Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

I certainly shoud not have written to you at present having so recently address’d you but I am in a delemma about the Book you sent by mail the Postage of which is 26 Dollars. when the servant went to Town after the letters and papers last saturday he mention’d that there was a large Book for me and that Mr Leitch took it out of the Office for the purpose of lending it to Madame La Chose as I have since understood, as it was in french and I presumed that you must have directed it to his care your two letters one dated 24th of March and one the 11th instant Mr Maury did not come to Albemarle I take for granted, and put the letter in the Post Office in Baltimore it seems there was only a Boy attending in the Office at Charlottesville and did not know the rule establish’d which is if a Book is taken from the Office the Postage must be paid Winn is in a dilemma about it and means to write to the Post Master General on the Subject I shou’d be sorry if he shou’d have trouble about it I am not liable as I did not take the Book but if You directed it to Leitches care the expence comes out of your pocket I have not it in my power at present to pay for it and it must remain where it is till I hear from you I wish you wou’d not be so eager as to give your friends pleasure at so great an expence I have to pay on acct at Milton for postage which has been due for six months I suppose for letters inclosing musick &cc for I never get letters by that Office you shou’d be careful my Dear Nicholas these are hard times and your Father finds it difficult to support us all I most ardently long to remove where I shall be exempted from some expences that I am subjected to while an itenerant for God sake write to me immediately what I am to do about the Book, I hope by the last of the week to Receive the Money by Mr Heiskill from Browse and I think you had better let me pay the postage of the Book and you can refund it to me I shou’d be mortifed to have your character to suffer or that any one shou’d be a loser by any act of yours.

I am stationary for want of a mode of conveyance Mr Jefferson Ellen and Cornelia set out for Bedford on the 21st so Virginia mentiond in a letter I recd yesterday, she says that in every letter that she has written to me lately that she has contridicted some reports about Manns engagement to different Girls and altho I have heard from undoubted authority that Miss Sarah Lindsey and him self were actually engaged yet the false loon has deserted both Cornelia and her self, and was actually married on the 11th of this month to a very pretty amiable Girl of eighteen a Miss Susan E Brown of Norfolk it is expected that he will shortly introduce her to his friends in Albemarle and so will end all speculation about the Young Sailor, and report says that Frank Dyer is soon to be Married to a Miss Alexander my Dear Nicholas I your Idea of a married life as incentive to industry and frugality if you cannot obtain them without marrying I am afraid you will have a poor chance unless you marry a Lady of fortune and they are not easily to be had these times, I wou’d advise you to exert your abilities to make a fortune before you Marry if you have not firmness to establish your self in a state of independence you can not expect happiness in a married State for when poverty as the old saying is, comes in at the door love Flies out at the window it is not a trifling expence to support a Wife that has been brought up in a certain style and who knows little of the management of a family establish your own independen[ce] by frugality and industry, and then I shou’d be glad to see you married you have at present Romantic notions which will probably end in vapour if you cannot be frugal to obtain a Wife you will hardly acquire the habit till from necessity you are compell’d to1 it and there is no happiness by compulsion Virginia mentiond that her Mama had been confined several days to her bed with a sick head ache Dr Watkins attended her on the 24th she was rather better her head ache continued tho her fever had abated but she was in hopes in a few days to be about again, I have not heard from Liberty since the 20th March which I can not but regret, if the next mail dont bring me a letter I shall be certain that something more than common has prevented it William Gilmer talks of going home in about a month I shou’d be glad if I cou’d accompany him but I fancy I shall find it difficult to hire a carriage perhaps if I took the Stage to Staunton I might procure a Hack but Browse said the roads were so bad from there to liberty that he wou’d by no means have me to go by that Route my health requires some change and not being able to Ride on Horse back keeps me here Mrs Craven is to send her carriage for me when ever I will let her know the time I want it, I shall stay at Penn park a few days with her and then go to Peter Minors and bid them Adieu and visit several of my friends in Town and pay a visit to Mrs Higginbotham before I go to the Mountain for I think she is intitled to the first2 visit having come to see me as soon as the roads woud admit of travilling not one of the Monticello family have been here tho they visited the University Mrs Higginbotham will send her carriage for me I shou’d be glad of a fortune sufficient to enable me to keep a carriage I belive it wou’d be of advantage to my health but I might as well wish for the means to obtain and support it wishing you health and happiness

I am yours truly
E. Trist
RC (DLC: NPT); addressed: “Mr Nicholas—P—Trist West Point St—New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 26 Apr.
1Manuscript: “to to.”
2Manuscript: “the first the first.”