Elizabeth Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache

Altho we have not quite accomplish’d our half yearly occupation of cloathing the Negroes, from a wound in my thumb I am exempted from duty for the present, as I can not be altogether without employment my inclination urges me to chat a little with my dear and much esteem’d friend Mrs Bache who can never be erased from my Remembrance, the number of my friends are few and those I cherish in my very hearts core and when I receive any testimony of their remembrance It is the greatest pleasure I can know, enhance’d in value perhaps by their not being very frequent, some times I feel mortifi’d and vex’d and am detirmined to be very punctilious and only write to those who requite my labours, by noticing them, but the Idea occurs after some time that many things may conspire to prevent the best intentions being fulfild sickness, death of friends and many other evils that are revolving around us in this world of woe may have operated against me, anxiety then takes possession of my mind, poor Mary I had not heard from her for upwards of six months, tho I had written several times my feelings were wounded, and was detirmined to write no more till she let me hear from her. Mrs Ross who is a very punctual corrispondent always informs me of every thing that she hears respecting the family mention’d some time since that it was expected that she wou’d soon have a little one, the Boys wrote me frequently from College but never mention’d any event having taken place I concluded she had been unfortunate Mrs Ross informs me that both my Grand Sons had undergone a public examination on the last of Sept and gain’d several prizes and stood second in others their vacation commenced the first of October that a cabal had been rais’d against the College the expences were considerd too great she believed My Boys where the only english Scholars that went to it. The President Mr Daversac had resignd and the greatest part of the Professors had followed him she heard that the Boys wou’d not return but a letter from Nicholas from Baton rouge of the 27th October makes no mention of the change that had taken place but Mary wrote a few lines and enclosed a few lines from Mrs Livingston announcing the happy success of her sons and1 the progress they had made during the year the prizes they had obtaind and regreted that so useful an establishment shou’d fall through her Uncle had been urged to Establish a seminary of education him self and that he had concluded to do it several Fathers of families had already offerd their children I think it is probable that they may be placed under his care but it is rather a critical time for in all probability Orleans may will be inundated by the British who meditate a serious descent upon that Country with a large force If General Jackson does not muster strength enough, to defeat them, I fear it will go hard with them, these are sad times, God only knows when or how they are to end I have not address’d you since the awful event that took place at Washington the accounts were so dreadful at first that I cou’d neither eat or sleep for two or three days and nights and I believe my sperits wou’d have forsaken me altogether if their defeat at Baltimore had not so soon follow’d the noble resistance made to superior numbers on the Niagra at Plattsburg on champlain and Mobile England has had no great deel to boast of this Campaign the destruction of the public buildings at Washington both mortified and distressd me I was ashamed of my Country so little resistance was made that If Barney and his band had not beheaved well the British wou’d have believed that with four thousand troops they cou’d have gone where they pleased, it is mortifying to think that all the proud trophies of past conquests, the monuments of national glory should have been wrested from us by a few English men, I am sorry that it has been so injurious to Mr Madisons popularity many firm Republicans think him unfit for the station he fills and they blame him for the disasters they say that he is only fit to write pamphlets that he is too temporizing &c and if he had held a firm and resolute tone matters wou’d never have gone the lengths they have in the new England States. I fear matters will become serious among our selves a civil war of all others is most to be dreaded, if the accounts we have from Europe are true that france is not in a tranquil State and that the french nation continues to hate the English and are dissatisfied with the present State of their Government, there will probably be another European war if so, it may be somthing in our favor, I will now give you an extract from Marys letter

The extreme pain of head and eyes prevents my saying more than that I have written twice since the one you mention I expect to be confined the last of November perhaps this attack may bring it on sooner as I suffer greatly Nicholas informs me that his Grand Mother Brown had been dangerously Ill with a Typhus Nervious fever but had quite recoverd, that it had been sickly on the coast but the city was very healthy that his Father after expecting to make 90 or 100 bales of cotton has been greatly disappointed and has lost almost his whole crop the cause of [. . .] is, a small insect that has an almost impercept[ib]le dart with which he perforates the cotton balls and leaves in the hole that it makes a liquid matter that poisons the ball and occasions its decay. I hope misfortune will not be always in their train, you probably may have seen an account in the papers of the success of the Wasp in an action with the Reindeer and another British sloop of war I am always interested in the glorious achievements of my Country men but interested in this, in consiquence of my Nephew William House who left Mr Bringhurst as he said, to seek glory or an honorable Death he got a midshipmans birth on board of the Wasp, it gives me pleasure that he had an opportunity to partake of the glory that as our Minister expresses it, swell the proud annals of our little Navy I hope my Dear friend that this may find you and all that are dear to you in good health Peachey and my neice beg me to assure you of their sincere regard and I beg you to assure Sarah Benjamin and Catharine of my most tender and affectionate regard I hope they will remand your maternal solicitude for their happiness by doing what will insure their own that God may Shower down his blessing upon you all is the devout wish of your

Sincere friend
E. Trist
RC (PPAmP: Catharine Wistar Bache Papers); addressed: “Mrs Catharine Bache Princeto N—Jersey Mail”; endorsed by Bache: “Mrs. Trist Dec 1814”; stamped; postmarked Martinsville, Virginia, 27 Dec.
1Manuscript: “and and.”
Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
December 21, 1814