Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 31 August 1817

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Poplar Forest Aug. 31. 17.

My ever dear Martha

Ellen tells me that a request is communicated thro’ Mr Randolph & yourself from the Freemason societies of Charlottesville to be permitted to lay the first brick of the Central college. I do not know that I have authority to say either yea or nay to this proposition; but as far as I may be authorised, I consent to it freely. the inhabitants of Charlottesville deserve too well of that institution to meet with any difficulty in that request, and I see no possible objection on the part of the other visitors which exposes me to risk in consenting to it.

Ellen and Cornelia are the severest students I have ever met with. they never leave their room but to come to meals. about twilight of the evening, we sally out with the owls & bats, and take our evening exercise on the terras. an alteration in that part of the house, not yet finished, has deprived them of the use of their room longer than I had expected; but two or three days more will now restore it to them. present me affectionately to mr Randolph, the girls & family. I trust to Ellen & Cornelia to communicate our love to Septimia in the form of a cake. my tenderest love attends yourself.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “Mrs Randolph”; endorsed by Randolph. PoC (MHi); on verso of a reused address cover from Archibald Robertson to TJ; endorsed by TJ.

Index Entries

  • cake search
  • Central College, Board of Visitors; members of search
  • Central College; and Freemasons search
  • Charlottesville, Va.; Freemasons of search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); delivers message search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); education of search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • food; cakes search
  • Freemasonry; and Central College search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Family & Friends; relations with grandchildren search
  • Meikleham, Septimia Anne Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); greetings sent to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); main house at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ’s grandchildren visit search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); education of search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); letters to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); delivers message search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); greetings sent to search
  • women; education of search
  • women; letters to; M. J. Randolph search