Louisa Session was born free in South Carolina in 1811. She lived with her parents and children in Charleston where she, her son Joseph and daughter Elizabeth were abducted and sold into slavery in 1845. She became the property of David Harvard, patriarch, architect and builder of Laurens Hill, a Greek Revival plantation home in Laurens County, Georgia. David co-founded the Laurens Hill Baptist Church at the intersection of Blackshear Ferry Rd and Rocky Creek. He fathered 6 children with his wife, Mary Fish Harvard. He and some of his descendants with her are buried across the road from Laurens Hill in the Harvard Family Cemetery.
David also fathered 4 children with Louisa who, it is believed, is buried in the nearby Laurens Hill Church Cemetery. Louisa managed to keep all of her children healthy and safe through the war. They lived to see freedom and she lived 50 years beyond that. The exact resting place of Louisa Harvard is unknown and the cemetery is perennially overgrown with tall weeds, grass, and thorny vines. If there is any marker of her grave, it is completely invisible today. We need your help to find Louisa, her daughter Amelia and son-in-law William. A thorough archaeological assessment of the two cemeteries including the use of ground-penetrating radar will enable us to find her and implement a sustainable preservation plan which includes permanent historical markers. If a larger one-time donation is not possible, please consider making your donation a recurring monthly amount of $10 or $25. Share this fundraiser with your friends, family and charitable organizations. Help us find Louisa Session Harvard, restore dignity to her memory, and preserve a unique American story for generations to come.