Sarah E. Nicholas to Jane H. Nicholas Randolph

Such an adventure my dear Jane as I have had, “but I will not anticipate,” I suppose that you know that mamma went to Atamasco last sunday to spend a [. . .] fortnight, with and, Margaret with what aunt Carr calls her [. . .] fidgetty disposition determined to spend that time with sister C—& accordingly went over on monday, and being moved by the aforesaid disposition she came over to pay us a visit on thursday although she had been complaining ever since dinner the day before & though her sister Smith advised her not to turn out, she sat with us about two hours, when she prevailed with me to return with her, I accordingly put on my coat & hat and set out with her, it is the [. . .] usual custom here for the ladys to walk arm in arm in the street but M. always objects very much to it & it is only by main force that you can prevail on her to do it, and as I did no feel disposed to have a fight in the street this morning I did not offer her my arm more particularly as I had a wreath of flowers in one hand a book & bag in the other; I flatter myself you are beginning to feel a little impatient for the adventure, but do have a little patience I have just got to it – we walked on as well as we could conversing very sociably on one thing or another till we got to Mrs Merediths corner, (which I suppose you know [. . .] is one of the corners of Washington Square) when I got a few steps before her, and turning to make an observation, I saw her standing at the corner apparently looking up street when I had just time to ask what she was looking at when her head turned slowly down street & she fell from the pavement into the gutter, great God how frightened I was (but don’t you be so she is quite well now) I ran to her and found her as I thought dying, I raised her as well as I could and screamed ‘help’ [. . .] and ‘murder’ so loud that in an instant I had about a hundred assistants,1 they carried her into Mrs N— Williams’s, I screaming all the while at the very top of my voice, it is utterly impossible for you to [. . .] form the least idea of my alarm, she had something of a fit [. . .] and though they say she was very slightly convulsed I thought it was horrible, I never saw any thing half so dreadfu[l] I believe I went on like a crazy person, she did not come quite to her senses for an hour, she was then brought home in a carriage and put to bed, she complained a good deal of her head that evening, but came down to breakfast the next morning & has been quite well ever since except a dreadful soreness from the fall, which was a pretty hard one she was so much better yesterday that she insisted on going over the bridge again after she was taken into Mrs Williams’s she was put on the floor and supported in the arms of an old waggoner who was the first person that came to us, two gentlemen both stranger[s] rubbed her hands and I stood over her screaming loud enough to waken the dead, & rubing her forehead & nose, John Gettings came to me & asked if I he should send for any of my family I tried to recollect but could not remember that I had any family, he then mentioned Mrs Hollins I screamed out yes run for God sake, and in half a second my dear Mary Jane was in the room I wish you could have seen how she took command of the party, until she came although the room was full of men and women there was not one who had presence of mind to do any thing, when she came in she exclaimed when did you ever hear of any one being held up in a fainting fit lay her down instantly and every one obeyed her as if she had been commanding officer, she then ordered her wrists to be rubbed with mustard, and had revived her considerably before the doctors arrived, & all this time she says I was standing up trying what ugly faces I could make, I wish you could have seen see her take me off, she is the finest girl in the world but then ‘twas’n’t her sister, she swears that I did nothing but break Margaret[’s] comb [. . .] and scream but I did, I sent for three doctors opened her coat & poured at least a quart of vinegar on her face, she had a visit the next day from Mrs Williams and Mr Greenwood a handsome young Unitarian parson who was very active in assisting her she thinks that she has made a considerable impression on him and is in great distress at his being an Unitarian, do you think that bitch Maria Goodwin even came near her or sent to enquire how she was though twas all over town in three minutes after it happened, she talks of going to virginia this spring & I will never forgive you if you pay her any sort of attention if she goes– but I have not told you by far the worst part of the frolick, we lose about 30 $ worth of property by it her coat is ruined past all redemtion, & mine is very nearly i as bad there had been a great deal of rain the day before & the gutter was full of [. . .] water an mud, & she fell just into it. & in raising I got as much mud as she did, I trod on her comb & broke it into three peices and she had on a pair of new shoes which were cut all to peices by the curb stone, and all this was brought on by her obstinacy for if she had only taken arms like a decent person I could have saved her the [. . .]ver [. . .]ind she shall never have her own way [again?]

Mamma is still at Atamasco & we do not [expect?] her down till the last of this week, we have not heard from her since she went up, but she was quite well the day she left us, her bile was healing fast– I have a fine peice of scandal for my next which shall be written on wednesday, I had intended writing it to day, but I’ve been writing along letter to John & am so tired, have not heard from him directly, but through W—Campbell understand he is well

Your dutiful sister

The doctor thinks Mags indisposition was occasioned by her eating hard fried perch for dinner the day before he only [. . .] gave her a dose of calomel

RC (ViU: ER); damaged at seal; addressed: “To Mrs Jefferson Randolph Milton Albemarle Va—”; stamped; postmarked Baltimore, 30 Mar.; endorsed by Randolph as a letter from “Sarah.”
1Manuscript: “asssistantes.”
Air Jordan 1
Sarah E. Nicholas
Date Range
March 30, 1821