april francis

The Evolution of John Laurens’s Self-Worth

Over the course of John Laurens’s life and writings, we are able to witness his transformation - over a relatively short period of time - from a young man who placed much value in the opinions of others to a fiery soldier and statesman who pursued what he knew was right, regardless of what others may have thought.  I was talking with @ciceroprofacto about this a while ago, and we agreed that Hamilton especially helped Laurens achieve this transformation and, to steal Cicero’s words, “stop caring what society thinks and start valuing his own morality.” Although Laurens began his transformation around 1776 (see below), his plan then was to flee his country if he found issue with it and take up residence in a new one - while less directly focused on other people’s opinions of him, he still wanted to more or less run from his problems rather than face them head-on.  After Laurens met Hamilton and later began his work on proposing his plan for a black regiment, Laurens began to stand his ground and tell others that they were wrong.  People held him in high esteem because of his status as a rich southern gentleman and the son of the president of Congress, but he became willing to sacrifice his standing in the eyes of others while trying to convince them of their wrongdoings and improve society as a whole.  Instead of fleeing to another country, Laurens held his stance and fought back.  These few examples are by no means an inclusive list of writings related to this subject.  Rather, they are meant to highlight important stages in Laurens’s growth and show how much he changed during the war period.

To James Laurens, November 1775: “My dear and good uncle what shall I do.  Is it not dishonor to stay and how shall I disobey so good a father?  I am ashamed to own that I am an American young and free from bodily infirmities in England - but a dear father’s commands oblige me to remain in the humiliating position of being pointed at by others and almost thinking meanly of myself.”

To Francis Kinloch, April 12, 1776: “if as some pretend, but I am persuaded more thro’ interest, than from Conviction, the Culture of the Ground with us cannot be carried on without African slaves, Let us fly it as a hateful Country_ and say ubi Libertas ibi Patria_”

To Henry Laurens, March 10, 1779 (in regards to the black regiment plan): “As a Soldier, as a Citizen, as a Man_ I am interested to engage in this work_ and I would chearfully sacrifice the largest portion of my future expectations to its success_”

To Alexander Hamilton, July 14, 1779 (in regards to the black regiment plan): “The house of Representatives have had a longer recess than usual occasioned by the number of members in the field_ it will be convened however in a few days_ I intend to qualify_ and make a final effort. Oh that I were a Demosthenes_ the Athenians never deserved more bitter exprobration than my Countrymen.”

I need some new music, someone please help!

I like and in the mood for something similar to:-

Matt Corby

Mumford and Sons

Roo Panes 

City and Colour

Foy Vance

Daughter

Nathaniel Rateliff 

William Fitzsimmons 

Matthew Mole

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Bon Iver

Bright Eyes

The Civil Wars

The April Maze

Ed Sheeran

Fleet Foxes

Gabrielle Aplin

Good Old War

James Vincent McMorrow

Keaton Henson

Passenger

Stu Larsen

Simon and Garfunkel 

The Avett Brothers

4

                                                Mary and Francis 

 Mary left Scotland when she was just five to be betrothed to the four                                               year-old Dauphin, Francis. 

“I can also assure you that Monseigneur the Dauphin cares for and loves her like his sweetheart, and it is easy to see that God has caused them to be born for each other. I often wish you were here to see them together.”

- Anne de Montmorency, constable of France, in a letter to Marie de Guise on 30 March 1549

“Her intimacy with her young playmates increased daily, and even in those early days it was noted that her affections inclined toward the Dauphin…”

- Alexander Hastie Millar, Mary Queen of Scots: Her Life Story

           She eventually married Francis when she was 15 years old. 

“All I can tell you is that I account myself one of the happiest women in the world.”

- Mary, Queen of Scots, in a letter to her mother, Marie de Guise, on the morning of her wedding to Francis, 24th April 1558.

“The youthful lovers, Francis and Mary, undisturbed by those cares for the future which were perplexing their advisers, enjoyed that sweet society which is only reserved for mortals so highly favored as they were.Their love, which had grown with their growth, was as true and steadfast as though it had sprung up between a poor shepherd and shepherdess in the green plains of Arcadia.”

- Alexander Hastie Millar, Mary Queen of Scots: Her Life Story

  A year later, following his father’s untimely death in a jousting accident,   Francis became King of France and she his Queen. King Francis II died   on 5 December 1560, of a middle ear infection which led to an abscess in                                    his brain. Mary was grief-stricken. 

“ Immediately following her husband’s death she changed lodgings, withdrew herself from all company, and became so solitary, and exempt from all wordliness , that she doth not to this day see daylight.“

- Quoting Nicolas Throckmorton’s letter to the Privy Council of Elizabeth I on December 31, 1560, twenty-five days after the death of Francis II 

"…Mary abandoned herself to passionate grief at the death of the king…She had lost the companion of her childhood, the husband who had loved her, and who had shared with her the happy intimacies of their charmed upbringing at the French court…Alone of the close companions of her youth, Francis had remained a part of her life, and to their childhood intimacy had been added the natural intimacy of husband and wife. Since the first moment of their meeting at St. Germain in October 1548, when the five-year-old Scottish queen had been solemnly presented to the four-year-old dauphin of France, and King Henry II had rejoiced over the immediate love which the children felt for each other, Mary and Francis had never been apart for more than a few months at a time. They had thus been united by over twelve years of continuous friendship and companionship, and all that happy memories can signify in the mind of a romantic and affectionate girl…Now she found herself bereft of a husband, with whom indeed she had led a far more prolonged and contented existence than the few short months she had spent with her mother since babyhood. It was small wonder that Mary gave herself up to transports of true grief.”

- Antonia Fraser, Mary Queen of Scots

Dulce meum terra tegit." Translation: “The earth covers my sweet one” or “The earth hides my treasure” Was adopted by Mary, Queen of Scots, after the loss of her husband, Francis II.

       Mary returned to Scotland nine months after her husband’s death. 

"Up till this moment Mary had shown admirable courage and resolution…but now that the die was cast, now that the ships were actually lying in the harbour of Calais, ready to take her away from all she had known and loved and held dear for the last thirteen years of what seemed to her like her whole life, Mary Stuart’s steadfast spirit deserted her…As the galleys surged forward toward the unknown coast of Scotland, Mary herself gazed again and again on the fast receding coast of France; clinging pathetically to that part of the ship which was still nearest to the French shores, she murmured over and over again in a voice broken with tears: ’ Adieu France! Adieu France !’; again and again she repeated the words, and as the shoreline gradually faded from her sight, her laments only increased in fervor. Still mingling with the sound of the wind and the oars of the sea, her tragic young voice could be heard, eternally uttering its farewell, melancholy and prophetic: ’‘Adieu France! Adieu France! Adieu donc, ma chere France…Je pense ne vous revoir jamais plus! ”

- Antonia Fraser, Mary Queen of Scots 

“God will assist me, if He pleases, to bear what comes from Him with patience.”

Excerpt from Mary Stuart’s letter, Thanking the condolences he received after the death of her husband, Francis II.