[Just after the birth of the Campbell’s second child, Hugh, on October 9, 1843]
Raleigh October 16th 1843
My very dear Virginia
You have been very much on my mind during the last week, perhaps by this time you are the mother of a little Robert or Eleanor Kyle if so I sincerely trust that all may be well with you, you had some little experience by being with Missouri, that with your own personal experience enabled you to have more confidence and patience than you had at the birth of our little James. I hope you did not forget to put on a [?]______ this time although I was not there to “dress you up fine” as you called it, my dear Via if I would have been with you at this time for a few weeks only I should most certainly have done so, but fate or something else has placed us too far distant when I do go to see you I shall have to stay a long time as I intend to make your house one of my numerous homes. Dear little James how I wish I had him to sleep with me to take care of him at night, little Julia is my bed fellow now and she is as interesting as Via ever was sometimes two of them sleep with me you know my bed is very large and you would be amused to hear us talking in the morning about little James and about you and Robert.
[Pg. Break] I enjoy myself in this way thinking and talking about you though we can not be together in person, I take all the comfort and pleasure I can in imagination. Eleanor I see frequently but not half as often as I would like to see and when she is with me there is such a mixture of joy and sorrow pervading my whole feeling I can hardly tell which predominates, one thing I know I never part with her without feeling melancholy and a pang of the most bitter disappointment and distress to think of so lovely a being as she is (though her faults are many) united forever to a man of so little principle as Otey, I think she now sees how blinded she was, and still tries to be blind which is certainly the wisest plan for her to take, you know she is very artless ad generally tells all she knows, she does not wait to be questioned but tells all that passes, by this means I get a pretty correct idea of her feelings and sentiments, she says Otey never spends an evening at home that the door is left open and he comes in at any hour of the night it suits him that she is willing to go any where with him if he will only stay at home, she seems to desire above all things to be settled, but I fear will not be shortly, she lives in the plainest and most common style at Miss Pulliams though they are very clever people I had rather
[Pg. Break]she would board there than any other boarding house in town, she says they were very kind to her the 7 months Otey was at the south, Otey tells her if she brings Betty to see me she will be sorry for it, finally she says she got married to have her own way but she finds she can’t have it. I listen to all she says but of course I have more sense than to cast any reflections or to say anything calculated to make her unhappy but if I had $1,000,000 of dollars I would cheerfully give it to have her Eleanor Kyle again, he has concluded for her to remain in Raleigh this winter, I suppose he does not wish to be incumbered with her, we talk a great deal about you every time she comes, she says she has given out writing altogether that it is too much trouble to write and that you have never answered Otey’s letter, she desires me to give her love t you both and says she intends to see you, she has concluded to wean Betty at last. I have nothing particular to say about sister Amelia and the children they are all well, sister Amelia is busily engaged in domestic duties John goes to school to Mr. Gray and improves very much, brother Simpson’s health is no better suffers a great deal of pain. Mrs. McKinnon was delighted with her trip to Pha with our friends there, and with everything she saw. I expect she bought a great deal of finery.
[Pg. Break] I forgot whether I told you that Mr. McKinnon is building a fine house on the lot next to the Governors house four rooms downstairs and four rooms up it will be a very handsome place, they expect to get in it by New Years day. I suppose you will hardly get to housekeeping before the first of January, I hope you will live in a good neighborhood and a pleasant part of the city whenever you do go but of course Robert knows the advantages of thee settling yourselves
[Section Break] better than I can tell him you know I have nearly as great an opinion of his good judgment as you have but I must have a judgment for myself too and this is what I want you to have or rather what I want you to exercise you have the judgment already my dear Via your sister has just come up in my room and Brother Simpson has just handed me your letter of the 7 inst. which I have read with much pleasure. I am surprised you have not received my letter, I wrote you a long letter some weeks since but have
[Pg. Break] but have nothing particular to write about my time is passed pretty much as it has been for the last few years not to much profit to myself or to any body else. I seem to have nothing to invite me to action. Tell Caroline she must take good care of my grandson.
[Section Break, side of first page] I cannot tell you with any certainty about James McPheeters affairs but the report is this, that his wifes estate all belongs to his child but that he is to have a support out of it and to be guardian to his child consequently is to be the manager of the estate none of it can be taken to pay his debts he says he is going to move to St. Louis in Feb take his black people as he calls them and hire them out there he says Marcellous does not ow a dollar in St. Louis when he left. I suppose he [?]_____ him, he looks very badly and is very dejected.
[Section Break, side of second page] Mr. McKinnon and Miss Gargose are to be married day after tomorrow in the church after service. Your friends all send love remember me to your better half and kiss dear little James on hundred times, best love to ourself from our affectionate mother, LA Kyle.