Hore Browse Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

Dearest Nic

I was expecting a letter from you for some time but my expectations were not realized until yesterday, when by the same mail I received your letters of Novr 6th & 9th My Grandmother had been rendered uneasy by your letter from New York in which you complained of the head ach, rheumatism & the deuce knows what; I pray you when you feel slightly indisposed not to mention it to her as it makes her very unhappy. I was very glad to hear that you reached the place of your destination without much damage (except that which you suffered in the loss of your portmanteau) & that your situation pleases you tolerably well. you may be sure I was delighted with the attempt you were going to make of finishing in one year the course which commonly takes up two, it shows that your resolution is made up for studying, & if so I will ensure you success in the undertaking because I feel confident that your talents are sufficient for accomplishing it. in the meantime take care of your health Mr Jefferson says that a strong body makes the head strong I took a copy of two letters written by Mr J. to Peter Carr (while the former was in France) replete with excellent advice. in that concerning his health he advised him to rise at an early & fixed hour & go to bed at an early and fixed hour, & recommended him to appropriate all the time he could spare from his studies to walking which he considered as the best possible exercise, one could take. & to take it, when it would give least interruption to the studies, that is in the evening I feel anxious about your health, knowing that the climate is much colder there than any you have experienced for a long time, your breast is not very strong & you will have to rough it more this winter than common. therefore lay up a good stock of warm woollen cloathing.

Since your departure I have been, I think, twice to Montlo: Mrs Randolph having been so kind as to send for me whenever James was sent for. They have always enquired after you and spoken of you in the kindest manner possible. I think Miss V— appeared somewhat affected the day after your departure. (pray never show this) Miss C. and herself are now on a visit to Carysbrook and Mead writes me that Mrs Randolph intends getting me to go for them which I shall doe do with the greatest pleasure I expect you would like to be in my place! grandmother is still at Mrs Higginbothams, who had not pigged the last time I was there. Mead wrote to me two or three days ago and mentioned that he intended moving his quarters in the first stage that left here. Grandmother is in better health than I ever saw have seen her in. she has a dull time of it, though, at Mr H’s

Mrs Randolph mentioned to me the last time I was there, that Mr Burrell had informed her that west point was a very dissolute & dissipated place, pray inform me if that is [. . .] the case. I should be very sorry if I thought that you were placed among a parcel of Idle & dissipated young men My grandmother mentioned to me, however, that the president told her, Mr Burrell had always been opposed to every thing he did, which removed my anxiety about you. let me advise you to select as intimates those young men whom you have the best opinion of, both as to moral conduct & capacity, in whose company you may at least derive some benefit. beware how you make free, in expressing your religious sentiments before the yankeys who you know are so tickleish on that subject as your doing so would serve no purpose but to e[. . .] resentment, & make them your enymy’s enemy’s. gain tr[. . .]tachment of all your tutors especially [. . .] cultivate [. . .] friendship of your mathematical teacher who you say is already well disposed towards you, by any means consistent with principle. make every one your friend if you can, and you may be sure of success in your worldly career. beleive me that your success is the sincerest wish of your devoted brother—

H B Trist

I forgot to mention that old garland did not take the mare his reason for not taking her was that she was too skittish. I could however have sold her to several persons for the same price, but J. Randolph told me to send her to his hous place as he expected that he could get more for her. I therefore did so—tell me how you like your two room mates I hope they are virginians—write me long letters and tell me every thing—

The vacation will commence in two weeks & I do not know whither to direct my steps, there is no school that I know of about here worth any thing & as for the college god knows when that will be ready. I expect I will have to go to the north yet for my education—

H B T—

I shan’t forget to deliver your messages the next time I go to the mountain

RC (DLC: NPT); mutilated at seal; addressed: “Nicholas P. Trist Cadet West Point orange Cy New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 5 Dec.; endorsed by recipient: “H B Trist 26th November 1818 Bentivar.”
Hore Browse Trist
Date Range
November 26, 1818