What's New

This week in history: March 22-28

In 1834, Irish immigrant Robert Campbell was still a “mountain man”, living out west.  But what did his family back in Ireland think about this?  This week we find out!  On March 26, 1834, Robert’s sister Anne writes him from Aughalane house, thanking him for his multiple letters this year.  It seems Robert has assured his sister that he is perfectly protected in the west, although that doesn’t stop Anne and the other Campbells from praying for Robert daily. Someone sent the family a newspaper clipping from a St. Louis newspaper.  The article was written by the American Fur Company, Sublette & Campbell’s biggest fur-trading rival, and talked about the devastation cholera and famine had brought at the mouth of the Yellowstone and how Buffalo were dying out.  Anne responds that “some people are very cruel!”  Enjoy this glimpse into the home front of life as a mountain man!

Aughalane 26th March 1834
My Dearest Brother Robert
How grateful have your letters been to out feelings – I think I can count 5 within the last year. This life is (__?) and among the brightest spots of my existence is the receipt of you letters. There is not a human with un-gratified, for the margin of each are filled up by brothers Hugh, to hear that one of you were well would be pleasure, but to know that
both are well and so affectionate is happiness indeed.  Thank God you are measurable secure, in having Horses, more men, and a fort to protect yourself – our earliest and our latest thoughts are about you, and although they are not so heartsounding as heretofore (since 18th Jan, when we had your first letter dated in the mountains) yet daily on our knees is our petitions offered up for your safety here, and your happiness hereafter. Two days I saw a paragraph copied from a St. Louis Newspaper headed “The far west” It shoed [showed] that cholera and famine were sweeping away all, at the mouth of the Yellow Stone, and that where herds of Buffalo abounded there was

[next page]

not a solitary one to be found and no one knew where they were gone-some people are very cruel!  The American fur company were given as the author of this – perhaps it was best we heard this calamitous intelligence for after the first (__?) of grief were over it brought us oftener to ask protection and help of our God for you – your kind offer that Mother and I should draw on your property for any measures we would require is too much – I cannot thank you in terms strong enough.  Language could not express the sentiments of my heart! I shall therefore desist – may the blessed savior be your paymaster for all your kindnesses to me.  I trust we will not take any of your property unless absolute necessity compel us, and even then, I would rather the interest of what my Father left me would be given then burden you with what I am confident is not your right to do-  Richard Keys has been in New South Wales more than a year, he has written Andrew giving an account of every thing from the variety of the ladies, till the quantity of the wool that is on the sheep.  There is not a question you would ask concerning that country that is not answered in his letter it was published in the Derry sentinel of Saturday, he is very anxious to know where

[next page]
you are and talks warmly of the pleasant days he spent in Aughalane his salary was 50 pounds per year for overseeing a gentlemans estate I expect on this brother Hugh has informed you of our dear mothers Lameness, Doctor Laughlin attended her and his was not the formal attendance of a Doctor, it was like the case of a dutiful son – he would not take a fraction for all his trouble, we made a small present with nearly 1 pound to his youngest daughter, who is named for me, subscribed to the dispensary for this year.  I saw him on Tuesday he requested me that I should present the warmest esteem to Mrs Laughlin and himself to you – Mr Himphills family are well Hamilton is on your side the Atlantic Charles is at college, the young ladies are not yet married, his soninlaw Mr Campbell has recently got a
lucrative situation under Lord Darnley – Doctor MCMullon was married to Miss Adams, he is now a widower, and is on the eve of soothing and for Vandiamen lands – After 10 days illness cousin Robert Helson died he has left a widow and three children – It is but a few days since old Billy one morning began to sing pslams very loud, when he ceased he was speechless, and the same evening expired In 7 hours his sufferings were terminated I trust for ever I had 10 of the last 1 pound that brother Hugh sent to bury him – may we my dear Brother meet here in pleasure and in another world in glory
Is the prayer of your sister Ann Campbell

[side of page]

27th March 1834 7 oclcok P.M. I have opened this letter to say that William Campbell has read a letter stating that Mr. Copel
Cathrine and their family are living extremely well in Upper Country Clarks family are well and so are Mrs Campbells

[next page]

Uncle and Aunt Graham died in one day about 3 months ago – sister
Catherine and family landed at Luebra when the cholera was at its
Hwight in that city, we have not heard from her since – my poor dear kind-
Hearted sister I fear she has fell a vistim to that dreadful disease she and sister
Were my favorites I have many sorrow thoughts for her and when Margery is
[missing] in New York, her husband is worth 500 pounds their son is the finest boy can be he
frequently writes to his grandfather Mr Hamilton in this country.

[other side of page]

On the subject of Andrew going to America we seldom talk it would be too painful
To us, Betsy and he are quite well she is still friendly and affectionate, he carries
On his farming as usual. The sweet Margret is still clever and decided. She talks
Often of you yet I fear she scarce recollects you. I try to keep you in her recollection. The
Rest questioned her whether she loved Aunt Jean as I , best, she answered in her
Decided way, that she loved Aunt Ann, but the finger, better that Aunt Jeans soul
And body. They are all so intelligent it would take an entire letter to describe them singly.

[Side of 1st page]
[side of page]

Your mother sends a thousand blessings, she is quite well Thank God, and delighted you intend
To read your Bible
May God enable you
To pursue it with care

[Last page, envelope]

Recd. at Philada. 12th May 1834
Forwarded by Hugh Campbell to his brother

Robert Campbell
Saint Louis
Sister Anne
March 26th

Search Our Website