Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)
|Aug. 28 1821|
I hope my Dear Virginia that Jerry quieted the fears you must have had on mama’s account; for we did not arrive here in time for me to write last week; grandpapa had intended to come to Chilton’s the second night in which case we should [. . .] have got here at eight oclock the [. . .] next day I should have written immediately & my letter would would have been [. . .] finish’d in time for the post, but Gil gave it as his opinion that we should go no farther than Hunters on account of the horses & we [. . .] arriv’d not untill eleven oclock next morning, quite too late for me to write by post. We were a quarter of an hour in the rain on the river the day we left you, & [. . .] were so crouded in the boat (which hung on the rocks) that we could not get [. . .] our shawls out of the carriage; luckily however the cloud parted over our heads and was blown in different directions, one part into Albemarle & one part into Buckingham where a hail storm raged so furiously that it laid the corn prostrate & cut the tobacco to pieces; Old Flood had his crop “altogether ruin’d”; we were only in the skirts of the clouds & got only a little wet. notwithstanding this misfortune & [. . .] a walk from the top to the bottom of that long hill on the Buckingham side of the river, and a fever which mama had upon her when we got to Mrs Gibsons, she arose much better the next morning than she was when we set out. We did not stop at warren as we intended for when we call’d there it was very near their dinner hour, & we made an excuse for not getting out of the carriage; we were travelling the live long day & did not get to our journey’s end [. . .] till dark when grandpapa left us & went on to Mr Patterson’s, Mrs Gibson’s father. Sunday Mrs Trist fixed upon to go to Liberty, and as brother Jeff was here with grandpapa, mama & myself thought we might both leave him and escort
her home. We went one day & returnd the next, William Gilmer who was going to school in New London coming that far in the carriage with us. we found Mrs Gilmer living in a very small house with a family of six boys, William, [. . .] however was one of them, who you know is nearly grown. two of them are not [. . .] her children William Burwell and James Crawford, a nephew of Mr or Mrs Burwells I do not know which, whom Mr Burwell took from his mother who was very poor and I suppose meant to give him something after he had educated him but he died without even mentioning his name; they thought however from [. . .] the letters Mr Burwell had written to Mr Gilmer about his intentions [. . .]cerning the boy, that the latter was [. . .] justified in educating & maintaining him for the present, at the expence of Mr B.s estate. Liberty is about eighteen miles from here, the road very hilly and the journey a very fatigueing one, but [. . .] travelling seems to agree so well [. . .] with mama that in spite of the fatigue she has undergone she gets better & better every day.
We went to day to return a visit paid us by Mrs Radford the only person who has as yet visited us, & call’d on our way to see Mrs Walker & Mrs Yancy whose family you heard had been all ill of the fever; [. . .] there were no less than five and twenty persons (black & white) sick at a time there, three of her children had it, one got up yesterday for the first time & the other two are a little better than they have been. Mr Radford & one of his children have been sick of the same fever & they think we have a case of it on this plantation, I hope it may not spread among our negroes. tell sister Ellen that Miss Betsy Robinson is very ill, she went to a place in Bottetourt which is more deadly than any part of the lower country & was taken sick there. young Mr Mosely, Mrs Radfords brother is at last sent to the lunatic hospital.
I have scarcely taken a book in my hand since I have been here and expect to have as little time to do any thing while I am here as I have at Monticello; our visit to Liberty took up two days (I forgot to tell you that Mrs Trist seem’d by no means satisfied and made a great many complaints about the smallness of the house & the inconvenience of it, but I hope she will be more contented, for Mrs Gilmer & Emma seem the very soul of goodness & amiability, & I expect they have much society besides that of several ladies who live in the town, [. . .] among the lawyers who go to court there) to day we have been out the whole morning & to morrow we dine with Mrs Watts & Mrs Radford at Mrs Walkers, we dine also with Mrs Radford before we leave this & Mrs Watts will certainly visit us as we are creditably inform’d; the old [. . .] set out for the north a week ago. When we come [. . .] again I am very anxious to go to the peaks of otter that they are only six miles from Liberty and Mr Gilmer has offered to be our escort if we will go to his house while he is at home, which he says he is every other fortnight. Mama has spoken to me about going to Richmond this winter, she says as it is the last winter papa will be there she wishes two of us to go with him [. . .] down to stay some tim[e], which two, if sister Ellen can accomplish going to W[ash]ington will be you an[d m]yself, if we go we shall spend [. . .] time [. . .]ly enou[gh] I dare say as mistresses of the Govern[. . .] where we should have a great deal of company or suppose would have. the Ashton girls to [. . .] enjoy pleasures, & but probably we should have aunt Ca[. . .] also, Mama thinks however that [. . .] her company would be agr[e]able to us; we must only learn to hold our own. I hav[e] written you all this my dear Virginia because I thought if [o]ur scheme fail’d you would be all most as little disappointed [a]s I should be, & what makes it more likely to fail is that [P]apa will be more straightened in his means for furnish[. . .] us with what we must have than usual.Adieu my dearest sister give my affectionate love to [. . .] Francis & Wayles and as many kisses as I should do if I was there, or as you would for yourself, for I expect I shall forget & kiss them when I am kissing you all round some of these times. my love to Miss Braddicke if she is with you and to sister Ellen and [. . .] Mary as much love as an affectionate sister can send
I have got [. . .] my breast pin again, my little dog. I believe I am in my dotage, I write so incoherently, pray burn this scratch when you have read it if indeed you can make [. . .] out to read it.