Martha Jefferson Randolph to Elizabeth Trist

I am truly obliged to you my Dear Friend for having written to me with out waiting for my answers in truth it is impossible for me to be regular in my correspondance with any one. I am at this moment writing in the room with 4 of the children chattering around me, and it is always the case more or less. I have had more ill health this summer than common. I miscarried in the 4th month of my pregnancy in the month of july, and before I had recovered from that, was taken with the dyssentarry. I was nearly 6 weeks that I was never about more than 3 days at a time. My children have also been all of them sick, in short the three months that I spent at Edgehill we had more ill health in the family than in the [. . .] all the times of the year before

I am sincerely sorry that you have had such bad news from our friends at Baton rouge, but you must remember the arabian tale my Dear friend, that whilst the tide of misfortune sets against us nothing can prosper with us, untill it turns, which in the course of human affairs will probably soon happen. indeed there seems to be so much of chance in our fates that I never feel secure in any circumstances and I hope I never shall again despair. happy are those who never abused their prosperity nor deserved their adversity. I trust we shall all see better days yet atHarriet has recovered her health in a great degree. her stomach is still weak but she is so prudent that I hope she will insensibly get the better of all her complaints. her husband is in fine business if he has but the discretion to take care of what he makes. she has just left us & Ellen with her. they will spend 10 days in Richmond after which Harriet will return to Cary’s brook where she has left her children and proceed with them to Farmville in Cumberland. she has taken a house of John Randolph’s in which she will reside till her husband & her sef self meet again. adieu my Dear friend Peachy has just called for my letter & I must not detain him. it has been written in such a scene of noise & confusion that it is illeggible & scarce rational but you must excuse me god bless you give my love to Mary & the children

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); unsigned; dateline at foot of text; addressed: “Mrs Trist Birwood Henry favored by Mr Gilmer”; endorsed by Trist, with an incorrect date: “Mrs Randolph 1812.”