Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mary Jefferson, 1 May 1791

From Mary Jefferson

Monticello May 1

Dear Papa

As Bob is going down the country to morrow we shall all write to you by this opportunity. We expect jenny and nancy Randolph here in july. Mr. Randolph has bought a horse called my heart and a saddle for me to ride out on also a pretty whip. My niece is prettier and prettier everyday. This place is beautiful now. The peaches cherrys and strawberries are very big allready and there are a great number. Adieu my dear Papa I am your affectionate daughter

Mary Jefferson

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 7 May 1791 and so recorded in SJL. Some punctuation has been supplied.

For identification of the slave Bob (Robert Hemings), see note to Randolph to TJ, 30 Apr. 1791. Jenny and Nancy were Virginia and Anne Cary Randolph, daughters of Col. Thomas Mann Randolph and sisters of Mary’s brother—in—law. Two years after the above letter was written, Nancy became involved in the notorious affair at Bizarre, about which much has been written without dispelling all of the misconceptions that have arisen. The most reliable account is to be found in the editorial note by Charles T. Cullen and Herbert A. Johnson, eds., The Papers of John Marshall (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1977), ii, 161–78, which contributes new information and proves that Commonwealth v. Randolph was not in fact a trial but a hearing.

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