Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

Altho I had detirmined to write to no one till I received replys to my letters, I can not resist the impulse of my heart to address my beloved Grand Son and to assure him of my affectionate solicitude for his health and happiness I am not uneasy at your long silence as I attribute it to your Situation not affording you convenience for writing your letter to your Brother and another to Mr Randolph satisfied my mind which wou’d have been wretched without some intelligence of you, or from you, Your Brother, seems rather Lazy about writing he began a letter to your Father last week I ask’d him yesterday if he had finnish’d it he answered in the negative and observed that he hated to write in french I have not received a line from your Mother for a long time I wrote to your Grand Mother last week I can not divest my mind of fears for the safty of my friends when I am long without hearing from them I have little but their kindness to console me and if deprived of them miserable wou’d be my lot, as it is I am not happy for I am a dependent and that cannot be a pleasing reflection, it does not altogether originate in Pride but from the Idea of increasing the expences of those who are really not in circumstances to support their own family without running in debt at the Stores I shall not mention names but a large family moving in a certain Sphere who see a great deal of company and who at least are circumscribed in their in their income in it makes me unhappy to add to the number of their family I am better satisfied to live in obscurity—I am tired of the world and tho the period is not distant when I shall quit it, unless it shou’d be my fate to have my existence prolong’d to very old age, I believe I shou’d be satisfied with life if I had the means of rewarding those who are Kind and attentive to me among a certain class but receive the services of any subordinate character and not have the means of making compensation is a wound that wrankles in my heart, however I shall not dwell on the subject—I hope your remittances will arrive in due time to enable Browse to discharge all [. . .] arrearages I understand there is about 130$ due Leitch on your account Browse is so very reserved that I dont know how matters Stand with him but believe that he has nothing before hand for he has not settled with Dr Carr yet, or Ferrell Carr I am afraid there will arise difficulties in your getting yr remittances by the derangements in the Banks, it will therefore be incumbent on us all to observe the greatest œconemy The Boys came up as usual on Friday evening except Browse he did not come till Saturday in the evening they had a dance the weather was so very warm that Harriet Randolph was laid up with a fever all the next day her parents sent for them yesterday I am sorry to see those lovely Girls so delicate in their constitutions and indeed the young ladies of this family are always complaining I fear they will not any of them get husbands very soon I recd a note from Francis Gilmer yesterday his health is bad if he dont mend in a few days he intends going to the Springs I heard yesterday that Mrs Divers health was mending. I believe I mentiond to you that all the windows at poplar Forest were broken by hail and that 600 bushels of wheat was destroy’d the crops of wheat have been abundant and the corn looks better than I expected considering the drouth but unless there falls more rain soon there will be but little made we have had two or three trifling showers lately but not sufficient to do much good your friend Meads Mother is here for the summer I believe I mentiond to you that she has broken up House keeping and intends spending a year among her relations in this quarter and then go to live in George Town poor Mead is living at the Factory in a sickly situation I am told that he is desirous of quiting the world I believe Mrs R woud invite him here but for the dreadful smell that his leg occasions. how thankful we ought to be for sound limbs pray my Dear be careful of your health in every respect, temperance and industry are to be attended to if you expect to be independent and happy I wish to know if you have given up your trip to New York and how long you are to be encamp’d out by the by I cant [. . .] See the utility of being confined to tents when you can have a House over you, for you can soon learn that when there is a necessity for so doing, you never mentiond what had become of Capt Bliss, It gives me pleasure to hear that your commander is so great a favorite I told Browse I was mortified to see your name the last on the list, he observed that I might be happy that you were on the list at all as there were very few in comparison to the number of Students but I observed that was no excuse for I was satisfied that you had the talents sufficient to be at the head if they were exerted, how ever I shall say no more on the subject but look forward for greater cause of exultation I ardently long to see you but will endeavour bear your absence with fortitude as it will be for your advantage and at any rate we shall not be long together if we even do meet

My health is better than it was last summer tho I feel infirm but that is to be expected at my time of life my memory fails me and my head is weak which I make no doubt you perseive by my letters. The family dont know that I am writing or I do suppose they wou’d desire to be remembered, I shou’d be glad to get to my neice again, tho I shou’d be satisfied if I was more independent in my circumstances to live the remainder of my days in Albemarle. I beg you to burn my letters as soon as read that no eye but your own may read them, (pray was Fairfax and Wragland reinstated)1 God bless and preserve you and may you be all that I wish and believe me your affectionate Grand Mother

E. Trist
RC (NcU: NPT); torn at seal; addressed: “Mr Nicholas. P. Trist West Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 29 July.
1Closing parenthesis editorially supplied.