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Full text of "Letters of John Randolph, to a young relative; embracing a series of years, from early youth, to mature manhood"

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J O H tf R AW D O TL P H, 








ENTERED, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by CARET, 
LEA & BLANCHARD, in the District Court for the Eastern District of Peniv 


f.niGfJS & CO., PRINTERS. 


THE following letters have been selected, from 
among several hundred, as most fit for publication. 

The sentiment of filial devotion towards the author, 
which, for many years, constituted a large portion of 
my moral existence, together with the want of criti 
cal acumen, may so far mislead the judgment, as to 
make me overrate the merit of these letters. Be that 
as it may, I shall make no apology for giving them to 
the public : neither have they a right to require, nor 
shall they receive, any explanation of motives, that 
may be personal to myself, in making the publica 

Suffice it to say, that, I think, they will do credit 
to American literature; and add something to the 
fame of a man, who long held a distinguished rank 
among American orators, and statesmen; and whose 
genius has added not a little to his country s glory. 





Georgetown, Jan. 31, 1806. 

I SEND you by the New Orleans mail, " letters writ 
ten by the great Mr. Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham, to 
his nephew, when at 1 college. You know my opinion of 
Lord Chatham: that he was at once the greatest practical 
statesman that ever lived, and the most transcendent orator. 
With all this, he was a truly good man, (indeed, he must 
have been, since virtue is essential to great excellence in 
laudable pursuits^ and the most elegant and polished gen 
tleman of his time. 

When I speak of a practical statesman, I wish you 
to understand me. A man may possess great theoretic 
knowledge on any subject, and yet be a poor practitioner. 
To take an example from the profession which you seem to 
have chosen, in preference to any other, a man might have 
all the best medical authors by heart, know the treatment 
which is considered to be most judicious for every disease, 
and the properties of every medicine, so as, in conversation, 



to vie with any, and to outshine the greater part of his pro 
fession, and yet be so deficient in practice, as, when brought 
to a patient, to be unable to tell what his disease was, and, of 
course, how it was to have been treated, whether the pulse 
indicated depletion or stimulants. Such is the difference 
between theory and practice; one is disease on paper, where 
all goes smoothly, and the patient infallibly recovers: the 
other is disease in the subject of malady, in man himself, 
where symptoms are complicated, and the various conside 
rations of age, sex, and condition, in the patient, baffle the 
most skilful, and dismay the most experienced where the 
patient dies. 

I fear, from the shortness of your letter, from the in 
correctness of its orthography and syntax, and from the 
omission of some material words, that want of paper was 
not your ONLY cause for omitting to write the week before 
last. Enclosed you have someVhing to obviate that objec 

" There is only 20 more to carry down*" 

Note. A verb DOES NOT agree with its nominative 
IN number and person. 

" Plowing " which in the preceding line you have 
spelt correctly. 

" No accidents has befallen." A verb does not, &c. 

" The reason that I did not (the word write omitted) 
last week, was, &c." No attention to points, at all. 

Number of lines in your letter, nine, 

errors four;* 

Surely you cannot have read over, once what you wrote. 
Moreover, the hand is a very bad one; many words blotted, 
and every part of it betrays negligence and a carelessness of 
excelling a most deplorable symptom in a young man. 

Is Dr. Robinson in Farmville, and is he likely to remain 
there? Would you prefer being at Hamp. Sid. Coll. to stay- 

* Besides omitting the year 1806. 


ing at Bizarre? i am very uneasy about you, my dear boy. 
In your letters I see no trace of your studies no mention 
made of Ovid or Homer nothing as to your manner of dis 
posing of your time. As soon as I am well enough, I shall 
set off for Bizarre. God bless you. 

Your affectionate friend 
and relation, 


What has become of the journal that I directed you to 

Have you ever received the two banks notes that I sent 

Do not imitate your father s handwriting it is a running 
hand, unfit for you at present. You must learn to write 
distinctly first, as children learn to read, letter by letter, 
syllable by syllable, word by word. The first page of this 
letter is a very good copy for you particularly the date* 


Georgetown, Feb. 2, 1806. 

I WROTE to you, yesterday, by the New Orleans 
mail, and, through mistake, dated my letter in January. I 
would have you, my clear boy, consider the little book, 
which I sent at the same time, as coming from my head and 
heart, and addressed to your own. Our situation, and that of 
its writer and his nephew, are not dissimilar. Let us, then, 
profit by their example. Whilst I endeavour to avail my 
self of the wisdom and experience of the one, do you also 
strive to imitate the amiable docility of the other; and so 
may God bless you, my dear boy. 


Above all things abstain from going, on any occasion, to 
Farmville, when you can possibly avoid it. You can meet 
no company there, from whom you can derive improvement 
of any sort; but much of an opposite description. Tell 
Sam, that I rely upon him. Endeavour to prevent the 
wood from being pillaged, and ask Mr. Johnston to assist 
you. Keep a watch upon all trespassers, and threaten them, 
in my name/ with a prosecution when I return: not that I 
mean seriously to go to law, (which I detest,) about a few 
tiers of wood; but, situated as the estate is, it is too much 
exposed to real injury from such marauders, to submit qui 
etly to their inroads. 

As soon as I get better, I shall set out for Bizarre. 

Yours truly, 
J. R. 

How do you come on with Ovid and Hume? 

Who is the greatest man that you have met with in Eng 
lish history? (I ll answer for it, he proves the most virtu 
ous:) and why do you think him so great? 

Who is the worst man? 

The most learned? 

I shall bring home some good maps of our own country. 

Since Thursday, the 23d of January, (inclusive,) we have 
had mild warm weather, with rain and frost. What might 
be called May weather. You promised to keep an account 
of the weather at Bizarre, but your little scraps of letters con 
tain nothing relating to it. By this time, the ploughs ought 
to have finished the low-ground field next C. Allen s, when 
they must begin on the opposite low-ground field, next B. 
Allen s, on this side of the R. 



Georgetown, Saturday, Feb, 15, 1800. 


AFTER I had gone to bed last night, and lay tumbling 
and tossing about, uneasy and unable to rest, my thoughts 
running upon many an anxious subject, among which you 
were not forgotten, I was relieved by the entrance of a ser 
vant, who handed me your letter of the 9th, with some others. 
But that relief was only temporary. My mind fixed itself 
on your situation for the remainder of the night, and I have 
determined to settle you at school at Winchester, unless (of 
which I have no expectation) I shall find Hampden Sidney 
very greatly altered for the better. At your time of life, my 
son, I was even more inelegtbly placed than you are, and 
would have given worlds for quiet seclusion and books. I 
never had either. You will smile when I tell you that the 
first map that I almost ever saw was one of Virginia, when 
I was nearly fifteen; and that I never (until the age of man 
hood) possessed any treatise on geography, other than an ob 
solete Gazetteer of Salmon, and my sole atlas were the five 
maps, if you will honour them with that name, contained in 
the Gazetteer, each not quite so big as this page, of the three 
great eastern divisions, and two western ones, of the earth. 
The best and only Latin dictionary that I ever owned, you 
now4iave. I had a small Greek lexicon, bought with my own 
pocket money, and many other books, acquired in the same 
way, (from 16 to 20 years of age;) but these were merely 
books of amusement. I never was with any preceptor, one 
only excepted, (and he left the school after I had been there 
about two months,) who would deserve to be called a Latin 
or Greek scholar; and I never had any master of modern lan 
guages, but an old Frenchman, (some gentleman valet, I sup 
pose,) who could neither write nor spell. 

I mention these things, my child, that you may not be dis 
heartened. Tis true, that I am a very ignorant man, for one 


who is thought to have received a learned education. You 
(I hope) will acquire more information, and digest it better. 
There is an old proverb, " You cannot teach an old dog new 
tricks." Yours is the time of life to acquire knowledge. 
Hereafter you must use it; like the young, sturdy labourer, 
who lays up, whilst he is fresh and vigorous, provision for 
his declining age. 

When I asked whether you had received the bank notes I 
sent you, I did not mean to inquire how you had laid them 
out. Don t you see the difference? From your not men 
tioning that they had come to hand, (a careless omission; you 
should break yourself of this habit,) and your cousin inform 
ing me that she had not received two packets sent by the same 
mail, I concluded that the notes were probably lost or em 
bezzled. Hence my inquiry after them. No, my son; what 
ever cash I send you (unless for some special purpose) is 
yours: you will spend it as you please, and I have nothing to 
say to it. That you will not employ it in a manner that you 
ought to be ashamed of, I have the fullest confidence. To 
pry into such affairs would not only betray a want of that 
confidence, and even a suspicion discreditable to us both, but 
infringe upon your rights and independence. For, although 
you are not of an age to be your own master, and independent 
in all your actions, yet you are possessed of rights which it 
would be tyranny and injustice to withhold, or invade. In 
deed, this independence, which is so much vaunted, and which 
young people think consists in doing what they please, when 
they grow up to man s estate, (with as much justice as the 
poor negro thinks liberty consists in being supported in idle 
ness, by other people s labour,) this independence is but a 
name. Place us where you will, along with our rights 
there must coexist correlative duties, and the more exalted 
the station, the more arduous are these last. Indeed, as the 
duty is precisely correspondent to the power, it follows that 
the richer, the wiser, the more powerful a man is, the greater 
is the obligation upon him to employ his gifts in lessening 
the sum of human misery; and this employment constitutes 


happiness, which the weak and wicked vainly imagine to con 
sist in wealth, finery, or sensual gratification. Who so mi 
serable as the bad Emperor of Rome? Who more happy than 
Trajan and Antoninus? Look at the fretful, peevish, rich 
man, whose senses are as much jaded by attempting to em 
brace too much gratification, as the limbs of the poor post 
horse are by incessant labour. [See the Gentlemen and 
Basket-makers, and, indeed, the whole of Sandford and Mer 

Do not, however, undervalue, on that account, the charac 
ter of the real gentleman, which is the most respectable __ 
amongst men. It consists not of plate, and equipage, and rich 
living, any more than in the disease which that mode of life 
engenders; but in truth, courtesy, bravery, generosity, and 
learning, which last, although not essential to it, yet does 
very much to adorn and illustrate the character of the true 
gentleman. Tommy Merton s gentlemen were no gentle 
men, except in the acceptation of innkeepers, (and the great 
vulgar, as well as the small,) with whom he who rides in a 
coach and six, is three times as great a gentleman as he who 
drives a post-chaise and pair. Lay down this as a prin 
ciple, that truth is to the other virtues, what vital air is to 
the human system. They cannot exist at all without it; and 
as the body may live under many diseases, if supplied with 
pure air for its consumption, so may the character survive 
many defects, where there is a rigid attachment to truth. 
All equivocation and subterfuge belong to falsehood, which 
consists, not in using false words only, but in conveying false 
impressions, no matter how; and if a person deceive himself r 
and I, by my silence, suffer him to remain in that error, I am 
implicated in the deception, unless he be one who has no right 
to rely upon me for information, and, in that case, tis plain, 
I could not be instrumental in deceiving him. 

I send you two letters, addressed to myself, whilst at 
school of which I NOW sorely repent me I did not THEN 
avail myself, (so far, at least, as my very ineligible situation 
would admit.) Will you accept a little of my experience, 


instead of buying some of your own at a very dear rate? 
and so, God bless you, my son. 

Your affectionate uncle, 


P. S. In consideration of my being surrounded with com 
pany, and having, at the same time, a horrible headach, ex 
cuse this scratch. 

I shall send you Walker s Dictionary, for pronouncing the 
English language. Among other vulgarisms, I hope it will 
break you and Buona of saying horrubble, sensubble, indo- 
lunce, for horrible, sensible, indolence, &c. You will soon 
get over this, by accustoming yourself to say horri, sensi, (as 
if spelled horry, &c.,) dividing the word, and then adding the 
final syllable (ble.) You know I ve long been contending 
against this barbarism, which deforms the pronunciation of 

"Mah," instead of my, pronounced sometimes mie, and, 
at others, me, the e short, as bring me my hat. 

Famully family. 

Possubul possible, &c. &c. 

Vigilunt vigilant, &c. &c. 

Another omission: 

You say nothing of Duchess, or the other mares and 
the foals. Are they with foal ? (or, as the sportsmen say, 
"in foal?") 

When you write, have my letter before you, and (after tell 
ing me every thing that suggests itself to your mind) exa 
mine and reply to the points it contains. 

Copy the enclosed letters, and take special care of the ori 
ginals. I am glad that you have read Lord Chatham s let 
ters, and yet more, that you are pleased with them. They 
will bear, and, I hope, receive, repeated readings. 

Enclosed are ten dollars, United States Bank, payable at 
Washington, No. 7045, E. 



Georgetown, Saturday, March 1, 1806. 

YOUR letter has relieved me from great uneasiness 
as I got none from you last week, and was afraid that you 
were sick, or that some accident had befallen you. Why, 
my dear boy, did this happen? and why will you, through 
carelessness, expose those who love you to suffer on your ac 
count? I would not write myself, hoping that my silence 
would be a more forcible admonition than any I could de 

Your letter is not a bad one, although it has some errors 
in it; it might have been more correct, yet worse. Do not, 
however, undervalue correctness; for, although mere free 
dom from defect does not constitute excellence, which is in 
itself a positive quality, yet great defects deform the great 
est excellence. 

We do not say " from there" but " from thence." The 
present participle of the verb " to put," is spelled with a 
double t, "puling," and not "pu/ing." The word plough 
(in every sense of it) is spelled with " ugh" and not a " w" 
as you have it, "plowing." I have much fault to find with 
the handwriting of your letter: it is hurried, confused, in 
short, a mere scratch, indistinct, and hardly legible; where 
I am obliged to guess at the letters; and, from the mode of 
writing and folding up in a hurry, before the ink had dried, 
much blotted. Take my advice, my son, and do not at 
tempt a running hand yet. The way to acquire a good run 
ning hand, is to begin with a fair, large, clean-cut, and 
distinct character. Children always learn to stand alone, 
and to walk, step by step, before they run. There is ano 
ther excellent rule, which, if you now adhere to it, will be 
of great service to you through life: " make haste slowly." 
Hurry always occasions blunder and delay. When, there 
fore, you make any mistake, or blot, write all over again, 



fairly. The labour of doing this will make you careful and 
correct; and, when the habit is formed, the trouble is over. 
Habit is truly called " second nature." To form good ha 
bits is almost as easy as to fall into bad. What is the diffe 
rence between an industrious, sober man and an idle drunk 
en one, but their respective habits? Tis just as easy for 
Mr. Harrison to be temperate and active, as tis for poor 
Knowles to be the reverse; with this great difference, that, 
exclusively of the effects of their respective courses of life on* 
their respectability and fortunes, the exercises of the one are 
followed by health, pleasure, and peace of mind, whilst 
those of the other engender disease, pain, and discontent 
to say nothing of poverty in its most hideous shape, want,, 
squalid misery, and the contempt of the world, contrasted 
with affluent plenty, a smiling family, and the esteem of all 
good men. Perhaps you cannot believe that there exists a 
being who would hesitate which of these two lots to choose. 
Alas! my son, vice puts on such alluring shapes, indolence 
is so seducing, that, (like the flies in ./Esop,) we revel whilst 
the sun shines, and for a few hours temporary pleasure pay 
the price of perishing miserably in the winter of our old 
age. The industrious ants are wiser. By a little forbear 
ance at the moment, by setting a just value on the future? 
and disregarding present temptation, they secure an honour- 
able and comfortable asylum. All nature, my son, is a vo 
lume, speaking comfort and offering instruction to the good 
and wise. But the fool saith in his heart, There is no God:" 
he shuts his eyes to the great book of Nature that lies open 
before him. Your fate, my dear Theodorick, is in your 
awn hands. Like Hercules, every young man has his choice 
between pleasure, falsely so called, and infamy, or labori 
ous virtue and a fair fame. In old age, indeed long before, 
we begin to feel the folly, or wisdom, of our selection. I 
confidently trust that you, my son, will choose wisely. In 
seven years from this time, you will repent, or rejoice, at 
the disposition which you make of the present hour, 
affectionate uncle, 



p. S. We don t say " I only go there of post-days," but 
on post-days. - / , 


Friday, March 21, 1806. 

YOUR letter (the first that I have received for three 
posts) has relieved me from very great concern and uneasi 
ness on your account. Your reason for failing to write, was 
altogether insufficient. Compare, I beseech you, my son, 
the trouble which it would give you to send me a few short 
lines, with my suspense and anxiety lest you should be ill, 
or some disastrous accident have befallen you, and I am sure 
you will confess, that the loss, or miscarriage, of one of your 
letters, or the trouble of composing it, is nothing in compa 
rison. Semi your next by the New Orleans mail, or write 
by the Genito post, and I shall receive an early answer to 
this. Attend, I beg of you, my son, to your books. In a 
short time, I hope to see you; but let not this expectation 
stop your pen. 

Believe me, most truly, 

your affectionate 

kinsman and friend, 


P. S. I am sorry for the loss of Miniken s foal. How 
are the others? and every thing, and every body? How 
and where is Dr. Robinson? and Mr. Dillon? and Mr. John 



House of Representatives, April 5, 1806. 


LAST night I was again denied the pleasure of hear- 
g from you. I was not, indeed, without hopes that the 
ew Orleans mail, which came in this morning, would 
bring me a letter from you, but in this expectation I have 
been disappointed. By this time I hope your cousins and 
sisters are at home, and your solitary, uncomfortable situa 
tion much changed for the better. 

God bless you, my son. I hope soon to see you once 


Your friend, 



Bizarre, July 20, 1806. 

BY this time, I trust, you have become familiarized, in 
some degree, to your new situation, and to its restraints; 
which, I hope, you will bear without murmuring, in the re 
flection that your present self-denial will essentially contri 
bute to your future and permanent benefit. I have often re 
gretted, since I parted from you, that it was not my good 
fortune, at your time of life, to be placed in a situation 
equally eligible with what I conceive yours to be. You 
have both, unless I am much deceived in you, a laudable 
ambition to become learned and respectable men. Whether 
such is to be your future character, respected and esteemed 
by all good men, or whether you shall become mere vulgar 
beings, whose only business is "fruges consumer^" will 


altogether depend upon your present exertions. You, my 
dear Theodore, are too much straitened for time, to lose a 
moment that can be profitably employed; and you, my dear 
Buona, although younger by five years, must not conceive 
that you have any to lose. Recollect that, two years ago, 
you could master Caesar, and that if you had continued to 
progress, instead of falling back, which, from ill health and 
the want of an instructer, you were compelled to do, you 
might now be a finished Latin scholar, and somewhat of a 
Grecian into the bargain. The man who thinks himself so 
rich that he can afford to neglect his affairs and throw away 
his money, is not far from want, however great his estate 
may be. But time is, at once, the most valuable and most 
perishable -of all our possessions; when lost it never can be 

I hope to hear from you both, very soon, and to learn 
what you are doing, and how you like your situation. Your 
mother, my dear Tudor, is not very well, but Sally is quite 
so. Tom and Archibald Harrison have been with us, ever 
since Friday evening. Beverley has not returned from Mr. 
Randolph s. Dr. Robinson has, at last, brought his lady 
home. We dined with them to-day. 

Present me, very respectfully, to Dr. Haller. I write by 
candle-light, and the moths are swarming around my pen, 
and on the paper, so that you will have some difficulty, I 
fear, to make out my writing. 

God bless you, my dear boys! I am your affectionate 
uncle and friend, 


P. S. I was sorry to find, on coming home, that D An- 
ville had been left behind. Theodore should apprize Dr. 
Haller of his never having had the small-pox, and embrace 
the first opportunity of being vaccinated. 



v * 
Bizarre, Thursday night, July 24, 1806. 


I AM very glad to find that you and Buona* are 
pleased with your situation, and that you have begun to 
learn French. At the same time, my son, if it is not in 
compatible with Dr. Haller s plan of instruction, I wish you 
both to resume your Latin. Present my respects to the 
Doctor, and communicate this circumstance to him. 

The following errors in your letter, a little care and re 
flection would, 1 am persuaded, have led you to avoid. 
" Have began" is not grammatical: began is the imperfect 
tense of the verb begin; have begun is the perfect. " None 
of us ever go in the street:" it should be into the street. 
The preposition " by" instead of the verb buy, to pur 
chase. " Meltons," for melons. " I am dictated by the 
corrections, &e.," is not good English: it should be, lam 
directed by, &c. There can be no excuse for false ortho 
graphy: and what but inattention could have caused the er 
rors I have noted, or occasioned Buona to spell watch, thus 
"wacth?" God bless you both, my children. 
Your fond uncle, 



Bizarre, Sept. 11, 1806. 

I THANK you for your letter, which I received by the 
post before last. Present my respects to Dr. Haller, and 

* The appellation by which he called his younger nephew. D. 


tell him that I will be obliged to him to procure you shirts, 
handkerchiefs, and such other things as you may stand in 
need of. 

We do not say " scarcely nothing" but any thing. 
Give my love to Buona, and tell him that I shall forward 
his letter to his brother immediately ; but, tell him, also, that 
"a tolerable long letter" is intolerable English. He 
should have used the adverb (tolerably) instead of the ad 
jective. I wish that, instead of a fictitious correspondent, 
you would address your letters, I mean those which Dr. H, 
requires you to write, weekly, to some one of your friends, 
or acquaintance. It would take off from them the air of 
stiffness which now characterizes them. If Buona had been 
describing Richmond to his mother, or myself, he would 
never have introduced it with, " I beg leave to wait upon 
you;" an awkward exordium, which even Mr. Expectation, 
of Norfolk, would not approve. You see, my sons, that I 
make very free with your performances, but do not let this 
discourage you. Write your letters, just as you think them, 
and they will be easy; and any inaccuracy, which creeps in r 
may be afterwards corrected. 

The partridges are so forward, that we have begun ta- 
shoot nearly a month earlier than usual. Carlo is an excel 
lent dog for bringing birds^ after they are shot, but not so- 
good for finding game. I wish you were with me, my sons,-, 
to- enjoy the sport. Your skill, my clear Theodore, would 
make amends for my clumsiness, and dear Buona would hold 
Miniken, who now runs away from uncle whenever she has- 
an opportunity. But, thank God, my children, you are 
more profitably engaged. This, alone, reconciles me to the 
loss of your society. I hope to sec you both, about the last 
of this month. 

Mother has had an ague, and Sally very sore fingers. 
Your friend and kinsman, 


P. S. Do not make a flourish under my name, on the su 
perscription of your letters. It is not customary to do so. 


I got a letter to-night from Mr. Bryan: he and my little 
god-son are well, but Mrs. B. has the fever. 

My dear Buona, this is your birth-day; you are now en 
tering on your twelfth year: may you see many happy re 
turns of this anniversary. The success of my wish will ma 
terially depend, my child, on the use which you make of 
the present time. 


Georgetown, Dec. 18, 1806. 

I AM extremely glad that you and Buona are once 
more in a situation to prosecute your studies, which, I sup 
pose, engross your whole time, since I do not hear from you 
as often as when I was at Bizarre, although you now have a 
daily conveyance for your letters. My dear Tudor has not 
written once to his uncle; nor have I received any letter 
from him, for his brother to whom I wrote, by the Leoni- 
das, soon after my arrival here. You would gratify me very 
much, my sons, by letting me hear from you two or three 
times a week, even if it were but a single line. My dear 
boys, I have no objection to your engaging in any manly and 
athletic exercise whatever; on the contrary, would encourage 
you to such innocent and invigorating sports. I have some 
books of amusement, as well as instruction, which I shall send 
you in a few days. God bless you both. 

Your fond uncle, 





Georgetown, Jan. 8, 1807. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 4th, and wait, 
with great anxiety, for one from Dr. Haller, on the same sub 

Let me recommend to you another perusal of Lord Chat 
ham s letters to his nephew. Attend to his precepts respect 
ing deportment to inferiors, equals, and superiors. Let these 
words, also, be engraven on your mind "Whatever you 
take from pleasure, amusement, or indolence, for these first 
few years of your life, will repay you a hundred fold in the 
pleasures, honours, and advantages, of all your remaining 
days." The candour with which you confess your indiscre 
tion towards Dr. H., and your determination to avoid giving 
him future cause of displeasure, prevent my saying any thing 
on that subject, except to caution you against any indulgence 
of sudden suggestions of your feelings. Some impulse of 
this kind, I must persuade myself, and not boyish conceit, 
would have impelled you to lay down a regular exercise of 
your school. Remember that labour is necessary to excel 
lence. This is an eternal truth, although vanity cannot be 
brought to believe, or indolence to heed it. I am deeply in 
terested in seeing you turn out a respectable man, in every 
point of view; and, as far as I could, have endeavoured to 
furnish you with the means of acquiring knowledge and cor 
rect principles, and manners, at the same time. Self-conceit 
and indifference are unfriendly, in an equal degree, to the at 
tainment of knowledge, or the forming of an amiable charac 
ter. The first is more offensive, but does not more com 
pletely mar all excellence than the last; and it is truly de 
plorable that both flourish in Virginia, as if it were their na 
tive soil. A petulant arrogance, or supine, listless indiffer 
ence, marks the character of too many of our young men. 
They early assume airs of manhood; and these premature men 



remain children for the rest of their lives. Upon the credit 
of a smattering of Latin, drinking grog, and chewing tobacco, 
these striplings set up for legislators and statesmen; and seem 
to deem it derogatory from their manhood to treat age and 
experience with any degree of deference. They are loud, 
boisterous, overbearing, and dictatorial: profane in speech, 
low and obscene in their pleasures. In the tavern, the sta 
ble, or the gaming-house, they are at home; but, placed in 
the society of real gentlemen, and men of letters, they are 
awkward and uneasy: in all situations, they are contemptible. 

The vanity of excelling in pursuits, where excellence does 
not imply merit, has been the ruin of many a young man. I 
should, therefore, be under apprehensions for a young fellow, 
who danced uncommonly well, and expect more hereafter 
from his heels than from his head. Alexander, I think, was 
reproached with singing well, and very justly. He must 
have misapplied the time which he devoted to the acquisi 
tion of so great a proficiency in that art. I once knew a 
young fellow who was remarkably handsome; he was highly 
skilled in dancing and fencing an exceedingly good skater, 
and one of the most dexterous billiard players and marks 
men that I ever saw: he sang a good song, and was the envy 
of every foolish fellow, and the darling of every silly girl, 
who knew him. He was, nevertheless, one of the most ig 
norant and conceited puppies whom I ever beheld. Yet, it 
is highly probable, that if he had not been enamoured of the 
rare qualities which I have enumerated, he might have made 
a valuable and estimable man. But he was too entirely gra 
tified with his superficial and worthless accomplishments to 
bestow a proper cultivation on his mind. 

Farewell, my dear Theodore. I am almost blind. May 
you, my son, prove all that can be desired by your sincere 
friend, and affectionate kinsman, 


P. S. Have you read all Miss Edgeworth s tales? Do 
you remember the story of Lame Jervas? It is hardly ro- 


wiance. I mean in this respect, that temperance, fidelity, 
and industry, have raised many a man, from as low begin 
nings, to respectability and affluence. The Lottery, too, is an 
admirable story, and, perhaps, a true one, except as to the 
happy conclusion. The little sketch which I have sentBuo- 
na, will serve to give you a rude idea of the waters of the 
Missouri. I hope you have not forgotten your geography. 
Do not neglect that amusing and useful study. Write to me 
often, and continue to send copies of your translations and 
exercises in French, as well as Latin. 


Bizarre, Sunday, April 5, 1807. 

I RECEIVED your letter the day before yesterday, and 
am not at all surprised at its contents, although, at the same 
time, not the less obliged to you for your intelligence. I 
saw enough, when I was last in Richmond, to make me doubt 
whether you or Tudor could reap any solid benefit at Dr. 
Haller s school; and, I assure you, it has caused me many a 
moment of anxious reflection since. Indeed, I had begun to 
entertain fears of this sort some time before, which my exa 
mination of you both only served to confirm. In the course 
of next week, I shall send down for you both, and, even if 
the school be kept up, I must be greatly at a loss how to dis 
pose of you, should you return. Pray inquire into the name 
and character of the young Irish gentleman of whom you 
speak, and inform him, from me, that, in case he answer my 
expectations, I wish to employ him. My terms will be more 
eligible than any which can be offered to him at a public se 
minary, and I will not stand upon price. He will have less 
to do, and be better accommodated in every respect, I trust. 
My dear boys, my anxiety about you is extreme. Every 


hour that you lose in the seed-time of learning, fills me with 
uneasiness and concern; I know, so welly that years of study 
hereafter cannot make up for a day misspent, at your time of 

God bless you, my sons, 


Present my best respects to Major Scott, and tell him that 
I hope to have the pleasure of seeing him soon, as I shall be 
in Richmond about the 20th of next month. Don t forget 


Bizarre, July 12, 1807. 

I HAVE written to Dr. Haller, requesting that a part 
of the time which you now employ in French exercises, may 
be devoted to the Greek grammar, in which it is my wish 
that you should say one lesson, at the least, daily, until you 
be perfect in it. The time of your continuance at school be 
gins now to grow short, and some knowledge of the Greek 
is almost indispensable to the profession for which you are 
designed the etymology of every term in medicine and che 
mistry being traced to that language. 

I can t account for not having heard either from yourself 
or Buona, since I left Richmond. I hope it has not been 
owing to your carelessness, but to some other cause. Your sis 
ter is well; but your cousin Judy complains a good deal of 
pain in her side. My own health has been very various 
since I saw you. Write and let me know how and what you 
do. God bless you, my dear boy. 

I am your affectionate friend, 



Call on my good friend Major Scott, and present my best 
regards to him, with inquiries after his health. If you should 
see Dr. Brockenbrough, present him with my best respects. 
You are now of an age to know how the world begins to 
move, and I hope you will entertain me with such occur 
rences as fall within your observation. Do you know whe 
ther Mr. Tucker returned to Williamsburg after the Court of 
Appeals rose, or if he has gone to Staunton ? 


Farmville, August 3, 1807. 

YOUR few short lines were received by the last post, 
but I have seen nothing of the letter which you mention 
having kept in your desk, in expectation of a conveyance by 
Mr. Randolph. Do you say your lessons to Mr. O Reilly 
now? I hope you do; and that you will make every exer 
tion to attain a proficiency in Greek, even at the expense of 
a temporary neglect of your French and Latin. Indeed, the 
Greek itself would keep alive your knowledge of the last. 
You say nothing of the Major or of Dr. Brockenbrough. 
Make my respects to both of them, and ask the Major to 
write to me. 

My love to Tudor: I have not leisure to write to him by 
this post. I shall not disapprove his visit to Mr. Heth s, if 
he do not make it too long. The letter to which he refers, 
has never reached me. Hereafter, I hope, you will put your 
letters into the post-office with your own hands. Let me 
know if you want any thing clothes, &c. Your sister has 
had the St. Anthony s fire, but is quite well at present. Your 
cousin Judy has been complaining for some days, and looks 

Your affectionate friend, 



I am sorry that Tudor has left off saying his lessons to Mr. 
O Reilly. I like his method of teaching. Show him [Tu 
dor] this letter. 

Capt. Murray s family are on a visit to Dr. Robinson. Ho- 
dijah is coming to live with Mr. Johnston, to study law with 
him. He is expected up every day. 


Farmville, Aug. 7, 1807. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 2d. En 
closed you have ten dollars, out of which you will reim 
burse Dr. Haller the price of the hat which he was so good 
as to procure for you when yours was stolen. If you are in 
want of shoes, get a pair, and divide what may remain of the 
money with Tudor. In your next, let me know the num 
ber of lessons, &c., which you daily perform, and the mas 
ters to whom you recite; or, rather, a description of your 
studies for a week, under the several heads of Greek, La 
tin, French, mathematics, &c. I am sorry, my dear boy, 
that you should write merely from a sense of duty; but I 
hope you will not always be as destitute of matter worth 
communicating as you now represent yourself to be, and as 
I feel to be my own case. I am quite alone, and obliged to 
do great violence to my inclination in continuing to endure 
the privation of your and Tudor s society; but the conside 
ration of your advantage prevails over my own gratification. 
Farewell, my dear boys: may you answer and ever exceed 
the expectations of your fond uncle, 



Have you heard lately from your father or mother? Sally 
is well: Hodijah has not yet come up. 


Farmville, Friday, Aug. 21, 1807. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 15th, which 
gives me a great deal of pleasure as far as it relates to your 
self; but I was sorry to hear nothing of Tudor, who last 
week wrote to his mother that he was in bad health, and his 
silence this week will make her very uneasy. Why do you 
take no notice of each other in your letters, as if you were 
utter strangers. I calculated that four or five dollars (I gave 
four for Buona) would get your hat, two the shoes, and 
then there would have been nine or twelve shillings a-piece 
for you. 

Give my compliments to Major Scott, and ask him to pay 
you ten dollars, and charge them to me. Give Tudor two 
of them in my name. If the other eight do not answer 
your purpose, the major will give you what is requisite. 
Do you take plenty of exercise? and how is your health 
and Tudor s? Is the mathematical lesson you say, in Eu 
clid? What book? I wish you not to discontinue French 
entirely, by any means. Omitting some of your Latin les 
sons, (say three a week,) would enable you to devote two or 
three days to French. 

Call immediately on Major Scott, and tell him that I un 
derstand Davis means to send the wagons down soon, and I 
request he will order them to call at Webster s cabinet-shop 
for a press and bedstead for me. You have not yet men 
tioned how my old friend is, or Dr. B. Your intelligence 


is acceptable, although not new. Write Alston, not <ft.l- 

God bless you, my dear Theodore. 

Yours affectionately, 


Mr. Creed Taylor, who saw you both on Saturday, tells 
me Tudor and yourself were well. 


Bizarre, Aug. 23, 1807. 

WHEN I wrote to you yesterday, I did not advert to 
the circumstance of your being engaged in reading " Ele- 
mens de Chymie," which will serve to prevent your forget 
ting your French altogether. Nevertheless, I could wish 
you to accustom yourself to translate into that language, 
or (what is better) to compose in it; since, in a short time, 
you would acquire the habit of thinking in it, also, instead 
of thinking in English and translating your thoughts. Do 
not suppose, from this, that I prefer the French, as a lan 
guage, to our own. Far from it. In my estimation it 
stands at an immeasurable distance, in the scale of excel 
lence, below our native tongue. But the progress of the 
arts in France, and still more, the progress of her arms, 
render an acquaintance with the language of that formida 
ble people almost indispensable. Widely diffused as it now 
is, every day enlarges its range. It will be to Europe what 
the Latin was in the age of Trajan ; and the time, perhaps, is 
not far distant, when the language and literature of England 
will be unknown out of North America, and we shall not 


preserve them without a struggle. They have not taken 
root deep enough in India to withstand the storm: perhaps 
their insignificancy may preserve the settlements in New 
Holland, and thus perpetuate the mother tongue in both he 
mispheres. Under these circumstances, nothing short of in 
fatuation could induce the English cabinet to force us into a 
war with them. But I am running into politics. 

Is it true that Dr. Haller intends to break up his school, 
and for the reason which I have heard assigned? " Mr. Pel- 
zer s striking one of his scholars?" Is Mr. Pelzer still with 
Dr. H. a,nd Mr. Garnet? Has the philosophical apparatus ar 
rived? Does any one lecture on natural philosophy or che 
mistry? Are there any other Greek scholars but yourself? 
if so, what books do they read? Have you practised much 
in arithmetic? without a ready knowledge of it, the study 
of the mathematics will be vain. 1 hope, in your next, a 
reply to these queries, for I have observed that your letters 
are very seldom answers to mine. 

Sally was much pleased with your intelligence concern 
ing her parents and brethren. She is well, and desires to 
be remembered affectionately to you: so does your cousin 
Judy. I m afraid that we shall have very few partridges, 
owing to the wetness of the season. Yesterday was the 
first day that has passed without rain since the 10th. The 
crops are ruined, corn excepted, and that much injured by 
wet. Farewell, my dear Theodore. 

I am, in truth, your affectionate kinsman 

and friend, 




Bizarre, August 30, 1807. 

DR. HALLER writes me that you have become ex 
ceedingly diligent of late, and that the good effect of your in 
dustry is manifested by your advancement in your studies. 
I can scarcely make you sensible of the pleasure which this 
intelligence has given me. I laid awake the greater part of 
the night, after I received the letter, thinking of you, and 
pleasing myself with imagining your future progress in life. 
Whether you prove a useful or creditable member of society 
or not, depends altogether upon yourself; and I am truly re 
joiced to hear that you possess the inclination, in as great a 
degree as you do the power: not that I have hitherto doubted 
your disposition to learn; but there is a wide difference be 
tween a boy s getting his lesson from a sense of duty, or a 
fear of punishment, and his applying himself, with zeal, from 
a conviction that he is consulting his future advantage, and 
from an honourable ambition to distinguish himself. To ex 
cel) there must be something of this ardour. Without it, no 
thing better than a tame mediocrity can be expected. The 
taste for reading, which you are now forming, will be a source 
of pleasure to you through life. If the indolent and the de 
bauched could conceive the enjoyment of a literary mind, 
their boasted pleasures would become loathsome to them. 

