Henry Laurens, the 5th president of the Continental Congress, was the only Revolutionary War patriot to be incarcerated in the Tower of London.
Laurens was captured when his ship was stopped while returning from a successful diplomatic mission to the Netherlands. The notes in his possession caused the English to declare war on the Dutch.
They won that one.
Laurens was released on Dec. 31, 1781 in exchange for Lord Cornwallis who had surrendered two months earlier after the Battle of Yorktown.
Laurens’ son John was also a patriot and an abolitionist who urged his father to free the 260 slaves on his South Carolina plantation. John was killed in a skirmish near the end of the war. Lauren freed his slaves in tribute to him.