Elizabeth Trist to Nicholas P. Trist

My Dear Nicholas

I did not, when I wrote my last letter expect to trouble you again till after I had the pleasure to embrace you, but not knowing how long you may be detain’d at the point before the examination is over and in expectation that Browse has left Phila’d tho the weather has been cool enough any where; we have had so much rain that we have had fires mornings and evenings, not a common thing at this season, It seems as if I am to remain here always, in consiquince of the heavy rains and the number of [. . .] waggons passing and repassing have made the roads miserably bad I hope however in the course of a week to be able to start for the lower Neighbourhood where I may probably stay a couple of weeks perhaps longer as it will depend on my having the means of my getting a mode of conveyence Mr Divers carriage is still out of repair Mr Minor has disposed of his Mr Jeffersons Horses are all sick of a disease that will take some time to get the better off, I am not without my regrets at not being able to ride on Horseback as I formerly did and how I am to get to Bedford I cant conjecture, but trust that I shall be able1 to accomplish it for many Reasons, tho want of attention from My friends are not among the number I am too helpless and too poor to lead an unsettled life and where there are a number of Domesticks to a heart of sensibility it is a heavy tax My last letter from Monticello was from Virginia dated the 3d I will give you an extract “I am verry sorry to hear that we are not to have the pleasure of Browses Company this Summer, and am sure that2 both Francis and Wayles will be much disappointed at not finding him here when they come next month: but I supose it will be most to his advantage to Remain where he is and therefore his friends should not be selfish enough to complain. when did you hear from do you expect to see Mr Nicholas Trist, It will give us all great pleasure to see him again for I believe he has been absent nearly three years3

The Girls always mention you with a pleasing hope of seeing you soon again, I am told Manns Wife is not very handsome but I believe she is esteemd in the family but as she is not Rich and his circumstances none of the best, it must go pretty hard with them however industry and frugality will go further than fortune with extravagance and dissipation you have reason my Dear Nicholas to be thankful for the good intention of your Father to promote your happiness I hope that he will not embarrass him self by attempting to purchase a sugar plantation, tho if God spares his life he will no doubt have a chance of success, I dont know what Virginia will say to a Residence in that Country but if her Parents consent shou’d suppose she wou’d not Refuse was I to go, I shou’d prefer going down the Ohio and Mississippi in one of the Steam boats but the expence wou’d be less to go by sea; my last letter from your Cousin Mary was dated [. . .]th of May I am surprised that you did not know that William Burwell had not been living with them ever since they moved to Bedford I have not heard the particulars of Mr Burwells will as the letter informing me was destroyd by the mail Boy—my inducement for writing you at this time is to beg the favor of you to get me a pair of tortoise shell spectacles get them in Philad I had a delightful pair that I purchased at an Optition in Chesnut street and you broke one of the temples when you were an infant, Your Father took them to Philad to get it repaird but instead brought me a pair mounted with silver I wish them to be dark colourd and the sight at least 75 or oldest sight I have a pair of silver ones that Browse paid for at La Chases but they do not suit me, you can bring two pair of Glasses and feel them, they must be thick and concave my eyes are very weak and I expect to lose my sight altogether if I live much longer also get me some Dyacalon of the Gums and also some of the white kind but, dont take it if it looks Yellow for it is old when that is the case, you need not bring Murrys Grammer and spelling Book as I have no means of carrying it if you can bring me a few quire of letter paper I shou’d be glad I am a fraid you will not be able to Read this the pens drop the ink so much and having had the Rheumatism in My head for the last two or three weeks that I am unfit for any thing, and time of course hangs heavily on me I have not heard from your Mother since I wrote you, the date of her last was 14 April Mrs Divers Mr Divers the Major and Miss Polly Marks, often express a wish to see you that they may soon have that pleasure is the ardent wish of Your affectionate Grand Mother

E. Trist
RC (NcU: NPT); ink stained; addressed: “Mr Nicholas. P— Trist west Point New York”; stamped; postmarked Charlottesville, 7 June.

Diachylon, diachylum, or diaculum [dyacalon]: Originally, the name of a kind of ointment composed of vegetable juices; now a common name for lead-plaster, made by boiling together litharge (lead oxide), olive oil, and water; prepared on sheets of linen as a sticking-plaster which adheres when heated. Often used as a bandaging agent to close wounds (OED).

1Manuscript: “shall shall be able able.”
2Manuscript: “that that.”
3Omitted closing quotation marks editorially supplied.