Juliana Annesley (Maxwell) to Martha Jefferson (Randolph)

Allow me my Dear Girl to profit of the promise you have made me to correspond with me, and as I cannot bear the least shadow of formality between friends, I shall thro’ the whole of this letter endeavour to put away the remembrance of its being the first letter; I hope you will follow my example. I will first give you my opinion of the class, I think we are kept rather too strict, for such great girls, and that there ought to be some difference made between ours and an infantine age—but it is of no use to complain, as it will not mend the matter. I think Miles is of a very extraordinary disposition, she gives her tongue rather too much liberty when she is affronted and she seems of a very narrow mind, but of compassionate turn—Beliour in my opinion is the sincerest child for her age, I ever met with—Bruni rather resembles her, but is endowed with rather more sense. I am tired of characters and so are you, I will therefore finish with them & ask your opinion of something that is just come into my memory: do not you think it will be most prudent to tell my Aunt to allow no young man, whatever come to see me here, as I have been told they would not allow me to continue here, if they even suspected anything—which you know they are very suspicious about—I think Mde [Thaubleu?] is not of a very amiable character, indeed she gave a proof of the goodness of her heart in making the affair about Broadhead so public, it did her no good & it ruined that young girl, for she lost her character by it—however it is to be hoped as she was so young when it happened, that the world will forget it. Pray where are your friends? Do you often go-out? I am to go to my Aunt’s one day this week, I suppose it is not necessary to ask leave, at least I told her it was not. How many brothers have you? And when does your sister come? I wish you slept in our room, ask when the first time there is a vacancy to come. What do you think of [Marnioren?]? she does not seem much liked in the class, but I think it is partly owing to her not being such a child as most of them are, that they are not attached to her, and I think at her age it is not proper to be always hoydening with children; perhaps, I mistake & she is not of a good temper, but I am not yet sufficiently acquainted with her to be able to form a determined judgment of her character. Do you know I have an idea the Abbée has rather—a—a—a—penchant for you—oh Lord I beg your pardon, it is owing to your learning your lessons so well, how ever remember, Priests can’t marry—now you may scold & put your self in a passion my dear Jefferson—I do not care, it is all one—but you know my dear it is not your fault—come I’ll leave you alone. Do you know I am the strangest girl in the world & without flattery I believe you one of the best—I am certain I shall never find myself mistaken. I have just been measured for a pr of stays in Madame De [Sante’s?] room & I really believe that good lady is little short of a Natural. I am very glad no one here understands English, any how, take care not to lose the letters I write to you, I will take equal care of yours, you may burn mine if you like it—if you do not answer this soon, I shall be quite affronted, and as I think I have now tired you out with my nonsense, I will only just assure you how very happy I shall be to form, (not an agreeable one), a sincere friendship and reciprocal confidence between us. I have made the first advances—Adieu my Dear Girl believe me to be

Yours &etc &etc
J Annesley

P.S. Will you do me the favor to come down with me at two o’clock to the Tower—

Tr (ViU: ER); in an unidentified hand.
Date Range
April 20, 1786