Continental Congressman. At the age of twenty he left his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina to go to England to learn a trade. While there he made many friends that caused later caused him personal conflict when he had to choose between siding with the Patriots or remaining loyal to the mother country. He returned to America in 1747 and quickly established a successful international merchant. He reinvested his profits into real estate and by the time of the Revolutionary War was one of the colonies' wealthiest men. During the early 1770s he returned to England to oversee the education of his sons. Although he owed much of his success to the training and relationships he had made in England, he despised the "heavy handed" rule of England and in 1774 declared his allegiance to the movement to seek America's independence. He held several elected offices in South Carolina before being elected to the Continental Congress in 1777. In November of that year his colleagues elected him President of the Congress. Under his tutelage he helped establish the French Alliance and the Articles of Confederation. He resigned from the Congress in 1780 but continued to serve, being sent to The Netherlands to help negotiate a treaty. While in route to his Holland he was captured by British forces, charged with high treason and held as a prisoner in the Tower of London for fifteen months. He was released in early 1782, in an exchange for Lord Cornwallis. Upon his release, the Congress sent him to Paris as one of their representatives to negotiate a peace treaty between America and Britain. He finally returned to South Carolina in 1784. Although sought after for other positions both elected and appointed, he declined all offers expect the one to be a presidential elector so he could cast his vote for his good friend George Washington. After his death his remains were cremated and buried at his estate.
Bio by: Bigwoo
Eleanor Delamere Ball Laurens