letter excerpt The Dix Family Archive
The Sullivans
ChronologyOld Letters


Chronology: 1778 to 1952

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The letter from her mother to her children Anne and Daniel which presumably led to the death of her daughter Anne is dated at Montreal, June 17, 1858 and was received at the Ursuline Convent, Galveston, Texas, shortly before her death, July 16, 1858. The letter reads as follows:

Montreal, June 17th '58

My dear children:

I do for the first time in my life take up my pen to address you wishing the same may find you in the enjoyment of good health as this leaves me at present, thanks be to God.

And pray I ask you what will I say, what will your Mother who has borne you in your infancy while she drew the sap of life, nay even your very existence from her bosom, who clasped you in her arms with a maternal fondness not to be equalled by any other than a mother who watched your sleeping form, your infantile angelic smiles, willing to lay down her life and her all sooner than have a hair of your head to be stirred & expected sooner or later to receive the like embraces from you.

But alas! My dear children how soon were those hopes blasted at the very time I was expecting my hopes to be realized. We were parted for how long, for eleven long years and I left in unutterable anguish with a broken, a troubled mind, sorrow not to be equalled, pining over the absence of my long lost children, lost to me but not to themselves, thanks be to God and their kind benefactor who has watched over you with a fatherly affection.

But I say again you were lost to me. My slumber was wearisome, the tranquility of my mind destroyed, nay nearly driven to despair was it not for that Almighty Providence, who watches with an all seeing eye over the orphan and the widow, strengthened me in my tribulation and at last brought tidings to me of where you are.

O children! O children! Am I ever to see you again? Am I ever to receive the fond caresses of my dear children? O happy would I be if I could see only one sight of you! It would inspire me with new life. O that God may send the day I will be thus blessed.

If you receive this letter tell your Uncle of it and give him all the blessings I can bestow on him for his unremitting kindness to you and send me word if it be his wish I would go to see you. If not I will not.

Send me word how long it is since your aunt died. Also send me word how are your other Uncles and if any of them are married. Also send me word how is your Aunt Anne's child.

The markings you sent to your Aunt for me I have received and it was a welcome gift to me. You will doubtless wish to know how I came to know your address.

I was writing home constantly to my people and could get no tidings of you until I wrote to your Aunt Mary and she sent me your directions together with the Markings you sent her. Send me in your letter a lock of your own and your brother's hair and let Miss Anne Cotter know her people are well.

No more but wishes to give my best love and respects to your Uncle and I remain your most loving Mother.

Ellen Sullivan

Write immediately when you receive this letter and when you write direct your letter
To Ellen Sullivan care of John Torrance, Eq.
St. Antoine Hall, Montreal Post Office
Lower Canada -
Ellen Sullivan

No further data is found relative to the Timothy Sullivan and Ellen Sullivan family of Montreal from this period to the year 1889 when notice of the death of Ellen Sullivan at Montreal came to the attention of her son Daniel (our father) at San Antonio, Texas.

The Civil War (1861 to 1865) had intervened and all intercourse between the Irish, Canadian and Louisiana families had ceased, not to be renewed. Nothing was then known as to what happened to Mrs. Ellen Sullivan and the three children, Timothy Jr. and two others who had accompanied their parents Ellen and Timothy Sullivan to Montreal in 1847 and whose names I found no mention of.

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