Nancy Simms to Elizabeth Trist

My ever Dear Friend

Before the receipt y of your letter I was extremely anxious about you and should have written to enquire what could occassion your long silence. if I had known where to find you. for tho you informed me when in Alexandria that you should stay at your Cousin thompsons I did not know what part of the City she resided in—I should have replyed to yours before but was when it arrived and have been for a long time since, deprived of the use of my hands t by the rheumatism in both my wrists and hands—I never had it in them before, tho it has occasionally visited almost every other part of my body—

but altho I have been silent believe me my beloved friend, I was near saying my beloved Sister, for such you seem in my affections—that I have participated with you in the afflictive event that has taken place recently, I know how severely you must have suffered from it. I presume that you are acquainted with Mr B—s conduct to which I alude—if you have heard any thing more of it than the papers have informed me of—pray write me and also inform me whether your interest and that of your dear little grandsons are materially injured by his conduct which I fear is the case—what a shock must poor Mary Harriet and Charles receive when they arrive in Orleans Mr Simms a few days ago saw a Gentleman from Orleans he says that it is the opinion of every one there that he has abandoned his wife and family forever—his wife he said had some some property of her own and had gone to reside with her mother—to his Mother Mrs Brown the Gentleman said he Mr B had sent eight hundred dollars which Mrs B would not receive saying it belonged to the united states and she would have nothing to do with it—Mrs Jones and her suite had not arrived when this Gentleman left New Orleans it is not only you my dr friend but every one who was acquainted with Mr B that has been disappointed in his character he must have been infatuated—but enough of this too painful subject—I have to communicate a peice of intelligence that has grieved me much and I know you will shed some tears to the memory of my dear departed Sister—I recd a letter from Newyork last tuesday informing me that she died on the 10th instant—her disease was a bilious cholic to which she has been subject many years—it was but twenty hours from the time she was attacked by it till her death—she suffered extreme pain for nine hours, when she became easy—for a mortification had taken place—What a blessed thing my friend is religion—for tho my sainted sister was sensible of her fast approaching dissolution—that religion which had been her principal concern in life supported and gave her consolation in the awful hour of death—a slight convulsion closed the scene—and she is now I have no doubt, enjoying a much greater degree of felicity than she ever experienced in this world of vanity and vexation—here she had many trials—but they were as a refineing fire to her—her Son Otto and his wife are bereaved by this event of their best friend—Otto has been living this winter as a clerk to my Brother Vantuyl—his wife and three children lived with my sister—and what will become of them now heaven only knows—for his wages as a clerk cannot support a family—and my Brother Vantuyl has John Barbarie and his family to support besides his own family—is there any hope that Eliza Howell will be just—oh how much suffering will She have to account for, if she refuses to comply with a promise solemnly given to her dying cousin

if she would pay the legacies left by Betsy my poor Nephews and thier families would be raised from abject poverty to what would to them be a competency—for it would put them in a way of business—and the sum it would require to perform this act of Justice would scarcely be missed by her—write often to me while you are in Philadelphia and I hope to see you here in the Spring—Nancy says she shall think the time long till you come she, Mr Simms and all my family present their best loves to you—remember me affectionately to Mrs Thomson and Mrs Stretch and beleive me ever yours with sincere affection

N Simms
RC (NcU: NPT); addressed: “Mrs Elizabeth Trist at Mrs Thompsons, No 197—Walnut Street Philadelphia”; stamped; postmarked; endorsed by Trist: “Mrs Simms.”