Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters

By B. F. Perry | Go to book overview

The family of Henry Laurens's ancestors were amongst those French refugees above named. They did not go to the Santee but remained in Charleston, as did many others who were artisans and traders. It is stated in Ramsay's History of South Carolina, that they first settled in New York. The climate of South Carolina was thought to be more desirable and more like that of the home from which they had been exiled. Nothing further is known of the Laurens family. Dr. Ramsay has given a sketch of Henry Laurens and also of his gallant son John Laurens, in his History of South Carolina, but says not one word of Henry's father. Inasmuch as Dr. Ramsay married a daughter of Henry Laurens he could have given some account of his parents.

Henry Laurens was born in 1724 in the city of Charleston. He was destined to be a merchant, and his education was completed at private schools. Early in life he was placed in the counting-house of Thomas Smith, a merchant of Charleston, and then under the superintendence of Mr. Crahatt, a merchant of London, who had done business in Charleston. Under these gentlemen he learned to be a merchant. He was remarkable through life for order, system and method, which were taught him by these merchants. When he returned from London he entered into business with an eminent merchant of Charleston, and by his attention to business, practical good sense, punctuality, caution and wisdom, he accumulated a very large fortune. He worked hard himself and made every one else about him work also. Like Mr. Jefferson, who said the sun never caught him in bed summer or winter, Laurens was an early riser. It is said he required less sleep than most persons, and transacted most of his mercantile business after night. He was a model merchant for the young business men of the city to study and imitate.

His knowledge of human nature was said to be perfect, and he was able to estimate every man who dealt with him at his par value. He did a large credit busi-

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Biographical Sketches of Eminent American Statesmen, with Speeches, Addresses and Letters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • P R E F a C E. v
  • Introduction vii
  • An Outline Of Governor Perry's Life. 1
  • Editorial Comments. 13
  • Action of The House of Representatives Of South Carolina. 19
  • Proceedings Of The Greenville Bar. 27
  • Proceedings in The Court of Common Pleas. Greenville, April 6th, 1887. 37
  • Fourth of July Oration. 47
  • An Address 65
  • Address - Delivered Before the Literary Societies of Erskine College, Abbeville District, S. C., on the Fifth Anniversary, Sept. 18, 1844 85
  • Speech 111
  • Speech of B. F. Perry, Of South Carolina. 145
  • Address - To the Democracy of the Fifth Congressional District in South Carolina, May 28, 1860. 153
  • Disunion. 171
  • The National Democratic Convention in Charleston, 1860. 186
  • United States Senator. 190
  • National Restoration. 191
  • Editorials - Approving of the Nomination of Governor Perry for Congress. 204
  • The Ancients and the Moderns. - A Comparison 217
  • Sketches Of Eminent American Statemen. 243
  • John Adams. 248
  • John Rutledge. 254
  • William H. 270
  • Patrick Henry. 279
  • Alexander Hamilton. 289
  • Benjamin Franklin. 308
  • William Pinkney. 329
  • Thomas Jefferson. 339
  • James Madison. 350
  • John Randolph. 382
  • John Jay. 393
  • Oliver Ellsworth. 403
  • William Smith. 410
  • Henry Laurens. 420
  • Gouverneur Morris. 428
  • William Henry Drayton. 441
  • Charles Pickney. 447
  • Arthur Middleton. 454
  • Pierce Butler. 459
  • Theophilus Parsons. 478
  • David Ramsay. 496
  • Fisher Ames. 518
  • Felix Grundy. 546
  • Edward Livingston. 555
  • Wade Hampton. 564
  • Thomas Sumter. 570
  • Colonel Benjamin Cleveland. 577
  • Colonel Benjamin Roebuck. 592
  • Letter from Dr. F. Peyre Porcher. 599
  • Letter from James P. Adams. 600
  • Letter from Col. Joseph N. Brown, an Ex-Confederate Colonel. 601
  • Extract from a Letter Written by a Gentle Man in Charleston to Gov. Perry. 602
  • Monument to Governor Perry. 608
  • Index. 611
  • Errata. 613
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