James Robert Sullivan
James arrived in Texas on April 1, 1853 as a child of 5, with his parents, John Sullivan and Eliza Schamp Sullivan. He was one of their six children making the trip. He died 8 years later of head injuries sustained when kicked by a horse.
The story of how this happened passed down through generations of his nieces and nephews as a means of teaching children how to behave around horses. It seems that an old horse, more a pet than transport, was sleeping while tethered close to the house. James walked by, slapped the horse on the rump, and startling it. It kicked and the blow struck him in the head. He lingered a while and then, as his mother recorded in her bible, “departed this life…in the 13th year of his age.”
Photo: Ambrotype ca. 1858, probably made in Corpus Christi, Texas. From the collection of Rachel Bluntzer Hebert.
Died- Messrs. Editor:--On the 7th inst., James R. Sullivan, the second youngest son of Mrs. Eliza A. Sullivan, departed this life from the effects of injuries sustained on the 3d inst., from the kick of a horse. He was nearly thirteen years of age, and was just beginning to be useful to a mother to whom he was the most tender object of maternal love and affection.
This is the third time within the compass of two years that this widowed lady has been forced to meet death in her family. She met afflictions with a resignation and fortitude which none but a lady of Mrs. Sullivan's well known christian submission could meet. This last trial, on account of its suddenly fatal result, was, indeed, to all the family, bitterly painful, for this boy was not only the living and loved son and brother, but all who knew him regarded him as a warm little friend--pure, generous and simple-hearted.
But, He in baptismal innocence robed, ere life's troubles
Is a mother's gift to heaven to be in glory crowned.
Here he was her blessing, by high heaven kindly given
Now he is his mother's hope, before her in that heaven;
His brothers and sisters wept, for the sad hour had come,
But God call his servant, and this mother sent him home.
San Patricio, April 9, 1861
W. O. C.
Corpus Christi Ranchero
April 13, 1861
page 3 col 1
Research: Msgr. Michael A. Howell