Life in Kentucky
Association with Ninian Edwards
By late 1807, the family moved to Kentucky. When visiting in Virginia in 1806, their second child, James, was born. While little is yet known about Stephenson’s career in Kentucky, it is clear that he was a resident of the state for about six years. Benjamin and Lucy lived in Logan County for 2 years, and Benjamin Stephenson became one of the original members of the Russellville, Kentucky, Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons. While living near Russellville in 1809, their second daughter, Elvira, was born. It was probably during this period that Stephenson and Ninian Edwards became close friends and political allies. The alliance was cemented by both politics and by family. Lucy Stephenson’s cousin, Thomas Van Swearingen, married Julia Lane in 1803. Ninian Edwards was married to his first cousin, Elvira Lane, sister of Julia Lane. Lucy Swearingen Stephenson and Elvira Lane Edwards became very close friends. When the Edwards’ home in Edwardsville burned, the Edwards family moved into the Stephenson house for a time. The close association of Ninian Edwards and Benjamin Stephenson is illustrated by the fact that Edwards named his second son Benjamin Stephenson Edwards. The Stephensons named their second daughter Elvira after Elvira Lane Edwards.