Nicholas P. Trist to Virginia J. Randolph Trist

You shd not, Dearest, have allowed anything to keep me so long witht hearing from you. On sunday, I postponed my letter one post from my having written during the week, & from the conviction that I shd myself receive one the next morning. I walked to the p.o. in this assurance: but was disappointed. I then considered it sure that there wd be a letter on wednesday morning wh. wd probably require an immediate answer. But here again, I was mistaken.

I have had to exert myself very much to get the wood: it was rising every day. Our supply is finally stored on the premises the oak averaging about $4.62½ a cord & the hiccory one dollar more. as to the economy of burning coal, Mr Rush who seems to be a great economist & who takes the opinions of other good managers told me that hiccory wood was quite as economical if not more so than coal. It is exceedingly scarce, & I have been able to get only 8 or 9 cords. next year, we will take time by the forelock & lay in our supply in July & august & thus save a dollar or more in the cord. I think I mentioned to you that I had asked Joseph to send us one or two (if they were really deserved the character I had heard of them) Soap stone double fire places that have been introduced in Boston. I expect a letter from him by every mail. By the bye before I forget the subject, let me recommend that mother send write immediately to have the three pictures sent (your grandfathers two & Mr Madison’s) this had better be done without saying anything, as it has long been settled that she was to have them; & it might give rise to discussions. If it should be necessary to get an order from J. for the one in Philadelphia, let mother apply for that: ordering, herself, those that are in Boston

Browse has not yet returned. We were both invited to a party at Mrs Commodore Patterson’s–old acquaintances who have been very attentive, and towards whom I had been very remiss. I made it a point to go yesterday evening & thus I have risen late & have but a few minutes before the mail closes, or rather before it will be necessary, to secure against losing it, that the letter should be sent.

The Vails have employed Gunnell, the other dentist, & are satisfied with him: he is, however, they say; very rude. If practicable, it will be best to go to Baker. Here is the time at wh. the Steam boat Potomac, Captain Jenkins leaves her different ports. Leaves Richmond 6. oclock sunday morning. reaches Norfolk that evening Leaves Norfolk 9 o’clock monday morning. reaches Washington tuesday morning. Fare through. $10.

The 8th is, I believe, thursday. Be sure Dearest to leave Edgehill in time to have every thing done to yr teeth & to leave Richmd on the ensuing sunday. I can’t spare you any longer. Let there be a clear understanding between you & Baker on the subject.

My courage failed two or three times, in making the communication in question to Burwell: but I had coolly & dispassionately determined to do so, & accordingly, the evening after Browse had left us. I asked “Have you come to any final determination as to yr movements at the end of the year?” No: they don’t depend on myself. “My reason for asking, was, that it will be impossible for us to accommodate you after that–The house will be too crowded.” Perhaps it won’t be convenient do even up to that time. “No the inconvenience wd be but temporary & we had rather subject ourselves to it than that you shd leave us before that period.” D.M.R has been here twice since I mentioned him. He’s to be back on the 1st of December. You must all clearly understand the footing on wh. things are with Burwell; and give, when you arrive, some evidences of such an understanding. He [. . .] is to leave the house at the close of Decr at latest.

Before I recd Jefferson’s message about Poor, I had got a promise of 300 $ at the end of the week (last saturday) but meanwhile he went off to Phila & has not yet returned. I have been temporizing with him, in order to get the accounts finally adjusted–as soon as this is done, I will declare instant war. But it is very essential that this shd be done. I’ve been there, at least 20 times. The loss of the acct against Coolidge (wh. has been mislaid between Poor & myself) is the only cause of delay. This, I expect from Boston by every mail, and then, I propose to threaten with a publicn of his roguery in Jeff’s name. If J. published there wd be no witness, whereas published in J’s name, or by his authority witht his name, I am there as his witness. I have bought several things that I will mention in my next. among others 1 pr 14 quarter & 1 pr 12 quarter blankets (new) at $7.25 & $5.75 the pair. I did not know whether we wanted the article: but they were very cheap. Let me know if wanted: if not, they can be resold.

Give my love to Nell, & say that I am very glad she’s coming to live with us: wh. all things considered, I truly am: Willie was my great dread: & this not so much on his own acct as because he wd interfere with my managemt of our children. a thing which I can not conscientiously allow any interference with.

Richard is all impatience for his summons.—In the last Free Enquirer, there are some extracts from a letter from me to Joseph. I thought they might conduce to remove erroneous impressions & therefore sent them to R. D. O. who has published them.

Don’t forget what I said about the marble tables

Tell Mother not to let Jeff. send Joseph & Ellen bound copies of the works. I’m sure they had much rather have them unbound

RC (NcU: NPT); partially dated; addressed: “Mrs N. P. Trist Everettesville p. office Albemarle Co Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Washington City, 24 Sept.; endorsed by recipient: “Sep 4th.”