ALEXANDER ROBERT LAWTON, CSA - History

ALEXANDER ROBERT LAWTON, CSA - History


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VITAL STATISTICS
BORN: 1818 in Beaufort District, SC.
DIED: 1896 in Clifton Springs, NY.
CAMPAIGNS: First Bull Run, Peninsula, Seven Days, Gaines' Mill, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Federicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga,
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Brigadier General
(Also served as Second Quartermaster General of the Confederacy)
BIOGRAPHY
Alexander Robert Lawton was born on November 4, 1818, in Beaufort District, South Carolina. He graduated from the US Military Academy in 1839, then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1842. He settled in Savannah, Georgia, and entered the fields of law, railroad administration and state politics. He favored Georgia's secession, and commanded the troops that seized Fort Pulaski. This was the Civil War's first act of war in Georgia. Commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate army on April 13, 1861, he was assigned to Virginia. Lawton took part in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the Seven days' Campaign and the Second Battle of Bull Run. He was seriously wounded at Antietam, and, in August of 1863, took on the administrative position of quartermaster general of the Confederacy. Although he brought energy and resourcefulness to the position, he was unable to solve the problem of material shortages and poorly-regulated railroads. In the years after the Civil War, Lawton became increasingly important as a political figure in Georgia. Nevertheless, he lost the 1880 election for the US Senate, in an election which seemed to represent to victory of the "New South" over the "Old South." Chosen president of the American Bar Association in 1882, he was appointed minister to Austria in 1887. Lawton died in Clifton Springs, New York, on July 2, 1896.

Guide to the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah

Bonaventure Cemetery sits upon a bluff above the Wilmington River east of Savannah, Georgia. When the land was owned by Colonel John Mullryne, beginning in 1762, and later by his son-in-law, it was an elegant plantation.

A historically popular destination for visitors because of its folklore, moss-draped oak trees, and hauntingly beautiful sculpture, Bonaventure Cemetery's tourism activity increased dramatically with the success of the bestselling novel, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." The statue featured on the cover of the book, known as Bird Girl, had to be moved from the cemetery for safekeeping and is now at the Telfair Museums' Telfair Academy in Savannah.


Robertville

Named for descendants of Hugnenot minister Pierre Robert, it was the birthplace of Henry Martyn Robert, author of Robert's Rules of Order and of Alexander Lawton, Confederate Quartermaster General. The town was burned by Sherman's army in 1865. The present church was built in Gillisonville in 1846 as an Episcopal Church, moved here by Black Swamp Baptists in 1871.

Erected 1971 by The Board Of Deacons Of Robertville Baptist Church. (Marker Number 27-1.)

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music &bull Churches & Religion &bull Communications &bull War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1865.

Location. 32° 35.199′ N, 81° 11.955′ W. Marker is in Robertville, South Carolina, in Jasper County. Marker is at the intersection of Columbia Highway (U.S. 321) and SC-S-27-26, on the right when traveling south on Columbia Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garnett SC 29922, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Baptists At Tuckasee King (approx. 5.9 miles away in Georgia) J. Lamar Brantley Road (approx. 6.9 miles away) John Adam Treutlen (approx. 8 miles away in Georgia) Two Historic Savannah River Ferries

(approx. 8.2 miles away in Georgia) Old Mount Pleasant (approx. 8.7 miles away in Georgia) Oak Grove Baptist Church (approx. 9.4 miles away) Tillman Baptist Church (approx. 10 miles away) Tillman (approx. 10.1 miles away).

Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.

Also see . . .
1. Henry Martyn Robert, From Wikipedia. (May 2, 1837 – May 11, 1923) was the author of Robert's Rules of Order, which became the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure and remains today the most common parliamentary authority in the United States. (Submitted on January 19, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)

2. Alexander Robert Lawton , Wikipedia. entry. (November 4, 1818 – July 2, 1896) was a lawyer, politician, diplomat and brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. (Submitted on January 19, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)


West Point Officers in the Civil War – Class of 1839

For Federal officers indicated rank is as U.S. Volunteers unless shown as “USA,” which indicates rank in the Regular U.S. Army.

