Cary Ann Nicholas Smith to Jane H. Nicholas Randolph

Dear Jane

Since I find your pleasure or displeasure depends on the time that I received your first letter I will not say when that was. it is sufficient that it has come safe to hand: and I really meant to answer it before this, but I have so procrastinating a disposition that I am good for nothing as a correspondent as a housekeeper and particularly as a mender of old clothes. which last duty I would willingly put off until doomsday. but in answering your letter I was [. . .] more than usually interested, as I wished to advise and insist on your coming here to get a new tooth. it is proper and necessary that you should pay that attention to your appearance: as nothing is so disfiguring as the loss of a front tooth. and to meet in the prime of your youth with such a loss without making any effort to repair it would be unpardonable.

Ask mamma what I shall do. I am as she predicted (which I dont thank her for doing) going to have another baby about the first of September. I could not go to Warren before the first of May. I should then be obliged to leave it the first of July to move our furniture heaven knows where: for as yet we can see no house and one we must have. for I could not be confined at Warren with no body but old Betty Battles. and I would rather have it in the street as where it would make so much fuss and would be so unacceptable as I know it would at M.B. if the steam boat goes from here in the Spring it will be nothing for me to go W. mamma must send the Carriage to meet us in Richmond. but I am afraid John will not be satisfied to go until he has a Carriage. as he is of a very different mind from Sally, he thinks it very agreeable to ride, and still more so to ride in ones own Carriage: but that is a kind of pride that we find convenient to lay aside for the present, and forever if we are so imprudent as to have a child every year. I think I should not mind the pain and trouble of having children if I could only choose the time or temperature, but to have another in warm weather is too [. . .] distressing. mamma who saw how much I suffered from it will feel for me. I am determined I wont have the same nurse. you may perhaps think I have dwelt long enough on this subject, but I assure you I have not discribed half the anxiety and trouble I feel about it. John is quite angry at my writing that the baby had grown handsome. I must there fore beg you not to understand that she has not become a beauty. but that her cousin has lost hers. I am afraid also that she will not be as smart as yours. at present she is rather backward. she is frightened to death. whenever she goes to her grand mamma’s. and one would take her there for a very cross child. but it is altogether timmidity. for she is at home as good as any one could desire. with her temper she will never shew off in company. her grand mamma says she takes it from her.

I was talking to Uncle H the other day about your share. he says he will write a power of Atorney and send it to you to sign and then he can sell it when the stock is high. he expects it will rise to 15–0 by the summer. Mr Smith was going to propose to you to let him turn it over for your daugher. but if you prefer spending it, I will inquire the prices of the articles your mentioned. Aunt Smith has given each of her grandaughters a share in Uncle R—’s office for which we expect to get 30 dollars a piece which when reinvested every year will bring it up to a fortune by the time they are Women. a share only costs 110 dollars now as the stock [. . .] low. but I suppose stock jobbing [is] all Greek to you.

riding out for her health must be a great bore to Mamma. I am glad to hear that the time will come when she may indulge herself. if she has her usual apetite the race of birds will be extinguished. poor Anne has lost all relish for every thing. I fear she cannot last long. her Father must try a voyage. if Papa was in Norfolk instead of R I would ask him to send her some Asparagus as we do not have it here until late in April. they often get Peas from N here.

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); torn at seal; incomplete.
Cary Ann Nicholas Smith
Date Range
February 23, 1817