Excerpts From Sarah Alexander Lawton’s Diary, 1877-1878

The following is from the Sarah Alexander Cunningham collection of family papers, MS 194, Box 2, Diary 1876-1884, at the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah, Georgia.  It is a transcription from the actual diary, or journal, if you will.

(Page 78)

Wednesday, June 27.  Yesterday &

today very hot.

July 5.  Thursday.  Weather very

hot for several days past.  Therm

in my room 84o at 7 A. M.  92 & 94

at mid-day.  Preparing to leave

& find it hard work in such weather.

Frequent pleasant letters from Nora

who finds it cold at Rye Beach.

Dec. 31, /77.  The year is closing – the sad-

dest year of my life.  How will its

record read from the Beyond?

Lulu is still a partial invalid

from her nine weeks illness.  Nora left

home to-day to attend Anna Craig’s wed-

ding.  Al is now at home, employed

in his father’s office.  To-day is cold

but except one short spell a month ago,

as yet there has been no winter weather.

The father is busy & often troubled but is

still the Centre of all things to us.

William & Bessie & Mr. Seaborn Jones &

Cliff have been here to tea.  Last night

(Page 79)

we had Loulie Gilmer.  Eddie Green

& Mr. Gogorza.  Last week Al has a little

supper party of youths like himself – to

meet McIntyre, who was on a visit to see

Charlie Habersham, Henry Hull, Doane

Harris, Geo. McAlpin, Hugh Starnes & Henry

Gamabl.  The days of company in

the house have recommenced – tho’ the

days of mourning are not ended.  But it

will never more be as it has been.


37o  We had no visitors on New Year’s

Day except that Dr. Houstoun & Sallie,

& Willie Mackall came in accident-

ally to dinner.  Lulu & I went to drive

in the forenoon, Sallie with us.  It was

a lovely day but cold.  In the evening

Al went with Loulie G. to a reception

at Mrs. Lamar’s – his first party-going here.

A.R.L. worked all day, as usual.  He

took a walk with me at dusk, & read to

Lulu & me at night.  Tom Butler died

at 2 P. M.  His father & mother & Cliff

were with him.  The next day we ac-

companied the hearse & the family to the…

(Page 83)

10 Jan.

Sunday.  Doubtful day – mild weather.

After church, singing at our house.  In

the afternoon, singing at the Hospital.

Mr. & Mrs. Wadley to tea.

Monday 21.  Lulu, Geo. Gilmer, & I rode

out to Bonavenure to see

Mr. Mills’ monument.  In the afternoon

late, Al & I went to the Cem & to see

Mrs. LaRoche & Mrs. Cleveland – one about

her lots at the Cem – the other about

singing lessons for Al.  In the evening

Capt. Payne.

Tuesday, 22d.  Ben. Gilmer & I rode to the

Cem.  Lulu & Nora took Mrs. McFarland

to drive.  Auntie came this afternoon.

Several other visitors were here also, but I

did not see them.  Lily Wade left.

On the 24th many flowers were sent

& we all visited the cemetery & adorned

there, one dear & sacred spot.  When I went

out, I found there all Auntie’s household,

(except Henry).  In the evening Hattie

came to tea, & Judge Tompkins, but L.,

N. & I took our tea upstairs.


Early on, when I first wrote about Sarah “Sallie” Alexander Lawton, I basically parroted some things that I had read about her.  I read that she liked the finer things in life, that her clothes came from Paris, and that she was an international traveler.  I haven’t seen any of that in her journal entries.

Her writings show her to be a woman of her time and social standing.  I don’t see any pretention in her words, and words are really all we have.


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