Lewis A. Armistead Brigadier General Dismissed in 1836. Mortally wounded & monument at Gettysburg.
Henry S. Burton 9 Colonel USA
Edward Richard Sprigg Canby 30 Major General USV
Franklin D. Callender 8 Major USA
Samuel Kennedy Dawson 22 Lt. Colonel USA
Augustus A. Gibson 23 Colonel
Jeremy Francis Gilmer 4 Major General USV
Henry Wager Halleck 3 Major General USV
Joseph Abel Haskin 10 Brigadier General
Henry Jackson Hunt 19 Major General USV
Henry Bethel Judd 14 Major USA
Alexander Robert Lawton 13 Brigadier General
Edward Otho Cresap Ord 17 Major General USV
Eleazer Arthur Paine 24 Brigadier General
James Brewerton Ricketts 16 Major General USV
Isaac Ingalls Stevens 1 Major General USV Killed at Chantilly 1862
George Thom 7 Colonel
Charles Wickliff 26 Colonel Mortally wounded, Shiloh, Tenn., Apr. 1862

Cadets who did not serve in the Civil War

Lucius H. Allen 15 Resigned 1846. Major General Cal. Militia during war
Garrett Barett 25 Resigned 1847, drowned wreck of Lady Elgin, 1860
Joseph B. Boyd 18 Resigned 1841, died 1845
Robert Q. Butler 2 Second Lieutenant Professor of Engineering USMA Died at sea 1843
Michael S. Culbertson 6 Rsigned 1841, died Shanghai, China, 1862
Edgar B. Gaither 28 Regiment disbanded 1848, died 1855
Henry D. Grafton 11 Resigned 1854, died 1855
John H. Hill 31 First Lieutenant Died on duty Puebla, Mexico, 1847
Thomas Hunton 27 Declined apointment in army aafter graduation
William Irvin 20 Resigned 1841, Died 1852
William H. Korn 29 Resigned 1840, died 1842
James L. Rankin 12 First Lieutenant Died on duty in riding accident, Savannah, Ga. 1845
Henry L. Smith Captain Died on duty Madisonville, La. 1853
William S. Smith 21 First Lieutenant Died on duty Kingsbridge, N.Y. 1849

Alphabetical Index of West Point Officers in the Civil War
A • B • C • DE • FG • H • IJKL • M • NOP • QR • S • TUV • W


Lawton Family History

The family history the Lawtons of the Summer Oaks plantation in Thomas County, Georgia. This family history centers around Alexander Benjamin Lawton (1809-1861) and his wife, Narcissa Melissa Lawton (1817-1883). Together, the couple had seven children: Alexander Cater Lawton (1841-1921), Winborn Theodore Lawton (1843-1892), Clara J. Lawton (b. 1845), Robert W. Lawton (b. 1847), Benjamin F. Lawton (ca. 1848-ca. 1853), Thomas J. Lawton (b. 1851), and Emma Lenora Lawton (1853-1907). Lawton also had three children from his previous marriage to Elizabeth Brisbane Lawton (1808-1839): Mary Jane Lawton (b. 1832), Martha S. Lawton (b. 1834), and Eusebia Lawton (ca. 1836-ca. 1850).

Part I on the book focuses on the Lawton family background, highlighting William Lawton, Joseph Lawton, Benjamin Themistocles Dion Lawton, and Winborn Asa Lawton. Part II details the immediate family of Alexander Benjamin Lawton and his family while living in South Carolina, while Part III discusses the family's migration to the Summer Oaks plantation in Georgia. Part IV describes the location of Summer Oaks and Part V discusses theories about the location of Alexander Benjamin Lawton's resting place. Part VI details the descendants of the Lawtons of Summer Oaks. This family history was compiled by the great-great-great granddaughter of Alexander Benjamin Lawton and Narcissa Melissa Lawton, Stacey Allene Church and her father, Gerald Marshall Church. Many of the descendants of the Lawtons migrated to Oviedo, Florida.


--> Lawton, Alexander Robert, 1818-1896

Alexander Robert Lawton of Savannah, Ga., was a lawyer, Confederate brigadier and quartermaster general, president of the American Bar Association, Georgia state legislator, and U.S. minister to Austria-Hungary, 1887-1889.

From the description of Alexander Robert Lawton papers, 1774-1952 (bulk 1839-1896). WorldCat record id: 24864372

Confederate soldier and lawyer.

From the description of Letter signed : Richmond, to S. L. Fremont, 1864 Mar. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270599079

Lawyer and Confederate brigadier general, from Savannah, Ga.

