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This week in history: November 28-December 4

December 4, 1843 letter from May Campbell to Virginia Campbell.  May mentions the birth of Hugh Campbell, Virginia’s second son, who was born October 9, 1843.  He died a few months later of pneumonia on February 15, 1844.

[Front Cover]
Mrs. Robert Campbell
Saint Louis

Mr. R. Scott

Philadelphia Dec. 4th / 43
My dear Virginia
I have had so stiff a neck for the last two or three days  that I feared I would not be able to write you by Mr. Scott but  this morning I am much better & will inflict one of my unreadable letters on you.  The fact is I am forgetting the use of my pen  all together.  I believe I have not written a letter since I wrote you last + this was on hearing of Master Hugh’s arrival  [Virginia’s second baby, Hugh Campbell, Oct. 1843] – from my own  family I have had no letters – you have given me the only tidings I have had of them for several months.  Betty has no even told  of the receipt of a box sent her a long time ago.  By the by  speaking of boxes I am glad to hear that you have received yours  – I fear you will not much like your things – your bonnet was not what you requested, nor what I wished, but I could not get a  plain garnet velvet for less than $25 + not a very handsome  feather at that.  Do tell me if the bonnet is at all becoming – I thought it very genteel, in this age of gay things, + your  dress, I know you like the material.  Mine is exceedingly  admired, thought the most becoming dress I wear – but I am sure  yours must be short waisted, it looked so to me, if it is you had better put in a belt & wear a sash or ribbon belt & that hanging cap on the dress I did not like.  Miss Rodgers thought it just  the thing, you can easily alter that if you do not like it.

[Pg. Break] I have been very busy for the last few weeks  fixing up our winter gear.  Miss Rodgers makes up the new, but we have all the old dresses to turn + do up ourselves.  I have  tryed dressmakers in the house but find them miserable, so I have turned to the trade myself + if you had seen a dress I made for  Meg to wear to a party at Atwoods, you would think me right  smart.  Our city is very gay so many weddings + then of course  parties.  I have declined all so far, except among our intimate  friends.  I made Meg go to Atwoods on Friday night with Miss  Tucker.  The girls gave a large party to Mrs. Joe Hidenburn, she  was a Miss Smith of New York, an intimate friend of Susan  Randalls.  They had a very crowded + handsome party.  Mary will  not be married this winter, Henrietta has no beau that I hear of.  Mary Newlin is engaged to a Mr. Taylor from the country.   [?]_____ _____ to Frank Bacon, Bill Newlin to Lizzie [?] Wazanin  [?] ’tis so said Susan Randall to Sam Williams.  Mary Riggs to  Mr. Paradin & I might give you a dozen others – it is a most  engaging time with the young folks.

I take for granted Hugh has improved, as Robert in his  letters to Mr. C. reports you all will – you have not said a word about the little rascal’s looks, who [?]______ + does Jamie talk yet – how we long to see him.  I was detailing all his  accomplishments to Tom Smith last night, who made me a last call  before his wedding he is to be married tomorrow week – give him  Jamie a thousand kisses for us all.  Meg is dying to see him, she talks of him every day – how do you get along with the two  babies, I fear you will confine yourself too much.

[Pg. Break] Mrs. Archie has a fine boy – young Archie ’tis to be.  She is doing very well + looks beautifully – more delicate  than usual.  Mrs.. Baker continues rather poorly but is able to go about a little – she has gone home.  Mrs. Matilde is still  complaining – frequent colds – she looks badly, but I think she  might rouse herself into better health.  I hear no prospect of  babies.  Mrs. Oakman is very well.  The Tagerts have had Mrs.  Babard staying with them for three weeks which as made us all  gay in a quiet way.  They all drank tea with more last night –  Sunday though it was the old gentlemen + all + he seemed very  bright + happy without his [?]_______.  They have a drunken party of gentlemen today  + we are all invited for the evening.  Mrs.  Tucker is not very well – has had something of dysentary for a  few days.  Mrs. Brown always enquires most kindly for you + sends her gest love.  Little Louis asked me the other day for little  Jamie Campbell + for a moment I forgot who she meant, she has not forgotten him.

Did you see that St. louis letter in the Herald describing Mary Willcot’s marriage.  I fear the widow did not much like the  style in which she was mentioned.  Mrs. Eagle only returned my  call a day or so before she left + bad weather prevented me from  seeing her again.  She kindly offered to take my package for me.   We called to see Mrs. Jennings last week, but she was engaged.   How is Mr. John Kerr + Mrs. John is dashing I dare say in all the finery Mrs.. J. sent her.  Meg sends oceans of love to you all.   Give my kindest to Robert & regard to all friends.  I hope soon  to hear from you & trust to hear our boy is growing a fine  healthy fellow.  Your cousin,

[Pg. Break, side of 3rd page] Mrs. Davenport has been quite ill  for several weeks, looking most wretchedly – she is better.  Mrs. Hennesly has [?]_____ a [?]_____ on two [?]_______ down street.   [?]_____ I called but once or twice to see her.

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