Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph Trist

About ten or Eleven days ago, my dear Virginia, Mama went to bed complaining of a soreness of her stomach, but would not take any thing; Mary & myself who sleep in the room with her at Edgehill went also to bed and to sleep; the next morning she told us she had been in violent pain almost the whole night but would not awaken us; the pain did not entirely subside & she at last took medecine; she then thought it was from a collection of in the bowels which was removed by the medecine but the soreness continued. It was wednesday night that she was taken; on saturday we brought her to the farm & came on here ourselves. Wednesday morning they went up to let us know mama had been very ill in the night; we went down with Dr Dunglison & found she had had an excruciating cramp in the stomach for which she had taken about 40 drops of laudanum in several doses; she was then easy but sick from the laudanum. She thinks her having taken a few drops of laudanum tuesday evening to stop a bowel complaint in part occasioned it; she had also drank freely of ice water & had been much agitated in the morning by hearing that the bargain about Monticello had been concluded with Dr Barclay. We staid all day & night at the farm & brought her here the next day, thursday. She is now much better than she was before she came to the farm. Dr D. says if she ever has any more such attacks we must give her 40 or 50 drops of laudanum at once & if that is not enough in half an hour give her 25 more & then 25 again if she still requires it; that we must not be afraid to give 150 or 200 drops in cases of cramp in the stomach; he says also that this complaint is more alarming than dangerous.

7. Mama still continues well; Mary is complaining & has taken medecine to day; Tim & myself are pretty well except that our miserable stomachs always keep us uncomfortable. To day is one of those dismal days of cold & rain after hot weather which always disagree with me & give me the blues; it makes me wish more than I did before that I was in Washington & I have felt all along that any place was better for us than this neighbourhood where we are in full sight of Monticello & where we are constantly hearing those things that fill us with regret & bitterness & the very beauty of the country adds to it; & as beautiful picturesque a country I never saw elsewhere; alas! alas! that it should only raise thoughts of sorrow; and what else have we to hope or care for now even should they give us a grant of land next winter; we cannot exchange it for Monticello, mama will not consent to go out the to the west; the boys I suppose will & I hope will do well. Brother Jeff. has sold the house but not as much land as he expected; I do not know on what terms they concluded the bargain, for little enough I imagine. Mrs Carr is to take Dr Barclay’s house. she is expected very soon Ellen Bocannon is coming with her & they were to have been here before this but the illness of Esther Bocannon detained them. Dabny Carr will come with them & Hannah will go as far as Washington with him as he returns. She is at present here at Mrs Dunglisons; Mary is there also, Mama & myself at Mr Davis’s & Septimia staying with Susan Johnson; I suppose we shall return to Edgehill in a few days. Browse left here with Dr Dunglison on wednesday; (this is sunday) we were at the farm at the time, so did not see him. the D r went as far as the springs where Browse was to stay with him some days. I am very impatient for yourself & N. & the children to come on, I am continually thinking of little Jeff. I did not think I should miss the little fellow so long & so much as I have done. I have some commissions for you to execute for me before you come; Will you order for Septimia & myself each a pr of prunelle slippers & bring each a pr of the best kid gloves of some fall colour. Mrs Dunglison also wants you to bring her 3¼ yds of black edging of the kind I enclose samples of; [. . .] it is of no consequence the pattern being like either of these, they are only sent to shew you the kind wanted. also three yds of thread inserting so wide| | Mama wants you to get a trunk or carpet bag (for her). you will determine which by the price, to bring our winter wrappings in; that [. . .] these are my cloak & Septimia’s, the fur capes & all the cloth shoes. none of Ellen’s things however; she says she has enough here I should like also to have my silk frock brought which is in the large bundle & if my old brown calico [. . .] wrapper is worth giving to a servant bring that. These are a great many commissions to give you considering too that you are sick but I count upon your getting any of your friends to do the shopping for you as they do their own & one of the maids can pack the trunk, that N. can get. Mrs D. will settle with you for her things when you come.I ought not to have omitted the to tell you the Dr,s kindness to us when mama was sick; he offered, though he was in a great hurry to wait a day before s he set out to the springs to quiet our apprehensions, & said that if mama did not get well Mrs D. must write to him & he would return.

