Mary Trist Jones Tournillon to Elizabeth Trist

My dear Mother

Your letter of the 26 of October surprised me much as you mention that mine of the [. . .] of [. . .] not [. . .] you had of my [. . .] I suspect the servant [. . .] I sailed to Baton Rouge end of [. . .] for N. gave you a particular account of my acquaintance with Mr Tournillon in a letter dated 7th of July when I placed my Nicholas at College I took my passage in the steam boat as the roads were too bad to return by land. I never felt more completely forlorn than on that morning, my fears for the health and welfare of my darling Child, paind by the pangs of seperation, and being a total stranger among a hundred persons except two french Gentleman who Mr Livingtson introduced me to on the deck completely subdued my philosophy and it was with difficulty I supported myself during meals in the public room. I sat opposite to a Gentleman at Table that who had so strong a resemblance in the expression of his face, to Mr Trist that on my return to the Chamber I asked who he was, A lady told me his name was Tournillon, that he was to be married in two weeks to a young lady of the first family in the Country, who had 23,000 $ in the banck held by her father, As I had great objections against going to Baton Rouge I prevaild on the Captain to put me on Shore at the Byou Manshac previous to this. Mr T— was Introduced to me and said every thing to induce me to go to Baton Rouge [. . .] I p[. . .] at night the Captain attempting to land a Cask of wine I had on board broke the buckets of the wheels which obliged me to get into a little skiff with one of the Gentlemen Mr L— had introduced to me, the night was so dark that we searched in vain for the Byou I had to return to the Boat and proceed to Baton Rouge where we arrived next morning and Mr T— accompanied me home in his Gig, his visits became so frequent that it was impossible for me to mistake his intentions in two weeks to them [. . .] by assuring him that it was my firm determination never to change my situation we parted, and I heard that he had never seen the young lady since his introduction to me and that their engagement was dissolved. a month after I was astonished to see him come to dine with us accompanied by Judge Steel who had also refused, because that time he visited was hardly until June when we again parted my [. . .] on my former resolution, he went to Orleans but wrote to me constantly during his absence I was sensible he had excited sentiment in my heart but he was a stranger and without [. . .] from his return [. . .] absense that [. . .] myself want prevent my introducing my Sons into a family inferior in point of respectability to their own that you and my Mother were [. . .] for, that my habits were those of expence and indolance which my state of health rendered it impossible to alter he answer’d my objections always in writing, he observed that as to his family no person in America could feel [. . .] by an alliance with it, that my [. . .] should be settled on me, and [. . .] himself in the most solemn manner to be a father to my children, in our marriage Contract he setled property on my Sons provided he has not any of his own, previous to our marraige he kept two shares in Baton Rouge at present he has only one and that brings him in debt for the war has put an end to all business, he has fifteen thousand dollars and if industry and frugality will succeed he will be enabled to support his family and educate his Children I would not close this letter until I got a bill at Baltimore for an hundred Dollars which I enclose, Harriet has been here since the first of the month with a sweet little infant three months old she was inwretched health on her arrival but has benefitted much by the change of the air. She and my Mother unites writing me in every feeling of attachment to you Polly Peachy, and the children, your Sons perfectly well, Nicholas I have no doubt will write to you but as to Browse I will not vouch for him as he has not written me a line

Ever Yours
M Tournillon
RC (NcU: NPT); mutilated and stained; addressed: “Mrs Elizabeth Trist Care of Peachy R. Gilmer Henry County Virginia mail”; stamped; postmarked Baton Rouge, 2 Feb.; endorsed: “Mrs Jones Recd 16th March.”
Mary Trist Jones Tournillon
Date Range
January 4, 1814