Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mary Jefferson Eppes, 1 February 1798

From Mary Jefferson Eppes

Eppington February 1st 1798

May I thank you my Dear Papa for your last letter, The advice with which it is fill’d, I feel the importance of, & the solicitude it expresses for my happiness makes me sensible1 how gratefully I will endeavour to follow it. I hope I shall never do otherwise for I feel more & more every day how much the, happiness of my life depends2 on deserving your approbation. you will have heard I suppose before you recieve this of my aunt Skipwiths death an event which was render’d by her situation before it, a relief to her friends, who began to apprehend a long life of insanity. she had been for two months before she died, tho quite well otherwise so perfectly out of her senses that she knew no one about her, & expir’d in that situation. the family here will go in a week to her funeral we shall stay some time3 there to comfort the poor children & most of all poor Betsy whose sufferings for her mothers situation have but too much allready affected her health. we left Richmond a few days ago & I should have written to you there, but I had not time. we saw Mr W. Hylton there, who inform’d us that his son, with Mr Lawrence, had rented Richneck of him for 1000 pounds a year, in consequence of which he goes to live in Berkely where he has bought land of a gentleman who is engaged to Mrs Campbell his daughter, & will be married to her this spring, this piece of news I thought would not be disagreable to you as he has given over all thoughts of settling in our neighbourhood. I will write to Kitty Church soon & enclose my letter in one to you. Adieu dear Papa. I am your affectionate daughter


RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 15 Feb. 1798 and so recorded in SJL.

Your last letter: TJ to Mary Jefferson Eppes, 7 Jan. 1798. advice with which it is fill’d: included in TJ’s papers are two pages of undated notes in Mary Jefferson Eppes’s hand on the duties of a wife that she probably copied from a published work. The notes begin: “Sweetness of temper, affection to a husband & attention to his interests, constitute the duties of wife & form the basis of matrimonial felicity” (MS in DLC: TJ Papers, 234:41985).

1Word interlined in place of “assure you,” which was interlined in place of an illegibly canceled word.

2Word interlined.

3Eppes first wrote “I shall stay [gladly as long?]” before altering the passage to read as above.

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