] Probably John Ralph (d. 1801) a Charleston cabinet maker who had worked for Thomas Elfe until 1774. E. Milby Burton, Charleston Furniture, 1700-1825 (Columbia, S.C., 1955), p. 114.