Papers of John Adams, volume 6

From Henry Laurens, 19 May 1778 Laurens, Henry JA


From Henry Laurens, 19 May 1778 Laurens, Henry Adams, John
From Henry Laurens
Dear Sir York Town 19th. May 1778

Will you permit me to congratulate with you upon the favorable appearances in our American concerns and particularly upon your safe arrival at Paris, and further to request you will forward in the best manner the times will afford, the two inclosed Letters, one to Ralph Izard Esquire and the other to my daughter in Law in London the latter if War is kindled between France and England must take a circuitous route by Holland or Flanders and under particular protection.1 Command me at any time to do ten times as much in return and be assured of my chearful obedience.

You are so fully informed of the State of affairs in this quarter by the Committee of foreign correspondence it would be committing waste upon time to repeat. We have this Instant an account of the Enemy's movements from Philadelphia under clouds of mancevre and stratagem, time will shew whether they mean to attack Gen. Washington or to penetrate Jersey and cross over to New York. Our Commander in Chief is also in motion and if they don't face him he will be on their Skirts.

I wish you every degree of happiness & am with great Respect Dear sir Your Obedient hum' servt Henry Laurens

RC (Adams Papers).


The letter to Izard may have concerned his affairs in South Carolina that Laurens had undertaken to oversee while Izard was absent in Europe. Mrs. John Laurens (Martha Manning), sister-in-law of Benjamin Vaughn, remained in England until 1781. In the spring of that year she set out for France to join her husband, who had been appointed an American minister, but died before reaching him (Wallace, Laurens , p. 45, 464–469; DAB ).