John Laurens Influence On Slavery

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“I think we Americans at least in the Southern Colonies, cannot contend with a good Grace, for Liberty, until we shall have enfranchised our Slaves." Everyone knows who Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are, but not every historical figure gets the appreciation they deserve. One in particular, someone who fought against slavery until his death, is hardly ever mentioned in the textbooks. John Laurens-- a young man from North Carolina-- did much more for America than he was given credit for. Since he was young, John had believed that all people were created equal, no matter what their skin color or ethnicity is. While in the Revolutionary War, John did all that he could to abolish the unfair enslavement of Africans and their descendants. …show more content…
Because of this, the main part of their economy was trading slaves. Henry Laurens, John’s father, was partnered with one of the biggest slave trading centers in America. The Laurens family was extremely well known and respected. Despite the fact that his family’s wealth came from trading slaves, John fiercely believed that people with different skin colors are still human beings. This idea has always been with him, but he decided to make it public after going to Geneva, Switzerland to get an education. Among the middle class Anglo-Americans, the culture of sensibility was widely popular. This influenced him to embrace emotion and the beauty of nature, along with the idea of diversity. When moving to further study law in England, Laurens met a man named Thomas Day-- the author of the famous poem, A Dying Negro. Day constantly explained to the young man that slavery “violated the natural rights of the Africans,” which helped shape Laurens’ opinion on slavery. Until the day he died, John Laurens tried to create an all black battalion-- a regiment fully composed of African slaves who would gain freedom after the war. He asked the North Carolina Congress numerous times to allow him to get 3,000 able bodied slaves for a regiment. John even asked for his inheritance of slaves from his father early, just so that he could start a regiment. General George Washington gave him permission to create it, just as long as he had the consent of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Without willingness from the southern states, Laurens could not create the black battalion-- but he never gave up hope. Until his last dying day, he requested permission from North Carolina. Despite never being able to gain a black battalion, Laurens influenced many people around him. Alexander Hamilton, his best friend, eventually completely supported all of his ideas on ending slavery. When the