Nicholas P. Trist to Andrew Jackson

My dear Sir,

How long it is since I have written to you! You will not, however, I am sure have distrusted on that account the fidelity of my attachment; or ever supposed for a moment that I did not often think of you, and always with warm affection. Wherever I might be, and under whatever circumstances, you could not fail to be often present to my thoughts; but many things in my position & circumstances have conspired to render this even the more particularly the case than it might otherwise have been. To say nothing of political events, and of the reflection they always brought, how pleasing it would must be to you to witness the glorious manner in which the Democratic breeze was dispersing the fumes of the Log Cabin debauch, and how richly you were entitled to this enjoyment before you took leave of us; the delightful climate in which we are living, and enjoying a life which, at home, disease would probably render a burthen, has often & oft made me wish you could be with us; and this wish, our very diet, which (from a necessity of the most rigid economy, which in this particular was anything but a hard one) has consisted in a great measure of your favorite aliment, the sweet potatoe, has often given rise to. They are of a most delicious kind; worthy, as regards your tastes, of being associated with the bland trade wind, in the temperature & freshness of which from (as it comes pure from the open sea, not a mile from our door, which overlooks an immense extent of it) you would find new life. Select the most delightful moment of the time we passed together at the Rip Raps, and you will have an idea of the weather we constantly enjoy here.

I can scarcely hope for such a thing; but if your sufferings from the winter weather at home should be such as to tempt you to the undertaking, you would find here under our roof as cordial a welcome as father ever received from his children.

Nor have you been absent from my dreams. The last time I dreamt of you was just a month ago: nearly all night on the 30th & 31st of October. On the last, my dream was particularly vivid & distinct. You were dead; and our departed friend Earl, with Donelson & myself, were watching by you. It was night. I was looking at your face, when I saw signs of life. I called to them; we raised you up, and you revived entirely, and became as I have always known you. Although not superstitious, I believe that “there are more things ’twixt Heaven & Earth, than are dreamt of in—Philosophy”; and this dream made an impression upon me which has caused me to [. . .] open the newspapers ever since, with you in my thoughts.

I am going to write to Donelson, to whom I refer you for my position at present. Do not put yourself to the trouble of writing, which I know must be fatiguing. With kind remembrance to your family, accept assurance of our faithful affection

N. P. Trist
RC (DLC: Andrew Jackson Papers); addressed: “General Andrew Jackson Hermitage Near Nashville Tennessee”; endorsed by Jackson: ““My friend Trist inviting me to his fine climate and hospitable home—with his dream—on one of those days, I was thrown over in Major A. J. Donelson carriage—hurt—but soon recovered the external injury the internal, more lasting—am now, as I suppose free from the injury altho the shortness of breath continues & the old pain, with cough, in my side—so write him A.J.””

there are more things ...” paraphrases William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, act 1, scene 5.

Andrew Jackson
Date Range
December 1, 1842