We are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting the cast, crew and benefactors of Radical Son; The John Laurens Journey, an exciting new
docu-drama to be filmed locally this summer. The Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina will hold a theatrical fundraising event at The Governor’s House
Inn June 14th at 7:00pm. The event is invitation only, but Governor’s House guests will have an opportunity to meet the cast and creators of the
film. Characters will be in period costumes, and it’s going to be such a treat! Please call 843.720.2070 for additional event details.
The Cast and Crew of Radical Son
The docu-drama is affiliated with a larger effort to make John Laurens a household name…
“Although few know what he achieved, John Laurens should be as well-known as Francis Marion (The Swamp Fox), Benjamin Franklin or Patrick Henry.”
- Writer-Director Chris Weatherhead to Moultrie News
John Laurens was an American Revolutionary War hero, abolitionist and Charlestonian. His uncle, James Laurens, was the builder and first owner of The
A Brief History of John Laurens
1754 – John Laurens was born in Charleston, South Carolina, son of Henry and Eleanor Laurens, at Laurens estate (now Mepkin Abbey).
1774 – John began fighting slavery while in studying law in Europe. He believed slavery to be incompatible with the concept of a free nation. His arguments
were laid out in a series of letters to his father who was a partner in America’s largest slave trading house. You can read some of his letters
to his father, Henry Laurens, and his uncle, James Laurens, by searching for John Laurens on JSTOR.org.
January 1777 – John left his law studies and his young wife, Martha, in London to join the Continental Army in America - he quickly enlisted at Valley
Forge and became a valuable aide-decamp to General George Washington.
1777 – Later that year John became a Lt. Colonel after the battle of Monmouth, N.J. He was incensed that General Charles Lee was a coward in that battle
and believed that Lee had joined conspirators who were trying to destroy General Washington. John challenged Lee to a duel in Pennsylvania, where
Lee was wounded and discredited.
1778 – John lobbied Congress and got a bill passed that allowed him to train and lead 3,000 slaves who were willing to fight with the Continental Army
in exchange for freedom.
1780 – John was captured in Charleston by the British during the “Siege of Charlestown”. He was exchanged and returned to his position as top aide
in General Washington’s army.
1781 – John Laurens and Thomas Paine went to France to join Ben Franklin in asking the French King for support. John, impatient with Ben Franklin’s
plan, moved on his own and forged a meeting with the king that resulted in funding, supplies and naval support. John returned to America for the
battle of Yorktown. He prevented Cornwallis from escaping after the battle and was asked by General Washington to draw up the articles of surrender.
1782 – John returned to South Carolina under the leadership of General Nathaniel Greene to help break the British grip on the Southern colonies and
finally end the war.
On August 27 1782, John Laurens was leading an ambush against a British raiding party at Tar Bluff, outside of Beaufort, South Carolina when he was
killed suddenly. America lost a dedicated abolitionist and potential president. Watch the docu-drama (scheduled to wrap in August 2016) to learn
more about this exceptional man. Visit actorstheatreofsc.org
for news and
updates on the film.