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Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) to Martha Jefferson Randolph, [ca. 10 November 1816]

Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge) to Martha Jefferson Randolph

[ca. 10 Nov. 1816]

My dear Mama

We were a good deal disappointed at not recieving letters from some of the family in the large pacquet which came to Grandpapa from Monticello; one of the girls might have written to let us know that you were all1 well—We2 expect to be with you the last of the Month and in the mean time are making very good use of our time; I have got through the Syntax, & have finished Corderi. Cornelia has been equally industrious—fortunately we have not been much interrupted by company—Mrs Yancey & Mrs Radford called a few days after our arrival & Mrs Johnson Mrs Penn Mrs Grimes & Miss Wormley formed our next party of Visitors—except these ladies & a few gentlemen who have visited Grand Papa we have seen no body—Cornelia & myself discovered a great likeness between Mrs Johnson and Mrs Carter, we were a little surprized at your admiring her so much for she appeared to us awkward & affected—her Sister Mrs Penn is the very quintessence of vulgarity—Upon the whole however I like this place & neighbourhood very much & should be well pleased to pass a part of my time here every year—

Grandpapa has probably informed you (in his letter) that we are to have Marshall Grouchy & Mr Lee the Consul at Bourdeaux, at Monticello in the course of the winter—that delightfull season for visitors—Mr Godefroi was so much delighted with the Natural Bridge that he has written to propose the purchase of it—(the offer as you may suppose was declined) Jane will scream when she hears of this and3 conclude that the purchase money is to be deducted from the 70 dollars which formed the fortune of the family the last time we heard of them—Jeffersons visit was one of the most agreable surprizes we could have recieved—I fear he will not give us such another whilst we continue here4

Grandpapa talks of taking Uncle Eppes in his way home—we shall also call at Warren—perhaps stay all night there—in case of this double visit I fear our finances will scarcely hold out—if you could send me5 one or two dollars6 to distribute on the road, it would be quite enough with what we have—Adieu my dearest Mother—give my love to all the family and kiss the ladies for me—John Hemmings makes frequent enquiries after Septimia—& told me the other day that last year when he left Monticello to come here—he had cried for about five miles of the road after taking leave of her—if Mammy Critty & Aunt Priscilla enquire after their husbands say they are well.

Most affectionately your daughter

do not let any body see this letter for I have really “out done all my former outdoings” in it, and if I could spare paper would really write another—

Cornelia begs you will send some black berry flags by the boys. Adieu once more—

RC (ViU: Coolidge Correspondence); undated; written at Poplar Forest.

corderi was most likely an unidentified edition of Mathurin Cordier’s Colloquia, a Latin work first printed in Geneva in 1563 and subsequently published a number of times with accompanying translations into French (Sowerby, description begins E. Millicent Sowerby, comp., Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 1952–59, 5 vols. description ends no. 4791).

cornelia was Cornelia J. Randolph, while jane was Jane H. Nicholas Randolph. Thomas Jefferson Randolph’s (jeffersons) visit to Poplar Forest had been an agreeable surprise. septimia: Septimia A. Randolph (Meikleham).

mammy critty (Critta Colbert) and aunt priscilla (Priscilla Hemmings) were slaves belonging to the Randolph family. their husbands were TJ’s slaves Burwell Colbert and John Hemmings, respectively. the boys were John Hern and Randal Hern.

1Word interlined.

2Reworked from “Grandpapa.”

3Here is canceled “wonders.”

4Here is canceled “however, now that the time is fixed for our return I fear.”

5Preceding two words interlined in place of “get.”

6Here is canceled “from papa.”

Index Entries

  • blackberry lily search
  • Carter, Mrs. search
  • Colbert, Burwell (TJ’s slave; b.1783); health of search
  • Colbert, Critta (T. M. Randolph’s slave; Burwell Colbert’s wife) search
  • Colloquia (M. Cordier) search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); education of search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); letters from, to M. J. Randolph search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); requests money from mother search
  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Cordier, Mathurin; Colloquia search
  • Eppes, John Wayles (TJ’s son-in-law); TJ visits search
  • Godefroy, Maximilian; and Natural Bridge search
  • Grimes, Mrs.; visits Poplar Forest search
  • Grouchy, Emmanuel, marquis de; plans visit to Monticello search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); and S. A. R. Meikleham search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); health of search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); travels to and from Poplar Forest search
  • Hemmings, Priscilla (T. M. Randolph’s slave; John Hemmings’s wife) search
  • Hern, John (TJ’s slave; b.1800); sent to Poplar Forest search
  • Hern, Randal (TJ’s slave; b.1802); sent to Poplar Forest search
  • Johnson, Mrs.; visits Poplar Forest search
  • language; study of search
  • Lee, William (1772–1840); plans visit to Monticello search
  • lily; blackberry search
  • lily; flag search
  • Meikleham, Septimia Anne Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); and J. Hemmings search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; proposed sale of TJ’s lands at search
  • Penn, Mrs.; visits Poplar Forest search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ’s grandchildren visit search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); visitors to search
  • Radford, Elizabeth Moseley; visits Poplar Forest search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); and plants for TJ search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Randolph, Jane Hollins Nicholas (Thomas Jefferson Randolph’s wife; Wilson Cary Nicholas’s daughter); and proposed sale of Natural Bridge search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); children of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); children request money from search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); correspondence of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); letters to, from E. W. R. Coolidge search
  • Randolph, Thomas Jefferson (TJ’s grandson; Jane Hollins Nicholas Randolph’s husband); visits Poplar Forest search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • women; letters from; E. W. R. Coolidge to M. J. Randolph search
  • women; letters to; M. J. Randolph from E. W. R. Coolidge search
  • Wormley, Miss; visits Poplar Forest search
  • Yancey, Elizabeth Macon (wife of Joel Yancey [d.1833]); visits Poplar Forest search