Category Archives: Campbell House

The Death of Robert Campbell, Jr.

This week, a tear-jerker.

Through­out Robert and Vir­gini­a’s mar­riage, they had the trag­ic mis­for­tune of bury­ing ten of their thir­teen chil­dren.  When a child would die, they would often reuse the name to hon­or the one who died; there­fore, the Camp­bells had two Hughs, two Hazletts, two Jame­ses and three Roberts.  Recent­ly, vol­un­teer researcher extra­or­di­naire Tom found the excerpts from the diary of John A. Clark, who was Robert and Vir­gini­a’s broth­er-in-law.  (Well, sort of.  John was mar­ried to Anna Jane Kyle, Robert’s broth­er’s wife’s sis­ter.  Got it?)

In 1861, John A. Clark was select­ed to be Sur­vey­or Gen­er­al of the New Mex­i­co Ter­ri­to­ry by Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln, and John kept a diary of his dai­ly activ­i­ties dur­ing his tenure in this posi­tion, from 1861–1868.  When­ev­er he passed through St. Louis on his way to or back from San­ta Fe,  John would stay with Robert or his broth­er, Hugh.  In this pas­sage, John out­lines Robert Jr.‘s ill­ness and ulti­mate death.  (Inci­den­tal­ly, this is the third and final Camp­bell child to bear his father’s name.  Also, the Hugh Camp­bell referred to in the pas­sage is Robert’s broth­er.  Like­wise, the Mary men­tioned is Hugh’s wife.)

A spe­cial note of thanks to Anna Jane Stone, great-grand­daugh­ter of John A. Clark, for iden­ti­fy­ing this pas­sage for us.  The orig­nal diary is housed at the Fray Angéli­co Chávez His­to­ry Library at the Palace of Gov­er­nors in San­ta Fe, NM.

Get your tis­sue ready.

The Death of Robert Campbell
Son of Robert Campbell
From the diary of John A. Clark, Brother-in-Law

June 1st 1862

Mr. Robert Camp­bel­l’s lit­tle son Robert, was out rid­ing this evening on his pony – he rides remark­ably well — can­tered his horse up & down past Mr. Camp­bells.  He is not quite as old or as large as Charles [son of John A. Clark].  Mr. Camp­bel­l’s chil­dren are all affec­tion­ate & smart lit­tle chil­dren.  Hazlett is a per­pet­u­al motion.

Wednes­day June 4, 1862

Lit­tle Robert Camp­bell was tak­en last night with a chill & had fever all night & a sore throat — is quite ill this morn­ing, so that the Doc­tor was sent for who pro­nounces the dis­ease noth­ing of impor­tance — a cold, swelling of the ton­sils & no uneasi­ness felt by any of the friends.

Thurs­day June 5, 1862

Lit­tle Robert is no bet­ter today.  The Doc­tor says he is no worse, but I think him a very sick child — all the symp­toms seem to me to be those of diph­the­ria.  Mary & I vis­it­ed him at about 9 o’clock & we were so much con­cerned that although the Doc­tor had just left we went to his office to lay his whole case before the Doc­tor & get his opin­ion.  The Doc­tor was not in – we wait­ed for him a con­sid­er­able time & final­ly Mr. Robert Camp­bell came after the Doc­tor — when we returned & Mary remained all night with Robert.

Fri­day June 6, 1862

The friends are all exceed­ing­ly anx­ious today con­cern­ing lit­tle Robert.  He is no bet­ter & of con­se­quence is worse.  The Doc­tor says that his dis­ease is slight­ly diph­the­ria, but appre­hends no dan­ger.  I fear the worst.

Sat­ur­day June 7, 1862

Dear lit­tle Robert is evi­dent­ly worse today & the Doc­tor now says his case is decid­ed diph­the­ria but thinks it exter­nal to the wind­pipe & so not very dan­ger­ous.  I much fear the dear child will nev­er be any better.

Sun­day June 8, 1862

The Doc­tors today have giv­en up lit­tle Robert & say there is no hope of his recov­ery.  Of course this is the deep­est grief with all the friends.  Mr. Hugh Camp­bell can­not speak of him with­out shed­ding tears

Mon­day June 9, 1862

Dear lit­tle Robert Camp­bell died today at about 1/2 after 2 o’clock P. M.  The dear child is at rest & no doubt hap­py. The two fam­i­lies are in the deep­est afflic­tion.  Mr. Hugh Camp­bell & I vis­it­ed at the home & saw the body.  Mr. Robert Camp­bell bears the afflic­tion with much more equa­nim­i­ty than his brother.