From the description of Letters, 1861-1872. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 154270737

From the description of Letters, 1861-1872. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 19865896

Alexander Robert Lawton (1818-1896) was born in the Beaufort district in South Carolina and was the son of Alexander J. and Martha Masse Lawton. Lawton graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1839 and served as a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery before resigning his commission in 1840 to study law at the Harvard Law School. Lawton graduated in 1842 and settled in Savannah, Georgia where he entered the fields of law and railroad administration. He favored Georgia's secession from the Union during the Civil War and became colonel of the 1st Georgia Volunteers and was later commissioned as brigadier general in the Confederate States Army on 13 April 1861. Lawton commanded the forces guarding Georgia's coastline before being reassigned to Virginia. In August 1863, he became the second Quartermaster General of the Confederate States of America. Following the end of the Civil War, Lawton returned to Savannah and continued to practice law at the law firm of Jackson, Lawton, and Basinger. In 1882, he was elected president of the American Bar Association and also formed his own law practice, Lawton and Cunningham, with his son, Alexander Rudolf Lawton and his son-in-law, H. C. Cunningham. In 1887, Lawton was appointed minister of Austria-Hungary by President Grover Cleveland and remained in that position until 1889. Lawton died in 1896 and was buried in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

From the description of Alexander R. Lawton account book, 1883-1896. (Georgia Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 605875759

Alexander Robert Lawton (1818-1896), Confederate general, lawyer, Georgia congressman, resided in Savannah, Georgia.

From the description of Letter to P. Tracy, 1861 Apr. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38478130

Alexander Robert Lawton (1818-1896) was a West Point graduate, studied law at Harvard, and from 1849-1854 was president of the Augusta and Savannah Railroad. An ardent secessionist, he was commissioned brigadier general on 13 April 1861 in charge of Georgia's coastal defenses. In 1864 he was named Confederate quartermaster general. After the war he practiced law, served in various railroad capacities and was President Cleveland's minister to Austria.

"Known as the "Macaulay of the South," Charles C. Jones Jr. was the foremost Georgia historian of the nineteenth century. Also a noted autograph and manuscript collector and an accomplished amateur archaeologist, Jones in later years became a prominent memorialist of the Lost Cause and critic of the New South." - "Charles C. Jones Jr." New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org (Retrieved August 21, 2008)

From the description of Alexander Lawton letter to Charles C. Jones, 1866 May 26. (University of Georgia). WorldCat record id: 576037581

Alexander Robert Lawton (1818-1896) was born to planter and militia officer Alexander James Lawton (1790-1876) and Martha Mosse (b. 1788), daughter of Dr. George Mosse, on 4 November 1818 in Saint Peter's Parish, Beaufort District, S.C. Lawton graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1839 and served in an artillery unit until 1841, when he resigned to study law at Harvard. He established a law practice in Savannah, Ga., in 1843, and, in 1845, married Sarah Hillhouse Alexander, with whom he had four children. Lawton was involved in a number of business, including the running of a plantation. From 1849 to 1854, Lawton was president of the Augusta and Savannah Railroad.

A staunch secessionist, Lawton was elected to the Georgia state legislature in 1855, and was considered to be among its strongest members. In 1860, he was elected to the Georgia senate. When Georgia seceded, Lawton resigned to help organize a state regiment. As colonel of the 1st Volunteer Georgia Regiment, he seized Fort Pulaski--the first overt act of war in Georgia. In April of 1861, he was commissioned a brigadier general and put in charge of Georgia's coastal defenses. In 1862, he was sent to Richmond Lawton fought in the second battle at Manassas and was wounded and disabled in 1862 at Sharpsburg. Jefferson Davis named Lawton quartermaster general in February of 1864, over Lawton's protests some public doubt over the legitimacy of Lawton's appointment encouraged him to resign from this position in 1864.

After the war, Lawton returned to his law practice in Savannah, and quickly became involved once again in politics. From 1870 to 1875, he served in the state legislature. In 1876, he chaired the state electoral college, and, in 1877, acted as vice president of the Georgia constitutional convention. In 1880, Lawton was defeated as the Democratic Candidate for the United States Senate. In 1882, he served as president of the American Bar Association. From 1887 to 1889, Lawton acted as minister to Austria. He died in Clifton Springs, N.Y., on 2 July 1896.

