Hannah Valentine and Lethe Jackson
Slave Letters in the Campbell Family Papers

Letter to Miss Virginia Campbell from Lethe Jackson, April 18, 1838


Letter to her mistress describing her feelings about their relationship and reflections about religion and aging.


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Montcalm April 18th 1838

My dear and much respected Miss Virginia

I was much pleased at receiving your letter and was very highly flattered to think that you in the gay metropolis so much admired and caressed should still condescend to remember old Aunt Lethe on the retired hill of Montcalm and be assured my sweet young mistress that old Aunt Lethe still remembers you with feelings of the utmost respect and esteem - And my Mistress too I am glad to hear she is getting better and that she has not forgotten lowly me - I hope she will still live to be a blessing to all of us -

Everything is going on finely and prosper in my hands - The flowers in the garden are putting out and it begins to look like a little paradise and the Calves and the Chickens and the children are all fine and lively - just waiting your return to complete their happiness-

I am sorry that Masters cow has so little manners as to eat Onions - in the City of Richmond too - well what a disgrace! I wish you to tell her that our Mountain Cows are better trained than that - and that if she will come up here we will learn her to be more genteel and not spoil the Governers milk - Tell My Master I think all the world of him and long once more to see his dignified steps up


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our hill - Tell Mistress I hope I shall soon hear of her recovery and that we long for the time when she will be again here to give her directions and have every thing as it ought to be and as she wants it- We have all done the best we could since she went away but still there is nothing like having a person of sense to dictate - and then if we are obedient every thing goes on smoothly and happy - I try Miss Virginia to be contented at all times and am determined not to let anything make me unhappy, we are taught to resemble our Maker and He is always happy, therefore it is our duty to be happy too - knowing that his divine Providence is over all our changes and that the very hairs of our head are numbered - I feel very happy and my mind if continually aspiring to that heavenly place where all our sorrows will terminate - You say in your letter "that we have a very good lot if we will improve it" I think so too and when we know that our good Lord is Divine Love & Wisdom in its utmost perfection and that, that Love & Wisdom is continually exerted for our welfare how grateful, how active, and how obedient, ought we to be and how confident, in all his mercies - Miss Virginia I feel extremely happy when I think what a good Lord & Savior we have and I feel determined to serve him to the best of my knowledge. You say that "the spring is a bright season and that the hours flit so lightly away we scarcely notice them" And so it is with the spring time of Life - When one is young the days and weeks pass rapidly by and we are surprised when we find them

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gone. and how pat we are in the buoyant days of youth to forget - that the Autumn of age, and Winter of death, is coming. But I am persuaded it is not so with you - I know that you do reflect on these things - I know there are a few young persons who are pious as you are and I have a well grounded hope that in all the relations of life you will sustain yourself like a Christian I wish I could hear some of the good preaching you speak of but the good being is every where. he is at Montcalm in the still breath of evening as much as in the "City full" yes he is evry where present - and even condescends to visit old Aunt Lethe's heart - Oh Miss Virginia my heart is so full I know not what to say - Tell Eliza I thank her for her letter and she must take part of this to herself as I think one letter is enough for such a poor creature as me for I can tell you all I am setting very frail - to what I used to be. Oh Master! Oh Mistress! Oh Miss Virginia I want to see you al and Michael and Eliza and Richard and David and all; my heart is large enough to hold you all - I pray that the Lord till take care of you and keep you from all evil - I hope I have not made to free in any think I said - I wanted to write as if I was talking to you - With every sentiment of veneration and esteem I remain You faithful servant

Lethe Jackson

I have a keg of butter which will be too old to use when

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you come - if you are willing Mr Lathem thinks it best to sell it - please to write by the next mail and say if you wish us to sell it or not. I think it would be best to sell it - L J

[Addressed in center of page:]

Miss Virginia T.T. Campbell
Richmond Virginia

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