The Papers of Henry Laurens

[Page 396]

Henry Laurens to John Laurens

My Dear Son

I have now before me your Letter of the 5th. July which I have perused with much concern_ I intreat you to persevere diligently in your present course of Study, & as diligently attend to the great charge committed to you, & do not even think of a new plan until you hear fully from me._
Our people here are proceeding by hasty Steps to attempts too mighty for their abilities, & every day convinces me that I was not wrong when I endeavoured to dissuade them from taking the Reins of Government into their hands_ the poor Gentleman[1] who "could See nothing to Cry about." in January_ now trembles & now weeps for anguish of mind, in September, indeed he has been in that State Some Months past; had he heartily joined with me in due time we might have prevented many Acts which now make him miserable_ for my part I remain tranquil, patience is my happiness, I oppose every wrong measure although it is necessary to give motion to many by my Signature
I lament the fate of a people who Seem forced & impelled to do very improper Acts in Support of a good Cause_

The King's Officers have been disarmed_ Capt Innes banished_ Mr. Roupel[2] confined to his own House_ Wm. Wragg to his Plantations near Dorchester_ Lord William is gone on board the Tamar Man of War_ the House of Assembly dissolved_[3] the Judges have Shut of up the Courts of Law_ the Custom House will probably Soon follow the example_ Fort Johnson is taken into the hands of the people Garrisoned by 400. of the new raised Troops commanded by Collo. Motte_ New Batteries they Say are to be raised & Vessels equipped for defence of the Harbour_ W. H. Drayton is at the Head of 1200 Men reasoning with Some of the disaffected in the back Country_ You think the people in England are acting[Page 397] madly, I am Sure we may Safely compare Notes with them in this Country_ I am ready to cry out, a pox on both their Houses; we are all Mad; all wrong; but if I am to die it Shall be on the right Side, I honestly mean on this Side_ I detest & abhor the the measures of Administration, I am Sorry & grieve for every imprudent Step taken by my Country Men & I am more & more confirmed in the opinion which you have heard me often deliver in England that a conquest on the part of Great Britain will be her ruin_ but I have not time to Say a word more on these Subjects_ attend my Dear Child to the intreaty which prefaces this Letter, & obey your best freind & affectionate Father_ tell your Uncle I have not time to Say a word to him but will write by Wilson to morrow_ Salute him, Your Aunt & my Dear Boys & Girls on my behalf_ Adieu my Dear Son, I commend you to Gods protection._
10 oClock at Night not a moment to Spare
LB, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed "John Laurens / London / per Swallow Packet_ / Copy per Capt. Wilson"; dated "18th. Septem.˜ 1775.".
[1.] Rawlins Lowndes.
[2.] George Roupell, Deputy Postmaster for the Southern District of North America. The Papers of Henry Laurens, V, 273n; Roupell to Anthony Todd, Aug. 19, 1775, CO 5/386, PRO.
[3.] The Assembly requested leave to adjourn on July 19, 1775, but continued to meet on a day-to-day basis until Aug. 30, 1775. House Journal, XXXIX (Oct. 8, 1772-Nov. 10, 1772, Feb. 17, 1773-Aug. 30, 1775), pp. 299-314, ScA. Governor Lord William Campbell issued a proclamation dissolving the Assembly September 15. S.C. General Gazette, Sept. 15, 1775.