Lawton's son, Alexander Rudolph Lawton, was born in Savannah, 9 August 1858. He received his A.B. from the University of Georgia in 1877, attended law school at the University of Virginia and Harvard, and passed the bar in 1880. In 1882, he joined the firm of Lawton and Cunningham, and became involved in a number of railroad concerns, including the Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia, the Central of Georgia Railroad, the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, and the Western Railway of Alabama. Alexander Rudolph Lawton was also director of the Ocean Steamship Company of Alabama and the Chatham Bank and Trust Company. He died in Savannah in 1936.

For biographical information of Alexander Robert Lawton, see Jon Wakelyn's Biographical Dictionary of the Confederacy, page 278, and the Dictionary of American Biography, Volume 11, page 61.

From the guide to the Alexander Robert Lawton Papers, 1774-1952, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)


Ruthrawls's Blog

It’s these little connections that mean so much.

When Sugar and I go on a trip, or solve a history mystery, or make a cousin connection, there’s a mellow little glow that goes on for several days, weeks, or months afterward.

Like I’ll call him on the phone while he’s out on his route, and he’ll say that he’s thinking about the trip (or whatever), and it helps him get through the day.

So now, even though we just spent an evening and a day tramping around old Lawton haunts, he needs to go back to Robertville after the Lawton family reunion, and check out some gravestones.

We drove back to the Robertville Baptist Church to view the graves of Alexander James Lawton and his two wives, Martha Mosse Lawton and Cordelia P. Lawton.

I brought along some supplies to attempt to make the inscriptions legible. We had in our arsenal several items: art paper for taking a rubbing, a sketching pencil, tape, vinegar, and an old soft toothbrush.

It was too windy for the paper to be held down by tape, plus the tape was not sticking to the stones. I tried without success, because that’s just how I do things. I’ve ruled out things without actually trying them, and then found out later that I should have reversed the process: try, then rule out.

We didn’t have any cornstarch like we saw the lady using the day before at the Robert Cemetery. We could probably have walked across the highway to the little market, but we felt committed to the vinegar. You could rub the vinegar with your hand across the top of the stone and watch the grime disintegrate, then the dark vinegar would run into the indentions and highlight the inscriptions. The old toothbrush helped.

IN MEMORY

MRS. MARTHA LAWTON

Consort of

Col. Alexr. J. Lawton,

Who departed this life

on the 26 th July 1836,

Aged 47 years, 10 months & 21 days.

Beloved and regretted by all her

Friends & acquaintances.

In the various relations of Daughter,

Mother, Friend, & Wife,

and as an humble follower of

Jesus Christ.

She acted her part

with

usefulness & Honor.

THROUGH THE GATE OF DEATH

PASSED TO HIS JOYFUL RESURRECTION

April 8 1876

in the 86 th Year

of his Age.

ALEXANDER JAMES LAWTON

Active & self-sacrificing in the

discharge of every public, charitable,

social & religious duty.

Honored & beloved

As widely as he was known.

This monument is a token of the

gratitude of his devoted sons for his

useful life. Length of days Happily

lived & peacefully closed.

*****
Patient continuance in well doing

Glory

Honor

Immortality

Eternal life

IN MEMORY

of the

Worth and Virtues

MRS CORDELIA P. LAWTON

Wife of

Alexr. J. LAWTON.

She was born in Germany, Europe.

And when a small child brought by her parents

to this Country.

She removed to Black Swamp, Beaufort District, So. Ca.

as the wife of him who mourns her loss,

about 19 years since a stranger,

and by her active and pious attention

to all the duties of life,

secured the affection or respect

of a wide circle of friends.

She died at her home of Paralyses,

11 th September, 1856,

Aged 57 years 8 months and 16 days

She was strong in faith in her Saviour

and professed his name as a Baptist

more than 20 years.

As her life was useful so her end was peaceful.

Life’s labor done, as sinks the day.

Light from its land the Spirit flies.

While heaven and earth combine to say,

How blest the righteous when she dies.

