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This week in history: December 12-December 18

December 18, 1840 letter from Lucy Ann Kyle to her daughter Virginia Jane Kyle.  Just before Christmas 1840, Lucy finally admits that “if there is any one event which could occur that would please me, it would be to see you married to Mr. R.C.”.  She certainly wishes her all the best in the letter.  Read all about Lucy and Raleigh, North Carolina’s feelings towards Virginia’s fiance Robert Campbell!

December 18, 1840
My dear Virginia,
I received your interesting and acceptable letter two days since, it affords me I may say almost the only pleasure I have to know you are so happy and that you are enjoying the society of those who I so highly esteem and in whom I have all confidence, the only injunction I lay on you, is to act in accordance to their wishes in every aspect consult them on all little matters our life made up of little incidents, and from a very small measure the most important of our life often arise.  You are so much pleased with all your visits, Richmond, Surrey, and now Norfolk of all other pleaces is the best, I wish you could be transported to St. Louis and see if that is not the finest place after all, I was not aware that your uncle was such a warm friend of Mr. R.C. but I am glad to hear it, perhaps his good opinion will have some effect on you, you are “well acquainted with my opinion and wishes it has never changed or wavered since first

[pg. 2] I had the pleasure of his acquaintance, but at the same time, as a mother I would say to you never marry a man if you do not respect and esteem him more highly than any other, nor if you have any secret reason (provided it is a good one) for not marrying him, which must be the case with yourself, or you never would have acted so strangely, you know you never have communicated with me on the subject, but if there is any one event which could occur that would please me, it would be to see you married to Mr. R.C. – I hope you have received Mrs. McPheeters letter I think you should take it as a great compliment for her to take time from her numerous engagements to write to you, I really believe she thinks a great deal about you and of you, she comes up frequently and will make me read part of your letters to her, I read to her most of your last particularly that part about R.C. She is most anxiously expecting an answer every day, requested me to say to you, that she forgot to ask you to write, but that you must be sure to do it and answer all her questions, I spent last evening with her, the good old Dr. enquired after you and said Has she received our letter yet?  I do hope (if you have not already done it) that you will not delay it another day, she will

[pg. 3] feel herself slighted and hurt, Samuel says tell Miss Virginia “I am 21 and intend to get married as soon as I can, she must come home to be one of the bridesmaids etc. etc., Susan and Catherine send love and say they wish you would come home, Mrs. Mc says don’t get married to that widower [? what widower??] before you come home, that she and I are to be your first brides maids, I want now to say a word or two to you respecting your interest in Fincastle, you say your Uncle David is going up there, Mr. Anderson who is your guardian wrote to brother Simpson three years ago that he then had $5 or 600 in hand belonging to you and your sister arising from rents etc. but that the law [?]_____ (required?) him to keep it until you become of age 21 now [?]______ (this?) seems to me very unreasonable that both the principle and interest should remain in his hands, [?]______ (and?) I was thinking perhaps if brother David would apply to him and tell him your age he would let you have some of it, I think you had as well have the interest or rather that part of the rents which is coming to you, now, and to enjoy it yourself in anyway you please, to purchase a piano or anything else, as to hoard it up, perhaps for some profligate husband to spend, I want you to mention it to brother David, and ask him, if his childrens part is to remain in their

[Envelope, top] guardians hands until they are 21 -, in short I want you to inquire of brother David because he knows all about it, and understand for yourself how you will stand.

You will not doubt be surprised to hear that it is my intention to keep house next year I have rented Mr. Lacy’s house and intend to live there next year if I live on bread and meat alone I have furniture enough to answer my purpose with

[Envelope, bottom] a little additional parlour [parlor] furniture chairs and a little tea table and I think I can live in a very plain style for nearly the same expense we now live, I have come to his determination for many reasons too tedious to mention, sister says she will give me half of their preserved pickles ketchup and she has already put up a lot of pickles for you and one for me, I would rather you would say nothing about this at present, I begin to feel anxious about you coming home how you are to get home etc.
Your ever devoted Mother LA Kyle

[Side pg. 1] I send you $30 more pay your uncle David and buy nothing on credit I think you had better buy a muslin, if you can meet with a very pretty one don’t buy one unless you like it, muslin is always convenient, I will send you $20 more the next time I write to pay your passage home do you ever hear of any opportunities from Norfolk or will you have to go to Richmond be sure to write immediately to Mrs. McPheeters, the Gov is to be inaugurated on the 1st of Jan be sure to acknowledge the receipt of this immediately, Best love to brother David, sister Elizabeth respects to Mr. Lee and a kiss for all the children I would who could tell you so much stuff about Dr. Clark I don’t believe one word of it, he has many enemies no doubt.

Miss Virginia J. Kyle
Care of Mr. David Kyle

Jan 1

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