Cornelia J. Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

My Dear Virginia

I suppose Sister Ellen will of course write to mama this time, and as therefore it would be useless for me to write to her also to her, I will address my letter to you. We arrived here yesterday to dinner after one day of the hottest sun I ever felt in my life, and one of rain, which however [. . .] we nearly escaped the whole of, as we stopped at Hunters to breakfast and waited untill the hardest showers were over. We found that the hail storm had shattered two of grandpapa’s windows, in one there was not left a single pane of glass unbroken, which was the case with several of those of in the other rooms, and a gust of wind since that has done nearly the same mischief to the folding doors on one side of the dining room by blowing them to suddenly. nothing is left of the sky light but the sash.

Burwell went to Lynchburg [. . .] yesterday and saw there Mr Southall Mr Dyer & Smith Cock, there their own pleasure & not business took them there, & I should not be sorry now, & in a week or two hence should would be delighted if their pleasure should lead them as far as this place for then I shall begin to wish to see the face of a civilized being come out of a civilized country.

I cut the pencil that I got at Leitches this morning, & found so bad that it is impossible to [. . .] draw with it, therefore I wish you would send me (if the cart comes up, about which there seems to be some doubts) a part of a pencil belonging to, I do not know who, and throwing about the house somewhere, it was a very good one and as nobody claim’d it I thought that very possibly in it might belong to myself as I had lost one and determined to bring it with me but forgot. I will not ask you to make a great search for it and think it is in the dome if some of the young gentlemen have not recognized it as their own, and taken it. We left a bottle of ink also & if it can be sent by the cart I if not Sister Ellen should be very glad of it, for grandpapa said our ink stand was too large & lent a us a small one of his own which he fill’d, by which I suppose his stock of ink is not very plentiful, & I am afraid we shall be out of it & not be able to get more, before the two months are at an end. yesterday those two months seem’d to me as long as two years but to day when I lookd at the long row of books I brought & thought of the task I had set my self I began to think the time was har scarcely sufficient to do it in and I hope that considering this you will not be so unreasonable as to expect I should write as many letters to each one of you, as I expect or rather hope [. . .] each one will write to me, & that you will [. . .] recollect that the pleasure of hearing from you all will be the only one I shall have while I am here.I do not know by what opportunity I can send Sister Ann’s trimming however I will finish it as soon as I can, in case one should occur shortly. I hope mama will not forget to write to aunt Morris for the crayons; You will tell Browse that I took two of his & thank him for them which my awkwardness prevented me from doing when he offered them. One more thing I had nearly forgot to remind mama of is the promise she made to send for a key to Mairs introduction, which both sister Ellen & my self want very much Francis can tell her where they are to be got, but I am sure in Richmond they must have them. I always forget so many things when I come from home that my letters are fill’d with commissions & if it was worth while I would make as many apologies for the trouble I give you but I equally dislike making & recieving them. Do not forget Cretias handkerchief when you go to Charlottesville next, & now I have done with them except sending a kiss to Dear little Geordie which you will have no objection to give I am sure. Adieu my Dear Virginia I never was weaker & more tired & stupid than now. yours affectionately

C. J. R.

The cart will certainly come. pray ask mama what time to plant the Flower roots. & ask mammy to collect twor two or three old towels, I believe two, one cotton & one brown linen [. . .] belonging to this place & now at Monticello & send them here. The bundle is one that mammy charged me on my life to return.

They have had the greatest abundance of rain here, while the people on the road as we came along m have had quite a severe droughtt drought. another proof of what I only said in jest at first a but what I believe to be true now, that they have a great deal more rain here then we have. We have always found when we arrived here that they have had much more rain than in Buckingham & Albemarle. & for the dampness of the place [. . .] our books that set in the room next to Burwells untill we came got, some of them covered with mold.

RC (NcU: NPT); stained; addressed: “Miss Virginia Randolph Monticello”; with several unrelated names written on the address cover and author’s drawing of a deer accompanied by the Latin phrase “nil admirarri”: be amazed at nothing.
Date Range
July 18, 1819