Elizabeth Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache

Indeed my Dr friend your letter if I was capable of being surprised would have had the effet: for Marys visit, and at such a season was not to be expected I have not yet heard from her by and fear that the fatigue she has gone through has laid her up tho I dont like to anticipate evils. it seems a great undertaking for her—poor soul she seems to be involved in difficulties that are never to be surmounted. has Daniel Clark arrested her for Williams debt. I cant make out how that cou’d be, unless Phil Jones was a party in it the loan obtain’d by William from D. C. I am very anxious to hear from her to know if she saw William and if Charles returnd to them and what has given rise to all this, you may rely on my desire to be with her but alas it will not be in my power to go my finances are too low to admit of it even if the weather and my own health wou’d encourage such an undertaking, to be in any degree useful to Mary it wou’d be my duty as well as inclination to make every exertion but for the gratification of merely seeing her and being a little while in her society, under such circumstances I must submit to what is prudent and be satisfied that I am not too distant to hear from her—I am glad that she has come on, she will do more by being present than all the writing wou’d do beside Mary has a command over herself and can explain every thing better than I can if I was even as well acquainted with all the circumstance I have written to her and hope to get a letter from her by tomorrows mail

I received a letter from Mrs Freeman the other day from Fort Nelson Norfolk Harbour she says that she felt disappointed when the Colonel recd his orders to repair to that place as she woud have given a preference to Boston and N Orleans having in both places many valuable friends, and there she was a perfect stranger without one female acquaintance, however that was not long the case the Inhabitants of that Borough being friendly and hospitable and their quarters are handsome and most delightfully situated as to prospect and she thinks that she shall be pleased with their station. she desired when I wrote to you to present her respectful Compliments

I beg you my Dr friend to let me know how Mary lookd and whether she was in any tolerable spirits and what was the state of her health. does she continue to have those nervious att’acks of head ach—I wish she had not gone with the company you mention’d, for obvious reasons. I suppose he has come to prosecute his suit against Mr Jefferson tho I believe he entertains no fears as to the event, it has occasion’d him some mental labour to establish the principle by which he was govern’d as to his decision on the subject of the batture, but I must say that I am not without my fears for if it is given against him Congress will not exonorate him if they act with their usual caution in Money matters and his Estate must be sold to pay the demands howeve[r] I confess that I dont understand the business as to the nature of the suit, it cant be possible that a president is to be accountable for his opinions if erronious they are ever erronious—he was acting for the United States and not for himself—however it cant be that trial that has taken Livingstone to Washington for it is to be tried in Richmond and, it dont come on till June or July Mr Randolph inform’d me. I hope that Marys pretentions are founded on less precarious ground, but I suppose if they do not settle the business to her satisfaction that she will have to submit her case to a court of Justice but she cant sue any one but Grimes I presume, and that wou’d be of little avail unless the Goverment is accountable for the transaction of its Officers

As to my health it is, much as usual a good deel rhumatick since this month set in with all [. . .] of a nourthern hemisphere for we have nothin[. . .] but continuel Snow Mr Jefferson set out on the 27th of last month for Bedford he fixd no time for his return as he went on business but I suppose we shou’d have seen him ere this if the weather wou’d have permited him to travil with any degree of comfort I hope the Dr your self and children have enjoy’d good health, I dont think this winter has been favorable for the Health particularly among the children they are taken with fevers, I presume the consiquince of colds which all have had a share I believe I have had a Dozen attacks,with affectionate love to the family I am my Dr friend ever Yours

E Trist
RC (PPAmP: Catherine Wistar Bache Papers); torn at seal; addressed: “Mrs Cathrine Bache Franklin Court Philadelphia”; stamped; postmarked Milton, 22 Feb. 1811.
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Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
February 20, 1811