Stephen Lawton Bible

Author: Leo Lawton

December 1, 2019

I often sit and contemplate things that matter little to others. I suppose we all do from time to time. While thus engaged an old poem/song came to mind. “Beyond The Sunset”
This is the first verse as sang by Hank Williams, my all-time favorite Country and Western entertainer.
Should you go first and I remain to walk the road alone
I’ll live in mem’ry’s garden dear with happy days we’ve known
In spring I’ll wait for roses red when fades the lilacs bloom
And in early fall when brown leaves fall I’ll catch a glimpse of you
Should you go first and I remain for battles to be fought
Each thing you’ve touched along the way will be a hallowed spot
I’ll hear your voice I’ll see your smile though blindly I may grope
The mem’ry of your helping hand will buoy me on with hope
Beyond the sunset oh blissful morning when with our Saviour heaven is begun
Earth’s toiling ended oh glorious dawning beyond the sunset when day is done.
After wandering around that song I got to thinking about an old bible that spends its time here in my home. I lifted it from a shelf to look at some old items within its pages. As I opened the cover to the first page I once again saw the inscription “Stephen Lawtons Bible Bought by Him in New York June 16th, 1801.I entered that date into a calculator program that told me it has been 218 years, 5 months, and 2 weeks since that day so long ago Stephen Lawton decided the object he wanted the most was a family Bible. This led me to thinking how long ago that was, and how this Bible found its way to my home. We know it was Stephen’s because he said so. He was born in 1764, and wed Sarah Earl in 1791, she died in 1792 (child birth?). Stephen rewed Sarah Newberry in 1796. They had one child Sarah Earl Lawton in 1797. Daughter Sarah married Stephen Waterman, and they had a daughter named Delia Waterman in 1821. Delia married Edward Clowes, and they produced 6 children between 1845 and 1860. Edward was killed in the Civil War in 1863. Delia remarried Solomon Gifford in 1865. No more children were born of that union. Delia somehow found her way to Jacksonville, Florida and died there in 1899.
In some manner Stephen’s Bible found its way to Charleston, South Carolina, and from there to me.