I’ve noticed a trend that I’m disturbed about. I use these cemetery photos to create memorials on www.findagrave.com. Sometimes I don’t rush right over to www.ancestry.com to put these very same cemetery photos into a family tree. I’ve seen my photos lifted by someone else, two people in particular, from findagrave and put onto ancestry as their own. Ancestry.com has a feature that allows someone else to “borrow” the photo from someone else’s tree and place it in their own tree. I’m highly annoyed when I see that someone has stolen a photo of mine (thus I own the copyright) and put it out there in the big world as their own. I experimented with a random stone by adding my identification to it, so if someone steals it, the credit who be embedded in the photo.

I’m horrified at how tacky it looks, so I suppose I will leave well enough alone, and just pout about thievery.

In memory of

EUSEBIA SARAH

LAWTON,

third daughter of

Col. Alexr. J. Lawton &

Martha, his consort,

who died on Black Swamp

So. Ca., 28 March 1816,

aged 15 months and

11 days.

GEORGE MOSS LAWTON

Born

November 9, 1820

Died

April 3, 1878.

Do you remember George Moss(e) Lawton? Sarah Alexander Lawton wrote about his demise in her journal. He was the brother of her husband Alexander Robert Lawton, so they of course were two of the children of Alexander James Lawton and his wife Martha Mosse Lawton.

In memory of

THIRZA LAWTON

second daughter of

Col. Alex r . J. Lawton &

Martha his consort,

who died on Blackswamp

So. Ca. 21 Oct. 1817

aged 4 years 10 mo. &

28 days.

Thirza Lawton is another child of Alexander James Lawton and his wife Martha Mosse Lawton. Her death is mentioned in Alexander James Lawton’s plantation journal, which is at the Georgia Historical Society, in transcribed form. I’ll write about that later.

IN MEMORY OF

CAPTAIN EDWARD PAYSON LAWTON, C.S.A.

Edward Payson Lawton is yet another child of Alexander James Lawton and his wife Martha Mosse Lawton. He was the youngest child, and was small when his mother died. He died on the Confederate side during the Civil War, thus the “C.S.A.” after his name.

While I was photographing, I saw a small movement at my feet. Needless to say, I was startled at movement in a graveyard, because I, too, saw the Stephen King movie “Carrie”. It was just Mr. Turtle. Thank goodness.

This should teach everyone to travel with a jug of white vinegar at all times. A BIG jug. We ran out.


Stories of the Forgotten

In 1877, a young lady by the name of Corinne Elliot Lawton tragically died after throwing herself into a river just miles from her home. The story circulated in sewing circles and afternoon tea conversations, claimed that the young lady was so depressed that she could not marry the man that she loved, that she was being forced to marry another man, and between both circumstances she chose to end her life in such a tragic way.

So did this happen, or what? I am trying my best to address this. You see, I was scrolling along on Facebook and I noticed on a lovely page called “Historic Cemeteries”, (which by the way, has awesome photographs of cemeteries!) and I came across an album of photographs from Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. One photograph in particular stood out to me. This lovely headstone to a young lady named Corinne Elliot Lawton.


On the actual headstone it marks her date of death as being January 24, 1877 and her epitaph reads: “Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.” The statue that appears to be of Corinne’s physical likeness, was brought in from Palermo, Cicily. It had been created by renowned 19th Century artist and sculptor, Benedetto Civiletti at her father, Alexander Lawton’s request.

Civiletti's design of monument (P-415/11)
Wilson Library-UNC


Many websites state very detailed and over-the-top stories of this young lady being in love with a man who was of a simpler means (lower-class), and that her parents would not approve of their relationship. They also state that an arranged marriage was made by her father, Alexander Robert Lawton. He was a widely known Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, a Lawyer, Politician and Diplomat. I can understand how easy it would be for most people searching for answers, and finding all these websites that claim the same thing, to just assume that their facts are correct and continue to tell the same story again and again. Sadly, this is what happens when facts get mixed up with rumors and suddenly a hundred or so years later it is seemingly impossible to tell fact from fiction. Or is it?


Who Was Corinne Elliott Lawton?

Corinne Elliot Lawton was born September 21, 1846 to her parents Alexander Robert Lawton and Sarah Hillhouse Alexander. She was the oldest daughter of this highly prestigious family in Georgia. From recorded letters and documents in historical record, it shows that her friends and acquaintances thought of her in a very flattering light. One letter from a friend of the family stated that he believed Corinne to have "elegant culture" and "surprising intelligence." In every mention of Corinne, she is spoken of very highly as a "spiritual" young lady, with very good Christian values and having plans for her future.

