Thomas Mann Randolph to Nicholas P. Trist

Dear Sir,

My circumstances & state of health being afflicted with that Gout, or Rheumatic affection of the stomach which attacked me in August 1826, and state of Mind so influenced by no very pleasing associations with Monticello during the last short interval of my residence there, almost constant from Dec. 1789, render it necessary to my tranquillity that I should live in undisturbed solitude while residing there at this time. My establishment consists of myself only, but still I could not be satisfied unless it were to be completely separate. For the family there, every member of it, I feel and take pleasure in cherishing a most sincere and genuine affection: their wellfare and happiness are as much as ever the object of my earnest wishes, and as necessary to my mental quietude; but I have no disposition for society at present; indeed I must acknowledge that it is painfull to me in a family, because it constantly recalls past scenes which it is better for me to forget. My political rights, which I will ever support, require me to mingle with the crowd on all public occasions,1 in order to hear the opinions of others and declare my own; but all other social feeling is for ever lost for me, and that heartless intercourse I support from pride more than any satisfaction it gives. I must live by myself to be tranquil, and tranquillity is indispensible to me as I am now manifestly in the decline of life. I can bear misery of any sort but I cannot exist in dependence of any kind whatever nor shall my spirit ever bow to it. The impressions made on my mind in 1826 are more lively now than ever, they have become part of my nature and inseparable from my moral existance.

I am sorry any use was made of the Cellar room which I am likely to interfere with, but I should be seriously disturbed, and the possession of it is indispensible to me for my little cooking which I do with Charcoal. I shall move my things the first fair day being impatient to get the use of my Books again of which I have been deprived now near 16 months.

With high and friendly respect and esteem yours &c
Th M Randolph Senior
RC (DLC: NPT); on recycled address cover; addressed: “Nicholas P. Trist Esquire Monticello”; endorsed by Trist: “Randolph (T. M) recd Mar. 11 12. 28”. Tr (ViU: Ellen Wayles Randolph Correspondence); in the hand of Trist; last sentence omitted.
1Trist marked this place with an asterisk and keyed the following comment to it on a separate slip of paper: “This is to acct for my seeing him constantly with the crowd. one of his confidants let out some time ago that he had his eye on the legislature.—But—malheureusement—he’ll never get there again.—”