Tag Archives: Virginia Jane Kyle

This week in history: April 18-24

Today you technically get multiple letters, all wrapped into one!  On April 22, 1835, William Sublette started a letter to Robert Campbell, who was at Fort William.  Sublette added to it on May 1.  He made one more addition on May 2, before finally sending it to Robert.  The letter covers everything, from business to family to gossip from home. One interesting and important reference Sublette makes is to “Fontinell”.  “Fontinell” was Lucien Fontenelle, a well-known French-American fur trader who worked for the American Fur Company, run by John Jacob Astor and the Rocky Mountain Fur Co. and Sublette and Campbell’s biggest competition.  Sublette also tells Robert that “Virginia”, meaning 13 year old Virginia Jane Kyle, who Robert would marry in 1841, is doing well and “Mrs Fox also lent Virginia compliments to you”.  Enjoy this fascinating look into Sublette & Campbell’s business and personal lives!

[Front Cover]
Mr. R. Campbell
Fort William

St. Louis MO April 22nd 1835

Dear Robert,
I received your letter from Columbia and also one from Lexington dated april 18th. I wrote you by the first mail after you left at Lexington and also to Independence.  Enclosing those notes you wished [spelled wisht] Fontinell to Settle, as he refused doing so here but stated [spelled staited] he thought he would Settle them when you delivered over the fort to him.  I have written all that passed between us to you in my letter to Independence which I presume you will get before you leave the United States although you did not state in your letter from Lexington whether you had received mine or not.  Galio [?] sent a letter to you from your brother to Independence and I now also send one letter to Fontinell.  Fontinell has only visited my room but twice since you left he appears too [spelled two] busily engaged in courting or something else that I can scarcely get to see him.  On yesterday Mr Fontinell & Beret both came to my room.  I showed them both the part of the letter you sent me or so much as related to their [spelled there] matters and they made [spelled maid] no objections.  Fontinell told me he expected to leave tomorrow but you know him, the people is all well here generally, and not much change in affairs.  Since you left Capt. Fleiseheman is dead and buried, marriages Marpy & Shanice is both married, Miss Billow also & Miss Calena is expected to be in the same situatiation in a few days etc. etc.

[Pg. Break] There appears to be but little alteration in Milton since you left Sister Sophronice Cook is now in St. Louis and expects to leave shortly.

I have received a letter from Mr J.J. Carpenter of N.Y. stating our furst is still unsold and that several persons has been lookng at them but will think them too [spelled two] dear.  The Saulaperans are all here as yes but expect to leave in a few days.  Bean Garden & Lane all let out shortly up the Mississippi surveying.  I had word from Edmond Christy a few days since he is well and they say is doing well keeps himself steady and attentive to business.

May the first I have this morning received your letters with Andrew from Independence April 21 1835.

I have you will percieve by this commenced [spelled comenced] this letter several days since.  I have just called on Fontinell and he informs me he will start this evening or tomorrow morning for a certainty, Cabanne, came down last night Fontinell has been so busily engaged courting galavanting etc. that he has hardly been to see Milton but one time since you left (it appears to be fine times with him) Milton has much mended since I commence this letter I have had him riding out and he is now bout on his crutches lest his leg is about the same the ligatures still remain.  Mrs. Ashley has been quite unwell but is now better I have paid but one or two visits since you left and I can assure you I feel quite lonesome.  I expect to take Milton to the farm in a few days where I shall stay principly.

[Pg. Break] I have received but one letter from your Brother but what I have sent you and I enclose it with this I expect another in a few days, Randolph has visited Miltons room several times I expect there is something on foot as he has been trying to get employment and Milton appears dissatisfied [spelled disatisfied] with Fontinells detention here and have I believe expressed [spelled expresst] him self.  So I will finish this letter by piece meals [?] whilst Fontinell remains.  Robt. this evening I received a letter from Hugh statting he will determine in a day or two whether he will visit St Louis or no if so he will leave about the first of June his stay will be short and he will return through Tennesee, Alabama, and Kentucky.  He states he received a letter from Brother Andrew dated 26th Jany last all friends was well at that date and nothing new.

I would send you the letter which is dated the 17th of april only it contained a list of my fruit trees and a description of them etc prinicipaly on that subject.

