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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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