Sarah E. Nicholas to Jane H. Nicholas Randolph

My dear sister,

I have been intending to write to you every week since I have been here, but really I have not had time, for all my old schoolmates have been to see me, and what with receiving and returning their visits, I find my time so completely occupied, that I have not been able even to write to John. Sister Polly and brother Wilson got here last sunday, they left home on saturday, and intended getting here to dinner on monday, but she found it so dreadfully cold at Mrs F’s that she determined not to sleep another night on the road, she got here about six almost frozen to death, she is not according to custom at all pleased with any thing that sister f. sent her, her bonnet which we all think beautiful, she think hideous, she says she look so wizzened and old, in it, did you ever see her with a bonnet on that she did not say exactly the same thing? she was not in as good a humour as she might have been the first two day after she got here for in addition her things not pleasing her she found us preparing to give a party to miss Ellen and Cornelia, she abused us very much for fixing on that time to have it, for she said we all knew very well how horribly she always looks after a journey, and declared she would not make her appearance, however when she found us determined to have the party on teuseday at all events, she changed her mind, and was notwithstanding the journey universily allowed to be as youthful and handsome as any one in the room. We had a small party not more than thirty, but it was very agreeable, Margret met with a game down town, (of which she had heard miss Goodwin speak a good deal) and purchased it. it excited a good deal of interest, collected all the ladies gentlemen round the table and made it quite charming; your two sisters, I mean miss Ellen & Cornelia were allowed to be the handsomest and most stylish look girls in the room, you cannot conceive how much Cornelia is improved she moved about the room quite at her ease, and really looked quite elegant, but miss Ellen is thought much the handsomest here, every one said they never saw her looked so well as she did that night; Margret invited them to spend a week with us they were very anxious to do it but their aunt would not consent to it she said she could not spare them. Mamma and papa were both very much pleased with the party mama was quite delighted so much so that I am in hopes we will have a good many this winter, and when it cost so little papa counted up every thing that he could think of even the coal, and could not possibly make more than 12 dollars I wonder who told you mama’s daughters were not belles? I must beg leave to contradict it, for as far as I have been able to judge from report and from actual observation Margret is as great a belle as any in Richmond for myself, you know I have not turned out yet, however I mean to try my luck next wedn[es]day at a great ball that is to be given at the Eagle that day, for I am going to follow your advice, though I do not much like the reason you give for my doing so, however1 I give no kind of credit to your prophesies, for I remember perfectly your [. . .] advizing me when I first came to [. . .] to turn out immediately, and the reason you gave for my doing so now that you did not think I would ever be as handsome again.

After a great deal of persuation we prevailed on papa this morning to give us the money for the calves which he gave us last summer, Margret had two Sid and I one a piece, Mags sold for 7 dollars ours for2 ten, I intend spending mine on lace, there is some at Neilsons for four dollars a yard, very pretty and wide enough for a flounce do you not want some if you do send the money. Would you beleive it I have spent 29 dollars since I have been here and yet I have nothing to shew for it, it really frightens me to see how the money flies here. little Mary Nicholas has got almost well her mouth is still a little sore [. . .] Margrets friend Betsey is to be married middle of next month she looks wretchedly. the [. . .] than I ever saw her, only think she wanted Mag to stich and work a dozen cambrick shift sleeves for her, but Mag told her at once that she would not. Who do you think we had at our party? old Nick! he did not remember me at all, nor [di]d I remember him at first he has fattened so much, but [in?] looking at him a second time I found just the same old Nick. Goodbye the dinner is on the table kiss the children and give my love to brother jeff

Sarah E

excuse mistakes I cannot read it over

RC (ViU: Edgehill-Randolph Papers); torn at seal and fold; partially dated; addressed: “Mrs T. J. Randolph Milton”; stamped; postmarked Richmond 26 Dec.; endorsed by Randolph: “Sarah.
1Manuscript: “howeve.”
2Manuscript: “fo.”
Sarah E. Nicholas
Date Range
December 26, 1817