A Blupete Biography Page

Samuel And Susan , Part 4 to the Life & Works of
Samuel Cunard

Susan Duffus (1795-1828) was the daughter of an influential merchant at Halifax, William Duffus.8 In the summer of 1814, Samuel and Susan became engaged and on February 4th, 1815 the pair were married.9 Susan was of great assistance to her husband, if, in nothing else, then in the art of hospitality which she had learned. Grant wrote:
"Her house soon became a family gathering place, a second home for her five brothers and sisters and for the Cunard boys. Members of the Murphy family of Charlottetown would sail around to Halifax for a 'winter visit' of six months or more, and the Cunard cousins in Saint John would do the same."
"The Cunard boys," of course were Sam's brothers: William10 (1789-1823), Edward (1798-1851), Joseph (1799-1865), John11 (1800-44), Thomas (d.1828) and Henry (1804-85). Grant observed that Samuel gradually took over "the education and upbringing of his brothers." According to Grant, William Duffus became a bankrupt, and after trying to get his business started up again, his warehouse burnt down. Samuel Cunard "took the Duffuses under protection and welcomed the added responsibility." We should say that "Grandmother Duffus" continued on for a good number of years and was very much in charge of domestic matters; her children and her grandchildren always consulted her; she was always ready to give practical advise.

The family attended St. George's Church (the Round Church) on Brunswick St. Though we note that certain of the daughters were married at St. Paul's.

The Samuel and Susan Cunard had nine children.12 Sam's father, Abraham retired in 1820 to a farm purchased at Rawdon.13 It will be recalled that Abraham's wife, Margaret, was a Murphy and her family occupied a farm at Rawdon. The pair did not last long at Rawdon: Margaret died in 1821, Abraham in 1824; both were buried in the graveyard at the church at Rawdon, St. Paul's. The name of the family company's name was changed to S. Cunard & Co. Samuel was unquestionably in charge, however, his brothers had roles to play. Edward and Joseph were full partners, with Henry and Thomas holding more junior positions. John was the captain of the company brig, Mary Ann.

A sad time for both the Duffus family and the Cunard family, was the occurrence of the death of Sam's young wife, Susan; she died on February 2nd, 1828, days after she gave birth to her youngest child, Elizabeth. Susan Cunard is buried in the Old Burying ground at Halifax.

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Peter Landry
2011

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