Tag Archives: Mary Kyle Campbell

This week in history: November 19-November 27

Decem­ber 20, 1843 let­ter from Mary Camp­bell to her cousin and sis­ter in law Vir­ginia Camp­bell.  This let­ter was cho­sen for the week of Thanks­giv­ing because Mary talks about hav­ing Thanks­giv­ing just a few days before Christ­mas!  Appar­ent­ly, Mary thought the Philadel­phi­ans were rather stuffy on Thanks­giv­ing — “We have Thanks­giv­ing  tomor­row — every­body must go to Church.  They are try­ing to make  it a strict­ly reli­gious fes­ti­val, not a nice mer­ry-mak­ing time as in good New England.”

How times have changed!  Thanks­giv­ing has not only been moved from Decem­ber to Novem­ber, but it’s gone from a reli­gious hol­i­day to one of fam­i­ly cel­e­bra­tion, big help­ings of turkey, the Macy’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Parade, foot­ball.  But through­out his­to­ry, Thanks­giv­ing has been about count­ing your bless­ings.  Hap­py Thanks­giv­ing from Camp­bell House Museum!

[Front Cov­er]
Mrs. Robert Campbell -
Saint Louis -
Missouri -

Philadel­phia Dec. 20th / 43
My dear Virginia
I have been par­tic­u­lar­ly anx­ious to write you since the  receipt of you very kind + inter­est­ing let­ter.  There is a  sub­ject there­in men­tioned upon which I wish to give my advice.   You seem to think it absolute­ly nec­es­sary for you to be at  house­keep­ing before we go to St. Louis.  Now I think this  entire­ly wrong + I hope you will not attempt it.  In the first  place the sea­son would be the very worst in the whole year.  The  most stormy + inclement requir­ing all the win­ter com­forts &  before you can at all enjoy them, sum­mer comes on + then it is so bad a time for pro­vid­ing for your table, you could not at all do jus­tice to your culi­nary tal­ents.  Seri­ous­ly Vir­ginia I think  the ear­ly spring a most unprof­i­tous time for begin­ning so  seri­ous a task as house­keep­ing must at all times prove.  And you  know your moth­er thinks the Planters Hous­es would suit me a great deal bet­ter.  We would you know be just as much at home with you + Robert + the chil­dren + then we could see all the world then  besides + then lat­er in the spring when I return from vis­it­ing  all my peo­ple, let us then have the plea­sure of assist­ing you in  get­ting all things ready.  If you do not take my advice in this  mat­ter I will be quite offend­ed _ not stop at your fine house at  all in St. Louis, but go straight on to Jef­fer­son City — after  tak­ing a peek at James + Hugh.

[Pg. Break] We were all deeply deeply griev­ed for the  sit­u­a­tion of our kind friend Mr. John Kerr.  Robert’s let­ter to  our house yes­ter­day announced the hope­less­ness of his dis­ease —  how unex­pect­ed to his fam­i­ly this must be — what a change a few  months has pro­duced.  the hus­band has tak­en the dying wife’s  place + she is restored to health, at least your write as if she  were again in good health.  He is hap­py + resigned, that is the  only com­fort left his friends — his death you + Robert will  sin­cere­ly lament I know + all that knew him well will mourn for  him, for he was a good man.  How much I will miss him when I go  to St. Louis, for I knew him longer & liked him bet­ter than any  one else there except our own.

Christ­mas is almost upon us, + I have done noth­ing for it  except make some mince meat.  I will give very few presents for  my mon­ey always runs short a the close of the year + I do not  expect any for myself — all our gift-givers are mar­ried + away.   Your hus­band was more famous in this like than any one else +  most of our presents went with him.   We have Thanks­giv­ing  tomor­row — every­body must go to Church.  They are try­ing to make  it a strict­ly reli­gious fes­ti­val, not a nice mer­ry-mak­ing time as in good New England.

