In Search of Lawtons & Basingers: 1877 Letter of Condolence from Stuart Robinson to the Family of Corinne Elliott Lawton





                           Louisville, Ky

                                Feb 3, 1877

My dear Mrs. Lawton,

I have just received a copy

of the Savh Morning News

of Jan. 25th in which I find

announced the death of

Miss Corinne Lawton, after

a short illness.  The intelli-

gence is to me, peculiarly

sad & startling.  For I have

often recalled the happy

hours spent in your house-

jold, as one of the pleas-

antest visions of the past,

though I look back upon

many happy scenes of this

sort.  I need not tell you that

among all the figures that

moved about that delightful

Christian household, that

sweet, noble, Christian girl

was recollected with spe-

cial interest & affection.

Her lovely Christian spirit,

her elegant culture & her

surprising intelligence on

any & every subject that

happened to be called up,

were to me most fascinating.

And no doubt she won my af-

fection the more by the

simple & childish confidence

with which she reposed in me

the plans & prospects of her

future life – all so thorough-

ly Christian in the conception.

                I feel that no one can

enter into the depth of the

sorrow of you & Gen. Lawton

at the loss of such a daugh-

ter, just as you had begun

to reap the joy & comfort

which came to you as the

result of your long & careful

training of a spirit so

lovely by nature, & of such

bright intelligence, crown-

ed by so simple & beautiful

a faith in Christ as how

But allow me to “weep with

those that weep.” It is a

glorious thought in such a

case “that you sorrow not

as those that have no

hope.”  For you can but feel

that while you weep as Ra-

chel weeping for her child-

ren & (illegible) to be com-

forted, she is displaying

this more wonderfully.  Her

brightness & joyous spirit

in heaven – that though

“it brightness hath (illegible) from the earth,

Yet a star is newborn in the sky –

And a soul hath gone home to the

Land of its birth.

Where are pleasures & fullness of joy!

Where her thirst shall be slaked by the

water that spring

Like a river of light, from

the throne of the King, –

And a new harp is strung, and a

new song is given

To the breezes that float o’er the

gardens of Heaven.”

                This is the time, dear

Madam, for the exercise of

your faith in Jesus as Lord,

the Lord of Providence, to

whom all power is given in

heaven & earth – Who has the

key of Hades & of death, & none

can go out of life but at his

bidding.  It is the trouble with

all of us, that while we can so

implicitly trust Jesus as our

Priest, who has atoned for &

blotted out our sins, yet we

fail to trust Him as implicit-

ly as our King, who overrules

& directs all that concerns

us & ours.  And because of

the failure of our faith

in this regard, we are

often led into darkness

of soul under our bereavement.

Remember, He is Jesus Christ,

the same yesterday & today

& forever – and just as ready

now as when on the earth

to execute his commission

“to comfort those that mourn

& bind up the broken hearted.”

                God comfort you &

General Lawton in the loss

of that brightest & loveliest

of girls!  He alone can

comfort.  I can do nothing

but weep with you.  And

the Lord enable all your

children who survive to fol-

low her as she followed Christ.

                Yours truly

                Stuart Robinson

(You can read more about Rev. Stuart Robinson by clicking here.  You can also read the funeral invitation which I transcribed from the abstracts of the Savannah Morning News which does not mention a “short illness”.  Sugar & I went to the Georgia Historical Society two days ago and looked at the microfilm for the newspaper, which matches the abstract, and is conspicuously silent.  There is no obituary, and no further write-up after the funeral, which we noticed was common in the newspaper for people of stature in the community.)


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2 Responses to “In Search of Lawtons & Basingers: 1877 Letter of Condolence from Stuart Robinson to the Family of Corinne Elliott Lawton”

  1. Chico Says:

    A simple “Thank You” for sharing the real story about Corinne. My wife and I visited Bonaventure a few years back and were intrigued by Corinne’s statue. We took several photographs of the statue. It is nice to know the real story, and now we can share it with those that ask.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Hello, Chico, and welcome to the blog! Thank YOU for choosing to comment on this particular post. Rev. Stuart Robinson’s voice carefully addresses Corinne’s life in all aspects, and I find as much comfort in his words as I hope her family did.


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