This week in history: November 28-December 4

Decem­ber 4, 1843 let­ter from May Camp­bell to Vir­ginia Camp­bell.  May men­tions the birth of Hugh Camp­bell, Vir­gini­a’s sec­ond son, who was born Octo­ber 9, 1843.  He died a few months lat­er of pneu­mo­nia on Feb­ru­ary 15, 1844.

[Front Cov­er]
Mrs. Robert Campbell
Saint Louis

Mr. R. Scott

Philadel­phia Dec. 4th / 43
My dear Virginia
I have had so stiff a neck for the last two or three days  that I feared I would not be able to write you by Mr. Scott but  this morn­ing I am much bet­ter & will inflict one of my unread­able let­ters on you.  The fact is I am for­get­ting the use of my pen  all togeth­er.  I believe I have not writ­ten a let­ter since I wrote you last + this was on hear­ing of Mas­ter Hugh’s arrival  [Vir­gini­a’s sec­ond baby, Hugh Camp­bell, Oct. 1843] — from my own  fam­i­ly I have had no let­ters — you have giv­en me the only tid­ings I have had of them for sev­er­al months.  Bet­ty has no even told  of the receipt of a box sent her a long time ago.  By the by  speak­ing of box­es I am glad to hear that you have received yours  — I fear you will not much like your things — your bon­net was not what you request­ed, nor what I wished, but I could not get a  plain gar­net vel­vet for less than $25 + not a very hand­some  feath­er at that.  Do tell me if the bon­net is at all becom­ing — I thought it very gen­teel, in this age of gay things, + your  dress, I know you like the mate­r­i­al.  Mine is exceed­ing­ly  admired, thought the most becom­ing dress I wear — but I am sure  yours must be short waist­ed, it looked so to me, if it is you had bet­ter put in a belt & wear a sash or rib­bon belt & that hang­ing cap on the dress I did not like.  Miss Rodgers thought it just  the thing, you can eas­i­ly alter that if you do not like it.

[Pg. Break] I have been very busy for the last few weeks  fix­ing up our win­ter gear.  Miss Rodgers makes up the new, but we have all the old dress­es to turn + do up our­selves.  I have  tryed dress­mak­ers in the house but find them mis­er­able, so I have turned to the trade myself + if you had seen a dress I made for  Meg to wear to a par­ty at Atwoods, you would think me right  smart.  Our city is very gay so many wed­dings + then of course  par­ties.  I have declined all so far, except among our inti­mate  friends.  I made Meg go to Atwoods on Fri­day night with Miss  Tuck­er.  The girls gave a large par­ty to Mrs. Joe Hiden­burn, she  was a Miss Smith of New York, an inti­mate friend of Susan  Ran­dalls.  They had a very crowd­ed + hand­some par­ty.  Mary will  not be mar­ried this win­ter, Hen­ri­et­ta has no beau that I hear of.  Mary Newl­in is engaged to a Mr. Tay­lor from the coun­try.   [?]_____ _____ to Frank Bacon, Bill Newl­in to Lizzie [?] Wazanin  [?] ’tis so said Susan Ran­dall to Sam Williams.  Mary Rig­gs to  Mr. Paradin & I might give you a dozen oth­ers — it is a most  engag­ing time with the young folks.

I take for grant­ed Hugh has improved, as Robert in his  let­ters to Mr. C. reports you all will — you have not said a word about the lit­tle ras­cal’s looks, who [?]______ + does Jamie talk yet — how we long to see him.  I was detail­ing all his  accom­plish­ments to Tom Smith last night, who made me a last call  before his wed­ding he is to be mar­ried tomor­row week — give him  Jamie a thou­sand kiss­es for us all.  Meg is dying to see him, she talks of him every day — how do you get along with the two  babies, I fear you will con­fine your­self too much.

[Pg. Break] Mrs. Archie has a fine boy — young Archie ’tis to be.  She is doing very well + looks beau­ti­ful­ly — more del­i­cate  than usu­al.  Mrs.. Bak­er con­tin­ues rather poor­ly but is able to go about a lit­tle — she has gone home.  Mrs. Matilde is still  com­plain­ing — fre­quent colds — she looks bad­ly, but I think she  might rouse her­self into bet­ter health.  I hear no prospect of  babies.  Mrs. Oak­man is very well.  The Tagerts have had Mrs.  Babard stay­ing with them for three weeks which as made us all  gay in a qui­et way.  They all drank tea with more last night —  Sun­day though it was the old gen­tle­men + all + he seemed very  bright + hap­py with­out his [?]_______.  They have a drunk­en par­ty of gen­tle­men today  + we are all invit­ed for the evening.  Mrs.  Tuck­er is not very well — has had some­thing of dysen­tary for a  few days.  Mrs. Brown always enquires most kind­ly for you + sends her gest love.  Lit­tle Louis asked me the oth­er day for lit­tle  Jamie Camp­bell + for a moment I for­got who she meant, she has not for­got­ten him.

Did you see that St. louis let­ter in the Her­ald describ­ing Mary Will­cot’s mar­riage.  I fear the wid­ow did not much like the  style in which she was men­tioned.  Mrs. Eagle only returned my  call a day or so before she left + bad weath­er pre­vent­ed me from  see­ing her again.  She kind­ly offered to take my pack­age for me.   We called to see Mrs. Jen­nings last week, but she was engaged.   How is Mr. John Kerr + Mrs. John is dash­ing I dare say in all the fin­ery Mrs.. J. sent her.  Meg sends oceans of love to you all.   Give my kind­est to Robert & regard to all friends.  I hope soon  to hear from you & trust to hear our boy is grow­ing a fine  healthy fel­low.  Your cousin,

[Pg. Break, side of 3rd page] Mrs. Dav­en­port has been quite ill  for sev­er­al weeks, look­ing most wretched­ly — she is bet­ter.  Mrs. Hen­nes­ly has [?]_____ a [?]_____ on two [?]_______ down street.   [?]_____ I called but once or twice to see her.