The Papers of Henry Laurens

[Page 367]

Henry Laurens to William Ewen[1]


When I wrote by order of the Council of Safety to your Council the 25th. Ulto. your favour of the 17th.[2] happened to be mislaid & I had not time then to go or Send for it at the State House, therefore I beg you will pardon the delay of an answer.
agreeable to your advice, this, which will inclose a packet for the Council of Safety at Savanna, Shall be covered by a direction to Joseph Clay Esqr. & as a further guard against its falling into improper hands I Shall commit it to the care of the Post Rider after the Mail is made up_ who for a Small gratuity will deliver it directly to Mr. Clay_ if you approve of this mode you will no doubt adopt it & then your Letters for our Council of Safety may be covered by a Simple direction to

Sir_ your most obedt. hum~ Servt.

Yesterday our Grenadier Company Commanded by Capt. B. Elliott[3] were detached into Rebellion Road in order to take certain deserters from on board a Sloop lying under protection of the Tamar Man of War_ the deserters it Seems had fled on board the Man of War but Capt Elliott brought the Sloop up to Charles Town this is the Vessel which took in part of Capt Maitland's Cargo for St. Augustine & put in here in distress._[4]
Copy, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed below close "William Ewen Esquire"; dated below close "Charles Town So Carolina 5th. September 1775_"; docketed "Copy 5th. Septem˜ 1775 / Wm. Ewen_".
[1.] William Ewen, a native of England who had come to Georgia as an indentured servant in 1734, was the president of the Georgia Council of Safety. Colonial Records of Georgia, XXI, 275-276, 386; Ronald G. Killion and Charles T. Waller, Georgia and the Revolution (Atlanta, 1975), p. 164.
[2.] The early records of the Georgia Council of Safety are sparse. The earliest extant journal begins Nov. 3, 1775. Depository copies of most of the early letters of the Council, unless preserved by the recipient, are not extant.
[3.] During the eighteenth century it was a common military practice to recruit one elite or "grenadier" company in each regiment. These grenadier companies were to be composed of the tallest and finest men. Barnard Elliott, a captain in William Moultrie's 2nd South Carolina Regiment, noted while recruiting his company that he sought men "of the Grenadier size." Oxford English Dictionary; South Carolina Historical Magazine, XVII (1916), 95-100.
[4.] Capt. Edward Thornbrough of the Tamar recorded in his journal on September 4 that "the Armed Schooner boarded a Sloop from Georgia bound to St. Augustine put in here in distress & Carried her up to Town" at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Naval Documents (Clark), I, 19. The sloop was probably the Amelia, Edward Moffet, which cleared at Savannah for St. Augustine August 14. Georgia Gazette, Aug. 16, 1775.