June 4th, 1925.
To your generosity and to Uncle Jud Seely's1
kind remembrance of my interest in keeping alive family spirit, I am
indebted for one of the greatest pleasures of the year.
Your letter of June 1st, which gave the hint of the treat coming to me, reached me the 2nd and the very next day when brother Sherman came to lunch he brought the book of letters. I could not wait 'til I had eaten but opened the package at once and while he ate I read to him "choice extracts", here and there, as I sampled the rare promises of "dear delights".
After he had gone back to the Bank maybe I age a few morsels of the cold lunch, - I don't remember definitely. But I began at the first page of the Cousins Correspondence - the title page - and just could not tear myself away from the delightful company until - until there was no more company. I had reached the the bottom of page 100. ("Awful example" for thrifty housewives, wasn't it?)
I certainly never read a made up novel so absorbingly thrilling. Surely, "truth is stranger than fiction", for there I read of a beautiful family loyalty,of sorrow and suffering, softened by a loving sympathy, of worthy ambitions, pursued to success, of the sprouting and growth of new branches of the family tree; also of grafted branches that shall become true Campbells as they are refreshed by life from the root stock of honest purpose and high endeavor. There are hints of sacrifice, of unspeakable joy; stories of thrilling adventures, of hopes fulfilled, of unselfish service for others, of trust in the God of the founders of the family, music from the whole gamut of human experience.
Do you wonder that I shall love that book and shall count it one of my treasures indeed? For I have had personal acquaintance with very many contributors and know many whom I have not met from father's intimate acquaintance with the older members of the Clan. And from the Cousins I do know, I have heard of nearly all the others; so that by the time I had finished those amazingly interesting letters I was completely lost to all surroundings and felt that almost I was a Campbell myself.
1. She called hm "Uncle Jud," even tho he was only 4 years older than her, because her mother, Lucretia P. BABCOCK Weeks (1830 - 1875), was an older half-sister of Jud's first wife, Mary Babcock.
You know that while father lived he was always invited to the yearly reunions of the family and was seldom absent. We used to jokingly accuse him of being at least half Campbell. He laughed and said he would consider it an honor if he had been born a thoroughbred Campbell. He worked for both the James and Joseph Campbell families when he was young, and, of course knew intimately all the children and he never lost his interest in their children's children.
I, myself am old enough2 to know that as we grow older we cling more and more to the friends of our younger life and experiences and when they pass on into the higher life we feel that something has gone from our own being that was very precious to us.
I certainly feel highly honored and more grateful that these halting words can express to be the recipient of such valuable documents as these Cousins Letters, and from my heart I thank you.
(Formerly Naoma Weeks)
(Daughter of Rev. Charles Weeks)3
2. Naoma was born Mar. 25, 1855 and died Oct. 3, 1950 .
3. Rev. Weeks was born Nov. 14, 1824 in Delaware Co., NY and died Apr. 17, 1914. He was a Methodist minister in Nelson and Farmington Twp. He and his wife, and probably Naoma, attended some of the Campbell Reunions and he married or buried many of our Campbell Cousins.
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