Thomas Lawton, Immigrant, 1638, Aquidneck (Rhode) Island. Lineage to William Kelsey Lawton, born Aug 5, 1913
Sylvester A Lawton (The Patriot War)
Written by: Leo Lawton
All information for this article taken from a work written by Frederick T Lawton in 1950 entitled “Thomas Lawton, Immigrant, 1638, Aquidneck (Rhode) Island. Lineage to William Kelsey Lawton, born Aug 5, 1913.”
Kingston Fort Henry, 3rd January 1839 .
Dr parents I now take my pen to wright you a few lines for the last before these lines reach you I shall be no more. But I do earnistly beg and beaceach of you not to mourn for me But to feal willing to submit to the hand of God and rejoice and O my dear Father and Mother do not repinenor murmur—I feal to eclaim with the apostel Paul O death where is they sting O grave where is they victory. I have selected the 16 Chaptier of Proverbs and 25 virce (I think) for my funeral Discouce which is this There is a way that semeth Right un to man but the end thereofare the ways of death I should like if convenient to have it preached at the school house at Chaumont by Mr. Chpman of Indian Ridge I want him allso to Read the 57th Psalm for it hasbin my prayer to God I hope that my death will be a worning to all Americans to shun not onlyevil but evry aperance of evil tell Mr. Chpman to impress upon the minds of all them the unreasablenesson intierferring with the affairs of the People of Canada—
Give my love to Mr Zenas and Calvin Ellis and Mr. Bently Folks Mr. Dellano and Torreys people Mr. Yorks Dickeys Bows Shippyes and all the rest tell them all to seeak the Kingdomof heaven and it Richousness.
Dear parents I send you my Love and a Long fairwell hoping to meet you in heaven where there will be no more parting Your most Loving and Effectionate son Sylvester A. Lawton
To Joshua & Margaret Lawton Lyme The above missive is one of six written by Sylvester while a prisoner at Fort Henry, Kingston In 1836 two Canadians named William Lyon Mackenzie of Ontario, and Louis Joseph Papineau of Quebec took the initiative in the abortive attempt to free Canada from British rule. In December1837 Mackenzie led a mob of some 800 men to seize Toronto. They were quickly subdued by 1100 Loyalist troops. At this point American President Van Buren issued a proclamation for bidding Americans to aid Canada’s rebels. Nevertheless on the night of February 19,1838 hotheads stole 400 stand of arms from the state arsenal at Watertown, Jefferson, NewYork. During the winter a lodge of rifle men was organized in the town of Lyme and more than100 became “Hunters and Chasers” as the Canadian sympathizers were named Sylvester A Lawton probably held an Officer’s rank in the “Hunters and Chasers. ”
In a letter dated January3, 1839 he states that his rapier will be sent to his brother. Also he must have been considered aringleader or he would not have been sentenced to death.
Fort Henry 1st January 1839 Kingston Dear Brother Since I wrote the with in leter I have recved the sentence of Death with five others we are to be executed on Friday next. In November 1838 “Admiral Bill” Johnson got together a fleet of small boats and carried a force of 200 men under a Polish refugee Col. Von Schultz across the St. Lawrence river to attack Prescott, Canada. A strong force of Canadians was expected to aid them but this didn’t happen. The force captured Windmill, a stone tower near the town and held it for two days. British regulars then recaptured it. Of 182 men who defended the Windmill, 17 were killed in the fight, 3 died later of wounds, and 5 escaped before the surrender. Eleven ringleaders were hanged, including Sylvester A Lawton. Sixty four more were pardoned after trial, 22 were discharged without trial, and 60 were transported to Van Dieman’s land (now Tazmania) together with 18 more taken in a battle at Windsor, opposite Detroit.
Fort Henry Thursday evning 3 January 1839 Kingston Dr Parents Brothers and Sisters one and allI take this appertunity to let you all know that I still feal perfectly reconsiled to my fate and feal willing to Give up all Earthly Things to depart and be with Jesus and I hope that you will feal as much resigned to the Will of God in Regard to me as I do myself—O dear Brothers as you havenever maid a profession of Religion I want you to set out from this time with a deeturminationto serve the Lord— I must bid you all fair well hoping to meet you all wher sorrowing and sighing shall be don away and where the Hart Broken friends find an inexhaustable store of unconsumated Love. Yours truly till Death S. A. Lawton
The below written on back of above letter: Trust in the Lord Friday Morning Fair well all Dear FriendsI have but a few _______ to ______. (Words rubbed out on a fold)Mr Joshua Lawton & familyLyme, Jefferson, Co., N.Y.In your Patience PossessYe all SoulsS. A. Lawton Kingston, U. C. Spectator January 4th. This morning Christopher Buckley, Sylvester Lawton, Russell Phelps, and Duncan Anderson, state prisoner’s, were escorted from the fort at the usualhour to the Court House, and executed. Joseph Lefore (or Lefort), 29, Lyme, transported; Daniel Liscomb, 40, Lyme, transported; Samuel Livingstone, 40, Lisbon, transported; Joseph Lee, 21, Palermo, pardoned; Andrew Leeper,44, Lyme, transported; Hiram Loop, Schroeple, Oswego county, transported; Sylvester A. Lawton, 28, Lyme, hanged Jan. 4, 1839; Leman L. Leach, 40, Salina, hanged; Oliver Lawton,22, Saratoga Springs, pardoned.
Your editor does not know the relationship of Oliver Lawton of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, N Y, to Sylvester of Lyme, Jefferson County, N Y.