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.

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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

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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.

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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

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