This week in history: May 15–21

On May 20, 1842, Robert Camp­bell wrote his busi­ness part­ner William Sub­lette, who was in Inde­pen­dence, MO.  He focus­es on busi­ness, stat­ing that the debts Sub­lette col­lects are incred­i­bly impor­tant to Sub­lette & Camp­bell — “I have been doing very lit­tle busi­ness since you left — still I have sold a few goods and gen­er­al­ly get paid for them.… I will only repeat what I have already said that we can­not expect to get any mon­ey from any oth­er quar­ter than where you now are and I hope you will not lose the oppor­tu­ni­ty of secur­ing every dol­lar due us — mon­ey is now more impor­tant than it has even been on any for­mer occa­sion to us and I hope you will use pro­por­tion­ate exer­tions — scarce as mon­ey is it will be eas­i­er col­lect­ing it now than in the fall.”  Like today, the econ­o­my must have not been doing so well in 1842!

This let­ter was pub­lished by the Mis­souri His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety in “Glimpses of the Past: Cor­re­spon­dence of Robert Camp­bell 1834–1845”

Saint Louis May 20th 1842
Dear Sublette
I reed your let­ter writ­ten by mail from Inde­pen­dence post
marked 12th inst. giv­ing me an account of your proceedings
in attach­ment of the prop­er­ty of Gid­dings & Gen­try which I
think was remark­ably well done — I hope it will enable us
to get our pay — I think you might have the Beaver ap-
praised and by con­sent of S. C. Owens & Co. have it sold -
if sent down we could real­ize a cer­tain por­tion of our pay
soon­er in that way.
I reed. yes­ter­day $100 from Lewis Franklin through Crow,
Tevis & McCreery — N. E. Har­rel­son also paid his account
in full — this is all the mon­ey we have received.
I learn from Vasques that you had sent by Mr. McCarty
some specie but he has not arrived yet. I am most anxious
to pay the Mer­chants & Mechan­ic ‘s Bank.
I think Mr. Heylin will levy an attach­ment to secure what-
ever may be left after pay­ing us out of the mules. — J. J.
Ander­son trans­ferred to him a note of Gid­dings & Gen­try for
some $950.00 he will I think place the papers in the hands
of [Addi­son] Reese to take out the attachment.
I have been doing very lit­tle busi­ness since you left — still
I have sold a few goods and gen­er­al­ly get paid for them.…
I will only repeat what I have already said that we can­not expect to get any mon­ey from any oth­er quar­ter than where
you now are and I hope you will not lose the oppor­tu­ni­ty of
secur­ing every dol­lar due us — mon­ey is now more important
than it has even been on any for­mer occa­sion to us and I hope
you will use pro­por­tion­ate exer­tions — scarce as mon­ey is it
will be eas­i­er col­lect­ing it now than in the fall.
At the farm every thing goes on well. Mrs. Cook was in
two days ago. We have had a fine rain and crops look prom-
ising — the army worm has done some mis­chief but I under-
stand your farm has not suf­fered much.
Vir­ginia and the Boy(footnote 21) are get­ting along fine­ly — nothing
Kings­land & Light­ner made an assign­ment and it is ex-
pect­ed that H. N. Davis will go with them — such is my own
impres­sion — Swearinger [A. S. & Co.] is also broke up and
some oth­ers it is thought will follow.
Robert Campbell
Col. W. L. Sublette
Inde­pen­dence, Mo.

21 This was the James Alexan­der Camp­bell, born May 14, 1842, and
died June 18, 1849

Happy blog-iversary from Campbell House Museum!

1 year ago tomor­row, Camp­bell House Muse­um embarked on a new ven­ture — this blog.  For the past twelve months, we’ve post­ed a let­ter from “This week in his­to­ry”.  Since tomor­row is the 1 year anniver­sary of the blog’s cre­ation, we thought we’d com­mem­o­rate it by updat­ing you on the PRESENT at Camp­bell House!

First, the muse­um would like to thank the loy­al read­ers on this blog.  In 1 year, we’ve had 1,210 hits on this blog, far sur­pass­ing what we had orig­i­nal­ly hoped to achieve.  Thank you all so much for stick­ing with us!  Robert and Vir­ginia Camp­bell and their rel­a­tives can tru­ly come alive when you read their let­ters; we hope you’ve enjoyed get­ting to know the Camp­bell fam­i­ly and that you con­tin­ue to read what your “favorite char­ac­ters” write each week .  We would also like to thank those who have become a “fan” of Camp­bell House Muse­um on Face­book.  We start­ed the Face­book page at the same time we start­ed the blog, and over the course of a year we’ve reached 100 fans!   Both the Face­book page and the blog have increased our vis­i­bil­i­ty in St. Louis and the world; we tru­ly appre­ci­ate all your sup­port.  If you wish to keep up with Camp­bell House even more close­ly, you can also check out our brand new Twit­ter account, camp­bellh­mu­se­um, where we’ll be send­ing out quick tweets for excit­ing stuff in the museum!

