Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dearest Nicholas

I received your favor of the 5th 3 days Since and and tho I am half blind by a cold and a want of older glasses to my spectacles I can not but pour out the grateful effusions of my heart for your attention to me I always thought that your feelings of affection were more ardent than your Brothers, tho he is kind and liberal his heart is less susceptable of those tender emotions which fasten the links of friendship and binds us to the subject with more ardour, at any rate I feel it is So, your Brothers has been at Monticello ever since the easter holidays and he has been to see me but once, and that is five weeks nearly; last Monday he enterd with Francis Epps and a Mr Baker at a school in Charlottesville kept by a Mr Stack he is I believe recommend by Judge Cooper, he is to keep a school only for teaching the latin and Greek, at Present he occupies the House that was to be the young ladies accademy la Port is to live in the House and Board the young Gentlemen I rode into Town the day before yesterday with Mrs Divers and we stoped at the Door and sent in for Browse he had received a letter since he saw me from his Mother but had not got it about him, but promised to come to morrow and stay till Sunday evening he says that your Mother and family were well but she complaind of the hard times he says Mr Stack is the best teacher that he ever was with, and his terms are only Thirty Dollars pr Ann, 20 less than Doct Carr he met the Doctor and mentiond that he shou’d not attend his school any longer he beheaved cooly to him but Ferrell Carr was very polite and told him to pay him when ever it was convenient I believe Browse has been very studious since he has been at the Mountain and that makes amends for his neglect of me, I will give you an extract from a letter I received from Mrs Randolph on the 15th instant

“you say something about your Grandsons being a burthen to us, would you or there Mother in the same circumstance have thought my Sons burthensome, so much for sacred claims, then with regard to the Boys themselves you love them less than we do, if after knowing them1 you think their society can be a burthen to any one I hope we have contributed to the comfort of many hours that would otherwise have been unpleasant and perhaps not more profitably spent at a Dirty school. Browse began a course of History and as the Books and Maps were here with quiet and a room to him self, he was very industrious till the Boys came whether the three do as much together as apart they must answer for themselves I believe they are making great preparations for Mr Stack in the evening they occasionally Dance with the Girls after a Negro fiddle or the old Harpsicord and to you and I who are to be young as long as we live, no spectacle so pleasing as the gaity of young people, Remember me to Nicholas when you write affectionately,”

I recd a letter from your cousin Mary Gilmer date 1st May they were all well she desired to be rememberd affectionately to you I want to go to Bedford next fall but how I am to get there I know not Money is too scarse for me to think of hiring a carriage I am afraid that Browse is getting as expensive in his cloathing as you are and it cost me2 more than it ought to procure the clothing I want and donations to servants and it makes me unhappy and wish on that account to go to Bedford where I shall be less exposed to lay out money, It gives me pleasure to hear that you have got a commander that you approve of, what has become of Capt Bliss? I hope Mr Fairfax and the rest of the committee will come off3 with Flying coulours and if Major Thayer has been guilty of not speaking the truth I hope he will be shamed I am anxious to hear the result and when the examination takes place I shall be mortified if you shou’d be deficient I pray my Nicholas that you will acquire credit by your studies and not be rank’d in the lowest class I wou’d be much better pleased to hear that you were industrious than to hear of your being a great Genious and only study an hour in the day for I have seen some of those Brillient geniouses who never made any figure while those who were rather dull by industr[y] and application turn’d out more solid respectable characters I am sure you do not want for talent if you are diligent in pursuit of knowledge you will obtain it, I have not a doubt. but the drilling will be of advantage to your health if the heavy musket dont break you down I cant conceive the utility of your taking a long march in such hot weather I dont know the distance but I shou’d suppose it must be at least 100 miles I expect if I shou’d ever live to see you that you will be as tall and as streight as a poplar tree I believe I mention’d to you that Major Claiborne is no more she is coming to her native place but whether she will have any thing to live on I cant tell Mrs Ross has but 200$ a year [and is?] Scanty support as she has her Board to pay for she always speaks of you and your Brother with great interest I believe. I mentiond that poor Major Reynold was become insane the effects of inebriety, beware of that vice, I certainly wrote you of the North Pavillion having taken fire from the sparks of chimney below the wind blew very hard Mr R saved his papers altho they were flying about the level Mr Jefferson was injured a little by his exertions to save the House from the sparks Jessey Lewises House was burning at the same time from a spark

I wish when on your travils to try and procure for me a box or two of Doctor Meads Antidyspeptic pills, I wish to know if you can live on your pay I am in hopes you will be as saving a possible as the times are hard I wrote you on the second which I hope you have recd Mr Divers is still convalescent but keeps about Mrs D is well they both Desire there best wishes to attend you I hope you will not forget to answer your cousin Peacheys letter God bless and preserve you and enable you to be every thing that will make you respectable and happy

E. Trist
(DLC: NPT); addressed: “Mr Nicholas P. Trist West Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 25 May; endorsed by recipient: “21 May 1819.”
1Manuscript: “them them.”
2Manuscript: “me me.”
3Manuscript: “of.”