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This week in history: November 12-November 18

November 18, 1841 letter from Lucy Ann Kyle to her daughter Mrs. Robert Campbell.  This letter was written 9 months after Virginia and Robert’s wedding.  Lucy updates her daughter on all the latest news in Raleigh.  She covers the Temperance Society’s state convention she attended, the health of family friend Margaret Ann McPheeters, and which friends are in town for visits.  Notice that Lucy asks if Mr. Campbell (Robert) has decided what to do with Caroline, Simeon, and Hazlett at the end – these are the 3 slaves that Lucy would later send to Virginia.  A few months later, in February, 1842, Lucy would write to her son-in-law Robert with instructions about “sending Ben, Linda and Robert with your three”, meaning the three slaves Robert was freeing.
[Front Cover]

Mrs. Robert Campbell
Care of Sublette & Campbell
St. Louis

Raleigh Nov 18th 1841
My Dear Virginia,
I think I promised that I would write you once a month.  I   have been waiting a week or two thinking every day I should get a letter from you but was disappointed until a day or two since   when I received your last of the 2ND inst.  I am glad that both   you and Mr. Campbell have paid Marcellous so much kind attention  he spoke of both of you in his mothers letter which she read to  me with great respect and affection, and I know all the family  feels grateful to you.  I hope you will continue to do all you  can to advance him in his profession.  The Methodist conference  has been in session here for a week or so.  I went frequently to  their meetings and was much pleased with the sermons I heard, a  young man about twenty from Baltimore who has joined this  conference and a missionary from Africa were the most conspicuous preachers and attracted crowded houses.  We have also had a  great temperance State Convention, delegates from all parts of  the state.  I have been very much gratified in attending their  meetings at the time, and several times since a great many very  interesting addresses were delivered encouraging the society and  telling of the good it had done, a great many little antidotes by way of illustration were related, and a Mr.

[Pg. Break] Care of Baltimore, a reformed drunkard was invited to attend the convention.  I suppose for the purpose of aiding them in establishing a tetotal [?] abstinance society, he related his experience or rather a history of his life and it was enough to  make one shudder to hear him tell of the misery, degradation, and disgrace he brought on himself and his family too, all from  drink, he was invited from here to Hillsborough, a great number  have joined the tetotal [?] pledge in Raleigh and a great many  the old temperance society.  I signed the tetotal Pledge and my  principle reason for dong so is that example is better than  precept.

Ann Wadsworth is now on a visit to her friends, she is much  pleased with Lynchburg, will remain there next year, she says she wrote to her mother every Monday while she was absent, you know  she was always a great favourite of mine.  E. Baker & H. Dudley  both waited on her there was a ball given to them furnished by  Mrs. Stuart.  I understand all of the connection must intend  giving them a party, the Gov. gives a large party tonight. Say to Marcellous I was down to his fathers yesterday that they were  all fixing up Catherine to turn out at the Gov. party.  Susan was not gong she was not very well but said she intended to go to  Mrs. Hogs party.  Mrs. McPheeters requested me to say to  Marcellous that she intended writing soon but would put it off a  little longer as I told her I was going to write, she says that  the Dr’s health continues about the same

[Pg. Break] that Margaret Ann is improving slowly, she has no  affection of the lungs now, but her stomach is out of order can  not eat anything but little samples, I suppose you know she has a son named after the father, he is just four weeks old and  Margaret is only able to sit up a little.  They all send a great  deal of love to you, Mr. Campbell, and Marcellous.  Mrs. Mc. says tell M. that just as soon as he gets married and settled she  intends sending Susan & Catherine out to see him and holds in  anticipation a trip herself.  Ann Hughes & Mr. Collier are to be  married very soon, they will spend the winter in Alabama.   Margaret Beckwith has not left Raleigh yet.  I have not seen Emma [?]_____ since you left here except in the street.  My dear  Virginia I feel that this letter will be very uninteresting to  you, and yet I feel that if I was to unburden my mind to you and  write on subjects which I feel most deeply interested in and  which concerns me most, that my letter would even be less  interesting than it is – my health has not been good for the 1st  month or so.  I have a bad cold too which is very uncommon for  me.  In your next I would be glad to know if Mr. Campbell still  thinks of taking Caroline, Simeon & Hazlett out in the spring or do you want Caroline hired out, you know new year is the time  for making all arrangements with servants.  I am only keeping her with me for her good, though she is very useful in the family  and Mr. Simpson does not charge any board for her as her services are equivalent to her board.  I am still willing to keep her on these terms until you want her if it is your wish.

[Pg. Break] Remember me most affectionately to your better half,
As ever and forever I remain
Your affectionate mother
Lucy Ann Kyle

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