Now, here’s an update on what’s hap­pen­ing at the muse­um.  Tomor­row, Sat­ur­day May 15, is our annu­al spring mem­ber’s par­ty.  If you are a mem­ber of Camp­bell House Muse­um, we hope you join us and bring a friend.  If you are not yet a mem­ber, we hope you con­sid­er join­ing ( ) and sup­port­ing our mis­sion of pre­serv­ing the Camp­bell story.

Our “Immi­gra­tion Adven­tures to Amer­i­ca” exhib­it has been up since Novem­ber and has been a great suc­cess!  To go with that exhib­it, we have pub­lished Shel­ley Satke’s tran­scrip­tion of Hugh Camp­bel­l’s 1818 jour­nal, doc­u­ment­ing his immi­gra­tion to Amer­i­ca.  The jour­nal is on sale in the muse­um’s gift shop for $5.95.  It’s a fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry, and we hope you all come see the exhib­it and buy the book!  Speak­ing of books, you can still pick up Patrick Mac­Cul­loch’s The Camp­bell Quest in the gift shop!  If you like the let­ters you’ve read here, you’ll love The Camp­bell Quest.   The sto­ries that Patrick tells about his rel­a­tives (some of whom are fea­tured on here) are so fas­ci­nat­ing that you won’t be able to put the book down!  Last­ly, the muse­um is proud to announce the pub­li­ca­tion of it’s upcom­ing chil­drens book, Wel­come to My House — The Camp­bell House by Kather­ine Heugat­ter, illus­trat­ed by Lau­ra Pel­sue.  Let ser­vant Gus Mey­er take your kinder­garten-3rd graders on a fun tour of the house, com­plete with activ­i­ties and pic­tures, and help them learn about the Camp­bell fam­i­ly in their own way!  The chil­drens book is about to be print­ed and will be on sale for $7.95 in the gift shop.   We hope you all come to the muse­um to see these new sto­ries and learn about the Camp­bell family.

Last­ly, we are so excit­ed to announce our new spring event.  On Sat­ur­day June 19, the Camp­bell House will host “A Mag­i­cal Spring Thing” at the Mag­nif­i­cent Mahler Ball­room!  This incred­i­ble night of enter­tain­ment will fea­ture the mag­ic of the cir­cus, the mag­ic of musi­cal the­ater, the mag­ic of dance, the mag­ic of opera, the mag­ic of illu­sion, and the mag­ic of light.  There will also be a live auc­tion fea­tur­ing sev­er­al mag­i­cal things, includ­ing 7 night beach­front accom­mo­da­tions in the Vir­gin Islands, a Michael East­man pho­to, and jew­el­ry from Tiffany and Co — who would­n’t want that?  Wine and hors d’oeu­vres will be served at 7 PM and the show begins at 8.  Tick­ets are $125 or $150 for pre­ferred seat­ing.  Cock­tail attire is pre­ferred and valet park­ing is avail­able.  All pro­ceeds from this event ben­e­fit the Camp­bell House Muse­um.   Please come enjoy this incred­i­ble night and sup­port Camp­bell House Museum!

Thank you all for stick­ing with us through the first year of the blog.  Hap­py blog-iver­sary from Camp­bell House Muse­um!  Here’s to the next twelve months of “This Week in History!”

This week in history: May 9‑May 15

With tomor­row’s 1 year anniver­sary of the blog, we had to post a let­ter from that date!

On May 15, 1841, Thomas B. Win­ston wrote a quick note to their niece Vir­ginia Kyle Camp­bell.  Vir­ginia had mar­ried Robert Camp­bell 3 months ear­li­er on Feb­ru­ary 25, 1841.  It seems that she likes St. Louis very much, and Thomas admits his own love of the city, say­ing “it is my next choice to N.O. [New Orleans] and if I ever leave this it shall be my next res­i­dence.”  They also talk about the activ­i­ties com­mem­o­rat­ing the late Pres­i­dent — William Hen­ry Har­ri­son had died on April 4, 1841, suc­ceed­ed by John Tyler.  Enjoy this quick note from Vir­gini­a’s uncle!

[Front Cov­er]
Mrs Robert Campbell
St. Louis
“Mis­souri”                 Mo.

Pr Mis­souri                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    New Orleans May 15 1841
Dr Virginia
Your wel­comed note by this con­veyance received with plea­sure and I hope to have one by each return of this SBoat  [Steam­boat] until you make your own appearance.

I am glad you are so well pleased with St. Louis, it is my next choice to N.O. and if I ever leave this it shall be my next residence.