We were all at Tom Smith’s wed­ding last week — he mar­ried  Miss Leiper — we took Archie + John Miller in the car­riage with  us, their wives were not able to go.  Mrs. Archie’s infant too  young + Matil­da suf­fer­ing from severe cold.  We went to John  Leiper’s, then dressed + drove over a mile to the brides father’s where 150 friends were assem­bled.  We had a very pleas­ant time,  plen­ty of eat­ing & drink­ing — no danc­ing.  The bride is a very  sweet love­ly girl — Tom is most for­tu­nate in

[Pg. Break] get­ting such a wife.  Eliz­a­beth Laps­by was also  mar­ried to a Mr. Will­son — she had a very gay wed­ding I am told + has had a great many par­ties giv­en to her.  It is like tak­ing  Meg’s head off to get her to go any of them — I’ll give her up as a bad job.

As to news, I fear I have not a word.  Mr. & Mrs. McConley  are com­ing on to spend Christ­mas — she is fol­low­ing your exam­ple  for lit­tle Sophy Mouyes [?] is now very sick with inter­mit­ting  fever.  I trust the dear lit­tle crea­ture will be well soon.  Mrs.  Zuck­er has been very sick for a week past with severe cold —  every body has the influen­za.  Matil­da Miller looks very bad­ly +  always com­plains,  I think if she had a child she would be well  enough, but there is no prospect yet.  Mrs. Bak­er is bet­ter + is  able to come round + spend evenings with us again.  Har­ri­et  Oak­man is as strong + well as any one.

I have not writ­ten your moth­er for a long time, but will  soon.  i have heard from all my own fam­i­ly recent­ly.  Mr. Clark  says the kind­est things of you & your chil­dren.  Tell Robert we  have all been quite amused at the Irish gen­tle­man that has been  flour­ish­ing in all our papers.  Mr. Tagert thinks he will hard­ly  speak to us ow he has become so dis­tin­guished a per­son­age + so  Sir William Stew­art has become Earl of Losh [?] will he receive  an acces­sion of for­tune with the title.

Lit­tle Robert Camp­bell is com­ing to spend the day with us,  he has been very del­i­cate + I almost fear will soon fol­low  Cal­len­der.  I have to take him to a fair to buy some things + I  must make one as two vis­its.  The Millers, Oak­mans & all drink  tea with me to night.  I wish you + yours could be with us at  Christ­mas.  You have at least our best wish­es for hap­pi­ness +  many returns.

[Pg. Break — 3rd page margins]
Give my kind­est love to that Irish gen­tle­man.  A thou­sand  kiss­es to Jem + the baby  + regards to all friends, par­tic­u­lar­ly  the Kerrs.  Meg of course sends oceans of love to all — she will  write you soon.  Your cousin as ever
Mary Campbell.

This Week in History: September 29 — October 5

Fort William Fri­day Octo­ber 13th 1833
My Dear Mary

I owe you a let­ter of more than a year stand­ing, and I know not now but I had bet­ter allow inter­est to accu­mu­late than attempt  to liq­ui­date the debt. In fact there is so lit­tle in this coun­try that could prove inter­est­ing to you (  I know your taste is not  Sav­age) that it is not with­out reluc­tance I take up my pen: and  but for our con­sid­er­a­tion I would pro­cras­ti­nate a lit­tle longer  —  Name­ly that it brings fresh my rec­ol­lec­tion the pleas­ant  evenings I passed with you in Decem­ber and Jan­u­ary last: and I  can now indulge the delu­sive idea that I am seat­ed in your room  on Wal­nut Street enjoy­ing the agree­able soci­ety it always  con­tained, and look­ing on the only Broth­er and Sis­ter that  inhab­it the same con­ti­nent as myself. Can you imag­ine to your­self how agree­able such dreams are? No, ’tis impos­si­ble. We can only  know plea­sure by con­trast and you who have no alloy to mix with  pure hap­pi­ness can­not pos­si­bly appre­ci­ate the feel­ings of one  whose whole life is bus­tle and anx­i­ety with­out a com­pan­ion (I  don’t mean a wife) to share it. To fan­cy myself trans­port­ed from  fif­teen hun­dred miles beyond the bounds of civ­i­liza­tion, leav­ing  all my cares behind, and enter­ing the most agree­able and  accept­able Soci­ety that I can imag­ine, pro­duces a sen­sa­tion that  it beg­ging words to describe; just call to mind the hap­pi­est  moments of your life, then that twice told, can enable you to  form some idea of what I should feel if I could pass one evening  with you at this time, and what I now expe­ri­ence in writ­ing you  notwith­stand­ing the immense dis­tance we are apart –

