Cornelia J. Randolph to Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge
|Monticello March 18 1826|
I think, dear sister, that I shall certainly go to Boston now; brother Jeff. proposes to set out next wednesday (this is friday) but as he is now in Bedford from whence he cannot return before sunday, and has so much business always that he can never say certainly what time he will do any particular thing I am not so certain about the time we shall be off; he has already been delayed a week longer than he expected by business. if I can get an escort on the road who will be more uninterrupted in his course I shall not hesitate to leave him.
Virginia recieved Mr Coolidge’s letter last night the piana has not arrived, Col. peyton thought it best to wait a little for a careful boatman than to send it by a waggon, and the river is so low now & the navigation so destroyed by milldams that boats are three times as long coming up now as they used to be and are frequently detained by broken locks & such like things. however we are in daily expectation of the boat with the piano. aunt Cary is here & we are very anxious for it to arrive before she leaves us; Virginia begs her to wait for it but I do not know whether she will or not.
I think there is no fear of our that we shall not be able to raise the little boy; he seems to have an excellent constitution and grows very fast; he often has the cholic but that they say is because he is fed so much by hand. he is the greediest and most passionate little creature I ever saw. we shall soon have a nurse for him I hope, aunt Cary has offered to send us one of her women who is young and healthy and has a child near his own age & who is a supernumerary in her family. her name is Rose I do not know whether you know her.We are all in usual health & mama is going down to Carysbrook after the meeting of the visitors which I am sure will be of the greatest benefit to her. aunt Marks suffers with the rheumatism in her face but as usual we do not think the suffering equal to the complaints complainings.
You say dear sister you do not know what I shall think of your writing so freely about your situation, I cannot be otherwise than pleased at your writing freely and confidently on any subject but I was particularly pleased to learn how your phisician directed you to manage yourself that our dear Virginia might reap the benefit of the knowledge she is far from having your advantages; Dr Dunglison who does really feel much good will towards us & has acted with much liberality, volunteered to tell Nicholas it was all important that she should take regular exercise, since when she has [. . .] ridden out every day; she finds exercise on horseback better than in the carriage. her heart burns are not yet very tormenting but I should like much to know what it is which relieves you as they may become so, for she has the heart burn every day though it is not often painful to her.
We went yester a day or two ago to see Mrs Bonnycastle she is not handsome or genteel looking & was so silent & ill at ease that I could not tell whether she has any peculiar charm of manner to account for Mr Bonnycastle’s violent love for her. he was stiff and silent also and [. . .] as ill at ease as she was; he is changed much, perhaps from the recent loss of his mother letters arrived bringing the tidings of her death just as he was setting out to be married & his friends at the university seeing the black seals would not deliver them untill he was married & returned home. Dr Emmet was very ill of the influenza on the road on his return from New York & has since been in very bad health. he has a spitting of blood & is very thin & pale. he brought a brother with him who was has lately been discovered as the ring leader of some nightly disturbances at the University & found in a state of intoxication, poor Dr Emmet was much distressed & reprimanded him in public (for himself & others were called up before the faculty) with much severity the young man shewed much contrition & wept bitterly, this in this Dr Emmet joined him, & they say the scene was quite affecti[ng.]
William [. . .]well is at the University and in some w[. . .]feat brok[. . .] so that though Dr Dunglison was on th[. . .] to set t[. . .]y say it will be crooked.
Ind [. . .]t his son to an uncommonly fine child to whom fa[. . .] sisters were devoted, I am afraid it will kill his [. . .] he is so delicate. he died of an affection of the lungs [. . .]rs old & here I must tell you that I have heard this [. . .] more cases of consumption than I ever heard of before [. . .]y life, all the sufferers dying in a few months after the [. . .]case declared itself. aunt Cary left Mr Miles Cary’s youngest child (scarcely more than a year old) dying of the same dissease before this it must be dead. she came up in consequence of some liar going to her & telling her that grandpapa had been taken suddenly & dangerously ill & that there was scarcely any hope of his recovery, this person told her that he was in Charlottesville at the time that he was taken ill at Dr Dunglison the University & carried in to Dr Dunglison’s & that it had excited great commotion she had no reason to doubt the fact & borrowed Gen. Cock’s carriage & came up immediately she sends her love to you. Mann is up, come for his little boy & I should be sooner with you if I were to go with him but mama will not agree to my going in the packet. Margaret who is getting her lessons in the room with me desires me to send her love to youadieu in great haste.
Mama says she will write to one of you sunday.
Do not say any thing about the University at the square or else where. I am so much afraid of prejudices rising against it. your own