Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

Your last letter to me was dated 6th of august, if your Brother had not got a letter from you Since you returnd from your expedition I shoud be very wretched, indeed I am not altogether easey about you at present, tho our society here is numerous and generally agreeable but notwithstanding my sperits are not very volatile, I force an appearence of cheerfulness without feeling it but I have no right to be happy when every body is otherwise either on account of their own embarrassment or of those nearly connected with them œconomy must be the order of the day, and I fear that wont do with the majority of the first orders, Mr Jefferson and the two young1 Ladies returnd from poplar Forest yesterday in time for Dinner he dont boast of very good health being Rheumatick the Girls quite hearty Mrs Randolph has been unwell so much so as to be confined to her bed for three days but is much better the Colonel sett of yesterday morning for Richmond on business Mr Jefferson seems in pretty good sperits notwithstanding he has 20,000$ in jeopardy they cajole him with the hope that Wilson N will have property enough to pay off all the securityships but this family think otherwise they call’d at Warren yesterday Mr Jefferson told me that Mr Nicholas look’d miserable and so does his Lady Mrs Randolph says that her Father will have to sell part of his estate to redeem his securityship and property will not sell for half its value there never was such a time known before in America even during the Revolutionary War for the Banks have encouraged every species of extravagance by creating a ficticious wealth which Mr Jefferson says that those who borrow’d so much on usurious interest and borrow’d Money at of the Banks to make a dash with knew that they cou’d not pay what they borrowd and if the Banks are sufferd to go into operation that our Country will never prosper it is altogether a Gambleing system and will ultimately ruin the Country in Lynchburg is deserted almost, not more than 4 Stores left in the place and the Farmers round the country who let out their money 12 pr cent have lost it all the times are bad every where and from what your Mother writes to Browse Money is as difficult to be obtaind as it is here I almost wish my self back to the wilds of Henry living here tho more agreeable is attended with more expence I am as saving as I can be with out appearing mean, for trifling donations to the Servants runs a way with a sum in the course of the year that is considerable to my purse, if I live to see another year I hope to be stationary and not be exposed to so many mortifications Peachey is adding a couple of Bed Rooms to his House 12 feet by 16 with corner [. . .] chimnies I shall be better satisfied there with my neice I must make up my mind to be seperated from Your self and Brother and derive consolation from hearing of your good conduct and progress in science, I will give you the names of our present family in the first place Mrs David Randolph and a protagee of hers a young woman who sits in her chamber and sews is waited upon as a Lady Mrs Hackley her 2 Daughters and her Spanish assistant Mrs Cary and 3 daughters and her Son with James every evening from Charlottesville with Ben and Lewis noisey enough a young Lady a friend of Ellens from Richmond by the name of Bradick so that we muster strong I have it in contemplation to leave here in a few days for Mr Minors I have had an invitation to Spend some time at Morven Mr Higginbothams but as they are building I shall prefer going to Ridgeway Browse [. . .] Eppes and Baker always come up on Saturday and stay till Monday so that with the family so that we seldom sit down to table fewer than twenty beside those who eat at a side table—Browse sold the last bill of three hundred dollars to La Chase but he has not heard the fate of it perhaps owing to the yellow fever being in Baltimore has prevented a communication from the northern States the usual route this is the same Bill that was remitted that was drawn on the House [. . .] in Phild I begin to feel anxious to hear from your Mother she mentions having written to me which letter has not come to hand Mr Tournillon was just recovering from a violent attack of fever the heavy rains had laid the country under water and it was become very sickly the cotton that had opend all destroyd so that the prospect of getting rich is obscured in that Country it is incumbent on all to be as frugal as possible cotton is so low that it is hardly worth the trouble of cultivating. let me know what is the amount of your pay learn to œconomise and by so doing insure your independence and happiness be careful of your cloathes and remember the old proverb that wilful waste makes woful want, I dont recommend to you niggardlyness but to be careful that you may never have the mortification to be dun’d—“never a borrower or a lender be; be frugal” and limit your expences so that you may support your independence The family Unite in wishing you health and happiness and if my prayers will succeed you will be blest with2 all that can make you happy Adieu and believe me your own affectionate Grand Mother

E; Trist
RC (DLC: NPT); addressed: “Mr Nicholas P Trist West Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville 18 Sept.; endorsed by recipient: “Sept 15 1819.”
1Manuscript: “youn.”
2Manuscript: “with with.”
Date Range
September 15, 1819