Happy Valentines Day from Campbell House Museum

With Valen­tines Day on Sun­day, we thought it only fit­ting to post a love let­ter.  This was writ­ten Feb­ru­ary 14, 1841 from Robert Camp­bell to his fiance Vir­ginia Jane Kyle.  The orig­i­nal let­ter is in the Mis­souri His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety’s archives.

Robert is in Philadel­phia, mak­ing his final arrange­ments to go to Raleigh, North Car­oli­na for their wed­ding!  The two were mar­ried just 11 days lat­er on Feb­ru­ary 25, 1841 at her moth­er’s house in Raleigh, North Car­oli­na.  Robert is obvi­ous­ly eager to mar­ry Vir­ginia and have a wife.  In one of his more famous quotes to her, Robert says  “rec­ol­lect you will soon become my coun­cilor and advi­sor and it may be Man­ag­er — that of course I will not acknowl­edge and I feel con­fi­dent you will make “my Yoke easy” and my life hap­py.”  Although this is def­i­nite­ly a love let­ter writ­ten on Valen­tines day, Robert makes no spe­cial remarks as to the date.  Instead this is just anoth­er exam­ple of the won­der­ful rela­tion­ship between Robert and Vir­ginia — Valen­tines or no Valen­tines.  We hope you all enjoy Valen­tines day with your spe­cial some­one!  For those with­out a spe­cial some­one, we hope you some­day find a love as strong as Robert and Vir­ginia Camp­bel­l’s.  Hap­py Valen­tines day everyone!


Philadel­phia Feb 14th 1841
My Beloved Virginia
Notwith­stand­ing I wrote you yes­ter­day and have not since heard from you, nor of you, I can­not allow Doct. McPheeters to leave with­out writ­ing you a few lines.

Tonight was the reg­u­lar time for a let­ter to arrive from Nor­folk but none came to hand, so I infer either that the Boat did not make her reg­u­lar trip, or that you had left there with­out writ­ing me, and that your next will be from Raleigh.

Should the let­ters which I expect from your Moth­er and your­self not change any present views I expect to leave here so as to be with you by 23 or 24th inst, and shall prob­a­bly be accom­pa­nied either by Mr. Kerr or Mr. Mar­tin — Mr. Kerr had writ­ten to his Lady Love that he would be with her on 24th so that if he be not delayed by the present very cold weath­er, I expect Mr. Mar­tin will be companion.

Mary was anx­ious to accept your kind Moth­ers invi­ta­tion and would have done so, had I insist­ed, but Hugh thought that to under­take a jour­ney of Eight Hun­dred miles to make a vis­it of 24 Hours would be rather too cer­e­mo­ni­ous — Mary I believe will write you.

[Pg. 2] Hugh and I had a long walk this evening and spoke a good deal of your good moth­er and your­self.  He observed that “if Vir­ginia makes as good a wife as her Moth­er has done she will be a pat­tern for the Ladies of St. Louis.”

Hugh told me that he expect­ed your moth­er to come on with us on a vis­it to him in Philadel­phia and that either he or Mary would write her to that effect.  Hugh wrote your Uncle David and expects him and Mr. [maybe Mrs?] Kyle to meet us in Philadel­phia so I hope we will all meet here and pass some hap­py days together.

I have a great deal to say to you when we meet and many lit­tle plans to con­sult you about — rec­ol­lect you will soon become my coun­cilor and advi­sor and it may be Man­ag­er — that of course I will not acknowl­edge and I feel con­fi­dent you will make “my Yoke easy” and my life happy.

Dear­est Vir­ginia you can­not imag­ine with what anx­i­ety I look for­ward to this ter­mi­na­tion of the time that keeps us apart.  I hope to receive a let­ter nam­ing the 20th as I solicit­ed and be assured my beloved one I will hail the announce­ment with the great­est delight.

Give my Love to your good Moth­er and Sis­ter and to any oth­er friend of yours as I am pre­dis­posed to Love all that you Love and pre­pared to dis­like any who has ever offend­ed my beloved Virginia.
Dear Vir­ginia Farewell for a time
Ever your most devoted
Robert Camp­bell [End of pg. 2]
[Pg. 3] I have just returned from Hugh’s and I find Mary has writ­ten you but I know not the sub­ject no doubt about dresses.

Rec­ol­lect I will not lis­ten to any pro­posed mar­riage the first of March or any such dis­tant day, so you may make your prepa­ra­tions for the 20th or any inter­me­di­ate day not lat­er than the 25th.

Again dear­est Vir­ginia Farewell and believe me ever dwelling on the hap­py rec­ol­lec­tion of the few days that I passed with you in Norfolk.

I will write your Uncle David tomor­row night.
RC [End of pg. 3]

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