[Pg. Break] As I write vol­umes to Hugh you prob­a­bly have a pret­ty good knowl­edge of what a per­son sac­ri­fices who embarks in this  life, and yet I might say to you it is not with­out some enjoyment

” — this our life exempt from pub­lic haunt
“Finds tongues in trees, books in the run­ning brooks
“Ser­mons in stones and good in every thing”

Roam in what direc­tion we may, nature in all her beau­ties (and  some of her defor­mi­ties) meets our eye and should our soli­tude be inter­rupt­ed, it is only by a son of nature who affords quite as  good a sub­ject for con­tem­pla­tion as the scenery he con­tributes to diver­si­fy; and I can assure you there are times when such are my feel­ings that I would scarce exchange a walk in the vicin­i­ty of  Fort William with an unso­phis­ti­cat­ed Son of the Prairie that I  might hap­ly meet,  and with whom I could only “talk by signs”,  for a prom­e­nade in Ches­nut Street on a fine sun­ny day when all  the fash­ion and beau­ty of the city are on the move. My taste you  will say is bar­barous– I con­fess it else I would not now be  writ­ing you from the Mouth of the Yel­low Stone

I could tell you so many excel­lent sto­ries in praise of the  Indi­ans that you would be led to admire them. And for our trust  in their char­ac­ter (and sor­ry I am to record it) for which I  can­not offer an excuse; and that is their bar­barous treat­ment of  the ____[?] sex. Fash­ion it as I may I can­not pal­li­ate this  offense: to one who has not been accus­tomed to see our pret­ty  Girls in the States wait­ed on from time to time they become  mar­riage­able until they get a hus­band, and if they man­age him  prop­er­ly ever after, it is hard to look at the poor crea­tures in  this coun­try– Youth, Beau­ty– I had almost said refine­ment but  they poss­es nei­ther that nor intel­li­gence–  noth­ing can exempt  them from drudgery. Even the daugh­ter of a chief if she works to  get a hus­band (and they all do) must show that she is capa­ble of  dress­ing Buf­fa­lo Robes–  pack­ing wood and if occa­sion requires  pack­ing a heavy bur­den a days march whilst the detestable men  step ahead encum­bered only by their gun and bow and arrows
[Pg. Break] I have fre­quent­ly had the Indi­ans boast to me that  they were not poor for they had two, three or four wives (tell it not in Goth) who could dress Buf­fa­lo Robes to pur­chase what they might require. A Nabob in the Old Domin­ion could not speak of  his human stock with more indif­fer­ence than an Indi­an does of his wives; nor is this all. They will dis­pose of their daugh­ters for a gun or a Horse or any oth­er arti­cle they may require with­out  regard to their feel­ings, but I must add the Lady, like a true  daugh­ter of Eve will have her own way, and if her Father’s choice does not please her, she sel­dom fails to choose for her­self  after­wards in which she is jus­ti­fied by the Cus­toms of her Nation
I intend the first leisure to smoke sev­er­al pipes of Tobac­co —  (I am indebt­ed to Knicker­backer for the plan) explain­ing, at  the risk of being laughed at, the dif­fer­ence between our  treat­ment of  the sex and theirs
You per­ceive the bad exam­ple dai­ly set before me oper­ates as it  ought, in pro­duc­ing the great­est ven­er­a­tion for the ladies I have the mis­for­tune to be so far removed from. The more I see of  these Sav­ages the more glar­ing appears the injus­tice. No dan­ger  that like vice.

