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Guide to the Henry and John Laurens papers 1974.119

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Weatherly Stephan

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 09, 2011
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Laurens, Henry, 1724-1792
Creator: Laurens, John, 1754-1782
Title: Henry and John Laurens papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1773-1790
Quantity: 0.82 Linear feet in two manuscript boxes.
Text [Box]: 1974.119 Box 2 of 2
Text [Box]: 1974.119 Box 1 of 2
Call Phrase: 1974.119
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical note

Henry Laurens (1724-1792) was a native of Charleston, S.C. Laurens served as President of the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1778.

John Laurens (1754-1782), the eldest surviving son of Henry Laurens and Eleanor Ball, was born in Charleston, S.C. Against his father's wishes, John Laurens joined the Continental Army under George Washington in 1777.


  1. Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. "Laurens, Henry, (1724-1792)." Accessed February 24, 2011.

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Scope and Contents

The Henry and John Laurens papers date from 1773 to 1790 and measure 0.83 linear feet. The collection contains correspondence, reports, and memoirs of Henry Laurens, as well as memoirs of his son John Laurens. A large portion of the the correspondence originates from Richard Henry Lee, Rawlins Lowndes, Baron DeKalb, John Lewis Gervais, General Lachlan McIntosh, Jonathan Trumbull, John Wells, Jr., and David Hartley. Historically significant correspondents include John Adams, General Robert Howe, John Jay, and Thomas Paine. The correspondence and reports contains discussion of civil matters of the southern states and military activity during the Revolutionary War period. In addition, the collection contains typed transcriptions of the manuscript memoirs of both Henry and John Laurens. Lastly, an index of correspondents and subjects covered in the papers is included.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Adams, John, 1735-1826
  • De Kalb, Johann, 1721-1780
  • Gervais, John Lewis, 1741-1798
  • Howe, Robert, 1732-1786
  • Jay, John, 1745-1829
  • Lee, Richard Henry, 1732-1794
  • Lowndes, Rawlins, 1721-1800
  • McIntosh, Lachlan, 1725-1806
  • Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809

Document Type

  • Correspondence
  • Memoirs
  • Reports

Subject Organizations

  • United States. Continental Army.
  • United States. Continental Congress.

Subject Places

  • South Carolina
  • United States |x History |y Revolution, 1775-1783
  • United States |x Politics and government |y Revolution, 1775-1783

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Administrative Information

Custodial History note

This collection was purchased from W. Gilmore Simms of South Carolina and donated to the Long Island Historical Society (now the Brooklyn Historical Society) in 1868. After being transcribed, the papers were sold in 1960. As such, this collection now consists of transcriptions of the papers originally donated to LIHS.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Henry and John Laurens papers, 1974.119, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Archival Materials note

Papers of Henry Laurens are also available at the South Carolina Historical Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and New-York Historical Society, among others.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of J. Carson Brevoort, 1868.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the collection level.

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