Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph Trist

We arrived here yesterday my dear Virginia sometime before sunset and as a post goes out tomorrow (the post goes from here to Lynchburg twice a week) I will write to you though I feel as stupid and unwilling to do any thing as I usually do after a journey. the day we left you was a very disagreable one but I was so well wrapped up that I did not suffer with cold; we got to the house over the other this side of the river long1 before sunset [. . .] obliged to stop as there is no other house for miles. the next day we set out early & I found it very cold; we went without our breakfasts to save time but the roads were so bad we only got to Patterson’s. I had need of all my [. . .] flannels as you may suppose and was so well protected that I have not taken cold or got the rheumatism; I think in returning however I shall be much more comfortable if I make myself a pair of buckskin boots & line them with [. . .] hair fur or wadding, so if you have taken the buckskin to Tufton with you I wish you would send me enough to make boots, by brother Jeff. & when Lewis [. . .] for me you can send me the old black cloth to travel in & above all my the flannel sleeves I spoke of which I wish you would tell Ellen about; they are in a bandbox in the dome. if these things are any of them at Monticello you must not go up for them, because I can do without them.

Aunt Jane is recovering from her last attack slowly, & looks very much as usual, she is convinced now that this spitting of blood is periodical; & the periodical complaint has left her entirely. The girls look tolerably well & seem to me as yet tolerably cheerful Uncle Tom is gone this morning to bring Elizabeth to see me; who is without [. . .] any doubt as unfortunate as Harriet suspected.

They tell me every body is in status quo in the neighbourhood with the addition of some dozens of children to their families. Betsy Walker excepted, who has fits constantly & will die soon I suppose; I will not pity her as she can not have had much enjoyment of life ever.

This house is a very cold one but they keep [. . .] good fires; the place they say is exceedingly bleak. I [. . .] seated quietly at Harriets desk where I shall write e[. . .]ay while she is in school; & with a good fire, light, & quiet, I can pursue my trade as well as if I was at home & as comfortably if I only had my flannel sleeves; I shall try to do much while I am here as I shall have more time [. . .] than when I return home. a thought came into my head of weaning Willie when we go to Carysbrook, if we can get a conveyance there for Rose, Ellen, for my & our baggage2 we two could go in the carriage with the babies and Jane. Rose might [. . .] nurse Willie while we were there & we could come back leaving her & her child behind; I merely thought o[f] this plan on the road & there may be many objections to it which on farther3 consideration I should find our out my chief reason for it was to take as much of the trouble of our family off of Jane’s hands as possible while we were away, for I still wish to pay my visit there if I can.

Has Dabney Terrel given you the parting kiss yet, for so he literally gave me, & I suppose Mary & yourself were not more prudish than I was though you have full as great an objection to being prodigal of your kisses to man woman or child.

I do think it probable you are still at Monticello but before you get this (letters are so long going from here to Albemarle) you will have left it & I will direct to Tufton. do not forget to send me the Boston letters nor to write to me. I must allow my self the luxury of hearing from my friends; I have not at present money to pay the postage but do not think my expences on the road could have come to the five dollars I gave uncle Tom [. . .] particularly as I suppose he paid for the horse himself; in which case he will return me some money. I do not know whether to write to Sister [. . .] send me the money I have in Boston or not; I do not [. . .] whether I should get it before I set [. . .] as it would b[e at l]east three weeks before it could [. . .] I am in a dilemma about these money matters, altogether.

Adieu my dear Sister Kiss all the loved ones for me & particularly Ellen & Willie whom I had not time to go up to see before I came away, & your own little rose cheeked Martha whose dear little face as I saw her at parting has been often in my thoughts

I hope you will not have as much work as you anticipate while I am away but will try and work hard myself thinking all the time that you are doing the same

your affectionate sister
C. J. Randolph
RC (NcU: NPT); mutilated at seal; addressed: “To Mrs Nicholas P. Trist Tufton near Charlotesville. Albemarle”; stamped; postmarked New London, 22 Nov.
1Manuscript: “long long.”
2Manuscript: “bagage.”
3Manuscript: “father.”