Thomas Jefferson Papers

Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, 3 December 1816

To Martha Jefferson Randolph

Poplar Forest. Tuesday Dec. 3. 16.

We have been, my ever dearest Martha, now weather bound at this place since Sunday was sennight. we were then1 to have set off on our return home, but it began to rain that day, and we have had three regular N.E. rains successively, with intermissions of a single day between each. during the first intermission, mr Flower left us for Monticello, but by the way of the Natural bridge. by him I wrote to mr Randolph that we should set out in 2. or 3. days; but the 2d storm set in the next day, and the 3d cleared up last night, leaving us a snow of 4. inches on the ground. we shall wait 2. or 3. days for that to go off, the roads to harden, and the waters to fall, and we shall be 6. days on the road, that is to say, 2. days to Millbrook, 2. there and 2. home; so that I suppose we shall be at Monticello about this day or tomorrow sennight, allowing in addition for any further bad weather. Johnny Hemings & co. will set off on Thursday & be at home on Sunday. it is well that during our delay we have been in comfortable quarters. our only discomfort is the not being with you. the girls have borne it wonderfully. they have been very close students, and I am never without enough to do to protect me from ennui. god bless you all.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “Mrs Randolph”; endorsed by Randolph. PoC (MHi); on verso of reused address cover of Edwin Stark to TJ, 30 Oct. 1816; mutilated at seal; endorsed by TJ.

The skilled woodworker johnny hemings (Hemmings) and his two assistants were at Poplar Forest doing finishing work at the main house (MB description begins James A. Bear Jr. and Lucia C. Stanton, eds., Jefferson’s Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany, 1767–1826, 1997, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 2:1328). the girls who had accompanied TJ on his visit to Bedford County were his granddaughters Cornelia J. Randolph and Ellen W. Randolph (Coolidge).

1Word interlined.

Index Entries

  • Coolidge, Ellen Wayles Randolph (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Flower, George; visits Monticello search
  • Flower, George; visits Natural Bridge search
  • Flower, George; visits Poplar Forest search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); as woodworker search
  • Hemmings, John (TJ’s slave; b. ca.1776); travels to and from Poplar Forest search
  • Mill Brook (J. W. Eppes’s Buckingham Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Monticello (TJ’s estate); Visitors to; Flower, George search
  • Natural Bridge, Va.; visitors to search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); main house at search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ returns from search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ visits search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); TJ’s grandchildren visit search
  • Poplar Forest (TJ’s Bedford Co. estate); visitors to search
  • Randolph, Cornelia Jefferson (TJ’s granddaughter); visits Poplar Forest search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); children of search
  • Randolph, Martha Jefferson (Patsy; TJ’s daughter; Thomas Mann Randolph’s wife); letters to search
  • Randolph, Thomas Mann (1768–1828) (TJ’s son-in-law; Martha Jefferson Randolph’s husband); mentioned search
  • slaves; travels of search
  • weather; rain search
  • weather; snow search
  • women; letters to; M. J. Randolph search