Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist) and Mary Elizabeth Randolph (Eppes)

My Dear girls

You may imagine what a fit of dispair I was thrown into when I arriv’d here & found you had gone to the Springs & I was left behind, but as there was no remedy1 for it I thought it was the wisest plan to recover again particularly as I am promis’d a trip there next year & one to Richmond this fall & as I really was rejoic’d that any of us should go even tho’ I was not of the party. Grand papa has given his note for f our trip to Richmond & if Elizabeth goes I [. . .] shall like it very well, Sister Ellen & myself are anxious that Virginia should accompany us, but I am afraid there is very little probability of it. We arriv’d here sunday & to day were to have gone to Ashton but the river rose last night & is too high for us to cross this morning, we have not heard from there since we came. yesterday sister Ann came to see us she looks very well, & little Tom Mann who had been very ill before he came up, is recovering very fast, he still looks extremely delicate & is one of the sweetest children in the world but I am very very sorry to see that he is losing all traces of Randolph you remember when he was born every body thought he was like mama’s children & like dear little Arthur. I wrote Virginia another very long letter from poplar forest giving her an account of our journey to the Natural bridge but it arriv’d after you had left this place, I dare say you have met with nothing wilder & more savage than we did traveling on horse back through a country where there was no carriage road we made a great many enquiries about bears, wolves, panthers, & rattle snakes & found they were nearly exterminated which I was very much surprised at seeing the country look’d as if it had scarcely any other inhabitants, we heard tho that a bear had eaten a child sometime before we were there & that wolves were frequently heard howling in the mountains. in the immediate neighbourhood of the bridge the people were more civiliz’d than they were just on this side of the ridge. When we were returning to poplar forest we came to a bridge which had been broken down & that a good many people were mending, [. . .] they imediately brought logs & laid across from one bank to the other but these banks were very high & the bridge form’d in this hasty manner so dangerous that I could scarcely prevail on myself to follow sister Ellen whom grand papa was leading on before, a man bare legg’d & without any coat on immediately came to my assistance & led me across in safety another instance of the gallantry of our countrymen on this side of the ridge, I do not know what it is on the other side, I dare say Virginia remembers our being help’d by some waggoners, in a very dangerous situation once before, & sister Ellen who has travel’d more than any of us, has more than once had occasion to remark the difference between Virginians & the people of the other states in this respect. We have been very studious indeed since we left home & I had a thousand plans for spending the winter to advantage, but they are all gone out of my head now & will not return again until we have talk’d over every thing that we have seen & heard since we last parted & untill our other schemes for pleasure are decided one way or another, in short untill we get settled again at home and begin to think of carrying on our usual employments soberly & regularly, I am very impatient for your return & have ten thousand things to say which I [. . .] am afraid I shall forget before I see you again

Adieu give my love to aunt Randolph & believe me ever yours
C. R.
RC (NcU: NPT).
1Manuscript: “rememedy.”