Joseph Coolidge to Nicholas P. Trist
|dear N.||Sunday: 2 May.|
a letter from Ellen recd last night speaks of the possibility of her remaining in washington until an answer to it could arrive from me; at the same time that it intimates she may decide to return to Boston without delay; in which case the present would not find her, and might be retd to her, here, which would be unnecessary: I address it, therefore, to you, and beg you to say to her, if still with you, that it is not my wish that she should protract her stay, and never was my intention that she should remain longer than my Bro, whose escort is, on all accts, to be preferred to that of any stranger however obliging, and respectable. She went with Mr Thomas Coolidge, and I beg that she would return with him! It was not my object to urge a further stay in W. or at South, upon her, on a/c of any member of her party, in opposition to the strong reasons which she has given in her last against detaining my Bro. and his wife much longer than they originally proposed to remain: If they have all left W. together, before this reaches you, there is nothing to be said or done; but if they are all delaying there, on a/c of letters recd from me, urging them to do so, I beg them not to do it any longer: &, if my Bro. and his wife have left, leaving Ellen and my sister, I shall regret it, as it is was not what I wished to advise, and can be of no good. In such case I think Ellen should return at once with the most suitable and proper escort which can be procured. I dare not hope, tho. I most earnestly wish, that Mother may be of the party, in the event of their having left Washington: I anxiously long to see her, here: quiet, and change of scene, and change of air, and more moderate heat than that of W. during summer, (whose effect upon yourself I fear,) and no fever and ague are all to be greatly desired for her:—If Ellen has left without her, add your solicitations to mine that she will avail herself of Mr Everett’s return, or that of some other equally respectable individual, to accompany him to the North. Indeed, I am quite anxious to have her do so: her society, this spring and Summer, would be delightful to us all, and it may be the last that we shall spend in Boston, for my plan for expatriation, (I may almost call it such,) has not been abandoned.
This is the only message which I have for Ellen, provided she is still with you: tell her, however, that her babies are both well; and that her friend, mrs Ritchie, has given to my friend the much wished present of a daughter, who is to be named Elizabeth: add, also, that her letter enclosing one from Mr. Madison has reached me safely; and that its contents have given great pleasure in the quarters where they were shewn: [. . .], by the way, I heard last night that E. Everett has had some correspondence with James Mn respecting his views of the Carolina doctrines, which are to be made use of, in some form, in the article for the N. A. Review upon the great debate in the Senate: I mention this, that if you see fit to converse with E. E. on this subject you may do so: perhaps you would not be unwilling, and I think from your last that it is in yr. power, to subserve the cause of truth, in this matter.
Ellen writes me that you are obliged to fag a good deal in your office: I am glad of it: would to Heaven that I did also! But what has become of the new department wh. was proposed in aid of one of the others? and who is to have the comfortable salary (for Washington,) of 3000.? are you in an applicant? will not all this labour, now, give you an holiday during Summer? and may I not hope to see you then? If mother comes, and will not remain, you can be her escort home! remember there will be no expenses except upon the road. [. . .]
I sometimes fear, dear N. that the family must have had an uncomfortable time these last three or four weeks! if so, they must charge me with being the cause: It was at my earnest and repeated wish, that the arrangement of sending S.B.C. to the South, for a time, was entered into.—
I shall ship tomorrow, to your address, an half-barrel of Pork, which Ellen desired me to procure for some friend or cousin who had been kind to her Mother on her arrival in Washington: she did not tell me his name; and you dear N. must do her and me the favor to ascertain from the girls for whom it was designed.
In my last to you I mentioned having submitted your “Virginian” to one or two friends here, who were first rates—[. . .] they were pleased with them, (the nos) pronouncing them very acute and sensible: I wanted to have them published in the pamphlet of Webster’s Speech, but the publisher told me they would require, at least, 16 pages more, which would swell the pamphlet, and cause it to cost more than they should dare to ask.If you had never printed them, I should have procured their insertion in the law journal, called “The Jurist,” a copy of which you have seen: but, as they had appeared in the newspapers, I did not offer them: from the matter discussed—they might very properly have been inserted in such a periodical!
After E’s return you may expect to hear from me; but I have fallen into the habit of writing in so rapid and slovenly a manner to you that, but for the purpose of bring[ing] myself to your thoughts, it would be better not to write at all: The truth is that anxiety, and unfavourable pursuits, a[nd] a growing indifference (not to my friends,) makes me run into the merest commonplace whenever I take pen in hand.
You promised to send me “The Free Inquirer”: you would oblige me by doing so; I think them reasonable in many things. Can I not drop the Virginia Advocate, and take the Museum? that is, if you have no interest in it. Tell me what I ought to do about paying for it, The Advocate: I have never been called upon for a farthing—should I write to them about it? tell me how to manage it
N. B. love & remembrances.—
Can you tell me if Cerracchi’s bust of T.J. can be purchased, and at what price?