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Below, you'll find transcribed text of the 2 letters from Mr. R.P. Campbell to his mother Jane Campbell of Hackensack, NJ. The transcription is complete with spelling errors and omissions that I couldn't read from the handwriting of the day.-David Arnold

Havana March 19th 1850

My Dearly beloved Mother

I am once more at Havana and I have retired to my state room on board of the Steamer Falcon to enjoy the sweetest pleasure that can be afforded me while absent from you my precious Mother and from my native home. I know that it will afford you much happiness to learn that I am in the full enjoyment of health as when I left home and as happy as possible as I can be when deprived of the pleasure of fondly _______ on your own dear self. If it was possible for me to have you with me and you to be as well and enjoy the voyage as I do then my worldly happiness would be as great yes to the extent of my most sanguine desires.

We lef New York on 28th February and arrived at Havanna on Friday morning 9th Inst remained one day at which I spen on shore very pleasantly the next morning we saled for New Orleans at which place we arrived the following Tuesday at 6 o’clock P.M. remained there until Friday morning 15th Inst. When we agained sailed for Havana to meet the Steamer Georgia for Chagres. We left New York on the 13th Inst. But has not as yet arrived at Havana the Falcon arrived here yesterday. The Georgia is hourly expected on her arrival I will with the Falcons Passengers be transfered to the Georgia the transfering of the passengers baggage and taking in some coal may detain her a day or two when we will sail for Chagres it is distant about three days sail from Havana


It will take two days to cross the Isthmus comfortably. I expect to be at Panama on the Pacific in about one week from this time, and will mail to you immediately on my arrival then from Panama, I expect to sail with the steamer Columbus or the steamer Panama direct for San Francisco it takes about 20 days for the voage from Panama to San F. I will go in either of the above named vessels that leave Panama first as I have two tickets one for each steamer I will take one of my men with me from Panama the ticket that I do not make use of I will give to my second man to follow me.

Please write to me dear Mother on the receipt of this direct it to me at San Francisco and I will get it in two or three weeks after my arrival there. I feel anxious to learn how Catherine has arranged her affairs, and to hear from all my friends. If time would permit I would like to write to you in my plain style a history of my voyage from the time of leaving NY to my arrival here with an account of what I have seen of New Orleans and Havana but I obliged to defer it until some other time as the mail which is to go by the steamer will shortly close.

I know dear Mother that this short letter will seem from you a heartfelt welcome for I am enabled to _______ ________ to you by the blessing of our heavenly Father that my health is good and that _______ information in relation to my business arrived from Gentlemen direct from California I am much encouraged These tidings dear mother I know will afford you sweet heartfelt pleasure. Please give my love to all and accept very much love for yourself from your _______ devout and affectionate son R.P. Campbell


San Francisco March 31st 1850

My Dear good Mother

Last evening at seven o’clock I arrived at this place on board of the Steamer Gold Hunter ______ good health after a passage of twenty two days from Panama soon as possible after the Steamer arrived with my men and luggage I went on shore and put up at the Sacramento Hotel where I will stop until I fix upon a place to commence my business which I will do as soon as possible This morning immediately after breakfast I went to the Post Office to enquire for letters thinking that you might have written to me by the Steamer Georgia which left N. York two weeks after me as her mails were not detained on the seas. She got to this place six days before me. There is all the time a great crowd of persons awaiting their turn to enquire at the window for letters and I waited nearly an hour before my turn came hoping that I would hear from home but I was disappointed as there were not any letters for me as there is only one mail per month received from New York which arrives here about the 25th of each month it made me regret it the more as I shall have to wait one month longer before I could hear from home.

I would like to give you a description of my voyage and of this place but my mind is so much engaged in getting my business under way that I know you will


( the top line was missed by the Xerox machine when scanned. It seems to be missing from the context of the letter).

for waiting to do so. Dear Mother do not suffer your mind to become agitated about me. I think that I can do well here and will without doubt be more comfortable than I was in Maryland. The expense of living has lessened a considerable clap Hotel that I am now boarding at used to charge eight dollars per day. The price now is fouir dollars per day but I think in a few days that I will be able to pursue a comfortable place for less than that price. This is a lovely day the weather much like we have in the month of May in N. York. It is very healthy here, the water is good and provisions of all kinds in abundance and selling at quite reasonable rates not much higher I am told than what is asked for the same quality in New York. Clothing and in fact everything can be obtained here that is ________ make providing for my men come much easier than I expected and convinces me that the reports circulating in New York and elsewhere respecting the many ______ and sickness that persons coming to Californy have to undergo are much exagerated. The time will soon come round Mother when I will return home so keep up good spirits for I am well and hope to do well by the blessing of God. Pray excuse this short letter the mail closing in about an hour and I have only time left to mail it. If I would mis this mail it would be one month again before I could send you a letter as there is but one mail per month not two as I expected when I left home. Give my love to all my friends and accept it for yourself unbounded. Your Son

R.P. Campbell


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