Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ann C. Morris

I had been for some time intending to write to you dear Sister when I received your letter. I sympathise deeply and sincerely with you in your late sufferings, but we have both arrived at the winter season of life, with all it’s infirmities, so greatly encreased by the absence of warm weather, and the horrors of such a winter as the last. I also have been a close prisoner to the house since early in November, a melancholy variety in the nay nature and degree of suffering would constitute the diary of the past season, but thank heaven spring is returning, and with it sunshine and pleasant weather so grateful to all nature, so necessary to quicken & vivify the feeble circulation of age. with me I feel that the days of my strength and usefulness are gone, that I am gradually, perhaps slowly but certainly declining. yet “dark and unlovely as old age is” let us not make it still more so by encouraging gloomy anticipations. there are pleasures even for age. my dear children that first and greatest of blessings, fine weather, books, flowers, all are within the competence of age, and oh if I should ever again be fortunate enough to have a home I should hardly think I had a right to complain; but we are too many to live with any family, and the [. . .] scattering of those that are unprovided for is humiliating and painful. when Mr Coolidge [. . .] returns I must try once more to accomodate my expenses to my means, and go to house keeping upon such a scale as I can afford, small enough God knows, but not too small for happiness and respectability. Septimia is still in Pensacola, a good deal of a belle I understand, belles being few, and beaux at present in great numbers, the Squadron being there. we have all missed her chearful temper, her bright and youthful countenance beaming with youthful spirits upon every thing around her. and a good deal the young company which her presence drew to the house. I love young people, and can sympathise in their pleasures and1 [. . .] extend to their youthful levities all the indulgence of a mother; it is pleasing to find the kindly feelings mutual, and not to be looked upon as a bugbear by those bright and bouyant creatures: and I think there are few of them that are not won by kindness and condescension from their elders, at least I was upon a very pleasant footing with Tim’s young friends of both sexes, and I thought it was because I treated them with something more of interrest than the precise rules of cold civility required. but I am gossiping in a way that must appear very idle to you dear sister who having no young daughters, can not enter into my feelings and if you please weaknesses, but nothing which contributes to the innocent pleasures of life deserves to be called a weakness, particularly when our number is so much reduced by the closing up of one avenue after another, and too often by losses irretrievable

God bless you we all join in love to Gouverneur and your self and believe me dear sister ever and affectionately yours

M Randolph
RC (PPAmP: Smith-Houston-Morris-Ogden Family Papers); dateline beneath signature; addressed: “To Mrs Gouverneur Morris Morrisania West Farms Post Office New York”; stamped; postmarked Boston, 6 Apr.
1Manuscript: “and and.”