Mary Trist Jones Tournillon to Nicholas P. Trist

You were right in believing my dearest Son that nothing interests my heart so much as the happiness of my Children; therefore you must be certain that your letter of the 13th which I received last night was not read with indifference as it does not denote a mind as happy as I could wish, or you certainly ought to possess at your age, and under your Circumstances. The choice you have made cannot be otherwise than agreeable and flattering to me, for I will venture to pronounce without having any personal knowledge of the young lady that a Daughter of Mrs Randolphs must possess every requisite to make the marriage state happy. But my dear Nicholas do you think that such a Mother will be inclined to place the happiness of her Child in the power of a young man of eighteen, whose opinion on any subject cannot be supposed to have acquired solidity; without fortune, or even a profession, which is still a more serious consideration. I fear my love you have been indulding in dreams of happiness which will end in painful disappointment. if the young lady receives your attentions with pleasure I believe you may venture to hope as I think she would not encourage you without the sanction of her parents; let the result be what it may I trust you will act consistent and preserve the good opinion you have acquired in the family. you ask me what I suppose will be the amount of your property you know my Child that your father left only two tracts of Land, in which your Grandmother has an interest, I resign my right in them with pleasure happy in being united to a man who leaves me perfectly at liberty on this subject, and who desires me to say that whatever is in his power you may rely on, and at all events to consider his home as yours; he has already taken all the necessary steps for recovering the land at Natches, and placed the papers in the hands of the best lawyer there, he has also endeavoured to find a purchaser for the other plantation he asked $15000 payable in instalments of $3000 a year which he intended placing at interest as he received it, but the person did not accede to the proposal, should a purchaser be found your Grand mother’s consent will be necessary I hear the planters prospects are blighted for this season; we have had a draught for six weeks, preceeded by a frost which destroyed all the cotton that had not been planted so early as to have acquired sufficient strength to resist it, your Father who you know never procrastinates did not loose his, however the want of rain is drying it to a power and unless relieved by a seasonable shower he will make but a miserable crop. and a most astonishing [. . .]tution has taken place in the waters of the Missisipi from its falling thirty days after the mill began to saw and wanting two feet of its usual height. when your Father was in town he sent you checks for $550 and I enclosed the duplicates the first of this month in a letter to your Grandmother. the Chairs, books, a box of Cologne for your Grandmother and another box containing some trifles with the quirt you asked for, was shipped for Norfolk on board the Schooner William and Joseph commanded by Captain Dogget, and directed to Moses Myers. mr Dumoulin says the Chairs are not as handsome as the ought to be after the direction your Father gave the upholsterer. Say to your Grandmother that though my fever has not left me it does not deprive me of appetite. I ride three or four leagues every day and sleep tolerable so that there is nothing to fear for me, but the event is not so near as you suppose as I do not expect to be confined until the latter end of July—assure Mrs Randolph that I was most truly gratified on hearing of her happy release. Tell my Browse I will write to him soon, his ambition and perseverance is balm to my heart. dear Nicholas I entreat of you whatever happens to persevere in preparing yourself for a respectable standing among the society you are destined to vie with. let me hear immediately what determination you take for as long as I am in ignorance I will be anxiously unhappy. I hope that both of you write to your cousins, and that you have convinced your Grandmother before this that her advice is not lost on you by having Commenced a Correspondence with Benjamin whose Mother is intitled to my warmest attachm[ent]

your Mother
M. T.
RC (NcU: NPT); faint; addressed: “Mr Nicholas P. Trist Charlottesville Virginia”; stamped; postmarked La Fourche, 21 May; endorsed by Trist: “My Mother. 7th May 1818.”
Mary Trist Jones Tournillon
Date Range
May 7, 1818