Nicholas P. Trist to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

Dearest Dearest Virginia—

Why dont I receive a letter from You?—your last has been written nearly two months (December 2d); and, but for one I received the other day from Mr Gilmer wherein he mentioned having met Jefferson, and heard from him that you were all well, I should be miserable.—From the knowledge I have of my dearest friend’s heart, I dare not attribute her silence to any thing but sickness: and yet for my own sake, I dare not for a moment, look upon that as the cause, I therefore, as the only thread I have to hold by, stick to my belief in the irregularity of the mails, though this would be weakened very much, by the daily arrival of the Enquirer, if it was a subject on which I could bear to doubt.—The day before yesterday I jumped up from table to take a letter which was held out to me, and with trembling hand, was opening it, when Browse observed it was for him:—on looking at the direction, I read his name, in Baker’s hand.—

I begin to fear that my letters must have miscarried, although I was very particular in directing them. My Grandmother however, has acknowledged the receipt of one I wrote her from Wheeling, and that left there several days after yours.—Notwithstanding the resolution I have formed, to write regularly, and to suffer nothing but sickness to prevent my adhering to it strictly, it is not absolutely certain that I shall write again, before hearing whether you are dead or alive.

Thanks, dearest Love, for the letter enclosed in your Mother’s; as a worhty companion to it, it shall will always be associated, in my recollections, with your first kiss: it is an expression of the same [. . .]of feelings pure and affectionate as your own soul, which governed your conduct on that morning, which before long, I hope, and ever after, it will be a source of pleasure rather than of pain, for us to call to mind.—The Geranium leaf arrived fresh enough to bear the many pressures my lips have given it, without crumbling.—

According to your directions, I have enclosed to your Grandfather, two letters that I have written to your mother and self, since my arrival: these, at least, you will receive. In the former, I have given to made Mother acquainted with my plans and prospects, not brilliant to be sure, but founded on means sufficient to support us comfortably, if we can, and that we must do, keep clear of [. . .] every kind of debt.—From my experience and observation, I am confident there can be no happiness [. . .] where there is not independence; and if a man once contracts debts, unless he has a princely fortune, his independence is gone.—I speak to my virginia thus openly and freely, because I look upon her already, as my companion for life, one for whom I will never have a secret, and in from whose affection and good sense, I shall always look for support and advice.—I expect to I shall have made such progress in my Law studies, by the time I see join you, as will enable me to be pretty well prepared by the following fall. No great difficulties have presented themselves, as far as I have advanced in my Lord Coke, to impede my further progress.—At any other time, he might have appeared dull and tiresome; but, as I advance toward the termination of my Law-Studies, so do I approach that great epoch in my life which I so ardently wish for: and that is enough to make him entertaining1

That You are by this time heartily tired of the “metropolis” and the “alligators,” I dare say; unless some good actors, Miss Bs amusing ridicule of the good people of the city, and other passe temps of the same nature, have relieved you a little from the tedium of their set parties. If you are fond of them, I fear I shall never have the reputation of a “mari galant.”—you [. . .] hear frequently from Ellen, of course, and I must do so through you, as she wont let me have that pleasure directly—I think it is time for me to get a letter, if she intends to write to me, after making even every allowance for the life she is now necessarily leading and which I hope may again prove as serviceable to her health as she thinks it formerly was.—

I fear that before Mother has got down among you, Harriet and yourself must have become so firmly seated on the throne, she will find some difficulty in reducing you to your due ranks; and still more in finding the sweet meats if you have been shut up in the store-room. what kind of subjects do Cornelia and Elizabeth make? for I make no doubt but you got them under, the first day.—Present me affectionately to them all, as well as to your Aunt Hackley, Father and Gr. Father, embrace mother and

believe me, for ever and ever, your devoted
Nich P Trist.

I am well. and am going to bed to dream of you.

angels guard your slumbers/adieu.
RC (NcU: NPT); addressed: “Mrs M. Randolph.”
1Manuscript: “entertaing.”
Date Range
January 20, 1822 to January 25, 1822