You say that your mathematical lessons are " in the first 
book:" of what? Euclid, I suppose; but why this obscurity, 
or, rather, this omission? Do you read the evangelists in 
Greek with tolerable facility ? How do you like that lan 
guage? Do you continue to translate English into French 
and Latin? If you see Quasha when he comes down again, 
send me Edgeworth s Tales by him. By the way, call at 
Major Scott s every evening after this comes to hand, and 
you will know when the wagon comes down. I expect it 
will be in town about Wednesday or Thursday. Inquire at 


Gordon s, Ellis , and Allen s, and the different stores, for 
shot No. 8; get me a bag, and send it up by Quasha; the Ma 
jor will pay for it, or, what is the same thing, furnish you 
with money to do it. Order Quasha to call at Webster s ca 
binet shop for a mahogany press, and a bedstead of mine, and, 
if there are any oyster shells in Richmond, get a hogshead for 
me, and send them up by the wagon. The Major is busy, 
and I do not like to trouble him. Show him this letter, and 
he will advance the money for the shot and shells. 
Adieu, my son, 

Your friend, 


My dear Buona has not written to his uncle for a great 
length of time. The examination being over, he now has 
leisure, no doubt. My love to him. 


Bizarre, Oct. 6, 1807 

THE time has, at length, arrived, when I may once 
more indulge myself with the pleasure of your company. It 
is an unspeakable satisfaction to me, you may be assured, and, 
I trust, not less so to yourselves. Enclosed are twenty dollars, 
(five a piece, besides ten for your journey,) which may dis 
charge any little debts that you may have contracted, al 
though I hope you have not exposed yourselves to the in 
convenience of any debt, however small: but I know that 
this is an error into which youthful heedlessness is too apt to 
run. If you have escaped it, you have exercised more judg 
ment than I possessed at your age; the want of which cost 


me many a heart-ache. When any bauble caught my fancy, 
I would, perhaps, buy it on credit, and always for twice as 
much, at least, as it was worth. In a day or two, cloyed with 
the possession of what, to my youthful imagination, had ap 
peared so very desirable, I would readily have given it away 
to the first comer; but, in discarding it, I could not exonerate 
myself from the debt which I had unwittingly incurred, the re 
collection of which incessantly haunted me. Many a night s 
sleep has been broken by sad reflection, on the difficulty into 
which I had plunged myself, and in devising means of extri 
cation. At the approach of my creditor, 1 shrunk, and looked, 
no doubt, as meanly as \felt: for the relation between debtor 
and creditor is that of a slave to his master. It begins with 
the subjugation of the mind, and ends with the enslavement 
of the body. The ancients sold the person of the debtor to 
slavery for the benefit of the creditor; we imprison it: nei 
ther punishment too severe for the wretch, who is abject 
enough to submit to conditions which may, ultimately, lead 
to so humiliating a consequence. The most intolerable por 
tion of his lot is its degradation, and to this he has deliberate 
ly consented to subject himself, upon a contingency! At the 
same time, he must have the soul of Nero, who could inflict 
upon a fellow being so much misery, (and this is the strong 
est argument against capital punishment: for human butche 
ry presupposes human butchers, monsters whom society 
should not tolerate, much less nourish in her bosom;) I ex 
cept, however, the case of a fraudulent debtor. For if he 
may be enslaved in the penitentiary, who steals a dollar, sure 
ly he may be punished with imprisonment, or hard labour, 
who dishonestly embezzles, or withholds, a hundred, which 
he justly owes, and is able to pay. He is the greater rogue 
of the two, for he adds breach of trust to robbery. You did 
not trust the highwayman who forcibly, or the thief who pri 
vately, took your dollar, or your money. You never put it into 
their hands with a sacred promise, expressed, or implied, to 
restore it again; but secured it against both as well as you 
could. Speaking of promises, (and every debtor is a pro- 


miser, and too often a promise-breaker,) you cannot be too 
much on your guard against them, unless where the per 
formance is undoubtedly in your power, and, at the. same 
time, will conduce to your honour or benefit, or those of 
another. When I was a boy, I was sometimes betrayed into 
promises, by the artful solicitation of others, principally ser 
vants, whom I had not the firmness to deny. The courage 
which enables us to say " no " to an improper application, 
cannot be too soon acquired. The want of it has utterly ruined 
many an amiable man. My word, in a moment of facility, 
being once passed, I was even more tormented with the 
thoughts of the obligation into which I had unthinkingly en 
tered, than by the importunity of those to whom it had been 
given. Let me advise you both to profit by my warning, 
and never make a promise which you can honourably avoid. 
When any one proposes a matter to you, in the least degree 
repugnant to your feelings, have the courage to give a reso 
lute, yet mild, denial. Do not, through false shame, through 
a vicious modesty, entrap yourself into a situation which 
may dye your cheeks with real shame. Say, " No, it will 
not be in my power; I cannot:" or, if it be a thing which 
you would willingly do, but doubt your ability, take care to 
say, " I cannot promise, but, if it be in my power, I will do 
it" Remember, too, that no good man will ever exact a 
promise of a boy, or a very young person, but for their good; 
never for his own benefit. You may safely promise to try 
to get so many lines in Virgil, &c.; and if you do honestly 
endeavour to effect it, your word is not forfeited. In short, 
a promise is always a serious evil to him who gives it; often 
to him who receives it; (unless it have his advantage for its 
object;) for, putting full faith in it, he takes his measures ac 
cordingly, and is, perchance, thereby ruined. As to the pro- 
miser, he is like the keeper, who amused the spectators of 
his lion by putting his head into the animal s mouth. This 
he did frequently, and got it out in safety, until, at last, the 
lion, in a fit of ill-humour, bit it off. Your word ought to be 
dearer to you than your head; beware, then, how you put it 


into the lion s mouth. If it were proposed to you to save 
your lives by a lie, and either of you had the weakness to 
consent, I should pity him, but, at the same time, despise 
him from my very soul. From all this, you will readily in 
fer how dangerous it is to be the depository of a secret. 
Curiosity, my dear boys, is a powerful passion, but beware 
of entering into stipulations with any one for indulging it. He 
who discloses his secret to another, is generally supposed to 
do that person a favour ; but how falsely, a few moments con 
sideration will show. He who offers to confide a secret to 
you, takes a great liberty, and, in fact, asks you to do him a 
great favour, that of keeping it, which none but a friend has 
any claim to do. You would be safer, and act a less foolish 
part, to promise to keep his money for him, at your own risk, 
and refund what might be lost or stolen, because you would 
be sure that it was in your exclusive custody, whereas, the 
secret may be, and, probably, has been, intrusted by the pos 
sessor to others besides yourself, and, when he finds it divulged, 
you are involved in the general suspicion. But this is not all. 
You lay yourself open to embarrassment in many ways. Sup 
pose William Gerard Hamilton had confided to you that he 
was the author of the letters of Junius, and you should be 
questioned about it. If Hamilton were your friend, you would 
have no hesitation, for it would be your duty, boldly to un 
dertake the preservation of his secret, and faithfully to per 
form it; but why all this for a stranger? unless that stranger 
be friendless, and have qualities to recommend him to your 
esteem or compassion. Having become the depository of a 
secret, it must be preserved, at whatever risk. It cannot be 
betrayed without infamy. He who does it is a perjured 
traitor. Well ! you are asked, " Do you know the author 
of Junius ?" You may reply, (because it is an unfair ques 
tion,) " What right have you to inquire ?" But, suppose Ha 
milton to be suspected, and you, being in habits of particu 
lar intimacy with him, are supposed to know, and are di 
rectly asked " Is not William Gerard Hamilton the author 
of Junius?" What s to be done? If you falter, or are 


silent, you betray your friend as effectually as if you an 
swered affirmatively, " He is." This is a painful predicament, 
indeed, to an ingenuous mind. You cannot betray your friend 
without incurring the blackest guilt. Your obligation to him 
is anterior to the other, and supersedes it ; for the condition 
upon which you were trusted was that you should not disclose 
it, and that condition embraces this very case. You have 
then stipulated with him that if you are asked the question, 
you will say " NO, and endeavour to look " NO." This stipu 
lation is virtually contained in that to keep the secret. Your 
part then is decided : you give a firm denial j the only case 
in which it is permitted to violate truth, and that for its pre 
servation. But, remember, there must be no concealed guilt 
in that latent truth. When the Persian youth were taught to 
draw the bow, to speak the truth, and to keep a secret, (which, 
in fact, is nothing but adhering to the truth, the divulger be 
ing, at once, a liar and a traitor,) they overran all the west- 
tern Asia ; but when they became corrupt and unfaithful to 
their word, a handful of Greeks was an over-match for mil 
lions of them. A liar is always a coward. I have thus, my 
dear boys, thrown out, at greater length than I intended, some 
principles for your consideration. Keep this letter, and read 
it again but do not show it; not that I am ashamed of it; 
but it is not right to show letters, or repeat private conversa 
tion, except in very particular circumstances. Never do it, 
until you are old enough to judge of those circumstances, and 
then with scrupulous delicacy. 

On Saturday, the river was almost as low as it was last 
summer, and, by the middle of the next day, there was the 
highest fresh that has been known since August, 1795, the 
month before you were born, my dear Buona. Do you know 
that there are Sorees (vulgo Soarusses) here. I killed one in 
the ice-pond, just before I went to Roanoke, and Mr. Wood- 
son tells me that he has killed four, besides a great many or 
tolans. I returned from Roanoke, after a fortnight s absence, 
last night, and, whilst there, I killed ortolans in abundance. 
This puts me in mind, my dear Theodore, to request that you 


will bring me the articles of which you have a list subjoined, 
God bless you both, my dear boys. 

Your fond uncle, 


My compliments to Dr. H. I am sorry to see his Latin mas 
ters changed so often. 

Call at Mr. Charles Johnston s, and inquire whether there 
are any letters there for me. Also, whether there is any 
news of the ships Calpe, Desdemona, or Rolla 1 or any late 
arrival from London? Bring me, also, the last newspapers ; 
take a memorandum of the ships names. 


Nov. 15, 1807. 

I HAVE been three long weeks at this place; almost 
all the time in bad health and worse spirits, and not a line 
have I received from yourself or Buona. I hoped you would 
have informed me how you spent your time what books 
you had read how many partridges, .&c., you had killed 
what visits you had paid or received, and, above all, how 
your cousin s health, which I left in the most delicate state, 
stood affected. When I have strength and leisure, I will 
write to you fully on the subject of our last conversation: 
at present I am incapable. Mean while, for whatever you 
want, apply to Major Scott, who will furnish you at a mo 
ment s warning. 

Your friend, 


Ask Dr. Robinson if he received a letter from me. 



Georgetown, Nov. 27, 1807. 

YOUR letter has afforded me a pleasure which I ne 
ver fail to receive from your communications. Your pre 
sent situation, my son, is not exactly that which I would 
wish, but I cannot select one more eligible, at this time. If, 
however, you make a proper use of your present opportu 
nity, slender as it is, you cannot fail to derive much useful 
information from it. You are now of an age, my dear boy, 
when the mind, no longer passive to impression, begins to 
exert itself. The elements of knowledge are within your 
self, and the rest, of course, within your reach. We, all of 
us, have two educations; one which we receive from others 
another, and the most valuable, which we give ourselves. 
It is this last which fixes our grade in society, which deter 
mines, eventually, our actual value in this life, and, perhaps, 
the colour of our fate hereafter. Yes, my dear Theodore, 
your destiny is in your own hands; nor would all the pro 
fessors and teachers in the world make you a wise and good 
man without your own co-operation; and, if such you are 
determined to be, it is not the want of them that can pre 
vent it 

You are mistaken in supposing that there are no English 
books in the press, the key of which I left with you: behind 
the Encyclopaedia are some cumbrous folios, none of them 
deserving your attention, except, perhaps, Rapin; but, in 
the upper division, you will find, behind Voltaire and Rous 
seau, nearly a hundred volumes, amongst which are Hume, 
Belsham, and many others, which I consider as standard 
works that you cannot be too well acquainted with. There 
is a little manuscript catalogue of them on the shelf; and, if 
you will send it me, I will mark such as you would do well 
to read, noting the order. There are, besides, the books in 
the cabinet, to say nothing of your lexicons, atlases, &c. I 



would advise you, in reading, to consult the Encylopasdis 
when you meet with a difficult article; always resorting for 
the meaning of words, which you do not understand, to the 
Dictionnaire de P Academic, in the first instance, and never 
to the French and English dictionary, but from necessity. 
It will enlarge your knowledge of the language, more than 
you are aware of. I would recommend, too, frequent trans 
lations from the French, which, when the original has faded 
from your mind, you may retranslate in your own style, and 
then compare it with your author. 

I rejoice to hear of your amusement with your gun, and 
that you are regaining your skill. I hope even Buona 
will soon come to beat me on the wing. Give my love to 
him: I long to see his rosy cheeks. My love, also, to 

God bless you, my dear boy. 

I am your fond uncle, 



Write by the Orleans mail. Remember me kindly to 
the Doctor and Mrs. R., and to Hodijah, also. Tell the for- 
raer I. have received his letter, and thank him for it. 


Dec. 11, 180T. 

I WAS more mistaken than I thought I was, in respect 
to the English books in the press, the keys of which I left 
you/ But I trust you have enough to employ you until my 
return. I have, literally, nothing, my dear boy, to say to 


you, except to express my unceasing solicitude for your wel 
fare. Having made a party to shoot to-morrow, I feared I 
might not have time on my return to write even a few lines, 
which I feel confident you are always glad to receive from 
Your affectionate friend, 



Dec. 19, 1807. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 17th, and 
* thanfc you for it, as I am always gratified at hearing from 
you. Perhaps you could not do better than to begin Hume 
(as you have read it once) with the reign of Elizabeth, and 
read with attention that important period, and also the reign 
of Charles I., the Protectorate, and Charles and James II. 
The civil wars cannot be studied too deeply. 

I have very pleasing intelligence of your old companion 
St. George. He was well, at Paris, on the 25th of October; 
has made great proficiency in drawing, and will soon begin 
sculpture on fine stones, (seals, &c.,) and painting. 

Voltaire is a most sprightly, agreeable writer, but not al 
ways to be depended upon for facts. His Charles XII. and 
Peter are his most accurate works. The Siecle de Louis 
XIV. is, upon the whole, not an unfaithful history; and, as a 
picture of the manners of that age, is unique. Compare 
the Dutch now, with what they were then. I sometimes 
try to believe that their present degradation is a visitation of 
God for the massacre of the De Witts. May we, my dear 
son, take warning of the fate of that once powerful repub 
lic. Their cruel task-master is now forging chains for us. 


God bless you and make you good, and learned, and 
happy. The two first are in your own power. 
Your fond uncle, and friend, 



Jn. 10, 1808. 

I HAVE barely time to thank you for your letter, with 
its accompaniment. You have retained the French idiom 

in several instances in your version of Miss M s letter. 

You must, my dear son, be in want of various things Acces 
sary to your time of life. Enclosed is a trifle, which 
assist in supplying some of them. 
My love to Tudor and Sally. 




Georgetown, Jan. 31, 1808. 

You have given me cause to complain of you. You 
have, indeed, assigned as a reason for your silence, the want 
of a subject on which to write. But surely you might send 
me some translation, Latin, French, or English, which 


would serve to amuse a solitary hour, (for I am almost with 
out society or books,) and afford proof of your application. 
I do most earnestly exhort you both to a proper employ 
ment of your time which, now misspent, is for ever lost. 

When you see Hodijah, remember me very cordially to 
him. I have sometimes hoped that he would write to me; 
but it seems I flattered myself in vain. 

God bless you both: let me know how you employ your 

Your affectionate uncle, 




Georgetown, Feb. 12, 1808. 

AMIDST other causes of uneasiness, which press upon 
me in my present situation, I have not been exempt from 
much concern on your account. I fear, my son, that too 
much, not only of your time, but of your attention, is es 
tranged from those objects to which they ought to be almost 
exclusively directed. Do you know from what circum 
stances I have drawn this unpleasant inference? from your 
writing so seldom, and, when you do, making no mention 
of the books which you have read, much less expressing any 
opinion concerning them. By this time, I suppose you 
must have finished Hume and Belsham. Endeavour, I be 
seech you, to acquire a minute knowledge of English histo 
ry, ^specially since the accession of the House of Stuart. 
Next taV e up Robertson s Scotland, which, with more pro 
priety, mign.t be entitled his history of Mary. The life of 


Charles V., by the same author, and Russell s Modern Eu 
rope, will give you a tolerable outline of the history of the 
continental nations, and a review of Gibbon s Decline and 
Fall will afford the connexion between the ancient and mo 
dern worlds. All these books you will find in the cabinet. 
Do not, however, permit history to engross your attention 
to the exclusion of languages. You may keep alive, and 
even improve your knowledge of Latin and French by a 
very simple but obvious method. On one day translate into 
English a passage from some easy author, Cassar or Tele- 
machus, for example; and, on the next, restore them to the 
original language: then compare your version with the book, 
and by it correct, with your pen, all inaccuracies. This will 
impress the thing more deeply on your mind. At the same 
time, continue to read the more difficult authors, such as 
Horace and Livy, (this last is in the cabinet,) with your dic 
tionary. You will find Le Sage s Atlas a great help in your 
historical researches. When you see Dr. Robinson, you 
may consult him on any difficult passage in the classics. Do 
not, I beseech you, give up your Greek grammar, even if 
you retain nothing but declensions and conjugations. 

Since I began this letter, yours of the 4th has been 
brought to me. You do not mention the receipt of a bank 
note which I sent you some weeks ago. I hope it came to 
hand. How does the stock fare this bad weather? Are the 
Sans-Culottes fillies in good plight? An account of matters 
on the plantation might supply the subject of a letter. How 
is poor old Jacobin? and all the rest of the houyhnhnms? I 
hope you will plant out some trees this spring, west and 
north of the old house. 

Adieu, my dear Theodore. I am, in truth, your affec 
tionate kinsman and friend, 



I have heard nothing from your father, or mother* since I 
left home. Perhaps a letter, addressed to ttem, " near 


Nashville, Tennessee," would reach them. When you 
write, present me to them all, and particularly to Fanny. 
Apropos: are you aware that your letters, to me, would 
constitute an improving exercise to you, if you could pre 
vail upon yourself to write every week. You can never, I 
affirm it, be at a loss for a subject. The occurrences of the 
week, your oWn studies, the reflections of your mind upon 
particular subjects, form inexhaustible topics for your com 
munications. What have / to write about, more than your 
self? What portion of this letter consists of narrative of 


Georgetown, Feb. 28, 1808. 

YOUR last letter gave me unusual satisfaction. Con 
tinue, I beseech you, my son, to afford me the same gratifi 
cation every week. An account of your studies, and even 
of your amusements, would at all times serve to amuse me r 
at least and must always be a subject of interest to me. I 
am unable, to-day, to do more than express my wishes that 
your time may pass both profitably and pleasantly; for, al 
though the fineness of the day has tempted me to take an 
airing in a carriage, I do not feel at all the better for it. I 
am glad to hear that you have, at last, received intelligence 
of your parents and family, and beg you to remember me 
to them all, when you write. 

Greet the Doctor in my name, and tell him that I was 
much concerned to see, by the papers, that he has lost the 
locks of his fowling-piece, and shall be glad to hear that he 
has found them again. My best regards, also, to Mrs. R., 
and tell her I hope my little friend Will is well, although I 


am sorry to learn that I am likely to lose him as a neigh 
bour. Commend me to Hodijah, who, I hope, has not for 
gotten me. 

Adieu, my dear Theodore, and believe me, with the most 
unfeigned regard, 

Your friend and kinsman, 


My love to Sally. 


Georgetown, March 6, 1808, 

I INTENDED to have written to each of you to-day, and 
at considerable length, but I have passed a very bad night, 
and find myself too much disordered to do more than say y 
How do you do ? and express my earnest wishes for your well 
being. My complaint, I believe, is a rheumatic fever; for I 
am never free from flying pains, and am very feverish. Give 
my love to your mother, my dear Buona, and tell her that I 
will endeavour to send her your brother s drawings (some of 
them, at least) by Mr. Earle, of South Carolina, brother to 
him who once called at Bizarre to see me. He is not in Con 
gress, but came here a few days since, on business; and he 
tells me that he will return about the middle of next week. 
As he travels in a chair, I hope he will be able to take the 
drawings on with him. I wrote to your mother yesterday, 
by the Orleans mail. 

My dear boys, remember me to all our neighbours, when 
you see them: the Doctor and Mrs. Robinson, Mr. Dillon, 
Mr. Woodson, Mrs. Johnston and family. Be particular in 


mentioning me to Hodijah and Tom Murray, whom I thank 
for his kind remembrance of me. God bless you both, and 
believe me, in truth, 

Your affectionate uncle, 


My love to Sally. 


Georgetown, March 13, 1808. 

YOUR two letters, of the 28th of February and 6th of 
March, both arrived by the same post. It gives me great 
pleasure, my dear son, to see you so well employed; but, at 
the same time, I must point out to you some traces of negli 
gence, as well as some errors in your translations. 

"Bemfit" for "benefit;" insilflerable " (I have tried to 
imitate the character) for insufferable. " Enough resources, 
or room, or 0/"troops." Adverbs of quantity govern the ge 
nitive; but this is awkwardly expressed. You have ren 
dered the difficult passage very well; although rather too 
much in the Latin idiom. This fault, time will correct. I 
find it in your French translations also. I would have said 
" should not be refused by any," although it is in the dative, 
" se vindicare in libertatem;" restore themselves to liberty, 
or vindicate their liberty, is more literal, and equally ele 
gant with "obtain their liberty," and, therefore, better. 
"Least" is not an English conjunction; it should be lest. 
Consult Home Tooke for this word. The Index in the se 
cond volume (I believe) will refer you to the page where it 
is to be found. " Marcus Anthony :" we say Mark Antho- 



ny, or Marcus Jlntonius. "Have began " is not correct; 
began is the imperfect tense begun is the perfect. 

"Il seufaut beaucoup" far from if, or, much is want 
ing. " The Primate, who served so much to the deposing 
Augustus;" it should be of Augustus: but, moreover, this 
English smells of French too strongly: who contributed so 
much, would have been better. Also, "the expedition 
against (rather than of) Copenhagen." " The instruetions 
upon which I have worked, French idiom again: Informa- 
ti on have written or built. " It is not a history, far from 
it, but they are excellent materials." Here is a false concord. 
The handwriting is very illegible. For want of the original, 
I have not been able to correct as well as I could have wished; 
but, by looking over it yourself, you will see where my re 
marks apply. And now, my dear Theodore, let me thank 
you, which I do most sincerely, for your letters, and request 
a regular continuance of them. In a short time, my dear boy, 
I hope you will be in a more eligible situation for prosecuting 
your studies. You might be in a much worse, in any school 
now within your reach, unless your old one has (as I hope) 
changed materially for the better. 

I am sorry to hear that you had not received your linen, 
&c., by the wagon. Quasha could not have called at Ellis 
and Allan s. By this time, however, I hope you have ob 
tained them. 

Farewell. Let me know how our neighbours are. To 
day, for the first time since my accident, I rode out on horse 

Yours, most affectionately, 



My love to Sally. 



Saturday, March 18, 1808. 

You were not mistaken, my dear Theodore, in supposing 
that I was unwell. I have been, and am, very much disor 
dered within the last week; but you were mistaken in as 
cribing your not hearing from me to that cause, for I have 
written to you very regularly. I wish, if you hear any news 
of your mother, or her family, to let me know how they all 
do, and, when you write, to present me to them all, espe 
cially to your sister Fanny, for whom I feel peculiar regard. 

I am surprised to hear that the stock, horses especially, 
will be poor, since there was such plenty of hay and corn. 
I hope Mr. Galding will attend to poor little Minikin. 

In the hurry of my last, I forgot to note, in one of your 
translations from Caesar, (of March 6th,) the following inac 
curacies: "Intol/erable;" "winterings" for winter-quar 

In the translation from Voltaire, of March 13th: "I yet 
wait an extract "for an extract would have been better. 
" I, who s intention " now, always written ivhose. In the 
translation from Caesar, of the same date: " Ambusfoades" 
for ambuscades. We say ambush, but not ambusucade or 
ambusAscade, but ambuscade. 

The negotiation with Mr. Rose, the British minister, is at 
an end. But you are no politician, I believe; and I hope 
(for your sake) you never may be. Remember me affection 
ately to Sally, and to Hodijah and Tom Murray. The Doc 
tor and his charming wife, I hope, have not forgotten me, al 
though I fear my little friend William has. My best regards 
to them all. 

Adieu, my dear Theodore. 

Yours, most truly, 




By this time, I hope you have been gratified with a sight 
of St. George s* drawings: tell me what you think of them. 


Georgetown, April 3, 1808. 

Mr dear Theodore will excuse the shortness of this hur 
ried letter, in consideration of the fatigue which has almost 
entirely exhausted me. I thank you, my son, for your in 
telligence respecting your mother* and her family. Do not 
forget to remember me to her, and all of them, when you 
write. You have spelled the present participle of this verb 
with a g and an h, thus, " wrig-Ating" both supernumerary 
letters; the last of which you have cut off from the poor 
preposition through often written thro , but never but 
once, "throug:" " which evil fell to," instead of upon, &c. 

I have sent you and Tudor four fish-hooks, worth four 
thousand of the common sort. Adieu. 

Yours, truly, 



My best love to Sally. 

* His oldest nephew was unfortunately deaf and dumb 



Saturday, April 23<Z, 1808. 

Half past five. 

THIS is, probably, the last letter which I shall write 
for some time to come, from this place, at least; but, I could 
not refrain from letting you all know that I am not quite 
dead, although nearly so, with the intolerable fatigue of my 
late mode of life. I shall leave Georgetown on Tuesday 
morning, and, if I do not take Richmond in my way, shall 
reach Bizarre by dinner time, on Saturday: in which event 
I shall bring two or three of my Georgia friends with me. 
Give my best love to your cousin Judy, and apprize her of 
this. God bless you all. 

Yours, truly, 




Nov. 2, 1808. 

I AM about to leave you once more, my dear boys, 
with sensations of regret that I know not how to describe. 
You, however, 1 trust, will diminish that which I now feel, 
and assuage many more that may be in store for me, by an 
adherence to that propriety of conduct which I have so often 
delighted to observe in you. Cherish, I beseech you, mutual 
love and kindness. Let no childish and unseemly bicker 
ings disturb your peace, and that of my sister. There is 
one point on which I fear for you both want of exertion 
in the prosecution of your studies. Upon vigorous and 


steady application, all hopes of your future advancement 
depend. Your hours of study must be fixed, and not bro 
ken in upon by others, or wasted in lassitude and indolence. 
Read Lord Chatham s Letters again. Think that I speak to 
you in his words accustom yourselves to act, as if in the 
presence of some friend, whose approbation you are solicitous 
to gain and preserve. You are, indeed, never out of the 
view of a superintending Providence, by whom all your ac 
tions are scanned. Keep this eternal truth always in mind. 
Do right, and you cannot fail to be as happy as our defective 
nature will permit the sons of men to be. Be true to your 
selves and to each other, and, in the course of your journey 
through life, you will find more aid and comfort in the friend 
ship formed in your boyish days, than wealth and grandeur 
can afford. God bless you both you shall hear from me 
soon when my mind is more at rest. 

Your fond uncle, 



Georgetown, Dec, 4, 1808, (Sunday.) 

YOUR letter reached me yesterday, but I find myself 
too much disordered to do more than thank you for it. I am 
very sorry that your socks were omitted. The readiest way 
to supply the defect will be to take mine, which you will 
find in the upper drawer of my desk, and I will procure 
others in their room. They are almost new. With respect 
to the military school, about to be established in Farmville, I 
should like to know something of its professors before I 
would consent to your becoming a pupil, even if I approved 
the institution, tMz c^ I do not. I therefore hope that you 


will curb your military spirit for the present. If ever you 
are attached to an army, I hope it will be in the capacity of 
a surgeon a curer, not an inflictor of wounds. 

Farewell, my dear boy. My love to your sister, your 
cousin, and Tudor. I am not positively sick; but weak, gid 
dy, and what is worse (I fear) low-spirited. For this last 
disease there is unfortunately neither physician nor medi 

Yours, affectionately, 



Georgetown, Dec. 11, 1808. 

ON looking over my letters from home I perceive that 
your last is dated on the 30th of November. As the several 
mails afford you three distinct channels for writing every 
week, I cannot but feel somewhat neglected by you. You 
complain of the want of a theme; cannot you (to say nothing 
of family affairs and neighbourhood incidents) give me your 
opinion of some interesting character whom you have met 
with in history, or of the historian himself, or any other au 
thor whom you may have read. Nay, a translation from the 
Latin and French, alternately, would be acceptable. 

I must request you to hear Tudor a lesson in the Greek 
grammar every day, and not to permit him to say it until he 
can repeat it perfectly. I would have you read Horace 
(with Francis translation) three times a week. With Rus 
sell s Modern Europe there will be no propriety in mingling 
ancient history. After you have finished it, you may refresh 
yourself in ancient history with Rollin, which Tom Murray 


will lend you, or which you can have sent down from Roan- 
oke. In reading Russell, I advise you to make a small chro 
nological table of the most remarkable contemporary events 
and celebrated men. This will prevent the confusion of 
mind which skipping from subject to subject, is otherwise 
almost sure to occasion. You will find Le Sage s Atlas of 
great benefit, also. In French, I recommend to you Voltaire s 
History of Russia, if (as I believe) you have not read it. 

My best love to your sister and cousin, and to Tudor. Do 
not fail to present me, in the most friendly terms, to Doctor 
and Mrs. R., and Tom, and to our good neighbour Mr. Dil 
lon, also. When you see Mr. Woodson, make my respects 
to him, and tell him that my shooting days are, I fear, over. 
Farewell, my dear Theodore, 

I am your affectionate friend 

and kinsman, 



I still continue weak and giddy; writing is particularly op 
pressive to me. I send my sister some more papers. I trust 
they will serve to amuse her. 

When I inquire whether you have delivered my messages, 
I hope I shall not have the mortifying answer that you for 
got to do it. 


House of Representatives, Dec. 19, 1808. 

YOUR letter was duly received, and I sincerely thank 
you for it. I have not time, my dear son, to do more, except 


to request that you will give me some account of the daily 
and regular employment of your time. Your cousin Judy 
sends me very flattering accounts of your progress in short- 
ening, which reminds me to ask you to take out my new 
double-barrelled gun, on some clear, dry day, and with a 
small tow wad, on the end of a long ram-rod, wipe the ante 
chamber dry and clear. 

My love to your cousin, your sister, and Tudor, and be 
lieve me, with true regard, 

Your friend and kinsman, 


I send your cousin the last Intelligencer, of this morning s 
date, and some other interesting papers. The narrative of 
Don P. Cevallos is well worth perusal. 

Remember me to the Doctor and family. 


Dec. 25, 1808. 

You must not think that I neglect you. I have bare 
ly time to thank you for your letters, and to request that 
you will continue to write to me, regularly once a week. 
My health and avocations will, I fear, preclude me from be 
ing as good a correspondent as I have heretofore been; but 
you must not mind that. Give my love to your mother, 
my dear Tudor. I wrote to her by the Orleans mail yester 
day, (which brought me no letter,) and sent her a book; 
Scott s Lay of the last Minstrel. Give my love, also, to 
Sally, my dear Theodore, and to your friends in Tennessee, 



when you write to them. Enclosed, is a Christmas-box^ 
which you will divide between you. Adieu, my sons. 

Yours, in haste, 


My best regards to the Doctor, Mrs. R., and Tom.* 


Dec. 30, 1808. 

I THANK you for your letter, but not for your trans 
lation. It bears every mark of the hand of negligence, and I 
beg that I may receive no more of such careless and hurried 
performances. " Nonum prematur in annum" is the max 
im of the great Roman critic. I do not see, therefore, why 
you should not keep your compositions at least half as many 
days; instead of sending me what you have just scribbled off, 
in a hurry, without time, perhaps, to read it over once; for 
I observe that the post mark and date of your letter are the 
same. It is hard to say whether the Latin or English be most 
defective. We have " volente" for volentes; " obliquam " 
for obliquum; " ratae" for rotss, &c. ; besides many words 
written in an indistinct character, well adapted to conceal in- 
accuracies of termination. li Junctamq. aquitonibus arc- 
ton" "and the Dearborn to it on the north," is neither 
the, sense, nor is it grammar: joined to what ? polem austra- 
tem? By no means; but exactly the reverse. We do not 
say "tracks of the wheels;" "track of the wheel" is the 
coachman s phrase. But the worst is yet to come. " Ut- 

* Young Mr. Murray, who was reading medicine with Dr. Robinson* 


Jkrant ^EQUOS et ccelum and terra calores;" and as 
heaven and earth enjoy (or receive) equal heat, which you 
render "and as both heaven and earth are nourished by the 
warmth of the horses." Equos for a?quos; but there is no 
such adjective, as equus. It makes, if I forget not, equinus. 
Can you believe, too, that you have made an English word 
of aram? (to satisfy you I enclose the original,) thus: a ram. 
A ram, too, of all the animals in the world, is, it seems, fe 
minine; " press Amq. aram," says Ovid; but he, perchance, 
did not understand Latin. In your next, I flatter myself 
that you will give me a proof of what you allege in one of 
your late letters, " that you have grown more attentive than 
formerly." In this expectation, I remain 

Your affectionate kinsman and friend, 


I have no objection to your going with your cousin to 


Georgetown, Jan. 13, 1809. 

YOUR letter of the 8th reached me this morning. I 
had anticipated your mortification at the sight of mine, and 
the translation enclosed in it; nor have I been disappointed. 
You, my son, I trust, will acquit me of any unnecessary or 
wanton injury to your feelings, which I would forbear to 
wound, as if they were my own. It is only to heal, that I 
would probe. I confidently expect, therefore, by the next 
post, a proof of the good effect of your own judicious re 
flections upon the disagreeable subject of my last. Your 


own good sense, my dear boy, if you give it fair play, 
backed by industry, will ensure you a competent degree of 
proficiency in whatsoever pursuit you may engage. But, to 
choose a more agreeable theme: I am glad to hear, from 
your cousin Judy, that you did not so suffer from the cold on 
your journey from Clifton, but that you have been able to 
enjoy the fine exercise of skating since your return home. 
You will not fail, I hope, to harden yourself by active ex 
posure in the open air, against the diseases to which a seden 
tary life is subject. This may be done without intrenching 
too much on study. " Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit 
utile dulci." May you, my dear boy, who are a great 
marksman, hit this happy medium. I write under conside 
rable indisposition, and with two gentlemen talking around 
me, and often TO ME. I must, therefore, ask your excuse 
for my incoherence, and abrupt conclusion. 
I am, as ever, 

Your affectionate kinsman and friend, 


My best regards to Dr. and Mrs. R,, and Tom Murray, 
and my love to Sally. Have you seen any woodcocks this 
season? I have not heard of more than one that has "been 
shot; and that was by Mr. Garnet, just after the meeting of 
Congress which I saw. 



Library of Congress, Jan. 17, 1809. 

YOUR letter of the 13th arrived this morning, and I 
trust the apprehension it expresses has been dispelled by my 
last; although, to say the truth, I was by no means pleased. 
Your translation bears scarcely any resemblance to its pre 
decessor; being, with a single exception, literally correct: 
which proves that when you commit gross errors, it is not 
from a want of ability to avoid them; and, indeed, impresses 
me with a belief that, when you choosey you can excel 
" Labour is necessary to excellence." Without the one, 
the other never did, nor can exist, in any pursuit of human 
life. But, to my criticism: invito parenti is improperly 
rendered by " desponding father." I do not find that 
invitus is ever used in that sense. Such, certainly, was not 
Ovid s meaning. " He returns thanks to his reluctant fa 
ther;" to his father, unwilling to trust him with the cha 

I must still urge you to endeavour to attain that great de 
sideratum of writing distinctness of character; a more im 
portant point than you are, perhaps, aware of. The want of 
it is particularly to be remarked in your writing, where m, 
n, and u come together. Thus, the word etiamnum is 
written somewhat like this ctianimun. This proceeds 
from leaving more space between the members of the same 
letter than between the letters themselves; and from a very 
ridiculous, though common practice (I might say affectation) 
of turning the n and u, in the same way thus, u u. By 
giving due space between your letters and words, and wri 
ting uprightly, and with the point of your pen, holding it 
as nearly perpendicular to the paper as possible, your object 
will be gained. If you examine print, you will find its 
great legibility to be owing to the length of the body of the 


letter, (not of the heads and tails,) and to a regular space 
preserved between the letters and words, respectively. I 
am sorry that my example should not comport more with 
my precept: but my paper is greasy; and, moreover, he 
who writes ill at twenty, will, at forty, be altogether ille 

I would not mix ancient with modern history: as soon, 
therefore, as you finish Goldsmith, which is a very concise 
but admirable compilation, and cannot detain you long, I 
would stick to Hume and Belsham. I shall bring you Mr. 
Fox s history when I return home. It is but a fragment 
but a most precious one. It corrects some important errors 
of Hume, respecting Charles and James II., who had not 
(that is Hume) access to the information from which Mr. 
Fox wrote. 

