This Week in History: July 12

This week, a let­ter that cap­tures the love and joy in Robert and Vir­gini­a’s new fam­i­ly.  It seems Vir­ginia is due for a tongue-in-cheek scold­ing from her beloved Robert for not writ­ing enough.  The lit­tle boy Robert so lov­ing­ly refers to is James Alexan­der, their first child who was born on May 14, 1842.  Lit­tle did the young par­ents sus­pect that he would trag­i­cal­ly die in the 1849 cholera epidemic.


Miss Vir­ginia Campbell
Care Messrs. H & A Camp­bell & Co.
Philadel­phia, PA.
Saint Louis July 12th 1843

My Dear­est Virginia,
Since  you have got to Phi­la you seem to have for­got­ten every body in St. Louis — a week has passed off and you have not sent me a line.  Hugh wrote a busi­ness let­ter in which he spoke  of your being all well and with that very sat­is­fac­to­ry  announce­ment you leave me to sup­pose every­thing else — I am quite vexed that you could not devote enough of time from com­pa­ny and  shop­ping to write me a line.

It is my inten­tion to leave for the east tomor­row by the  S B Nara­ganset and make as lit­tle delay as pos­si­ble by the  way — so you may expect me a few days after this reach­es you and when I do arrive you may expect a severe scold­ing for not writ­ing  me — so you may dread my coming.

The influen­za is very preva­lent here at present — William is laid up with it today and A Kerr has been suf­fer­ing with it some two or three days but not so ill as to pre­vent Mrs. Ker­r’s going with me.

Mrs. Hen­ry Blow is dan­ger­ous­ly ill and not expect­ed to  recov­er — she has been ill for some time — Mr. Blow is at N. York.

I called at Judge Engles on Sun­day evening and saw lit­tle  Archie who was run­ning about and looks fine­ly — I watched him  close­ly to enable me to form some idea how our lit­tle son looks — I took him in my arms and thought of you and lit­tle James  wish­ing myself with you — you have not writ­ten me half enough  about him.

I hope my dear Vir­ginia you are enjoy­ing your­self  amongst your kind friends — indeed if our lit­tle son is in good  health I know you are for with your Moth­er, Mary and Mar­garet you have all the rel­a­tives (except your sis­ter) that you like best —  and although I have rat­ed you sound­ly for your neglect of me I am grat­i­fied with the sup­po­si­tion that your time was so agree­ably  employed that you had no leisure — it always gives me plea­sure to know that you are enjoy­ing yourself.

I feel sat­is­fied that I will get a let­ter from you tomor­row  but for­tu­nate­ly it will not come n time to save you from the  scold­ing which you so rich­ly deserve.

Adieu my Dear Wife — kiss our lit­tle son for me — the lit­tle ras­cal will treat me as a stranger when I go on.

Give my love to all.
Yours Truly
Robert Campbell