Tag Archives: Irish relatives

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.

This week in history: April 5–10

This week in his­to­ry, both Robert Camp­bell and his son Hugh Camp­bell made their wills.  The two were almost 60 years apart — 1 day short of 59 years exact­ly.  Because both of these doc­u­ments are impor­tant, we are going to post both.

First, we post Robert Camp­bel­l’s 1832 will.  It was entered into evi­dence in the 1938 estate case that would decide the future of Robert’s son Hazlet­t’s $2 mil­lion estate.  By 1832, Robert had already begun to amass a great for­tune.  He knew he was going into dan­ger­ous ter­ri­to­ry out West on a reg­u­lar basis, and want­ed to be sure his fam­i­ly and for­tune would be tak­en care of.  This was obvi­ous­ly not Robert’s final will.  He would mar­ry Vir­ginia Jane Kyle on Feb­ru­ary 25, 1841, and the two would have 3 sur­viv­ing chil­dren.  Robert final­ly died on Octo­ber 10, 1879.  This will shows his thoughts and wor­ries as a young man.

In the name of God, Amen. I Robert Camp­bell at
Present resid­ing in the City of Saint Louis Mis­souri in
The Unit­ed Stat­ed of Amer­i­ca do make this my last
Will and Testament -
Item    I bequeath and device to my Broth­er Andrew Campbell
All that par­cel of Land in the town­land of
Gel­nco­pogagh in the part of Upper Badoney County
Of Tyrone Ire­land held by law renew­able forever
‘Under the heirs of the Honl. George Knox, to have
And to hold said par­cel of land with its apprenten
=ces (as now occu­pied by Gabriel Walk­er) to him and
to his heirs for­ev­er. Pro­vid­ed he my said Brother
Andrew Camp­bell pays one half the amt. of Debt
Due by me to the heirs of Andw. McFar­land Decd. And
To my sis­ter Anne Camp­bell before enter­ing in possession
Of said farm of land in Glencopogagh -
Item —     I bequeath to my Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell my tith
And inter­est in the rents receiv­able under Deed
of Mort­gage from the ten­ants in East Aughalane
amount­ing to 16 pounds Irish cur­ren­cy per annum) to him
and to his heirs for­ev­er. Pro­vid­ed he my said
Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell pays one half the debts
Due by me to the Heirs of Andw. McFar­land Decd.
And to my Sis­ter Anne Camp­bell — before entering
Into pos­ses­sion of the bequest before mentioned
Item —  I bequeath to my Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell above
Men­tioned the pro­ceeds of the expe­di­tion now fully
Out by me for the region of the Rocky Mountains
After deduct­ing the amount due by me to Miss J & A Kerr
Mer­chants of St. Louis Mis­souri say
And also pay­ing the men in my employ the balance
Which may be due by me to them at the time of
My decease — all of which will be deter­mined by
My execu­tors Mr L. Sub­lette and Thos. Fitz­patrick who
Accom­pa­ny me on this expe­di­tion — the pro­ceeds (if any),
To be appro­pri­at­ed in the fol­low­ing manner

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First­ly    That my said Borther Hugh Camp­bell do
Pay him­self the amount of mon­ey I shall borrow
Of him before my departure
Sec­ond­lyThat my said Borther Hugh Camp­bell ao
pay to my Beloved Moth­er the sum of Five
pounds ster­ling annu­al­ly dur­ing her nat­ur­al life
and if the pro­ceeds should not afford this then me
said Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell to pay to my beloved
moth­er Five pounds ster­ling per annum out of
the rents of East Aughalane -
Third­ly That my Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell pays to my Dear
Sis­ter Anne Ten pounds ster­ling — and should the
pro­ceeds of my expe­di­tion prove more than
repays the above appro­pri­ate­ly — then the residue
if enough to be dis­persed of as fol­lows — to my
Dear Moth­er few pounds annu­al­ly in addition
To the above and the residue to be divid­ed in
Equal parts between my Broth­ers Andrew & Hugh and
My sis­ter Anne one third each -
Item     I bequeath to my Beloved Moth­er the sum of Five pounds
Ster­ling to be paid by my said Broth­er Hugh Campbell
And in case the pro­ceeds of my Rocky Monts be
Suf­fi­cient­ly lucra­tive the sum of Ten pounds in
Addi­tion to the above -
Item    I bequeath to my Sis­ter Anne Camp­bell as
Above Ten pounds ster­ling to be paid her
By my Broth­er Hugh Camp­bell which with
The assump­tion of two hun­dred pounds of my
Broth­er Hugh & myself and fifty pounds which
I pre­sent­ed her when in Ire­land to be paid by
Hugh and myself. I con­sid­er as on equal
Por­tion with my Broth­ers — in case my Rocky
Moun­tain trip affords a prof­it I wish one third
Of the nett pro­ceeds (after pay­ing all oth­er demands)
To be paid to my dear­est sis­ter Anne

