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This week in history, June 15-22

Letter of Virginia Campbell to husband Robert


Philadelphia June 16th 1855

My Dear Husband

I feel extremely oppressed with heat to day altho’ it not a very hot day and I shall be very glad when we are once settled at Long Branch, in fact I would be glad to take a Rip Van Winkle sleep untill the hot weather is over, if I could I was very glad to receive your letter on Thursday. Cousin Mary received one from Jane saying Cousin Lydia had arrived and that Mr Foster was very polite and attentive to her on her journey, and that she was looking remarkably well and in good spirits & had enjoyed her visit to St Louis extremely.

Yesterday morning on my return from the riding school I called to see Mary Flemming – her cousin Matilda Lee had been invited here to tea, Mrs Dabny’s daughter, and told me she was in town. I met her next day in a store and she seemed

[Page 2] very glad to see me. she is looking very badly and is just recovering from a spell of illness, in which she nearly lost her life Matilda Lee said that Mary told her the Doctor had spent so much that

his portion would not amount to more than $100,000, which is a respectable amount I think, but not worth the sacrifice of her life for what pleasure can she enjoy? I am glad to hear Mrs Mackinzee is really coming on. I hope she will run down to Long Branch to see

us, it is only three hours from New York.

Mr & Mrs Joseph Woods ^ were [^] invited here to tea a few evenings since, Mrs Woods was sick but Mr Woods came. I did not attempt to persuade Mr Woods to go to Long Branch for I know very well that Cape May is preferred by them and I am told Long Branch is a stupid place and you must descend a very steep declivity to get to the beach

and the bathing much more dangerous that at Cape May, but Cousin Mary and Margaret cannot bear Cape May and I think perhaps it will suit me better however it is all the same to me whether I am with an hundred or five hundred people Mr & Mrs McCauley went up to Long Branch and came home quite disappointed I expect perhaps they found the board so dear, for two rooms for me one servant & children, $36 per week – the same for Cousin Mary Meg & brother Hugh – and I suppose I shall take cousin Mary’s Irish girl Letty, to wash and dress Hugh which Eliza would hardly have time to do, and it will not suit me to travel about after him, so that is six dollars a week more – however I am sure the expense is a matter is no moment to you so that we are comfortable & healthy.  The children are in perfect health no one would suppose the baby had been sick a moment – he is so fat and lively Hugh is going out on the road to ride with the groom at 5 o’clock

this afternoon – he has had one more tumble, the

[Page 4] pony stumbled and with his usual inattention he fell off but got on again directly, if he would only remember all that Wm tells him and pay attention he would require nothing more to make him a good rider, but it is the nature of childhood to require to be told 50 times over the same thing I think Wm understands his business remarkably well, and takes infinite pains with Hugh I am

very glad to hear the Woodses[?] have returned for I know you enjoy thir pleasant society -I see Miss Wharton very often Hugh was there at a children’s party a few nights ago and enjoyed himself very much. Old Col Davenport called here when I first came – his wife

has not been – I fear she thinks a tea drinking would be inevitable I was invited to a party at Evans Rogers’ and declined, I was sorry I did not feel able to go, as I think brother Hugh would have liked to have gone if I had felt disposed Mary Flemming said she

heard “that Edward

[Page 5, on Page 1] Atkinson had forged some body’s name but that it was not generally known in St. Louis”  I [?]______ it and said he had spent & gambled a great deal of money away.  We went to Mrs. Lucker’s yesterday to see Louisa who was thrown from the donkey cart and injured slightly.  They are living as luxuriously as ever.  Give my best love to Mother and all friends & the servants.

I hope you will be obliged to come on soon and say a week or so when you first come in at Long Branch with us.

Your affec wife

VJ Campbell

The baby is the pleasure & delight of the house, and never was as much admired before

Page 4 of Virginia's letter
Page 4 of Virginia's letter

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