Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Mary Jefferson Eppes, 24 January 1802

From Mary Jefferson Eppes

Eppington jan. 24th [1802]

It makes me blush to think of the length of time which has elaps’d since I wrote to you last My Dear Papa, deprived for 6 weeks of the use of my hands, I was after recovering them so closely employ’d with work which during that time had greatly accumulated that without intending it it has been postponed ’till now, I have only thought the more of you My Dear Papa, of that I hope you need never be assur’d, that you are of all most dear to my heart & most constantly in my thoughts. with how much regret have I look’d back on the last two months that I was with you, more as I fear it will allways be the case now in your summer visits, to have a crowd,1 & in the spring I am afraid it not be in my power to go up. it would make me most happy to go to Washington to see you. but I have been so little accustom’d to be in as much2 company as I should be in there3 to recieve the civilitys & attentions which as your daughter I should meet with & return, that I am sensible it is best for me to remain where I am. I have not heard from Edgehill since I left it, Mr. Eppes wrote once to my sister when I was unable to do it.   but I must bid you adieu. My dear Papa, could I be as certain of the continuance of your good health as you may now be of mine I should endeavour to be satisfied in not hearing from you oftener, but while you are devoting your days & nights to the business of your country I must feel anxious & fearful that your health will suffer by it. Adieu once more my dear Papa I shall write to you once more from here, my little son is getting much better tho’ he still engrosses so much of my time that it is scarcely in my power to do any thing else. he is cutting teeth now which makes him more fretful than usual

Adieu yours with the most tender affection

M Eppes.

RC (MHi); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 24 Jan. 1802 received on 31 Jan. and so recorded in SJL.

Since i wrote to you last: Mary Jefferson Eppes to TJ, 6 Nov. 1801.

use of my hands: while the precise nature of Mary’s ailment is not known, it may have been related to breast inflammation. She suffered similar postpartum complications in February 1800 (Bear, Family Letters description begins Edwin M. Betts and James A. Bear, Jr., eds., Family Letters of Thomas Jefferson, Columbia, Mo., 1966 description ends , 217; Vol. 31:377; TJ to Mary Jefferson Eppes, 14 Dec. 1801).

1Preceding four words and comma interlined.

2Preceding four words interlined.

3Preceding six words interlined in place of “that I […] I could […].”

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