This week in history, June 15–22

Let­ter of Vir­ginia Camp­bell to hus­band Robert


Philadel­phia June 16th 1855

My Dear Husband

I feel extreme­ly oppressed with heat to day altho’ it not a very hot day and I shall be very glad when we are once set­tled at Long Branch, in fact I would be glad to take a Rip Van Win­kle sleep untill the hot weath­er is over, if I could I was very glad to receive your let­ter on Thurs­day. Cousin Mary received one from Jane say­ing Cousin Lydia had arrived and that Mr Fos­ter was very polite and atten­tive to her on her jour­ney, and that she was look­ing remark­ably well and in good spir­its & had enjoyed her vis­it to St Louis extremely.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing on my return from the rid­ing school I called to see Mary Flem­ming — her cousin Matil­da Lee had been invit­ed here to tea, Mrs Dab­ny’s daugh­ter, and told me she was in town. I met her next day in a store and she seemed

[Page 2] very glad to see me. she is look­ing very bad­ly and is just recov­er­ing from a spell of ill­ness, in which she near­ly lost her life Matil­da Lee said that Mary told her the Doc­tor had spent so much that

his por­tion would not amount to more than $100,000, which is a respectable amount I think, but not worth the sac­ri­fice of her life for what plea­sure can she enjoy? I am glad to hear Mrs Mack­inzee is real­ly com­ing on. I hope she will run down to Long Branch to see

us, it is only three hours from New York.

Mr & Mrs Joseph Woods ^ were [^] invit­ed here to tea a few evenings since, Mrs Woods was sick but Mr Woods came. I did not attempt to per­suade Mr Woods to go to Long Branch for I know very well that Cape May is pre­ferred by them and I am told Long Branch is a stu­pid place and you must descend a very steep decliv­i­ty to get to the beach

and the bathing much more dan­ger­ous that at Cape May, but Cousin Mary and Mar­garet can­not bear Cape May and I think per­haps it will suit me bet­ter how­ev­er it is all the same to me whether I am with an hun­dred or five hun­dred peo­ple Mr & Mrs McCauley went up to Long Branch and came home quite dis­ap­point­ed I expect per­haps they found the board so dear, for two rooms for me one ser­vant & chil­dren, $36 per week — the same for Cousin Mary Meg & broth­er Hugh — and I sup­pose I shall take cousin Mary’s Irish girl Let­ty, to wash and dress Hugh which Eliza would hard­ly have time to do, and it will not suit me to trav­el about after him, so that is six dol­lars a week more — how­ev­er I am sure the expense is a mat­ter is no moment to you so that we are com­fort­able & healthy.  The chil­dren are in per­fect health no one would sup­pose the baby had been sick a moment — he is so fat and live­ly Hugh is going out on the road to ride with the groom at 5 o’clock

this after­noon — he has had one more tum­ble, the

[Page 4] pony stum­bled and with his usu­al inat­ten­tion he fell off but got on again direct­ly, if he would only remem­ber all that Wm tells him and pay atten­tion he would require noth­ing more to make him a good rid­er, but it is the nature of child­hood to require to be told 50 times over the same thing I think Wm under­stands his busi­ness remark­ably well, and takes infi­nite pains with Hugh I am

very glad to hear the Wood­ses[?] have returned for I know you enjoy thir pleas­ant soci­ety ‑I see Miss Whar­ton very often Hugh was there at a chil­dren’s par­ty a few nights ago and enjoyed him­self very much. Old Col Dav­en­port called here when I first came — his wife

has not been — I fear she thinks a tea drink­ing would be inevitable I was invit­ed to a par­ty at Evans Rogers’ and declined, I was sor­ry I did not feel able to go, as I think broth­er Hugh would have liked to have gone if I had felt dis­posed Mary Flem­ming said she

heard “that Edward

[Page 5, on Page 1] Atkin­son had forged some body’s name but that it was not gen­er­al­ly known in St. Louis”  I [?]______ it and said he had spent & gam­bled a great deal of mon­ey away.  We went to Mrs. Luck­er’s yes­ter­day to see Louisa who was thrown from the don­key cart and injured slight­ly.  They are liv­ing as lux­u­ri­ous­ly as ever.  Give my best love to Moth­er and all friends & the servants.

I hope you will be oblig­ed to come on soon and say a week or so when you first come in at Long Branch with us.

Your affec wife

VJ Camp­bell

The baby is the plea­sure & delight of the house, and nev­er was as much admired before

Page 4 of Virginia's letter

Page 4 of Vir­gini­a’s letter