Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge to Virginia J. Randolph Trist

You will have heard from Mr Barrell and perhaps Dr Lovell, my dear Virginia, that we are so far on our way back to Washington. We shall be detained here until Tuesday morning and even then can get no farther than Trenton upon that day as Joseph is obliged to stop there. Wednesday we shall be in Philadelphia and Thursday I hope with you; unless something should happen to keep us another day on the road. I am very anxious to get on as fast as possible as I feel our as if I had been three months instead of three weeks away from you. We can however remain but a few days in Washington—Joseph is compelled to sail for Canton by the latter part of June and has not more than four weeks to stay in the country—You will have seen by my letter to Cornelia that my accompanying him had become more than doubtful. It is now decided that I am to remain in this country and take care of the children who can neither be carried nor left behind. I dread the thought of another separation from my husband more than I can say, but my life has been such a series for many years past such a series of sorrows and disappointments that I ought by this time to have learnt to bear them better than I do. There are some things however that one cannot get accustomed to.

Joseph has rented from his father the large house in Bowdoin St which Mama and Mary know very well. It is rather a gloomy situation on the north side of the hill and at a distance from the cheerful & more fashionable part of the town, but I prefer it greatly, notwithstanding these disadvantages, to any other house I could have commanded. All my early [. . .] associations are [. . .] in favor of space and I so much dislike the cramped and confined houses, with their narrow, dark entries and steep interminable stairs, which it is now the fashion to build in Boston that I rejoice in the prospect of elbow room for myself and play room for my children

I have been interrupted and must finish in great haste. Mr Heard is with us but returns to Boston from this place as he finds that he cannot go further south—He gives very good reasons for parting company but my own impression is that there is a love matter in the wind. A dead set has been made at him by a young lady and her whole family (connexions of Mr Heard’s) to back her, and I am pretty sure that the thing will be carried through. He may marry whom he pleases but I wish he could have delayed his love work until Joseph’s departure as he is so warmly attached to Mr Heard (and heaven knows he has good reason to be) that it is a severe disappointment to him the being deprived of his company on this journey—

Adieu dearest sister, love to all
Yours in violent haste
E. W. C.
RC (ViU: Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge Letters); stained; addressed: “To Mrs Nicholas P. Trist Washington D.C.”; stamped and postmarked.