Martha Jefferson Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

I enclose a letter My Dear Virginia that will make up for all the deficencies of mine and according to promise send it intact as I recieved it under cover to your Grand father, in return send me the news as every thing that concerns him interests me—

I presume you have heard of Anne Cary’s death which no doubt has taken place before this, she had been 36 hours speechless and out of her senses, when she V. wrote to your Aunt Jane, a letter that I think absolutely monstrous in which, true to her character, she acts the heroine over the death bed of her child. she does not speak of simple resignation but of triumph. that the allmighty finding seeing her [. . .] incapacity “took upon himself the perfection of the work. Am I not honoured! favoured—blest. My dear old friend is also up held. when her agony broke forth into bitter lamentations, I said to her would you have me think that you did not love My child as I did? I thought our love for her was equal, but I am ready to resign her to endless bliss and you are not! she answered I am, his will be done” I have given you a pretty long quotation, verbatim ad literatim not permitting my self to change even a stop. I do not know what your Aunt Jane thinks but I know how she would not have acted. poor old Mrs Cary’s conduct was what affection and religion simple and sublime who resigns her self to the bitter dispensations of [. . .] and providence [. . .] with humility but feeling would naturally dictate the other is down right ranting for stage effect

she it is more than a week since I have heard from any of you and of course as I am still weak and fretfull I have no sensations but of cold. you migh[t] as well expect an oyster to write a pleasant agreable letter to from an oyster as from me at this time. you had better all of you make haste back before the rage for marrying passes over, it is so general that I shall not be surprised even, if it should seize old Mrs Lewis and Mrs Robinson, and I am told the alligators are unusually savage this session, that there really are not more that a dozen or twenty whose horses might not be in danger of being eaten as Geordie fears and those are all married men

Mr Dyer is living in the house that Mrs Burnly and our boys occupied and the Staunton belle Miss Tapscot is staying with her and will be for some months, she is cousin to Mrs Dyer. Mrs Downing is still with her sister and I suppose will remain there as I can not learn that he has made any preparations to go to housekeeping Miss Barksdale is married to Mr Fry and Mr Hatch told me he had many more to marry and had had his hands full for some time past Albemarle is absolutely the Pays de Cocagne for husbands at present so make haste back I tell you before they are all disposed of. you say nothing of your musick I presume you have not been able to take lessons, but I hope you have not been so unprincipled as to neglect it. try and borrow the hungarian waltz and copy it for me adieu my dear daughter tell My Dear C— that I will write to her by the next mail certainly remember me to your room mates as one who after their own mother feels most affectionately for them. God knows whether it will be in my power to join you in Richmond or not, if I can you know how joyfully I shall go. My love to Harriet, Jane and the girls and believe me unchangeably your devoted Mother.


Your Aunt Jane has just sent me a letter from V. Cary anouncing Anne’s surprising recovery she had been 36 hours speechless and senseless during which she had had many convulsions every one of which was expected to be her last. when she revived she speaks but like a paralytic person and has “[p]artial glymses of reason” but her sight they think is [not] distinct [as] yet. the doctor however gives them good hopes that [by?] degrees she will recover her faculties and if she does not relapse that her life is safe—

RC (NcU: NPT); dateline at foot of text; torn at seal; addressed: “Miss Virginia Randolph to the care of Governor Randolph Richmond”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 29 Jan.