Adieu, my dear Theodore. 

I am, very truly, yours, 


My best love to your sister, and cousin Judy, and Tudor. 
Recall me to the recollection of our neighbours Robinsons 
and Dillons. 


Georgetown, June 18, 1809. 

THE Orleans post brought me your letter of the 15th 
last night, when I was too much occupied to thank you for 
it. I had barely time to scribble a few lines to your cousin 
Judyj and, indeed, I have scarcely more leisure to-day. I 


am, indeed, oppressed with labours, to which my undivided 
exertions are inadequate. I highly commend the manner in 
which you speak of your sense of the obligations which you 
owe your cousin. The sentiment is highly honourable to 
you, my son; and is, in itself, the noblest return which you 
could make to the kindnesses which you have received from 
her. Present her and Sally with my best love. 

Mr. Hall must exercise his own discretion, under the di 
rection of Mrs. Randolph, in relation to the objects of his 
duty. I hope that old Caesar has taken all the mares, &c., to 

I enclose you a paper, which, when you have read it ? 
please to send to our good neighbour Mr. Dillon; and ask 
him to return those which I have enclosed him, (if he has 
no use for them,} that you may file them. I hope Louisa 
does not neglect to sun my clothes, &c.; particularly the pad 
of my new saddle. Charge her to take care that they are 
not exposed to rain, or dew. 

God bless you, my son. Continue to write to me; and 
be a little more copious on the subject of your studies and 
occupations. Even your sports have an interest for me. 

Your friend and kinsman, 


Have you any tidings of my dirk? 



Georgetown, Feb. 12, 1800, 
Sunday morning. 


I THANK you for your letters as marks of your re 
membrance and regard; but I could wish to see in them evi 
dences of your reading and observation. Your last, for ex 
ample, contains only a scanty page, loosely written, in which 
no mention is made of your studies, and is accompanied (like 
the two preceding it) by no exercise. Amend this defect, I 
pray you. 

Did I caution you against mixing ancient with modern his 
tory? Avoid it, by all means. It is as pernicious as the 
reading of different histories of the same, or contemporary 
events, is the reverse. I recommended Rollin, because he will 
give you a pretty good general notion of the more ancient 
nations, and a tolerable account of Alexander s successors, 
concerning whom our compilations are very defective. This 
outline, however, is not always correct. Of him and Bishop 
Newton, who wrote on the prophecies, it has been remarked 
that " both these authors represent Herodotus as a fabler; 
Xenophon s Cyropaedia," a romance which probably served 
as the model for Fenelon s Telemachus, "as history; Isai 
ah s prophecies, as applying to the siege of Babylon, by Cy- 
ruS) instead of that by Darius; and Darius as having pre 
ceded Astyages: four notorious and fundamental historical 
blunders." Indeed, compilations are, generally, but a sort 
of apology for history. The original authors ought, in all 
cases, to be consulted, when practicable. Thus, Herodotus, 
Thucydides, Polybius, and Livy, should be read, in prefer 
ence to those who have made books, merely by pillaging 
these invaluable ancients. I have passed a very bad night 


The pain (in my side, particularly,) is much increased. I 
must, therefore, bid you farewell. 

I am your friend and kinsman, 


Take care of the New York Herald, which I enclosed your 
cousin last night. Remember me kindly to the Doctor and 
Mrs. Robinson, and Tom Murray, and little Will. Also, to 
Mr. Dillon. 

There was a sudden change of weather in the course of 
last night. It is raw and cold. A little snow has fallen, and 
we are threatened with more. I hope this is the source of 
my increased pain. Tell your cousin so. My love to her 
and Sally, and Tudor. 


House of Representatives, Feb. 25, 1809. 

YOUR letter (of the 20th, if I mistake not,) was re 
ceived last night. You speak of not hearing from me, not re 
collecting that I might, with greater propriety, make the 
same complaint of you, who are incommoded neither by ill 
health, nor incessant labour. This is probably the last letter 
which you will receive from me whilst I remain here. God 
be praised! our next communication will (with his blessing) 
be verbal. I rejoice, my dear boy, at the prospect of so soon 
seeing you all. I have no time to criticise your translation; 
indeed, I have it not with me. I enclosed you, this morning, 
a newspaper in French. You may amuse yourself in trans- 



kting it, and I will compare it with its counterpart, in Eng 
lish, which I have preserved. The advertisements make a 
very good exercise, as they abound in idiomatical phrases. I 
must request you to take notice that the clumsy packets con 
taining the newspapers are not folded by me, but by a ser 
vant under my direction. I do this because I would not be 
instrumental in giving you an awkward habit, which, perhaps, 
my example might induce you to contract. It is as easy to 
write a neat, clean hand, (and looking at my lines you may 
add straight, too,} and to fold papers with exactness and 
snugness, as to do both in a slovenly way. It is even more 
conveniently performed, taking less time, trouble, and pa 
per, as well as occupying less space. For my crooked lines, 
I must plead that I write in a crowd, and on a surface some 
what convex. These little circumstances, as they may ap 
pear to be, are of importance in life. Many a man s success 
has depended on the folding and superscription of a letter. 

Farewell, my dear Theodore. 

I am your affectionate, but tried, kinsman, 



u On parent s knees, a naked, new-born child, 
Weeping thou satt st, while all around thee smiled! 
So live, that sinking in thy last, long sleep, 
Thou then may st smile, while all around thee weep !" 

Show the above to your cousin. My love to Sally, 



Georgetown, April 10, 1809. 

I THANK you, my dear Theodore, for your letter; but I 
have lost, or, rather, mislaid it amongst the papers which are 
scattered in confusion over my room; and, although I have 
searched diligently for nearly an hour, cannot find it. Alas! 
I am fast growing blind. You were right in your conjec 
ture, as to the cause of my omitting to write to you the week 
before last; and the same might now be urged with the great 
est propriety. 

A new map of North Carolina has lately appeared. It is 
said to be very accurate; and, in point of engraving and work 
manship, puts the new map of Virginia to shame. It does 
honour to its editors Messrs. Price & Strother, and the gen 
tleman under whose patronage it has been executed David 
Stone and Peter Brown, esquires. If there are any copies 
for sale here, I will bring one home for Tudor and yourself. 
He is a sad fellow, for not writing to me. 

Adieu ! my dear Theodore, 

Yours, truly, 


Remember me to the Doctor and lady, Tom M., and Ho- 
dijah; also, to Mr. Dillon. 



House of Representatives, June 24, 1809. 

THE Orleans mail has just brought me your letter of 
the 22d. I thank you very sincerely for it, and, particular 
ly, for your meteorological observations; by which, I per 
ceive, that the weather has been with you such as we have 
experienced here very wet; and, with the exception of a 
few days, very hot. My health, nevertheless, has been as 
good as I have enjoyed for many years. I believe that I 
have been too busy to find time to be sick. 

Your cousin Judy did very well in recommending Aiken s 
Letters to you. It is an excellent book. I was in hopes 
you would have given me some account of the impression 
made upon you by Homer. It is more than twenty years 
since I read it, and yet the impression is vivid on my mind. 
Are you a Greek, or a Trojan? 

This is the last letter which you will receive from me, 
dated at this place. On Wednesday next, Congress adjourns. 
I shall direct to you at Roanoke not because I deem the 
receipt of my few hasty lines of very material consequence, 
but, because I feel a desire that }^ou should have some me 
mento of me, if it were only the declaration of my sincere 
love and friendship for you. I am undecided whether I 
shall go to Winchester, or not. You shall hear, however, by 
the next mail. Farewell, my dear son! 

Your fond uncle, 



From Babel: Saturday, May 24, 1809: half past three 
o clock, P. M. 

You are, probably, now on the road. I pity you for it 
is oppressively hot. 



RoanoJce, Thursday Night, Aug. 6, 1810. 

I HAVE just returned from Mecklenburg court, whi 
ther I went on Tuesday, leaving Echo confined here, as she 
was too much fatigued to travel so far. I have just learned 
that she went off yesterday morning with the chain upon 
her, and I fear that the poor thing may have got entangled 
with it so as to prevent her getting along; and, in that condi 
tion, may be exposed to perish. I cannot express how much 
I am distressed at this thought. I shall, therefore, despatch 
Phil, in the morning with this letter in quest of her. 

I fear that Johnny is very ill, from his not having come 
up. I need not say how much pleasure it would give me to 
see you here. But, you appear to have (if not a disinclina 
tion to come) so decided a preference for Bizarre, that T did 
not choose to put any restraint upon your inclinations. It 
is not strange that you should prefer the society of your sis 
ter and cousins to that of a morose old man like myself. 
Phil, will return with Hyperion. My love to your cousin, 
Sally, and St. George. 

Your friend and kinsman, 




Roanoke, Aug. 9, 1810. 

I THANK you very kindly, my dear Theodore, for your 
attention to Johnny, about whom I cannot help feeling some 


uneasiness, although I know every care will be taken of him. 
You acted exactly as I should have done, in sending for Dr, 
Wilson; and in every other respect better than I could have 
done. I am obliged to you, also, my dear Theodore, for 
the intention with which you sent up poor Echo, whose re 
treat equals that of the ten thousand under Xenophon, al 
though she is not likely to have so eloquent an historian of 
her anabasis.* 

I have been very unwell ever since I parted from you. 
My journey to Mecklenburg did me no good: by the free 
use of diluting, acidulated drinks, I am somewhat better to 
day able to ride out. As soon as I am well enough, I shall 
come down to Bizarre. 

In reply to the supplement to your letter, I need not say 
that there is no person that I should be more glad to see, at 
all times, in my house, than yourself; and I believe there is 
no one in the world that would be happier to see you (no, 
not even your own father) than, dear Theodore, him who 
feels like a father towards you. God bless you, my son! 



I write in the dark. Beverley and Polly reciprocate your 
good wishes. St. George will inform you of Tudor s ex 
ploit, which beats that of Xenophon or Echo. I would not 
have made the experiment for the Bank of Virginia. My 
best love to your sister. 

* The above paragraph refers to a favourite pointer, who had gone forty 
miles with a chain attached to her neck: the commencement alludes to a sick 



Roanoke, Monday, Oct. 29, 1810. 

YOUR letter of the 24th arrived last night by the 
post. I could have wished that it had been a little fuller; 
but, in your hurried situation, perhaps I ought not to have 
expected more than a few lines. When you reach Philadel 
phia, I hope to hear from you often; regularly and fully. I 
am entittled to your confidence, my son, and let me flatter 
myself that I shall receive it. If, however, you cannot give 
it, there is no more to be said; it cannot be forced: like 
mercy, " its quality is not strained;" like mercy, too, " it is 
doubly blessed;" but, to be itself, it must flow -freely, vo 
luntarily: if it do not, it is not confidence but a base 
counterfeit; it is sheer hypocrisy. It is somewhat unfortu 
nate for us both, my dear Theodore, that you should have 
passed so much of your time in a situation where you were 
exposed to the perils of a " divided duty;" at least, accord 
ing to your estimate of things. I assure you that nothing, 
from the commencement of the connexion between us, has 
given me so much pain, (growing out of it,) as that you 
should have offered the request, or even importunity , of 
any person in the world, as a reason for departing from the 
pointed injunctions of him, who flattered himself he had 
more weight with you than the whole world besides. I 
know nothing that I am so anxious you should acquire, 
as the faculty of saying no. You must calculate on unrea 
sonable requests being preferred to you every day of your 
life, and must endeavour to deny with as much facility as 
you acquiesce. Thus, when that worthless fellow, Farmer, 
brought Hyperion to Bizarre, and asked you to give a re 
ceipt for him, you ought to have said " I did not deliver 
the horse to you, sir, and therefore cannot receive him back. 
You had better carry him to the place and person where and 


from whom you got him. At any rate, it is no part of my 
duty to give you a receipt for him, and I cannot put my 
name to an important paper merely because you ask it." 
Rely upon it, my dear fellow, there will never be wanting 
persons to ask your signature, provided it can be had for ask 
ing. It is a dangerous thing to put one s name to paper; 
even to witness an instrument of writing may compel you 
to go, or subject you to be dragged from Machias to St. 
Mary s. If you had refused Farmer a receipt, he must have 
brought the horse here, at his own risk and charge, and it 
would have appeared that he was diseased; and I have no 
doubt became so in consequence of abuse. 

By this time I flatter myself you are safely lodged in one 
of the straight flat streets of our American Birmingham. I 
am glad to hear that your financial arrangements are all set 
tled to your satisfaction; although I do not see how you 
could have been liable to any disappointment in them. Let 
me caution you to direct the post-master not to deliver your 
letters to the penny post; but let them lie in the office until 
called for by yourself, in person. You did not mention whe 
ther you had met with Tom Murray, or not. Give my best 
respects to him, and to any other young Virginian of merit, 
whom I may know, at the medical school. I hope you will 
be established at a Pension Francaise, and that you will 
take lessons in fencing and dancing. I am in no fear of 
your taking the French disease in politics or morals, and 
wish you to acquire a facility in the language. 

On Wednesday I shot with Mr. Bouldin, and I never saw 
any pointer behave better than Dido, fetching the birds ex- 
cepted. I had given her some lessons in the dining-room, 
and one day s previous practice, by herself. She found the 
birds in the highest style stood as stanchly as old .Carlo 
never flushed one, and hunted with the most invincible re 
solution. She followed the worm of the fence through thick 
briers, and put up, successively, in each corner, fifteen to 
twenty birds. 1 was next the river; and, although I could 
see her, they flew next the field, except two that I killed. 


She was delighted to see them fall, and entered into the spi 
rit of the sport, fully. She stood at a woodcock, which I 
killed, (the same, I believe, that escaped us on Friday or Sa 
turday,) and stood at it after it was killed, as she does at the 
dead partridges. I have unhreeched my double-barrelled 
gun, and made a discovery. The antechambers contain only 
about half the pipe of the flash belonging to it, when re 
duced to its smallest size; and with that quantity (little more 
than a priming) she shoots much better at a mark, from thir 
ty to forty steps, than with the extended pipe full about 
three times the quantity which I shot when we were toge 
ther. You know, at Flat Lick, three years ago, Mr. Wood- 
son said that I had not powder enough, when, in fact, I had 
twice as much as I ought to have used. Our day s sport con 
sisted of six brace of partridges, and a woodcock, killed by 
J. R., and one brace and a hare, by Mr. Bouldin; besides 
two squirrels, shot flying, by J. R. 

On Saturday a heavy horse, newly shod, with Colonel 
Clarke on his back, set his foot on mine. The three mid 
dle toes of the right foot, and the penultimate, are crushed 
almost to a jelly. That night, spasm ensued; but, from 
the free use of camphor and opium, I found relief. This 
morning, in hobbling from the bed to the fire, I hurt it again, 
and there was a recurrence of cramp, or spasm. It is now 
easier, and, I hope, will be well by Christmas. I will com 
pound for that time. 

I heard from Bizarre to-day. All there are well. I shall 
not be disappointed if a lady of our acquaintance should 
give her hand to some Calvinistic parson. 

Beverley and Polly desire their best regards to you: so do 
Carlo, Echo, and Dido; and, also, little Dash, who arrived 
last night in the wagon. Adieu! dear Theodore. 
I am ? most sincerely and affectionately, 






Can you procure me some extra long and fine and thick 
home-manufactured woollen stockings? They should be, at 
least, three inches longer than the ordinary sized men s 
stockings, and of the finest wool. The market is a good 
place to buy them, and is a curiosity that you should exa 
mine. Direct to Charlotte, C. H., " Roanoke, near Char 
lotte, C. H., Virginia." 


Bizarre, Friday, Nov. 16, 1810. 

I GOT here yesterday morning, having been compelled 
(not more from fatigue and sickness, than from inclination,) 
to stay the preceding night with Mr. Hoge. St. George and 
Johnny, who took the other road, came on that night. We 
found your sister and cousin in good health. 

I am in no situation to write, but 1 cannot resist the incli 
nation I feel to say something to you, as well as to set you a 
good example; and yet, what have I to say, that has not been 
repeated in every possible form, until, at last, it has, perhaps, 
become stale and nauseous to you. 

Shall I tell you of my Miseries of Human Life ?" Last 
night I awaked shrieking with pain. It was spasm, occasioned 
by my wounded foot. The bones of the middle toe are 
crushed, and the whole member a mass of contusion. I fear 
I shall have to amputate it at last; (I mean the toe. ) A large 
dose of opium gave me some unquiet sleep; but, to-day, I am 
greatly disordered. I have a bad cold and sore throat; but 
these I do not so much mind: my hip, and the whole thigh 
and leg are, very painful. I think it must be sciatic. The 
pain extends along down the inside of the thigh, crosses ob- 


liquely at the knee, so as to affect rather the outer than in 
ner side of the knee, and afflicts me beyond expression. I 
have felt nothing like it since my confinement at Mr. Key s, 
two winters ago. 

You have not mentioned Messrs. Innskeep & Bradford, 
or another commission which began in Richmond, and ended 
in Georgetown. Did you stay at Crawford s? and whom did 
you see in Richmond. Have you received the second $250, 
and lodged it in the bank? I want to know all about you; 
but, from your scanty letters, which look like the forced pro 
duction of an ungenial climate, I suppose I shall have to glean 
my intelligence from others, at second or third hand. I see 
very plainly the error into which you have fallen, and you 
will see it too, (as I did in my own case,) when too late. 
Have you read " Manoeuvring " yet. I tell you, (you may 
believe me or not, just as you please,) you are no match for 
female adroitness and artifice, even if not seconded by wit, 
some beauty, and long practice. The love of power, and of 
admiration, (and the last is subordinate and instrumental to 
the first,) is woman s ruling passion. Whatever be the af 
fectation of the day, it is pushed to tte extreme is it timi 
dity? she shrinks from a mouse; i? it fortitude? she braves 
Heaven, itself. Read, if you please, Dr Young s Universal 
Passion; that, I think, is the title of nis satires. Let me 
know how, and where, and with v-aomyou are lodged; who 
are your companions, &- I am in great pain. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

If you make any acquaintances, who know me, tell me 
who they are, and their present situation in the world. 
When you write to your mother, inquire if my letter of last 
winter, enclosing Sally s, reached her. I have a particular 
reason for wishing to know. 



Roanoke, Nov. 15, 1807. 

YOUR letter of the 6th, arrived while I was at Bizarre, 
which place I left yesterday morning. Your cousin, howe 
ver, received one from you by the same post, by which I was 
assured of your being well. I am sorry, my son, that any 
passage, in my letter to you, should have given you uneasiness. 
I look not for professions from you. You have never given 
into them, and I have always respected you the more for it. 
For, as Sir Peter Teazle says, " damn sentiment. " I have 
been made the victim of it. But I owe it to you, and to my 
self, to explain the cause which led to the expression, by which 
you felt youtself hurt, and which, therefore, I regret to have 

My situation has been, for some time past, (as you know,) 
a peculiar one. The persons (yourself excepted) from whom 
1 had deserved most Whly ; to whom I had dedicated the 
best years of my life, had withdrawn their confidence from 
me. To one of these I hao, devoted the prime of my man 
hood ; another, (I blus^ to tell it!) I loved better than my own 
soul, or Him who created U ! WUt I merited from the.third, 
I will not say. Two of them had descended to speak injuri 
ously, and even falsely, (as it rejected one of those two,) con 
cerning me. My heart was wounded to the very core. 
Those persons have since confessed that they were under the 
influence of paltry irritations, and that, in their dispassionate 
moments, they never felt or expressed a thought that was in 
jurious to me. An instance, however, of disingenuousness 
and want of confidence, the most inexcusable, had lately oc 
curred in one of them, or, rather, the knowledge of it oc 
curred to me, for the matter was of some years standing. At 
this juncture, I received your scanty and meagre letter from 
Richmond. I attributed its form to the pressure of time, un- 


til I learned, the day following, that you had written more 
fully to another. I know that you are under some obligations 
to that person, (not that they are not reciprocal, for you have 
made ample returns,) and I applaud your independence in 
showing it, as well as the sentiment which makes you feel it. 
But, nevertheless, I was hurt. I know that the only way to 
deserve the confidence of another, is to give our own ; although 
that does not always obtain it. It was because I had given 
you mine, and upon no other score that I felt I had a right to 
challenge yours. To you I had had no reserve, and I looked 
not merely for the disclosure of any matter of consequence, 
in case you had any such to impart, but for a frank commu 
nication of your opinions and feelings generally. I knew that 
young persons sometimes distrusted old ones, and I feared it 
might be your case towards me. I felt unhappy, and, perhaps, 
was unreasonable. I need say no more on this subject. 

I hope you will make all your notes of lectures, &c., in 
blank books, and keep a separate one for observations, such as 
occur to you. I advise a journal. " One word written on 
the spot ," (as when you go to see any thing worthy of curiosi 
ty, or make remarks upon the city) is worth a volume of re 
collections." I recommend you to the Genius of Hipocrates, 
(not " Hi/pecrates,") and earnestly recommend an attention to 
Dr. Physick s course. Do not fail to supply yourself with a 
good collection of medical books. Spare not on account of 
expense : to these, by next winter, you can add surgical in 
struments, electrical machine, &c. I should be vexed if you 
suffered false economy to interfere in a case like this. Let 
your dress, also, without being foolishly expensive, be that of 
a gentleman. I need not tell you who lived at Bizarre to be 
neat. If your teeth require it, have them cleaned and 
plugged by a dentist. It is an operation that, I think, ought 
to be performed (cleaning) once or twice a year. 

I hope you will learn to fence, and to dance, also ; and I am 
very anxious that you should speak French, and read Italian, 
Spanish, and German : " As many languages as a man knows, 


so many times is he a man." If you wish it, 1 will send you 

Where do you lodge ? Have you made any acquaintances 
yet ? It may be worth while to attend to the police of the 
city, the watch, jail, water-works, market, scavengers, &c. 
I would see a ship launch when practicable. The hospitals, 
of course, you will be acquainted with : that of Pennsylvania 
is an honour to the state. 

I am obliged to conclude. 

Yours, in haste, 


Tudor desires to be remembered to you. Your sister was 
well yesterday ; so were your cousin and St. George. 


Roanoke, Nov. 30, 1810. 

I WAS obliged to conclude my last letter very abrupt 
ly, as there was a pressing necessity for Johnny s setting off 
to Richmond the instant he could get ready; bitter as the 
weather was; and such I never knew at the same season. It 
has proved very hard upon me, hand and foot; the rheuma 
tism having settled in the first wounded limb, and the nail 
of the other being in the act of shedding: but, Graces & 
Dieu, I make a shift to get along without quite as many 
heart-aches as I have been made to feel by female caprice 
and affectation. 

You say nothing in your letters of the places you passed 
through. Did you go through Georgetown? How did you 


like the City, and Baltimore? The sight of the Chesapeake 
must have been a great treat to you. It is a magnificent body 
of water, and the passage from Newcastle to Philadelphia a 
most pleasing novelty. I do not like your indifference to 
the scenes around you: at your age, it is not natural, un 
less the heart be sad, or melancholy: for which you have, 
I trust, no cause as yet. What acquaintances have you 
made, and how do you pass your evenings? Do you go to 
the theatre, and what is the style of performance? Have 
you secured your money, and in what bank? and how much 
more will you want? I should have given you a letter to 
Mr. Clay, but, he is three, in my debt: although the first 
of them demanded an immediate answer, and the other two 
entreated him to furnish it. Under such circumstances, I 
would not write even to him. 

What say Bradford & Innskeep about the review. Let 
me advise you, now and then, on a leisure day, to take a 
saddle-horse from one of the livery-stables, and explore the 
surrounding country. Lansdowne is well worth seeing so 
is The Woodlands, Mr. Hamilton s place; if you can obtain 
an introduction, which I hope you will do through my friend, 
Doctor Logan, who, I see, has returned from Europe. He 
resides at Staunton, near Germantown, and is, unquestionably, 
a true patriot. His family is ancient and respectable, and 
his own private character, highly so. Between the upper 
ferry, and the falls of Schuylkill, was my most usual shooting 
ground; but both banks, as low as Hamburg House, are quite 
familiar to me. I had like to have forgotten to tell you, that, 
at a Mr. Bartram s, not far below Gray s ferry, on the left 
of the road-side, you will find many rare and beautiful trees, 
and shrubs, particularly some scarce varieties of the pinus 

Yesterday, just at the south-east corner of my pasture 
fence, I came upon a fine flock of turkeys. They were 
going from the ditch, towards the river. I fired, and so did 
Tudor, but our shot (No. 9,) were too small, and the tur 
keys flew over the river. Woodcocks are now pretty plea- 


tiful in the slash, at the Middle Quarter, near the lower big 
spring: but I made a bungling hand yesterday of killing them, 
having got only one at four shots. On Sunday I bagged five 
and a half brace of partridge and lost four. Tudor bagged 
one and a half. 

The rain prevented my setting out for Bizarre this morn 
ing. Beverley and his wife desire to be remembered kindly 
to you, as I do to my old friend Tom. She is a good crea 
ture as ever breathed; knows nothing of megrims, hartshorn, 
spirits of lavender, laudanum, nor Jits. By the way, I mean 
to take out a patent for curing the last: although they be the 
" true genuine convulsion fits, to be had only of the maker." 

Adieu, dear Theodore. 

I am, and ever shall be, 

Your affectionate friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I do not like to hear you talk of your temperament being 
sanguineo melancholic. You have lived too much in the 
Cave of Spleen, and I must prescribe for you "Pope s Rape 
of the Lock," to be taken at once, after a cheerful walk, or 
ride. I am glad you have Tom. Murray for a room-mate. 
I shall send you a. letter of introduction to Dr. L., as soon 
as I can procure Jit paper. Have you made any acquain 
tances, and who are they? What is your street, and num 
ber? I direct to the post-office, having found the penny 
post not always punctual, and it will give you exercise. I 
am glad that the professors mean to be rigid in their exami 
nations, and shall disregard the expense of three courses at 
the university, provided you profit by them. You may, 
thereby, acquire a knowledge of mathematics and natural 
philosophy, which branches have been neglected in your 
education; and also, of languages. Send me a catalogue of 
Bradford s books. Ask, at a respectable jeweller s, the price 
of sterling plate per ounce, plain, such as spoons, tankards, 
goblets, and ladles. Direct to Georgetown) Columbia. 


I brought the above letter with me from Roanoke, on Sa 
turday last; you will receive a reply to yours of the ninth of 
last month, by this post. 

Thursday Night, Dec. 4, 1810. 


Roanoke, Dec. 18, 1810. 


IT has not been in my power to answer your letter of 
the 2d, by return of post. I was worn out with fatigue, and 
benumbed with cold, (having been the whole day survey 
ing,) when I received it. 

I am sorry that your inmates are Virginians. You will 
lose one of the great advantages of travel, by associating 
only with people the " accent of whose minds, as well as 
tongues," are like your own. Endeavour to associate with 
young men from the other states from whom you may learn 
something, and they also from you. Your money will not 
be sufficient, and I shall send you a farther supply. Do not, 
my dear boy, attempt too much at once: festina tente. If 
you have not time for fencing, discharge your master after 
the quarter shall expire. Your object is not to become a gla 
diator, but to learn the use of arms and that a few lessons 
will teach you; practice must do the rest. I would, also, 
advise laying aside the clarionet pro tern. You have, I be 
lieve, a turn for music, and it is an art that I would wish 
you to excel in, if possible; but any thing short of excel 
lence (especially on the clarionet or violin) is execrable. 
There are squabbles and intrigues in the College of which 
you ought to keep clear. Barton and Rush are at war. The 



fact is, that Barton s (on Materia Medico] is one of the 
most useful and instructive courses; Wistar s is indispensa 
ble so is Coxe s (if he be. a chemist) and Physick s. The 
rest are catch-pennies, and teach nothing that cannot be bet 
ter learned without lecturing. He who has access to the 
best authors, and, particularly, to the latest periodical publi 
cations on medicine, knows all that Rush, &c., can teach, 
without being frozen to death, or stifled in a human bath, 
in a lecture room: but then there would be no jobs for pro 
fessors. The "graduation is of the same stamp. 

I thank you, my dear Theodore, for your kind wishes 
about my health. My hand is nearly well to appearance; 
but subject to severe rheumatic affection, particularly on ex 
posure to cold: neither have I any strength in it. Its pow 
ers cease on a sudden, and things, which from habit I take 
in my right hand, involuntarily drop from it. 

This is probably the last letter you will receive from me 
until I reach Washington. Tudor and Carter Coupland are 
here both well; and desire to be remembered to you. Car 
ter sends his love to his brother. Remember me to Tom. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Your sister was well on Saturday, the 15th. Have you 
read "Manoeuvring?" Why buy two copies of Mitford ? 
If you buy what you have no use for, you always pay dearly, 
be the price what it may. Do not attend auctions: they are 
bad schools, and worthless commodities are palmed off upon 
the unwary. Go, with Dr. Johnson, to "a stately shop." 
Cannot Innskeep & Bradford furnish me with the remaining 
numbers of the Edinburgh Review, bound. 



Roanoke, Dec. 24, 1810. 

You receive another letter from Roanoke, which I 
can now confidently say will be the last this winter from the 
same place: not that I have any thing to say, except to ex 
press my anxiety to have you again with me. You know 
not, my son, how dear you are, and how justly dear, to me. 
The only instances (and they are hut two) in which I have 
thought of you with disapprobation, have been produced by 
persons far deeper than either of us in the art of stage ef 

Put me in mind, and I will explain this allusion to you 
when we meet: mean while, may God bless you. 
Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Your sister was well on Friday, the 21st. 


Georgetown, Feb. 4, 1811. 

IN consequence of what Lord Chatham would style 
a " parliamentary debauch," I am laid up with sciatic, lum 
bago, and a defluxion on my head, that hardly permit me to 
write. I have received from your good sister Fanny, a let 
ter of the most grateful kind to my feelings. When you 
write to her, assure her that I put a proper value upon the 


approbation of so good a heart as I have every reason to be 
lieve hers to be. I shall write to her myself, as soon as I 
am able. Pray let me know how your finances stand affect 
ed, as I wish to transmit you a draft on the Bank of the 
United States, when I get abroad again. I write in extreme 
pain: my breast, within the last two minutes, having been 
greatly affected. 

Your affectionate friend and kinsman, 



Georgetown, Feb. 23, 1811. 

I AM extremely concerned to learn that you are so se 
riously unwell. Take care of yourself, I pray. My own 
health is far from being good, and I fear that my spirits are 
yet worse. I enclosed your letter to your sister as soon as 
I received it. 

As there is little probability of the navigation being open 
by that time, I would suggest whether, when you leave Phi 
ladelphia, it would not be more advisable to come by the way 
of Lancaster and York, to Baltimore: the distance is about 
thirty miles farther, but the time nearly the same; and you 
will have the advantage of seeing a new and more interesting 

God bless you, my dear boy. I am, with the sincerest re 

Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Remember me kindly to Tom Murray. 


I have heard from Dr. L., in answer to my last, enclosed 
to you. 


Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 1811. 

THE house sat last night until a very late hour. Some 
gentlemen a party of medical students, I presume during 
my absence, called at the Union tavern, on their way to Alex 
andria, and informed my servant that they had left you very 
ill in Philadelphia, on Sunday morning. I hope, my son, that 
it may be an exaggeration of the information contained in 
your last letter. But should this, unhappily, not be the case, I 
beg that you will employ the pen of our friend Thomas Mur 
ray, to let me know your real situation. 
Your anxious friend, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Dr. Brockenbrough s, Richmond, 

March 16, 1811. 

I REACHED this place on Thursday evening, (the 14th,) 
after a fatiguing ride, from the unseasonable heat of the 


weather. On the water it must have been delightful, and, 
no doubt, you had a pleasant passage back to Philadelphia; for 
there has been a succession of fine warm days, ever since we 
parted in Baltimore. I write, not so much because I have 
any thing interesting to communicate, as because I flatter my 
self my movements are not entirely indifferent to you. I 
hope, as soon as you get resettled, you will give me a full 
account of your situation; not forgetting your number, as well 
as street, and the manner in which you pass your time. I 
was overtaken, at the White Chimnies, by Mr. Morton and 
Mr. Allen of Prince Edward; who, I presume, have gone on. 
Pray call on Mr. Clay, and present him my cordial respects. 
Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Remember me kindly to Tom Murray. 


Blake Woodsorfs, April 11, 1811. 

BY mere accident, I obtained your letter of the 29th 
of March, from the Farmville post-office, on Sunday last, (the 
7th.) I arrived at Mr. Dillon s the day before, on my way 
to Buckingham court Mrs. Randolph being gone to Clifton, 
and St. George, unknown to me, to Roanoke. He accom 
panied his mother to Mr. Harrison s; returned, and went up, 
on Sunday morning. Sally divides her time between Mr. 
Dillon s and Major Morton s families. I called yesterday, at 
the latter place, on my way from Buckingham court, to see 
her, and am sorry to tell you that I found her very unwell, 
having been seized with a sick stomach and fever the day be- 


fore. It appears to me to be a slight case of bilious affection, 
and you may rest assured that every thing that kindness and 
good nursing can effect for her, is, and will be done. My 
engagement here obliged me to leave her, but I am just going 
to see her this morning. 

Mr. Eppes obtained a majority of one vote over me at 
Buckingham. This was owing to my visit to Baltimore, in 
the first instance; but, principally, to the activity of the three 
candidates, who were all opposed to me, as well as the return 
ing officer. There were also a great many bad votes, and a 
very thin election: the votes being, for E. 199, R. 198. The 
polls were closed by half past three, at the very nick of time for 
my adversaries, the votes of the candidates and clerks putting 
him, for the first time, a-head. The mail, on Saturday night, 
was loaded with hand-bills, containing the most infamous li 
bels against me. 

Present me, very respectfully, to Capt. Murray and Mrs. 
Rush. She is a fine woman, whom I very much admired 
when she was Miss Murray. My best regards to Mr. Clay, 
and give him all the intelligence respecting the election that 
this letter contains. I will write again soon, when I have 
more leisure, and better implements. 

Your affectionate friend and kinsman, 


P. S. In 1809, the vote of Buckingham was for R. 379; 
Baker, 197. 



Roanoke, July 7, 1811. 


YOUR truly welcome letter arrived just as I was sit 
ting down to dinner. I know not when I have experienced 
more heartfelt pleasure than the perusal of it afforded 
me. The expression of your grateful affection is the most 
acceptable offering that could have been presented to my 
heart; nor would I exchange it, my son, for the applause of 
the million. Be assured, my dear boy, that I find in your 
friendship, and in your worth, ample compensation for the 
services that I may have had it in my power to render you. 
Like yourself, " I have always considered them as a matter 
of course, because I have thought of you as of a " son. Let 
me entreat you, therefore, not to purchase at too dear a 
price, to us bothy the acquisition of professional knowledge. 
How I wish you were with me; or that you had one of my 
numerous idle horses to exercise upon. This spot is, I be 
lieve, very healthy, and the water remarkably fine and plen 
tiful: our well having returned to its allegiance. I find my 
self better here than any where else. I returned yesterday 
from an excursion to Halifax, where the 4th of July was 
celebrated without toasts, and no man got " patriotically 
drunk," like the upholsterer in the play, "for the good of 
his country." 

I am very much disappointed that you have not received 
the remittance I spoke of through Mr. R. I will ride out 
to-morrow, and try and procure you some money, noting 
the amount at the foot of this letter. Should I fail, which 
I think very improbable, show this letter to Mr. Clay, who 
will advance you one hundred and fifty dollars for me for 
ten days. Pray ask him to write to me immediately, and 
let me know his opinion of the late disclosure of the ex- 


secretary of state. Like yourself, I fancy many others be 
gin to apply the proverb. 

Enclosed is a letter which I must beg you to present, in 
person, if Mr. W. be in Philadelphia. I hope you will not 
give up your jaunt into the country. Take care of your 
health, I beseech you, and be particular in every letter in 
your account of it. 

