Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

I must answer my Dear Virginia’s letter, if I can hold my head up only long enough to write [. . .] three lines, but I have risen this morning with a stiff neck & as the pain and stiffness has been encreasing I [. . .] am in great fear of having one of those attacks that I have had at Monticello when I [. . .] am obliged to lie down all day, to prevent it I have tied my neck up in a silk handkerchief which I hope to find as beneficial as flannel which we [. . .] forgot to bring, & which I wish you would send by the cart, for such rheumatic people as we are ought not to be without it ever, my flannel petticoats or petticoat rather, for one will be enough I wish you would [. . .] send also.

I am truly delighted to hear of Sarah Nicholas’s recovery, for I was very much afraid that the next news we heard from her would [be]1 of her death or her life being despair’d of what a constitution she must have had & what a blessing such a constitution is.

Sister Ellen is probably telling mama all about Burwell’s illness whose life was save’d evidently by a bleeding. every remedy had been tried without effect to give him relief till at last it was [. . .] found necessary to bleed him to prevent inflamation, this they did untill he was near fainting & that produc’d the desired effect. he had been sick for three weeks & the last days suffer’d extremely the doctor when he came said it was a spasm in the bowels, we had settled it was a bilious cholic and were in terror every morning when we got up lest we should hear that a mortification had taken place, but even if we had known what to give in such cases we should have been afraid to give more than a dose of castor oil [. . .] or a [. . .] few drops of laudanum this we did but the castor oil had no effect & the laudanum only gave temporary relief. Daddy who nursed him constantly with [. . .] the greatest care and attention gave him a warm bath which I suppose relieve’d him from the same cause that the bleeding did that is weakened him so that it made the spasm give way, this was the best thing that was done untill before the doctor came, but he soon relaps’d & was iller & in more pain than ever. he is now recovering the pain is gone off & he feels nothing but the effects of fasting, bleeding [. . .] &c which have rendered him exessively weak.

I have not heard any thing for an age that gives me as much concern2 as Mr Baldwins death. I have thought of it constantly & would give any thing if I had [. . .] the slightest [. . .] thing as a memorial of him sister Ellen has several but I have nothing but a knowledge of the [. . .] distinguishing marks of the five orders of architecture, which I will never forget for his sake. The report about Mr Mordicai I hope is not true.

I think the farmers better [. . .] employ Mrs Powell for I am sure she makes [. . .] use of the heath to dress her eggs.

I made apologies to you about giving you so many commissions because I knew you sometimes would sooner die than3 drag yourself up into the dome where you would have to go to execute most of my commissions.

We went to pay Mrs Radford & Mrs Yancy a visit yesterday & saw Miss Yancy for the first time she is an exceedingly pretty girl & has the sweetest countenance & the finest eyes I ever saw. tomorrow we go to dine with W Mrs Walker a neighbour we never have seen & who has more kindness and willingness to pay us some attention than knowledge of the forms & ceremonies usually observed in proceeding to do so. I am very much obliged to her for her good will and but hope my stiff neck may keep me at home. Adieu my Dear Virginia Give my love to Aunt Randolph & Mrs Trist & kiss the dearer ones for me particularly my charming Geordie who [. . .] I will believe tries to call my name when I hear him Tell Mrs [. . .] Trist I hope she will not forget her promise of writing to us. once more adieu for I must finish a letter I wrote to Harriet the other day and send E. an apology for not answering hers by this post.

Yours ever
C. J. R.
RC (NcU: NPT); partially dated; addressed (torn): “[. . .] Randolph [M]onticello [n]ear [Cha]rlottesville”; stamped.
1Omitted word editorially supplied.
2Manuscript: “conern.”
3Manuscript: “that.”