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Mrs. Robert Campbell
Care of Sublette & Campbell
Saint Louis Missouri
Philadelphia April 16th / 41
My dear Virginia
Your first letter from St. Louis I received two days since. I had almost concluded that you would neither give us first nor last - so long was one in expectation, but I made excuses for you. I know you had full occupation in receiving & paying visits & getting settled in your new house. We are delighted to know that you are so much pleased with St. Louis, but I must say that you would be rather unreasonable if not pleased & gratified, when so such kind attention has been shown to you. Your apartments too, so luxurious & comfortable, I am almost tempted to envy you the "dolce far niente" of your present life; rather a contrast to mine for the last month. I have had so many different bonnets to buy & dresses to get made & then to have packed in proper time with the bills all made out - the most difficult of all, as you quite now well know - in addition to this I have been giving lessons to my young ladies in shirt-making - a most delightful task - but really they get on much better than I expected. I have hope of your since they have done so well - five shirts are finished only three others to make. The girls will have a jubilee when all are complete - they sew on now, without much complaint.
But of your summer dresses I may at once tell you that Miss Rodgers has had two muslins for three weeks to make up. I could not insist on her making them immediately as she has had disappointed others to make yours before - but she promises them certainly this week or early in the next & truly the weather is very different in St. Louis from what it is here. You will still get them in good time. [End page 1]
I called on Mrs Wm Odenheimer yesterday morning & who should I find sitting in the parlor but Mrs. Virginia Otey - she had arrived but a few days before but the weather had been so stormy that Mrs. O had not an opportunity of making her arrival known to me. We have had two deep snowstorms this week. Yesterday was very fair & this day is beautiful but rather cold. I fear the fern has suffered - our peach trees almost in full blossom & weighed down with snow was rather an unusual sight - but the times are all out of joint here - however of Miss Otey I must say that she is a sweet interesting girl - I would that I were like her. Mr. Martin & Dr. Mc greatly flatter me in imagining a resemblance - but what think you - Mrs. O & Meg think her like you - I cannot divine where or why - for you are to me rather contrasts, except in size. She has promised to pass an evening with me soon, desires much love to you & Mr. R. C. - & also gave the gratifying news of your mother's reconciliation with Ellen. She had just heard it before she left Petersburg - you have I presume been duly advised thereof & rejoice in it even more than I can do -
Miss Dick writes very often to her friends & continues to expatiate on the news of Monsieur & Madam Robert Campbell - her family are deeply indebted for your kindnesses to her & if I do not fear turning your head & addling your husband's brain too, I might tell of what they write, the good people of St. Louis think of you. Flattery might do away with all the serious lectures your husband gives & retard the improvements that you think I consider so needful - so I'll none of it.
How my heart bounded to be with you all, when I heard of my mother's intended visit to St. Louis. I have heard nothing of it from Betty - indeed I have had no letters for several weeks from any of my sisters. I hope my mother will go to Galena to see the girls for I suppose they cannot readily leave their houses & babies to visit her - & it would so delight them & gratify her too to see them again. They have been long separated but none so long as me. I am not the estranged but the stranger one - [End page 2]
You must tell my mother every thing about us - & tell me back again everything about her, how she looks & what she says of Grandma & Betty & all - & give the kindest love to her from us all. I have intended writing James every day for a month - but this is the first letter I have written to any since I scribbled last to you by Mr. Glasgow - I must write Betsy tomorrow - & will you please tell Robert that I have sent on a box to his care, in which he will find two boxes, one for Betsy, the other for Ellen Stephenson - he will I know be kind enough to have them forwarded by the earliest opportunity to them. The box left here last week - I hope it will arrive safely & soon.
Of our friends here I have nothing new to tell you. The Tagerts are very well. They have spent the last three Saturday evenings with us. Mrs. Bahard is on a visit to them & we have spent about three evenings in each week in return. They always enquire most kindly for you both. The Bakers are, as perhaps your husband has informed you, in a great deal of trouble - but as his affairs are not made public very few know it. I have not seen Henry Baker since you left - I believe he just wanders about from Heard to the different eating houses - the girls I see very often - Mrs. Baker will bear her miseries well I am sure. Harriet's marriage still goes on - she now talks of being married in church sometime next month. Mr. Gill has been very sick for a few days past but is out again & sober. Archie has been complaining of some disease in his heart. Mrs. Archie has not been well she has the dyspepsia but I dare [say] she will get better after awhile. Dr. McPheeters calls frequently to see us - he comes into town next week to live - we intend paying him a visit tomorrow afternoon at the Alms House.
Ponsonby is now at home - he regretted much not seeing you. They all send more love & messages than I can give to you both - I am going out to Germantown at 1 o'clock with the Tagerts - so I must be off to rig up - Do write a little more frequently - one of the girls will write soon again. Give my best love to Robert & kind remembrances to all friends - as ever your cousin
Mary - [End page 3]
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I would write my mother to St. Louis if I were quite sure a letter would reach her there - I am sorry she has not her bonnet which is in the box sent on. If I could only see her & talk to her as you will how happy I would be. God only knows when or if ever I will see any of them again. Send our love to James - I think Jimmy dear for your kind interest in him.
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The death of our President & the United States Bank have equally divided public interest for the last two weeks. The day of his burial was a most gloomy one here, every window in the city was bowed - & the hotels & draperies with crape. The churches are all in mourning. I heard Mr. Betherson last Sunday morning preach the most elegant sermon on Gen. Harrison's death that I ever listened to. Next Tuesday the funeral ceremonies take place here - the weather prevented last Tuesday - of course every respect will be also paid to his memory in St. Louis.