Elizabeth Trist to Catharine Wistar Bache

My sincere thanks are due to my much valued friend for her kind attention to my Grand Sons and the interest she takes in their welfare. They arrived here the 19th of last month, after a Passage to Baltimore of 21 days on board the Marmion Capt Davis a very worthy man, who commanded the Ship that convey’d us to Louisianna in 1804 they were disappointed in getting a Passage on board Capt Toby every birth in his Ship being taken before she reach’d the Port of Orleans and they wou’d have met with the same disappointment had not a friend taken their Passage some time before Capt Davis arrived. there were fifty passengers on board, I began to be uneasy tho they informd me that they were disappointed in getting a passage to Phild and their expectation of getting one to Baltimore the time seem’d long, some little detention in Baltimore Washinton, Richmond not being in time for the Stage which only goes twice a week to Lynchburg they were three days getting there and they were disappointed in getting Horses not one to be hired in the Place at last they met a Quaker in the Street to whom they made their situation known he went about with them and at last got a passage in a waggon about forty miles which they were three days performing as the waggon took another route they then became pedestrians Nicholas unfortunately in Jumping out of the waggon praind one of his feet, and in that condition they walkd twenty miles without food except some peaches they help’d themselves to from an Orchard, at length they got to a House where they were very hospitably entertaind and furnishd with Horses, altho a publick House for Travillers as soon as the Gentleman knew who they were he wou’d not suffer them to pay any thing for their entertainment or hire of the Horses, as soon as they recoverd from the fatigue they found them selves in better health than they had ever rememberd to experience, you may depend that my happiness is increased by their society and the family partake of my joy—they have grown so much that if I had not expected them I shou’d not have known them I dont think either of them resemble their Father. Nicholas is very like his Father Phil—as tall and as thin as Jefferson Randolph was at his age Browse is tall for his age and very slender their growing so fast has been the means of their health being more delicate then it woud otherwise have been, when Nicholas was 13 he was robust and as rosy as the morn but now he is in appearance a perfect creole tho still handsome. Browse is a little more in that order but they appear amiable and discreet young men and I trust they have more understanding than to join in any riots if there shou’d be any at Williamsburg it is under very great discipline at present, only for ringing the Bell which alarmd the inhabitants, to find out the perpetrators a strict investigation took place and numbers of the most orderly and best Students were obliged to leave college because they wou’d not inform against the offenders, it is rising very much and expected to flourish more than it has done for many years, Mary had no predelection for Wm and Mary but the Boys had a greater predelection for the Virginia character than any of the eastern ones they considerd them more republican in Principle and possesd greater liberality of sentiment, but their Mother wou’d not detirmine till She wrote and beged me to consult with my friends as to the best seminary for them to finnish their education at They all concur’d in thinking William and Mary as good as any of the colleges Mr Jefferson, if he had any preference it was to the Philadelphi[a] university, but Princeton he held in great contempt as being the most licentious and unruly seminary on the continant, I cant but acknowledge that the preference given to Wm and Mary coincided with my wishes as it gives me the pleasure of their company nearly four months in the year and during that time they coud go on with their Studies under their Cousin Peacheys instruction who has a good collection of Books, and at the same time establish their health, Browse from sickness and other causes has not progressd as far as his Brother in learning the Mathematicks and the dead languages and has, by the advise of his cous[in] [con]cluded to study under Doctor Frank Carr [. . .] has given up the Practice of Physick and opend [. . .] School in Albemarle for abilities in that line no man is better qualified Peachey says that he is one of the best scholars that he knows, he married Virginia Terrel a grand daughter of old Mrs Carr she died a few weeks after her delivery, her infant is living and under the care of his Brother Terrel Carrs wife at Bentevar where the Doctor also resides he has become very religious and if Browse can get into that school I shall be very glad as I shall be near him and will have the opportunity of seeing him every week at least Mr Burwell has made me the offer of a seat in his carriage to Albemarle and shall leave this in November and visit among my friends who have all been soliciting me to pass a year or two among them. Peachey has not yet changed his residence the place he expected to purchase in Bedford the man raised the price several hundred Dollars as soon as he found Peachey wanted to purchase he is solicited to go and settle in Botetort over the Ridge but he is not yet detirmin’d The Boys say their Mother had no intention of visiting Orleans Mr Tournillon when in the City purchased some articles that she stood in need of I never heard that Mrs Pintard had lost her husband till lately, Nicholas told me that he shoud write to you by this mail but his cousin invited him to go to the mountains twenty miles from here to hunt a sport that Peachey is very fond of, when he can spare time indulges him self tho it is a most fatiguing recreation Poor Mrs Ross she will feel her Brothers death he allow’d her $200 pr ann out of which sum she has to pay $3 a week for her Board to her Brother Johns widdow who is not in very good circumstances I hope the Doctor has taken care to insert it in his will. Browse begs me to assure you of his affectionate remembrance also to Sarah and Catharine and Mary unites with me in wishing you health and happiness

E Trist

I forgot to mention to you that your letter did not reach me for a month after its date which must excuse my not answering it sooner

RC (PPAmP: Catherine Wistar Bache Papers); mutilated at seal; addressed: “Mrs Catharine Bache Princeton Jersey”; stamped; postmarked Pittsylvania, 23 Sept.; endorsed by Bache: “Mrs Trist Sep 1817.”
Catharine Wistar Bache
Date Range
September 12, 1817