Catharine Wistar Bache to Elizabeth Trist

My dear Mrs Trist.

Accept a thousand thanks for your kind favours which gave me sincere pleasure, for although Mary has ceased to write to me I must always be interested about her, and rejoice, or grieve, as she is happy or otherwise What are her intentions as to residence? Will she remain on the Plantation or does she remove to another situation? I presume she is now settled for life in that Country & I must relinquish every hope of having her settled near me in the evening of life which was a dream I used to indulge in, and have anticipated great comfort in its indulgence I have heard previously to her marriage, that she lived very comfortably and in a good stile this I acknowledg confused me but I fancy Government must have relinquished their claims I never heard how they settled their claim—I cant help regretting that she has any intercourse with her Brother for it is confidently believed by Mr Callender that William has retained, or at least that his Wife received from him a large sum of money—this I do not believe but I am sorry that William ever returned to that Country do oblige me by sending me any information you may receive respecting Mary I shall always love her and feel interested about her—I mourn the Wretched state which Harriet is in, does Mary ever say any thing about her

You inquire respecting Doct Smith’s family I sometimes see them the old Gentleman is infirm and very rarely leaves the House Mrs Smith is also an invalid with Rheumatism but is generally cheerful Mr & Mrs Callender is with them this winter, the whole family are just now in great distress in the Autumn John Smith made a visit to them and leaving his family in NYork was returning to NOrleans alone this was thought so good an opportunity for Caroline to visit her Sister Mary whom you know is settled near Lexington that the whole family urged her to go with her Brother she went almost reluctantly and a few days since the family were informed of her death She was in Lexington on a visit and went to a dance the night was dreadfully tempestuous and she took a violent cold and was extremely ill, but recovered so much that her Physician thought her out of danger when a packet of letters from her friends in Princeton were read to her with a view of giving her pleasure but unhappily the agitation they produced threw her into convulsions in which she lay two days and from which she never recovered—Her loss would have been deeply felt under any circumstances but her dieing from home and their having persuaded her to go gives additional weight to the blow, I have not seen them since they received the intelligence for I have been too much of an Invalid to go out indeed the weather for some weeks past has been unusually unfavorable the rapid changes from extreme cold to warm and Vice Versa have been greater than [I] ever remember and the Country around us has been generally unhealthy.

Since I last wrote to you I have suffered great mortification our good friend Colonel Randolph whom you know I love, passed through Philada he wrote a note immediately on his arrival to Doct Bache which was sent to a House we had formerly occupied and did not get to his hand until weeks after Colonel R. had passed through; I cant express to you how much I have felt on the subject, As soon as I heard of the circumstance which was at least six weeks after it had occurred I wrote to Mrs Randolph whether I shall ever hear from her I know not is it not astonishing that Colonel R. did not call on Dr Wistar his former intimacy, Mr Jefferson’s and his Son’s intimacy with my Brother all made it unlikely that he would pass through without seeing him Mr Ogilvie the only person whom I know that saw him and he met him in NYork he was on his return to Virginia do you suppose he has returned to stay or will he join the Army again in the Spring?—

What say you to Canada now? has there not been great fault somewhere? the Campaign has certainly terminated very differently from what we had a right to expect—I have just been informed of an appointment by Gideon Granger which will certainly be the most unpopular appointment that was ever made in Pennsylvania this is the appointment of Michael Leib to be Post Master of Philada!!! Can this be borne? Ought this to be borne?—

My Children are in tolerable health and join me in love and good wishes assure Mr Gilmore and Mary of my Affection

and believe me w[. . .] great sincerity y[. . .]
C Bache
RC (NcU: NPT); torn at seal; addressed: “Mrs Elizabeth Trist Martinsville Virginia”; stamped; postmarked Princeton, NJ, 16 Feb.; endorsed by Trist: “Mrs Bache Feby 14 answered.”
Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
February 14, 1814