Thomas Mann Randolph to Francis W. Gilmer

My dear Sir,

Your favor of the 16th gave me infinite satisfaction. I shall want your legal powers to procure myself justice in more than one case. My statements shall be entirely sincere, very full, and I hope clear enough for you. They would not be for others, I know from experience. As I shall be [. . .] Plaintiff you can try my cause first yourself, before you resolve to engage in it. The Caveat Case will not be tried this term. There are 600 I believe before it. That Court meets the second Monday of September.

I have been kept from my family, by urgent business here, a fortnight next Wednesday, the 26th. But Paradise itself could not be enjoyed with an anxious mind. Duties abroad completely bar pleasures at home, without absence. This town is entirely healthy, for adults, at this period. The constant plying of my Boats, with Wheat from Varina, has allmost confined me here, yet my health has been excellent. As they come every other day I have had some time for Botany. Enough to be completely mortified. I have no Book at all except Riches Genera. And I have seen more new plants than alltogether elsewhere for several years. You told me first of the rich field between Trents Bridge and Wardlaws sluice, on the Manchester side. It deserves your praise. It is superlative. At Robinsons little farm on this side, in his meadow, between the Great Canal, and new turnpike next the River; upon which we rode in the night last Winter, I found the greatest variety, for the space, I have yet seen. Two beautifull orchideau, A real urchin; and an Arethusa I should say, for it has the Nectarium tubulorum intra Corollorn, and the Labiun stylo Adnatum, but I remember Jupien has observed on that genus; Flor solitaris terminalis. This is like a head of clover, a spherical spicke, or Capitulum. It branches much, unusual that for an Orchideous plant, which it nevertheless certainly must be, for there is one style only, with an Anther on it. Its Capsule differs much from most of its family. The colour is the most beautifull lively saffron conceivable. In one of the rocky islands of the falls I thought I had found Coise or Jobs tears, a tall Monvicous grass. There was the bony Calyse, formed by the mature Glume, most completely. Still it is more probably [Tripraeum?]. I never cease to regret that the business of my farm for it is nothing less, should keep me in Richmond while you are absent. Nothing else could keep me here. In July a Baltimore vessel was employed from Wednesday to Friday night of the next week, in delivering 915 brls for me. In August, my own men, 3 in number, with a Milton Boat, have delivered 1054, from Wednesday to Saturday of the following week. I shall finish with one more trip I am afraid.

A Gentleman in the House lent me English papers at bedtime last night. On the Continent Prince Eugene and the Prince Royal of Bavaria have quarrelled openly, while Maria Louisa has been received with more than usual cerimony at the Palace of Schoenberne and allowed the company of her son. This has started the tongues of all the Napoleonists in Paris; where the opposition has made a serious att[ac]k on the Ministers by inducing the french Bankers to cen[. . .] against the last loan made from Baring, and to declare that they were ready at the time to have given 72ƒ for what they had been sold in England for 67. ƒ.—All England was not only occupied with the elections, but quite in an uproar. Castlereagh had been pelted, and his life put in danger, for going to the Hustings in Westminster and voting openly for the ministerial Candidate. He was rescued by a strong [. . .] of Constables before the Horse guard, which were turned out, could arrive. He set out for Ireland at 3 that night. The opposition seems to have [. . .] acquired strength in the new Parliament, so far, allthough Canning has succeeded in Liverpool. Europe, with all its sufferings during the French revolution, has gained immensely in the most important point, the rise into consequence and ease of a large proportion of the people, in every country, except England. To that we owe the increase in the price of our Tobacco. All the Coffee of all the islands is allready engaged for the next year at a high price. The money has been paid one year before hand for it at 18 cts. The price there is 25 cents now. Here it sells at auction in quantity for 31 cts.

most respectfully yr
Th: M: Randolph
RC (ViU: Francis Walker Gilmer Papers, Mss 38-588); addressed: “Francis W. Gilmer Esqr Charlottesville”; postmarked Richmond, 24 Aug.; endorsed by Gilmer: “Randolph Th. M. 1818.”
Francis W. Gilmer
Date Range
March 30, 1818