Four Books and Clermont Lee

Back to the Robertville revolutionary days and a few generations since…

I’ve acquired four books from several sources in relation to the early plats and documents from the Lawton Collection st the South Caroliniana Library.

First on the left is the first published biography of Henry Martyn Robert, edited and compiled by Dr. Leonard Young. Sugar and I meet the Young’s back in June when we took a tour of the Robert territories in Robertville.

Next is The Letters of Robert Mackay to his Wife, with an introduction and notes by Walter Charlton Hartridge. I found this on Amazon, and I am quite taken with the story and the language. Robert Mackay married Eliza McQueen, the daughter of John McQueen and Anne Smith McQueen, the sister of Mary Smith Cowper and Sarah Smith Wright.

Then I found another book on Amazon about Oglethorpe and Colonial Georgia by David Lee Russell. There is a timeline in the back of the book, and I’m tempted to make my own additions.

Lastly, Clever Reader Anne Starr has The Death of a Confederate by Skinner and Skinner. This is about Archibald Smith, the grandson of Archibald Smith, the brother of the aforementioned Smith women.

Inside the Mackay book is a newspaper clipping from 1949.

The book was part of a series commissioned by a genealogical society.


So I’m reading and thinking about these people and the times they lived in, and Sugar doesn’t understand why I am still under their spell. He thinks that I should be through with this saga. It’s no longer interesting to him.

But that’s the way my brain works. I turn things over and over, looking at things from all angles. I’m carrying these books around in a tote bag, I take them to work, I take them home, I tote them around in my brain and in my bag.

The Mackay book has such marvelous detail, and mentions people and places that I have uncovered in the old wills and documents. I decided to add those people to the family tree I’m working on.

A few generations after Eliza McQueen Mackay, I find a death certificate for one of her descendants in Bluffton, and the informant is Lawrence Lee. I’ve heard the name before, I think, but I can’t place it.

A bit more poking around and there she is. Clermont Lee. She was in class with Sugar’s mother, along with Walter Hartridge. We’ve been to her grave in Bonaventure, along with her parents Lawrence and Clermont Huger Lee.

Suddenly, Sugar finds this interesting. We’ve gone from British Loyalists living in the same area as his Robert ancestors, and located their families living in Savannah and Bluffton next to him and his family.

Once again, I am amazed at the connections here. Everyone knew everyone, especially if you had money and connections.

I suspect a few field trips are in order.

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