An October 8, 1838 letter from Robert Campbell to 16 year old Virginia Jane Kyle, professing his undying love:
Saint Louis October 8th 1838
My Own Dearest Virginia
Nearly two weeks ago I wrote you directing my letter to Raleigh, not knowing however where you were to be found yet feeling confident that your good mother would forward it to wherever you might be – since then however I had a letter from Mary in which she mentioned that your uncle Simpson had passed through Phila and called at the store and told Hugh that you and Ellen had arrived in Raleigh a short time before he left, but did not say where you were to remain there or return to Phila. Mary was quite disappointed in not receiving an answer to a letter she wrote you after her visit to Boston – I am inclined to view everything that you do more favourable than others, and are willing to believe that you neither received Mary’s letter nor either the one I wrote from Boston or that from Phila after my return from Boston in which I solicited you to write me immediately and inform me where to direct a letter for you when I left Phila all these letters remain unanswered to the present moment at least so far as I am concerned. I love you too dearly my Virginia to be deterred [spelled detered] from writing you by a neglect that might be caused by the miscarriage of letters not being delivered to you.
[Pg. Break] I have often told you my own dear Virginia that I love you but to make you happy – If I thought that it would be otherwise I take God to witness I should never ask you to join me in the nuptial vows, although I should devote my life to you I would not mar your happiness. Still no other could ever inspire in me my feeling that were hallowed by your love. If your love ever abated in the least, this world would not possess a pleasure worth enjoying. Death would be to me less thousand times dearer than life, and would be welcomed with all its horror. You know all this Virginia and you do not scruple to let me remain months without hearing from you – Me you cannot believe capable of neglect – indeed I do wrong by confessing how much I have loved when present how much I love and how anxious I feel when departed.
I find no pleasure my own love Virginia complete until I communicated it to you, all that interests me I would impart to you, I would have you ever with me, and feel a pride that I cannot explain to possess the most superior of her sex in my own Virginia.
Do you think my Virginia that your mother supposes I do not sufficiently appreciate the treasure I have selected her consent for – My Virginia you can answer her if she entertains such a doubt – Life is to me nothing in the comparison of possessing my own Virginia – You will know had I found you in the humblest walks of life possessed of the same heart and mind as you now are I would have sought your hand with greater avidity than I have done. But Virginia I am now truly unhappy to be kept in deferred hope for years when no obstacle interfering that ever forms a pretext except to all you add are unnecessary number of months to your blooming youth.
[Pg. Break] She who was Miss Jane Kyle arrived here yesterday as Mrs. Clark and is now lodging at the hotel where I board – Mr. Clark arrived in Fayette on Wednesday was married that evening and left next day on the stage for St. Louis. She seems very happy and so does Mr. Clark as a matter of course, but it seems to me that I have not seen any Master Man that is as happy as I will be when I press my own Virginia to my heart as my lovely wife – when all my anxiety occasioned by our separation will be removed and I will constantly enjoying the smiles of her whom I have ever loved from our first meeting, even when you did not give me hope dearest Virginia I shall love you dearer than any other being in the world – and there Virginia when you consented to become my bride and were the kindest and affectionate Angel that ever assumed Mortal Shape then oh dearest Virginia you know how exquisitely happy I was – your society was to do me a world in itself for your society ever other enjoyment was abandoned and while I clasped you to my heart and pressed your ruby lips with mine I scarce felt the pleasure of this world – can it dear Virginia be considered strange that I would think the decision hard and cruel that would withhold from me there pleasures for many months – Everyday appears to me a month when separated from you – If you mother knew how dearly I love you she would not separate us as she now does. I am sure she would not – and I am in hopes when I receive a letter from you as I am daily hoping for that I will hear that my happiness will not be so long deferred. I have in you a noble minded and kind hearted advocate and I hope you will have all arranged to become my dear wife in December or January next – may God grant you success my own one –