I was at Miss Kyle’s this evening all was well and wished I would remember them in my letter to you.  Mrs Fox also lent Virginia compliments to you there has nothing transpired since you left worth notice I am getting on with my building and farm as well as could be expected Mr Jackson is now in St Louis I have had a settlement with him Smith & Ashley.

[Pg. Break, top of front cover] May 2 1835 Robert I have just been to see Fontinell he says he will leave positively today.  W & Mrs Stephanson leaves to day for Galena.  Mgr Bean also Gordon is gone.  Miss Calena is married and off to Illinois.  Miss Tharp is also married and so forth,  Beut and Sarena is still here but will leave shortly         Your friend W Sublette

[Section Break, upside down] I intend forwarding our bill on for the goods spoken of immediately I have been waiting to hear from you at Independence or I would have done so before now Milton wishes to be remembered & Sister Cook has left and I feel entirely at a loss what to do or how to employ myself as you know I have been a bird of passage the last twelve years yours farewell, W.L.S.

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Happy Easter from Campbell House Museum

Happy spring everyone!  We hope everyone is enjoying the first few days of April.  With Easter coming up on Sunday, we decided to post a Campbell letter about the Easter holidays.  On April 7, 1836, Hugh Campbell wrote to his younger brother Robert from Philadelphia.  He says that “Virginia, Harriet, and A. Matilda have been daily mourning your absence during the Easter holidays.”  The Virginia who was missing Robert so terribly over Easter was now 14 year old Virginia Kyle, who Robert would marry in 1841.  Happy Easter and happy spring from Campbell House Museum!

Philadelphia April 7th 1836
Dear Robert
A few days after you left us I wrote Mr. S. giving my views in opposition to your design of visiting the mountains.  I sincerely hope that both you and he will coincide with me and altogether abandon every thought of fitting [?] out any expedition which may require your personal guidance.  You will greatly relieve my mind by saying that you have arranged matters so as to be enabled to remain at St. Louis.

I called on Sandrette on Saturday last requesting the trees for friend Sublette.  The ice had not then disappeared from our streets.  Our equal is not yet in operation and under all the circumstances he feared that we could not manage to send them in any thing like proper season for replanting.  He had not finally decided on not sending them and I concluded to leave the matter to his own option.

The woman and child of whom I spoke arrived here two or three days after your departure.  Owing to the difficulty of conveyance my canal I have been unable to send them to Pittsburg.  They are still in the city but will shortly be off, if in my power.

Your negligence in omitting to write me from Pittsburg or some other point in your route has given me some uneasiness.  I have been ashamed to answer the inquiries of your friends (and really you seem to have a goodly number) by saying that not a line has yet been received from you although you are now 3 weeks gone!  Virginia Harriet and A. Matilda have been daily mourning your absence during the Easter holidays.  Our neighbors Mr. Miller and family have also been making kind inquiries for you an din short all our visitors seem to think there is a void in our society since you bid us “Good bye”. [End of pg. 1]

[Pg. 2] The great press of business having partially subsided, I have turned my situation to Mrs. Kyle’s money [not sure that’s the word] and am not getting [?]___ the principal part of the order, which will be forwarded about a week hence.  I will then write them forwarding bills and directing Bess to come down to St. Louis and complete the assortment from stores in that city.  In the meantime you will oblige me by calling on Mr. Sproule and request him to give me through you a brief abstract or merely the balance on her two accounts.  She has one as administrator and one individual account.  When I know the state of those accounts I can give such advice as Bess asked for with regard to remittances in her last letter.  My opinion is that if they can spare the money they should send some to me and avoid getting [?]____ (me maybe?) so deeply in debt for goods they order from me.

Mary wrote you lately.  She talks of you a good deal and I believe regrets your absence nearly as much as she did mine.  Both she and Harriet are asking me to request that you will make it a point to be here very early in the summer.  I think a little trip to Cape May would be of use to you and should you come on I will make it a point to lay aside the cares of business for a brief period and go down there with you and Mary.

Mr. Gill continues as when you left him – apparently in good health but in reality holding his life by a very insecure tenure.  He is quite restless under his confinement.  I fear his first effort to go out will be his last for any excitement is likely to prove fatal.

