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This Week in History: August 10

In honor of the dwindling days of the lazy summer, this week we’ve posted a letter from Lucy to her son-in-law Robert where she chastens him to get out of the office and take a vacation with the family.  Lucy also expresses her hopes that Robert and Virginia will take in Virginia’s sister Eleanor over the winter because she’s had a rough go of it lately.  Poor thing is married to Walter Otey, a slave trader, and Lucy dislikes him so much she has in other letters called him a “Demon clothed in human flesh.”  Yikes.


Covington Aug 10th
My ever attentive & thoughtful son,
Was it not for you I should not yet know whether Via & the  children ever arrived in Pha or anything about their movements since, I am glad to hear they are so pleasantly  situated & truly sorry to hear you were compelled to leave them & return to St. Louis to be still confined to business, as soon as you get the Graders & boats off, can’t you return to them for  several weeks & take a little recreation to yourself, I am sure  you have not had much, to have gotten through your fall purchases so early, I judge one year by another, last year if I remember  right you went on somewhere about the first week in August, now  you return about this time having completed your business there  so by this way of reasoning, I think

[Pg. Break] after you get the Boats off, you might take a little  time for yourself & all to return together the 1st of Sept.  I  know you will say Mrs. Kyle is a poor judge about my business, &  like other ladies think they know a good deal when they know  nothing about it.  Well I concluded before I left Brighton that  you would not return until you brought all back with you, at  least I thought it very doubtful, so I concluded to come right  off to Covington, as I am much happier here every way, I am with  those who are very near & dear to me & who take pleasure in any  way in their power to promote my comfort & pleasure, if I could  have boarded in the same family with brother George & where  sister E. boarded  in the winter, I might have remained in  Brighton, but as I knew they did not wish to take boarders I did  not apply to them.  The house I was at had no blinds too.

[Pg. Break] They had only shades to any part of it, it was so  light is was very severe on my eyes & the room I had was so very  warm at night & a feather bed too, the straw bed was too hard, so I thought there was no use in my staying there any longer I  liked the family  very well & they kept a good table & I was as  polite & attentive to me as possible, if I had been certain of  your return I would have remained & met you in St. Louis & it  would have given me great pleasure to have it in my power to be  in the degree serviceable to you, I suppose now we  shall all meet sometime next month I am truly delighted poor Eleanor is with Via & all our other friends, she has had more  trials to bear since her marriage than anyone I ever knew.  I am  glad she is where she can enjoy some good society & see something of the world, besides that of seeing her sister & cousins,

[Pg. Break] I hope you & Vial will invite her to accompany you  home & do what you can to make her enjoy herself this winter, I  have thought perhaps she would place Bettie at Boarding school in Pha I think she and Via might write to me. The dear children how often I think of them particularly sweet little Hazlett I know  Eleanor is devoted to them all she is so fond of children in fact I suppose both he & the baby are so much [?]_______ I don’t see  how they stand it everybody must have a play with them.  I suppose Hazlett is the greatest favorite of all the children with your  Brother and all, Please give my love to cousin David I suppose  you find him good company in the evening say to him that brother  Thomas received the Box of things & says they were all  satisfactory which I was glad to hear he wrote to me from Niagara sister Amelia sends her love to you & cousin David with a great  deal of love I remain now
and ever your affectionate
Mother in law
LA Kyle

[Pg. Break, side of 1st page] Remember me kindly to the  Mackensies’ Woods’ Allens’ and Mr. Yeatman if enquired after by  them.

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