Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 18 June 1802

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Washington June 18. 1802.

I recieved, my dear daughter, your’s of the 13th. by post. I regret extremely the situation of your family, not only for my disappointment here, but for what they are to suffer. I acknolege that, knowing when I came away the measles were in the neighborhood, I saw it was but too possible your visit here would be delayed. as it is, we must agree to the fall visit, and as Maria will be at Monticello, I trust she will come on with you. I believe we shall conclude here to leave this place the last week of July; probably I shall be with you by the 24th. say 5. weeks from this time, and I shall endeavor that mr Eppes & Maria be there also by that time. I hope Peter Hemings will get the better of his complaint, or I know not what we should do, as it is next to impossible to send Ursula & her child home & bring them back again.—the servants here have felt great disappointment at your not coming. the coachman is particularly chagrined. I suppose he wishes to have an opportunity of shewing himself on his box; which with me he has never had. mr and mrs Trist are to set out in a very few days for Albemarle, and I believe the two young ladies go with them. he, I fancy will proceed immediately to the Missisipi.—present my best esteem to mr Randolph, abundance of soft things to the children, and warmest affections to yourself.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “Mrs. Randolph.” PrC (MHi); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.

Randolph’s letter of THE 13TH, recorded in SJL as received 16 June, has not been found.

PETER HEMINGS was at this point the chief cook at Monticello. Born in 1787, URSULA Hughes had been training in the kitchen at the President’s House since the fall of 1801, but the birth of her child in March 1802 apparently disrupted her apprenticeship. After a year’s service in Washington, she returned to Monticello, where she alternated between assisting in the kitchen and working in the fields. Her child, born in Washington, died young, but she and her husband Wormley Hughes had nine more children together (Stanton, Free Some Day description begins Lucia Stanton, Free Some Day: The African-American Families of Monticello, Charlottesville, 2000 description ends , 45, 129–30; Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family [New York, 2008], 563, 568–70; MB description begins James A. Bear, Jr., and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, Princeton, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1069).

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