Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

My first letter this year is to acknowledge yours of the 20th December which dissipated in some degree the unpleasant feelings your former letter excited, I hope most sincerely, that there will be no more rails, or heart burning’s against those who are appointed to Command you, for if they perform their duty, they must be rigourus, for young men are too generally prone to be tenacious of their dignity and too inattentive to what alone can sapport it, application to perfect themselves in all that they are sent to Study. if from a want of capacity or any other cause they are deficient their Tutors generally are blamed, and if you put your self under a Military Goverment you must be subordinate, and you been concern’d in any measure that wou’d have occasion’d your expulsion I shoud have been mortified to the Soul, for as your Mother in a letter 15 Nov to Browse, observes that she hopes tho she regrets your seperation, she hopes the change will be of essential servise to you who required such a situation to induce you to do justice to yr Self, and as now you have every motive to distinguish your self, and few temptations to encounter, that you will acquire habits of regularity which you were in great want of—Think what a disappointment it wou’d have been to her to hear that you were expell’d and so soon after you had enterd the seminary. let me beg of you my Dear Child not to let your Prejudices operate against your own interest, but pursue the line mark’d out for you perform your duty for you are capable of any thing you chuse and have sence enough to distinguish between Passion and reason act on all occasions with dignity and calmness and not embroil your Self in other peoples quarrels. at the same time I wou’d not wish you to see any one abused or trampled on with impunity like my self you are too easily led a way by the first impulses of the heart, and I know that it brings no pleasing recollection tho my motives were good—I have been here four weeks this day and the constant round of young Company Dancing and &cc tho some times it was not suited to my taste yet upon the whole it has beguiled a way time and has kept my spirits afloat but I am to infirm to accept invitations which I have had in abundance Mrs Randolph sent me word that she wou’d send the carriage for me any time I wou’d fix on and Mrs Divers sent me the same message but the roads are not good and I am not well and I am in good quarters and every attention paid me and I feel perfectly satisfied in my Situation William Gilmer left us yesterday for Bedford he has been one in all the Parties for about ten days Browse spent a week here he has got his Books at the Mountain and is studying he dont seem to have any propensity to dissipate time tho he Danced here one night—I expect your Cousins Peachey and Mary next week if the roads will permit their travilling as they will come in Mr Burwells carriage I shall have an opportunity to visit my friends without giving them the trouble to send for me. we have Mr Minors Sister and neice here amiable young woman and three of his Nephews and they are the means of the festivity that prevails in the Neighbourhood I believe I mentiond that Saml Carr was married to a Miss Dabney and to the surprise of all their acquaintance and friends Dabney Minor to Miss Martha Terrell she is an excentrick character but I hope they will be happy his children are very much attach’d to her, I beg you to write to your Grand Mother Brown her letter was dated the 2d December, she says that she feels that She has not long to remain in this world and has no doubt that I, as well as her self are satisfied to have lived to see our Dear Grand Sons nearly grown up with every appearence of making worthy members of Society for which she prays most sincerely, and ernestly hopes that you may be spared to your Parents to repay them by your good conduct for all their aniety and generosity, she says that she shall part from your dear Mother with very different feelings from what she shou’d have done six years a go as she shall now leave her with an affectionate kind husband that she can never be sufficiently thankful to the Almighty for sending to them all such a protector, the best Son in the world cou’d not shew her more respect or kind attention than he does, he is as generous to his family as he can possibly afford and she thinks if he lives that he will make a fortune for them God grant that he may be spared to fulfill his good intentions Your Mother mention’d in her last letter that they had a severe frost that injured the Cotton very much beside that there was no Market for it, after a week of moderate weather and the last two days very pleasant it is cloudy and threatens [. . .] I make no doubt you sufferd very much with the cold about two weeks since I thought of you with concern for I never felt the cold so intence as it was for several days in a close room and a large fire and more cloathing than I ever had been accustomed to I cou’d not keep my self warm in a tight room and a large fire I hope we shall have no more such weather

I hope you will pass your examination with credit and be promoted to a higher class The family here are kind, enquiries after you and seem to take an interest all your concern’s God bless you My beloved Grand Son be emulous to distinguish your self and give pleasure to your friends Adieu and believe me ever Your affectionate Friend and Parent

E Trist
RC (NcU: NPT); addressed:“Mr Nicholas—P—Trist West Point State New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 5 Jan.; endorsed by recipient: “Mrs E Trist 2d January 1819.”