In both the diaries and letters, there is never any mention of Corinne being depressed or distraught, and certainly no mention of any uprising within the family or suicide. On the contrary, it shows the loving and rather close-knit family the Lawton’s actually were. This helps disprove another rumor that has been widespread online. Many people go so far as to state that her family thought she was “cursed” for taking her own life. Thus the statue of Jesus in their family plot of the cemetery is facing her back, showing she turned her back on her salvation.

The statue of Jesus wasn’t even put in the cemetery until after Corinne’s parents had died. Plus, Corinne hadn’t been buried at Bonaventure cemetery originally. First she was interred at the Laurel Grove Cemetery and years later re-interred at Bonaventure. That could explain why her grave was placed outside of the family plot and the direction it is facing. Perhaps they had run out of spaces.


I do not believe for one second that her family shunned her in death, nor do I think that they believed that she was condemned from receiving her chance at everlasting life. No, I do not believe she took her own life, and the words of her mother speak volumes in comparison to the typed opinions of various bloggers with no facts backing their stories up.


Lawton Girls
(P-415/9) Wilson Library UNC
Bottom line is that during the weeks leading up to Corrine’s death, she had been ill. Her mother claimed that for 10 days Corinne had been sick with a cold. Other members of the household grew ill, and even notations in the diary mention Sarah's own recollection of suffering sickness the previous Summer, gave mention of a very bad illness. It seems to me that perhaps the Yellow Fever epidemic that had claimed its toll on many in that area just months prior, hadn’t fully died down. If the weather was continuously raining as she states in her diary, and she mentions the warm temperatures that would make sense about the mosquito theory that Ruth Rawls mentions. The fact that more than one person in the house was ill tells me that something was going around, whether it was Yellow Fever or not, it was obviously bad. Another visitor to the home died only a few weeks after Corinne.

When I read that Corinne had been ill with the cold and then later seemed to be a little better only with slight fever, I started wondering if maybe she had got a slight bronchitis or pneumonia. The only reason I mention this is because two years ago around late December, I had been ill with a cold. I thought I had recovered, but slowly I grew more tired. I didn’t have a fever and if I did, it was slight. I suffered from a sore throat though, so I decided to see the doctor. They told me, to my surprise, that they wanted me to get a chest X-ray, so I agreed. It turned out that I had “walking pneumonia” and had no idea. Within days though, I took a turn for the worse and nearly died. I was so ill that I had to move in with my mother for weeks. She cared for me and slept by my side, often wondering if I would stop breathing in my sleep. Thankfully, I recovered.

When I read Corinne’s mother’s words, I thought of my own experience and wondered if maybe Corinne’s cold had turned into something far worse, thus the reason her mother stopped writing about Corrine’s illness and referring it to the “days of darkness.” Perhaps Corinne took a turn for the worse, just as I had. When I was ill, I had antibiotics and still I almost died. I can imagine if I had been sick while living during that time period of 1877, I would have been a ‘goner’ for sure.

Again, it is quite possible given the recorded amount of deaths caused by the Yellow Fever in the state just months prior and the fact that Wallace Cummings died shortly thereafter, that both their deaths may have been caused by that very same Yellow Fever epidemic, so we may never know for sure which illness caused her death. But we do know that illness took her life, not suicide.

Corinne's mother, Sarah even wrote in her diary the moment her daughter took her last breath, at 7:40 a.m. on January 24, 1877. Had Corinne drowned herself as the urban legends tell, then how on earth would her mother know the last moment of her daughter’s life? Recorded in a preserved letter from a friend of the Lawton family, Mr. Stuart Robinson mentions having had read the The Savannah Morning News (January 25, 1877) which posted her short obituary, where it states that Corinne had died after a "short illness."

I think that with the tales of “romantic tragedies” or “star crossed lovers” that cannot be, that people become so fascinated with it that it becomes larger than life. The tales and rumors then spread for over 100 years making it hard to decipher between the factual part and the fictional parts. The rumors of a young, beautiful southern bride-to-be who jumps to her death into a raging river, to escape an eminent and miserable marriage proved to be just that, a rumor! There are no historical facts backing these over embellished tales.

