Elizabeth Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache

My Dear Friend

How truly welcome wou’d have been your kind favor of Augst 18th if it had not intimated your want of health your long silence induced me to think all was not as I wish’d with you, or that you had left the city on some excursion, that Idea, prevented my writing to appease my anxiety tho I felt some delicacy at obtruding my letters upon you, consious that they can afford you no amusement and unless assurences of my unfeigned affection and that of my neice and Peachey for you happiness cou’d make them acceptable they cou’d have nothing to recommend them we often talk over the days that are past and as often regret the distance which almost precludes all hope of our ever enjoying your society again unless you cou’d pay us a visit which we are united in opinion wou’d be the means of prolonging your valuable life and Mary observed that it wou’d not be so great an undertaking for Mrs Bache as it wou’d for Aunt, and then Peachey cou’d escort her to the Springs and get perfectly restored the Idea is not altogether chimerical, If I was as young as you are, I shou’d not1 mind any enterprise that wou’d benefit my health particularly if I was satisfied of its importance to others but Alas the energy of my character has subsided I feel incompetant to any undertaking, my mind and body are both enfeebled but it is what must be expected at my age, the heat of the summer with almost constant rains has debilitated me as much as a fit of sickness wou’d have Done formerly and I was very apprehensive that I shou’d have a paralytic attack from a dull pain in my head attended with a stricture a very uncommon sensation seem’d to attend my whole frame with loss of appetite and debility, but thank God my health is much better a journey of 30 miles over mountanious rocky roads and the society of my amiable friends Mr and Mrs Burwell have had a good effect, they their carriage for us and we past three weeks in Franklin while Peachey was at the Springs he accompanied Francis who had a very violent attack of the Erysipelas last winter that and the Death of poor Harmer which effected both of them exceedingly induced to their going there this Season the untimely fate of that amiable young man was felt by all who knew him he expired on the 24th July at Mrs Minors Francis attended him through the whole of his Illness. he express’d a wish to see his Brother Peachey but observed to Francis that he shou’d be sorry to give him so much pain as seeing him in so emaciated a State would occasion him Peachey set out immediately and arrived three days before he died he told his Brother his last wish was gratified that of seeing him and seem’d more desireous of leaving the world than remaining in it and was never heard to utter a groan or complaint during his Illness which was attended with no pain he had made a will some time before his Death and bequeathed his Henry lands to Peachey for which he has been offerd 3000$ 500$ to each of his Brothers eighty pounds to Lucy and a mourning ring to Susan the distribution of his property has given universal Satisfaction to the family Peachey seems to be the favorite of them all Francis told me that he shou’d make an Similar will

at the same time I received yours I received a letter from Mary and one from Browse dated 27th augst Mrs Brown had been very Ill with a fever and the Negroes had been most of them sick with ague and fever and some with Plurisy. the River had not overflow’d its Banks but the Country was almost inundated by the rains and a violent Storm the most tremendious she ever experienced it was awful to see the largest forrest trees torn up and falling in all direction around them her crop of Cotton Rice and corn almost all destroyd it has been the most unpleasant and destructive season that they have had for many years her own health and that of her Sons are quite establishd she hopes to be enabled to send Nicholas to N Orleans to College indeed to go with him as she thinks it her duty to place him there her self or she wou’d not visit the detested place He will have every advantage for there are Professors for all the Branches as well as the Dead languages and one of the best professors of Mathematics that can possibly be found it is an excellent institution but very expensive it will cost the first year Six hundred Dollars and the following years between four and five his Morals will be strictly attended to the President and all the Professors reside in the seminary the Boys never walk without being attended by one of them and all the Domestics are men. She purposes to hire out most of the Negroes to raise Money to meet the expences of her Childrens education they have talents and good dispositions and there is no sacrafise she wou’d not make to give them every advantage Browse says that the loss of his Mothers crop has made her look very sad as she expected to make enough to sell to put him to College with his Brother he translates french and Spanish every day and is reading Humes History of England to his Mother Nicholas wrote me on the 23d of July he informs me that his Mother has been making her House as comfortable as possible and improving her Garden one Room is fitted up which is call’d mine and he fondly hopes that I will occupy it soon Mary says have you heard lately from Mrs Bache I feel very [a]nxious on her account as I am sure she wou’d not be [. . .]ing without writing to me if she was well do not negl[ect] to say every thing kind to her for me, I am perfectly sati[sfied] that your observation is just as to taking exercise am sorry you did not remind us before it was too late of its conducing to Beauty we shou’d certainly have run the Risk of being annoy’d by hosts of seed ticks to attain so desireable an endowment I intend after the first frost to walk every day that the weather will permit. our time does not hang very heavily tho we are not deserving of the character of Notables we manufacture all the cloathing for the people Mary makes up all their cloathing and does the sewing for her husband and children knitting &ca I keep my wardrobe in repair occasionally assist Mary a little in her work read and occasionally take to the pen to inform my friends that I am in existance I never had an easier life. I sincerely condole with the Miss McClanahans on the Death of their worthy Father he was a truly benevolent good man I respected him long before I had the pleasure of being acquainted with him time will reconcile them to the loss tho they can never forget him Remember me to them, Your informant has been in an error with regard to Mr Jeffersons family suffering by the calamitous event that took place in Richmond. George Jeffersons Partner lost his wife Mr Gibson was from home at the time on his voyage from Europe and perhaps some of George Jeffersons connections might have gone to Richmond to pay attention to the children of Mrs Gibson Ellen Randolph had been on a visit to her Aunt and had left there a few days before the melancholy event took place or perhaps she might have been one of the sufferers, I hope the war does not effect your sperits I am very sanguine that it will not continue long we have met a check in the surrender of Hulls armey but I dont despair I remember the vissisitudes of our revolutionary war, we are 300 miles from any large seaport Town and perfectly secure from any danger from the Savages which was not the case last war God bless you my Dear friend and dont forget me to the Doctor and children

E. Trist
RC (PPAmP: Catharine Wistar Bache Papers); torn at seal; addressed: “Mrs Catharine Bache Pine Street Philadelphia Mail”; stamped; postmarked Pittsylvania, 2 Oct.

The calamitous event was the Richmond Theatre fire of 26 Dec. 1811 (Richmond Enquirer, 31 Dec. 1811).

1Manuscript:“ not not.”
Running Archives
Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
September 28, 1812