Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Ellen Wayles Randolph, [before 10 November 1801]

From Ellen Wayles Randolph

[before 10 Nov. 1801]

How do you do my dear Grand papa I thank you for the picture You sent me. All my Sisters have got the Hooping cough, Virginia has got a very bad cold. I hope you will bring me some books my dear grand papa I thank you. when I was writing the children made such a noise I could not write well.   your affectionate Grand daughter

Ellenanora W. Randolph

Make haste & come home to see us. & all our books [are in?] the press

RC (MHi); undated; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Nov. and so recorded in SJL.

Ellen Wayles Randolph (1796–1876) was the second surviving daughter of Martha Jefferson Randolph and Thomas Mann Randolph, and she often accompanied TJ to Poplar Forest. She read widely and studied languages, especially French. In 1825, she married Boston merchant Joseph Coolidge, Jr., in a ceremony at Monticello. They settled in Boston and had six children, four sons and two daughters. After her husband took an extended business trip to China, Ellen met him in London in June 1838, where they remained about one year. Ellen then spent two years in Macao, while her husband was in China, and in the 1840s, she spent several years with her family in Europe, before returning to Boston (Bear, Family Letters description begins Edwin M. Betts and James A. Bear, Jr., eds., Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Columbia, Mo., 1966 description ends , 268, 293, 324, 333, 341, 418–19; Monticello Association, Collected Papers, ed. George G. Shackelford, 2 vols. [Princeton and Charlottesville, 1965–84], 1:89–99).

Our books: perhaps a reference to the scrapbook being compiled at this time from the poems and clippings sent by TJ to his granddaughters. The press: a cabinet where letters were stored (Jonathan Gross, ed., Thomas Jefferson’s Scrapbooks: Poems of Nation, Family, & Romantic Love Collected by America’s Third President [Hanover, N.H., 2006], 499–501; RS description begins J. Jefferson Looney and others, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Princeton, 2004–, 4 vols. description ends , 3:xlvii).

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