Corinne's monument (P-415/10)
Wilson Library UNC
In the end, we should all be happy that this young lady did not take her own life. We should be glad that she was not mistreated by her family, nor was she forced to live an unhappy life with a man she didn’t love. If that was the case, she would have been married off by her family at a younger age. No, certainly her parents loved Corinne so deeply that they never shunned her in life, nor in death and even erected a statue made by one of the most sought after Sicilian sculptor's of the 19th Century which I am sure cost a small fortune, and placed it at her grave to honor her memory. Thus, showing the love and respect they had for their daughter. In fact, genealogy records prove that Corinne’s niece was named after her, showing how much the family adored her.

Her death was tragic and very sad, because of the fact that she died so young. It was even more tragic due to the fact it was caused by an illness she could not recover from. But, we should take heart in the fact that she died in bed, surrounded by her mother, her father and her loving family, instead of dying all alone in a dark watery grave at the bottom of the river as others have claimed she did. Corinne’s story is one that should be told over and over again, but told correctly. We should honor her memory by stating the true facts and by remembering her for the good person she was. We should also take delight in the fact that she and her immediate loved ones are all together now, resting in peace.

Rest In Peace, Corinne. You are not forgotten!


Photo Credit: Historic Cemeteries - Mary Homick © 2011

(Original Copyright 9/11/2013, by J'aime Rubio)
Also published in the book, "Stories of the Forgotten: Infamous, Famous & Unremembered," by J'aime Rubio, 2016.


To learn more about Corinne Elliot Lawton, please check out Ruth Rawl's blog. She is certainly dedicated to keeping the correct version of Corinne's life and death alive and available to set the record straight once and for all. Thank you Ruth, for your dedication to find the truth. You are a fellow truth seeker!

All historical photos were provided to me by Alexander Robert Lawton Papers, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Digital Southern Historical Collection: Series 6- circa 1860-1889
P-415/4, P-415/9, P-415/10, P-415/11
Thank you to Laura Clark Brown
Coordinator , Digital Southern Historical Collection

Thank you to Mary Homick @ Historic Cemeteries for allowing me to use her photos of Corinne's grave at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. To see more of Mary's absolutely amazing photography please check her out on facebook.

Sarah Lawton's diary is available at the Georgia Historical Society at: 501 Whitaker St Savannah, GA

The Alexander Lawton Papers, as well as many other documents regarding the Lawton family can also be obtained by Chapel Hill's Wilson Library (University of North Carolina).


George / Alex Lineberry Cemetery

For discussion of history and genealogy of the New River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia you are welcomed to join the New River History and Genealogy Discussion Group.

Welcome and we hope you join the discussions.

WhatsNew:

New River Notes &mdash Complete

January 21, 2014

After about two years of work we have completed a major upgrade to New River Notes. On January 21, 2014 we switched in the last of the updated files and final page revisions.

In January 2013 we introduced the new site layout but because there were many pages left to do there was a big red Under Construction on the front page. A year later we've finished all of the pages that were on the original site. Construction is complete. We have a great looking site full of material to help you in your research and possibly entertain you.

New River Notes

January 6, 2013

New River Notes, a leading genealogy resource for the New River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia, launched its new look website today.

New River Notes was originally launched in 1998 by Jeffrey C. Weaver providing New River Valley researchers with a new wealth of information and that tradition is continued today by the Grayson County, Virginia Heritage Foundation, Inc.

Welcome and we hope you enjoy our new look.

George/Alex Lineberry Cemetery

Carroll County, Virginia

Sulphur Springs District

Location: Hebron Community

Directions: On the north side of Rt. 635 (Pridemore Road), 1.5 miles from Rt. 735 (Hebron Road). At the residence at 1499 Pridemore Road turn onto a private road and drive .04 mile through the fields to the cemetery.

GPS Coordinates: N 36.762260 W 080.892930

Surveyed by: Buford C. Wilson 27 May 2010 [email protected]

Comments: This cemetery was called the Alex Lineberry Cemetery for many years. Recently it has been renamed the George Lineberry Cemetery. The Cemetery is well fenced and in excellent condition. Information in [brackets] is not on the stone.


Ruthrawls's Blog

I snagged the following from Sugar’s collection. Every now and then, he trots out some “fact” that I suspect is “fiction”, but it turns out that he is quoting from the following document. This paper was presented at a Lawton family reunion back in the Sixties. I was interested to see that the paper mentions Isabella Graham and her relationship to Colonel Alexander James Lawton.