Have you seen my picture of Mr. Clay? Is it a good 
likeness? I found St. George and Tudor both here on my 
return from Halifax. They are a great solace to me in my 
solitary condition, and both desire their best love to you. 
Their inquiries after your health were anxious and pressing. 
St. George left your sister and cousin well on Thursday, the 
4th. Mrs. Hackley was at Bizarre. Poor Mr. Dillon has 
been very ill. Farewell, until to-morrow. 
I am, dearest Theodore, 

Your truly affectionate friend and uncle, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I am much better to-night. Yesterday was seriously ill; 
hardly able to sit on my horse as I came home. 

Bank of Virginia, $100; No. 6. B. to Robert Bache; 
2d Jan. 1810. Same Bank, $50; D. No. 1309. to Roger 
Nelson; 13th Dec. 1809. 

Notes of the above description are enclosed within. 

Yours, truly, 

Monday Morning. 




Monday, Roanoke, July 15, 1811. 

ON my return from Halifax last night, on a visit with 
Mr. Watldns Leigh to his brother William, I found your 
letter of the 7th. By this time, I trust, you are released 
from the heat, and dust, and filth of Philadelphia, and are 
enjoying in one of the villages of New Jersey, the last fa 
vourable change in the weather. By the last post, I enclosed 
you $150, in two Virginia Bank notes: (namely, $100, No. 6; 
B., payable to Robert Bache, 2d January, 1810. $50, D. 
No. 1309, Roger Nelson, 13th December, 1809;) which, I 
hope, came safely to hand. I enclosed, also, to your care, 
a letter to Mr. Robert Walsh, which, I hope, you will de 
liver by your own hand. 

The weather here has been oppressively hot, until Wednes 
day last much less so, however, than with you. I have 
not noticed the thermometer higher than eighty-seven and a 
half degrees, although I am persuaded it has been above that 
point. I went from home, sick, and I have returned worse. 
Last night I ventured on twelve grains of calomel, per se, 
and a miserable night I have had of it. I have got rid, how 
ever, of much bile; and, probably, escaped cholera, or jaun 
dice. I had symptoms of both: great nausea, and yellow 
tinge of the eye and skin. I have exposed myself, without 
reserve to the sun and dews in the low grounds, since the 
beginning of summer. St. George returned to Bizarre, on 
Wednesday. Tudor went down, also, a day or two after 
wards. Mr. L. has gone to Lexington, Staunton, &c. I am 
quite alone, Beverley not having returned from Staunton. 
Indeed, when he is here, I have nothing of his company, 
unless at meals, and not always then; so that I am less sensi 
ble of solitude now, than I shall be on his return. 


I shall direct this letter to Mr. Clay, to whom present my 
warmest regards. 

Yours, in sickness and in health, 


I see by the papers, eight deaths in one week from cold 
water, in Philadelphia alone. 

My respectful compliments to Mrs. Rush, Mr. Croskey, 
and Mr. Clay. Shake Randolph by the hand for me. Put 
Mr. Clay in mind of his intention to write to me. I wish 
you had called on Mr. Cooper. 


Roanoke, July 18, 1811. 


I WROTE you a few lines on Monday, when I was 
greatly disordered. Thank Heaven, I .am now somewhat 
better, although still discomposed. Tudor came up, last night, 
from Bizarre; he left your sister very well, but he says his 
mother is complaining. He will go to school to-day, and I 
shall revert back to my solitary state. You sometimes com 
plain of want of matter for a letter, and yet you mentioned 
but a word of Cooke and Cooper; and that not until I had 
questioned you about them: this is almost vexatious; espe 
cially to me, who consider it as one of the great privations of 
my life, the not having seen Cooke. With such various no 
velties around you, I cannot see how you find any difficulty 
in filling a sheet 

I cannot sufficiently thank my good friend Clay for his 


kind attentions to you. You, however, will not fail to de 
monstrate to him and his whole family, your sense of their 
kindness towards you; for, I am sure, you are the last person 
in the world, who would prove insensible to such good 
offices. Commend me, heartily, to Mrs. Clay, Mr. Croskey, 
my name-sake, and Mrs. Rush; and, I pray you, be less caus 
tic in your future communications. 

Entirely yours, 


Query What is a "full new-moon?" 
(( Inexpressible." 

"Torpowr." This word has not, like honour, &c., been 
derived to us through the French. Indeed, it is yet Latin. 
"From there" from thence. 


Roanoke, Sunday Afternoon, July 21, 1811. 

I SCRIBBLED a few lines on Thursday last. To-day, 
I am greeted by your welcome letter of the 14th, (this day 
week,) informing me of the safe receipt of my last remittance; 
but I have no letter from Mr. Clay. I am, however, well 
pleased that he amply overpays me, in his attentions to you, 
for his neglect of myself. I need not enjoin upon you to cul 
tivate his valuable friendship. It is a source of the truest en 
joyment to me, that you find in him all that I had flattered 
myself he would prove to you; more he could not be. Why, 
my dear son, did you suffer Dr. B. to pass you? You ought 
to have made up to him and Mrs. B., who could not have ex 
pected to meet with you, and, therefore, did not observe you. 


Do you not know that they are two of the best friends that I 
have in the world, and, therefore, friends of yours ? They 
will be mortified when they learn how they missed of you. 
I am rejoiced to perceive that, although still languid, you 
are visibly better than when your penultimate letter was de 
spatched: go on, and improve in health; in every thing else 
you are what I wish you to be except a little defect, of ab 
sence, or inattention. When you write, look over my let 
ters and answer them, instead of omitting, sometimes, topics 
that are interesting to me. I am glad to tell you that (two 
sleepless nights, notwithstanding,) I am generally amended in 
health since this day week. I shall begin with Dr. Rush 
to extol calomel as the "Samson of Medicine!" I was 
obliged, however, to resume my flannels. 

The four last days have been very sultry, and attended 
with heavy rains, to the very material injury of my crop of 
tobacco. I shall lose one-half of it, and the remainder great 
ly damaged. I hope you will not be in fault if you are not 
well acquainted with Mr. W . He is a literary charac 
ter rare, even in your quarter of the United States. I have 
a letter from Mr. Dillon. He has been very ill; taken in Pe 
tersburg, where Dr. R., probably, saved his life. 

I expect Mr. Macon and Mr. R. Jones here in the course 
of this week. 

Yours, entirely, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

The wet weather has destroyed many broods of young par 
tridges. Can you get any of Pigon & Andrews, in Philadel 

Thermometer at 84, 3 o clock, P. M. 

Messrs. Wm. Watkins, Bouldin, and Beverley, (who re 
turned on Friday evening,) have just set out for Halifax 
Court. Tom Murray (I hear) is about to settle in Campbell. 

My best regards to Mr. and Mrs. Clay, and Mr. Croskey. 
Love to godson Randolph, and respectful compliments to 
Mrs. Rush, She is, indeed, a fine woman; one for whom I 


have felt a true regard, unmixed with the foible of another 
passion. Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, when I knew 
her, " I bore a charmed heart/ 7 Nothing else could have 
preserved me from the/w// force of her attractions. I want 
to hear more of the picture, (Mr. Clay s,) and I want to 
see it. 

No prospect of fair weather. Where are the Yellow 
Springs? Are they those mentioned in the port-folio? 

Monday Morning, 22d. 

Since I wrote yesterday evening, we have had a great fall 
of rain. The weather continues cloudy, and the atmosphere 
we breathe seems to be water itself at least, vapour. I must 
ascribe much of my relief to the resumption of flannels, which 
I put on in the night of the 14th, (Sunday,) just as the calo 
mel was beginning to operate. I had lain them aside on the 
4th, and my health, then bad, grew rapidly worse, until the 
22d, when my complaint seemed to take a turn. Be parti 
cular respecting your health. 


Roanoke, Aug. 11, 1811. 


THE last mail brought me no letter from you, from 
which I infer you have left the city, and I sincerely hope you 
will not return to it until there is a frost. The post neglected 
to call for my letters, by which means I shall be a week in 
arrear. Why, my dear boy, do you omit all mention of your 
health, strength, and feelings. Remember, I beseech you, 
how anxious I am upon these subjects, and all others which 


concern you, personally. Do not forget to jog the memory 
of my friend Clay, about writing to me. 

Mr. Brown, of Halifax, N. C., and Mr. R. H. Jones, of 
Warrentown, left me yesterday morning. They had been 
here since this day week, and confidently expected to see Mr. 
Macon, who had appointed to meet them here on the 25th of 
July ; but he did not come, to our great disappointment. It is 
greatly to be feared that he is sick. Tudor just now came 
over from Mr. Rice s. He is well, and requests to be remem 
bered kindly to you. My health is so bad that I despair of 
making you understand the state of it. The digestive facul 
ty is gone, and the whole nervous system shattered. Life is, 
indeed, for the most part, to me, a burden. We have had 
many very heavy rains within the last ten days. The crops 
on the small streams are destroyed; and, indeed, the tobacco- 
is every where firing. 

Adieu! my son. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I killed a woodcock on the 24th of July. 


Roanoke, Sunday Evening, Aug. 4, 1811. 
THIS day s post has brought me your welcome letter of the 
24th of July. That which you wrote from Bowen s tavern, 
has not yet come to hand. I am pleased to see that you are 
forming an acquaintance with so respectable a family as that 
of Mr. Walsh. Make my respects to him, and assure him 
that I sympathize in mind, as well as in body, with his cruel 
disease. I trust that he will not fail to profit of the judicious 


advice, for which I am greatly obliged to him. It would give 
me great pleasure to renew my old acquaintance in Philadel 
phia, and form a new one with a few of its worthy inhabi 
tants. I have, however, but three months to stay at home, 
and many embarrassing affairs to attend to. Among them, 
the suit of that superlative villain, Hall, who has treated Mr. 
Coles, if possible, worse than he behaved to me. 

1 wish you good sport with Mr. Ashmead s gun. I saw a 
woodcock yesterday, and sent Tudor to the house for the 
gun; but we could not spring it a second time. He left me, 
since dinner, for school. My health is worse than ever. 

My best regards to Mr. Clay and family. 

Truly, yours, 


It still rains. My corn crop, alone, is good; tobacco de 

It delights me to see upon what terms you are with Mr. 
Clay s family. Why does he not write to me? Do you hear 
any thing of Dr. Gibson? or Mr. Sterrett Ridgely? or Mr. 
Nicholson? Have you seen Mr. Cooper? Reply to these 
inquiries. Are the Yellow Springs in Bucks county, and 
how far from Philadelphia? 

Simon has just come to tell me that Euston has broken his 
fore leg! 


Monday, Roanoke, Aug. 12, 181L 

YOUR letter from "the Ship" did not arrive until 
yesterday, having been sent by mistake to Clarksbury, in 
Harrison County, instead of Charlotte, C. H. I am disap- 


pointed at not receiving one of a later date, and I was not 
without a hope of hearing from Mr. Clay. I am much 
obliged to you for your description of the country around, 
(or, rather, on this side of,) Downingtown: such accounts of 
the places, persons, &c., you may see, are very acceptable, 
because they indicate a spirit of observation. There are 
many who look and do not see, while some see without look 
ing. Indolence and indifference, the maladie du pays (of 
Virginia,) are more injurious to the eye-sight than candle 
light, and the smallest print. By the way, you have never 
mentioned any preacher, or other public speaker, whom you 
have heard in Philadelphia. Mr. Hoge forms a standard of 
comparison, by which you might give me your opinion of 
Messrs. Alexander, Green, or Smith. 

I had thought the Yellow Springs had been a newly dis 
covered watering-place; but, I find them laid down in a map 
published in 1775, in Pikeland Township, on Pickering s 
creek, a water of Schuylkill. They are placed a few miles 
to the north-east of the "Ship tavern," which is also laid 
down; but, I presume, that cannot be the correct course. I 
am greatly pleased to learn that your strength and spirits are 
recruiting, and I highly approve of your pedestrian essays: 
but choose not Virginians for your companions. I have no 
doubt that many of the medical students of the south, leave 
Philadelphia as ignorant of every thing worthy to be known 
in that city, as when they entered it. This arises from a 
clannish spirit, which makes them associate exclusively with 
one another, and foster their ridiculous prejudices against the 
people of the middle and northern states, of whom, in fact, 
they know nothing. 

St. George came up on Saturday. He left your sister in 
good health: she is staying with Mrs. Dillon, (Mr. D. is 
gone to the Warm Springs in Bath County,) during your 
cousin s absence, who is gone to Staunton. Tudor returned 
last evening to school: he came with his mother from Mr. 
Rice s. Carter Coupland became a member of my family 
a few days since. Some society was indispensable to me, 



and he is a well-disposed boy, who, I trust, will relieve, in 
some degree, my uncomfortable situation. Beverley is at 
Staunton, with his wife. 

Since my last, it has rained almost daily. My crop (corn 
excepted) is ruined, and my last year s crop of tobacco, good 
for nothing. 

Tell Mr. Clay that I have just heard from Mr. and Mrs. 
Bryan, and that they are very well. I hope you will not 
neglect your friend Dr. Logan. Farewell, my dear Theo 
dore. I long to see you once more. 

Yours, truly, 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


St. George has turned an ivory chess-man (a castle,) supe 
rior to the European model. He shakes you by the hand. 


Mr. Bruce s, Halifax, Aug. 25, 1811. 

MY solicitude was such to hear from you, that I sent 
Jupiter down this morning to Roanoke for my letters. He 
returned with the post-boy, and brought your two letters of 
the 16th and 19th. You may guess what my anxiety is on 
the subject of Mr. Clay. I shall be on thorns until the ar 
rival of the next mail. The best medical aid is near him. 
Why does he not call in Wistar? Press him to do it, and 
tell him that, indeed, " I cannot afford to lose any of my 

real friends" especially, . I am much concerned, 

too, my dear son, on your subject. I know not how to con 
vey to your bosom what I feel. I must insist upon your 


abandoning study entirely, for the present. Consult Dr. 
Wistar seriously, and take his advice. If it be to come 
home, let nothing but Mr. Clay keep you in Philadelphia. 
There has been a sudden change in the weather since Thurs 
day, which, I trust, has somewhat relieved you. On the day 
on which you wrote, I heard Dr. Alexander, at Charlotte, 
C. H. 

I thank you for your extracts from your journal, and am 
pleased to see that the ladies come in for a share of your 
time. You had informed me of your having left the picture 
in Baltimore. I have no option but to send this letter or 
none. I shall make you a remittance in a few days. 

Yours, entirely, 


St. George is with me, and desires his love to you. 
Take care of yourself, I beseech you. Keep your mind 
as undisturbed as possible. 


Charlotte, C. H., Sept. 2, 1811. 


I LEAVE you to judge of the state of my feelings, 
when I tell you that I rode thirty miles through the rain 
yesterday, for the sake of hearing of Mr. Clay s situation, 
and find no letter from you. My uneasiness on both your 
accounts was such, that I determined to absent myself from 
home until the post-day should come round again. I am 
now to conclude that you are worn down with watching our 
friend, and that both of you, perhaps, are in extremity of 


illness. I beseech you leave me not in. this suspense; and, 
if unable to write, get Mr. Croskey to tell me, in three 
words, how you and Mr. Clay are. I intended to have set 
off to-day for the Warm Springs; but must defer it, and en 
counter another week of suspense and wretchedness. Take 
Wistar s advice for yourself, and call him in for Mr. Clay. 
If he be convalescent, tell him I take it unkindly that he did 
not cause one line to be transmitted me by the post. 

I heard our reverend friend, Dr. Hoge, preach one of his 
best sermons yesterday, from Luke xxiv. verse 44: he read, 
however, from the 13th to the 47th verse, inclusive. I wish 
you could have heard his discourse. It was equally argu 
mentative and pathetic. My best affections to Mr. Clay. 
If the worst should happen, 1 must try and prevail upon his 
mother to intrust Randolph to me. My last will direct you 
how to proceed. 

Yours, affectionately, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Roanoke, Sept. 3, 1811. 


AFTER I had written to you yesterday, your letter 
to St. George, of the 22d of August, was brought (late at 
night) from Mr. Rice s, whither it had been sent with some 
of my own, for what reason I cannot conjecture. I beg of 
you, my son, not to expose me again to similar casualty for 
St. George s stay with me is quite uncertain; being inter 
rupted every two or three days by his necessary attention 


to his mother s business. She is in Staunton. I am relieved 
at finding that Mr. Clay is not worse, and that you are not 
yet exhausted by nursing. May He who alone has the 
power, watch over and protect you both. At the same time 
that your letter to St. George arrived, I received one from 
Mr. Dillon, and infer from his silence that your sister is well. 
If my accounts by the next post are not more satisfactory, I 
shall, forthwith, set out for Philadelphia. I can bear any 
thing better than suspense. There is no fault more com 
mon, or more to be avoided, than egotism. But is it ego 
tism to tell an anxious friend the state of our health? I am 
glad that my good friend, Dr. Brockenbrough, found you 
out. Cherish the acquaintance of that man. " He is not as 
other men are." 

I perceive some trips in your orthgraphy: for example, 
" benijicial," which, I own, surprised me; the etymon be 
ing a safe director: " allways:" " loose," the adjective, or 
imperative, for lose. 

Mr. Hackley has sent me two Spanish pointers one dou 
ble-nosed the only one, of that species, to be procured. 
However, I question if they are better than Echo, or Dido, 
whom old Carlo is now guarding with a Spaniard s jealousy. 

St. George goes down to-morrow, which enables me to 
send this scratch in time for the Genito mail. Tell my 
friend Clay that my heart is with you both. 

God bless you ! my son. 

Yours, most truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Roanoke, Sept. 8, 1811. 


YOUR letters have just arrived. I opened one from 
Dr. Brockenbrough, in the first instance, and from it received 
the afflicting intelligence.* It dropped from my hands as if 
I had touched a living fire-brand. I cannot tell you what I 
feel. I could not, if I knew myself. But I do not. I am 
stupefied. I do not know what I am about. I will try and 
write again to-morrow. Say to Mrs. Clay, what I could not 
if I were with her. I could only wring her hand, and min 
gle my tears with hers. I feel a sense of suffocation about 
my heart. I thank God that you were with him: that you 
could do all that could be done; that I would have tried to 
do if I had been there. My dear son, I can write no more. 
I will endeavour to write again. 

Yours, unalterably, 


I consider Randolph as my son. 

* The death of his friend, Mr. Joseph Clay, of Philadelphia. 



Roanoke, Sept. 15, 1811. 


THE post has arrived, and brought no letter from 
you. You may judge my anxiety by reversing the case, 
and making it your own. My house is a perfect hospital. 
Mr. Curd * lies up stairs, at the point of death, with malignant 
fever. I have scarcely any hopes of his recovery. Jupiter 
has been very ill, and in this harassed situation, Carter Coup- 
land excepted, I have not had the assistance of any person 
besides my own people. Dr. Merry has, indeed, attended 
with much solicitude: Curd has now been ill nearly a fort 

The lectures are so near commencing, that I would not 
have you leave Philadelphia unless your health should re 
quire the measure; of that Dr. Wistar will be the best judge, 
and to it I would have you sacrifice every other considera 

I scarcely know what I write. Beverley is in Staunton, 
and has not been here two days, together, since about the 1st 
of July. Farewell, my son! Say all that is proper for me 
to Mrs. Clay and Mr. Ashmead s family. 
Your affectionate kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Your sister was well on Tuesday last. 
* His overseer. 



Roanoke, Sept. 22, 181 L 


THE post-boy has just now brought your two letters 
of the 10th and 14th of this month. They have relieved 
my mind from the uneasiness produced by not hearing from 
you last week. Indeed, my attention had been, in some 
measure, distracted by the scene of distress which my house 
has exhibited for some time past. Mr. Curd breathed his 
last on Thursday morning, half past three o clock, after a 
most severe illness, which lasted sixteen days. I insisted 
upon his coming up here, where he had every possible aid 
that the best medical advice and most assiduous nursing could 
afford him. During the last week of his sickness, I was ne 
ver absent from the house but twice, about an hour each 
time, for air and exercise: I sat up with him, and gave him 
almost all his medicines, with my own hand, and saw that 
every possible attention was paid to him. This is, to me, an 
unspeakable comfort; and it pleased God to support me un 
der this trying scene, by granting me better health than I 
had experienced for seven years. On Thursday evening I 
followed him to the grave; and, soon after, the effects of the 
fatigue and distress of mind that I had suffered, prostrated 
my strength and spirits, and I became ill. Three successive 
nights of watching were too much for my system to endure; 
but, I am now better, although weak and giddy. I was with 
him, when he died, without a groan or change of feature. 
My servants, also, have been all sick, except Essex, Hetty, 
and Nancy. Carter Coupland, my only companion in this 
scene of trouble, has behaved most nobly. If I had per 
mitted it, he would have exhausted himself by sitting up. 
He bas been of inexpressible assistance and comfort to me. 
On Wednesday morning Beverley, who accompanied your 
cousin from Staunton, came to breakfast, and went on im- 


mediately to Halifax Court. He is now at Prince Edward 
Superior Court, where Mr. Leigh is to appear for Robert 
Gibson on a charge of murdering Samuel Pearce, his brother 
in law; and Beverley for Caleb Baker, junior, who is to be 
tried for shooting a negro. 

It is grateful to me to see that the relict of my, let me 
say our poor friend, and his other connexions, do not under 
value my regard for the memory of that excellent man. 
Say all that is proper for me to them. I am too unsettled to 
write. I hope Mr. Croskey will send me the picture after 
having such copies taken as Mr. Clay s friends may desire. 
Has mine ever arrived in Philadelphia? I paid Jarvis eighty 
dollars. Do not be uneasy about me; but write often, 
and fully of yourself, and affairs. I know you must be 
getting out of cash. I enclose a small supply of forty dol 
lars, and will send more when I can get out, and procure it. 

I am comforted to find that my dear friend s family are 
getting more composed under their calamity. I hope he 
left them in easy circumstances. Say something on this sub 
ject to me, as well as on that of your own finances; one on 
which you are culpably reserved. 

My other overseer, Palmer, is very sick; an autumnal 
fever, prevalent among the poor slaves. I give them eme 
tics of ipecacuanha and tartar emetic combined, twelve and 
two grains: one-third taken until it operates, and afterwards 
a mercurial cathartic. This treatment has proved effectual 
in all the cases except three: in those, Doctor Merry s 
skill has succeeded in giving relief. You may probably 
hear exaggerated reports of my illness. Give no credit to 
them. It has been the effect of watching, fatigue, and 
anxiety; and rest will soon restore me. Mr. William 
Watkins, and Colonel Morton have just called to inquire 
how I do.. 

Yours, ever, 



Your sister was well on Monday. Carter sends his love. 





Roanoke, Oct. 6, 1811. 

,, Sunday. 


YOUR two letters, of the 23d and 30th of September, 
have just now reached me. 1 awaited the arrival of the 
post, in the expectation of hearing from you, with feelings 
which you will be at no loss to comprehend, because you 
have so well described them. Let me beg of you, my son, 
to dismiss all anxiety on my account. I wish I could as rea 
dily relieve all your other cares; but, therein, "the patient 
must minister to himself." I have been very unwell, but 
am now, thanks be to God! quite restored to my usual 
health. I have never failed to write to you by every post; 
if my letters have not come to hand, the fault is to be laid 
to the door of the post-office. Take care of yourself, my 
dear fellow; if not for your own, at least for my sake. 
Struggle against desponding and low spirits, and endeavour 
to cultivate and to cherish a cheerful, or, at least, a serene, 
habit of mind. This is more in our power than we are in 
general aware of: especially in early life. It is only when 
the opposite, or any other ill habit, is formed and fastened 
upon us, by that tyrant custom, that we see and feel, and 
fruitlessly bewail our error. 1 am shocked, and should be 
surprised, if any thing could surprise me that man can do, 
at the gross and cruel injustice done to the memory and fa 
mily of our excellent friend, by his late employers: but it 
is not among money lenders, and, especially, monied corpo 
rations, that I should look for delicacy, feeling, or liberality; 
much leas for justice. There is in all the combinations of 
nature and art, nothing so hard and callous as a trading com 
pany, of whatever description. They look to the dividend; 
to the profit and loss account of the leger; and, whether 
their gain flow from the blood of a Hindoo, or African; 


from the ruined reputation of an honest and amiable man, or 
the tears of his widowed companion and orphan offspring, 
it is all one to these ivorthy personages. I had feared that 
the generous temper of our friend had disabled him from 
making a secure and permanent provision for his family. It 
was therefore, that I directed my inquiries to that point. 
Mrs. Clay (to whom I have not yet the heart to write) will 
not, 1 hope, deny me the melancholy privilege of consider 
ing Randolph as my own son. I intend, with her permis 
sion, to take upon myself the charge of his education and 
advancement in life. Could 1 do a thousand times more, his 
father had deserved it all richly at my hands. Do let her 
know this through Mr. Croskey, or in any other way which 
your own delicate and manly spirit may suggest. 

I was aware that your finances must have been straitened, 
and, therefore, I wished to know how they stood, that I 
might make the speediest and most efficient provision on 
that head. This, you say, is "a delicate subject:" true, it. is 
so, in general, but not between you and myself, my dear son. 
Take care of your heart. Pity is a-kin to Love. Grief pre 
pares the affections for the sway of that seducing tyrant. 
The ladies of Philadelphia are fair and alluring, and your 
time of life is most propitious to their power over your heart. 
In the language of your profession, there is in every young 
man of a just and honourable way of thinking, of refined 
and elevated notions, a strong predisposition to this univer 
sal disease, which, like some others, all of us must have once 
in our lives. If the case be desperate, make me your con 
fidant, if you can: I will endeavour to prove myself not 
unworthy of the trust. But I protest against extorted con 
fidence and forced prayers. I, too, have been young, and 
know how to make allowance, I trust, for the noblest infir 
mity of our nature; which none but the young, or those who 
have not forgotten the feelings of their youth, can duly esti 

I shall go on early to Washington, and do not wish you 
to come on there until you hear of me from thence. Again, 


take care of yourself. As soon as I get to Richmond (if not 
sooner) I shall make you a remittance. I would not have 
had you put even the semblance of slight upon the memory 
of our dear friend, for the wealth of Croesus. 

Farewell, my dear Theodore: for such you are, and ever 
will be, to 

Your friend, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Carter greets you cordially: so does Beverley. Henry 
Tucker has lost his youngest child: so has Mr. William Wat- 
kins. All well at Bizarre, yesterday. 

I sent you $40 by the last postj or, rather, the penulti 
mate, which, I presume, you have received: $20 and $150 
before; that is, since we parted in Baltimore. I state this, 
to avoid mistake. Mr. Garnett, speaking of Mr. Clay s 
death, says " I feared until I heard from you," (a misap 
prehension of a passage of my letter,) " of Dr. -Brocken- 
brough s being with him, that those Philadelphia Sangrados 
had killed him. Poor fellow, he always appeared to me too 
fond of their most absurd and most fatal system, of taking 
all the blood out of a man s body by way of prolonging his 
life.* He lived long enough for his own fame, but the loss 
of such a man, at any period, must be considered both as a 
public and a private calamity." 

* Do you take warning, and consult Wistar, Physick, and the fathers of 



Roanoke, Oct. 13, 1811. 

Sunday Night. 

YOUR welcome letter of the 6th arrived to-day, most 
opportunely, to withdraw my mind from those vexatious and 
vulgar details to which a Southern planter must, in some de 
gree, attend, or encounter certain ruin. You may well sup 
pose how much my time is taken up with these heartless, 
or, rather, disheartening cases, when I tell you that I have 
not yet found any one to supply the place of poor Curd I 
mean in form; for I " shall never look upon his like again." 

I am glad to find that you can and do amuse yourself with 
field-sports: but I hope you will take care how you exchange 
shots with any but gentlemen; and even with them, that 
you will have your quarrel just. A man would cut a piti 
ful figure who should lose his life in a brawl with such fel 
lows as you describe your unknown adversary to be. We 
should study that our deaths, as well as our lives, should be 
innocent, if not honourable and glorious; so that our friends 
should have no cause to blush for the folly, or rashness, of 
either. At the same time, be assured, my dear Theodore, 
that, of all the defects in the human character, there is none 
that I should so much deprecate for my friend, or myself, as 
want of spirit and firmness. 

You say that " Mrs. Clay is anxious to get my picture." 
Do you mean my picture of Mr. Clay, or the picture of my 
self which I had taken for him? The last, Mr. Nicholson, 
jr., promised to transmit to Philadelphia last spring. I am 
very anxious to get my picture of Mr. Clay as soon as it 
shall have been copied for his friends. I cannot part with 
the original, unless Mrs. Clay desires it. Present me, af 
fectionately, to her and Randolph. I hope to see them 


some time this winter. Can she be prevailed upon, do you 
think, to intrust him to my care? 

I am glad you have become acquainted with Mr. John 
Morton, of Bordeaux. He is a most valuable man; an ho 
nour to Virginia. His worthy connexions will be justly 
proud to see him. 

To whom is my friend Roscius about to be married? I 
hope some good party : although I fear matrimony will not 
suit his habits. He has been too long a " chartered liber 
tine/ to bear the matrimonial chains: they will not clank 
so gracefully as the fetters of Pierre. 

Mr. Patton, of Alexandria, writes to me that he has re 
ceived from Mr. Hackley a fine pointer for me, which he 
keeps subject to my order. Mr. Hackley s last letter men 
tions the dog as a very fine one. He sent three others for 
Mr. W. R. and myself; one of which is a double-nosed slut. 
It was the only one, of that race, that Mr. H. had been 
able to procure since the loss of the two (by storm) that he 
had shipped for us. The French, around the Bay of Cadiz, 
got possession of them. 

I have killed one soree, or rat, (I believe the word is so 
spelled, without the i,) about a dozen ortolans, and, this 
morning, a very fine whistling plover; the heaviest bird I 
ever felt of his size. I shot him at the cow-pen, in compa 
ny with some kildees; and, after I had shot, a very large 
flock rose, a few paces off but I got no second opportunity. 
We have, apparently, no woodcocks. 

Adieu, dear Theodore! 
I am, most truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I receive your letters but irregularly; two at a time. I 
hope you have visited Mr. Cooper, and that he has seen Mr. 
Crawford s letter on the subject of a certain affair that took 
place at the close of the last session of congress. I sent a 


copy of it to Mr. Clay, and requested that it might be shown 
to Mr. Cooper. This is, probably, the last letter I shall 
write from this place, until we meet again. I long to see 
you once more. Carter desires his love. Beverley went to 
Staunton on Wednesday. He has not been here two days 
since June, all taken together never two in succession. 


Roanoke, Oct. 20, 1811. 


CONTRARY to my expectation, I address another let 
ter to you from this place, (written, for want of paper, on 
the cover of your own of the 12th, which the post-boy has 
just handed to me.) Just as I was preparing to set out, poor 
Carter was taken sick, and T am too strongly bound to him, 
by his kind attentions to myself and family, to think of 
leaving him, under such circumstances. His disease (a mild 
form of autumnal fever) has yielded to a single dose of ca 
lomel. The night before last, just as he had fallen asleep, 
and I was watching by his bed-side, Tudor arrived, to my 
great comfort and relief. Beverley, who went to Staunton 
a fortnight ago, has not yet returned. Tudor left your sis 
ter, his mother, and brother, in good health. Yesterday 
John Morton and Mr. Tucker (Henry, brother of George,) 
arrived; and to-day we broke the Sabbath, according to the 
estimation of puritans. When I had killed one ortolan and 
three partridges, the rain drove us in, about ten o clock. 

Be assured, my dear Theodore, that your letter, which 
now lies before me, verifies, most strikingly, the truth of the 


Rambler s remark. Our pleasure, then, is mutual: may it 
be ever thus between us, my son! May our connexion be 
to you, as it has been to me, productive only of satisfaction, 
as little alloyed as any human enjoyment can be. It has 
been to me a source of comfort and consolation that I would 
not exchange for all the dignities and kingdoms of this 

It gives me great pleasure to find that your health is bet 
ter, and that the tone of your spirits is somewhat restored, 
after their late severe shock from the loss of our dear 
friend, poor Mr. Clay ! Time, I trust, will do the rest. If 
I were a younger man, I should almost envy you the plea 
sure of seeing my friend, Cooper, on the stage. As 
it is, I rejoice that you have a resource against tedium 
and lassitude, at once so rational and delightful: one which, 
dulled as my powers of perception are, by a long, hack 
neyed journey through life, I could yet relish with no com 
mon zest. While such recreations are within your reach, 
(to say nothing of the ladies,) I have no fear (even were my 
confidence in your taste and principles less than it is) of 
your falling into any unworthy and degrading courses. Of 
all the remedies for ennui, dissipation is the least efficient, 
and the most destructive of the moral as well as the physi 
cal constitution of man. Yet we are, all of us, more the 
creatures of circumstances, than the pride of human nature 
is willing to allow. Hand inexperto loquor. I have 
known what it is to be cast upon a wide world, without a 
friend or counsellor, or opportunity, to waste my capacity 
(such as it was) in idleness, my fortune in extravagance, and 
my health in excess. 

The superscription of your letter admonishes me to con 
clude. I have no objection far otherwise to your going 
to New York, if your finances will furnish the means. 1 
take shame to myself that they are so low: but I have been 
going to Richmond every week for some months back. 
When there, I shall replenish your exchequer. If you go, 
apprize me of your address. My best regards to Mrs. Clay 


and all her good family. Speak to Mr. Croskey about the 

Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

The boys send their best love to you, The weather 
changed to-day greatly for the better. You are aware of 
the fatal consequences of " a single false step." Present 
my best respects to Mr. Cooper,* and tell him that I have re 
ceived his obliging letter, and that I would answer it, but that 
I am hurried in preparing to leave home. My friend Kid- 
der has sent me " Don Roderick/ proximus longo inter- 
vallo to the "Lady of the Lake;" herself as far removed 
from "Marmion" or "The Lay." 


Hanover, C. H., Nov. 1, 1811. 

Friday, half past 11, P. M. 

ft . 

I LEFT Roanoke on Thursday, (Oct. 24,) between 12 
and I, and got to Bizarre that night, just as the family were 
retiring to bed. The effects of the night air (it was very cold) 
were very severe, and I have not yet recovered from the ex 
posure. Your sister and cousin were well; so was St. George. 
Tudor rode down with me from Roanoke. I heard from him 
again to-day; on Friday, (Oct. 25,) I progressed, in great 
pain, to our friend s, Mr. Thomas Miller, who inquired 

* The tragedian. 


kindly after you. Next day, Saturday, (26th,) I reached 
Richmond, half dead, but amply compensated by meeting 
with my dear brother Henry, who, I had feared, might have 
left town. The last thing that I did, to-day, was to make an 
arrangement to place $250, subject to your order, in the Far 
mers and Mechanics Bank of Philadelphia. My remit 
tance would have been larger; but I have not been able to 
effect a sale of my tobacco, on any terms you must, there 
fore, excuse the scantiness of your supply. 

I dined, to-day, with our friend Dr. Brockenbrough, and 
came out of town about sunset. Henry Tucker is in fine 
health and spirits. 

I determined to give you the earliest intelligence of the 
replenishing of your exchequer. Good night. I must be in 
Washington the day after to-morrow. 


I met Beverley, and his wife and child, at Bizarre, on 
their way home. 


Georgetown, December 12, 1811. 
Thursday Night, 11 o clock. 

YOUR letter has just arrived, to my very great relief. 
I had begun to be uneasy on your subject. Pray let me hear 
oftener from you, if it be but a line, to say that you are well. 
My own health is sinking under the arduous duties which 
are imposed upon me, and I meditate a short retreat to my 
friend, Mr. C. Sterrett Ridgeley s, near Elk Ridge Landing. 
My best regards attend Mrs. Clay. I should have been more 
particular in my communications to her, but I hoped to have 


had the pleasure to see her, in person, ere this. Has Cap 
tain Ashmead received my letters? 
Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Saturday, Jan. 5, 1812. 

I HAVE been much indisposed, but am now better. I 
have neither health, spirits, nor leisure to write. At this mo 
ment, I have at least fifty unanswered letters; some of them 
on business of consequence. Recollect, my son, that I have 
some twenty or thirty correspondents: you, perhaps, not more 
than three or four. I say nothing of my other avocations. 

My spirits are crushed by the late calamitous event at 
Richmond.* Mrs. Brockenbrough, I fear, will lose her 
senses, irretrievably! Would to God, my son, that circum 
stances permitted you to be with me, at this moment. I 
have need of comfort 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 
Late Saturday Night. 

* The burning of the Theatre. 