Seen too oft famil­iar with the face
We must endure, then tru­ly them embrace”

But if some hus­bands had a prece­dent such as I could fur­nish  then, Lord help their wives — there­fore the less they know of  Indi­an usage the better.
I hope you have been able to enter­tain my friend Sub­lette as  agree­ably as you did last sea­son, I trust how­ev­er your fair  friends  are not as fas­ci­nat­ing as they thus were, or I shall  expect an addi­tion­al part­ner in our concern
When I left St Louis your sis­ters spoke of the two of them going to Phi­la, but all being anx­ious to live with “Sis­ter Mary” they  had not deter­mined whose should be the hap­py lot — please  present my respects to them
Is it not pro­vok­ing to be placed so as to not expect a let­ter  before June or July next —  this is indeed one of the great­est  griev­ances — I find in this coun­try — Could I expect to hear  from you and Hugh  and a few of my oth­er friends once a month,  then would I be the hap­pi­est amongst the self-exiled — as that  is denied me, I shall do myself the plea­sure of sub­scrib­ing  myself your most sin­cere and most devot­ed friend and Brother

Robert Camp­bell


This Week in History: August 4–10

Spar­ta, Wis Aug. 5/74

Dear Robert
I have your of 28 ult
Inclos­ing an excel­lent let­ter from our
Niece Mary It gives the best account
Of our poor sis­ters sad acci­dent, and is
Quite dis­cour­ag­ing in every respect.
It is here­with returned,
I also inclose Mary T let­ter to me
And the let­ter of our nephew R. B.C.
You will rec­ol­lect that the last let­ter to
Me from this fel­low gave me some lying
Details of fam­i­ly quar­rels and requested
Me to turn sis­ter Ann out of Aughalane
As being the cause of all their trou­bles! He
Doubt­less wished to suc­ceed her in the
Occu­pan­cy of the old house and this
Let­ter to me is evi­dent­ly writ­ten with
The same view. I feel cer­tain that if I had
Writ­ten to him in reply he would have used
My let­ter as author­i­ty to take pos­ses­sion. He
Is a bad and dan­ger­ous scoundrell.

[next page]

I shall be glad to learn that your
Vis­it to the Pres­i­dent proved agreeable -
Yet I scarce­ly expect that it was. The
Only thing that annoys me is the prompt
Appoint­ment of your suc­ces­sions & retaining
The same name. The new commissioners
Being all of the Sec­re­tary’s selec­tion, will only
Serve to enlarge the “Indi­an Ring: and in
Future his­to­ry their acts will read as yours.
I would protest, and insist that some
Change should be made in the style & title
Of this con­gre­ga­tion of See: Delaon, friends.
I have already sug­gest­ed that you
Should send dft to Ann on D Stu­art & Co fo 50 pounds
By way of pay­ing expens­es atten­dant on her
Acci­dent, If you con­cur with me in
This, I would beg you to write a kind
Reply to Mary & M.C. for both of us & inclose
In your let­ter the dft, pay. To Ann’s order
Under no cir­cum­stances do I desire
That either you or I should cor­re­spond with
Our nephew. They are cun­ning & treacherous;
And would use our let­ters for bad purposes.

