John F. Dumoulin to Nicholas P. Trist

Dear Nicholas

I regret being forced to begin this letter with an apology and know not how I can do so otherwise—hurry and want of time are such trite and I must say generally such false excuses on these occasions, that however justifiably I might plead them in my own behal[f] at present, I detest having recourse to them because they are so contaminated and infected by the profane use which is so constantly mad[e] of them—Without any aid of poetry I can assure you if I have not written to you before now, it is entirely owing to my having very little time at my own disposal, as you may well conceive, as having associated myself with Mr Mazureau I have been endeavoring to acquaint myself with his business which has almost exclusively occupied m[e] by day while my evenings are taken up either in the discharge of politeness in visiting my friends and acquaintances and so I have hitherto generally finished by long consultations with Mexicans and others conversant in the revolutionary affairs to the Southward—the few moments which I now steal for this letter is taken from the abo[ve] occupations and I am in momentary expectation of a Mexican calling on me to spend the evening with me—his name is Macado—his whole family have perished in the revolution on which account as well as his having the blood of Ireland flowi[ng] in his veins I salute and love him as a brother—

I had the pleasure of writing to your father I think about a week since, I hope he, your mother and all the family continue in the same good health in which I left them—Tell your father I had yesterday the pleasure of seeing Genl Lefevre who had just come to town for the purpose of going early this morning with Mr Mazureau to see a plantation which is to be sold in the Terre aux boeufs—he told me he feared it would be impossible for him to go at present to Lafourch as he had just received a letter from Mde Lefevre who he expects is now at Philadelphia for which he intends immediately setting out—I will do every thing to force him and Genl L Allemant to come—it is the expectation of my being their convoy which has deprived me of the pleasure of seeing you before now—I must however go by the next Steam boat, I assure you Nicholas my chief source of regret in leaving Donaldson is my being thus deprived of enjoying the pleasure of that hospitality and politeness1 which I was almost daily experiencing from your family—I have many friends I believe in this City, but there is no one with whom I could so freely and with as much certainty of a sympathy of feeling communicate as your father—when I see you I will more fully explain my chief reasons for settling in the City—in fact I was disgusted with the constant prospect of miserable village altercations which ought to be beneath all consideration, but which the most consummate discretion on my part could not prevent my being drawn within their vortex—the exercise of my profession I felt degrading in such tribunals as sit in the District—but even notwithstanding all these considerations and the moral certainty of making twice as much in the City, I assure you, as I exist, I should not have left my old District if it was not that I found that even if I resided there, I should have been compelled to have denied myself the delight I had in going to your father & Mother in order to have secured and attend to the miserable Clientelle which generally figure before the honble Henry Johnson!—I had two days since the pleasure of a most kind letter from Mr Du Ponceau brought by a Mr Maybin, your Mother will I am sure hear with regret that Mrs Du Ponceau’s health has been rapidly declining and from the distress in which Mr D: writes I fear that perhaps ere this he has had to lament the affliction of her loss—I hope most fervently he has not had her to deplore—It is thus the good and amiable quit the stage and we remain for a long time searching for the few who are continually rising to fill their place—I dined the day before yesterday with Mr Livingston. he and Mrs L: spoke a good deal of your father and mother and desired me to present their respects—I go there occasionally in the evening, as of course in various other places to s[ee] the pretty Demoiselles of the City—You ought to be quite p[roud?] a number of young ladies have been asking for you and have [. . .] What a jolie garcon you were at College—I could not but in justice add that was the least of your praise and that you would be soon in town—about six days since a fine young french officer shot himself with a double barrel Gun not far from this, he was about 20 years of age and one of the handsomest young men I have ever seen—What Crimes the Bourbons have been guilty of—I hardly know which is the worst race the Guelphs or the Capets—I wish their crime did not force them on our though[ts] Present my respects to your father, Mother, Gd Mother, Browse and kiss little Julien for me—Mr Davis desires to be remembered With esteem I remain Dear Nicholas Your faithful friend

J: F: Dumoulin

Be so good as to remember me to my friend Mr Larague I can never forget that he caused me to spend many an hour pleasantly which while absent from your house I should have passed melancholy [e]nough—the day before yesterday Mr Dubarry father of Mde D[. . .] [singier?] was stabbed in this street at the door in part of the house I live in by a Mr Lay, in consequence of some mercantile transaction—Mr L, has absconded—Mr D: is not dangerously wounded:

Genl Lefevre desires his respects to your father. I spoke a great deal to him about your family—J: D:—

I spent yesterday evening in company with Genl Ripley—he is very pleast man I enclose an Orleans Gazette in which I perceive your father land at Baton Rouge marked for sale on the 12th May for the taxes—amounting to 9$ 88 Cts. 7 mills: for 1000 acres on Fountains bayou with log house—next week I will subscribe for Louisiana Courier for your father—Cotton at 29 and 30 likely to rise—

RC (NcU: NPT); edge trimmed and torn at seal; addressed: “Nicholas Philip Trist Esqr Donaldsonville”; stamped; postmarked Apr. 15; endorsed by Trist: “Dumoulin J. F.
1Manuscript: “politessness.”
John F. Dumoulin
Date Range
April 12, 1817