Georgetown, Jan. 9, 1812. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 16th. Why 
are you so concise? You surely cannot plead want of time, 
or number of correspondents. Give my best respects to 
Mr. Walsh, and tell him that the least inaccurate sketches 
of my speeches will be found in the "Spirit of 76," but 
they are extremely imperfect, and I have neither health, 
leisure, nor (I might add) power to render them less so. 
Speaking, as I always do, from the impulse of the moment, 
the verba ardentia cannot be recalled. The glowing pic 
ture fades the happy epithet, the concise and forcible ex 
pression is lost, never again to be retrieved. A miserable 
shadow is all that remains nor can I look upon it without 
disgust. My best regards to Dr. Logan: I shall be rejoiced 
to see him here. Adieu. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Monday, Jan. 12, 1812. 

I have crawled down to the house, for the purpose of 
giving my vote on a proposition, which, after having been 
debated for nearly a week, is withdrawn. I received Captain 
Ashmead s papers, and they are before the secretary of state, 


with such observations as I thought proper to make upon 
them, consisting, chiefly, of Captain Ashmead s statement of 
facts -respecting the charges of interest, &c. 

I saw Mr. Rush last evening. He spoke of you very 
obligingly. Pray keep up your spirits: you are too young 
to indulge in this fatal luxury. 

Farewell, my son! 


My best regards to Mrs. Clay and family. As soon as I 
hear from the secretary of state, I shall transmit his deci 
sion to Captain Ashmead. 


Georgetown, Jan. 16, 1812. 

Thursday Night. 

I HAVE been confined all day to my apartment by in 
disposition not severe, but highly distressing: a general 
prostration of strength and spirits, arising, I believe, from 
erratic gout. In this state of body and mind, nothing is so 
grateful to me as the recollection of my friends; but, I hear 
from few of them, and at long intervals, or by scanty let 
ters. I see that Mr. Dennie is no more. What character 
did he bear in Philadelphia? Was he an intimate of Mr. 
Walsh? Have you seen that gentleman lately? When you 
do see him, present my sincere respects to him, and to Dr. 
Logan, also. Do you visit at Mr. Dallas s? You forget al 
ways to say any thing of yourself, and your affairs. 


Good night, my son! 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, Feb. 3, 1812, 

YOUR scanty letter of one straggling page, serves to con 
vince me that you have not entirely forgotten me. But why, 
my son, do you say nothing of your pursuits, your companions, 
or of the few persons whom you see, that are known to me, 
by character, at least? Dr. Logan, for instance, or Mr. Walsh. 
I know by fatal experience, my child, the fascinations of a 
town life how they estrange the mind from its old habits and 
attachments; but I will not permit myself to believe that you 
have yielded to their influence. In reminding me of Blooms- 
bury and Fidget,* you recall to my recollection some unplea 
sant, at least mournful recollections. I had intended to ac 
company Mr. Parish to Baltimore. But, late on the evening 
previously to his departure, a circumstance occurred that de 
tained me here one day longer. I meant to have written to 
you by Mr. P. in order to introduce you to his acquaintance. 
He is a gentleman of great worth and intelligence. I hope 
he will use my old servants well. 

My Virginian friends, except Mr. Leigh and Dr. Brocken- 
brough, have scarcely written me a line this winter. By my 

* Two saddle Iwrses that he had sold to Mr, Parish. 


old neighbours, and my new ones too, I have been entirely ne 

You say nothing of Mrs. Clay, or her family. I propose 
doing myself the pleasure of seeing them, whenever the state 
of things here will allow me to leave Washington, or, rather, 
Congress. Present me, very respectfully, to her and her fa 
mily ; also, to Captain Ashmead, and tell him that no decision 
has yet been made on the claim which he transmitted me. 

Good night, my son. 1 feel very low this evening. May 
God bless and protect you. 

Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roan6ke. 

My best respects to Mr. Walsh, and to Dr. Logan, when 
you see him. 


Georgetown, Feb. 5, 1812. 

I SAW Mr. Dallas to-day, for the first time since his ar 
rival, and he reproached me for not having made him ac 
quainted with you. I related to him the fact, just as it had 
occurred, and he bids me tell you that you can only make 
atonement for your transgression by calling on Mrs. Dallas 
during his absence. On his return, he expects to find you at 
home in his house. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 



Georgetown, Feb. 15, 1812. 

1 THANK you, my dear Theodore, for your very affectionate 
letter. My avocations, the state of my health, and, I am sorry 
to add, of my spirits, must plead my excuse, when I do not 
make a prompt and suitable return for such instances of your 
attention. I have seldom experienced a greater depression 
than at the present moment. You must not account with me 
too severely, my son. Could you know what I feel, I should 
want no advocate in your breast. 

It would be matter of surprise to me, if you had not been 
touched, as I perceive you have been, with the uncommon 
merits of your friend, the late Mr. Clay. Why do you say so 
little of his widow and orphan family ? Why are you silent 
on the subject of his picture, respecting which I feel, and have 
expressed, so much interest ? 

I am glad to find that you occupy yourself in the study of 
the sacred writings. Go on and prosper, as assuredly he 
must, who is engaged in so ennobling a pursuit. But I am 
sorry to find in your diary, so many notices of lectures unat 
tended.* These instances, I hope, will not hereafter so fre 
quently occur. 

Farewell, my son ! Remember me to Mr. Walsh and to 
Dr. Logan ; and believe me, with the truest regard, your 
friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Owing to indisposition,, 



Georgetown, March 4, 1812. 

I HAVE been for some time past remiss in my corres 
pondence with you, my dear Theodore; and even now, I 
shall hardly make amends for my deficiency. My health is 
bad, and my perplexities many. The object of this letter 
is to request you to transmit to me an account of the state of 
your finances, and to let me know whether any new regula 
tions have been made respecting the graduation of the me 
dical student, in your university. I hope to see you shortly. 
Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Pardon the seeming abruptness of this letter. 


Georgetown, March 13, 1812. 

I SHOULD have written to you before this time, by 
our friend Dr. Logan, who is here, and who intended to 
have gone to Philadelphia, the day before yesterday; but he 
has postponed his journey until the day after to-morrow. I 
was, and still am anxious to know whether, agreeably to 
the regulations of the university, you can honourably gra 
duate this season. 

I am obliged to Dr. Chapman for his good intentions; but 
my life, eventful as it has been in some points of view, will 



hardly afford materials for biography. I ought to have no- 
objection to the engraving in question, except as it will of 
fer but an uninteresting and insignificant subject to the pub 
lic attention. 

You wiff hear farther from me by our friend the Doctor. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Georgetown, March 14, 1812. 

OUR friend, Dr. Logan, will hand you this. Enclosed 
you have one hundred dollars, which, I trust, will put your 
finances a little above par. Pray, my dear son, write to me 
fully on the subject of my last letter the prospect of gra 
duation. 1 have the strongest wish to have you with me. 
Dr. Logan, contrary to my expectation, leaves town to-mor 
row, instead of the day after. I am, therefore, obliged to 
be abrupt, which I hope you will excuse. In haste, but 
with the truest regard, 1 am, my dear Theodore, 
Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I have put my name on the back of the note, (which I re* 
eeived of government,) to put an end to any difficulty in its. 
negotiation. My best respects to Mr. Walsh. 



Georgetown, May 11, 1812. 

I HAVE received your two " short and hurried letters." 
I am much concerned, my son, to hear that you " have been 
very unhappy since you got back to Virginia." I am afraid 
you will find nothing in our solitary and deserted habitation 
to raise your spirits. I shrink at the idea of returning to 
it. Disappointed of every rational hope of my life look 
ing forward to nothing better in this world my faculties 
jaded, and daily forsaking me with recollections of the 
past which I would gladly dismiss for ever from my memo 
ry it is for me, and such as me, to talk of being unhappy. 

I believe I omitted to tell you that I wished you to use 
Everlasting: pray be merciful to her. 
Yours, sincerely, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, May, 1812, 

I THANK you, my dear Theodore, for your letter of 
the 14th: it is all I can do. Tudor, tired of Baltimore and 
its vicinity, has gone on to Philadelphia. I enclosed him 
letters to Mr. Walsh, Mrs. Clay, and Mr. Parish. He will 
there await my coming. I fear you have a sad time of it at 
Roanoke. You said nothing to me of your sister, or cousin: 
particularly of your reception by the latter; and scarcely 


any thing of my sister, who mentions you with much inte 
rest. In haste. 


JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, June 5, 1812. 

You are not the first of my correspondents whom my 
inveterate habit of scribbling has induced to suppose that I 
would continue to write to them whether I received any en 
couragement to do so, or not. At present, however, there 
exist impediments to my accustomed readiness and punctu 
ality in this respect which I cannot overcome. It gives me 
great pleasure to hear that you have regained your compo 
sure of rnind. Into the causes which disturbed it I never 
ventured to inquire, content to receive such portion of your 
confidence as you chose voluntarily to bestow upon me. 

The death of poor Echo is a severe blow upon me. "I 
ne er shall look upon her like again." And, among the in 
ducements which I felt to revisit my own comfortless home, 
it was not the least that I should again see her, and witness 
the sagacity and attachment of this humble yet faithful four- 
footed friend. 

My best love to Carter. 

Yours, affectionately, 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Has Echo any offspring at Roanoke? 



Georgetown, June 29, 1812. 

YOUR letter from Charlotte, C. H., has just reached 
me. I regret very much that I have had it so little in my 
power to write to you since your return home; but my hands 
are full, and my vigour wasted. It is with extreme difficulty 
that I can summon resolution and find time to do the drud 
gery to which I am tied down. 

I shall address this to Bizarre, and I beg of you to excuse 
me to your cousin and St. George for not writing. Tudor 
is now in Philadelphia. He is highly delighted with your 
friend Mr. Walsh; who speaks of you as you could wish. 
I don t know whether I told you that Dr. Sim called to pay 
his respects to you the day after j^ou left us. I went to the 
island, and found that our invitation had been given for the 
preceding Sunday. We shall adjourn on Monday next, so 
say our masters. 

Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Friday Night, Nov. 19, 1812. 

I RECEIVED your short letter this evening, and an im 
pertinent one from Palmer, by the same post. I fear I 
shall have to go home, for he threatens to leave my planta 
tion, because "I am too tight with him;" that is, I will not 


permit him to encroach beyond the terms of my contract with 

You have, perhaps, done right in taking the tickets of all 
the professors. It is, no doubt, a propitiatory step towards 
them; but, I do hope, that you will not run the risk of in- 
juring^your health in attending them. You say nothing upon 
that topic. What is Dr. Physick s, or Wistar s opinion of 
your case? You are silent, also, respecting Mrs. Clay, Mr. 
Walsh, Dr. Chapman, &c.? How is Randolph ? I wrote to 
you last evening. The night was a night of horrors to me. 
I had a severe sore throat, fever and pains in every limb and 
joint. Half an hour s disturbed sleep was my portion. To-day 
I am better, far better; but clearly discern gout in my feet. 
They are painful, tumidj and red, especially the great toes. 

I am glad to tell you that Tudor has done himself credit 
at Cambridge. He stands high in the opinion of the pro 
fessors, as well for his deportment, as his literary acquire 
ments, and love of study. 

It has blown a gale from every point of the compass, (ex 
cept south,) since you left us. Hard clouds spitting snow 
and sleet weather that one would expect in Spitzbergen; 
not in latitude 39. I have not been to the house, and scarce 
ly out of the house since you left us. 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

My compliments to Dr. Chapman. Tell him that I would 
give him some memoires pour servir, &c., if I had an ama 

Do not forget that the perfection of the epistolary art 
consists in omitting all mention of incidents in one s letters. 

Present me, respectfully, to Mr. Walsh, Mr. Hare, Mr. 
Meredith, Mr. Binney, and Mr. Dallas, if he be of your ac 

Good night! good night. 

Beverley R. has distinguished himself at Queenstown. 



Thursday, Nov. 19, 1812. 

RHEUMATISM sore throat, and fever, have been my 
companions since you left me. I have not been once to the 
house; scarcely written a single line. I wished to have 
written to dear Mrs. Clay on the subject of Randolph, but 
have not had spirits and resolution enough to throw my 
thoughts on paper. It is a sad subject, and recalls mournful 
recollections. You can, doubtless, insinuate to her my wishes 
to have him as soon as she can bring herself to part from 
him: the sooner the better, for any advantage which he may 
derive from my tuition. My best regards to Mr. Walsh. 
Mention me in the kindest manner to dear Mrs. Clay and 
her family; also, to every one that knows and inquires after 
me. Good night I must to bed. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, Nov. 27, 1812, 

I WAS highly gratified this evening, on my return from 
dining with Mr. Frank Key, to find your letter of the 23d ? 
(post-marked the 25th.) I am glad to tell you that, since my 
late acute attack, when the morbid matter, whatever it be, set 
tled in my feet, I have been quite anew man. For the first 
time, during many months, my mind has been relieved from 
an oppression which has clouded and impaired all my facul- 


ties. The effects have, no doubt, been felt by those who have 
been placed in contact with me, (as well as by myself,) al 
though they have, probably, been unable to make due allow 
ance for the malady by which I have been afflicted. 

I hope you will follow Dr. Chapman s advice, and never 
cease to remember that, in order to qualify yourself for heal 
ing others, it is of primary necessity that you, yourself, 
should be sane in body, as well as mind. I am greatly 
obliged to Dr. Chapman; I cannot say for his recollection of 
me, for he never knew me; but, for thinking of me so often, 
and so favourably I must add, so partially, also. 

Present me, most respectfully and affectionately, to Mrs. 
Clay, and tell her that I accept the trust which she has so ge 
nerously confided to me, with a proper sense of its import 
ance. I hope, indeed, that it may be as she expects, " that 
Randolph will receive much benefit from my tuition." I 
know that, in many respects, I am less qualified for such a 
task, than when I undertook the instruction of yourself and 
Tudor; but of this I am equally confident, that no exertion 
shall be wanting, on my part, to render him worthy of her, 
and an honour to the memory of that other dear friend, to 
whom he owes his being. 

I took advantage of the parliamentary holiday, yesterday, 
to enjoy the diversion of shooting. I killed one brace of 
woodcocks and two of partridges missing only two shots; 
both on horse-back. Your favourite Sancho did not distin 
guish himself, being quite eclipsed by Dido. I fear he will 
lose his eye. St. George writes that woodcocks are uncom 
monly numerous, and that he has killed two. Your sister 
was well. 

Did I tell you that I sent Jupiter home from Fredericks- 
burg ? I miss him very much. Mr. Charles Sterrett Ridge- 
ly arrived here last night, to my great joy. He desires his 
respects to you. I received a letter, since I commenced 
this, from Mr. Parish. He is at Ogdensburgh, but will be in 
Philadelphia, about the first of January. 


My best regards to Mr. Walsh. I shall write again short 
ly; probably by to-morrow s mail. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, Nov. 28, 

ACCORDING to the intimation in my last, I took the field 
to-day but my friend Mr. Charles Sterrett Ridgely was un 
able to accompany me; having been better employed in 
placing Mr. Luf borough s son, (the young man wha was at 
Carlisle,) in an eligible berth on board the Constellation. It 
was a blank day with me. I went out late, having waited 
for Mr. Ridgely; and although Dido behaved to admiration, 
I killed nothing except two unqualified sportsmen, a large 
owl, and a poaching cat. I moved several woodcocks, shot 
twice at very unfavourable chances, and returned to an 
early dinner. As this letter will be postage free, I have 
less compunction in taxing you with it 

I shall write again to-morrow, and trouble you with some 

Yours, most affectionately, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 





Dec. 12, 1812. 

IN conformity with your request, I write merely to 
inform you that I am greatly better although far from well. 
My feet, my head, and stomach antagonize, (if I may so 
speak,) like a flexor and extensor muscle. I am sorry to 
hear of your cough. Is it the effect of cold, or of some 
obstruction of the liver? 

My best regards to Mrs. Clay, and the children. Why 
do you say nothing of them? 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

The Potomac closed the night before last. Mr. Stanford 
desires to be remembered to you. 


Dec. 17, 1812. 

HAVING seen myself in the portfolio, I have no 
longer any wish to possess a copy; and I really regret that 
you lent the miniature for the purpose of having it so wretch 
edly engraved. Had I been consulted, I would have put 
my veto upon the "projet." At the same time, do not un 
derstand me as expressing censure at your compliance with 
Dr. C s request I do not know how you could have 


refused. You might have said " I will consult my uncle, 
and if he has no objection, &c." 

I am better, and trust you are so; though I have sometimes 
apprehensions, as I do not hear from you. Three lines would 
do. A word, at the same time, of Mrs. Clay: her situation, 
her spirits, children, &c. Adieu, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


December 18, 1812. 

I HAVE just received the enclosed from poor St. George, 
under cover of a letter to myself. Want of some one to com 
municate with is evidently impairing his knowledge of the 
language. His letters to me, of late, are hardly intelligible; 
some parts of them quite so. He complains that his brother 
does not write to him. I fear he will lose the faculty of ex 
pressing his thoughts on paper, if no one takes the trouble to 
correct him. Alas! " prayers are not morality," nor " kneel 
ing religion. " What a perversion to suppose austerity, sour 
ness, gloom, indifference to the welfare of those whom we 
ought to love, (if we can love any thing,} that these recom 
mend us to the Divine Author of that religion, which teaches 
us to love our neighbour as ourself; to bless them that curse 
us whose very essence is benevolence and good will towards 

I must go to the house. Good b ye. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Have you read Leigh s Memoirs? Probably you have not 


leisure; but I beg of you to read the note in page 341, of vo 
lume 2d. The friendship of Washington forfeited by negli 


Georgetown, Jan. 1, 1813. 

YOUR last letter has afforded relief from some anxiety 
which I had begun to feel, on your account. That by Mr. 
Weir has not yet come to hand. I made but a very short 
stay with my friend, Mr. Charles Sterrett Ridgely whose 
hospitable mansion I left on Monday last. Exposure to cold 
brought on ague, and something very like cholera morbus, 
I have seldom suffered more than I did on that night, after 
reaching my lodgings. I write these few lines merely that 
you may not suppose that I think you neglectful of me, as 
your letter seems to intimate. 

Do not forget to call on Mr. Parish, who, by this time, is 
in Philadelphia; and commend me to Mrs. Clay, and all 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




Saturday, Jan. 9, 1813. 

OUR friend, Dr. Logan, will bear this letter. I in 
tended to have sent you a remittance of $200, by this very 
safe conveyance; but, having only notes of one of the late 
banks incorporated here, I shall call at the Bank of Columbia, 
on Monday or Tuesday next, and obtain a draft on their cor 
respondent bank in Philadelphia, for that sum. Let me know, 
as early as possible, how much more your occasions will call 
for, that it may be supplied in due time; and, also, when you 
can leave Philadelphia, after graduating. 

Dr. Logan complains that he has not seen you at Stenton. 
You ought not to neglect cultivating so valuable an acquaint 

Yours, most truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Georgetown, Friday, Feb. 5, 1813. 

I WROTE you a hasty letter yesterday, from which 
you may infer that I meditated placing Randolph immedi 
ately at school. When I spoke of " his being separated from 
me," I referred to the time when he should attain a proper 
age to be placed at school. You know the savage solitude 
in which I live; into which I have been driven to seek skel- 


ter. I feel that it will be but a sad change to this poor 
child, and, perhaps, a situation not entirely suited to his 
age, &c. 

I feel much at a loss how to act. Now, tell me something 
of your own intentions and wishes, as to future pursuits and 
prospects in life. Speak to me as to a friend, whose chief 
motive is the fartherance of your own welfare. I have 
thought of Richmond as not an ineligible position for you; 
but only thought of it. 

Pray give me the earliest information of Mr. Parish s ar 
rival at Philadelphia; and do not fail to keep watch for Mr. 
and Mrs. G., and present the enclosed. They will reach 
Baltimore to-day, and will, probably, be in Philadelphia 
about this day week: perhaps earlier. I had the pleasure of 
dining with Mr. Walsh about ten days ago. He spoke of 
you with great regard. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Best regards to Messrs. P. and W. 


House of Representatives, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 1813. 

BY the time that this letter can reach you, Mr. and 
Mrs. G. will, probably, be approaching Philadelphia. They 
have .left Baltimore, and intend to go via Columbia and Lan 
caster. I am extremely desirous that they should not pass 
through Philadelphia without your seeing them. Should 


this, unfortunately, happen, pray enclose my letter to Mr. 
G. Mr. Alexander Walker, of that city, can give you his 

Your letters by Mr. W. have never made their appear 
ance. Indeed, I hardly hear any thing from you. Tu 
dor was well a few days ago. He has returned to Cam 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanake. 


Feb. 9, 1813. 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL SCOTT (the friend of Mr. Wat- 
kins Leigh) will hand you this letter. It is written exclu 
sively for the purpose of giving you the pleasure of his ac 
quaintance; for which you must consider yourself as my 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I wrote to you this morning, by maiL 



Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1813. 

10 at night. 

MR. JOHN V AFGHAN, of Philadelphia, can inform 
you of Mr. Gore s address. I am extremely desirous that 
you should become known to him, and to Mrs. Gore. Pre 
sent me, most respectfully, to them both; and mention my 
wishes on this head. I hear nothing from, or of you. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Tell Mrs. G. that her friends, the Goldsboroughs, are 
quite well; that Miss Anna Maria is as beautiful as ever, 
and Mr. Bleecker more cheerful than I ever saw him. Mrs* 
Horsey, with whom I dined to-day, and Mrs. Bayard, enjoy 
their usually good health, good humour, and good spirits; but 
Washington is a dreary place, nevertheless* 


Washington, Feb. 11, I8I& 

YOUR letter of the 8th reached me at a late hour last 
night. I have no idea of placing Randolph at school now, 
nor for several years to come; but when the time should ar 
rive, would prefer (cseteris paribus) putting him within 
reach of his mother and friends. 

I beg to hear from you more at full on the subject of your 
P. S. 


I have just learned that Mr. and Mrs. G. were in Balti 
more on Tuesday, the 9th. I hope you will not miss them 
in their passage through Philadelphia: you are good at a 
flying shot. 


I am crippled with sciatic. 

The skeleton of the speech has been mounted by some 
bungler who knows nothing of political osteology. I feel 
ashamed of myself not only stripped of my muscle, but 
my very bones disjointed. 


Georgetown, Feb. 18, 1813. 

SINCE the receipt of your concise letter of the 12th, 
I have been on the verge of the grave, from one of those 
sudden and incomprehensible attacks, to which my family 
are subject. 

Mr. and Mrs. G. returned to Washington on Monday last: 
after being detained ten days in Baltimore, despairing of be 
ing able to cross the Susquehannah, they made a retrograde 
movement, to the great joy of their numerous acquaintances 
here. Pray inquire of Mr. Parish if he received a letter 
from me, in answer to his from Philadelphia. I sent him, 
also, Messrs. Quincy and Emott s speeches. 
I am yet sore and iveak. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



The letter by Mr. Weir has never reached me. My best 
respects to Mr. Walsh, when you see him. Say every thing 
proper to Mrs. C., and give my love to Randolph. 


Fredericksburg, March 5, 1813. 

I WROTE to you yesterday, from Georgetown, en 
closing a draft of the Bank of Columbia on the Bank of 
Pennsylvania for two hundred dollars. As soon as you can 
leave Philadelphia, I shall expect you in Virginia. Let me 
know, that I may send horses to meet you in Richmond, and 
address your letter to FarmviHe. I regret that I have heard 
so little from you of late; for the letter by Mr. Weir never 
came to hand. I reached this place about an hour ago, half 
dead with fatigue and rheumatism, with which I have been 
tortured beyond measure, during the latter part of the win 
ter; especially the last ten days. I left Mr. and Mrs. G. in 
Washington. They will, probably, reach Philadelphia in 
the course of a week from this time, and will be in your 
neighbourhood. I trust that you will see them. I expect 
Randolph with you. My best regards to Mrs. Clay. I want 
to write to her, but cannot at present. 

I met Mr. Stanford here: he desires his respects to you. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




Bowling Green, March 8, 1813. 

FORTUNATELY for me, I changed my purpose of pro 
ceeding through the desert, to Carter s ferry. Between Todd s 
and this place, I was nearly mad with pain, and, when I got 
here, was glad enough to remain. The next day (yesterday) 
it snowed and rained incessantly, and this day must have emi 
grated from the north-west coast of Scotland. I think it 
doubtful whether 1 shall be able to get even to Prince Ed 
ward Court; and my essay was to have reached Buckingham. 

Tell Mrs. G. (when you see her) that I have been thinking 
of her ever since I left Georgetown; pondering on the diffi 
culties of her journey, and " guessing," according to the New 
England fashion, " whether she would leave Washington to 
day or to-morrow; if she had reached Baltimore; and how 
long she would stay there; and when she would arrive in Phi 
ladelphia?" &c. 

As soon as the weather will permit, I shall go on to Rich 
mond in Mr. Hoomes s carriage. 1 wish, very much, to see 


Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Richmond, March 10, 1813. 

I LEFT the Bowling Green yesterday, after breakfast, 
and, thanks to the politeness of Mr. Hoomes, was enabled to 


reach Richmond about seven o clock. My delay there was 
not entirely unproductive of good, for I had the pleasure of 
passing the day, on Monday, with Mr. Garnett; who came 
to Caroline Court, in the hope of seeing some of his old ac 
quaintances, on their way to the south. The road, from the 
Bowling Green here, is worse than I ever saw it; indeed, the 
weather has been wretchedly bad since Saturday. What 
must the effect have been on the road farther north, which I 
thought had already reached their ultimatum ? This re 
flection has been uppermost in my mind for several days past, 
and gives me much uneasiness respecting Mrs. G. I pray 
you to let me hear of her safe arrival in Philadelphia, as soon 
as possible. You have been upon a restrictive system, of 


JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Dr. and Mrs. B. ask kindly after you. 
My best respects to Mr. Parish. 


Farmville, April 16, 1813. 

ON returning here yesterday, I found your three let 
ters, of the 2d and 30th of March, from Philadelphia, and of 
the 5th of this month, from Georgetown. I hasten to send 
Jupiter for you, and must not omit a message of Dr. Ran 
dolph, requesting you to call on him as you come up. 

You will have learned, before this reaches you, that, so far 
from "triumphing over my enemies," as you anticipated, 


they are triumphing over me: a triumph which, for my coun 
try s sake, I deeply regret; but which has no power to shake 
the firmness of my purpose, or to disturb the serenity of my 
mind. It releases me from an odious thraldom, and, I assure 
you, my dear Theodore, I have thought, and yet think, much 
more of the charming Mrs. G. than of the election. The low 
and base arts to which my adversaries have resorted, have 
not raised them, or sunk me in my own esteem. 

My best regards to Dr. and Mrs. B., and to Ryland. Ask 
him about my shirts: I am half naked: and bring up my 
boots, left at his house. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


You have not mentioned whether or not you have gra 


Bizarre, March 15, 1813, 

I LEFT Dr. Randolph s yesterday morning, and 
reached this place about five o clock. He requests that you 
will call upon him on your way home, and pressed me to 
mention it to you not as an ordinary matter of course invi 

I went to-day to Prince Edward Court, and found the 
good people of that county as cordial to me as ever. Their 
countenances spoke the feeling of their hearts towards me. 

It is possible that Mrs. G. may not have left Philadelphia. 
Do not forget to speak to her of me; to recall me to her re 
collection although, I trust, that is unnecessary. Tell her 


that I shall feel eternally obliged to my friend Mercer for 
the fidelity with which he executed my request. In short, 
be as much with her as possible, that when we meet, we 
may talk of her, and that you may comprehend her excel 

Yours, always, 


Your sister is much grown, and quite well; so is St. 

I have read Mr. Mercer s letter a hundred times. No 
wonder it was entirely on the subject of Mrs. G. 


September, 1813. 

MISUNDERSTANDING and misconception, even between 
those who reside under the same roof, are, from whatever 
cause, the fruitful source of misery to the best of friends. 
What, then, may they not effect, among persons less attached 
to each other than I know myself to be to you, or than I 
believe you to be to me? Do not misconstrue me, whatever 
you may observe in my conduct or observations before 

You cannot oblige me so much as by thinking yourself to 
stand to me in the relation of a favoured son, and by acting 
as master in my house, and on my estate, on every occasion, 
where your own pleasure or a regard to my interest may 
prompt you so to do. When you were young, and I was 
of opinion that it might be injurious to your future charac 
ter or fortunes to encourage such views, I sedulously re- 


pressed them. Your character is now formed. Consider 
yourself, then, as not less entitled to command here, than 
if you were the child of my loins, as you are the son of my 
affections. In repressing the forwardness of others I may 
have repelled you. Understand me and my feelings, and 
we shall never misconceive each other. I wish most fer 
vently to see you in a situation more worthy of your merit, 
and 1 hope I shall yet live to see it. Until then, take this 
hint. It is enough if you enter into my feelings too much 
if you do not. 

Yours, affectionately, 



Farrmille, Saturday, Nov. 6, 1813. 

JUPITER got down here, last night, with your letter. 
1 do not wonder that he forgot your books when he returned 
without what I chiefly sent him for my dirk, pocket pis 
tols, goggles, and best coat, with dress shoes, and gaiters. 

Pray speak to John Garritt to come down here and build a 
house for St. George. He wishes it to be set about as soon 
as possible. Garritt must leave at Roanoke all the tools he 
found there, and such as I have purchased since. Phil and 
Morocco can do what work I want, until poor St. George gets 
a shelter over his head. 

If a GOOD opportunity offers, be so good as to send me the 
things above named, with my father s picture, and three lock 
ets; they are in my writing-table drawer. I shall direct Jem 
my to bring up some herd s grass seed, from Mr. Wm. L. 
Morton s, which I wish sprinkled over the new meadow, and, 


if any left, over the old. Let Billy and Ned join the axe 
men at Hog Island. 

Jupiter also forgot Mr. Garritt s saddle. If the post-boy 
cannot carry it, I will send it by the wagon. 

I fear you have a sad time of it. Tell Pentecost he can 
have the accommodation he asks, in respect to the goods. I 
hope he sent down Ryland s horse. 

I think it would be a good plan to put one of the three 
years old colts, with a steady, dull horse, to break up the 

B. Woodson, Redford, and myself, are going a cocking in 
Nash s low grounds. I will keep my letter open until 
we return. I killed a duck in Mr. Dupuy s mill-pond, on 
Monday evening, and three partridges and a cock, on Thurs 
day, at Bizarre. Game is very scarce. Send me a memo 
randum, by the post, of such things as you want, as well a& 
overseers and carpenters. 

Farewell, dear Theodorick. 

Your friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 

It is not possible to write tolerably with such tools. 

Pray teach Dash and Clio to fetch. W. Randolph, from a 
thorn wound in the knee, has a dreadful abscess formed; for 
a fortnight his life was in great danger. Dr. I. now thinks 
his limb may be saved. 

Not a cock found in Wash s famous grounds. No wonder. 
Plenty of hogs, oxen, and horses. 

Found two woodcocks in a branch; killed both. The se 
cond after, Woodson missed; also, a brace of partridges. St 
George, one woodcock. Woodson and Redford, not a feather. 
Game very scarce. Left the puppy at home. Dido behaved 
to admiration. Woodson and Redford s guns are more than a 
quarter of a pound heavier than mine. 



Richmond, Thursday Night, Nov. 25, 1813. 

I WAS highly gratified, to-day, by your letter of the 
21st; for, yesterday, the post-office would not condescend to 
afford me that pleasure. I wish you had touched, however 
slightly, some of the topics of my last. You will readily 
guess (as the Yankees say) those to which I refer. On far 
ther reflection, I am really sorry that we resolved to break up 
the pasture. The natives here (imported, as well as indi 
genous,) have no conception of such a turf as that which re 
quires four horses to cut the sod, with a coulter; and I believe 
(for I did not hazard your name or veracity) that they sus 
pected me of that vice, to which (according to honest Jack 
Falstaff ) all this world is given. I really doubt the policy, 
under " existing circumstances," of destroying this turf, which 
is impregnable to the " hoof and the tooth." I forgot to tell 
Jemmy to call at Wm. L. Morton s for the herd s grass seed. 
Pray send there for it, and have it scattered on the new mea 
dow. It was not my fault, however, that he did not bring 
Garritt s saddle; for Mrs. R. and St. George both promised 
that it should not be neglected, and I left it at Farmville on 

Why did you say nothing of Garritt s disposition to build 
at Bizarre? As you are now a man of business, let me sug 
gest to you that a letter, acknowledging the receipt of ano 
ther, is not, necessarily, (logice,} an answer to it; (by the 
way, you have not acknowledged the receipt of mine.) Look 
over your letters when you write. Reply to the points of 
moment; and superadd what you please, whether of business, 
humour, or sentiment although, with Sir Peter Teazle, I 
say, "damn sentiment:" but not the sentiment of an unso 
phisticated heart like yours, my son. I thank you and Colo 
nel Morton on the subject of the sheep. Tell him so; and I 



wish that you had taught Beazley by precept, rather than ex 
ample, to use his own hands. 

Cannot you meet me here, or on the road? say Farmville 
or Amelia. You know not how much you are prized by 
those who know you only as an acquaintance. Can you 
wonder then, my dear Theodore, at the value, which I, who 
know you, aufond, set upon you. 

Good night, and may every blessing attend you. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I have heard from Dr. Robinson. He is reasonably well; 
unchanged in heart. Mr. L. is gone to Berkeley. I guess 
that he will bring Mrs. L. home with him. Pray come 
down, if convenient and agreeable. 


Bank of Virginia, Dec. 30, 1813. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 26th. The 
connexion which has so long subsisted between us, and which 
nothing but death can dissolve, renders all profession, on ei 
ther side, not only unnecessary, but improper; even although 
we did not agree with the worthy Baronet, in "damning 
all sentiment." Feeling towards you as a father, I natu 
rally expect you to act towards me as a son. As to the word 
gratitude, let it be expunged from our vocabulary. I must 
not, however, be debarred the pleasure of expressing some 
times my sense of the aid and comfort which I derive from 
you; at the expense, I know, of your interest, and, in many 


instances, I fear, of your feelings. Do not misunderstand me: 
I mean that such a life as you must lead at Roanoke, is un- 
suited to your character and disposition, and, therefore, I am 
anxious that you should remove to this (or some other) town. 

Pray look at my first memorandum, by Jupiter. Among the 
enumerated articles, I remember my blue coat and goggles: 
the surtout I do not want; but my clothes from Gibb s, (the 
tailor at the C. H.,) I do. 

I wish you, with St. George, to select seven hands, of such 
as are willing to go, principally men and boys, for Bizarre 
and Michaux; of course, not our prime ploughmen, prizers, &c. 

I want the smith s shop put up with all convenient des 
patch, between Simons and Essex s houses, near, or on, the 
old brick yard; but not so as to stop a road which I mean to 
open between the foot of the hill and the pasture gate, pass 
ing near both those houses. 

I enclose a check for $100, in favour of Garritt. I would 
send the notes, but I preferred the check as the safer mode; 
so I handed the notes to the Doctor, and drew for the money. 

Adieu! my dear Theodore, and believe me, as ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Bank of Virginia, Dec. 22, 1813. 

You will, doubtless, be surprised to receive another 
letter from me, written in Richmond; but you know how 
helpless a creature I am; and when I tell you that my man 
Jupiter has been hors du combat, by a bad cut on the leg, 
against the " rock " (marble slabs) on the stair-case, and by 


an axe which flew off the halve, as he was splitting wood, and 
had nearly given him his quietus, you may imagine that I 
have hardly been able to make a shift for myself, even in 

By Quashia I send a piece of blankets, and eighteen pair of 
stockings, having already given a pair a-piece to each of the 
wagonners and boys. Give them another pair a-piece, and 
distribute the other dozen as may seem best. 1 send, also, a 
bolt of Oznaburghs, out of which furnish the wagonners with 
two shirts each, and the boys the same; also, great coats of 
the No. 5 cottons. The remainder of the linen, and the 
blankets, to be distributed to such as most need. I have 
given little Henry one blanket. 

The boys tell me that you had not got home when they set 
out. I enclose fifty dollars for your own use. If a cipher 
were added to the sum, it would be a scanty compensation 
for the services which you have rendered me during the past 
year as a professional man. 

I will write again by post. 

Yours, ever, 


All the old-fashioned good wishes of the season to you. 


Richmond, Jan. 8, 1814. 