I’ve transcribed a great majority of the paper. The transcription will follow the images. I have not transcribed the first part because there are some errors in the research which have been corrected in the current genealogies of this family. Rather than perpetuating the myth, I’ll ignore it, which is a tried-and-true method of mine.

I have also not transcribed the “Notes” section at the end of the paper. If you are interested in reading the Notes, you can click on the image to enlarge and enjoy. I’m trying to save myself some transcription aggravation because I’ve come into a large amount of old letters and documents that will need to be slapped onto the blog. Oh, my aching wrists…

  1. WILLIAM HENRY LAWTON (born 23 February, 1775, died 1 November, 1827) married 31 October, 1797 Catherine Maner, daughter of Capt. William & Jane Aseneth May Maner seven children.
  2. JOSEPH J. LAWTON (born 19 August, 1777, died 1859) married Phoebe (born 6 December, 1781) daughter of Dr. George Mosse (born Ireland 1742, died Black Swamp, Robertville 17 February, 1808) & Dorothy Phoebe Norton (born St. Helena’s Island 10 November, 1751, died Black Swamp 1808, daughter of Jonathan Norton & Mary Ann Chaplin, daughter of John & Phoebe Ladson Chaplin of St. Helena’s Beaufort District, S. C.) eight children.
  3. MARY LAWTON (born 5 May, 1778) died in infancy.
  4. MARY LAWTON (born 20 September, 1781) died in infancy.
  5. BENJAMIN THEMISTOCLES D’ION LAWTON (born 22 December, 1782, died and buried at Albany, Georgia 1846) married in 1803 Jane Mosse (born St. Helena’s 27 December, 1783, buried Lawtonville Cemetery 1857), sister of Phoebe & Martha Mosse eleven children.
  6. CHARLOTTE ANNE LAWTON (born 17 September, 1785) married her 1 st cousin, Rev. James Jehu Robert (born Robertville 4 November, 1781, died 19 Janurary, 1852,son of John Robert, born Santee 13 July, 1742, died Robertville 25 February, 1826, and Elizabeth Dixon, granddaughter of II Landgrave Thomas Smith & his 2nde, Mary Hyrne, born 1690, daughter of Edward Hyrne) seven children.
  7. THIRZA E. LAWTON (born 17 September, 1787, died 3 December, 1811 in the vicinity of Natchez, Miss., where her husband and her two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin T. D., had immigrated that year) married 18 June, 1806 at Black Swamp, Thomas Polhill II, son of Rev. Thomas & Rachel Patton Polhill three children.
  8. MAHALI LAWTON (born 14 September, 1789) died in infancy.
  9. ALEXANDER JAMES LAWTON (born 21 November, 1790, died 8 April, 1876) married 15 Noember, 1809, Martha Mosse, born 5 September, 1789, sister of Phoebe and Jane Mosse twelve children.
  10. WINBORN ASA LAWTON (born 23 June, 179, died Lawtonville 23 February, 1878) married (1) Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Cater Rhodes (born 25 June, 1776, died 25 February, 1823 daughter of Thomas Cater (1751-1803) and Rachel Miles (1755-1802), daughter of Capt. Silas & Elizabeth McPherson Miles), widow of Thomas Rhodes who died 25 April, 1809 2 children (2) Mrs. Perry (3) Lucinda Landrum five children.
  11. SAMUEL JOHN LAWTON (born 22 June, 1796) died in infancy.

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6 Responses to “The Lawton Family of Robertville, SC, by Inabinett”

Just put up Dr. Theodore Dehon Mathews’ 1861 patent application for Castor Oil soap yesterday on my greatunclephilip.wordpress.com blog, which includes many entries on the Lawtons and the Mathews. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Lawton. They were the parents of my great-grandfather, Thomas Stoney Mathews.

Great! I tried to comment on your blog, but couldn’t get the comment to post.

My interest is in Joseph Lawton a merchant on Charleston in the early C19. He was from Saddleworth, Yorkshire.
There seem s no link with the existing Lawtons in SC.
Is this pure coincidence?
Have you come across any connection or with the Lawtons of Church Lawton?
Neil Barrow

Hi Neil, and welcome to the blog!
I did find a reference to another Joseph which I have on the blog. Let me get the link.


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