When Louisa Session was brought in chains to the Harvard Plantation known as Laurens Hill in Montrose, Georgia in 1845 the white paint on the soaring columns was barely dry and cypress trees that Mary Fish Harvard planted were not much taller than the floor of the upstairs balcony from which 12-year-old Quinn peered down at her. Louisa could not have known that she would live to see the end of slavery, that she would bear Master David Harvard 5 children, and that they would produce hundreds of descendants. And she certainly could never have imagined that those descendants would band together to form a Corporation in honor of her courage and strength.
I paused writing Spitting Image to work with my cousins to create the Louisa Harvard Foundation Inc which we registered as a Georgia non-profit last year. It took a few more months, but we finally received a letter of determination from the IRS that our request for 501(c)(3) status has been approved! The Louisa Harvard Foundation is officially a public charity under IRC Section 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi) and donors can deduct contributions they make under IRC Section 170. The foundation is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers and gifts. under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.
The first projects being planned are the historic designation, restoration and preservation of the Harvard Family Cemetery and the Laurens Hill Baptist Cemetery both located in Laurens County near GA Hwy 26 and Laurens Hill Church Road. David, Quinn and others of the planter's family are buried in the Harvard plot while Louisa, some of her descendants and others are buried in the Church grove. Both cemeteries are densely overgrown and neglected. The foundation will work with local organizations to plan the careful restoration of both sacred places. Funds raised by the corporation will be used exclusively for the historic designation, restoration and preservation of these hallowed grounds. This important work honors not only the memory of the Harvards, but that of the Wrights, Blackshears, Lowthers, Hursts, Hagans, Mikells, McCalls, Deals, and many other Laurens County families. This is our history. Let us work together to save it, honor it and preserve it for future generations.