Lucy Ludwell Paradise to Martha Jefferson Randolph

My dear Madam

Altho Several years have elapsed, I every day think with pleasure on the happy Moments (for indeed an hour appeared but a Moment) I passed with you and your Amiable Sister at your ever Adorable Fathers house at Paris. At that time I was plunged in the deepest Affliction on several accounts: but when I was with you, and your family, I thought, I had nothing to give me any trouble. Such was the power your charming Society had on me. I anxiously wish to renew it again; but Alas! Mr Paradise assures me one Summer in America would kill him, as the heat relaxes his Nerves, so as to make him extremely Ill. Since his return to this Country he has quitted Wine and is now as Sober as he used to be otherwise, and of Course is in perfect health. When you stopped at the Isle of Wight on your way to America, I was at that time, extremely Ill, or I should have written to you, but I had not Strength to hold a pen. My Prayers went with you all for a safe Voyage. Since your return to America I find you are Married, and perhaps by this time have a very large family.

I hope you find in Mr Randolph an Affectionate husband an Attentive and Sincere friend, and a chearful Companion. I beg you will acquaint your husband that we are you friends, as he does not know Us. This letter will either be sent or given to you by Madame and Chevalier de Freire the first Portuguese Minister that came to America. They are both My particular friends. Madame de Freire is a Lady highly accomplished, and is a truly good Woman: She is worthy of your Acquaintance and friendship. Perhaps they may come to [. . .] Monti Cello should that be the case, I shall be obliged to you, Mr Randolph, and your Sister, to shew them every attention that you in general shew to respectable and great persons. I have often spoken to them about you, and your family.

I beg you will give my affect love to your Sister, and tell her, I should have written to her, but I was fearful of being troublesome; but that, I shall be happy to receive a letter from her also. I shall wait with anxious expectation for an answer to this Letter. Chevalier and Madame de Freire are to live in Philidelphia, therefore if you will have the goodness to send your letter to them, they will send it to me. All the news you can send me Concerning yourself, and family, and if your Sister is a going to be Married, and to whom; and if Virginia is improved; and if our Federal Town is almost finished, and where it is Situated, and if the Situation is healthy, and the houses are large, and or Small and how far from your house; [. . .] All this will make me extremely happy to receive from you, as, I am anxious to find that our State Should flourish and have Nothing to disturbs it’s quiet.

Mr Paradise joins with me in affect Compts to you, your Sister, Mr Randolph, and all your family. Adieu my dear and lovely friends, and believe Me to be dear ladies

Your Sincere Loving Friend
Lucy Paradise
RC (Privately owned); dateline at foot of text; bottom half of third page torn away.
Lucy Ludwell Paradise
Date Range
June 20, 1794
Privately owned