John Lawrence was an Innsmouth citizen who lived in the first half of the 19th century. He was the owner of the local newspapers - The Innsmouth Courier. His family was one of the more influential and was tightly connected with the Methodist Church.
When Obed Marsh founded the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and more and more people were declared missing, John Lawrence gathered the Christian folk of the town. They imprisoned Obed and his followers, but soon the Deep Ones arrived in force, killing many citizens. Lawrence and his followers were locked in the Courier basement and burned alive.
Soon after, the Oaths of Dagon were enforced upon the population and the Innsmouth Courier was closed.