Archibald is busy preparing for the cares of housekeeping and has already purchased most of his furniture.  I understand he is to be married within a fortnight but having avoided all consultation on this matter I am unable to talk any thing of his views.  He will in all probability imitate Mr. Baker in his state of living.

It is now late and I am fatigued.  Shake hands with my friend Wm. L. Sublette and say some civil things to all others who may inquire for me.  I earnestly beg you to write us frequently.  We are uneasy on your account and you know it but I have no time to chide you.
Good night!!!   H. Campbell
[End of pg. 2]

[Post Mark] Phila

Mr. Robert Campbell
Saint Louis

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Happy Valentines Day from Campbell House Museum

With Valentines Day on Sunday, we thought it only fitting to post a love letter.  This was written February 14, 1841 from Robert Campbell to his fiance Virginia Jane Kyle.  The original letter is in the Missouri Historical Society’s archives.

Robert is in Philadelphia, making his final arrangements to go to Raleigh, North Carolina for their wedding!  The two were married just 11 days later on February 25, 1841 at her mother’s house in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Robert is obviously eager to marry Virginia and have a wife.  In one of his more famous quotes to her, Robert says  “recollect you will soon become my councilor and advisor and it may be Manager – that of course I will not acknowledge and I feel confident you will make “my Yoke easy” and my life happy.”  Although this is definitely a love letter written on Valentines day, Robert makes no special remarks as to the date.  Instead this is just another example of the wonderful relationship between Robert and Virginia – Valentines or no Valentines.  We hope you all enjoy Valentines day with your special someone!  For those without a special someone, we hope you someday find a love as strong as Robert and Virginia Campbell’s.  Happy Valentines day everyone!


Philadelphia Feb 14th 1841
My Beloved Virginia
Notwithstanding I wrote you yesterday and have not since heard from you, nor of you, I cannot allow Doct. McPheeters to leave without writing you a few lines.

Tonight was the regular time for a letter to arrive from Norfolk but none came to hand, so I infer either that the Boat did not make her regular trip, or that you had left there without writing me, and that your next will be from Raleigh.

Should the letters which I expect from your Mother and yourself not change any present views I expect to leave here so as to be with you by 23 or 24th inst, and shall probably be accompanied either by Mr. Kerr or Mr. Martin – Mr. Kerr had written to his Lady Love that he would be with her on 24th so that if he be not delayed by the present very cold weather, I expect Mr. Martin will be companion.

Mary was anxious to accept your kind Mothers invitation and would have done so, had I insisted, but Hugh thought that to undertake a journey of Eight Hundred miles to make a visit of 24 Hours would be rather too ceremonious – Mary I believe will write you.

[Pg. 2] Hugh and I had a long walk this evening and spoke a good deal of your good mother and yourself.  He observed that “if Virginia makes as good a wife as her Mother has done she will be a pattern for the Ladies of St. Louis.”

Hugh told me that he expected your mother to come on with us on a visit to him in Philadelphia and that either he or Mary would write her to that effect.  Hugh wrote your Uncle David and expects him and Mr. [maybe Mrs?] Kyle to meet us in Philadelphia so I hope we will all meet here and pass some happy days together.

I have a great deal to say to you when we meet and many little plans to consult you about – recollect you will soon become my councilor and advisor and it may be Manager – that of course I will not acknowledge and I feel confident you will make “my Yoke easy” and my life happy.

Dearest Virginia you cannot imagine with what anxiety I look forward to this termination of the time that keeps us apart.  I hope to receive a letter naming the 20th as I solicited and be assured my beloved one I will hail the announcement with the greatest delight.

Give my Love to your good Mother and Sister and to any other friend of yours as I am predisposed to Love all that you Love and prepared to dislike any who has ever offended my beloved Virginia.
Dear Virginia Farewell for a time
Ever your most devoted
Robert Campbell [End of pg. 2]
[Pg. 3] I have just returned from Hugh’s and I find Mary has written you but I know not the subject no doubt about dresses.

Recollect I will not listen to any proposed marriage the first of March or any such distant day, so you may make your preparations for the 20th or any intermediate day not later than the 25th.

Again dearest Virginia Farewell and believe me ever dwelling on the happy recollection of the few days that I passed with you in Norfolk.

I will write your Uncle David tomorrow night.
RC [End of pg. 3]

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