Moses Harshaw

In 1822, 61 families migrated in two groups from North Carolina to Georgia.  

E. Lane Gresham © 2019
A wooden headstone marks the approximate location of the grave of Moses Harshaw, based on a newspaper article written by Mrs. J.T. Pittard in 1927.

A listing compiled by Vic Bristol around 1922 and republished in 1972 by Herbert Kimzey references the 23rd family as that of Moses Harshaw.  

The Harshaw family was among the first group leaving Burke County, North Carolina, on March 1, 1822.  Moses Harshaw purchased land in the Nacoochee Valley, then located in Habersham County. He built what is now known as The Stovall House.

In this listing, Bristol further references Moses Harshaw as “the meanest man in the county to his slaves.”

This reputation has been further echoed through the years tied to stories about his treatment of slaves and his wife Nancy English Harshaw and daughter, alleged charges of manslaughter and numerous lawsuits involving land and gold mine deals and other entanglements.  

Harshaw was known as a capable lawyer and used his knowledge to his own advantage. 

A unique turn of events was the awarding of a “legal separation” to Nancy in the 1850s. Tradition has it Moses was away from home when one of his daughters [or one of the young female slaves] died.  

Nancy buried the girl in a new dress. When Moses learned of this upon his return, he had the body exhumed and the dress removed.

True or not, it adds more credence to the many reports that a marker did exist on Moses’ grave that read “Died and Gone to Hell.”

One can only speculate as to who placed the marker.

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