This week in history: November 12-November 18

Novem­ber 18, 1841 let­ter from Lucy Ann Kyle to her daugh­ter Mrs. Robert Camp­bell.  This let­ter was writ­ten 9 months after Vir­ginia and Robert’s wed­ding.  Lucy updates her daugh­ter on all the lat­est news in Raleigh.  She cov­ers the Tem­per­ance Soci­ety’s state con­ven­tion she attend­ed, the health of fam­i­ly friend Mar­garet Ann McPheeters, and which friends are in town for vis­its.  Notice that Lucy asks if Mr. Camp­bell (Robert) has decid­ed what to do with Car­o­line, Sime­on, and Hazlett at the end — these are the 3 slaves that Lucy would lat­er send to Vir­ginia.  A few months lat­er, in Feb­ru­ary, 1842, Lucy would write to her son-in-law Robert with instruc­tions about “send­ing Ben, Lin­da and Robert with your three”, mean­ing the three slaves Robert was freeing.
[Front Cover]

Mrs. Robert Campbell
Care of Sub­lette & Campbell
St. Louis

Raleigh Nov 18th 1841
My Dear Virginia,
I think I promised that I would write you once a month.  I   have been wait­ing a week or two think­ing every day I should get a let­ter from you but was dis­ap­point­ed until a day or two since   when I received your last of the 2ND inst.  I am glad that both   you and Mr. Camp­bell have paid Mar­cel­lous so much kind atten­tion  he spoke of both of you in his moth­ers let­ter which she read to  me with great respect and affec­tion, and I know all the fam­i­ly  feels grate­ful to you.  I hope you will con­tin­ue to do all you  can to advance him in his pro­fes­sion.  The Methodist con­fer­ence  has been in ses­sion here for a week or so.  I went fre­quent­ly to  their meet­ings and was much pleased with the ser­mons I heard, a  young man about twen­ty from Bal­ti­more who has joined this  con­fer­ence and a mis­sion­ary from Africa were the most con­spic­u­ous preach­ers and attract­ed crowd­ed hous­es.  We have also had a  great tem­per­ance State Con­ven­tion, del­e­gates from all parts of  the state.  I have been very much grat­i­fied in attend­ing their  meet­ings at the time, and sev­er­al times since a great many very  inter­est­ing address­es were deliv­ered encour­ag­ing the soci­ety and  telling of the good it had done, a great many lit­tle anti­dotes by way of illus­tra­tion were relat­ed, and a Mr.

[Pg. Break] Care of Bal­ti­more, a reformed drunk­ard was invit­ed to attend the con­ven­tion.  I sup­pose for the pur­pose of aid­ing them in estab­lish­ing a teto­tal [?] absti­nance soci­ety, he relat­ed his expe­ri­ence or rather a his­to­ry of his life and it was enough to  make one shud­der to hear him tell of the mis­ery, degra­da­tion, and dis­grace he brought on him­self and his fam­i­ly too, all from  drink, he was invit­ed from here to Hills­bor­ough, a great num­ber  have joined the teto­tal [?] pledge in Raleigh and a great many  the old tem­per­ance soci­ety.  I signed the teto­tal Pledge and my  prin­ci­ple rea­son for dong so is that exam­ple is bet­ter than  precept.

Ann Wadsworth is now on a vis­it to her friends, she is much  pleased with Lynch­burg, will remain there next year, she says she wrote to her moth­er every Mon­day while she was absent, you know  she was always a great favourite of mine.  E. Bak­er & H. Dud­ley  both wait­ed on her there was a ball giv­en to them fur­nished by  Mrs. Stu­art.  I under­stand all of the con­nec­tion must intend  giv­ing them a par­ty, the Gov. gives a large par­ty tonight. Say to Mar­cel­lous I was down to his fathers yes­ter­day that they were  all fix­ing up Cather­ine to turn out at the Gov. par­ty.  Susan was not gong she was not very well but said she intend­ed to go to  Mrs. Hogs par­ty.  Mrs. McPheeters request­ed me to say to  Mar­cel­lous that she intend­ed writ­ing soon but would put it off a  lit­tle longer as I told her I was going to write, she says that  the Dr’s health con­tin­ues about the same

[Pg. Break] that Mar­garet Ann is improv­ing slow­ly, she has no  affec­tion of the lungs now, but her stom­ach is out of order can  not eat any­thing but lit­tle sam­ples, I sup­pose you know she has a son named after the father, he is just four weeks old and  Mar­garet is only able to sit up a lit­tle.  They all send a great  deal of love to you, Mr. Camp­bell, and Mar­cel­lous.  Mrs. Mc. says tell M. that just as soon as he gets mar­ried and set­tled she  intends send­ing Susan & Cather­ine out to see him and holds in  antic­i­pa­tion a trip her­self.  Ann Hugh­es & Mr. Col­lier are to be  mar­ried very soon, they will spend the win­ter in Alaba­ma.   Mar­garet Beck­with has not left Raleigh yet.  I have not seen Emma [?]_____ since you left here except in the street.  My dear  Vir­ginia I feel that this let­ter will be very unin­ter­est­ing to  you, and yet I feel that if I was to unbur­den my mind to you and  write on sub­jects which I feel most deeply inter­est­ed in and  which con­cerns me most, that my let­ter would even be less  inter­est­ing than it is — my health has not been good for the 1st  month or so.  I have a bad cold too which is very uncom­mon for  me.  In your next I would be glad to know if Mr. Camp­bell still  thinks of tak­ing Car­o­line, Sime­on & Hazlett out in the spring or do you want Car­o­line hired out, you know new year is the time  for mak­ing all arrange­ments with ser­vants.  I am only keep­ing her with me for her good, though she is very use­ful in the fam­i­ly  and Mr. Simp­son does not charge any board for her as her ser­vices are equiv­a­lent to her board.  I am still will­ing to keep her on these terms until you want her if it is your wish.

[Pg. Break] Remem­ber me most affec­tion­ate­ly to your bet­ter half,
As ever and for­ev­er I remain
Your affec­tion­ate mother
Lucy Ann Kyle