My respects to Mr. Camp­bell & I now invite you both in the name of Mrs Win­ston & myself to vis­it us & we will give you good cheer & wel­come.  Today has been a great day in N.O. in com­mem­o­ra­tion of our late President.

I think you would be pleased with a vis­it to N. Orleans, as you can come & go so quick.

Yours ______[?]
Thomas B. Winston

This week in history: May 2‑May 8

We’ve post­ed let­ters about the hell-rais­er in the Camp­bell fam­i­ly, Robert and Hugh Camp­bel­l’s niece Bessie Camp­bell.  But even with all the trou­ble that Bessie caused the fam­i­ly, her actions were very lit­tle when com­pared to her broth­ers Hugh Kyle Camp­bell and Robert Boyle Camp­bell.  Iron­i­cal­ly named after their St. Louis uncles, these two were the true source of grief for Andrew and Eliz­a­beth Camp­bell.  Accord­ing to The Camp­bell Quest, writ­ten by the pair’s great-great-nephew, “Hugh Kyle fol­lowed in his father’s foot­steps and became an alco­holic, while Robert Boyle became a bul­ly …” .  These two caused trou­ble in Ire­land, like­ly burn­ing their grand­fa­ther’s will and harass­ing their Aunt Ann so that Hugh Kyle Camp­bell could lay claim to their Uncle Hugh Camp­bel­l’s right­ful estate, Augh­a­lane.  Hugh Kyle Camp­bell final­ly mar­ried, but nev­er stopped drink­ing and final­ly died of “intem­per­ance, one year.  Delir­i­um tremens, one week” in 1877, a year after writ­ing this let­ter.  Robert Boyle Camp­bell came to live with his Uncle Robert and Aunt Vir­ginia for a while, but even­tu­al­ly left and moved west, hop­ing to strike it rich.  He also caused trou­ble for the fam­i­ly in the Amer­i­can Civ­il War.

Today’s let­ter is from Hugh Kyle Camp­bell to his broth­er-in-law (and Patrick Camp­bell Mac­Cul­loch’s great-grand­fa­ther) Hugh Mac­Cul­loch about his Aunt Ann’s death.  He makes is abun­dant­ly clear that he is not hap­py that Aunt Ann left so lit­tle to him in her will, obvi­ous­ly a very wise choice on Ann Camp­bel­l’s part when it came to this par­tic­u­lar rel­a­tive.  The let­ter was tran­scribed by Frank Collins of the Ulster Amer­i­can Folk Park in North­ern Ire­land, which now hous­es Robert’s birth­place, Augh­a­lane house.  It was part of a col­lec­tion that Collins and the Folk Park donat­ed to Camp­bell House Muse­um last sum­mer upon the Euro­pean release of the book The Camp­bell Quest.  We hope you enjoy the account from anoth­er ‘black sheep’ of the Camp­bell family!


7th May 1876.

Dear Hugh.

Enclosed I send you what you drew up with all the names prop­er­ly signed there was no a dis­sent­ing voice as they all glad­ly signed it. As to those in Amer­i­ca as to them sig­na­to­ries it is not at all nec­es­sary in a legal point of view as to have signed it, at least all but…. & I pre­sume she’ll not object. I con­grat­u­late you on the straight­for­ward man­ner in which all has been con­duct­ed as far as I know,by both you and R Dunn.

This I can say for myself I am the great­est los­er over my Aunt as I can …. And have been the pro­pri­etor of Augh­a­lane only for her & her con­tin­u­al­ly writ­ing to my uncle Hugh. I nev­er knew this until I was exam­ined in Dublin and had I wished to be con­tention at that time I’d at all event pre­vent­ed the sale of it for years but I nev­er opposed it.

She always was my great­est ene­my- all I ever got from her was those £27 and a bed­stead? and cur­tains except I think £2 and I count­ed one of those due me for tidy? cows she allowed me keep the other.

I need not enlarge on this but I trust she may be hap­py as God only can dis­cern our inter­mit thoughts and pri­vate actions and many a one to the human eye here is count­ed God fear­ing  & lend­ing poor moral life by appear­ances, but when laid on the bed of sick­ness and death then decep­tive and for­mer hypocrisy   Tell then in their hard strug­gles not wish­ing to leave this world yet a let­ter? Wished and all as they count­ed it.   I am informed my Aunt did tou­se? the expres­sion very hard.

One thing I do know Mar­garet had the great­est trou­ble with my Aunt. & most cer­tain­ly £100 would not have repaid the trou­ble & sleep­less nights she suf­fered over her sickness.

With kind­est regards to you and Mgt.

I remain Your Affect Bro-in-law

Hugh Kyle Campbell

Mr H MacCulloch.