Martha Jefferson Randolph to Nicholas P. Trist

As the mother of Virginia, My Dear Mr Trist and your very sincere friend, I entreat your silence upon the subject of your letter. You are both too young to be entangled by an engagement which will decide the happiness, or wretchedness of your lives. Retain your freedom, with the thorough conviction, that no change of sentiment so pardonable, and even so probable at your age, can for a moment ever affect the esteem and affection which we all cherish for you; certain that in those qualities on which they are founded there never can be a change. Absence, and a better knowledge of the world, will make you more competent to judge whether your happiness would be promoted by the connection. if you should you persist in that opinion, I promise you that there shall be no opposition from her friends. of her own sentiments now as then I am equally ignorant—

I believe My decision has been precisely what your Mother would approve of, and certainly [. . .] with regard to my self what it would have been in the case of one of my own sons. believe me with every sentiments of affection an esteem Your very sincere friend

RC (NcU: NPT); unsigned; in the hand of Martha Jefferson Randolph; undated; Trist’s reply of 20 Sept. 1818 written on verso.