1824: Rev. John Barnwell Campbell, Sr. to John Barnwell Campbell, Jr.

Rev. John Barnwell Campbell, Sr. Gravestone

This letter was written by Rev. John Barnwell Campbell (1784-1847), a native of Beaufort, South Carolina, and a graduate of Queens College, Cambridge, England. He was ordained Deacon by George Tomlin, Bishop of Lincoln, on 12 June 1808, and after a time being Curate in the Parish Church of Broughton Astley in the county of Leicester, he returned to the United States and was ordained Priest by the Rt. Rev’d William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania on 9 June 1811. He was elected to the Church of St. Helena, in Beaufort, South Carolina, as assistant Rector in January 1810 and as a Rector in April 1812.

Rev. Campbell married Catharine Amarinthia Percy (1790-1818) on 21 November 1811. Died in Newport Rhode Island, 28 March 1847.

This letter was written to his nine year-old son, John Barnwell Campbell, Jr. (1815-1891) who was, at the time, attending school in Philadelphia. He later graduated from Princeton University and the New York General Theological Seminary. Like his father before him, John became a reverend in the Episcopal Church. He served as an assistant to Bishop Gadsden in South Carolina for a number of years and then served as pastor of St. Philips Church. He was married to Elizabeth Moore Parker (1824-1887) in 1841.

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to John Barnwell Campbell, Jun., Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]
Care of Rev. Mr. Boyd

[Newport, Rhode Island]
September 28, 1824

My Dear Son,

I am glad that you have obtained a meritorious distinction in your class, but I would wish you to avoid overcharging your mind and you must be guarded against those who over reason upon any subject. Listen most to those who come to some solid and useful conclusion when which the mind can rest with pleasure, security, or any proper conviction of rectitude. I do not know altogether why your certificate is ornamented with a squirrel, a swan, and a hare. But you may possibly remember my saying that comparative anatomy teaches us the wisdom with which the animal creation is formed. Thus, the shoulders of the squirrel is formed somewhat after the manner of the human shoulder blade by means of which he is enabled to crack nuts for which his teeth is particularly well formed; whereas ours are often much injured by that practice which we do not think of at the time but are made to feel in after life. The swan is distinguished for the length and beauty of the head and neck and the grace with which it swims and moves upon the water. I recollect two lines of the poet [William] Wordsworth describing them this, “The swans upon St. Mary’s Lake swim double, swan and shadow!” I did not know until a few years ago that the hare was found in our country. They are met with in the State of New York. One of the sentiments of Socrates mentions that the timid animals have, in general, finer hair. Thus the deer and hare differ from the lion and the wild boar. The remark, however, does not always apply as the leopard has fine hair but is not particularly timid, but rather courageous. Seafaring people have generally coarser hair than those more accustomed to the land. Phoebe’s hair is taken from the silk worm whilst Patty’s and yours sits close upon the head like a duck.

You will remember I gave you a fife at Trenton but I do not know that you ever learnt to blow upon one. The sound is rather sharp and martial but you have a taste for music. A flagelette would suit your mouth and lungs best. Archibald ought to have a taste for music for both his Father & Mother played well. Make good use of your ears. Get a constant habit of resisting inward fear whether asleep or awake and you will save yourselves from many a troublesome hour. Thus some length of time ago, I dreamed or saw in a vision of the night the appearance as I thought of a large building of stone with the legs of numbers of persons hanging over the top cursing and swearing and doubling their fists like a collection of maniacs, but I awoke up and recollected the impressions arose from the swearing character of the English riding upon the top of a mail coach with their legs & feet hanging down. Thus, a thousand frightful things prove to be merely vain images in the memory of the brain or excited there by particular outward causes to which most, if not all of them, can be traced.

I did not hear until Mr. Jacobs came here that Charlotte Stuart and John Stuart were married, nor that Mrs. Nat Barnwell was married until Edwar Lining, who is here, mentioned the fact. I would not have you learn too much but what you do learn, make yourself perfect master of. The greater part of those who have learnt later have no conception of the elegance of the languages or of the grammatical construction. Do not waste your time and receive as little as possible into your mind which you do not comprehend. Some thing must, however, be learnt when trust.

My love to your uncles and aunts and kiss Phoebe and Patty for me and Archibald. Your affectionate father, — John Barnwell Campbell

P.S. Tell Phoebe to write to me.

FOOTNOTES

William Wordsworth

Rev. Campbell refers to a poem by William Wordworth entitled, Memorials of a Tour in Scotland, 1803. The line actually reads:

“The swan on still St. Mary’s Lake,
Float double, swan and shadow!”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Spared & Shared 12

Saving history one letter at a time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

The Bowdoinham Letters

Civil War Letters addressed to the Brown Family of Bowdoinham, Maine

"I am for war, till slavery is dead"

The Civil War Letters of Jerome Bonaparte Burrows, Captain of the 14th Ohio Independent Battery

"All glory to our flag -- and to those who defend it!"

Seven Civil War Letters by Col. Augustus Abel Gibson

"Mother, don't worry about me"

The Civil War Letters of Caleb & John B. Chase, 3rd & 9th Minnesota Infantries

"They will get but little duty out of me"

The Civil War Letters of Silas Townsend, 29th Mass Infantry & 3rd Mass Cavalry

"Teach my Hands to War..."

The Civil War Letters of John Hancock Boyd Jenkins, 40th New York Infantry

"It is Life or Victory Now"

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Caress, Co A, 50th Indiana Volunteers

In the Trough of the Sea

The Civil War Letters of Dr. Allen Smith Heath from Aboard the USS Daylight

From the Bottom of My Heart

The Digital Archives of the Hodgdon/Rayner Letters

%d bloggers like this: