Martha Jefferson Randolph to Virginia J. Randolph (Trist)

Your very welcome packet My Dear Virginia was safely delivered by a party of gentlemen of whom Mr Taylor was one, and whilst preparing my best airs and graces to recieve them, to my great mortification saw them leave the house—your Father who brought the letter in to me, said he should ask them to dinner, but as he departed with them I could not ascertain whether they would return with him or not. I shall be much mortified if they do not, as I sha should be loth to appear even, to neglect the smallest wish of your Aunt’s wishes. Mr Rives has spread the fame of your journal far and wide and people will soon begin to examine the papers with much curiosity to see the interesting extracts. the ground has been already much beaten before you, but to the eyes of genius there will allways remain interesting subjects of observation, which escape your every day traveller—Ann arrived the sunday after you left us, and Your Grand Father and the girls the sunday following. I find by the light way in which you speak of Mr B— that you have not been the object of his attention. from his known character, your Aunt Jane determined at once that he would court one, or perhaps both of you. your Father thinks Elisabeth has made another conquest. he desired me to inform her that at 2 o clock on the 16th he saw a gentleman elegantly mounted, enquiring the way to Ashton who from his popeyed whose happy countenance bespoke the lover, and one not destitute of hope. being much of a gossip, I went to Ashton on purpose to learn his name, which Harriet will give you, with other interesting particulars—Ann has also made many conquests. I hear her spoken of in a manner that fills me with spleen and envy on your account. alas my daughter! what have you been about, that even with the advantage of your promised 30 cents per annum, you can not cope with these. tell Sister R— that I have seen her favorite Mr Niverson, at least he spoke in such terms as of her, that I presumed he must be far in her good graces. we were all much pleased with him here, he appears to be sensible and well informed; and you know it is said of our young country men in general, that they are so well satisfied with nature’s liberality to them, that few, think it worth their while to cultivate her gifts by acquired and add to them the acquired advantages of a good education. adieu My dear daughter I have twice had the misfortune to set down to write to you in cloudy weather, which allways add greatly to my natural dullness, and indeed the neighbourhood appears as stupid as I am. there is nothing new, nothing to prevent [. . .]people animal spirits from stagnation; and our Bedford party have returned so stupid from their long rustication that we have all dosed away life together since their return. we expect the Stevensons to morrow, perhaps it will be a little better with us when we have seen some body to put a few ideas in our heads—I have just heard that your grand mama [. . .] Brockenbrough is very ill at the springs, She bathed every day, and remained 5 and 6 hours in the bath. the gentleman who told your Father said that Edwin Harvie had been sent for. adieu if I had another scrap of paper I would not send such a blackguard looking scrawl as this. perhaps I may do better the next time. in the mean time [d]aughter believe me with unalterable affection

tender mother

the girls all join in love to you both, and to Sister R who certainly is not like lady Montagu, fond of doing what she does well, other wise her friends would be some times indulged with a letter from her. for your mother’s credit burn this as soon as you have read it—

RC (NcU: NPT); torn at seal; dateline at bottom of text; addressed: “Miss Virginia Randolph warm Springs Bath County”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 24 Sept.
Date Range
September 24, 1817