Virginia Cary to Louisa Cocke

My dear friend,

I send up according to agreement, to let the Gen: know that I am in readiness to receive his despatches for Albemarle, (as I contemplate commencing my journey tomorrow morning) & will with pleasure take charge of the fruit for Mr Jefferson, & any other commands he may honour me with, to use a diplomatic phrase. I shall also remember your little commission at Les Chots, & will have Nancy Morelands breast pin repaired if she will send it to me. My arrangements for the purposed trip have undergone some little alteration since I say saw you. I shall go off like a hen Turkey with four of my flock, & leave Jane at Oakhill with her grandmother—She would have spent the time of my absence at Bremo, but as my mother so soon leaves us, I was anxious that some of my family should be with her as much as possible. I shall probably stay a fortnight, as I wish to see all my friends, & to be some days besides with each of my Sisters. You can’t imagine how oddly I feel in arranging these matters after my own head, as the children say. I have been so little accustomed to having my way in such important measures, that I have felt strangely fearful of doing wrong when left to myself. However, to let you into a secret, this feeling wears off daily, & I begin to think myself [. . .] quite discreet enough to be trusted with the government of a family. & to say truth, I should not have acknowledged (even to you, my Fidus Achates) that I had ever thought otherwise, if my opinions th on this subject had not undergone an entire change. Thus you see, my humility is of the ordinary stamp, it leads me to confess that I have been weak, too weak to stand alone—but, jesting apart, you know where my strength lies, & that it is not derived from a vain self confidence.

Pray let us know how you all are, & if Mrs Faulcon has arrived. I should be glad to know if Mrs Slaughter’s Pig is really convalescent; or whether the report to that effect which we heard “en passant,” was a stroke of flattery, aimed at your professional vanity. If it has really recovered under your auspices you must get Mr Maxwell to prepare a report of the case for the “American Farmer”—I know no one so likely as himself to do justice to so comic a subject. I am interested in your success, both because I shall be proud of your Fame when established, & because I have myself had a great regard for the whole race of swine, ever since I read the Odyssee, & found how much Penelope was edified by the grunters of Ithaca.

ever yours
Virginia Cary.

I send you a pair of young guinea fowls. They are I think very nice, I roasted with egg sauce [. . .] over them to disguise their dark colour. I have made enquiries for turkey’s & find that all my neighbours who had good prospects early in the season, have since been unlucky in losing their young fowls, by the wild varments, which are said to abound this year.

RC (ViU: John Hartwell Cocke Papers, Mss 640); addressed: “Mrs Cocke Bremo”; endorsed: “Mrs V. Cary. Aug. 30th 1822.”
Virginia Randolph Cary
Louisa Cocke
Date Range
August 30, 1822