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O nom­i­nate and appoint John W Far­land of Culls
=lil­lan part of low­er Budo­ny & Coun­ty Tyrone
and William Wil­son of Eden Der­ry (Leap Mill) in
land Coun­ty in Ire­land as my execu­tors there
and Mr L Sub­lette of St. Louis Coun­ty Missouri
and Thos. Fitz­patrick of the Rocky Monts. And
My broth­er Hugh Camp­bell late of Richmond
Of Vir­ginia but now of Philadel­phia as my
Execu­tors in the Unit­ed States. — I request [miss­ing]
To super­in­tend the set­tle­ment of the mat­ters herein
Named and to direct that each Item shall
Be per­formed (as far as pos­si­ble) with­in two years
After my decease at far­thest and soon­er if
In wit­ness where of I have herunto
Set my hand and seal this tenth day of
April in the year of our Lord one Thousand
Eight Hun­dred and Thir­ty Two

Signed sealed and declared
By the above named
Robert Camp­bell to be his
Last will and testament
In pres­ence of us who have
Here­un­to sub­scribed our
names as wit­ness­es in the
pres­ence of the testator

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Robert Camp­bell
Will of April 10 1832

This week in history: March 22–28

In 1834, Irish immi­grant Robert Camp­bell was still a “moun­tain man”, liv­ing out west.  But what did his fam­i­ly back in Ire­land think about this?  This week we find out!  On March 26, 1834, Robert’s sis­ter Anne writes him from Augh­a­lane house, thank­ing him for his mul­ti­ple let­ters this year.  It seems Robert has assured his sis­ter that he is per­fect­ly pro­tect­ed in the west, although that does­n’t stop Anne and the oth­er Camp­bells from pray­ing for Robert dai­ly. Some­one sent the fam­i­ly a news­pa­per clip­ping from a St. Louis news­pa­per.  The arti­cle was writ­ten by the Amer­i­can Fur Com­pa­ny, Sub­lette & Camp­bel­l’s biggest fur-trad­ing rival, and talked about the dev­as­ta­tion cholera and famine had brought at the mouth of the Yel­low­stone and how Buf­fa­lo were dying out.  Anne responds that “some peo­ple are very cru­el!”  Enjoy this glimpse into the home front of life as a moun­tain man!

Augh­a­lane 26th March 1834
My Dear­est Broth­er Robert
How grate­ful have your let­ters been to out feel­ings — I think I can count 5 with­in the last year. This life is (__?) and among the bright­est spots of my exis­tence is the receipt of you let­ters. There is not a human with un-grat­i­fied, for the mar­gin of each are filled up by broth­ers Hugh, to hear that one of you were well would be plea­sure, but to know that
both are well and so affec­tion­ate is hap­pi­ness indeed.  Thank God you are mea­sur­able secure, in hav­ing Hors­es, more men, and a fort to pro­tect your­self — our ear­li­est and our lat­est thoughts are about you, and although they are not so heart­sound­ing as hereto­fore (since 18th Jan, when we had your first let­ter dat­ed in the moun­tains) yet dai­ly on our knees is our peti­tions offered up for your safe­ty here, and your hap­pi­ness here­after. Two days I saw a para­graph copied from a St. Louis News­pa­per head­ed “The far west” It shoed [showed] that cholera and famine were sweep­ing away all, at the mouth of the Yel­low Stone, and that where herds of Buf­fa­lo abound­ed there was

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not a soli­tary one to be found and no one knew where they were gone-some peo­ple are very cru­el!  The Amer­i­can fur com­pa­ny were giv­en as the author of this — per­haps it was best we heard this calami­tous intel­li­gence for after the first (__?) of grief were over it brought us often­er to ask pro­tec­tion and help of our God for you — your kind offer that Moth­er and I should draw on your prop­er­ty for any mea­sures we would require is too much — I can­not thank you in terms strong enough.  Lan­guage could not express the sen­ti­ments of my heart! I shall there­fore desist — may the blessed sav­ior be your pay­mas­ter for all your kind­ness­es to me.  I trust we will not take any of your prop­er­ty unless absolute neces­si­ty com­pel us, and even then, I would rather the inter­est of what my Father left me would be giv­en then bur­den you with what I am con­fi­dent is not your right to do–  Richard Keys has been in New South Wales more than a year, he has writ­ten Andrew giv­ing an account of every thing from the vari­ety of the ladies, till the quan­ti­ty of the wool that is on the sheep.  There is not a ques­tion you would ask con­cern­ing that coun­try that is not answered in his let­ter it was pub­lished in the Der­ry sen­tinel of Sat­ur­day, he is very anx­ious to know where

