This week in history: December 12-December 18

Decem­ber 18, 1840 let­ter from Lucy Ann Kyle to her daugh­ter Vir­ginia Jane Kyle.  Just before Christ­mas 1840, Lucy final­ly admits that “if there is any one event which could occur that would please me, it would be to see you mar­ried to Mr. R.C.”.  She cer­tain­ly wish­es her all the best in the let­ter.  Read all about Lucy and Raleigh, North Car­oli­na’s feel­ings towards Vir­gini­a’s fiance Robert Campbell!

Decem­ber 18, 1840
My dear Virginia,
I received your inter­est­ing and accept­able let­ter two days since, it affords me I may say almost the only plea­sure I have to know you are so hap­py and that you are enjoy­ing the soci­ety of those who I so high­ly esteem and in whom I have all con­fi­dence, the only injunc­tion I lay on you, is to act in accor­dance to their wish­es in every aspect con­sult them on all lit­tle mat­ters our life made up of lit­tle inci­dents, and from a very small mea­sure the most impor­tant of our life often arise.  You are so much pleased with all your vis­its, Rich­mond, Sur­rey, and now Nor­folk of all oth­er pleaces is the best, I wish you could be trans­port­ed to St. Louis and see if that is not the finest place after all, I was not aware that your uncle was such a warm friend of Mr. R.C. but I am glad to hear it, per­haps his good opin­ion will have some effect on you, you are “well acquaint­ed with my opin­ion and wish­es it has nev­er changed or wavered since first

[pg. 2] I had the plea­sure of his acquain­tance, but at the same time, as a moth­er I would say to you nev­er mar­ry a man if you do not respect and esteem him more high­ly than any oth­er, nor if you have any secret rea­son (pro­vid­ed it is a good one) for not mar­ry­ing him, which must be the case with your­self, or you nev­er would have act­ed so strange­ly, you know you nev­er have com­mu­ni­cat­ed with me on the sub­ject, but if there is any one event which could occur that would please me, it would be to see you mar­ried to Mr. R.C. — I hope you have received Mrs. McPheeters let­ter I think you should take it as a great com­pli­ment for her to take time from her numer­ous engage­ments to write to you, I real­ly believe she thinks a great deal about you and of you, she comes up fre­quent­ly and will make me read part of your let­ters to her, I read to her most of your last par­tic­u­lar­ly that part about R.C. She is most anx­ious­ly expect­ing an answer every day, request­ed me to say to you, that she for­got to ask you to write, but that you must be sure to do it and answer all her ques­tions, I spent last evening with her, the good old Dr. enquired after you and said Has she received our let­ter yet?  I do hope (if you have not already done it) that you will not delay it anoth­er day, she will

[pg. 3] feel her­self slight­ed and hurt, Samuel says tell Miss Vir­ginia “I am 21 and intend to get mar­ried as soon as I can, she must come home to be one of the brides­maids etc. etc., Susan and Cather­ine send love and say they wish you would come home, Mrs. Mc says don’t get mar­ried to that wid­ow­er [? what wid­ow­er??] before you come home, that she and I are to be your first brides maids, I want now to say a word or two to you respect­ing your inter­est in Fin­cas­tle, you say your Uncle David is going up there, Mr. Ander­son who is your guardian wrote to broth­er Simp­son three years ago that he then had $5 or 600 in hand belong­ing to you and your sis­ter aris­ing from rents etc. but that the law [?]_____ (required?) him to keep it until you become of age 21 now [?]______ (this?) seems to me very unrea­son­able that both the prin­ci­ple and inter­est should remain in his hands, [?]______ (and?) I was think­ing per­haps if broth­er David would apply to him and tell him your age he would let you have some of it, I think you had as well have the inter­est or rather that part of the rents which is com­ing to you, now, and to enjoy it your­self in any­way you please, to pur­chase a piano or any­thing else, as to hoard it up, per­haps for some prof­li­gate hus­band to spend, I want you to men­tion it to broth­er David, and ask him, if his chil­drens part is to remain in their

[Enve­lope, top] guardians hands until they are 21 -, in short I want you to inquire of broth­er David because he knows all about it, and under­stand for your­self how you will stand.

You will not doubt be sur­prised to hear that it is my inten­tion to keep house next year I have rent­ed Mr. Lacy’s house and intend to live there next year if I live on bread and meat alone I have fur­ni­ture enough to answer my pur­pose with

[Enve­lope, bot­tom] a lit­tle addi­tion­al par­lour [par­lor] fur­ni­ture chairs and a lit­tle tea table and I think I can live in a very plain style for near­ly the same expense we now live, I have come to his deter­mi­na­tion for many rea­sons too tedious to men­tion, sis­ter says she will give me half of their pre­served pick­les ketchup and she has already put up a lot of pick­les for you and one for me, I would rather you would say noth­ing about this at present, I begin to feel anx­ious about you com­ing home how you are to get home etc.
Your ever devot­ed Moth­er LA Kyle

[Side pg. 1] I send you $30 more pay your uncle David and buy noth­ing on cred­it I think you had bet­ter buy a muslin, if you can meet with a very pret­ty one don’t buy one unless you like it, muslin is always con­ve­nient, I will send you $20 more the next time I write to pay your pas­sage home do you ever hear of any oppor­tu­ni­ties from Nor­folk or will you have to go to Rich­mond be sure to write imme­di­ate­ly to Mrs. McPheeters, the Gov is to be inau­gu­rat­ed on the 1st of Jan be sure to acknowl­edge the receipt of this imme­di­ate­ly, Best love to broth­er David, sis­ter Eliz­a­beth respects to Mr. Lee and a kiss for all the chil­dren I would who could tell you so much stuff about Dr. Clark I don’t believe one word of it, he has many ene­mies no doubt.

Miss Vir­ginia J. Kyle
Care of Mr. David Kyle

Jan 1

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