Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ann C. Morris

I have long been intending to write dear Sister but have been so closely employed as to leave me not a moment. I sincerely regretted seeing so little of you, but Mr Coolidge’s short stay and approaching absence with the task he had so much at heart that I should break up house keeping and live with him, made him engross me almost entirely while you were with us. he carried his point in as much as I promised him to consider Boston my home till his return when I still must try to have one of my own. we are too many to inflict upon any family, and this dispersion of my children is as painful as it is mortifying. I shall once more make the attempt upon so small a scale that if I fail at least it will not be beyond the ressources of the year Septimia is gone. she was anxious to have seen you but going with a party she could not stop. I can not tell you how I miss her. she was truly the light and life of the house. her social qualities drew a good many young persons about her, who enlivened our solitude very much. she has left it all to spend the winter in Virginia with Ellen Carter her friend and Sister in affection, she will be with kind friends but it is not in human nature at her age not to regret the gaieties of a city where she was growing in to fashion & favor, and would no doubt have been a belle this winter, as she was the last. there is an artlessness and sincerity in her character that is very endearing. to me her loss will be very great accustomed as I am to her bright an youthful countenance her sweet songs and the bouyancy of her spirits it will be some time before I recover mine. I shall go on as soon in the month of may as I can. my health has improved very much and I have gained a degree of strength that I had no hope of ever again possessing still it is [. . .] strength of a water plant sinking under the first exposure. adieu dear Sister remember me affectionately to Gouverneur all here join in love to you and yours

Your friend and Sister
M Randolph
RC (PPAmP: Smith-Houston-Morris-Ogden Family Papers); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “Mrs Gouverneur Morris Morrisania West Farms Post Office New York.”; stamped; postmarked Boston, 5 Dec.