Copyright 1985. South Carolina Historical Society. All rights reserved.
As you gave me to understand the intention of my Summons before the Genel:
Committee, was to know wether I chose to subscribe to the Association agreed to by this Province; I hope the following reasons will shew the impossibility of such a measure, without giving any Offence, which [is the
] farthest from my wishes.
The first & principle consideration before the making a solemn Engagement like this, is how far we can in honor & Conscience comply with it, & how far it may be compatible or interfere with any previous Obligations.
These considerations duely taken; I find myself under such obligations to my King, whose Servant I have been for these 20[Page 373]
Years, whose Gratuity I now receive, & who I have allways found a kind & benevolent Master; the Solemn Oath I took upon receiving the Commission I am now honor'd with & under which I act; render it impossible for me to subscribe to this Association, without fixing the most indelible Stain upon my Character, & being guilty of the most heinous of Crimes, Ingratitude.
Further, Sir, I beg leave to represent that having no property in the Province & my duty calling me another way, induc'd me to flatter myself the Gentlemen wou'd have consider'd me as a Transient Person, and not have thought it necessary to make such a request: in order to which I have actually given up the House I possess'd & had determin'd to proceed in the Line of my Duty; had not the greatest of misfortunes, the loss of a true Friend & Parent[3
] alter'd my intention, & made me desirous of continuing in the Province, to be of all the Service & comfort in my power to his Family under so heavy an affliction.
I therefore hope, Sir, the General Committee will be satisfyed with these reasons, & not consider them as proceeding from any disregard to this Province, which to the contrary, I ever respected; & so far from wishing that any part of his Maj's: Dominions may be depriv'd of the blessing of the British Constitution. [I] sincerely hope every Member of them may enjoy it in it's fullest plenitude, and that the present unhappy situation of Affairs may be speedily brought to a reconciliation that shall establish harmony among all his Maj's: Subjects; and restore that mutual confidence between Great Britain & her Colonies that before subsisted.
As the Packet is under sailing orders, & my future Conduct depends upon the determination of the General Committee on these Sentiments, I request your earliest representation of them,[4
] & am with respect
Yr: Most Obedt: Humle: Sert:
The Papers of Henry Laurens,
ed. David R. Chesnutt, et al.
(Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 1999).
Electronic version based on
The Papers of Henry Laurens
(Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1994), Vol. 10, pp. 305-415. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 18 January 2018]