QUASHIA got down last night. I was apprehensive that 
the wagons had set out just as the bad weather commenced. 
I have been detained here by a very unpleasant piece of bu 
siness, which I hope to terminate to-day. I should have 


sent up the gun, but I was really afraid that she would be 
injured by the jolting of the wagon. Ryland sent Knowles s 
gun of his own mere notion. I am disappointed at getting 
no letter, or goggles, from you. The glare of the snow puts 
my eyes out, and I cannot get a pair with green glasses in 

You will have heard the news from Europe before this 
reaches you. Advices from London, as late as the 14th of 
November, state that the tyrant had reached Mentz, with 
from 20 to 30,000 of his shattered army. Of course, the 
retreat by Erfurth could not have been cut off, as is stated 
in Sir Charles Stewart s letter of October 19th; that place 
being in the direct line from Leipzig to Mentz as, indeed, 
is Weissenfels (and Naumburg, nearly) so that I cannot 
very well understand that part of his despatch which relates 
to the orders of the King of Prussia, to detach in that direc 
tion. I had supposed that, from Bonaparte s taking the 
route of the Saale, towards Brunswick, he could not strike 
the Rhine higher than Dusseldorf. But you have better 
maps than are accessible to me, here. Read the Prince Re 
gent s speech on opening parliament, and compare his digni 
fied mention of this country, and even of France, with Mr. 
Madison s rant. Yet this rant is well suited to the meridian 
of Washington. I cannot conceive who it is that writes the 
speeches of the English Vitellius Lord Liverpool, most 
probably: but 1 wish he would lend his aid to the Ameri 
can * * * * . These two worthy rulers seem to agree so 
well in their notions about carrying on the war, that, per 
chance, they might interchange speeches as well as mea 
sures. Mr. M. makes war upon our commerce, and the 
Prince Regent seconds him by a rigorous blockade. Mr. M. 
thinks it not rigorous enough that neutrals will elude it: 
he gets himself created dictator by law, and even neutrals 
are prohibited from carrying out of the country one pound 
of its produce. This law is met, half way on its passage 
across the Atlantic, by a British order in council, authorizing 
the capture of all neutrals trading to the United States. 


I send you a newspaper, and little Echo: pray take care 
of her. 

In haste, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bell, and the Dr. and Mrs. B., make kind 
inquiries after you. 


Richmond, Monday, Jan. 24, 1814. 

From the Bank of Virginia. 

WITH their usual attention to the public convenience, 
the familiars of the post-office have changed the day of ar 
rival and departure of the mails. I was apprized of this 
fact by the receipt, this morning, of your welcome letter of 
the 13th, (post marked the 18th;) the only one which I have 
received from you for several weeks past. I have been too 
long acquainted with the manoeuvring of the sex, and espe 
cially of the lady in question, to be surprised at what you tell 
me: for which of my sins it is I know not, that I have sus 
tained this long and heavy persecution, (more hot and gall 
ing than the dreadful fire which killed nine of Gen. Harri 
son s mounted riflemen;) but I humbly hope that the penance 
will reduce the " balance " against me (to speak a la J^er- 
ginienne) on a final settlement. 

Bonaparte has met with another defeat, near Francfort, 
(on the Maine, I presume,) and Lord Wellington has, by 
this time, entered Bayonne. Pampelune surrendered with 
4,500 men. I send you some newspapers by Beverley, who 
arrived on Friday night, and who does not seem to be in any 


very great hurry to get home. He is much pleased with 
military life; and I should not be surprised (if our army were 
on a better footing) at his entering upon that profession. 

William Leigh promised to call on you as he went home. 
Watkins Leigh is well, much fattened, and inspirited by 
matrimony. Bouldin, too, is here; a heavy draft from our 
country of abilities and integrity. 

Perhaps you think that I never mean to go to Philadel 
phia, or return home: and, indeed, you have cause to enter 
tain such a surmise. I have been detained here by circum 
stances which, at some future day, I will explain to you. 
They are too long for a letter. 

Mr. W. M. W. has made up to me a good deal this win 
ter, and speaks to certain persons, (B , Mercer, Powell, 

&c.,) in such a way, as leaves no doubt of his desire for a re 
conciliation. He told P., that my hauteur to him caused 
him to vote against me! 

I fear I shall lose the opportunity of Beverley; he has 
been missing ever since yesterday morning. Keep a sharp 
look out on Cambay and Beadles. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Mrs. Bell went yesterday to Kingston, Dinwiddie, to see 
her mother, who has been very ill with a pleurisy, but is 
now out of danger. Kingston is in the south-east part of 
the county, about twenty-five miles from Petersburgh. She 
will return this day week. Her sister, Mrs. Haxall, accom 
panied her. Miss Barton remains at "Belmont." 

I have letters from Bleecker, Quincy, Tudor, and Rut- 
ledge. If I had answered them, I should enclose them to 
you; but they poured in this morning, according to the pro 

Dr. and Mrs. B. salute you. You must come and live 



Bank of Virginia, Feb. 9, 1814, 

11, A. M. 

YOUR letter was handed to me a few minutes ago, at 

Dr. B s, by old Quashia.- I thank you for this mark of 

your attention; for, to say the truth, I have never failed get 
ting a letter from you by the wagons, or the mail, without 
a feeling of disappointment. But when I think I perceive 
the cause of your uncommunicativeness to arise from the fa 
tigue to which you have exposed yourself on my account, 
or, perhaps, to low spirits, the effect of your present unplea 
sant situation, it makes me uneasy. I have been, indeed, 
very much disturbed of late, by an occurrence as unexpect 
ed as it is distressing; and, perhaps, I tinge other objects 
with the hue of the medium through which I observe them. 

I sent the books for your entertainment. Why the pa 
pers do not arrive I am at a loss to conceive, unless through 
the negligence of the post-office. They are not forwarded 
to me, here: perhaps they are detained at Charlotte C. H. 
I think I have heard of such a practice there, last winter. 

I send a capital Scotch plough for four horses, and cast 
ings for another: we must see if our folks can make one. I 
wish you would have all the clover seed sown at the middle 
quarter. Cambey may take the Diomed mare and the mule 
at the lower quarter. Perhaps it would not injure some of 
the young horses to plough them: at least, it will not after 
the ground is broken up. I am grieved that we are likely 
to be disappointed of ice. 

Will you be so good as to plant out (if to be found) some 
wild cherry and wild currant (alias Corinth) trees. 

Quashia (the man, not the wood,) interrupts me. 
Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Richmond, Friday, Feb. 17, 1814. 

I REACHED this place with my little charge, on Sunday 
last, too late to write to you, my dear Theodore. I found 
Tudor here, not at all improved in health since I saw him in 
New York. I fear, both from my own observation, and what 
I hear, that he is not sufficiently careful of himself. Yes 
terday the whole town was thrown into great joy by the cer 
tainty of peace. The preliminaries were signed on the 24th 
of December. Great as my calculations have always been, 
on the folly of the British ministry, I have never made suf 
ficient allowance on that score. Their ill-contrived expedi 
tion against New Orleans was carrying on at the very mo 
ment that they were giving us peace. What a wanton waste 
of gallant men ! 

I shall set out next week for Roanoke. My horses want 
ed rest, and I have some arrangements to make here which 
have detained me, and may, probably, keep me longer than 
I intended. I shall endeavour to bring Tudor with me. 
Present me to your mother and sister, if they be with you. 
Most truly, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I received a letter from you whilst I was at Mr. Ridge- 
ly s. It had been forwarded from Philadelphia. It was 
written soon after Tudor left you. Dr. G. and Mr. and Mrs. 
S. Ridgely desire their respects to you. They all made par 
ticular inquiries after you; as did Dr. and Mrs. B, 

Remember me to Colonel Morton. 




Richmond, Monday, March 7, 1814. 

I RECEIVED your letter by Quashia, yesterday, after 
morning service; of course, nothing could be done until to 
day. I directed Ryland, however, to get the chief article, 
iron, as soon as possible, this morning; but there are some 
other things that I wish to send up, and I have been so un 
well for the last week as to be incapable of any thing. You 
and Tudor are, in one respect, two provoking correspon 
dents. You have the art of writing letters without putting 
any thing in them and of answering, without replying 
to your correspondent Add to this, that your epistles bear 
strong symptoms of hypochondriasis. That you, my dear 
Theodore, should be affected in this way, is not wonderful, 
considering the life you lead. I can scarcely bear to think 
of it. You, my dear Theodore, are the chief stay and com 
fort of my life, and it grieves me to think that you should 
be buried in the wilds of Roanoke, especially when I see 
so many dolts, here, succeeding in the profession, of which 
you have made yourself master. I think I must insist on 
your removal. I know, and admire the motive that keeps 
you where you are; and it serves but to rivet my esteem of 
you. I hope, however, that it will not prevent you follow 
ing the bent of your inclination, should it prompt a visit to 

I send up by Quashia some sugar and coffee. I am afraid 
that you are too fastidious with me, and refrain from men 
tioning the wants of our little cabin. For heaven s sake, 
my dear Theodore, let there be none of this between us. 
You have a right to look upon me as a father, as I do on you 
as a son. I never fail to command you. Do thou likewise. 

I shall send coal, provided it will not interfere with some 
furniture that I have bought. Quashia brings a bushel of 


clover seed. It is rather late, but I wish it sowed on some 
rich spot, at the middle quarter; and if not ground enough 
to be had there, the remainder at the ferry, say on the wheat 
land; although it would succeed better with oats, if we had 
the land to receive them. 

We will also give you some books, pamphlets, &c., which 
may serve to amuse you; and some late papers, English as 
well as American. 

The very same thought of promoting little Quash, to the 
command of the ferry wagon, had suggested itself to me 
before you mentioned it; and I had determined to carry it 
into execution. Your plan of hiring the carriage of the re 
maining tobacco is highly proper and advisable. 

I shall sell my colts and fillies at the May races, if practi 
cable, and the English mares with them. If any one will 
give you a thousand dollars for Gracchus, take it. 

The Doctor and Mrs. Brockenbrough desire their best re 
membrance to you. I dined at Bellville, on Friday, and 
Mrs. B. and Miss Barton inquired after you. 

Adieu, dear Theodore! 

I am, most truly, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Pray read Frank Key s discourse. No other paper. I 
send you none. 


Richmond, Sunday, March 20, 1814. 

I HAVE just now received your welcome letter of the 
13th, (this day week.) Surely the wise ones have made some 


strange change in our mail establishment, when it lakes a 
week to send a letter a hundred miles. My dear son, the 
state of your health, and the evident depression of your spi 
rits, were not unobserved by me when we met three years 
ago, on the road from Washington to Baltimore. It cost me 
many a heart-ach to see the ravages which a winter in Phila 
delphia had made on your constitution, and natural cheerful 
ness. I ascribed them, I believe, to the right cause; but as 
you had not confided that cause to me, so neither did I feel 
myself at liberty to inquire concerning it of others. But this 
.circumstance made so deep an impression on my mind, that 
I felt reluctant at the thoughts of your return the next win 
ter; although I kept it to myself. The world has used me so 
ill yet, why blame the world? Those from whom I had a 
right to expect a very different conduct, have betrayed such 
shameless selfishness, so bare-faced a disregard of my feelings, 
and of my rights, that, but for you, I should sink into inve 
terate misanthropy. Nature (to use a certain fashion, of 
speaking) intended me for something very different from what 
J am. I have been ossified by a petrifying world. All life, 
and spirit, and confidence, and enthusiasm: I have become 
.cold, suspicious, and dead to every better feeling, except 
through a sort of faint remembrance of such as I formerly ex 
perienced. But enough of this egotism. 

There are two not unknown/ but unmentioned ladies, 
who haye spoken of you to me in very flattering terms; the 

fashionable Miss M , and the elegant Mrs. W . The 

latter expressed her regret at being from home when you 
.called. Mrs* Bell often inquires after you. She is my chief 

resource of female society, and reminds me of Mrs. G ! 

The dignity and elegance of her pursuits, compared with the 
frivolous occupations or inane indolence of our ladies, in ge 
neral, give a new charm to the beauty of her person, and the 
polish of her manners. I dined there a few days ago, and 
have quite overcome the coyness of little IVJary Anne, who 
says, " /love Mr. R." For the misses of this, our day, (al 
ways excepting Miss Caton and Miss Barton,) I have no great 


penchant; and the notables, although very good house-keep 
ers, are but poor companions. By the way, do you know 
that La Belle Goldsborough is Mrs. W. Fitzhugh? The bell 
rings, and I must to church. The Doctor and lady return 
your compliments. He is the best man in the world, and 
she a very superior woman. Her understanding is mascu 
line, and well improved by reading: but her misfortunes (how 
should they fail) have cast a sombre hue over her temper and 

I shall get your shirting and mine at the same time. 

Yours, ever, 


Charles Sterrett Ridgely desires to be remembered warm 
ly to you. " Thanks to you (he writes to me) for entirely 
curing me of my military mania. I no longer pant after that 
phantom, military fame; am content with my lot, and wish 
only to be distinguished as an honest man, and a good citi 
zen; and now, that I think soberly and seriously, it is a sub 
ject of astonishment that I should ever, for a moment, have 
thought of resigning the comforts of domestic life, the socie 
ty of my wife and children, and of friends, whom I sincerely 
love, to mix with the unprincipled and profligate, and to be 
come the slave and tool of men, whose principles I cannot but 
detest; and that, too, in a cause which I consider to be most 

I am going to Bellville after church, and will leave my let 
ter open until I return. Mr. Parish is at Ogdensburg. He 
has been there since January. 

I have seen Mrs. B. She returns her acknowledgments for 
your politeness. I did not see Mr. B. 



Richmond, May 16, 1814. 

Monday Morning. 

I shall send your linen by Quashia, as no wagon can 
be found going towards Roanoke. I hope you will not set 
out until you hear from me, once more. You make no men 
tion of Mr. Stanford. How is this? I have sold the colts 
for $150 each. I know that they are worth more, but "ne 
cessity, &c." I wish, when you write to me, you would call 
to mind such objects as you suppose would interest me: even 
the dogs, and little Molly, I would rather hear of than no 
thing. There have been incessant rains during the last fort 
night; the earth is supersaturated with water, and the crops 
of wheat, generally ruined, except upon poor lands, that ne 
ver produce any thing worth the trouble of the planter. Oats 
are, consequently, very fine; and the grounds around Bell- 
ville are as green as a leek. Mrs. B., however, is drooping. 
She proposes going to Kingston, (her mother s, in Dinwid- 
die,) in a few days. She often mentions you; so do the Doc 
tor and Mrs. B. Of Bouldin I see nothing, and scarcely any 
thing of Leigh. 

News from Europe: Bonaparte has been roughly han 
dled by the allies; but Austria refuses to accede to his de 
thronement. Armistice on the 5th of March, and general 
peace expected. Mr. Parish, who has got back to Philadel 
phia, writes that the whole Christian world will be at peace 
by the 4th of July next. A letter from Tudor, of the 2d of 
May he was well; so was Mr. Garnett,onthe 9th: both de 
sire to be remembered by you. Adieu! 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I hear of a great fresh in Roanoke. 



Camp Fairfield, Sept. 2, 1814. 

You may be surprised at not hearing from me; but, 
1st, I lost my horses. 2dly, I got a violent bilious com 
plaint, not cholera, but cousin-german to it. 3dly, I heard 
the news of Washington, and, without delay, proceeded hither. 
I am now under orders to proceed to the brick house, forty- 
two miles on York road, just below the confluence of Pa- 
munkey and Mattapony, Should you come down, report 
yourself to the surgeon general, Doctor Jones, of Nottoway; 
but first come to camp and see Watkins Leigh, the governor s 
aid. Apply to Ry. R. for what money you may want. 
God bless you, my son. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 


Richmond, Sept. 7, 1814, 

THIS, I believe, is the third letter that I have written 
to you, to-day, my dear Theodore. In truth, I can think of 
nothing but you; for, of poor dear Tudor and his unfortu 
nate brother, I try to think not at all. You will hear from 
me, whenever I indulge myself in rest and sleep; and beg 
that you will write by every conveyance that offers. I have 
many anxious hours on your subjects. I know, indeed, that 
according to vulgar arithmetic, you might be esteemed my 
debtor; but I am conscious, that, upon the strictest scrutiny? 


I can never repay you, even in a pecuniary point of view, 
one half of what I owe you. I shall be at home, I hope, by 
the last of next month; at any rate, by Christmas: and I 
wish you to make up your mind to remove to Richmond by 
that time, unless you can reconcile yourself to the abandon 
ment of your country practice, and sharing with me as a 
son. How i it, that you alone should persist in overpay 
ing me, when I find all others insensible of what the world 
calls obligation? I repeat, that in a mere account of profit 
and loss, I have gained from your medical services, alone, 
more than any expense to which I may have been put on 
the score of your education. Of the satisfaction that I have 
had in your society, I will say nothing; for there is no rela 
tion beiween it and a matter of money. 
Most truly, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Richmond, Oct. 8, 1814. 
Saturday Morning, 2 o clock. 

MR. JONES S servant, who promised to wake me at 
three, has been better than his word by more than two 
hours. I heard ten strike soon after I got to bed, and by 
the time that I had dressed, it struck one. I lay down again 
in the hopes of getting a little sleep, but found my mind too 
anxious to succeed. This is the fourth letter that I have ad 
dressed to you within twelve or eighteeen hours. 

It is possible that I may have occasion for Essex. Get 
him some decent clothes, (Gibbs can make them,) and some 


shoes; if necessary, give him the best of my boots my 
great coat, or your own three pair of the best woollen 
stockings that 1 left behind. He will find my old hat, here, 
in Jones s care, which he will take. Get him some good 
shirts: if they cannot be had, let him take mine. He can 
bring down Everlasting, or Tudor s mare, and wait for far 
ther orders from Mr. Robert K. Jones. 

Yours, always, 



Baltimore, Oct. 13, 1814. 


I HAVE been detained here since Monday, by the 
consequences of an accident that befell me at Port Conway 
(opposite Port Royal) on Monday morning. At 3 o clock 
I was roused to set out in the stage: mistaking, in the dark, 
a very steep staircase for a passage, at the end of which I 
expected to find the descent walking boldly on, I fell from 
the top to the bottom, and was taking up senseless. My 
left shoulder and elbow were severely hurt; also, the right 
ankle. My hat saved my head, which was bruised, but not 
cut. Nevertheless, 1 persevered, got on to Georgetown, and 
the next day came to this place, where I have been com 
pelled to remain in great pain. I am now better, and shall 
limp on to Philadelphia to-morrow. Sterett Ridgely and 
Dr. Gibson inquire particularly after you. So did Stanford. 
I found Leigh here, but he was obliged to go on, next day, 
to Fredericktown. 



The random shot that killed Ross, saved Baltimore. Ge 
neral Winfield Scott, passed on yesterday to Washington. 
Poor Winder is the scape-goat to Monroe, who made all the 
arrangements at Bladensburg. 

Remember me to St. George. I shall write again, fully r 
from Philadelphia. 



No application was made to my bruises until my arrival 
here on Monday night. Nicholson has not called on me! 
Washington is ruined. The walls of the Capitol and Palace 
are rapidly decomposing. The massy columns in the Hall 
of the Representatives are not larger than the ordinary poles 
of which we build tobacco houses. The Navy Yard is utterly 
torn up and destroyed. The public offices, archives, &c., 
gone for ever. Send me a good impression of my small seal. 
Address to West Farms, New York. Written on my back. 


Philadelphia, Oct. 19, 1814 

MRS. C. has never married: it was Mr. C s. sister-in- 
law; now again a widow. Mrs. C. is hurt beyond measure 
at the report, which she says was believed by all her ac 
quaintances out of Philadelphia, and by some there. 

Fortunately, Mrs. R. did not deliver my letter to Mrs. 
A. Mr. and Mrs. C. are well kind beyond measure the 
boys rather puny Randolph less so than his brother. All 
talk with warm regard of you: so does Dr. Chapman, with 


whom I dined yesterday at Mr. T. W. Francis s. Mr. Pa 
rish, with whom I dined the day before, Mr. Meredith, and 
many more, were present on the occasion. Mr. P. begs, and 
Dr. C., also, the most cordial remembrance to you. You 
must come here to live, I think. Mr. Ashmead, jr., is ill; 
Tudor is out of all immediate danger: so a letter from Mr. 
Morris, that met me here, and another yesterday from his 
mother, tell me. Adieu. 



Morrisania, Oct. 23, 1814. 

AFTER various accidents, one of which had nearly 
put an end to my unprosperous life, and confined me nearly a 
week on the road, I reached this place yesterday. Tudor is 
better. I have hopes of him, if we can get him to Virginia 
in his present plight. 

I found your letter of the 6th, here. Poor St. George, 
ill-starred, unfortunate boy! his destiny was sealed before 
his birth, or conception. Take care of yourself! You are 
my last stay. I must beg of you to curtail your practice, 
with a view to a change of life. Talk not to me of gratitude 
you owe me nothing. I must deprecate your resentment: 
your actions, and not your tongue, have spoken of gratitude; 
but for you, I should not believe in the existence of such a 
quality amongst mankind. You, who persist in overpaying 
me a thousand fold ; whilst every other person on whom I 
have conferred a favour worth remembering, has returned 
DETRACTION and dislike for the deed. 


I have found a market for the brood mares. 
Yours, ever, 


Stephen, old S s. son, is with us: we set out on the day 
after to-morrow. 


New York, Nov. 17, 1814. 

IT is not my fault, but my misfortune, my dear Theodore, 
that you have not heard from me since I left Baltimore. I 
wrote to you from Philadelphia, and made express mention 
of your friends there, and of their particular inquiries after 
you. Mrs. Clay, Mr. and Mrs. Croskey, Dr. Chapman; 
Mr. Parish, too, was pointed in his questions. As soon as 
I had seen Tudor, I wrote to you concerning him, and my 
self, also; for, on returning from Morrisania on Sunday the 
24th of October, the driver overturned me in Cortlandt 
Street, by driving over a pile of stones, &c., before a new 
house, unfinished, which nuisance extended more than half 
way across a narrow street. I am very seriously injured. 
The patella is, in itself, unhurt but the ligaments are very 
much wrenched, so that a tight bandage alone enables me to 
hobble from one room to another, with the help of a stick. 
I have written every week since. Your letters of the 6th 
and 16th of October, and 7th of November, came to hand: 
the last this day. But one from Mr. R. K. Jones, of the 6th 
of November, did not reach me until yesterday; and another 
from Tudor, written at Philadelphia on the 2nd, is entirely 
lost. Others broken open, (one from Mr. Quincy,) and de 
layed intolerably. Nay, I am subject to other ill treatment 


into the bargain, for insisting that my letters shall be deli 
vered to my servant, and to him only. 

I hope to be able to bear the motion of a carriage, by the 
last of this week. I shall then go on to Philadelphia, and 
hope to see you by the first week of next month. Assured 
ly, (God willing,) before Christmas. I am a poor miserable 
cripple, and you are my only support. God bless you, my 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Mr. Bleecker is here, and all to me that I could wish. 


Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1814. 

ON my arrival here, (four days ago,) I hoped to have 
found a letter from you, but was disappointed; and a sore dis 
appointment it was. I scribbled you a few lines, the same 
evening, at Mr. P s, that I might lose no time in ap 
prizing you how, or where I was. Poor Mrs. C.! ano 
ther brother has been taken from her since I left this place, 
for New York. I feared as much, but did not dare to ask. 
At last, yesterday, came a meagre letter from Tudor, an 
nouncing that, in consequence of Mr. A s. death, he had 
not delivered my letter to Mrs. C., on the subject of my 
little name-sake. It is dated at Richmond, on the 25th of 
November the second letter, of one straggling page, that he 
has written me from that place. Not a word of you, or his 
brother. Although at a great sacrifice of time, health, and 
what, to a man in debt, is of more consequence than either of 


the former, I went on to New York to assist his mother home: 
she has not deigned to drop me a line, or even to mention me 
in her son s letters. Notwithstanding he staid three days in 
Philadelphia, and I begged him to sit for me to Sully, she 
would not permit him, under the thin pretext that the paint 
would prove injurious to his lungs; although Sully would 
have waited on him at his lodgings, or would have taken him 
in water colours. Tudor says, "I am extremely sorry, my 
self, about the picture, and thought it very practicable and 
easy to have one taken." - t 

I wrote to you a letter, on the morning of my departure 
from this place for New York; I think the 18th of October. 
I have written since, not less than once a week; often twice 
and thrice. The first use I made of myself, after my fall at 
New York, was to give you an account of my disaster. Your 
last letter is of the 16th of November, acknowledging mine 
from Baltimore. This is, probably, the last that I shall ad 
dress to you from this place; but, no matter, write on to Stan 
ford s care. By clapping a large, hot waxen seal on your 
letter, he defaced entirely the impression of your seal, as your 
second had done of the first. 

Every body here speaks highly of you particularly the 

C s and C s. I met Dr. G. yesterday. He was 

very cordial. Mr. C. pressed me to take a bed at his 
house; so did Mr. P., who has been all kindness and atten 
tion to me. 

My knee is irreparably ruined. The patella is detached 
from the joint; the muscles on each side are, in the tendinous 
parts, ruptured. Jt is now six weeks since the accident hap 
pened; and, without strong bandages and a stick, I could not 
hobble along. 

I leave you to judge how anxious I am to hear from you. 
Poor St. George ! he has never written to me at all neither 
did I expect or wish it. 

Farewell, my dear Theodore. 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


As my letter of October 18th was, probably, violated, let 
me not forget to mention that Dr. C. spoke of you with 
the warmest regard; also, a lady that shall be nameless. 


York Buildings, Dec. 24, 1814. 

THIS is the 27th day since my arrival here; and, in all that 
time, I have not heard a syllable from you. My anxiety on 
this subject would be less, had I heard from you within the 
last fortnight of my stay in New York; but, since the 17th of 
November, when your letter of the 7th came to hand, I have 
not received a line from you. Let me earnestly entreat you, 
my best friend, not to leave me again in this state of suspense; 
and should you be sick, and nobody have the humanity to in 
form me of it, unsolicited let me beg of you to request some 
neighbour to write me, if it be but one line, to tell me how 
you are. In your next, let me know the dates of the letters 
which you have received from me, since I sent Jupiter home. 
In looking over yours I can find but three: Oct. 6 and 16, and 
Nov. 7. During that period, I have written to you (besides 
my letters from Amelia and Richmond) from Baltimore, on 
the 18th of October; from this place, on the 19th; and from 
New York, always once a week, often twice, and sometimes 
thrice, from the 21st of October to the 26th of November, in 
clusive. Since I came to Philadelphia, I have written twice. 
I am thus particular, because you most generally omit to no 
tice the receipt of my letters, as well as some of the topics on 
which they treat. 

I ate my Christmas dinner, yesterday, with Mr. C., and 
spent the evening with Dr. and Mrs. G. At both places you 
were the subject of conversation; and they all flattered me by 


discovering a likeness between us. The Doctor and his lady 

seem to be most cordially attached to you; so do the C s, 

and C s, and G s. I came home in high spirits, con 
fident of a letter from you, this morning yesterday being 
Sunday, we did not send to the post-office and, in the hila 
rity of this hope, I sat in my chamber, with Mr. P., until 
twelve. This morning, at breakfast, the carrier arrived with 
a huge packet, but te nothing for me;" and my heart has sunk 
as low as the mercury, this bitter cold day. From Tudor, 
since he left me, I have received three scanty pages of wide 
and straggling lines, each. I sometimes ask myself, " What 
can be the matter? I have written and talked to my boys 
too much. They hardly deign a word, or a line, in reply. 
Had I been more reserved, they would have been less un 
communicative." Then, again, I say, " What man ever had 
a better son than my Theodore ? one more dutiful, more af 
fectionate, more manly, and independent? Poor fellow; he 
is tired of drudging for me, and for himself, too; besides, the 
rascally post-masters do I know their tricks ? or, perhaps, 
he may be sick." This thought is cruel; for I must wait a 
change in the weather before R. can travel. 

Nothing but the want of letters from home could have pre 
vented this being the happiest month of the last fifteen years 
of my life. 

Adieu! write me long, garrulous letters. 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


My knee is better. 

On the impress of my seal you clapped another hot one, 
and S. another upon that so that it was all stuck together 
like so much sugar candy; and I could make nothing of it. 
Pray send the next to S., with a request to seal with a wafer. 
You have not said one word of Dido or her puppies, or my 
poor old Carlo, or little Molly, or Essex, or Jupiter, or Nan 
cy. J>en suisfacfik. 



York Buildings, Dec. 27, 1814. 

I FOUND your letter upon my table, yesterday, when I re 
turned from my morning visits, to dress for dinner. It was 
a most sensible relief to me, as you may suppose, from the 
complexion of my letter, written yesterday morning which 
I now almost regret to have sent: however, you will receive 
this at the same time; and it may not be amiss to have shown 
you how important it is to my comfort to hear from you, if not 
regularly, at least at shorter intervals than of fifty days. I 
perceive that, in your last, you acknowledge to have received 
my letter of the 17th of November, in answer to yours of the 
7th; so that, exclusively of two others, from this place, it was 
your turn to write: but you are not the only correspondent 
who has alleged, as a reason for not replying to my letters, 
that he expected to hear from me again. I had arranged 
the epistolary campaign with admirable skill. My friend S., 
at Washington city, occupying the middle ground, was se 
lected as the medium of communication, and was to forward 
to the north, or send back to the south, all packets ad 
dressed to me, agreeably to the instructions he should re 
ceive; and, being on the main line of daily posts, I kept him 
advised, twice or thrice a week, of my movements or posi 
tion so that, upon the whole, my dear doctor, I cannot per 
ceive the equity of your plea, of "ignorance where a letter 
would meet me." 

I am truly gratified to hear that your mother has been with 
you. I hope she will soon return and solace your solitude 
with her presence. When I shall get back, is, as yet, un 
certain, from the state of the weather. I shudder at facing the 
north-west wind, in an open carriage, with my young charge. 
1 hope you did not communicate to your mother any part of 
my letter, except that which contained the request that she 



would relate the circumstances of my brother s death. Her 
visit to Virginia was entirely unexpected by me; I hope to 
have the pleasure of seeing her before she returns to Tennes 
see. Her company, at all times the most desirable to you, 
must, under present circumstances, possess an unusual charm. 
You mention nothing (more vestro) of your father and fami 
ly particularly, of my favourite Fanny. 

I regret, too, that you make no mention of your friends 
here, who speak of you with the most cordial regard. Dr. 
and Mrs. G., the C s, G s, Mrs. H., a most charm 
ing woman, and Dr. and Mrs. Ch. I have seen, too, your 
pretty Mrs. W., and am invited to dine there, on Saturday; 
but two previous invitations prevent my ending the year thus 
agreeably. I commence it with Mrs. W. 

This cold weather will, I trust, fill our ice-house. Your 
care respecting the negroes clothing, and every thing else, 
demands more than I can repay. You say, " Quashia saw 
Mr. R., on his return from Richmond." I hope he has not 
forgotten my orders on the subject of returning via Farm- 
ville: they are express and peremptory; and I am resolved 
on breaking up all communication between my estate and 
that neighbourhood. 

If you did not give old Essex my great coat, send it down 
to Richmond, to Adam M., by the first safe conveyance. Re 
member me to him, and Jupiter, and Nancy, and little Mol 
ly, and Hetty, and all the people. I hope Jupiter does well. 
Dr. C. says the fern is all a deception. It is a common 
plant, growing about springs; but of no virtue in Tasnia.* I 
am very anxious about my little bay Minimus. Also, re 
specting the foals of Lady B. Duette, the heir of Brunette, 
and Duette s grand-son. These 1 take to be the best on the 
estate. The two years old colts are not much, except Lady 
B s. ; which I wish to be well kept. Remember me to old 
Carlo, and Dido, and Sancho. Farewell. You say nothing 

* Aloes and spirits of turpentine are thought good remedies. 


of St. George s disease. I presume, therefore, he left you as 
well as he was on the 16th of October. 
Most truly, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Mr. P. remembers you kindly. 

A letter from Mr. B. and Dr. M., of New York, in town; 
both most acceptable events. 


Richmond, Saturday Night. 

November, 18, 1815. 

SINCE I wrote to you this morning, by Mr. Carring- 
ton, who promised to send the letter to you as soon as he 
got home, I learned from my friend Mrs. Cunningham, (who 
makes the kindest inquiries after you,) that Mrs. Lacy is 
dead. This breaks up all my schemes with regard to Ran 
dolph, whom, of course, you will not send down. I shall 
come up, or send for him, as soon as possible; but, as it is 
raining very hard at this time, (half past eight,) and I am 
not a Halifax man, I despatched this letter by Mr. Bruce to 
advise you to that effect. He sets out to-morrow; and, al 
though he has the influenza very badly, I have no doubt that 
he will persevere in the journey. He was engaged, and the 
"Captain bold," also, to dine at Mr. T s. on Wednesday 
last. After keeping us waiting until dark, we sat down to 
dinner, and next day learned that they were too busy load 
ing their wagon to come. Mr. B. was engaged yesterday 
to dine at Dr. B s., but business at R s. kept him away, as 


the Doctor was informed to-day. But I am growing scan 
dalous. Mr. and Mrs. C., at whose house I am writing, send 
their respects to you. 

Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Dr. Hoge preaches poor Tudor s funeral sermon this day 
week at Cumberland Court House. 

I am afraid you will have a dreadful time of it on your 
way to Tennessee. The water-courses in that country will 
be hardly passable. Suppose you spend the winter here, 
and defer the journey until April. I fear for your health. 
Messrs. C. and W. D., the last of whom has been to Nash 
ville, represent it as a rash undertaking. Mr. D. has been 
there: pray consult him before you set out. 


Babel, Jan. 13, 1816. 

I WROTE to you on this day week from Georgetown. On 
reaching the house, I learned that my brother Harry had 
been overturned the day before in the Winchester stage, and 
was dangerously hurt. I set out immediately, and found 
him confined to his bed, about thirty miles above Alexan 
dria. He was severely wounded, and has suffered extreme 
pain; but I left him out of danger on Thursday morning. 
Mrs. T. reached him on Thursday evening. On my return, 
I found your letter of the 30th of December, and the en 
closed elegant epistle unsealed. I am glad to hear that you 
have anticipated my prescription, and rejoice in your sport- 


ing success. This fine weather will, I hope, fill our ice 
house a most important consideration. 

Your Tennessee news is not so good. In a case of this 
sort, however, I always pity the parents the child never. 

You say nothing about the dogs. Has Sancho recovered 
his eye-sight? Is Dido likely to have another litter, and 
how comes on the puppy? 

In haste and confusion. 



I have enclosed M. a check for his money. 


Jan. 21, 1816. 

MY heart misgave me that something was wrong. Poor 
Sally! I wish she had staid with us. My dear Theodore, 
I am anxious about you to a degree that I cannot express. 
I would not thwart one feeling of yours much less tear 
you from your family under such circumstances. Come 
home as soon as you can. Remember that I have lost my 
parents, and my brethren. You have many left. This is 
the first tribute that the grim King of Terrors has levied 
tipon your family. Take comfort from what is left to you, 
rather than dwell upon what you have lost. See Rutledge, 
if you can. If not, send him my letter by a safe hand. I 
wish you had added, if it had been but three lines, to tell 
me how you are, and how the journey agreed with you. I 
am well. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Mr. Charles S. R. left me yesterday morning: he desires 
his best regards to you. 

I am at S s., Georgetown; where I fare better than at my 
old lodgings. 


Baltimore, Sunday, Feb. 18, 1816. 

YOUR short and melancholy letter of December 29th, 
excepted, I have received not a line from you since your de 
parture for Tennessee. Judge my uneasiness at this cir 
cumstance. Surely if you were ill you would get some one 
of the family to write, if it were but a line. I last night 
sprained both my thumbs, and several fingers of each hand, 
in trying to save my face from the consequences of a fall oc 
casioned by treading, at the top of a steep staircase, on my 
own tail the surtouts now reaching to the shoe buckles, and 
being somewhat a better defence to gentlemen s legs than 
that afforded to the feet of ladies by their petticoats j ladies 
having, you know, no legs. 

I shall write again as soon as I get back to the city of 0. 
Many kind inquiries after you by Sterrett R., Dr. G., &c. &c. 
Poor N. is destroyed body and mind by paralysis. Miss E., 
I am told, is as beautiful as ever. I came to R s. country- 
house, this day week, and escorted Madame hither on Thurs 
day last. We return to-morrow. My best regards to all 
the family. Poor Sally! I had flattered myself that she 
would return to Virginia, and make one of our family! 

but Farewell. 

Yours, ever, 




Feb. 26, 1816. 

YOUR letter of the 4th instant has relieved me from 
a state of most cruel and anxious suspense. How could you 
leave me for weeks (almost months) in such a situation? I 
have worried the Tennessee delegation with inquiries, and 
received only the most dismal accounts of the mortality in 
Nashville, and the surrounding country. Your letter is dated 
Santonhoe, if I read aright. Where is that place situated? 
Where is Fayetteville? for I presume you do not mean Cross 
Creek, (as it used to be called,) in North Carolina. I wish 
you could get my letter, in safety, to Rutledge. 
I refer you to Colonel M. for news of Beverley. 
Yours, truly, 


I am barely in time for the mail. 


