Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

Your favor of the 28th of March came to hand came to hand on on the 18 April I had just sent of a letter to your Mother which will inform you all that I have to communicate from the quarter you wish most to hear from I have not had a letter from Monticello since 22d March the date of Virginias letter Cornelias was dated 10th before I had heard of the return of the Girls from Richmond I wrote Mrs Randolph and enclosed your letter on the 26th March but have received no acknowledgement of her having recd it Shall, take the hint and not trouble them with any letters unless I receive theirs for the fact is I find my self inadiquate to the task of writing and I believe I shall grow worse instead of better for my mental and bodily powers are almost exausted: Cornelia in her letter says she hopes to see me in May or June her Grand papa does not make his journey to poplar Forest as early as usual this year as the protestant episcopal convention meets in Charlottesville about the middle of the month of May and I suppose they will not think of going till the last of that month to the Forest a letter I recd from Betsy Maury dated the 7th instant mention’d that they had not seen Mr Jefferson for a long time the Colonel and Mrs Lindsey had been on a visit to the Mountain and wanted him to accompany them to Farmington but he declined Fancy the Old Gent has met with mortification at not being able to finnish the University agreeable to his wishes I am sorry he even under took it for the Legeslature is too nigardly ever to carry any thing into effect the Winter has been less austere in this quarter than the last was, we have had very little snow and now the weather is sufficiently warm to throw of our Winter cloathing, I am afraid as it may turn cold in a day or two our climate has become as capricious as a spoild child a hot summer generally succeeds a cold Winter and I cant help feeling anxiety for the safty of your self and Brother as also the rest of the family but your being so long at the West Point must have alterd your constitution and I believe wou’d have made it a firm one had you continued to handle your musket instead of your pen I was Surprised at your giving Dunbar the Title of Sir William I once had a good opinion of him and made him My Attorney instead of Mr Barnard who I believe was an honester Man in the first place he was appointed by the Spanish Govt Surveyer General and he knew that your Grand Father had made a purchase at the Highlands, when it it was in Possession of the English, of a thousand acres for which he paid a Dollar an acre and he survey’d a way 200 of that tract to new settlers that tract, on Second creek Natchez he purchased of Judge Bay with an intent if the English had to give up their Govt to the Spanish Goverment in expectation that the Americans wou’d be intitled to as far as Latitude 31 and he wishing to Settle in that Country purchased 200 acres on 2d creek and it remaind our property till a Man with out any title took possession of it, your Father put his papers into the hands of Poindexter but he offering for G Congress at the time the Commissioner appointed by Congress establish’d our Title he wou’d not for fear of losing his election attempt to take possession, Alexander Ross settled near Mr Dunbar and he survey’d fifty acres of our land to Ross who has since died and left it to a daughter of Mr Dunbar how that man cou’d reconcile it to his conscience to treat us so nefariously I cant conceive for he always appear’d friendly to me and used to corrispond with me untill the Country was become American land was of little value no purchasers that Plantation on the Accadian coast I wou’d never have disposed of for 500 $ if I cou’d have got any one to live on it and keep up the fences and Lévees untill your Father was of age to take possession but every one cou’d obtain land [. . .] their own, you give a most flattering discripti[on] of the Steam boat I shou’d think a Passage in her woud be as expensive as a Passage in an Elegant Ship to Europe with regard to the information [. . .] you wishd for as to the price of Negroes Your Cousin Peachey says that the price of Negroes are vague few are sold but from necessity and

from 8 to 12 sell from 150 to 250

12 to fifteen 250 to 400

16 to 25 males 250 to 400 and 500

females 12 and 16 200 to 300

from 16 to 25 300 to 400

I am surprised that you find no sale for the land at the Highlands, I shoud suppose it wou’d make a good sugar plantation

I enclose a letter from Virginia Randolph which you must keep a profound secret or else I shou’d never do the like again I had little expectation of your staying so long in that Country but presume that you cant settle your affairs sooner than a year is your Brother reading Law or how does he spend his time I believe I wrote you of the Number of weddings that had taken place in Charlottesville on that Neighbourhood poor Dabney Minor is dead ere this I presume as no hopes were entertaind of his life when I last heard from Albemarle he had settled all his worldly affairs and was resignd to his destiny assure your Dear Father Mother and Grand Mother of my unfeignd affection Tell your Brother its time I recd a letter from him Kiss the children for me your Cousins desire an abundance of love to be accepted my head is very stupid which it generally is, with constant pain, tho not very violent, the fact is I am almost tired of existance if I was only good enough to die I shou’d not care how soon remember me to Arthur and the rest of the servants who Remember me may God bless and preserve you is the ardent prayer of your affectionate G Mother

Trist
RC (NcU: NPT); addressed: “Nicholas—P— Trist—Esquire La—Fourche Louisiana”; stamped; postmarked Liberty, 26 Apr.