Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ann C. Morris

I am very much disturbed dear Nancy at not being able to lay my hand upon Professor Leslie’s letter; I received it in the hurry of packing up, and always thought I had brought it with me, but I can find it no where here. I trust I shall find it when I return to Washington. Dear little Jeff. was taken with the scarlet fever the morning we left Washington but as the Physician had not seen him before we set off we were not aware of his complaint. the case however was a slight one and I beleive there has not been much of it in the town and very much mitigated. I have heard of George’s safe arrival in the mediterranean after a delightful passage of 20 days I look upon his lot (one of his own chusing) as t promising both profit & I hope honour. he is an honorable good boy and I have every reason to hope the best for him. Benjamen was first in his class and graduated. that you know in our University is not a thing, of course but the reward of merit, which must be deserved before it can be obtained. he will begin the practice in Charlottesville under some Physician there to break him in to the method and minutia of the business but where he will settle finally he does not yet know. he has great energy of character and will I hope do well. Tim is grown up to be quite a fashionable looking young woman and is generally thought handsome she is a good deal like what you were, but taller. Poor Monticello is about to be sold at last. I ought to be glad, and certainly should be sorry if Jefferson were not to get the price, mean as it is, but so necessary to him poor fellow the lands are mostly sold but the house valued at 72,000 $ upon the brick layers & carpenters bills, with 1,000 acres of land will go for $ 15,000 that will leave about 15 or 16,000 still due. the family burying ground will be retained, and that my dear Sister will constitu[te] all that I have inherited of My father’s immense estate. what I received in marriage was much less than half on of what I had a right to by My Mother which I held independent of My dear father, he having a right only to divide the property as he should see fit betwen My sister & Myself, and beleiving that he would have it in his power to make ample compensation for any deficiency in my portion—I dont know if I mentioned in any of my letters that Virginia’s dear little boy has totally lost his hearing. that he was not born deaf are many proofs, but that he is entirely deaf now is a melancholy fact. Doctor Akerly of New York has been consulted & has prescribed for him, but I do not think he seems very sanguine as to the issue—Martha her daughter is a very smart child & is a great beauty Wilson Cary who married Jane Margaret Carr is now a practising lawyer near Charlottesville where he edits a paper. Jane Cary you knew was married to a presbiterian clergiman of the name of Smith, from Philadelphia they have he has a congregation in Washington where of course they will live. Mary Fairfax is very well married his father allows him 2,000 $ per annum besides a plantation which he might either rent or tend. Ellen Cary has the same affection of the throat that Martha had, only much worse; I believe her mother will send her to Philadelphia to have an operation performed. Virginia her self has an affection partly gout partly rhematism for which she is going to try see bathing & at old point Comfort. I beleive I have given you all the news of our own immediate family—Jane Fitzhugh keeps you informed of her part of it. poor Jefferson will this fall add another member to his large family and I hear; though not from her self that Ellen Coolidge after having twins last summer actually expects to be confined again this. I have written to know the truth. my being ignorant of [. . .] the fact is no proof that it is not so. I have been so much interrupted by visits since I began this letter and have such a horrid pen that if I did not feel so weak & sick I would throw it in the fire, but I have been very unwell and still continue so, so that I can not promise when I shall be able to do better. God bless you My dear sister, if the girls were with me they would join in affection with her who subscribes her self sincerely yours

M Randolph

remember me affectionately if you please to Gouverneur

RC (PPAmP: Smith-Houston-Morris-Ogden Family Papers); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “Mrs Gouverneur Morris Morrisania Harlæm Post Office New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 3 Aug.
Recipient
Ann C. Morris
Date Range
Date
August 1, 1831
Collection