The Laurens Cemetery is on a hill, through a small wooded area on the Trappist monastery Mepkin Abby.
Henry Laurens, and several generations of his family are buried here. This land was originally the Laurens plantation. Henry Laurens was a man of much history. None of which I was aware of until finding this small brick walled cemetery.
Henry Laurens, born in Charleston South Carolina 1724, spent his early years as a successful merchant in London, England. He purchased and built plantations in Georgia and South Carolina up to the American revolution. Just before the war he returned to the colonies to support the independence movement.
He became the first vice president of the state of South Carolina, and helped establish the French Alliance and the Articles of Confederation, in effect the first constitution of the United State.
In 1780 he was sent by Congress to negotiate a treaty of friendship and commerce with the Netherlands. During the journey over, the British seized him on the high seas. He was charged with treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Later on he was released in a prisoner swap in 1782 and exchanged for Lord Cornwallis, Lt. General of His Majesty’s Forces in North America
He was appointed by Congress as one of the commissioners to negotiate a peace treaty between the United States and Great Britain.
One of the last official acts of the Conservative Revolutionary was as one of South Carolina’s presidential electors when he cast his vote for his old friend George Washington as president. Henry Laurens died in 1792 at the age of 62.
Now it gets interesting. Towards the end of his life his daughter became ill and thought to be dead. As she was prepared to be buried she woke from a comma. Henry Laurens having almost buried his daughter alive wrote in his will he was to be cremated upon his death. And he was, being the first recorded cremation in the USA.
Just to add a nice touch his will also stated his son must wrap his body in rolls of cloth and start the funeral pyre himself to inherit the land and wealth, and he did.
All the above is the short version of this mans life. Who know !