I. A N. W. County Of South Carolina, bounded N. E. by Enoree river, and S. W. by the Saluda; area, 812 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 22,536, of whom 12,632 were colored. The surface is moderately uneven, and the soil, watered by numerous small rivers, is rich and well cultivated. The prevailing geological formation is granite. The Laurens railroad terminates at the county seat. The chief productions in 1870 were 52,246 bushels of wheat, 277,364 of Indian corn, 35,192 of oats, 19,947 of sweet potatoes, 88,554 lbs. of butter, and 7,077 bales of cotton. There were 1,741 horses, 2,037 mules and asses, 3,071 milch cows, 3,924 other cattle, 5,658 sheep, and 10,581 swine; 20 flour mills, and 2 woollen factories. Capital, Laurensville.
II. A Central County Of Georgia, traversed by the Oconee river; area, 780 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 7,834, of whom 3,654 were colored. It abounds in soft limestone, and has an undulating surface, overgrown in many places with forests. The soil is a fertile sandy loam, resting on a bed of clay. The chief productions in 1870 were 175,298 bushels of Indian corn, 18,229 of sweet potatoes, 22,-728 lbs. of wool, and 4,305 bales of cotton. There were 1,037 horses, 586 mules and asses, 2,567 milch cows, 6,733 other cattle, 8,502 sheep, and 9,603 swine. Capital, Dublin.
I. Henry, an American statesman, born in Charleston, S. C, in 1724, died there, Dec. 8, 1792. His ancestors were French Huguenots who shared in the exile of the sect at the revocation of the edict of Nantes. He was educated in Charleston, was designed for mercantile life, and passed from school to a counting house in Charleston, from which he was transferred to another in London, in order that he might enjoy a larger field for commercial study and acquaintance. Returning to his native city, he began business for himself, which he pursued with a rare industry and intelligence. As rigid with others as himself, he trained all his agents and subordinates to orderly habits like his own; so that his counting room became a school of discipline, into which the youth was deemed fortunate who could find his way. Although tenacious of his interests as a business man, he was a sturdy opponent of the abuses of power. His contests with the crown judges were frequent, especially in respect to their arbitrary decisions in marine law and the courts of admiralty, and his pamphlets gave remarkable proof of legal ability, Retiring from business, he visited Europe in 1771, put his sons to school in England, made the tour of Great Britain, and spent some time on the continent.
In 1774 he was one of 38 Americans, a large proportion of whom were South Carolinians, who signed a petition to dissuade parliament from passing the Boston port bill. Finding, however, that petition was unavailing, and that war was inevitable unless averted by submission, he hastened home to take his part in the patriotic cause, reaching Charleston near the close of 1774. He was made a member of the council of safety, and soon became its president. In 1776 he was elected a delegate to the continental congress from South Carolina, and became its president, which office he held till the close of 1778. He was a frequent correspondent and resolute supporter of Washington. In 1779 he was appointed minister plenipotentiary to Holland, to negotiate a commercial treaty, but was captured on his way thither by a British frigate. He threw his papers overboard, but they were recovered by the enemy. They afforded conclusive evidence of his mission, and also disclosed the fact that Holland had been in secret negotiation with the revolted colonies, which led to a declaration of war by Great Britain against Holland. He was taken to London, and, being known to have been president of the rebel congress, was in October, 1780, closely incarcerated in the tower.
His imprisonment continued for nearly 15 months, during which he was greatly enfeebled, and suffered also from frequent attacks of gout. He was solaced, however, by the kind attentions of many friends, among whom was Edmund Burke. The British government made frequent attempts on his patriotism, but in vain; all that they obtained from him was a petition for his enlargement, in which he stated that he had honestly striven to prevent the final rupture between the crown and the colonies. Though his health was broken when he was released, he received the commission of congress as one of its ministers for negotiating the peace. He proceeded to Paris, where on Nov. 30, 1782, with Franklin and Jay, he signed the preliminaries of the treaty. On his return to America he was welcomed with the highest consideration. Offices were tendered him, which the state of his health and of his private affairs compelled him to decline. By an injunction in his will, his body was burned according to detailed directions of his own, and the remains were collected and buried.
He left numerous original and valuable papers, a portion of which have been published in the collections of the South Carolina historical society.
An American Soldier II. John, son of the preceding, born in South Carolina about 1756, killed there, Aug. 27,1782. He was educated in England, returned home at the opening of the revolutionary war, and joined the army in 1777. He became aide to Washington, and was frequently his secretary, writing many of his letters and despatches, and was his chief medium of communication with foreigners in the service. He distinguished himself at Brandywine, was wounded at Ger-mantown and again at Coosawhatchie, and was of great service to Moultrie when besieged in Charleston. He was one of the first to mount the British lines at the attack on Savannah, and was prominent in the defence of Charleston when it was besieged by Sir Henry Clinton. After the fall of the latter city he rejoined Washington, and was designated by him as the special representative of the army to proceed to France and appeal to the king for succor. He set out in the autumn of 1781, succeeded in his mission, and returned to his military duties. At the siege of Yorktown he led the forlorn hope and captured one of the two redoubts which were stormed.
When operations had ceased in the north he joined the army of the south under Greene, and by his activity checked every effort of the British garrison in Charleston, and confined them for many months to the walls of the city. He was killed in a skirmish on the Combahee river with a marauding party of British. Washington lamented with keen feeling the loss of Laurens, who had shared his confidence and had requited his preference with the most affectionate devotion. Laurens once rushed between him and danger at Monmouth, and afterward shot in a duel Gen. Charles Lee for disrespectful language to his general. His correspondence, which was voluminous, exhibits an easy, graceful, and vigorous style, marked equally by thought, information, and originality, and freedom of opinion. His army correspondence, with a memoir by W. G. Simms, was printed in 1867 for the Bradford club of New York.