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The Sullivans
ChronologyOld Letters


Chronology: 1778 to 1952

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Anne Sullivan died at the Ursuline Convent in Galveston on July 16, 1858, and was buried in the Convent burial grounds where her remains still repose.

Her obituary notice in the Galveston News of July 31, 1858, reads as follows:

SULLIVAN - At the Ursuline Convent in this city, on the morning of the 16th ult., between the hours of twelve and one, ANNE SULLIVAN, aged fifteen years, the niece of Daniel Sullivan Esq., of Powder Horn, Texas.

She was a native of Kanturk and the daughter of Timothy and Helena Sullivan, a family of great respectability and character in the Barony of Duhallow, County of Cork, Ireland. In 1847, the parents accompanied by three of their children emigrated to Canada, leaving after them Anne and a younger brother. Shortly after their arrival in Montreal, Mr. Sullivan died of typhus fever. From the various accounts in the newspapers of that city, teeming with representations of the dreadful virulence of that disease, and no letters being received by their relatives, induced them to suppose, that the entire family had become victims to its influence. To Mrs. Sullivan's repeated letters written to her relatives, by some unaccountable means, she never received any reply; none of them having reached their destination. Thus matters stood for a period of eleven years, neither party knowing of the existence of the other. In 1850, the uncle, Mr. Daniel Sullivan, went to Ireland for Anne and her brother, and visiting that country in '56 without gleaning any further information of his brother's family, this truly philanthropic Christian returned to Texas, bringing with him another niece for his adoption. The latter with Anne, he confided in October '57, to the care of the ladies of the Ursuline order.

There is another strange coincidence in the eventful life of this child. After entering the convent, conceiving herself an orphan, she repeatedly expressed a wish to her cousin, that she should die and be buried within the precincts of that holy demesne.

By dint of perseverance Mrs. Sullivan (Anne's mother) it is supposed, some time in June, at last received a letter from Ireland in reply, stating that her daughter was in the convent in this city, and on the 1st inst., poor Anne received a letter, the first and only letter from her mother. The news was too joyous for the extreme sensibility of this affectionate and truly amiable girl - she fainted and for more than half an hour, remained in a state of insensibility. On recovering herself she observed, "that letter has pierced my heart, it has killed me! Yes, I shall die and never shall see my mother." To a naturally sensitive disposition, and possibly, some previously predisposed organic derangement, this gentle girl, after a few days of suffering from dysentery accompanied with fever, breathed her last.

The feelings of her uncle over the mound of his adopted child, must be imagined, for those, by whom they were witnessed, cannot describe in language, the tumults of his troubled breast. May He who watches o'er the good, pour His balm on the afflicted uncle and comfort the bereaved mother.

The oft expressed wishes of this amiable and pious child were complied with - her remains are interred in the modest cemetery of the Ursuline Convent of our city.

Canadian papers please transcribe.
Galveston, July 31st, 1858.

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Copyright 2002 Gabriel Brooke, (website). Transcription and editing: John Thomas, (website). Design and production: Marc Kundmann, (website).