Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 19 October 1801

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Washington Oct. 19. 1801.

I am in hopes, my dear Martha, that I shall hear by the arrival of tomorrow morning’s post, that you are all well. in the mean while the arrangement is such that my letter must go hence this evening. my last letter was from mr Eppes of Oct. 3. when all were well. I inclose a Crazy Jane for Anne, and a sweetheart for Ellen. the latter instead of the many coloured stories which she cannot yet read. from the resolution you had taken I imagine you are now at Edgehill surrounded by the cares and the comforts of your family. I wish they may be less interrupted than at Monticello. I set down this as a year of life lost to myself, having been crouded out of the enjoiment of the family during the only recess I can take in the year. I believe I must hereafter not let it be known when I intend to be at home, & make my visits by stealth. there is real disappointment felt here at neither of you coming with me. I promise them on your faith for the ensuing spring. I wish however that may be found as convenient a season of absence for mr Randolph. mr. Madison & family are with us for a few days, their house having been freshly plaistered & not yet dry enough to go into. such is the drought here that nobody can remember when it rained last. my sincere affections to mr Randolph1 & mr Eppes. kisses to the young ones & my tenderest love to Maria & yourself.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “Mrs. Randolph.” PrC (CSmH); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso. Enclosures not found.

Matthew G. Lewis, the popular British author of gothic novels, wrote Crazy Jane, a poem of seduction and abandonment, which included the lines “Henry fled!—With him, for ever, Fled the wits of Crazy Jane.” The ballad was set to music by several composers and performed in concerts and theatrical productions frequently in the United States in 1800 and 1801. “Crazy Jane,” and several sequels of unknown authorship, including “The Death of Crazy Jane” and “Henry’s Return, the sequel to Crazy Jane,” were reprinted in newspapers and published as songs sold in bookstores and music stores (Lewis F. Peck, A Life of Matthew G. Lewis [Cambridge, Mass., 1961], 46–7; The Life and Correspondence of M. G. Lewis, 2 vols. [London, 1839], 1:187–9; New York Mercantile Advertiser, 11 June 1800; New York Daily Advertiser, 7 Aug. 1800; New York Weekly Museum, 6 Sep. 1800, 24 Jan. 1801; Boston Gazette, 23 Oct. 1800; Boston Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser, 14 May 1801; Newburyport Herald, 6 Oct. 1801; United States Chronicle, 29 Oct. 1801; New-York Evening Post, 29 Dec. 1801). For another poem by Lewis, this one clipped by TJ from a literary magazine, see Jonathan Gross, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Scrapbooks: Poems of Nation, Family, & Romantic Love Collected by America’s Third President (Hanover, N.H., 2006), 346, 380–1n.

Their House: the Madison family moved to 1333 F Street about 20 Oct. (see note to TJ to James and Dolley Madison and Anna Payne at 27 May 1801).

1Remainder of sentence interlined.

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