Henry Laurens

Henry Laurens (December 8, 1792) was an American Founding Father, merchant, slave trader, and rice planter from South Carolina who became a political leader during the Revolutionary War. A delegate to the Second Continental Congress, Laurens succeeded John Hancock as its president. He was a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and, as president, presided over its passage.

Laurens had earned great wealth as a partner in the largest slave-trading house in North America, Austin and Laurens. In the 1750s alone, this Charleston firm oversaw the sale of more than 8,000 enslaved Africans. Laurens served for a time as vice president of South Carolina and as the United States minister to the Netherlands during the Revolutionary War. He was captured at sea by the British and imprisoned for a little more than a year in the Tower of London. His oldest son, John Laurens, was an ''aide-de-camp'' to George Washington and a colonel in the Continental Army. Provided by Wikipedia