Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

Your favor of the 3d reached me last evening I have heard nothing of those articles that you were so kind as to order to be sent to me, perhaps there might not have been an opportunity to send them, there seems a difficulty attending geting any thing from Richmond Mr James wrote Your Brother that he had received the 450 Dollars from New York and shou’d commit it to the care of a Gentleman of this Neighbourhood, but I presume owing to the rains we have had, has prevented the Gentleman from travilling however there has been no rain for three days Jefferson Randolph set out for Richmond last Friday on business of Wilson Nicholas he is expected up to morrow or next day the Colonel after paying us a visit of a few days set out on Sunday in the rain and had to travil the whole way to Richmond in the bad weather the same day he sent off 2 carts loaded with live hogs to varina and if the box shou’d have arrived he will send it up on the return of the Carts The Colonel told me that he had written to you a few days before I must not omit informing You that Your Mare has a beautiful female colt,, I shall be sorry if I dont see your name in the papers after the examination if you have done your duty I cant see why your name shou’d be left out of the list it is to be regreted that people who have the power often abuse it, I shou’d suppose that the school must be under bad regulation when it rests with the Master to confer honor where it is not merited and that when it deprives another of his rights, Mr Jefferson set out to day to see the University and intends dining at Farmington soon after he set out we were suprised by a visit from the President and Mr Gouv[enu]er they Reach’d this Neighbourhood the day before yesterday, but we heard nothing of their coming Mrs Monroe Mrs Hay and Mrs Gouv[enu]er they are to spend 2 months in Albemarle Mr Gouvenuer enquird very kindly after you Mrs Randolph and my self intend paying them a visit as soon as Jefferson returns from Richmond he has taken two of the carriage Horses, Mr Coffee has not been able to obtain another bust of the Governor he will not have another taken indeed I dont think they are worth the expence except Cornelias there is not a likeness among them all Mrs Randolphs has some resemblance but as she says it looks like an Irish washer woman I think Coffee is a better Painter than a sculptor he coppied two or three peices while he was here that head of Mr Jefferson by Steward the fruit peice and our Saviour on the cross [. . .] also the head of John the Baptist and they were admirably done Mr Jefferson recommends that Browse shou’d study Mathematics under Mr Ragland and than go to Columbia College in South Carolina Doctor Cooper is appointed President of that College and he thinks there are few men equal to Cooper in America Browse has not detirmined yet where to go but I have not a doubt he will be influenced in his choice by Mr Jefferson, a letter I recd from Your cousin William Gilmer dated 30th May inform’d me that his Mother had been extremely Ill with a violent pain in her side which lasted her 4 days before she got ease and if the Doctor and Peachey had not paid her constant and unremiting attention she coud not have stood it, she was free from pain when William wrote but too weak to go about I believe I mention’d to you of their having lost their little daughter with the whooping Cough all, but Emma and Francis, had got over their cough and they were getting better but I feel anxious to hear from there again I want very much to go to Liberty but I dont know how to take Browse away from his school I received a letter from your Mother on the 3d of this month they were well, but the times bad, high winds and no rain for several weeks had injured the Cotton the Mill saw’d but three weeks which has curtaid their income three thousand Dollars your Father has undertaken to build the Court House these are [. . .] dreadful times every where constant failures prev[. . .] Huntington in Charlottesville has faild, and a Quaker merchant in Richmond who owes Mr Divers a considerable sum and which takes him to Richmond immediately the heavy debt that hangs over Mr Jefferson in consiquence of being security for Wilson Nicholas will be a serious injury to him who never was before hand the twenty thousand Dollars and the interest 1250[per] yearly is a serious thing and Mrs Randolph told me that there was but little hope entertain’d of her Father relieved from the debt it was abominable in Nicholas to involve him for he knew at the time that it cou’d not save him his land in poplar Forest and Negroes must be sacrafised for our friend has never any thing before hand; an expensive establishment to support, [. . .] how necessary it [. . .] is to be prudent and to avoid every unnecessary expence that we may not involve our selves and friends Give up My Dr Nicholas the Idea of busts and such useless things it makes me sick to look at them be as frugal as possible for if any thing was to happen to your Father it wou’d be a Serious thing and these are times that will try Mens Souls Coppy your Grand Father Trist who wou’d live on bread and water before he wou’d owe any Man a Shilling Mr Jefferson thinks the Banking System has been the ruin of this Country

To be happy you must circumscribe your wants to be independent you must never go into debt have no accts at the stores I am satisfied that it is the worst plan upon earth; keep a regular account of your expenditures and never go in debt for any thing that you can possibly do without, be independent and suffer no one to ensnare you, Mrs Randolph and all the Young Ladies desire to be rememberd to you that God may bless and preserve you is my constant prayer let me hear from you once a month a dieu

E Trist
RC (DLC: NPT); partially dated; torn at seal; addressed: “Mr Nicholas, P, Trist West Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 22 June; endorsed be recipient: “June 15th 1820.”