Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

your favor of the 12th instant I received to day, I began as the Irish say, to think long at not getting some proof of your remembrance, but come when it will it brings its welcome with it, Your cousins Peachey Mary and their two youngest children reach'd Mr Minors on the 9th after a disagreeable journey of five days, one day of snow they all caught bad colds but got the better of them in a few days we spent 3 days with the Doctor and family and five or six at Mr Minors where Chancellor Dabney Carr came to meet his old friends from Winchester and a Colonel Watson and old school fellow of Peacheys and married to Minors Sister came also to meet his friend, General Cocke did not come till after we got here a few days after we got to Farmington Mrs Randolph Ellen Cornelia and Virginia came to see Mary attended by Browse as an escort they cou'd not stay for dinner but took some refreshment—the roads were not in the best order and Mrs Randolph cou'd not stay a way from her child, Mr Jefferson General Cocke and Mr Garret came to Dinner and the latter staid and return'd to Mr Minors with Peachey and Mary They left Ridgeway on Tuesday or wednesday to Monticello where they purposed to spend two nights and a day then proceed on to Gilmerton where they purposed to spend five or six days and then proceed on to General Cockes and pass two or three days with him and then take their departure for Liberty where Peachey is obliged to be on the 10th of Feby, the weather is uncommonly fine and has been and has been for for the last week or ten days tho the wind comes from the N West it is so warm I cant sleep under more than one blanket and a fire is quite oppressive Mr Jefferson seems to be getting quite Strong and the certainty now of the University being establish’d here will add to his longivity Browse has gone back from Monticello to Bentivar where he means to stay a few months in hopes of the College being in readiness to receive Students the fact is that he cannot without he receives remittances leave here in consiquence of your debt to Leitch I am afraid by your sending to him for Money that you have not got the better of your expensive habits and I am sorry to hear that instead of your spending your time in study that you have spent it in Reveling and folly I thought West point wou’d be a place where more decorum was observed and I am mortified that after your promise of studying so as to go through two years in one and by that means to get leave of absence next fall to take me to Liberty I cou'd not have gone even if I had been well enough which is not the case for Mary the children and Betsy with the baggage and Mat to drive is quite enough for 2 Horses besides at this season I cant undertake a journey with out risking my life which is almost become of little importance to my self or any one else tho my friends are all kind and attentive to me Mr and Mrs Minor are wanting me back again but I shall stay where I am for some time Peachey seems to be full of the scheme of going to settle on the Missoura I shall be very sorry if he puts it in execution for I coud not pretend to undertake such a journey and I shou'd feel cast upon the world indeed, tho I believe my friends in this Neighbourhood wou'd not let me want a home the little time I have to remain on earth yet I have more claim on my neice than any other person and She I have lookd to, to, smooth the pillow of death I am glad that your corps has settled down in quietness and that there will be a code of laws [. . .] instituted for the regulation of the Seminary both Officers and Cadets, I want to know how many there are of your Corps who compose the Corps of Cadets and whether you think the seminary will ever produce any men of Talents, many say that it never has yet, that they are generally great ignoramuses but if a young man has a mind to improve him self he has the opportunity, you shou'd endeavour to get into the room with those who are disposed for Study and make the best use of your time and not disappoint the hopes of your friends learn to be frugal, as it is the same road to independence when supported by industry this be assur'd of that extravagance will injure yr Self and friends the last year has not been a fortunate one to Mr Tournillon or any other of the Planters of Cotton and his saw mill cou'd not have produced much for want of Water I observe in a letter your Mother wrote Browse that I am to have my supplies from out of yours and his which will be a drawback upon your funds which is painful to me but I must have necessaries, or solicit aid of my friends Burn this letter as soon as read, I hope to see Browse on Sunday I fear that I have trespass'd on your time and therefore will bid you a good night, may you be every thing that I wish you to be, and I hope God will bless and preserve you

E, Trist

Mr and Mrs Divers desire to be rememberd to you

RC (DLC: NPT); addressed: “Mr Nicholas P—Trist West Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 2 Feb.; endorsed by recipient: “Grandmother Trist Jany 28th—19.”