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This Week in History: September 8-14

At the juncture of the Yellow Stone and Missouri River
September 12th 1833

My Dearest Mother
The only opportunity that offers during a
Season of conveying letters to the civilized world, gives
Me at present an opportunity of writing the best Mother
And I shall undoubtedly avail myself of it leaving to
Chance when I may again be able to let you hear from
Me. Rest assured I shall let no opportunity pass
Without availing myself of it.
I wrote you some time previous to my depar
=ture from the civilized parts of the United States of
manner in which I am at present occupied, qu[missing]
I believe as satisfactory a statement as was possible [missing]
The small compass of a letter – You were apprised (if
Not in my letter to you by either Anne’s or Andrew)
That I took the part of our company that went by
Land consisting of fifty men in all including two or
Three who went on a trip of pleasure – My journey
Proved agreeable and sufficiently lucrative indeed
In both cares beyond my expectations – I proceeded
To our usual rendezvous and being joined by our
Company in that country of nearly 100 men I des=
=posed of the equipment I took then and returned
to this place where I met my partner Mr Subblette
who had arrived the day previous with one of our
Keel Boats (Many left the other at our lower trading
Establishments) I got here on the the 30th ult the the 27th
This you perceive that performing a route of near
4000 miles our calculations were so made as to be
within one day of meeting after a separation of
four months – Mr Sublettes voyage had been equally
successful although we had no trading to purpose
but so far as a safe and comparatively quiet trip
is considered by us successful we so consider his
since our meeting Mr Sublettes has confined to
a sick bed and at the point of Death but
today there is an evident recovery and he
will leave in three or four days.

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I have busily engaged since my arrival here in
Building a Fort and Houses. Already I have 4 Houses
Nearly completed and in two days more expect to have
4 more built true I have 60 hard men employed in
the business yet in such a remote region we are
at a loss for many conveniences that retard us
very much. I shall remain at this post during the
winter and all probability three or four years. Mr Sublette
goes down to make sale of our furs and bring supplies
the ensuing spring. Such my Dear Mother is a sketch
of my business including the changes that have taken
place since I last wrote you which I hope you
will find satisfactory. I have with me at present
four clerks which will    this post during the
winter all agreeable ad efficient men – our trade
is for Buffalo skins dressed and Beaver skins and we
expect only the Assinaboine and Cree Indians here both
of whom are measurably peaceable.
From the sketch I have already given you it
Is pretty evident that my hands are pretty full of business
And I confess to you my dearest Mother I would be
Pleased of the term of my probation here being expired
And able once more to return to civilized and again
To meet you my Dearest Mother in happiness – Yes I
Would willingly relinquish the three years of my
Life which I intend passing here for one month such
As I have passed when last with you. In the
Midst of all the bustle and excitement of our savage
Life how often does memory call up the pleasing
Hours I passed with you throwing all other recollect
=tions in the oblivious and leaving the most pleasing though
sad sensations which at times I probably indulge too far
yet I cannot even blame myself for so doing, left alone
or rather self=placed alone in the World without our
acquainted with the relations, dearest to me or that
I could either unbosom myself to, or converse with
On such a subject, I am left within myself to reflection
And castle building many times I place myself
In the situation of again returning and meeting you
All as I left you – such are my happiest thoughts.

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It is my intention to write both Anne and Andrew before
Mr Sublette leaves, although I must as in the present
Instance curtail that amount from the sleep. Others are
Now enjoying – yet pain would I be in a situation to
Write you my Dearest Mother at a much greater
Sacrifice- Oh! How I long to hear from each of you
But I must be patient as no conveyance will
Reach me for several months  Write however and
Hugh will forward the letters
I can supporting further than I mentions in
My last writing you. You know it is my wish that
You should live happy and at your care I have already
Told you so far any means extends it will give
My pleasure to contribute them to your happiness
What my prospects may be in my new line of
Business it is impossible yet to say, but
You require any thing for your comfort not
Already within your power of possessing
So far as my property in Ireland may go
Avail yourself of [missing] necessary – not that
I do not intend on visiting you then on
The contrary were I now disengaged we
Would meet God willing before Christmas
I am solicitaor your comfort and Anne’s
And would [missing] thing or make any sacrifice to
Insure it.
At the [missing] Indian traders in this country
The Sabbath is and so far as regards manual
Labour (contrar[missing) know to our mountain habits)
We have am[missing] three or four Bibles one of
Which is mem[missing] bought in Londonderry
It is my inte[missing] to preserve it ( should God grant
My health) wi[missing] diligence show I have therefore
Done and I trust advantage – I hope the precepts
You inculcated in my youth will yet prove of
Farewell my beloved Mother and may
The Almighty god impart you Health and happiness
Through life, and enable us to meet in pleasure
Is the prayer of your son
Robert Campbell

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copy of Letter

Mrs Elizabeth Campbell
Aughalane near Newtownstewart
County Tyrone

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