521 Robinson Building,
April 13, 1925.
Cousin Will Selph has had to write me several times to get my April first letter started. My customary delay should not be attributable to my lack of interest. I have been very busy1 and, candidly, I do find that very little has happened in our family in the last year that would be of particular interest to the cousins. Marjorie and the boys2 have enjoyed good health this winter as well as myself.
As I stated in one of my previous letters, I believe that this interchange of letters could serve a very good purpose by putting in permanent form some of the early history of our family. All of us remember stories and tales told by the older members. Unless these are written down, we shall find ourselves in a few years with no knowledge of what our forefathers thought and did.
I have some very interesting old documents. Yesterday I spent a few hours in editing what appears to be an account book and diary started in 1810 by my great, great, grandfather, Joseph Campbell. This Joseph Campbell was the father of my great grandfather of the same name(who was born December 24, 1793, and designated as the first generation on the genealogy chart3 which was sent to all of us last year.
Right here I should like to make a correction on this chart. This Joseph Campbell was born in Scotland, and not in Ireland. When he was very young the family moved to Londonderry4, Ireland, where they lived until 1810, when they came to this country. I have heard my grandfather state that his father went to school in northern Ireland, and in so doing it was necessary for him to walk over the Giant's Causeway5.
I have a copy book belonging to the younger Joseph Campbell6. which was evidently prepared at this time. In this copy book there are problems in arithmetic in terms of English money and measures. This copy book was later used by my great grandfather6 as an account book. These accounts started about 1817. I have also other account books extending up until about 18407.
1. Joe was very busy. He was an attorney with corporate clients such as Corning Glass.
2. Geo. W. Buck and the late Jos. Campbell Buck. Many cousins met Jos. C. Buck at a Campbell Reunion. I've never met George, but have talked with him.
3. A large spread sheet style table of the descendants of Jos. and Ann Clinch Campbell. Will had a draftsman create this, then he sent free copies to all his 1st cousins. Copies are usually available at the Campbell Reunions.
4. The English like to call it 'Londonderry'. Irish Catholics prefer just 'Derry'.
5. Note that this formation extends beneath the straight and is viewable on Argyl's Kintyre Peninsula (only 13 miles away) and the Hebrides. But of importance to us, is that the place where the Causeway hits the coast is abt. 35 miles from Londonderry and encompasses abt. 4 miles of the coast. A reference indicates that at the time Jos. & Mary Harper Campbell and their son Joseph left N. Ireland, they were leasing a home in Londonderry. Obviously Joseph didn't walk 36 miles to school. One possible explanation is that the story is correct, but our Campbells lived in two different locations: around 1800 near the Giant's Causeway, then moved to Londonderry before 1810.
6. The Joseph Campbell b. 1793.
7. Those books are lost. Jos. C. Buck made an extensive, unsuccessful search for them among his mother's papers.
The following account for 1827 may be of interest:
May 30, 1827 - 1 qt. of Whiskey @ 13¢
June 5, " - 1 bu. potatoes @ 25¢
Aug.30, " - 3 qts. of Whiskey @ 37 1/2¢
Sept. 27, " - 10 ¾ lbs. of Mutton @ 43¢
I was particularly interested in the items for whiskey which occurred with great regularity throughout the account.
To refer back to the diary which starts in 1810, on the first two
pages there is an account which starts as follows:
"I sold my land to Al'D'R McSchain for 250
There are other entries showing that from the money received certain debts were paid.
The following is the first four pages of the diary as nearly as I can decipher it. I have tried to retain the original spelling. Some of the words I have had to guess at. I do not know the month in which the diary starts, but I imagine that it was in the summer of 1810:
Ye 11th "We got aboard a Sadurday at 5 after noon. At
7 Sabath morning weighe ancar. Ye Day of our
sailing I was asailed(?) by one Michel McAlgrev
(?) a Sone of our God holy mate(?) that keeps
the Kays of hell and purgatory in her pocket.
Saying it would be well don to shock you on the head
for your money. I said I'll take care of you.
I told my complanet to the Captain and the Cap-
tain let him know that I could get him flogt or
sent to Derry and - there and we had 2 pasanger
Capts aboard. The three held a court and
McAlgrew gave two of his brethen 100
L bail to
give me Safe pasag from that to shore. We a
peaceable Ship Crew.
Ye 16th With a squal one of our pasanger Captains and
Second Meat by the breakin of a rope was both
A Thursday all our crew landed hardy at Pertham-
bory The New Jarses. On our pasage the Meat
(Mate) told us that I would get 2 Guineas for
2d Oct. I slep with my br in acloreara (this is probably
name of town) on my son-in laws Samuel Hazlels.
In Jan 1810 Samuel bought 300 acres at 5 Dollars
pr acre and one 3rd of a saw mill at 400 dolars.
his Cont(?) (this may be contract) was one Day
before I come to acloreara9.
y 13th Samuel and family widow reed and her Daighters
my brother and our family all but Bettey10 came
18 Day's journy here about 250 miles up the
Susquehanna. There is on the head branches of
this river 180 miles long and 200 broad a place
of woody land with few Inhabitants on it. About
50 miles off us where we came through, a man will
build a corn mill get (s) 100 acres, a smith 70,
12 familys 50 all for nothing to people the
place and good land. Siche monish near (can not
make this out) on our comin here I saw a printed
advertisement of 1321213 acres to be sold in our
news 200000 more to be sold price from one Dolar
to two and a half pr acre. Chuse where you plaes
and there you will get your farm."
From this point on the diary as such seems to stop. The book contains a description of the land, crops and game at the new home, which I imagine is our old farm, as one of the the original deeds for the place which I have in my possession is dated 1815; and I have another paper dated 1810 which refers to the contract to buy. The diary then takes on the nature of a letter for Joseph Campbell's brothers and sisters who were still in northern Ireland or some other place in the United States11.
I have been very much interested in going over these old papers and I am giving these extracts from the papers in the hope that they will likewise be of interest to the rest of the family. In some future letter I shall try to decipher more of this diary and pass it on.
I hope other members of the family can find old papers and letters which would be of general interest and, if so, wouldn't it be a good idea to include those in our Correspondence Book?12
9. Presumably "acloreara" was near Stroudsburg, PA. As for the sawmill, according to Lucy DUNHAM Hazlett, when the Hazletts arived in Beecher's Island (later Nelson) the only signs of it they found was a rusty saw blade.
10. It's curious that he didn't mention that two of Elizabeth's older siblings, John Campbell and Mary CAMPBELL Hazlett remained in Lancaster Co., PA, where they had lived for several years. Elizabeth lived with Mary for a few years, then came to Beecher's Island.
11. No trace of his siblings has ever shown up Joe only suggest 2 places they might have lived, but they might have been Scotland --- or most any place Scots settled.
12. This suggestion bore fruit in Vol. 4.
Copyright © 2005, 2013, 2014 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.