Monday Morning, April 8, 1816. 

I HAVE sent you some English papers. Read and take 
care of them. Poor S. is, I fear, dying. Jupiter is knocked 
up, nursing him. An important bill is now reading, (tariff,) 
which I must speak upon. Adieu, dear Theodore. My own 
health not good. 




Poor Sancho s hind leg is broken. I have a most beauti 
ful Spanish slut 


Georgetown, April 11, 181& 

You may imagine how much I was gratified by the 
receipt of your letter of the 25th March; which did not 
reach me until yesterday, too late to reply to it by return of 
mail. Last week I received one from Colonel M., of the 
same date, in which he mentioned that you had not got back; 
comparing the time with that set for your departure, I was, 
in spite of my system, a good deal uneasy about you. In 
deed, the times are awful and depressing. Yesterday we 
buried poor S. I staid by his bed-side the night before he 
died, (Monday.) Jupiter was worn down by nursing him, 
and is still feeling the effects of it: he returned home on 
Sunday morning, and has been sick ever since. My own 
health is not much better, and my spirits worse. As soon 
as the weather and roads will permit, I shall bend my course 
homeward. The loss sustained upon my tobacco, will put an 
end to some of my projects. I send you, by Mr. D., some 

Most affectionately, yours, 


Remember me to your mother. 



Monday, April 15, 1816. 

YOUR half sheet, of the llth, did not reach me until 
to-day. If you remain in Richmond a week, you will stand 
a chance to see me. How is it that you say nothing of any 
body or any thing? not even of Randolph. To my surprise, 
I received a letter from Beverley, dated the 10th, at Rich 
mond! London would not have been more unexpected. 
You do not mention him; and, of course, I ought to conclude 
that you have not met. 

Our house must be bare of many necessaries. Pray get 
such as are most wanting. Besides groceries, towels and 
sheets are requisite. Poor Jupiter is, at last, out of danger. 
He nursed Mr. S. 

Mr. P., of Philadelphia, is well, and entertaining his ex- 
majesty and marshals of France, Spain, &c. R. R., jr., is 
well, and doing well. Mr. F. K. has been ill with the pre 
valent epidemic. Adieu! 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


We shall want some lime to plaster the house. I have got 
bolts for the windows, and shutters, and ordered chimney- 




Richmond, Aug. 10, 1816. 

I LEFT home on the Monday (July 29th) after your 
departure: four dismal days I passed by myself, and one 
night with Colonel M. On Friday evening we had a re 
viving shower, and a sprinkle on Saturday; whereupon it 
turned suddenly cold, and has continued so almost ever since. 
I called at Peter R s.; and, on Tuesday morning, July 30th, 
we had a large fire: also, the night before. On Tuesday I 
reached Dr. R s; and, on the 1st instant, this place. I have 
sold my tobacco for twenty dollars, payable the 1st of July 

Dr. and Mrs. B. had set out for Philadelphia the day be 
fore my arrival. They will be at the Warm Springs about 
the last of this month. I have been seeking a private op 
portunity to send you a letter from your father, which I re 
ceived on Sunday, July 28th. I shall give it, with this, into 
the care of Mr. T. T. 

Mr. and Mrs. C., and Mr. and Mrs. W., and Messrs. M., 
J., and T., inquire particularly after you. I go up, to-day, 
with the two first, as far as H. H s., on my way homeward: 
M. will accompany me. I met St. George at R s., on the 
1st instant. He looks very Well. Richmond has been clear 
of dust, heat, and insects, for ten days past: it has even ver 

You may imagine how anxious I am to hear from you. 
*%k May God bless you, my son. 
Yours, ever, 
^ * JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Remember me to Juba. 



Roanoke, Sept. 3, 1816. 

THERE has been no rain here, except a slight shower 
on the Friday (July 26th,) after your departure, since you 
left us. The consequences you may well imagine. The to 
bacco crop is shortened at least two-thirds, and a general ap 
prehension of famine pervades the land. Six and seven and 
a half v jjollars have been given, in advance, for new corn, from 
the stack. 

Mr. J. and Mr. B. spent a day with me; and the latter has 
promised to give me another, to-morrow, on his return from 
Halifax. The state of my health has been worse than usual, 
of late. I have had a severe bilious attack on the bowels, for 
the last three days. 

Your letter of the 2d of August, post-marked the 9th, from 
the Sulphur Springs, reached me on Sunday, the 25tlvof the 
same month. I was truly comforted to learn that the waters, 
even upon so short a trial, had proved beneficial to you. God 
grant that you may find complete relief- from them. You say 
nothing of Juba. 

Col. M. inquires kindly after you; so have many others^ 
Mr. W. M. W. His father I have not seen since we parted. 

Hearing that Capt. B. sets out for the Sweet Springs to 
morrow, I write this by candle-light, in our solitary cabin, 
with the back of the only pen in the house. 

God bless and preserve you, niy- son. 


Monday, August^, Thermometer 94 

Wednesday, " 21, frost! 69 highest this day. 

Monday, " 26, 81 

Thursday, " 29, frost! 60 at 2 hours by sun. 

Monday, September 2, 90 90 

Tuesday, " 3, at 7 P. M. 85 


I wrote you by T. T., and sent two letters one from your 


-Georgetown, December 28, 1816. 

THE enclosed letter, from Mr. C., will probably remind 
you of a conversation between us, the day before St. George 
embarked for Philadelphia. I have now been here eighteen 
days, and not a line have I received from Virginia, except 
T s. and M s. letters. I say from Virginia, because I have 
received two other letters; one from England, written by Mr. 
Wilberforce, on the subject of colonizing the free blacks. 

We have had delightful weather during the last fortnight. 
It reminds me of affairs at home particularly the carriage 
of the tobacco, for which it is especially favourable. 

My health has been very indifferent since I came here; but 
I -think I have derived some benefit from a nightly dose of 
magnesia, a small tea spoonful. 

Let me hear how you are. I am here, except when in the 
house, almost as much alone as when at home. 

Farewell, my dear Theodore. 

Yours, truly, 




Georgetown, Dec. 31, 1816. 

I NEVER received a letter from you, my dear Theodore, 
that gave me more pleasure than your last; it was the first, al 
so, of the 23d. Your hymenial and sporting intelligence 
were highly acceptable; the first, as you conjecture, altogether 
a surprise upon me. Give to the bride and bridegroom my 
cordial congratulations on the event: I know not how to offer 
them to my worthy old neighbour to whom present me, in 
the most friendly terms. Pray let me know whether he 
will, by this occurrence, be left entirely solitary. I am sure 
that if he had had the choosing of his son-in-law, he could 
not have been more highly gratified in that respect; and such 
is his affection for Lucy, that, I am sure, not a thought of 
himself enters into his mind. Indeed, he is fortunate in see 
ing her, before he leaves this world, committed to the pro 
tection of a deserving man yet, I am persuaded that, if he 
live alone, he will not live long. 

You forget, that when I mentioned Traquair s letter, I told 
you that the boxes were locked, and that the keys were 
hanging in the north closet. All the boxes, but one, contain 
books; the papers are in the other, in bundles, alphabeted. 
The letter contains a design for a fire place, and is wanted. 

As for the hypo, let me prescribe broken doses of Pigou & 
Andrews preparation, of carbonated nitre and sulphur, with 
q. s. of prepared lead. I hope you will not expose yourself 
in the practice of your profession. 

God bless you, my son. 


P. S. I have been interrupted by company. You say no 
thing of Essex, &c., and little Molly. Are you aware that 
you are becoming careless in your orthography: "puzzle," 
with one z. Also, "ba#ed." I hope you will not find my 
corrections like Wm. Jenkins reproof of Molly Jones. 



Babel, Jan. 14, 1817. 

No letter from you, my dear Theodore; at which I am a 
good deal disappointed, and somewhat concerned. I wrote 
yesterday, acknowledging yours of the 30th. Your exploits 
& la chasse, have been made known to all the courts of 
Europe, at least to their ministers, so far as the great and 
small powers are represented here for the whole corps di 
plomatique were present yesterday when I read the extract 
of your letter to one of that body, at the hazard of being 
considered as one carrying on a treasonable correspondence 
with England. 

What of clover seed? Of Spot and Roanoke? one or 
both of which I shall want very soon. Of the dogs? And, 
though last, not least, of old Essex & Co., and little Molly. 

I have bought a fine pipe of Madeira. Did Quashia bring 
up the quarter cask? Remember me most kindly to Colo 
nel M. ; also to C., S., and their families. 

Ever yours, 



Our friend Dr. R., of Amelia, has been here dying with 
the gout. 



Babel, Jan. 20, 1817. 

No letter from you to day, my dear Theodore. The date 
of your last is December 30th. Pray try and contrive to 
send your letters to Petersburgh or Richmond, or any place 
on the main line, by private hand. 

A Mr. Johnson, (not Jackson,) of Virginia, took occasion to 
be very scurrilous towards me, on the alleged account of an 
expression used by the last session, and repeated a few days 
ago on the compensation law, as it is called. Mr. B. seemed 
also disposed to hold offensive language on the same subject, 
rising, after a most laughable and good-humoured discourse 
of R., (C s. bull-calf,) and replying, as I had done, to what 
was said the day before. I was informed that the affair was 
concerted, and that I was to stand a fire along the whole 
line. I determined, therefore, to tread it out; and will en 
deavour to report for you my remarks, and send them by 
to-morrow s mail. Mean while, I must draw a check for 
C., whose receipt please to take, and tell him that the money 
has been lying idle; but I wanted to see whether he aud P. 
would not write about their own affairs, as they would not 
about mine although earnestly requested thereto. Since 
Friday, it has been bitter cold, and I am afraid some of my 
poor people may suffer. No doubt there is ice in abun 

Mr. Secretary D. is dead. 

Remember me kinkly to Colonel M., and send me a copy 
of your meteorological diary. 

Entirely yours, 


C. must endorse the check. 



Georgetown, Monday Morning. 
Jan. 27, 1817. 

No letter from you, my dear Theodore, since that of De 
cember 30th. If I do not find one when I get to the house, 
I shall not know what to think. Indeed, that is my present 
situation. I am truly uneasy. Sometimes I think you have 
set out to Tennessee, to see some sick relation. Then I 
fancy you in that situation, alone, without a friend; although 
I should rather have Essex than any nurse or attendant I 
ever saw. Then, again, I reflect on my want of success in 
teaching you and Tudor (poor Tudor!) to write regularly to 
me when you were boys, or to descant upon the topics that 
were most interesting to me, and I try to be easy. 

A letter from Harry T., dated Winchester, Jan. 23d. In 
stead of a "fracture of a process of the scapula," his case 
" proves to be a very unusual dislocation of the os humeri. ?r 
"Two days ago, two very skilful gentlemen of the faculty 
attempted its reduction: after a variety of efforts, during 
three hours, aided by four strong men, they found it imprac 
ticable. They resolved to repeat the experiment on Satur 
day next, but, in the mean time, I have resolved upon an 
other procedure, and shall set out to-morrow for Philadel 
phia, and place myself under the direction of Physick." 
(My earnest advice to him three weeks ago, when I first 
saw him lying at the turnpike-gate, at Goshen; for although 
1 did not know what was the matter, I would have ventured 
my life that the individual "Rushian ?y attending him, al 
though the boon companion of Mr. W., and of as great 
fame in medicine as this last in law, knew nothing of the 
case. He pronounced that there was neither fracture nor 
luxation, and that H. T. would be well in a short time. 
When asked here, I told every body his, and then my opi 
nion j and, in reply to the enclosed letter, told my brother 


that I had not the least expectation of his being able to take 
his seat in Congress this winter. He adds: ) "In his skill 
I may expect success, if it can be commanded. Evelina will 
accompany me, as I find her aid essential to me." 



I have given F. K. one of my mares; and, if she be not 
in prime order, shall select Everlasting for him: if not, the 
little gray out of Telegraph, unless you can suggest a better. 
I make no reservation, except of Lady B., her filly, and 
Duchess s filly. If my good colts and fillies are starved 
this winter, I shall be much displeased, unless all the rest 
are knocked on the head. If, after that process, there is 
not enough provision, I must be content. 


Georgetown, Feb. 4, 1817, 

I WROTE you a long letter yesterday by post I wish 
I could recall it; for the servant of my colleague, T. N., is 
just about setting out for his master s house, and will pass by 
Wyllie s, or Goode s. I took the precaution, however, to 
enclose my letter, yesterday, to R. G., of Manchester: that 
will guard against its lying in the Richmond office; one of the 
great causes, indeed the chief one, of delay. I cannot help 
thinking, from my having received your last, (the 26th, post 
marked the 27th, reaching me on the 1st instant, Saturday,) 
that there is a change in the mail establishment. This may 
have caused you to receive no letter from me on the day that 



you wrote last, (Sunday, the 26th of January.) So much 
for the post Mr. N. did not mention to me his servant s 
going, until last evening, and I was then too much exhaust 
ed, by severe parliamentary duty, and a bad sore throat and 
cold, to write. The weather has been intensely severe since 
the night of Friday, the 17th of January, with the exception 
of one or two days. Saturday, the 25th, and Sunday, (the 
coldest day this year I believe,) the 26th, were exceedingly 
cold, indeed; and since that period we have not had a day 
that was otherwise. Saturday and Sunday last (1st and 2d 
February) were not unpleasant; and, in the evening of Sun 
day, I thought we were going to have a thaw, but it snowed 
costively at night, with a whistling north-wester; and it has 
been freezing hard ever since. I dread the thaw. The Po 
tomac is frozen over, I presume, to its very mouth. It was 
tight at Nominy, (not very far above,) some days since. It 
is there quite salt, (oysters being obtained,) and about twelve 
miles over. The Chesapeake, I have no doubt, is frozen 
across at Annapolis. Loaded wagons cross the Potomac. 
Pray send me your journal: I mean a copy. 

Now, what do you think? Henry T s. shoulder, that was 
at first neither dislocated nor broken, but then dislocated by 
the same doctor, (neither physician nor surgeon;) next, by 
" two able Winchester physicians," pronounced not to be 
dislocated, but fractured in the corocoid process of the sca 
pula, then, by the same "two able" leeches, (reconsider 
ing their opinion, like Congress, in order to make confusion 
worse confounded,) declared to be a dislocation, unusual, of 
the os humeri; whereupon the said "doctors," and "four 
strong men," put the said patient to the rack, without suc 
ceeding in tearing asunder all the muscles and ligaments. 
This injury has been decided, by P., W., and D., (we have 
now got to the court of appeals, and can go no farther, 
right or wrong, the case is decided,) to be a fracture of the 
os humeri ! and my poor brother is likely to he able to attend 
Congress before the end of the session. This beats Moliere, 
or Le Sage, hollow. 


Now, my dear Theodore, for I think I shall never call 
you " Doctor" again, on the receipt of this, let the wagons 
set out, if they have a load, for Manchester; if not, some 
trusty hand, (not Paul, but little Quashia, or Simon,) must 
carry down Spot and Roanoke, my new saddle and bridle, 
snaffle, ditto, my boots, that M. brought me, and my white 
leather breeches. My portmanteau, saddle, and the pillion, 
straps, &c., to be left in the care of R. J., or M. The new 
saddle, covered with a blanket, the irons and stirrup leathers, 
papered that is, if the wagons cannot come; then let it be 
sent in a box. It is material that the wagons should make 
their trip to Richmond before the frost breaks up; the roads 
are now good. I shall write this day for plaster of Paris 
and tar: the clover seed has been ready these two months. 

You have not said a word about the dogs; nor in your last, 
of the household. 

My best regards to Colonel M. 

Your affectionate and grateful friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


A letter from Rutledge, of the 4th. He had not then re 
ceived one that I wrote before I left home, and put into the 
post-office the day of my departure or, rather, the next 
morning, Monday, the 17th of December. I rather incline 
to believe you did not send it to the post-office for me. 
flpropos, there is in my room a letter addressed to Oliver 
H., Esq.: pray enclose it me. 

Send by Mr. N s. servant F. K s. mare. Choose for him, 
and send her, about the 20th, by Simon, to Mr. J. N. I 
except only the English mare, and Cornelia. You may send 
Everlasting, or the gray daughter of Telegraph. See my 
former letter on this subject, as to exceptions. 



Georgetown, Feb. 8, 1817. 

Saturday Night. 

YOUR letter of the 2d was put into my hands this 
morning, just as I was about to make my last dying speech. 
To-morrow you will, probably, receive my letter by Tues 
day s mail; and, more probably, that by Mr. N 7 s. servant. 
I have no farther request to make, than that my boots may 
be sent; for want of which, through Juba s negligence, I am 

Your memory is very good about the weather. It tallies 
with my memoranda which are as follows: 

J817 Jan., Friday 10, warm; hail at night, turns cold. 

Saturday 11, very cold. Sunday 12, coldest 

day, to this date. 
Thursday 16, mild. Friday 17, warm; snow 

at night, turns cold. 
% Saturday 18 Sunday 19, colder than any days 

Thursday 23, snow. Friday 24, three changes 

to-day; cold. 
Saturday 25, very cold. Sunday 26, ditto; 

snow, colder than ever. 

Monday 27 30, bitter cold. Friday 31, cold. 
Feb., Saturday 1, mild. Sunday 2, milder; snow at 

night, very cold. 
Monday 3 5, very cold ; last the coldest day 

Friday 7, mild in comparison. Saturday 8, 


J) r . B h passed through this city, on Tuesday and 

Wednesday last, to Richmond. I barely saw him. The clo 
ver seed is at T. and M s. You have never mentioned whe- 


ther the chestnut gelding colt is yet lame or not. I must 
seal, or lose to-morrow s mail. 
Good night. 


Dr. B. will get the plaster of Paris. 
I regret your solitude, but it will soon be broken in upon 
by your old querulous friend, Matt B. 


Georgetown, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 1817. 

I SCRIBBLED a few lines to you, my dear Theodore, on 
Saturday evening last, at which time I was labouring under 
the effects of fresh cold, taken in going to and coming from 
the House, where I delivered my valedictory. It was nearer 
being, than I then imagined, a valedictory to this world. 
That night, and the next day and night, I hung suspended 
between two worlds, and had a much nearer glimpse than I 
have ever yet taken of the other. In my agony, I thought 
repeatedly of your situation when I bled you. I am barely 
able to write, to tell you, that if you have not sent off Spot 
and Roanoke, to detain them, unless you will use them your 
self, as I am doubtful whether I shall be able to travel by the 
end of the session. 

No farther news from H. T. Adieu! 


How is the chestnut gelding, out of the blaze-faced S. C. 
mare? Take care of the newspapers; particularly the E. P, 
.and Herald, and file them. 



Georgetown, Feb. 16, 1817. 
Sunday Morning. 

YOUR letter, written this day week, reached me yesterday. 
Indeed, all three of your last have arrived regularly on the 
Saturday morning after their date a reformation in the post- 
office that was more desired than expected. 

I almost envy you Orlando. I would, if it were not John 
ny Hoole s translation; although, at the age of ten, I devoured 
that more eagerly than gingerbread. Oh ! if Milton had trans 
lated it, he might tell of 

" All who, since, baptized or infidej 
Jousted in Aspromont or Montalban, 
Damasco, or Morocco, or Torbisond; 
Or whom Bisserta sent from Afric shore, 
When Charlemagne, with all his peerage, fell 
By Fontarabia." 

Let me advise you to 

"Call up him, who left half told, 
The story of Cambuscan bold." 

I think you have never read Chaucer. Indeed, I have 
sometimes blamed myself for not cultivating your imagina 
tion, when you were young. It is a dangerous quality, howe 
ver, for the possessor. But if from my life were to be taken 
the pleasure derived from that faculty, very little would re 
main. Shakspeare, and Milton, and Chaucer, and Spenser, 
and Plutarch, and the Arabian Night s Entertainments, and 
Don Quixotte, and Gil Bias, and Tom Jones, and Gulliver, 
and Robinson Crusoe, "and the tale of Troy divine," have 
made up more than half of my wordly enjoyment. To these 
ought to be added Ovid s Metamorphoses, Ariosto, Dryden, 
Beaumont and Fletcher, Southern, Otway, Congreve, Pope s 
Rape and Eloisa, Addison, Young, Thomson, Gay, Gold 
smith, Gray, Collins, Sheridan, Cowper, Byron, JEtSOp, La 
Fontaine, Voltaire, (Charles XII., Mahomed, and Zaire j)Rous- 


seau, (Julie,) Schiller, Madame de Stael but, above all, 

One of the first books I ever read was Voltaire s Charles 
XII. ; about the same time, 1780-1, 1 read the Spectator; and 
used to steal away to the closet containing them. The let 
ters from his correspondents were my favourites. I read 
Humphry Clinker, also; that is, Win s and Tabby s letters, 
with great delight, for I could spell, at that age, pretty cor 
rectly. Reynard, the fox, came next, I think; then Tales of 
the Genii and Arabian Nights. This last, and Shakspeare, 
were my idols. I had read them with Don Quixotte, Gil 
Bias, Quintus Curtius, Plutarch, Pope s Homer, Robinson 
Crusoe, Gulliver, Tom Jones, Orlando Furioso, and Thom 
son s Seasons, before I was eleven years of age; also, Gold 
smith s Roman History, 2 vols. 8 vo., and an old history of 
Braddock s war. When not eight years old, I used to sing 
an old ballad of his defeat: 

" On the 6th day of July, in the year sixty-five, 
At two in the evening, did our forces arrive ; 
When the French and the Indians in ambush did lay 
And there was great slaughter of our forces that day." 

At about eleven, 1784-5, Percy s Reliques, and Chaucer, 
became great favourites, and Chatterton, and Rowley. I then 
read Young and Gay, &c.: Goldsmith I never saw until 1787. 

Pray get my Germany from Mr. Hoge, or Mr. Lacy: 
they have it. 

I have scribbled at a great rate. Do thou likewise. 



I have been reading Lear these two days, and incline to 
prefer it to all Shakspeare s plays. In that and Timon only, 
it has been said, the bard was in earnest. Read both the 
first especially. 



Georgetown, Feb. 18, 181T. 

I HAD hardly finished my last letter (Sunday, the 16th) to 
you, when I was seized by spasms that threatened soon to 
terminate all my earthly cares; although the two nights since 
have been passed almost entirely without sleep, I am much 
better. Not expecting to be able to write, I asked Charles 
G., yesterday, to write to you for me. Be not alarmed at his 
letter; I am in no immediate danger that excepted in which 
all things mortal stand. 

I wish you had said a word about the weather in your last 
costive epistle; indeed, that you always would give me the 
journal of the preceding week. Yesterday afternoon, we had 
a change from intense frost to thaw. The ice on the Potomac 
is three feet thick, and extends to its mouth. Chesapeake is 
tight, as low as Annapolis. At Havre, the ice is yet thicker. 
North River is tight, opposite to New York, (its very mouth,) 
where it is salt as the ocean brine, and the tides very rapid; 
at least, as much so as the current of our rivers in a flood. 
East River, still more rapid, is also frozen. It is nothing but 
the arm of the sea that divides Long Island from New York 
Island, and the main. I consider Friday and Saturday the 
two coldest days I ever felt. Thermometer at zero, and, in 
some places hereabouts, 7 below; at Boston, by the last ac 
counts, 28 below zero. All the pheasants, partridges, &c., 
frozen to death. 

I am in suspense about the horses arrival in Richmond. 
Poor Juba lies very ill, and I know not what to do. Adieu I 


To T. B. DUDLEY, M. D. 

Pray plant some sweet-brier and swamp roses. 
1817 Feb., Sunday 9, snows a little. Very sick; bled. 

Monday 10, changeable; turns very cold after 


1817 Feb., Tuesday 11, very cold. Had a grinder ex 

Wednesday 12, bitter cold; wind high at north 

Thursday 13, colder still; wind very high at 

"Friday 14, coldest day ever felt; night intolera- 

Coldest 48 
hours ever- 

ble; no fire, and no number of blankets will 
keep me warm. 
Saturday 15, as cold as yesterday; cloudy; 

threatens snow. 
Sunday 16, very cold; cloudy; clear; cloudy; 

sleet, at night. 
Monday 17, sleet; very cold; sunshine; cloudy; 

Tuesday 18, it has hardly frozen during the last 

night; fog. 

T. M. N. has been very polite, and even kind to me. His 
deportment here is very unexceptionable. 

No farther news from H. T. P. says he has been so 
butchered by the "doctors," that he can never have the use 
of his arm. 

I am taking the super carbonated natron a fine prepa 

Ministry John Q. Adams, Secretary of State. 

Shelby, of Kentucky, Secretary of War. 
Crawford will remain in if he pleases. 
Crowninshield remains. 
G. W. Campbell goes to London, 




Georgetown,. Feb. 23, 1817. 


YOUR letter of the 17th reached me yesterday morn 
ing, after the worst night that I have had since my indisposi 
tion commenced. It was, I believe, a case of croup, com 
bined with the affection of the liver and the lungs. Nor was 
it unlike tetanus, since the muscles of the neck and back were 
rigid, and the jaw locked. I never expected, when the 
clock struck two, to hear the bell again; fortunately, as I found 
myself going, I despatched a servant (about one) to. the apothe 
cary for an ounce of laudanum. Some of this poured down 
my throat, through my teeth, restored me to something like 
life. I was quite delirious, but had method in my madness; 
for they tell me I ordered Juba to load my gun, and to shoot 
the first "doctor" that should enter the room; adding, they 
are only mustard seed, and will serve just to sting him. Last 
night, I was again very sick; but the anodyne relieved me. 
I am now persuaded that I might have saved myself a great 
deal of suffering by the moderate use of opium. This day 
week, when racked with cramp and spasms, my " doctors" 
(I had two) prescribed (or, rather, administered) half a glass 
of Madeira. Half a drop of rain water would have been as 
efficient. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I at 
tended the House; brought out the first day by the explosion 
of the motion to repeal the internal taxes ; and the following 
days, by some other circumstances that I will not now relate. 
Knocked up completely by the exertion. Instead of recalling 
my physicians, I took my own case boldly in hand ; took 1^ 
grains of calomel on Thursday night, and yesterday, using 
mercurial friction. The liver is again performing its func 
tions,, and I am, this evening, decidedly better than I have 
been since the first attack, which I may date from my fall at 
Mr. T s., on Tuesday, the 21st of January. From that pe- 


riod, the operations of the liver have been irregular and dis 
turbed. I conceive the lungs to be affected by sympathy, 
with the other viscus. I have taken from five 5 to 10 grains 
of the hyper carbonated natron, every day, most generally 5 
grains, in a table spoonful of new milk, sometimes repeating 
the dose at night: my drink has been slippery elm tea, and 
lemonade. Appetite for acids very strong. Severe pains in 
the fasciae of the legs and the tendons, just above the outer 
ankle bone; also, knees, &c. &c. 1 have taken from the first, 
a pill of 1 J grains of calomel, about two, sometimes three times 
a week; and several doses of Cheltenham salts. I have used 
the volatile liniment for my throat and limbs ; also, gargles of 
sage tea, borax, &c. 

Your letter is so ambiguously worded, that I know not 
whether you have received mine, countermanding the horses. 
I am a plain matter-of-fact man, and had rather read as many 
repetitions as are to be found in a bill in chancery, than be at 
a loss for the meaning. I keep no letter book, nor even 
memorandum. Several of my letters, it seems, have not come 
to hand ; but I cannot recollect their contents, by their dates: 
therefore, know not which have miscarried. 

Mrs. John M., Mrs. B., and Mrs. F. K., have been very 
kind, in sending me jellies, lemons, &c. &c. Thomas M. N. 
has been extremely attentive and obliging. Mr. K., of New 
York, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. H., of Maryland, Mr. M., of 
South Carolina, Mr. B., of Georgetown, (I need not nameF. 
K.) M. (no longer Abbe) C. de S., and D., have been very 
kind in their attentions. Mr. M. sent me some old, choice 
Madeira, and his man cook to dress my rice; (a mystery not 
understood any where on this side of Cape Fear river;) send 
ing, also, the rice, to be dressed; and Mr. Chief Justice came 
to assist me in drawing up my will which I had strangely 
and criminally neglected, for some time past, and of which 
neglect I was more strangely admonished in a dream. 

At any other time, I should have regretted, very much, 
the ruin of my expected saddle-horse; at present, there is not 
much prospect of my wanting him. Decatur has just beea 


talking to me of you and Roanoke ; both rider and horse seem 
to have made a strong impression on him. P., also, spoke 
of you. Had he known we lived together, he would have 
accompanied you to Roanoke. 

If this dose of egotism do not sicken you, aloes will not 
Farewell, and good night. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 
Past ten, Sunday, Feb. 23. 

Juba has been very ill. 

It is now hailing very fast Until this morning, it has been 
warm since Monday. Thermometer here has been 6 below 
zero of Fahrenheit; at Albany and Boston 14 and 18. Bos 
ton harbour frozen up nine miles below the town, where it is 
nothing but the great Atlantic wagons and sleighs passing 
over to Castle Island and Fort Independence. 

B. writes that the clover seed at T. and M s. ought to be 
in the ground. 

A letter from Dr. C., introducing Mr. James C. B., his 
brother-in-law. (R. W. is here.) Also, a letter from good 
Dr. L. and H. T. He (H. T.) was in Philadelphia, on the 
16th, and intended to be here before the coronation. Arm 
bound to his body. He has not been made acquainted with 
the fate of his arm, as his spirits were very low. He went 
with Ryland to see St. George, and was surprised to find his 
madness of so bad a type. He tears every thing to tatters 
that he lays his hands on. He recognised his uncle, at once; 
but the moody expression of his countenance indicated, in 
Harry s opinion, incurable insanity. 

The doctors are killing poor G., "secundum artem." 

Sunday Morning, Feb. 24. 

The last night "was winter in his roughest mood;" from 
a disagreeably warm day and evening, it turned to hail, sleet, 
and snow, about 9 o clock, P. M. It is now (10 o clock, P. 
M.) snowing very fast The wind, which has blown a storm 


in gusts and flaws all night, continues very high: it has got 
round from north-east to north-west. 


Georgetown, Tuesday, March 4, 1817. 

I WROTE you a few lines on Sunday, directed to the 
care of R. G., Manchester, with an earnest request to the 
post-office not to send it to Winchester. The post-master, 
(here,) a decent and attentive man, assured me that the mis 
take did not originate with him; and I believe him. A tool 
of the under spur leathers here, it seems, is established at 
Alexandria, where the road " forks " to Winchester. 

Since my last, I am somewhat, but not much, better. I 
purpose taking up the line of march for Richmond, to-mor 
row; where, perhaps, I shall arrive on the day that you 
ought to receive this letter; and I should like to meet Spot, 
to take me through the sloughs, and over the ruts and gul 
lies, between that place and Obslo. I shall go via Farmville 
and Prince Edward Court. 

The failure of wells, springs, &c., are not peculiar to our 
country. It is general to the north; where Mr. K. tells me, 
wells, &c., have failed totally, that have yielded a copious 
supply of water, as far back as the memory of man can 

I write these few lines in case of accident to my last. I 
wish you could join me on the road. I shall stay but one 
day in Richmond. I hope you ordered Quashia to apply 
for the clover seed and plaster of Paris. Do not forget the 


shrubs. Adieu! I look forward with joy to meeting you 

Affectionately, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 
T. B. DUDLEY, M. D, 


Richmond, Wednesday, March 12, 1817. 

I HAVE no expectation, my dear Theodore, that this will 
find you at home but, as my last letter from Georgetown 
may have miscarried, although yours to me have arrived 
very regularly for the last four or five weeks, I write, in 
case of accidents, to apprize you that I have got thus far on 
my way home, and that, (God willing,) I shall be at Prince 
Edward Court, on Monday next. I had prepared to set out 
to-day, but the weather deters me. It is now snowing. 

No mitigation of my cruel symptoms took place until the 
third day of my journey, when I threw physic to the dogs; 
and, instead of opium, tincture of columbo, hypercarbonate 
of soda, &c. &c., I drank, in defiance of my physician s 
prescription, copiously of cold spring water, and ate plenti 
fully of ice. Since that change of regimen, my strength has 
increased astonishingly; and I have even gained some flesh, 
or rather skin. The first day, Wednesday the 5th, I could 
travel no farther than Alexandria. At Dumfries, where I 
lay, but slept not on Thursday night, I had nearly given up 
the ghost. At a spring, five miles on this side, after crossing 
happawamsick, I took, upon an empty and sick stomach, 
upwards of a pint of living water, unmixed with Madeira, 


which I have not tasted since. It was the first thing that I 
had taken into my stomach since the first of February that 
did not produce nausea. It acted like a charm, and enabled 
me to get on to B s. that night, where I procured ice. I 
also devoured with impunity a large pippin, (forbidden fruit 
tome.) Next day I got to the Oaks, forty-two miles. Here 
I was more unwell than the night before. On Sunday morn 
ing, I reached my friends, Messrs. A. & Co., to breakfast 
at half past eight. 

Old Dr. F., whom I saw in Frederickburg, while my 
horses were baiting, begged to be most particularly remem 
bered to you. The old man spoke of you with a warmth 
of approbation that highly gratified me. Mr. W. made the 
most affectionate inquiries after you. He knew, he said, my 
complaint and constitution, having been a martyr to it (dys 
pepsia) himself, but now cured. He begged me to consider 
water as poison to me. 

Mr. and Mrs. C., Dr. and Mrs* B., and Mrs. B., with 
whom I spent the morning, yesterday, made friendly in 
quiries about you. So did Mrs. W., who is, "as ladies like 
to be, who love their lords;" and will present him in a very 
short time with a chopping boy or girl, perhaps both. 

Adieu, my dear Theodore. 

Your affectionate friend and kinsman, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Richmond, Thursday, March 13, 1817. 

You will not be surprised at this date, my dear Theodore^ 
when you call to mind what a day yesterday was; and thi^ 
too, is rainy and gloomy. I was packed for my journey. 


and intended to have breakfasted this morning at Clay Hill, 
or Obslo; but the weather obliges me to keep in port. 

I believe that I forgot to tell you that the famous frigate, 
Paragon, (a thirty-two,) struck her colours, on Tuesday eve 
ning, to the General S. 


Do not let Quashia forget to call at T. and M s., and to 
bring up the box containing my saddle, &c., which I ordered 
him to carry back last year; but he neglected it: the conse 
quence is, the bits and Stirrup irons are terribly rusted. 

The boots were so carelessly packed, (the top of one be 
ing only half covered with paper,) that the bees-wax and 
tallow, with which they were dressed, has ruined them. The 
breeches were but half wrapped up in the towel, but they 
have sustained little damage. 

I mean to plaster the whole of the pasture field of corn, 
and all my tobacco and clover. 

There is little chance that this letter will reach you; but 
the trouble of writing is not great rather a pleasure, to 
those we love. I dined yesterday with M., who lives but a 
square off. R. K. J. was there, and my host, Mr. C. He 
did very well for him. Kitty H. is married to Archy H. y 
who has bought Curies for $50,000. I hope to shoot snipes 
with you very soon, if you have any Pigou & Andrews, 
and shot. Adieu. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Henry C. inquires particularly after you. His winter in 
Richmond has visibly improved him, without injuring the 
frankness of his manners. He returns to Charlotte in April 
or May. 



Saturday, April, 12, 1817. 

I HOPE, my dear Theodore, that you will not, on my ac 
count, encounter the fatigue of a ride to Prince Edward 
Court. At the moment when you mentioned your intention 
of meeting me there, your malady did not occur to me. I 
can, without material inconvenience, return home about the 
last of next week, or the beginning of the succeeding one; 
and we can go together to Dr. R s., if you are not too much 
indisposed to take the journey : he expects us both, I know. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Bank of Virginia, April 29, 1818. 


AFTER old Quashia was gone, it occurred to me that 
there might be some articles in the first memorandum that 
were omitted in the second. On comparing them, I find 
two of this description: the camphorated tincture of opium, 
and compound tincture of rhubarb; both of which I have 
ordered, and will bring with me: also, the tincture of aloes, 
which, although contained in both lists, the apothecary could 
not procure. As I frequently heard you express a want of 
this medicine in your own case, I have spurred up the lean 



vender of drugs, and the sorry jade has at last answered my 
purpose. This, also, I will bring with me. 

Yesterday I dined with M. His sister is an intelligent, 
frank, unaffected, Scotch lassie, with as much of the accent 
as any admirer of " The Antiquary," &c., could desire. I 
have passed one evening at Mr. B s., and a charming one it 
was: to-day I dine there. 

After I had closed my letter, by Quashia, I sent sundry 
other articles; among them, Mr. C s. picture two packages 
for Randolph a kip skin the handle of my old castors, 
and some other matters, which my bills will show. 

