Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

Believe me my beloved Grand Son that few things coud give me more delight than your favor of the 8th from WP your letter from N York had filld my mind with apprehension that you were ill the rapid journey you made and the fatigue and exposure to night air after the indulgence of every comfort while at Monticello was sufficient cause for indisposition the tears came into your Brothers eyes when I mention’d my fears of your being laid up with the Rhumatism or some inflamatory fever poor fellow he feels the loss of your society, as do all the family at the mountain Mrs Randolph and the young Ladies except Ellen came to see me three days after you left Albemarle and she cou’d not speak of your departure without tears she Said that she felt the affection of a Mother for you and your Brother and shou’d always feel the anxiety of a Parent for your welfare and happiness the long friendship that had subsisted between the families cou'd not but make her take the most Sincere interest in all that concernd you both, Ellen and the pair in succession were1 here when your first letter reach’d me I read the contents as I knew it wou’d be acceptable, tho it did not communicate much pleasure and the next day after I received your last letter I paid a visit to the Mountain desireous of Their Participation in my happiness Cornelia and Virginia are on a visit to Carys Brook their Aunt was up and intended to come over to see me but Mrs Jefferson Randolph was taken ill which obliged her to go there she has another daughter this is the 12th day since poor Mrs Higginbotham had another but her constitution is delicate and dont easily get over these matters she has had fevers but has miss’d them the last two days, and I am in hopes to be able to leave her in the course of a few days I am afraid the weather will set in to be bad, it has threatened several days we have had but two or three Sprinkles of rain for nearly three months, the family at the Mountain were very pressing for my return to the Mountain and passing Some time with them I partly engaged so to do but I have a dread of the roads when they are muddy and fear the rising of the river I saw Mr Jefferson in the yard at a little distance and before I cou’d see him, he set out in the carriage to visit the college I only staid 2 hours as my friend was too un well to leave her for a day Mrs Randolph in steping out of the carriage spraind her ancle which has laid her up she is better but cant walk with out crutches she told me that she shou’d send for Browse and James to day and next Saturday she shou’d despatch him to Carys Brook after the Girls and to gratify Mrs Cary with a sight of him she is very anxious to see you having known you in your infancy she used to be at our House for weeks at a time Mr Burwell call’d at the Mountain on his way to Congress time wou’d not permit on his paying me a visit he made enquiries after you and was surprised that the President recommend your going there he said that he cou'd have known but little of the place or he wou’d not have done it, that it is a place of great dissipation and he never knew a young man from there but what were dissipated characters Gamblers &c. and one put an end to him self in Washington, from your account I cant conceive that they can have time for dissipation and if there were time allow’d, I have too much confidence in your discretion and good sence to fear any thing of that kind Doctor Everit call’d to see me and spoke in the highest terms of the Seminary mention’d all the Branches they taught and that Judge Brook had been trying for two years to get his Son an amiable and promising young man to that seminary and he heard that he had succeeded at last perhaps it was him you traveled with I hope My Dear that you will give satisfaction to your teachers and that you will want no Stimulus to make you attentive to your Studies and that your early education has given you habits superior to the common class of young men who have not firmness to dedicate their time to obtaining knowledge their Parents have been too negligent or too ignorant to attend to their early instruction but that has not been your case, the foundation has been laid and it is your duty to raise such a superstructure as will do your self and family credit the Systematical arangements of that School is what pleases me above all the rest and I hope it will be the means of correcting your early propensities to carelessness and extravagance. Your letters are generally too consice, you mention’d only of seeing Mrs Bache and two of her children where was the youngest Catharine. did you not call on any of Mr Jones connections I wish to know who presides at West Point and what are the Branches taught, are the languages attended to or do the differ[. . .] Branches of mathematics, absorbe your whole time, do they [. . .] teach Natural History, Natural Philosophy Botany [. . .] Chemistry &c. I hope to see your Brother to morrow an[d] [. . .] that he will bring with him a letter from your Mother to me and also one from you to him self it is time for him to expect one Mead told me that he shou’d set out on Monday for Richmond my last letter from Liberty was dated 20th October they were well my hopes of seeing her here are damp nothing she says wou’d give her more pleasure but the difficulties are numerous William George and Harmer wou’d be obliged to remain under the care of Priscilla they have some hopes of having another Master at the Accademy at N London Emma is at a school there already she says that if they were to come they must purchase a carriage Mr Burwell has offerd his in all manner of ways to lend or give but they are too proud to accept and she does not know how there Horses wou’d draw and if Armsted is to be there to things wou’d go on badly in their absence she says that her poor husband is as thin as a lath she thinks it is owing to his being obliged to ride so much he says that he feels better than he did in the summer she begs to be remberd to you most affectionately and so does your Cousin Caroline Maclean poor Lam she writes me has been unfortunate having lost several thousand Dollars by the failure of a merchant in Savanah as I have exausted my self I must bid you Adieu May God bless and preserve you and make you every thing that will contribute to your own and the publik good and be the means of increasing the happiness of all your friends with the Compliments of this family I conclude your affectionate Grand Mother

E. Trist
RC (DLC: NPT); mutilated at seal; addressed: “Mr Nicholas—P—Trist West Point State N york”; stamped; postmarked Milton, 1 Dec.; endorsed by recipient: “Morven 28th Novemr 1818.”
1Manuscript: “where.”