[next page]

Hugh sent me from Nehol­son’s 8
Bot­tles of whiskey. The bot­tles were a cross
Between quarts & pints — with a preponderance
In favour of the lat­ter. They have very nearly
Evap­o­rat­ed, Please send half a dozen more
By express — not quite so new and finery.
You will also oblige by direct­ing the
“News & Book store” to for­ward the July number
of Black­wood & pay postage if required.
Sub­scrip­tion has been paid — 4th st. near olive
A let­ter from Hugh recd. this morning
Shows that he is unwill­ing to go eastward
I beg that you will urge him to go He needs
A lit­tle fresh air and relax­ation, after the
Heat­ed term in St. Louis
We all get along famous­ly. It seems
That I have gained 3 lbs since my arrival.
Mary does not wish to acknowl­edge a single
Pound addi­tion­al — and Mary T says nothing.
All join me in kind regards to you & Hugh
I trust this will meet you on your arrival
Ever tru­ly yours
H. Campbell

This Week in History: June 29 — July 5

Philadel­phia 4th July 1835.  Saturday
My Dear Robert
I arrived in safe­ty and in good health on day before yes­ter­day, after a pleas­ant tour of about eleven days from St. Louis, in com­pa­ny with Mary and her lit­tle broth­er David, who we brought on here for the pur­pose of plac­ing at school for a short time and oth­er­wise prepar­ing him for being use­ful to the fam­i­ly.  You can scarce­ly imag­ine how com­fort­able home feels to us after our tire­some jour­ney — I say tire­some because in addi­tion to the actu­al fatigue of trav­el­ing there was the anx­i­ety which must always be felt while trav­el­ing through a sick­ly coun­try — and such has been our lot since we left home — for the cholera pre­vails from Nashville to St. Louis and thence east­ward to Wheel­ing — but in some places to a greater extent than in others.
Per­haps it was part­ly owing to this cause that we did not enjoy the soci­ety of St. Louis.  Mary was there three weeks and I was there four days — and except our good and unchange­able friend Mr. Sub­lette no one offered us any hos­pi­tal­i­ty.  I con­fess I felt dis­ap­point­ed in this respect and so does Mary although she attrib­ut­es it to the unhealth­i­ness and gloom which pre­vailed while we were there.  It may be so but you will par­don me for repeat­ing a for­mer­ly expressed opin­ion.  I do not like St. Louis and I believe it defi­cient in the warm heart­ed soci­ety else­where found in the [?]____ (USA maybe?)
Enclosed you have Andrew’s last let­ter to any of us.  I was received before my depar­ture west­ward and I had laid it aside to take along but omit­ted it in pack­ing.  I then wrote Mary to send it, but she had left here before my let­ter reached her.  It will still be new to you how­ev­er and will reach St. Louis long before you are like­ly to return there.  You will see by the P.S. of Bet­ty that your very accept­able dona­tion had been received.  Andrew (poor fel­low) writes as he speaks — and if we could only per­suade him to adopt some sys­tem and care in his busi­ness there is no per­son of whom we would feel more proud as a broth­er.  What will become of his house full of daugh­ters?  I cer­tain­ly must take one of the young ones.  What think you? [End of pg 1]

[Side of first page] The fam­i­ly spoke most kind­ly of you in St. Louis.  I was grat­i­fied to hear so much said on the sub­ject and am sure you deserved it.  I think it like­ly they will soon remove to a coun­try town where their expens­es will be less­ened and the means of sup­port be pro­cured with less sac­ri­fices than in the extrav­a­gant city of St. Louis

