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Eliza wrote to Susan, addressed to Philadelphia, PA. Eliza relayed her personal struggles and love for her daughter, Marianna Barnwell Gough [later Smith]. Eliza worried that Marianna would inherit her "constitution." She sent Marianna to Charleston and was distressed to learn that Marianna attended 7 balls in 3 weeks. Polly delivered a message that Miss Polly Ronpell is very sick. Eliza's mother is also sick (asthma and cough) and the changes in weather don't help. Mr. Cuthlon [?] moved for the fall season. Eliza described her increased anxiety since she turned 18 years old.

Eliza updated Susan on her former garden in Beaufort: Dr. Stuart left in the winter and there was a gap before Mr. R. Elliott moved into the house. During that time, fierce winds blew down a fence. Cattle entered and ate the garden for 10 days. "Scarcely an herb left and the fruit trees much injured, the flower garden is truly a shrubbery of weeds, thistles, and briers."

Eliza is concerned about Polly and Violet, enslaved women who may have formerly been owned by John Kean. Mrs. Antony keeps a small school and offered to take Polly for 3 years. Eliza wants to know Susan's decision. Eliza says Violet isn't fit for the fields.


Elizabeth Gough, formerly Elizabeth Barnwell (1753-1817)


Susan Kean, formerly Susan Livingston and later Susan Ursin Niemcewicz (1759-1833)

Creation Date


Document Type



The Liberty Hall Collection consists of the correspondence, financial records, legal documents, and other manuscript material of the Livingston and Kean families, dated from 1739-1847. The bulk of the collection is related to Susan Livingston Kean Niemcewicz (1759-1833). The Livingston and Kean families frequently corresponded and held accounts with other wealthy, prominent, colonial and early American families in New Jersey, especially Elizabethtown, Philadelphia, New York City, upstate New York, England, France, and Poland. A small portion of the collection includes correspondence with early Virginia families, unrelated to the Livingston and Kean families. The collection includes second hand accounts of enslaved people who were owned by the Kean and other families, offering a glimpse into their forced work and places of residence.

Inventory Location

Bay 1, Column 1, LHC Series 2


This collection is open to the public for research use. Copyright remains with Kean University. Credit this material. Personal photographs may be made for research purposes. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to Lynette Zimmerman, Executive Director at the Liberty Hall Academic Center & Exhibition Hall at

Publishing Repository

Special Collections Research Library and Archive, Kean University

Eliza Gough to Susan Kean, April 15, 1791


Book Location