Suffolk, Virginia: Historical Marker, Oak Lawn Cemetery (est. 1885)

Photo: Nadia K. Orton, November 5, 2019. All rights reserved.

I finally had a chance to swing by and see the historical marker for Oak Lawn Cemetery. I first pitched the idea to the other members of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation late last year, and once approved by the existing members (3), quickly got to work on writing the text for the marker. With the assistance of the representative from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR), a working text was hammered out over the early months of this year. It’s wonderful to see this project come to fruition, with the added bonus of the marker being located just across the way from Suffolk’s City Hall (read: lots of traffic!)

Franklin County, North Carolina: Reclaiming self, the case of Alfred Collins Harris

Alfred Collins Harris, Raleigh, North Carolina. Date unknown. Photo courtesy: rejoice06

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: https://info.legalzoom.com/happens-break-copyright-laws-20309.html


Alfred Collins Harris was born enslaved on February 22, 1849, near Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina. He was the son of William D. Harris (1815-1862), white, and Chloe Cope, African American, who was born enslaved, date unknown. On October 29, 1891, Alfred filed a petition in Franklin County Court, North Carolina, to legally change his surname to that of his biological father, William D. Harris.

Savannah, Georgia: 1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse, 33rd U. S. Colored Infantry

Grave of 1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse, Laurel Grove South Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, December 13, 2014. All rights reserved.

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: https://info.legalzoom.com/happens-break-copyright-laws-20309.html

1st Sgt. Samuel Gordon Morse was born enslaved on July 25, 1832, in Harris Neck, McIntosh County, Georgia. He was the son of Richard Morse, also born enslaved. The family was owned by William H. Bennett (ca. 1824-1884), a prominent planter in McIntosh County, Georgia.1

Warren County, North Carolina: The Henry Williams Family Cemetery

The Henry Williams Family Cemetery from the road. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, April 2, 2016. All rights reserved.

© Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, 2014-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, links, and photos may not be used without prior written permission from Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History. If granted, full and clear credit shall be given to Nadia Orton and Sacred Ground, Sacred History, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. See: https://info.legalzoom.com/happens-break-copyright-laws-20309.html

The Henry Williams Family Cemetery is located in Sandy Creek Township, Warren County, North Carolina. I first noticed it a few years ago, as we traveled along the winding state routes of Warren on a routine family research trip. From the road, I’d spied the tip of what appeared to be a lone headstone amidst the felled trees, limbs, and other debris, and decided it warranted further inspection. In rural areas, it’s quite common to see small, family cemeteries along the roadside, situated in front yards, or in the middle of fields. I’d considered our extensive family roots in Warren and surrounding counties, and couldn’t help but wonder, was it a possible family member?