[pg 2] My west­ern jour­ney as antic­i­pat­ed places it out of my pow­er to cross the Atlantic dur­ing the sum­mer.  At present I can­not say whether I will be at lib­er­ty to avail myself of the win­ter vaca­tion for we like school boys have our sea­sons of relax­ation.  My time is equal­ly the prop­er­ty of my part­ners and self.  Should they not object I will cer­tain­ly go and I intend propos­ing the trip after a few weeks.  Before your return from the moun­tains I will prob­a­bly be able to “see how the land lies” and I trust they will make no objec­tions to an absence which will cer­tain­ly not exceed four months — say betwixt Nov and March Next.
Mr. Gill has been on a vis­it to his broth­er Robert for some days and of course we have not seen him since our return.  The soci­ety of our lit­tle cir­cle is great­ly changed since we left here in May last.  Mr. Gill has bro­ken up house­keep­ing and sold out his fur­ni­ture.  Mr. and Mrs. Bak­er and Miss Har­ri­et Camp­bell have embarked for France (as I have already writ­ten you) and Mr. G and Arch are board­ing.  John is an [?]_____ (looks like inmate?) of my lit­tle fam­i­ly at the urgent request of Mr. G.  I con­sent­ed with much reluc­tance for I fear it will be no easy mat­ter to man­age him.  Should it prove so, I will not have him a sin­gle day after he becomes troublesome.
Mr. Sub­lette seemed desirous to obtain the store house in which K and Edgar did busi­ness but was dis­ap­point­ed.  He thinks it a good stand and so do I — yet it is only so for a retail busi­ness.  From all I have seen of St. Louis I would be inclined to pre­fer a dif­fer­ent loca­tion, either on Front street or high­er up on Main Street.  Should you enter into busi­ness in St. Louis, the only prospect of doing well is in sell­ing whole­sale for at the moment I do not believe that the retail is either more expen­sive or less prof­itable in Rich­mond (the worst point in the coun­try) than it is in St. Louis, owing to the great com­pe­ti­tion which now exists there.  My own opin­ion is that a stand is not impor­tant and that you can enter slow­ly and cau­tious­ly into busi­ness, with more advan­tage in a more retired house than that occu­pied by K and E. unit­ing of course with a gen­er­al whole­sale busi­ness, a good and com­mand­ing stock of Indi­an goods, in which you will have no for­mi­da­ble rival­ry. [End of pg. 2]

[Left side of 2nd page] Mary directs me to speak of her and says that I do not men­tion her half enough when writ­ing you.  This is all non­sense.  I beg you will sup­pose (and you can­not exag­ger­ate) that she val­ues you much.

[Pg. 3]
Per­haps you will not com­pre­hend the mean­ing of “slow­ly and cau­tious­ly” as con­nect­ed with a piece busi­ness.  The first year I would not wish to sell more than half the quan­ti­ty of goods you cal­cu­late on being your aver­age take.  The sec­ond year the sales may be mod­er­ate­ly increased and not untill the third year ought you to cal­cu­late on extend­ing ful­ly your busi­ness to its legit­i­mate extent.
I know you will be sur­prised at my con­tra­dict­ed views but they [?]_____ (dark spot and big crease) from expe­ri­ence and I felt muc reluc­tance at first in admit­ting them.  [?]______ (dark spot and big crease) not done so in this city.  Had we not declined sell­ing in many instances where oth­ers would have been glad to do so we should not have suc­ceed­ed in [?]______ (dark spot and big crease) oth­ers would have been glad to do so, we should not have suc­ceed­ed in this city.  I will at a future time explaine the caus­es which lead me to these con­clu­sions.  At present it suf­fices to say that I wish you to enter into busi­ness [?]_____ (dark spot) or dash and to make an exceed­ing small amount of cred­it sales the first year.
Mr. Sub­lette sent on an order which has been care­ful­ly sup­plied dur­ing my absence by my part­ners.  The goods had reached St. Louis on 20th June in less than 3 weeks from this city.  They are design[?]______ (dark spot and big hole) small out­fit which I fan­cy you will meet in your return.
Goods of every descrip­tion are scarce and high — Domes­tics par­tic­u­lar­ly.  It is believed that heavy orders have been sent out to Eng­land and France and [?]_____ (dark spot) the quan­ti­ty of import­ed goods will exceed the demand.  If so (but one can­not know in less than 60 to 80 days hence) there will be sac­ri­fices in many [?]_____ (dark spot) about the close of the full sales in Oct and Nov and I think it prob­a­ble that a [?]_______ (dark spot) assort­ment could then be laid in.  Domes­tic goods (a most impor­tant [?]_____ of every stock in St. Louis) I fear will be high and even advance on present price.  In short the mar­ket is in an unpleas­ant state just now, so far as prices are con­cerned — yet there appears to be a good demand for everything.
I have pur­pose­ly avoid­ed Irish news — for one of the best rea­sons — I have none to give!  The last date is the enclosed and I hope before my next I shall be enabled to say that I heard from some of them.  God bless you.
Hugh Campbell
[Left side of 3rd page] I had a let­ter from Hugh Reed dat­ed at New­berg (New York) where he was at work.  I pity the poor fel­low but can do noth­ing for him.  He has nei­ther a good trade, nor an edu­ca­tion to fit him for busi­ness and to crown all he will not go westward.

