Martha Jefferson Randolph to Thomas Jefferson Randolph
|Washington Feb. 7. 1830|
I have been very remiss in not answering sooner, your very welcome letter, which arrived safe with it’s valuable enclosure. I am greatly obliged by the exertions you made to procure the money for me. it is of a piece with your whole conduct to me, My dear Son. the first equipment occasioned a greater expense than we [. . .] shall ever again incur, as many of the [. . .] most expensive articles will not require renewing for many years. so far we have no reason to fear that our expenses will at all exceed our income, to the contrar[y.] I hope to live enough with in to be able to discharge our debts—
With regard to the Monticello furniture you seem to be under a strange mis apprehension when you say “the girls took every thing worthy of retention” of your Grand fathers they have nothing my dear Jefferson but a light table which raising, & lowering, was convenient [. . .] to draw at and which I gave Cornelia. the others have not one solitary article of furniture that had ever belonged to him. Cornelia had a dressing table (the fellow to the one that Francis sold) which was mine when a girl the chest of drawers which Virginia had was bought by your father at Old Mrs Trist’s sale, and was [. . .] her share of the Edgehill furniture which I divided between my elder children. Mary has absolutely nothing from either establishment. Ellen’s press which her Grandfather gave her when his books were moved in to the new library she always intended having carried to Boston when we could spare it. I understood that the bed room furniture had been kept for me, and some of the marble tables. those things with one of the looking glasses out of his room, the dumb waiter, & the book shelves out of the dining room, constitute the furniture of my bed room & the parlour. the younger girls use My mother’s dressing table, & Aunt Marks’s press, left by her to Septimia. the elder girls have nothing but one of the bedsteads made by John Hemmings and your Aunt Randolph’s dressing table lent them by Burwell. if there has been any misunderstanding the error was mine, as has been the advantages derived from it. one oversight which troubles me a good deal is, the drawers, [. . .] in to which all the loose lumber that had been accumulating for years had been thrown, were not emptied. the consequence is that I have a large trunk full of articles which but that they were his I would willingly burn to get rid of them, old gloves, old shoes, leather straps broken umbrella’s old rusty tin boxes, & & & things that give me pain to see and yet that I can not destroy. his swords his dressing box & a compass needle excepted there is not a solitary article that a beggar would pick up in the high way. it is a disagreable subject and but for the idea you had, that the girls had taken every thing worth having I should not have touched upon it. I know that neither in law, nor equity had I a right My dear Jefferson to any thing, I accepted them as favours from you, and am very sorry if I have gone beyond what you intended One of his walking stil sticks, the one sent him by Judge Johnson, I gave the President who has shewn me much friendly attention when it lay in his way. tell Jane not to send the Andirons & Morrisania chairs, I cant afford to have them finished this year & untill I can they will be in My way. give my love to Jane and tell her I will write to her in a short time as we are getting through our most important work & first visiti visits which ought not to wait, and which still coming in with the 2ds & 3ds of the more active, & parties, keep us closely employed, about trifles it is true, but important matters in the fashionable world in which we at present move.
We do not feel at home yet, and our thoughts and hearts are often with you taking our seat at your chearful fire side; but I beleive that I have upon the whole done for the best and although the girls Mary & Virginia & Septimia, are constantly regretting the quiet of the country, yet I am sure I can live cheaper here than in Virginia, and that we may here enjoy society without expense which there you can not. adieu My dear Son. give my love to all your dear household including Miss Stearns, and what ever you do, dont let “[. . .] My darling” forget me.” the others are old enough to remember their Grand Mamas with out being reminded of them, but little precious will require some assistance God bless you and prosper you is the daily prayer of your affectionate Mother