This letter is written to Mary Francis Campbell, who is away from home visiting relatives at Mantua. In this letter, "Fanny" refers to a slave/servant belonging to James Harvey Campbell.
Richmond, Feb. 3, 1859
My Dearest Fannie,
I have only time to write you a few lines, as I have just learned from Mr. Butler that he was again unable to bring the stage over, in consequence of the condition of the roads. I had hoped, until about noon yesterday, when it commenced raining, that you would have been able to come. But when it commenced raining, and rained until this morning, I gave up all hope, as I did not think that the weather was fit for you to go to Mantua. I fear dear, that it will be continually getting worse. I hardly know when to expect you. And I am so tired of house-keeping. I don’t think I shall ever get used to it. Indeed, I know I shall not, because I don’t want to. Your ma and Ellen so confidently expected that they both came up here this evening, so Fanny tells me, and staid nearly the whole evening waiting for you. They left a message and something else for me, in case you did not come, which I shan’t tell you, as you are not here. They all send their love, and are very anxious to see you and the children. They have been very kind and attentive to me since I have been here alone, and have frequently me to come and take some of my meals there, and I have done so. Oh Fannie, I am troubled and have been since the reception of your letter about your health and the dear babies. I hope your fears in regard to your cold may prove groundless. And if I did not know that you and they were in pretty good hands, I should not rest away from you at all. Dear sister Harriett, I believe I love her more than ever before, if possible, for the kindness she has manifested towards you and them. May heaven be her reward. Present my best love to her and Ellen, and Mr. G.11 Dear Fannie, one reason why I wish you to come home is, I fear I shall have to sell Pheobe to meet some bills which are pressing my everyday, and which I cannot otherwise meet. Of this of course you must not speak. I cut my hand quite severely on last Saturday, at the office, in consequence of which I had to go to a doctor to have it dressed, and have had to wear my hand in a sling ever since. But it is getting better now, though it is quite troublesome to write, as it is my right hand. I have been busy at work all the time since I come over, and hope to continue so, though, I cannot tell how it will be. Well, as I have to go back down to the stage office to carry this letter, I must hurry to close. If you cannot come next Monday, and I can see no prospect of it now, as it keeps raining, every day or two, you must certainly write as I am very anxious to hear about Marian12 and Florence. Mr. Butler told me that you sent word to me that you would come as soon as you could. I am ashamed almost to confess that the tears came unbidden to my eyes when I read of the sickness and narrow escape of Marian. But I hope the danger is over now, and that they will get along comparatively better.
Come as soon as you can.
And don’t stay a moment longer than you can help from.
Your devoted husband
J. Harvey Cambell