Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

I shou’d be very uneasy at your Long silence if your Brother had not inform’d me yesterday that he recieved a few lines from you on the 22d of March dated he believed on the 11th I have not had a line from you since the 22d of Feby I wrote you on the 9th March and therefore am not in arears to you, Browse has been at Monticello ever since the 1st of the month and never came to see me till yesterday they sent to Bentivar to know if the Doctor intended to commense the holidays this week as he intended, to give him the opportunity of going to Richmond as the report sais that he is determined on a union with Miss Wardlaw if she will be kind and consent, I have little to tell you except that our friends at Monticello are well Mr Jefferson when I last saw him a bout ten days since look’d as well as he did 10 years ago, and to day tho the wind is blowing a perfect Herricane he rode through Charlottesville to visit the College to morrow he purposes to set out for Poplar Forest to spend a month neither of the young Ladies accompany him this trip I presume your Brother has inform’d you of the Grand Ball they had on the 2d instant which was calld the University Ball kept at the Store House now University Hotel. there who were all the Beaus and Bells in the Neighbourhood except two or three of the former who cou’d not get their new coats made tho there are an importation of three Taylors lately in addition to those were there Mr Reeves and his Bride and their attendents Browse had the courage to ask the Bride (from a gracious smile she gave him) to dance a reel with him which she did They were to have been here on their way to Nelson but at the time of marriage Mr Divers was so ill that I wrote to Judy to postpone their visit [. . .] till they return’d, but Mr Divers is much better tho rather too weak to see much Company Ellen Randolph went to Richmond with her Father a month since to get something done to her teeth but he returnd without her, in consiquence of the election, the roads were too bad for her, Colonel Carr did not offer Mr Randolph and Mr Gordon for the state Legislature Mr Nelson for Congress no opposition of course were elected I suppose Virgini will accompany her Father the next trip he makes to Richmond for the same purpose that took Ellen she has been troubled with the tooth ache this Winter very frequently, Jefferson is going about but is cripled in his Left arm but he officiated as one of the managers at the Ball I understand that on Tuesday he was to under go an examination before the Court an account of affray between him and Bankhead which Jefferson [. . .] was desirous of, as the general opinion was that he commenced the attack, I have not learn’d what was the result Browse cou’d not tell me tho he was at the Mountain he said that Jefferson had not been there since the court I have not had the pleasure to hear from your Mother since I wrote you, and your cousin Mary Gilmers last was dated the 13th March she desires to be rememberd to you and begs that you will occasionally write to them in a letter I received from Mrs Ross she desires her best wishes to attend you both, and offers up her prayers to the throne of Grace for your preservation & happiness after going last fall to Philad and her Passage was taken to go to live with her Daughter in New Orleans fortunately before she saild she received a letter from her informing her that it woud not be agreeable to Major Claiborne for her to reside with them he has been at the point of death and when he dies his income dies with him he is expensive in his habits personally and will not leave any thing for the support of his wife and children I believe I wrote you that our Relation Mrs Williams died last summer coming from the Lakes where she had been for the benefit of her health poor Mr Reynolds is in a State of derangement and it is expected he will lose his Marshalls Place I am sorry to hear that Mr Levingstone has lost the Batture after all his trouble tho I believe they allow him a part—I sat down to finni[sh] my letter which I began last evening, when I was b[. . .] in upon by one of the servants to inform me that Jess[is?] Lewises House was on fire his daughter who married and went to live at Staunton came down to lay in whether that took place I have not yet heard Mr Divers sent the carriage to bring her here the wind has blown very hard for two days yesterday a fire was raging two or three miles from here and wou’d probably have destroy’d many dwelling Houses if great force had not been musterd as it was a great many pannel of fences were destroy’d but very fortunately after a hard days work it was extinguishd by the aid of a great many hands I think if this weather continues so cold in your bleake situation you must suffer when you are exposed I hope the bad colds that have prevaild here has not reach’d you Browse has been much indisposed with it I gave him a Bottle of churches cough drops which relieved his cough tho he dont seem to allow it the merit of curing him as he might have got well without but, not so soon I have found the salutary effects of that medicine when was last in Philad and have never had occasion to use it since tho I like to have it by me, I received a letter from Mrs Bache date 4 March she mention’d her regret at your not becoming a Student at Princeton but intends moving to Philad in the Autumn in consiquence of her sons being obliged to go there to Study a Profession as he expects to graduate in the fall she seems much pleased with her present situation wishes that I cou’d have made it my abode Sarah regrets her leaving it she considers it as one of the greatest blessings of her life having resided there in leaving it she sacrafisis the wishes of both Sarah and her self but it appeard to her the path of duty but on Benjamins account, she thinks that the longer she keeps him under domestick influence the greater the probability that he will do right I hope My Dear Nicholas that you are persuing your Studies with avidity you ought to have graduated before this time you are older than Benjamin and your Father graduated at 17 and might have done it a year sooner if he had chosen it. you have not had as good a chance as he had but if you make good use of your time you may save your credit Prudence and industry will over come all difficulties God bless you with both is the prayer of yours

E Trist
RC (NcU: NPT); misdated; torn at seal; addressed: “Mr Nicholas—P–Trist west Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville; endorsed, using erroneous date supplied in dateline, by recipient: “9th March 1819.”

affray: “the fighting, by mutual consent of two or more persons in some public place, to the terror of onlookers.” If one person instigates the fight and the other reacts in self-defense, the first is guilty of assault, rather than the guilt being shared by the combatants (Black’s Law Dictionary).