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you are and talks warm­ly of the pleas­ant days he spent in Augh­a­lane his salary was 50 pounds per year for over­see­ing a gen­tle­mans estate I expect on this broth­er Hugh has informed you of our dear moth­ers Lame­ness, Doc­tor Laugh­lin attend­ed her and his was not the for­mal atten­dance of a Doc­tor, it was like the case of a duti­ful son — he would not take a frac­tion for all his trou­ble, we made a small present with near­ly 1 pound to his youngest daugh­ter, who is named for me, sub­scribed to the dis­pen­sary for this year.  I saw him on Tues­day he request­ed me that I should present the warmest esteem to Mrs Laugh­lin and him­self to you — Mr Him­phills fam­i­ly are well Hamil­ton is on your side the Atlantic Charles is at col­lege, the young ladies are not yet mar­ried, his sonin­law Mr Camp­bell has recent­ly got a
lucra­tive sit­u­a­tion under Lord Darn­ley — Doc­tor MCMul­lon was mar­ried to Miss Adams, he is now a wid­ow­er, and is on the eve of sooth­ing and for Van­di­a­men lands — After 10 days ill­ness cousin Robert Hel­son died he has left a wid­ow and three chil­dren — It is but a few days since old Bil­ly one morn­ing began to sing pslams very loud, when he ceased he was speech­less, and the same evening expired In 7 hours his suf­fer­ings were ter­mi­nat­ed I trust for ever I had 10 of the last 1 pound that broth­er Hugh sent to bury him — may we my dear Broth­er meet here in plea­sure and in anoth­er world in glory
Is the prayer of your sis­ter Ann Campbell

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27th March 1834 7 oclcok P.M. I have opened this let­ter to say that William Camp­bell has read a let­ter stat­ing that Mr. Copel
Cathrine and their fam­i­ly are liv­ing extreme­ly well in Upper Coun­try Clarks fam­i­ly are well and so are Mrs Campbells

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Uncle and Aunt Gra­ham died in one day about 3 months ago — sister
Cather­ine and fam­i­ly land­ed at Lue­bra when the cholera was at its
Hwight in that city, we have not heard from her since — my poor dear kind-
Heart­ed sis­ter I fear she has fell a vis­tim to that dread­ful dis­ease she and sister
Were my favorites I have many sor­row thoughts for her and when Margery is
[miss­ing] in New York, her hus­band is worth 500 pounds their son is the finest boy can be he
fre­quent­ly writes to his grand­fa­ther Mr Hamil­ton in this country.

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On the sub­ject of Andrew going to Amer­i­ca we sel­dom talk it would be too painful
To us, Bet­sy and he are quite well she is still friend­ly and affec­tion­ate, he carries
On his farm­ing as usu­al. The sweet Mar­gret is still clever and decid­ed. She talks
Often of you yet I fear she scarce rec­ol­lects you. I try to keep you in her rec­ol­lec­tion. The
Rest ques­tioned her whether she loved Aunt Jean as I , best, she answered in her
Decid­ed way, that she loved Aunt Ann, but the fin­ger, bet­ter that Aunt Jeans soul
And body. They are all so intel­li­gent it would take an entire let­ter to describe them singly.

[Side of 1st page]
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Your moth­er sends a thou­sand bless­ings, she is quite well Thank God, and delight­ed you intend
To read your Bible
May God enable you
To pur­sue it with care

[Last page, envelope]

Recd. at Phi­la­da. 12th May 1834
For­ward­ed by Hugh Camp­bell to his brother

Robert Camp­bell
Saint Louis
Sis­ter Anne
March 26th

Happy St. Patrick’s day from Campbell House Museum

With Camp­bell House­’s mul­ti­ple con­nec­tions to the Emer­ald Isle, we could­n’t let St. Patrick­’s day pass us by with­out rec­og­niz­ing it.  Both Robert Camp­bell and his broth­er Hugh emi­grat­ed from Ire­land to Amer­i­ca.  Oth­er Camp­bell rel­a­tives even­tu­al­ly fol­lowed, but many remained behind.  Today we post a 1937 St. Patrick­’s Day let­ter between two mem­bers of Robert’s extend­ed Irish fam­i­ly, at least one of whom has moved to the US and lives in a place called Hugh­esville.  It talks not only about their lives but also reports on the state of their cousin Hazlett Camp­bell, Robert’s last liv­ing son.  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.  Hap­py St. Patrick­’s Day from Camp­bell House Muse­um, home of a true Irishman!

This St Patrick’s day The USA 1937 at Hughesville …….

Dear Lady McFarlane.

So long since I rit­ten,  so long since I heard from you. Ill­ness has kept me silent, am nor­mal again now. Spring is in the air & the fine sun­shine will make me strong again. Our win­ter has been long and severe.

The coun­try is beau­ti­ful and up on my Plan­ta­tion things are begin­ning to hum. There has been so much fail­ure in crops in the past three years that the start this sea­son most hope­ful­ly on account of the fine & recent rains.

An indi­rect word from St Louis and cousin Hazlett Camp­bell came yes­ter­day, that he was quite well , had passed a night in excel­lent condition.

He has such per­fect care tak­en of him. About a year ago one of his old­est atten­dants, a ser­vant that had been with him 35 years had died, & yes the man ser­vant is left doing time­ly duty as he promised cousin Hugh Camp­bell he would. The old Camp­bell home where Hazlett lives is a fine estab­lish­ment …….. run & con­duct­ed beau­ti­ful­ly by 5 ser­vants, his Dr & lawyer, com­ing reg­u­lar­ly to see him & look after his uncle.

You must rite to me & tell me how the world is treat­ing you & your chil­dren. Best wish­es of my heart brings this to you

Your Cor­dial­ly

Mrs C Annie S MacFarlane.