Tag Archives: James Campbell

Mystery Mail

Some of the mys­te­ri­ous mail bear­ing the return address “Some­where in Time.”

Between the mys­te­ri­ous half-dol­lars and elu­sive foot­steps through­out the house, we’re used to the unex­plained around here. One of our favorite — and longest-run­ning — mys­ter­ies arrives via the U.S. Post Office.

For years, Camp­bell House has received mail addressed to Camp­bell fam­i­ly mem­bers. The hand­writ­ing’s always the same, it’s always post­marked from St. Louis, and the return address says noth­ing more than “Some­where in Time.”

We received three in close suc­ces­sion this year: Hugh’s birth­day, Robert’s birth­day (from Vir­ginia) then James’ birth­day. Before that, Vir­ginia received a “think­ing of you” card from Robert, and Vir­ginia sent Robert an anniver­sary card. Sad­ly, poor Hazlett has been over­looked by the mailman.

Who­dunit? Do you know?

Received in March of 2012 in time for his 152nd birth­day on March 16th, here we have a cus­tomized birth­day card to James. The sender wrote “The Beloved Pup­py, to James –” James, inci­den­tal­ly, was rather fond of his dogs. Take a look at this ear­li­er post.

The inside is signed: “Time is fleet­ing! Yor [Your] Lov­ing and devot­ed Parents.”

Robert was the “some­one spe­cial” ref­er­enced in this let­ter that came to the muse­um in Feb­ru­ary, right before his 208th birth­day in Feb­ru­ary 2012.

…and it’s from Vir­ginia! Per­son­al­ized, “To my dear­est Robert.…from your lov­ing wife, Virginia.”

Vir­gini­a’s been busy. Here’s an anniver­sary card she sent to Robert that arrived in 2008 on their 167th anniversary.

It’s a clas­sic Hall­mark tear-jerk­er, too: “Dear Robert: What we share togeth­er is a beau­ti­ful part­ner­ship. From the joy and pas­sion to the gen­tle car­ing of our fam­i­ly and home — It means every­thing to me to have you as my friend and my part­ner in life.…And on your birth­day I hope you can feel all the love I have for you in my heart. — Vir­ginia.” *sniff*

This is prob­a­bly the best one in the bunch. Baby Owl arrived for Hugh’s birth­day last Novem­ber and he says, “Whoo’s hav­ing a Birthday?’

.…and on the inside, the author Robert and Vir­ginia changed “You are!” to “Hugh are!” Also writ­ten: “Your 164th! From Your Par­ents.” This is quite pos­si­bly the best Camp­bell House pun ever.

Just a lit­tle note for Virginia.….

…from her Robert! “My Dear Vir­ginia: I’m think­ing of you/And warm wish­es I send, For days filled with joy/From begin­ning to end. Your devot­ed Hus­band, Robert.” Awwww.

Campbell Kids » Campbell House Goes to the Dogs

James’ young col­lies in Cam­bridge, MA. The sol­id brown one on the right is named Guy.

This Fri­day is Bring Your Dog to Work Day, and although we don’t want our staff’s pooches traips­ing through the rose gar­den, track­ing mud through the house and drool­ing on guests that come to the door, dogs have a long his­to­ry at Camp­bell House.

The Camp­bells loved their dogs, par­tic­u­lar­ly the youngest adult son James. He immor­tal­ized them not only in his Jules Lefeb­vre (pro­nounced “luh-FEV-ruh”) por­trait that hangs in the Library, but he also had pic­tures tak­en of them. Lots of pic­tures. After grad­u­at­ing from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, James attend­ed Har­vard from 1886 through 1888 for law school. The pic­ture to the right cap­tured his beloved pair of col­lies in the dri­ve­way of his Cam­bridge home. (Awwww…)

After he grad­u­at­ed from Har­vard, James and his broth­ers Hugh and Hazlett took an extend­ed trip to Europe. Of course, the pups went along for the ride:

Pups on the bal­cony in Geneva.….

…stand­ing guard at the door­way to the Hotel Con­ra­di in Italy, and…

…sit­ting nice­ly for the cam­era in an unknown Euro­pean location.

The Camp­bells weren’t the only folks in his­to­ry who were wild about their pooches. A black New­found­land accom­pa­nied Lewis and Clark on their trek west. Cap­tain Meri­wether Lewis bought Sea­man the pup for $20 in Pitts­burgh before the expe­di­tion in 1803 while he was wait­ing for the boats to be completed.

The 1400-pound sculp­ture of Sea­man that sits at Sea­man’s Over­look in Wash­burn, North Dako­ta. (Sea­man is also fea­tured in a stat­ue of Lewis & Clark in St. Louis next to the Eads Bridge!)

Robert’s friend Ulysses S. Grant also owned a New­found­land named Faith­ful, and she lived in the White House while Grant was pres­i­dent! (Since the Grant and Camp­bell fam­i­lies were close friends, the Camp­bells sure­ly spent some time with Faithful.)

Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy owned sev­er­al dogs (Char­lie, Pushin­ka, Clip­per, Shan­non, Wolf, White Tips, Black­ie and Streak­er), and he was the first pres­i­dent to request that his four-legged friends be allowed to greet him on the lawn when he arrived at the White House in the pres­i­den­tial helicopter.

Do you have a spe­cial fur­ry canine friend at home? Grab your pen­cil, paper, mark­ers and paint and make your very own por­trait! After you’re done and show your fam­i­ly, email a pic­ture of it to shel­ley [at] camp­bell­house­mu­se­um [dot] org, and we’ll post the sub­mis­sions on our blog! And you nev­er know.…we may decide to bring Har­vey and Vio­let to work next year.