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.

1878

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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