We have had two weddings here lately, [. . .] Mary Winn & Mr Gretter last wednesday & Eliza Gray & Mr Beirne some days before that. Mary Winn & Mr G. have both lately been converted by these late revivals & he is going to turn preacher. When we arrived here we heard every body talking about the ex eccentricity of Mr Beirne. he arrived here some short time ago to be marrried & then went away again because the students were here; as soon as they were gone he came back, much sooner than was expected, the next morning told Mrs Gray he must be married the day after positively. He had declared to his friends here, students, and others that he was not going to marry Eliza Gray at all & never had been engaged to her. He would not buy his wedding ring untill the day of the marriage for fear people should find out. [. . .] came to be married in an old blue suit & could not be per[. . .] to change it. He took the bride to Richmond where his [. . .] at school, left her at a boarding house, went for them & told them a friend of theirs was at this house & wanted to see them; with some difficulty they prevailed on the school mistress to let them go with their brother when to their great astonishment he introduced them to their new sister; they did not know he was married. They are all gone to his father’s in Monroe county now; Eliza & himself will return here to see her friends & then they go to Alabama to live. Elizabeth Winn has lately heard from Mr [. . .] King after a very long silence; whether he is ever coming to marry her no one seems to know.

Adieu my dear Virginia, dear love & kisses to Nicholas & the children your affectionate sister
C J R.

get for Mary a pr of seal skin walking shoes to fit yourself easily. Jefferson’s she prefers.

Brother Jeff. is elected for the legislature. Rice Wood & himself, he was one vote behind Rice Wood; Mr Nelson, the other candidate, was far behind them. John Carr has been made protor prottor of the university & is going to live here in the old pavillion. they say he is going to marry Gay Ferguson & I believe it. you remember we stopped at Mr Ferguson’s house going to Richmd John’s appointment caused a great excitement here to explain which I must tell you a long story. The visitors gave him the place & continued Mr Brockenbrough in all his other business with the title of patron, & to make amends for the proctorship they gave him the place of burser which they understood Mr Garrett did not desire to retain. the salary is only $200 but Mr Brockenbrough expressed himself to be satisfied with the arrangement, for they sent for him & consulted him when they made it; brother Jeff. was the person who communicated it to him. this being done brother J. left them & they were invited by Mr Garrett to dine with him, he (brother Jeff.) was the only visitor omitted in the invitation; they returned from the dinner met before he came back reversed their first decision & gave the burser’s place back to Mr G. when brother Jeff. returned it was all rearranged; he objected positively to this change but they voted against him to a man except Gen. Breckenridge who did not vote again, he expressed his opinion only once “gentlemen I am not satisfied with this.” they again sent for Mr Brockenbrough & wished brother Jeff. to tell him of the change, he refused, he said he had had nothing to do with it & would not take this disagreable business on himself when he objected positively to a the change. Mr B. came & they talked to him about everything but this matter, none of them had the face to tell him & he left them ignorant of what they had done. brother Jeff. was much provoked & told them they had treated him (Mr B.) cruelly. The visitors returned home & in due time Mr B. came to a knowledge of what they had done; then each man by some means or other drew his head out of the scrape & left [. . .] all the blame [. . .] on brother Jeff. & Gen. Breckenridge. Mr Brockenbgh thinking it was their doings wrote a very reproachful but proper letter to brother Jeff. he did not delay to explain everything to him & he was satisfied with him but very indignant at the way he had been treated; he said if he was not a poor man he should know how to act, meaning that he would resign. he is ver poor, only has $800 a year I believe.

brother Jeff’s enemies took up the cudgels for Mr B. against him & for some short time did him mischief but as Mr B. was satisfied with his statement, they were obliged to let the matter rest. poor John Carr still is an object of dislike & I am afraid will have much trouble with the students next session who like Mr B. very much. I do not know that all these circumstances are told to everybody.

Mrs D. sends her love & apologies for the trouble she gives you.

RC (NcU: NPT); some text obscured by seal; addressed: “To Mrs N. P. Trist Washington”; stamped and postmarked.
Date Range
Date
August 6, 1831 to August 7, 1831
Collection