Washington Feb. 14. 29.
I have time, this morning, for only a single line, to remove all doubt as to the receipt of your last packet. It came in due course of mail, & its contents went with the first dispatches: so also did its previous brother, which ought to have been immediately acknowledged; & would have been, but for collateral causes of procrastination. Mrs Randolph & Virginia have been for two or three weeks, on a long promised visit to Mrs Cary in Fluvanna. Their return was contemplated at an earlier day, but has been retarded by weather; & will be so, now, by the dreadful fever that has made its appearance in the Vicinity of Charlottesville. I got a letter from the girls at Edgehill by last post; young James Randolph (of Thomas Eston’s family) had been taken with it, & was at Edgehill. They intended to urge the stay of Mrs R & V. in their present situation, on the ground of convenience: fearing that the idea of danger might have the contrary effect. Our poor University is fated, I fear, to get an ill name, in relation to the qualities the possession of which in the public belief is essential to its Success. I will write early next week. Meanwhile, my very affectionate greetings to Mrs Madison & yourself
N. P. Trist
RC (ViHi: Nicholas P. Trist Album Book). Docketed by JM.