To Anne Cary Randolph, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, and Ellen Wayles Randolph
Washington Mar. 7. 1802.
My Dear Children
I am very happy to find that two of you can write. I shall now expect that whenever it is inconvenient for your papa & mama to write, one of you will write on a piece of paper these words ‘all is well’ and send it for me to the post office. I am happy too that miss Ellen can now read so readily. if she will make haste and read through all the books I have given her, and will let me know when she is through them, I will go and carry her some more. I shall now see whether she wishes to see me as much as she says. I wish to see you all: and the more I perceive that you are all advancing in your learning and improving in good dispositions the more I shall love you, & the more every body will love you. it is a charming thing to be loved by every body: and the way to obtain it is, never to quarrel or be angry with any body, never to tell a story, do all the kind things you can to your companions, give them every thing rather than to yourself, pity & help every thing you see in distress and learn your books and improve your minds. this will make every body fond of you, and desirous of shewing it to you: go on then my dear children, and, when we meet at Monticello, let me see who has improved most. I kiss this paper for each of you; it will therefore deliver the kisses to yourselves, and two over, which one of you must deliver to your Mama for me; and present my affectionate attachment to your papa. to yourselves love and Adieux.
PrC (MHi); at foot of text: “Anne Th. Jefferson Eleanor,” connected by TJ with a brace with “Jefferson” written at the point; in ink TJ later canceled “Jefferson” and wrote “Randolph”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.
TWO OF YOU CAN WRITE: TJ received his first letters from Anne Cary and Thomas Jefferson Randolph on 3 Mch. They are printed at 26 Feb. TJ’s first letter from his granddaughter Ellen, written with the help of her mother, is printed at 10 Nov. 1801 (Vol. 35:589).