Martha Jefferson Randolph to Ann C. Morris

It is a long time dear Sister since a letter passed between us, at whose door the ommission lies I do not know, but certain I am no blame should attach to either, for there never can exist any feelings between us deserving so harsh a feeling. My health which has been very miserable this spring has been compleatly renovated by My journey south. I spent four weeks in Philadelphia with Harriet, whom I left just recovering from a very severe illness. I had not intended staying more than a week, but Virginia was extremely anxious that I should have my picture taken by Sully which detained me a fortnight during which time I heard that Septimia had gone to Havanna with Mrs Buchannan, and would come on immediately with her to Philadelphia where I waited for her, and where we had a family meeting, Mr Jones & Ann having come on and My dear Virginia living in the same town spent every day with us. I was very much pleased with Mr Hackley. his conduct in his own family is delightful, and to me very friendly and attentive. he seems to be getting on wonderfully with his Florida claims; I wish him success with all my heart, though I never before had any confidence in his prospects. since my arrival here My name Sake Mrs John Taylor Jefferson’s second daughter has had a son, her first child and both are doing well. a piece of news however that I think will surprise you is that Randolph Harrison is, it is confidently affirmed engaged to be married to a young girl a Miss Jellice I dont know how to spell the name the gossip of the neighbourhood is that his children and himself have not lived in harmony since his wife’s death; that he complains of want of respect from them and that he is building a brick house on the part of the plantation that formerly belonged to his brother Robert. various are the conjectures upon the subject, the most common is that he means to live there with his young wife. Can you tell me what William is about. he wrote to Jefferson asking him to join in a suit to set aside John Randolph’s first will emancipating his negroes. Jefferson declined answering his letter [. . .] till he knew my wishes. I am decidedly opposed to any step which would revoke the emancipation of his slaves, and after all it is an awkward business, considering that St George through whom their title comes is derived is still alive, and a 10th part of the Tuckahoe share would, I should think, hardly be worth the trouble of contending for. William however thinks he has discovered the a gold mine. but I have no idea that the result will be any thing but the odium attached to a scramble for property, and where the right, if St George is set aside, is certainly on the other side of the house, John Rando[lph’s] own relations. adieu dear Sister all here join me in love to Gouverneur and

yourself ever & sincerely yours

M Randolph
RC (PPAmP: Smith-Houston-Morris-Ogden Family Papers); edge trimmed; dateline beneath signature.