[Pg. 4]
[Left side of page] At my request Mr. Sub­lette put up and sealed two bot­tles of water from his sul­phur spring.  If I am not great­ly mis­tak­en it is pre­cise­ly the same as the cel­e­brat­ed white sul­phur of Vir­ginia.  Pro­fes­sor Rogers is under some oblig­a­tions and I will cause him to have the water [?]_____ (looks like armal­ized?)  His broth­er (pro­fes­sor in William and Mary Col­lege Vir­ginia) [?]______ the Vir­ginia springs last sea­son and has pub­lished a work on this subject.

[Right side of page]  I thank you for a num­ber of let­ters writ­ten imme­di­ate­ly before your depar­ture from the set­tle­ments.  Your sev­er­al favors of 4th 9th 16th 21st 26th April have been received the con­tents of which were par­tic­u­lar­ly accept­able.  As usu­al I will try to be punc­tu­al and it will go hard with me if you do not have quite as many to read on your return.  I only wish I could make my let­ters as amus­ing and enter­tain­ing to you as two of yours have been to me.

[Mid­dle] 4th July 1835

Mr. Robert Campbell
Care of Mr. Wm. L. Sublette
Saint Louis

This week in History: May 10-May 16

May 13, 1842

Let­ter from Mary Camp­bell to her sis­ter-in-law Vir­ginia Camp­bell.  This let­ter is writ­ten one day before Vir­gini­a’s first son, James Alexan­der Camp­bell (1842–1849), was born.

Mrs. Robert Campbell
Saint Louis


Philadel­phia May 13th / 42

My dear Virginia,
You may cer­tain­ly charge me with extreme neglect & so may my  dear moth­er & sis­ters for I have not writ­ten to any of them since I wrote you, except a let­ter to Ellen Stephen­son a few days ago.  I have had a bad cold & very trou­ble­some cough for sev­er­al  weeks, not mak­ing me sick at all — only lazy & dis­joint­ed.  I  have also hoped to hear impor­tant news from you for a week or so  past.  My cal­cu­la­tions it seems were not cor­rect, still I think I am not very far astray & that a few days will announce your  safe­ty & well doing.  I was delight­ed to learn of the prob­a­bil­i­ty of your moth­ers vis­it­ing you, I hope she will soon be with you,  but I have heard noth­ing of her except through Robert’s let­ters  to Mr Camp­bell.  Your dear old grand­moth­er has also been called  to her eter­nal rest — it must have been, as in our case, not as  unex­pect­ed event.  I sent to Rich­mond, not hav­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty  to Raleigh, a dress for your Moth­er, as a present from Robert —  it must have reached just in time — it was not very expen­sive 13  yards at 87 1/2 cents per yard: it was appro­pri­ate in colour &  design & of a fash­ion­able mate­r­i­al.  I could find noth­ing  suit­able in bon­nets & indeed she has writ­ten for only one arti­cle to be sent her.

Mr. Camp­bell left here on Mon­day last for N. York &  Boston, to look for a school at which to place Pon­son­by- he was  to have accom­pa­nied him but a boil broke out on his neck that has since con­fined him to the house.  Mr C. will return in a few  days.  I received a let­ter for him, from Robert on Tues­day  morn­ing & sent it on imme­di­ate­ly to him.

