On August 17th, 1880, Laura Augusta Kreis marries Graham Cox Campbell in Monticello, Minnesota. They are my great-grandparents. She is 24 years old. He is a Presbyterian minister, called to mission work in Gaboon, West Africa. After the wedding they travel to Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Boston, and finally to Halifax, Nova Scotia where Graham’s family farm is situated in the small community of Middle Stewiacke. She keeps a journal from October 1880 until May 1882:
Probably no other year of my life will be as beautiful as the present . . . First there was the decision to go to Africa, which was a great struggle, but one in which by God’s grace I was able to overcome. Then the leaving school. Oh! That was very hard. I did not know before how I loved my studies and classmates. For weeks I carried such a burden that it seemed almost impossible to bear. But no one guessed my secret.How does Laura feel leaving her family for perhaps at least a few years and traveling so far? She writes:
The leaving home I have no heart to recall or record. It is too deeply impressed upon my mind to need a record. I will only tell you, journal, that it was harder than I had expected. It seemed cruel. But Graham soothed my sorrow and pledged anew his love and care and in a measure eased the pain. I find myself now breaking down as that scene comes up in memory, and I hasten on.After a long, arduous, and sea-sick journey across the Atlantic, the newly weds land in Liverpool, where they gather supplies they will need in Africa. A lucky excursion for them, they are able to make a quick visit to London just before their departure by ship to Africa. Here are excerpts from her journal:
Liverpool, England Sunday afternoon Dec. 5th 1880
I wonder what they [my family members] are all doing at home today. They are six hours behind us so it is only half past eight with them and they are only eating breakfast. I wish I could make one of their number. It seems so long [since sometime in September, 1880] since I left home, and I have so much to tell them. I wrote them a letter of six sheets yesterday, telling them all about our visit to Chester.
We expect to go to London tomorrow morning and stay until Friday. It will be a great treat for us. I anticipate a good deal of pleasure.
Wed. Dec. 8th No. 16 Torrington Square, London
You see, my journal, my dreams are at last realized. We are in London, arrived Monday evening. Found good quarters on recommendations of Mr. Christie. It is a private boarding house, only about a dozen regular boarders. They are all pleasant and we are enjoying it very much.
|Madame Tussaud's Today|
In order to lose no time we went to see Madame Tussaud’s wax works. They were magnificent. All of the leading men of England and some of America, China, India, Africa, etc.
Yesterday morning we started out early. Took an omnibus to Hyde Park, from there we passed into Kensington Gardens. Saw Albert’s Memorial and got a view [postcard] of it. Saw also Albert Hall and purchased a view. Then into Kensington Museum—then drove from Hyde Park through Grosvenor Place, Buckingham Palace Road, past Prince of Wales’ residence and Queen’s Residence, into Pall Mall thence to Trafalgar Square. Saw Nelson Monument thence down Whitehall and Parliament Streets, past House Guards to Westminster Bridge near which we took lunch. Next we went through Westminster Abbey and Palace and Parliament House. Then we went across Westminster Bridge, took a boat down the river to London Bridge, and saw Cleopatra’s Needle [the Egyptian obelisk on the banks of the River Thames].
Thursday Dec. 9th 1880
One more bright day in London. It is quite wonderful how the fogs keep away. Yesterday we went out to Crystal Palace and spent the day. The Palace is an immense building. We could have spent a week there easily. My expectations were fully realized. We bought some little things to send home.
This morning we went to the Regent’s Zoological gardens. There we saw almost every kind of animal in the world and some that we may meet again in Africa and probably not under such pleasant circumstances. This afternoon I have decided to stay indoors while Graham finishes the British Museum which we commenced this morning.
Next Entry: Alles mit Gott