The town and county of Laurens were named after Charleston aristocrat Henry Laurens, a patriot and statesman who became the president of the Continental Congress. While on a trip to Holland in 1779, he was captured by the British, and imprisoned at the Tower of London for eighteen months. He was traded for General Lord Cornwallis, after Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Henry Laurens would later go on to develop the Treaty of Paris, which signaled the end of the American Revolution.
The Laurens County Courthouse, covering 4 acres, was constructed from granite and brick, around 1838. Joanna Angle discusses the architecture and history of this prominent Laurens structure. The courthouse location was also a thriving location for farmers and businesses, and Andrew Johnson, who later became President of the United States, had a tailor business here.
- Political and economic developments underscored how the colonists in British North America had become uniquely American, prompting the development of a new nation. Drawing on their experience under British rule, the founding generation created a government with shared powers between the state and federal institutions.