From Mary Jefferson Bolling
Chesnut Grove april 6 1791
I receiv’d the favour of yours dateed october wherin I found a total disappointment of the happiness I had long flattered my self with of seeing you, it being at a time that our distress cannot be describ’d. It is too much for my pen so that I will not trouble you with it. You must now permit me to hail you grandfather and I do Sincearly congratulate you on the happy occation of pat’cyes safe recovry. Wee anticipate the pleashure of seeing you this spring as your anxiety must be very great to see the little Stranger.
I am sorry to tell you our sister Carrs ill health becomes seriously alarming. She has an obstanate languid fever that does not intermit for two or three days. When they leave her she is considerable weakened and they return very frequently. I very much fear these are dropsical simtoms. I have long wisht an oppertunity of answering yours. Had it not have been for Mr. Epps’s politeness to me it was uncertain when I should have been gratified. Mr. Bolling Joins in love to you and apologyes for his negligence. The rest of my family Join in love. Adieu my dear brother may every blessing this life affords attend you are the most ardent wishes of your affectionate Sister
RC (ViU: Moyer-Jefferson Papers); endorsed by TJ as received 19 Apr. 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Punctuation has been supplied. TJ’s letter was that of 31 Oct. 1790.
The little stranger: TJ’s first grandchild was Anne Cary Randolph, to whom Martha gave birth on 23 Jan. 1791 (see TJ to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 9 Feb.1791, in which he acknowledged her letter announcing the event; that letter has not been found). TJ’s sister, Mary Jefferson (1741–1817), was married to Col. John Bolling of Chesterfield county on 24 June 1760. Sister Carr: Martha Jefferson Carr, widow of TJ’s friend Dabney Carr, suffered poor health but lived for another twenty years. She was three years younger than TJ.