Our city con­tin­ues as dull as pos­si­ble ‑fail­ures are occur­ring  dai­ly again which occa­sions a lit­tle excite­ment & talk.  There is no busi­ness [?]_______ [Illeg­i­ble] still the ladies dress well & look as  bright & gay as larks.  But you would be sur­prised at the num­ber  of large hous­es that are for rent & the sales of fur­ni­ture that  are adver­tised every­day.  Mrs Ral­ston, Lizzy Mitchel­l’s moth­er’s  fur­ni­ture was sold yes­ter­day — they have lost all their for­tune I believe.  The Oak­man’s con­tin­ue in their house, but I am told  the fail­ure is a very bad one, that they will not pay their  bor­rowed mon­ey.  John Camp­bell has gone again to the West Indies, mere­ly to keep him out of mis­chief I pre­sume, unless he went as  a sailor — he was doing noth­ing here & nev­er will do any­thing  good I fear.  Mrs Bak­er I see every day or so, she appears bright & hap­py.  I nev­er see her hus­band, I am told he is grow­ing  enor­mous­ly fat & liv­ing as usu­al.  Maltil­da & John Miller are  cer­tain­ly engaged, from his [?]_____ [illeg­i­ble] there — I have nev­er heard  any of them say any­thing on the sub­ject.  Har­ri­et’s baby is the  largest child I ever saw for its age — not at all pret­ty, but  strong & healthy look­ing — she looks wretched­ly.  Mrs Archie &  her chil­dren are very well, her baby a love­ly creature.

Dr Rollins & daugh­ter arrived here a few days ago, bring­ing me a let­ter of intro­duc­tion from Judge Mor­row.  Miss  Rollins became acquaint­ed with you last fall & says many kind  things of you, she is a very sweet, intel­li­gent girl, has gone to Madame [?]_______ [illeg­i­ble] school.  Her father has returned home, I  admired him great­ly.  They are par­tic­u­lar friends of Mrs  Ash­ley’s, she had deter­mined on going imme­di­ate­ly home & tak­ing  Mary with her, but now she says she will leave Mary at school &  return alone, not to St. Louis, but Ken­tucky, Ohio, & sev­er­al  oth­er places.  She has a dozen new plans every day.  Mrs Far­rar  has been quite sick, was much bet­ter yes­ter­day.  I like her  extreme­ly.  I was glad to hear the Dr arrived safe­ly in St.  Louis.  I real­ly con­sid­ered him unfit to trav­el alone.

Mr & Mrs M. Car­ly have gone to Brook­lyn to live and are very  nice­ly [?]_____ [illeg­i­ble] than at house­keep­ing.  We all miss them, she is  so love­ly & so good.  The Tagerts go out of town the 1st of June, we will be very lone­ly dur­ing the sum­mer, so many of our friends go going to the coun­try.  Judge Mor­row has removed to Jef­fer­son  City & will be pleas­ant­ly sit­u­at­ed these I hear, Bet­ty is not as  you are but have been I hope on this 13th day of May.  My moth­er  & all were well — from my sis­ters in Illi­nois I have not heard  for sev­er­al weeks.

I hear Mr M Keazin has been caught by a Miss Mar­shall & also  by Miss Walk­er.  How does Mrs Kerr come on I long to hear of her  at house­keep­ing.  Mrs McK­ay’s friends have been ask­ing anx­ious­ly  for news from St Louis — They have not heard from her for a long time.

All send much love & many  mes­sages to you, but I have an engage­ment — this morn­ing which  com­pels me to con­clude hur­ried­ly.  Give my kind­est love to Robert — in the hope of hear­ing good news from you soon I am as ever  your affec­tion­ate cousin
Mary Campbell

Read­ers should note that cer­tain words in this let­ter were illeg­i­ble, due to Mary Camp­bel­l’s handwriting.