1 have received your picture-frame from Dr. G., with a 
nice glass, which I hope will reach home unbroken. I have, 
too, got another picture of Frank, and a better likeness than 
the firsj, but yet not so good as G s. If I do not hear from 
you by to-morrow s (rather to-night s) mail, I shall be disap 

Ever, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

The kindest inquiries are made after you by Mrs. B., Mrs. 
C., (who is now gone to Europe,) and Mrs. B. Place aux 
Dames. R. K. J., Dr. B., Mr. B., Mr. M., Mr. T., cum 
multis aliis, have asked after you, and wished to see you. 

Thursday, April 30, 1818. 

I left my letter open, expecting yours of the 27th, which 
I received this morning, in due course of mail; the first in 
stance of the kind that I remember. Surely there must be 
some catenation between this extraordinary event and the 
late unpropitious search. Frost this morning, by which a 
man might be tracked through the street. If it can be done, 
as I suppose it may, without injury to the crop, I wish one 
wagon from the middle quarter and ferrry, to go down with 



August, 1818. 

I CONSIDER myself under obligations to you that I can ne 
ver repay. I have considered you as a blessing sent to me 
by Providence, in my old age, to repay the desertion of my 
other friends and nearer connexions. It is in your power 
(if you please) to repay me all the debt of gratitude that you 
insist upon being due to me; although I consider myself, in 
a pecuniary point of view, largely a gainer hy our connexion. 
But, if you are unwilling to do so, I must be content to give 
up my last stay upon earth; for I shall, in that case, send the 

* This letter was written during 1 a lucid interval of alienation of mind; 
which, for the first time, amounted to positive delirium. Fits of caprice 
and petulance, following days of the deepest gloom, had, for years previous 
ly, overshadowed his mind, evincing the existence of some corroding care, 
for which he neither sought, nor would receive, any sympathy. 

For many weeks, his conduct towards myself, who was the only inmate 
of his household, had been marked by contumelious indignities, which it re 
quired almost heroic patience to endure ; even when aided by a warm and 
affectionate devotion, and an anxious wish to alleviate the agonies of such a 
mind in ruins. All hope of attaining this end, finally failed; and, when he 
found that I would no longer remain with him, the above letter was written: 
it is almost needless to say, with what effect I remained with him two years 

The truth and beauty of the eastern allegory, of the man endowed with 
two souls, was never more forcibly exemplified than in his case. In his dark 
days, when the evil genius predominated, the austere vindictiveness of his 
feelings towards those that a distempered fancy depicted as enemies, or as 
delinquent in truth or honour, was horribly severe and remorseless. 

Under such circumstances of mental alienation, I sincerely believe, (if it 
may not appear irreverent,) that had our blessed Saviour, accompanied by 
his Holy Mother, condescended to become again incarnate, revisited the 
earth, and been domiciliated with him one week, he would have imagined 
the former a rogue, and the latter no bettter than she should be. 

On the contrary, when the benevolent genius had the ascendant, no one 
ever knew better how to feel and express the tenderest kindness, or to 
evince, in countenance and manner, gentler benevolence of heart. 


boys to their parents. Without you I cannot live here at all, 
and will not. What it is that has occasioned the change in 
your manner towards me, I am unable to discover. I have 
ascribed it to the disease * by which you are afflicted, and 
which affects the mind and temper, as well as the animal fa 
culties. In your principles I have as unbounded confidence 
as I have in those of any man on earth. Your disinterest 
edness, integrity, and truth, would extort my esteem and re 
spect, even if I were disposed to withhold them. I love 
you as my own son; would to God you were, i see, I think, 
into your heart: mine is open before you, if you will look 
into it. Nothing could ever eradicate this affection, which 
surpasses that of any other person (as I believe) on earth. 
Your parents have other children: I have only you. But I 
see you wearing out your time, and wasting away, in this de 
sert, where you have no society such as your time of life, ha 
bits, and taste require. I have looked at you often, engaged 
in contributing to my advantage and comfort, with tears in 
my eyes, and thought I was selfish and cruel in sacrificing 
you to my interest. I am going from home: will you take 
care of my affairs until I return? I ask it as a favour. It 
is possible that we may not meet again; but, if I get more 
seriously sick at the springs than I am now, I will send for 
you, unless you will go with me to the White Sulphur 
Springs. Wherever I am, my heart will love you as long as 
it beats. From your boyhood I have not been lavish of re 
proof upon you. Recollect my past life. 


* Possibly, hypochondriasis. 



Washington, Dec. 17, 1819. 

ON my return from Baltimore, the day before yester 
day, I was greeted by your letter of the 5th. Its subject is 
too interesting to be treated as it deserves; or, indeed, at all 
in the hurry of Johnny s departure. You will agree in the 
necessity of this step, when I tell you that I reached George 
town, in the boat, on Tuesday night the boys the evening 
afterwards, with the servants. On Friday morning, the boys 
and myself went to Baltimore in the stage; whence I re 
turned, on Thursday, to dinner. 

To hear of your happiness gives me as great pleasure as 
at this time I am capable of enjoying. Remember me, 
kindly, to our neighbours; particularly to Colonel M. and 
Mr. W. 

I shall write, fully, by next post; which will reach you 
soon after Johnny s arrival, if not before. 
Yours, ever, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Washington, Dec. 19, 1819. 

AT length 1 have obtained a respite from the cloud 
of petitioners, applicants, pamphleteers, and projectors that 
beset one, at the commencement, especially, of a session of 
Congress; and sit down to converse with you on the subject 


of your last and only letter. So far from " writing with 
the eloquence of Rousseau," I fear that my letter will wear 
an air of constraint the effect of my anxiety to avoid making 
a false impression on your mind, and of my own impove 
rished and blighted faculties of heart and understanding. 

I have never supposed you blind to the defects of my 
character; neither have I been entirely insensible to those of 
your own. If I could lay bare the moral anatomy of my 
heart, I would not shrink from your inspection of all its 
workings towards yourself, from the moment I first beheld 
you, up to the present hour. During the more intimate con 
nexion which has subsisted between us some twenty years 
past, I never did " distrust your affection for me, 5 until the 
summer before last. The surprise and anguish which then 
overwhelmed me, you witnessed. I would not recall such 
recollections, (it is the office of friendship to bury them in 
oblivion,) but to put you in possession of the clew to my 
feelings and conduct. I viewed you as one ready and will 
ing, from the impulse of your own pride, to repay what you 
considered a debt of gratitude, whilst you held the creditor 
in aversion and contempt, that you could not at all times re 
strain yourself from expressing by signs, and even by words. 

On our meeting between this place and Baltimore, in 1811, 
I would have given half what I possessed to have obtained 
your confidence. From that time, I saw that there was 
" something wrong" but to interrogate you, would have 
been to take an ungenerous and unmanly advantage of our 
relative position, and I sought your confidence in no other 
way but by giving you mine, without reserve. I little ima 
gined, at that time, that the letters which you afterwards put 
into my hands, and which I have since perused with entire 
approbation of their contents, regretting that I am now in 
capable of taking such just views, (they were prompted by 
a tenderness almost parental,) had any agency in producing 
the reserve, which I saw and deplored, and vainly attempted 
to remove. 

Enough of this. It is the office of friendship to accom- 


modate itself to mutual and incurable infirmities. To hear 
of your happiness, next to seeing it, will give me as much 
pleasure as I am now capable of feeling. My apathy is not 
natural, but superinduced. There was a volcano under my 
ice, but it is burnt out, and "a face of desolation has come 
on, not to be rectified in ages," could my life be prolonged 
to patriarchal longevity. The necessity of "loving, and 
being beloved, 3 was never felt by the imaginary beings of 
Rousseau and Byron s creation more imperiously than by 
myself. My heart was offered up with a devotion that knew 
no reserve. Long an object of proscription and treachery, 
I have at last (more mortifying to the pride of man) become 
one of utter indifference. But these are the chastenings of 
a tender Father, desirous to reclaim his lost and undone child 
from the error of his ways, and who has " humbled my weak 
unthinking pride beneath the dispensations of a mysterious 
wisdom." To that wisdom, I bow with implicit and awful 
submission; too happy, if I had not daily and hourly cause 
to upbraid myself with the vilest ingratitude and disobe 
dience to my heavenly Corrector and Benefactor, 

I wish I may have made myself entirely intelligible. If 
I should have conveyed to your mind any impression that I 
did not intend to make, I shall deplore it as the result of the 
imperfection of language, as well as of my own incapacity 
to use it. 

The boys left Baltimore on Friday, for their grandfather s. 
Tom had a hearty cry. Randolph, from the presence of nu 
merous spectators, was barely able to suppress hid tears, and 
I was no better off. How is C.? 

May every blessing attend you here and hereafter! Need 
I sign myself, 

Your friend, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke? 

Direct to Washington. 



Washington, Dec. 21, 1819.. 

I WROTE you a very long letter the day before yes 
terday, which, at one time, I had thoughts of suppressing; 
and, perhaps, had better have suppressed. My error in this 
case has not been intentional. My judgment, as well as my 
other faculties, has become much impaired; so much so, that 
I can scarcely turn me in any direction, without a dread of 
committing some wrong. My letter from Richmond has, 
probably, never come to hand. I would be glad to hear some 
thing of my affairs at home; although I left it without a desire 
ever to see it again. For the first time in my life, a vague 
idea of quitting it for ever floated through my mind one 
that my engagements will, probably, forbid me to execute. 
I would not leave it dishonourably. 

Here I find myself isole, almost as entirely as at Roanoke 
for the quiet of which (the last paragraph to the contrary, not 
withstanding,) I have some times panted; or, rather, to escape 
from the scene around me. Once the object of proscription, 
I am become one of indifference to all around me; and, in this 
respect, I am, in no wise, worse off than the rest for, from 
all that I can see and learn, there are no two persons here 
that care a single straw for one another. My reception is 
best by the old Jacobins enrages next, by the federalists, 
who have abjured their heresies, and reconciled themselves 
to the true Catholic church worst of all, by the old minori 
ty men, white-washed into courtiers. 

My harness I wish altered in the traces, so as to fit the 
chair at B s. in Richmond. The bay colt, out of Brunette, 
I intend for a chair horse; the gray and the chestnut mare for 
the saddle. 

I shall send you my letters, which you will read, except 
those marked " private. " You will find in the papers much 


amusement, and some instruction. Adieu! That the dear 
est wishes of your heart may be gratified, is my earnest prayer. 


P. S. Lord Byron is indisputably the author of Don Juan. 
Murray, of Albemarle street, (his publisher,) remonstrated 
against printing it. His lordship wrote him, for answer, 
"that, if he refused, he should never publish for him again; 
that the Reviewers, &c., had set him upon the pinnacle of 

fame, and that by , they should now read, not what 

they liked, but what he pleased." I see a writer in the En 
quirer denies it to be his production. The above I have from 
the most authentic source. 


Washington, January 21, 1820. 

ON my return home last night, after dining abroad, I found 
the enclosed note. Gen. S. is in earnest, in his civilities to 
you. He expressed in his countenance, as well as in his lan 
guage, the greatest mortification at your sudden departure. 

To-day we hear Mr. Pinkney without fail. He announced 
it himself, yesterday, on moving the adjournment. Of course, 
he has the floor as soon as the question comes up, and the 
house will be crowded to suffocation. I go to hear; and 
shall maintain my seat against the combined forces of the la 
dies, who entre nous have no business in legislative halls, or 
courts of justice. Mad. Roland might have saved her pretty 
head from t\\t gallant Frenchmen, if she had not put on the 
breeches, (or, rather, put them off,) and turned sans culottes. 



I agree entirely with Mad. de Stael, that the liberty which 
women enjoy in France, is only the effect of the indifference 
of the men; and a cause of it too as, she says, the Turk, 
who locks up his wife, shows, at least, that he puts some va 
lue upon her. So soon as the sex, leaving her own peculiar 
province, encroaches upon that of man, all her privileges are 
put in jeopardy. 

By this time, I suppose, you are in Richmond; and, on the 
whole, you have had very good weather for your journey. 
Let me know all about it. I sometimes hear of Harry T., 
through his correspondents, Messrs. C., &c. To me he ne 
ver writes nor does L. 

Remember me to the Doctor and Mrs. B. in the most af 
fectionate terms. I shall write, until Monday, to Richmond. 
Let me know of your movements. I heard, yesterday, from 
Barksdale. Do not forget my best remembrance to all at 
Obslo and Clay hill. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Washington, Feb. 4, 1820. 

I AM blind, and almost dead. The vertiginous affec^ 
tion of my head, arises from, but is not caused by, an indis* 
tinct vision the effect of which is indescribable. It obliged 
me to give up, yesterday, one of the best arguments that I 
ever conceived, but of which I was delivered by forceps; or, 
rather by Caesarean operation. The after-birth is yet behind. 
Your letters from Bucks and Obslo are received. Do net 


expect to hear from me as heretofore, for the reason above; 
but remember my anxiety until C. is removed, unless it be 
indispensable to retain him. 

Take lodgings in Richmond, and we will settle the other 
point at our leisure. 

Essex and Hetty? Pheasants, &c. ? 
Yours, ever, 



Saturday, Feb. 5, 1820. 

You will have received my scarcely legible letters. I 
hope you will remove to Richmond forthwith. Have the 
goodness to explain what you meant by having seen my note 
upon note. I hope none of the earwigs and utterers of false 
news have attempted to hurt me, with my young friend 
Henry C., or his nephew. 

G. T. applied to me to know whether it was true, as his 
wife was told in Richmond, that I had written to R. ! ! ! 
abusing him, (G. T.,) as the author of "The Fudge Fami 
ly." I told Mr. T., very serenely, that although I might 
plead to the jurisdiction of the court, (his wife not giving up 
the author of this story which came "so directly" to her;) 
yet, as I was not disposed to be exigeant, I referred him to 
Mr. R., and could give him written authority and request to 
show any thing he might have in my writing. I also cau 
tioned him against a similar application to me in future, as I 
should meet it with a flat refusal. 

When you get married, as I hope and trust you will, I 
shall drop our correspondence, so far as it is confidential. 


Burn this and all others as fast as you receive them. The 
wretches here, not content to make me answerable for what 
I do say, get bastard wit, in order to lay it at my door. 



A letter from Colonel M. has relieved me for the present, 
on the subject of C. 


Washington, Feb. 7, 1820. 

I WROTE you, a few days ago, perhaps the last letter 
that you will ever receive in my handwriting; for it has 
pleased Him who gave me sight, to take it away almost en 
tirely. I must endeavour to be thankful for the little that 
is left me of this blessing, as well as for other innumerable 
and greater blessings. The state of the roads is such, that 
I anticipate the mail by a day, for fear of miscarriage, in re 
questing that my horses and Johnny may be ready to set 
out at a moment s warning, I mean Roanoke, as well as the 
carriage horses. About this time, I suppose, they are just 
off a hard journey. Tell Johnny that I expect to find them 
in high condition, and shall take no apologies, by condition 
he knows that I do not understand fatness, but grooming. I 
have no opinion of stalled beeves making good draft cattle. 
Have the goodness to get Clay equipped for coming on with 
Johnny; I shall probably send or carry him to Philadelphia. 
You may imagine how anxious I am to hear from you, and 
the topics about which I feel so much interest; take them in 
the following order: 

Your own affair Ca. CK Plantation affairs, generally 


Essex and Hetty Nancy, &c. Pheasants Partridges 

Summer ducks fruit trees Sir Archy Colt and Phillis 
blood stock, generally tobacco. Look at this letter when 
you write yours. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




I wrote you some days ago that I had received Colonel 
M s. letter: thank him for it in my name, and remember 
me to him and all our neighbours; if, indeed, we may be 
said to have any I mean W., Cl., Co. S., &c. 


Feb. 8, 1820. 

I WROTE you yesterday about my horses. As the south 
ern mail has failed this morning, I wrote again to take two 
chances. I want the horses put in the highest condition; by 
which Johnny will understand not fatness so much as groom 
ing. The carriage horses and Roanoke to be ready to set 
out at a minute s warning. C s. shirts to be made, and he 
equipped for a journey. Tell Tom M. to get the tobacco 
down as soon as possible. 

Return me, under cover, the numbers of the Ploughboy 
that I sent you. You have, I fear, received the last letter 
in my handwriting. Remember me to Colonel M. and all 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Washington, Jan. 8, 1821. 

IN consequence of the snow storm, your letter of the 
5th, did not arrive in time for me to answer it by yesterday s 
mail. That of December 27th has lain by me for more than 
a week, during which it was my constant intention to write 
"to-morrow." But the state of my spirits has rendered 
even that a formidable undertaking. I received, also, yes 
terday, a letter from Dr. B., which, now that my hand is in, 
I will try and thank him for to-day. 

I am not determined what I shall do with myself at the 
close of the session, nor about any thing else, except the 
irremediable hopelessness of my case. 

You do not mention whether you have received the horse 
from Roanoke. If you have, and an occasion offers, I wish 
you would sell it for what it will bring. You can send for 

I enclose a check on Petersburg. I wish you to stand on 
no ceremony with me. 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

Remember me to Gilmer, Bouldin, Leigh, &c. &c. 



Washington, Feb. 8, 1821. 


YOUR letter came to hand the evening before last, and 
I was very desirous of acknowledging its receipt yesterday, 
but was incapable, from a severe catarrhal affection that has 
confined me to my room for the last six days, attended by 
pains in the back, &c., which hardly permitted me to remain 
a minute in one posture. I write, now, only to do away 
your uneasiness. I am sensibly better this morning; but my 
lungs and eyes are yet greatly affected. I have been obliged 
to omit attending to several letters on business; also, several 
from Joseph C. and his brother who inquire kindly after 

Remember me to such as care to ask about me, and excuse 
these few lines, for I am in no condition to write. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Washington, Feb. 17, 182L 

YOUR letter was received too late, yesterday, to ac 
knowledge it by return of mail, and this morning, by nine 
o clock, I had to attend the committee on poor Burwell s fu 
neral, which left me not a moment s time to spare. 


I am afraid that Richard C. labours under some pulmona 
ry affection, as you do not announce the cause of his visit to 
the south of France. Poor H.! he is a sacrifice to the un 
precedented state of the times. I hope enough will be left 
to provide comfortably for his widow and the helpless part 
of his family. 

Paul C., who has been here about a week, just now called 
to see me. He tells me that little John M. (our quondam 
neighbour) is dead, and that Dr. V. and his brother Samuel are 
married, the former to a widow D., of Lynchburg, and the 
other to a Miss R,, of Lexington. Dr. H. T. is here, and 
P. C. informs me, vibrating between Charlotte and Washing 
ton City as a future theatre of practice. 

I admire your taste on the subject of Maria G., that was. 
Ask Mrs. B., if the youngest of the musical Ls s. did not 
remind her of Mary Anne, at the same age. My best re 
gards to her. I regret to hear of F s. ill health ; but I some 
times think she may have a happy escape from an indiffe 
rent or worthless husband, and the cares and pains of a family. 
Give my best love to her and E. 

You make no mention of L. Remember me to him, and the 

B a and C s, whenever you see them: also, to Gilmer, 

Bouldin, Rootes, and Richard Morris; and, though last, not 
least, Tom Miller. 

Farewell! and may every good attend you. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Mrs. R. has presented Charles with another chopping boy. 
Frank K. has just left me: he asked after you very kindly. 



Sunday Morning. 

I AM much gratified by your letter of Friday, which 1 
have just received. The sporting intelligence is quite ac 
ceptable. I take great interest, even now, in the subject 
Last autumn I enjoyed myself, on several occasions, shoot 
ing both woodcocks and partridges. By "John Sim," of 
Hanover, I suppose you mean a son of Nicholas Syme, an 
old fellow sportsman of mine. There is one of your good 
shots, (1 need not name him,) with whom I hope you do not 
associate. "Tell me your company," &c. I have no doubt 
that you had better go out with C., once a week, than have 
a certain description of persons haunt your chambers. I 
learn, for the first time, that John has left Cambridge. Re* 
member me to the whole firm- Mrs. A. & Co., and tell her 
that, when I find I am about to die, I mean to be carried, if 
practicable, to her house to be nursed. 

You mention nothing of Leigh. Has William been to see 
his brother? Do you hear from Amelia? Below you have 
a draft, on Johnson s house, for three hundred dollars. God 
speed you ! The air of abruptness in this letter, is occasioned 
by my wish not to postpone a reply until to-morrow, and the 
mail is in the future in rus, as old Lilly hath it. 

Dr. B. can, and will, show you a scratch from me of this 
day s date. Write about every thing and every body, and 
seal with wax. 

Sincerely, yours, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 


Remember me to all friends. 




Washington, Feb. 28, 1821. 

YOUR letter found me, as usual, in bed. Yesterday, I was 
very agreeably surprised by one from E. C. It is not my 
fault that my sister s children have been brought up stran 
gers to me. I had the truest regard for their mother, and 
have omitted no opportunity that has been allowed me to cul 
tivate their acquaintance, and attach them to me. You say 
nothing of F s. health. Who is the Mr. B., H. R. late 
ly married? Is it poor H s. son-in-law? I am grieved for 
the condition of his family: I mean H s. They have been 
used to affluence and ease. What a reverse awaits them ! 

Yesterday, I got a letter from Mrs. B., which gives me 
very gratifying accounts of the boys. She also mentions 
Tom L s. improved health. Let Watkins L. know this. I 
wrote, yesterday, in reply to E s. letter; but when you 
see her or Fanny, give my love to them both. I have not 
heard a syllable of St. George since he left Richmond. I am 
impatient to get away from this sink of iniquity and corrup 
tion. Remember me to all friends the C s., (I am truly sor 
ry to hear of Richard s situation,) Br., Be., L., Bo., G., T. 
M., R., and R. M. God bless you. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




Roanoke, June 10, 1821. 

I AM concerned to perceive, from your letter of the 4th, 
which I have just now received, that your change of residence 
has not been attended by the consequences which were na 
turally to have been expected from it. It is, however, proba 
ble enough. that you wrote under the influence of a temporary 
depression of spirits, which surrounding circumstances will 
soon dispel, if it be not already dissipated. You do not over 
rate the solitariness of the life I lead here. It is dreary beyond 
conception, except by the actual sufferer. I can only acqui 
esce in it, as the lot in which I have been cast by the good 
providence of God; and endeavour to bear it, and the daily 
increasing infirmities, which threaten total helplessness, as 
well as I may. "Many long weeks have passed since you 
heard from me:" And why should I write? To say that I 
had made another notch in my tally? or to enter upon the 
monotonous list of grievances, mental and bodily, which ego 
tism itself could scarcely bear to relate, and none other to lis 
ten to. You say truly: "there is no substitute" for what 
you name, "that can fill the heart." The bitter conviction 
has long ago rushed upon my own, and arrested its functions. 
Not that it is without its paroxysms, which, I thank Heaven, 
itself, alone, is conscious of. Perhaps I am wrong to indulge 
in this vein; but I must write thus, or not at all. No punish 
ment, except remorse, can exceed the misery I feel. My 
heart swells to bursting, at past recollections; and, as the pre 
sent is without enjoyment, so is the future without hope; so 
far, at least, as respects this world. 

I found the horse here when I got home, and was told Mr. 
Sim s wagonner left him. I sincerely wish that you would 
cultivate a more cheerful temper of mind than you appear to 
possess, or than this effusion, of one worn down by disappoint- 


menis, and disease, and premature old age, is calculated to in 

May God, in his mercy, protect and bless you; and may 
you never experience the forlorn and desolate sensations of 
him who has endeavoured, with whatever success, to prove 
your friend. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 


I wrote the ahove yesterday. Perhaps you may think that 
I, too, have acquired the "knack of writing letters, and put 
ting nothing into them;" hut, really, I have nothing to put 
in. You say nothing of Dr. and Mrs. B., of L., the C s., 
Mrs. B., G. or R.; not to mention my nieces. 

The true cure for maladies like yours, is employment, 
"Be not solitary; be not idle!" was all that Burton could ad 
vise. Rely upon it, life was not given us to be spent in 
dreams and reverie, but for active, useful exertion; exertion 
that turns to some account to ourselves, or to others not la 
borious idleness. (I say nothing of religion, which is between 
the heart and its Creator.) This preaching is, I know, foolish 
enough: but let it pass. We have all two educations; one we 
have given to us the other we give ourselves; and, after a 
certain time of life, when the character has taken its ply, it 
is idle to attempt to change it. 

If I did not think that it would aggravate your symptoms, 
I would press you to come here. In the sedulous study and 
practice of your profession, I hope you will find a palliative, 
if not a complete cure, of your moral disease. Yours is the 
age of exertion the prime and vigour of life. But I have 
"fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf: and that which should 
accompany old age, as honour, love, obedience, troops of 
friends,* I must not look to have; but, in their stead, - ." 

You say my friends in Richmond would, no doubt, be glad 



to see me there. To tell you the truth, I find such visits 
very unsuitable to the straitened state of my finances; and, 
upon the whole, I am, perhaps, best here. Habit, after a lit 
tle while, enables us to bear any thing. Here I am free from 
apprehensions of being in other folks way, and try to bear 
my lot without flinching; yearning, sometimes, after human 
converse, so as to make acceptable, for the moment, the pre 
sence of people, without one congenial sentiment or princi- 

Miss Margaret C. was married on Tuesday, the 14th of 
May, to Mr. L. I have been there once to dinner, and re 
turned the same day. John and Henry have dined here, and 
staid all night. I have dined once at Col. C s. On his way 
to Charlotte Court House, 1 saw Mr. L. for the first time since 
my return from Washington. Mr. B. and Peyton R. came 
home with me from court, (where I was obliged to go,) and 
staid the next day with me. I have since been closely con 
fined, under a course of mercury; and the weather has been 
so cloudy and threatening, although we have little actual rain, 
that I dare not venture out. Sims 1 have not seen. The 
hawks have caught both my summer ducks. Nancy is very 
ill. Old Essex, too, is laid up with a swelled jaw, from a ca 
rious tooth. This, I believe, is the sum of our domestic 
news, except that old Dido is plus caduque que son maitre. 
I am my own physician, and feel my way in the dark, like 
the rest of the faculty. Adieu. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 

Monday Morning, 



Roanoke, June 24, 1821. 

YOUR letter of the 21st reached me to-day, together with 
one from Ryland, under your cover. I received, at the 
same time, another letter from him, dated as far back as the 
14th of March, from Miiledgeville, addressed to your care; 
that address is scratched out, and, in a very clumsy hand, 
"Pr. Edward, care Mr. P. Randolph, 7 inserted: the "Rich 
mond " post-mark is dated "April," but I cannot make out 
the day. Poor Ryland is afflicted with a quartan ague that 
he brought from the south to Virginia, and carried back with 
him. I heard, also, to-day, from Edward R., who has just 
set out for Kentucky. This is my first intelligence from 
Amelia, since I left it. Mrs. R., of Obslo, is much afflicted 
with a cough. Miss F. A. is to be married to William E. 
This is the amount of his news. 

You do not mention what "Springs" Mr. C. is carrying 
his daughters to. I am much concerned to hear of F s. 
situation; and yet, poor thing! it is, perhaps, a blessed es 
cape from worse afflictions: " never by a rake suspected, ne 
ver by sot neglected." I am very sorry, also, to hear of 
Mr. B s. ill health. You say nothing of G.; and I hear no 
thing from him or D. B., which last circumstance rather mor 
tifies me. Leigh has long given up writing to me. Neither 

do you mention the C s, in whose welfare I feel a strong 


You speak of my leaving this place, as if it were in my 
power to do it at will. Unless I could find a purchaser for 
it, I must remain a prisoner here, probably for the brief re 
mainder of my life; although entirely unable to attend to 
my affairs. I have twice mounted my horse and rode down 
to Colonel C s., and staid all night, being unable to endure 
the want of society any longer. On one of these occasions, 


I saw his lately married daughter. The very thought of 
meeting with any person who cares a straw for my existence, 
tightens my chest and swells my throat. It gives me some 
what the same sensation that I felt after poor Randolph s 
death, the first time I took the road to Obslo, below B s. If 
I did not fear tiring out the welcome of my friends, I would 
go to Amelia for a week or ten days: and yet the return 
would be but so much the more bitter. Use reconciles me 
to it a little; but the first few days after I get home, are al 
most intolerable. God s will be done! This is a better re 
liance, believe me, than " submission to the power of desti 
ny," of which you speak. 

I have seen W. M. W., once, by accident, on the road: ra 
ther, I rode as far as his lane, and met him. Asked him to 
dine with me; but Mrs. W. was in daily expectation of the 
sage femme, and he was obliged to watch the incubation. 

If ever I get as far as Richmond, I shall accept your offer 
of a bed. Did you get the gun-locks? They were left at 
Mrs. K s. for you, on the parlour table. About this time, 
you have, probably, seen P. R. He was to go to Richmond 
on Tuesday last. He and Mr. B. spent the day after Char 
lotte Court, here. He is always in such a hurry, and so 
much engaged, that I am deterred from visiting him as often 
as I otherwise should do. This letter is written with a pen 
of your own making, that has not been mended, and has 
done all my writing for nine months; besides, a good deal 
for W. L. 

I pray God to keep and bless you. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


My best regards to Dr. and Mrs. B. I heard to-day from 
C: he is well at school on Elk Ridge. 

You will be glad to hear that John M. is doing well. He 
has called once, on his way to Halifax, Ct, and I slightly ex 
pected him to-day j but he has not come. 


Tuesday Morning. 

Colonel C. was here yesterday. I suspect he will find it 
in his heart to give two-thirds of its value for the ferry quar 
ter. I have made him an offer, and he has taken time to 
consider of it. This sale will relieve my most pressing dif 
ficulties. It is true that it will injure the value of this place, 
which is already scant of timber. 


Roanoke, July 24, 1821. 

As my wagon goes to-day to Petersburg, I avail myself 
of it to thank you for your letter of the 6th, if, indeed, this 
old pen, made and mended to a stamp by yourself, will ena 
ble me to do it. 

I am well aware (and have long been so) of the character 
of the people you guard me against. Odious as it is, I think 
it differs somewhat to its advantage from that of the idle and 
improvident, which is equally dishonest and more contemp 
tible. Whatever advantage these people gain over me, it is 
with my eyes open; for I know that to deal with them at 
all, is to suffer imposition. But I have no motive to husband 
my resources. If I leave enough to pay my debts, I am sa 
tisfied. Here I am yearning after the society of some one 
who is not merely indifferent to me, and condemned, day af 
ter day, to a solitude like Robinson Crusoe s. But each day 
brings my captivity and exile nearer to their end. 

Rely upon it, you are entirely mistaken in your estimate 
of the world. Bad as it is, mankind are not quite so silly 
as you suppose. Look around you, and see who are held in 


the highest esteem. I will name but one-^-Mr. Chief Jus 
tice. It is not the "rogue" who gains the good opinion of 
his own sex, or of the other. It is the man, who by the ex 
ercise of the faculties which nature and education have given 
him, asserts his place among his fellows; and, whilst useful 
to all around him, establishes his claim to their respect, as 
an equal and independent member of society. He may 
have every other good quality under heaven;, but, wanting 
this, a man becomes an object of pity to the good, and of 
contempt to the vile. Look at Mr. Leigh, his brother Wil 
liam, Mr. Wickham, Dr. B^ &c. &c., and compare them 
with the drones which society is impatient to shake from 
its lap. 

Mr. Macon and Mr. Edwards were with me four days 
last week: they left me this day week. Sam waits. Fare 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke, 


Roanoke, Aug. 5, 1821. 

I SHOULD not be able to summon spirits to reply to your 
letter, were it not for a remark it contains on Mr. M., which- 
I believe to be unjust, as it obviously is most injurious to his 
character. Indeed, I think a very little reflection on that of 
General E., (from your own description of it,) might induce 
you to ascribe his conduct to some other cause than the in 
stigation of a man of the highest probity, and one, too, who 
has shown as great a disregard for money as is consistent 
with honesty and independence. That he wrote the will, is 
no proof (not even presumptive) that he excited or foment- 



ed a spirit of unforgiveness in the testator towards an absent 
child; an act worthy of a demon. Mr. L. wrote Mrs. R s. 
will, but it is by no means such a will as he would have ad 
vised. Would it be right in me to ascribe the tenor of the 
will to him? 

I happen to know more about Mr. M s. sentiments, in re 
lation to the unhappy feuds in that family, than you proba 
bly can do, and from the most direct source. I believe I 
hinted something of this to you once before; and I have no 
hesitation in pronouncing that you have been misled into a 
belief that does injury to him. Of the other gentleman I 
know nothing, at least, in relation to that affair, and can, 
therefore, say nothing. 

This morning s mail brings the news of little Bathurst 
Randolph s death. Harriet died three weeks before him! 
The situation of the childless mother is, I fear, one that 
would render death desirable, even in the opinion of her 

God bless you. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

William Coleman died on the 17th July. The Colonel, 
John, and Maria, set off to-morrow for the Springs. I have 
become seasoned to solitude, and find company unwelcome, 
unless it be that of some one whom I particularly like. 


Washington, Dec. 9, 182(T. 

AT length, my dear Theodore, your letter of the 1st of 
August is received, (post marked " Charlotte Court House, 
November 28.") I hope you do not think I mean to retain 


this money, which I would put under this cover, if I had 
not too much experience of the mail. 

My health is as deplorably bad as it ever was, except the 
spring of 1817. I have crawled out in consequence of the 

M question, but am incapable, as well as unwilling, 

to take a part in it. I am glad to hear that you spend your 
time so agreeably. Mine is spent in unintermitting misery. 

When you see Dr. or Mrs. B., present me to them in the 
most friendly terms; also F. G., L., the C s., Mrs. B, and 
Mrs. R. 

Tell Dr. B. that I received his letter this morning, and 
will thank him for it when I have strength to do so. If I 
survive this session, I will embark in March for some better 
climate: mean while, my affairs at home go to absolute ruin. 
I shall leave a power with Mr. L. of Halifax to sell all I 
have indeed, he has one unrevoked, but while I am in the 
country, he declines acting on it. God bless you. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Washington, Dec. 14, 1820. 

I HAVE just received your letter of the 12th: with what 
sensations I read it, you can judge better than I can describe. 
I hope you will not leave Virginia; and above all, for a cli 
mate the most noxious to your particular habit. My heart 
gushes over towards you. To establish yourself in your 

* This letter is an answer to one from me, communicating my intention of 
making a voyage to the East Indies, and was the cause of my giving up the 
intention. D. 


profession, where you are, requires only a little time and pa 
tience. You are surrounded by respectable persons, to whom 
you are known, and by whom you are respected; with whom 
you can associate on terms of equality and freedom. This 
is no light advantage not to be given up but upon the most 
cogent considerations. The cloud that overhangs Richmond 
will pass away: mean while, consider me your banker; and 
if your pride revolt at the obligation, I will consent to re 
imbursement out of the first fruits of your practice. But it 
ought not so to revolt, because it will wound the already 

Tell Harry T. that I learned yesterday, for the first time, 
that he was in Richmond. God bless him, and you too, my 
dear Theodore. 

Your friend, if ever there was one, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Remember me to all that care for me particularly to 
Mr. B. 


Washington, Dec. 18, 1821. 


YOUR letter reached me yesterday: since then I have 
been excruciated with rheumatism. The very sensible de 
cay of all my faculties of body and mind, more especially 
of sight, touch, memory, and invention, renders writing ex 
tremely irksome to me, and admonishes me of the indis 
cretion, (not to say folly,) of lingering on the public stage, 
until, perhaps, I shall be hissed off. My part, however, of 


a mute, does not require much power, since it attracts no 
notice; and he who does not offer himself to the observation 
of mankind, may well hope to escape their censure. Never 
theless, my object now is petere honestam demissionem. 

I refer you to Dr. B. for my adventures by flood and field. 
Mr. S. of Missouri informed me yesterday that Tom had at 
last got his gun locks, which I hope he will make turn to 
some account among the savages of Boone s Lick. They 
are all good locks, and a part of them of the highest finish. 

I met Mrs. T. and poor Mrs. R. beyond Hanover Court 
House. These are some of the very few people in this 
world, by whom I have been treated with kindness, under 
every circumstance of my unprosperous life; and when I 
forget them, may my God forget me. B., too, has been un 
affectedly and disinterestedly kind to me, andJI hope I have 
been able to make him some return for it. He is resolved 
to sell out, at whatever loss; and to remove from a circle in 
which he must share the general ruin, in case he should re 
main. The mail is closing. Remember me kindly to 
Mrs. K. 


JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


You mention the want of employment in your profession. 
No man ever did get practice in any profession who did not 
seek it, who did not show a strong desire for it. Now, at 
the hazard of your displeasure, I must tell you what I heard 
this summer: One of your brethren told a gentleman of my 
acquaintance, "that you were too fond of your gun for a 
medical man." I also heard of your making an appoint 
ment to shoot at the coal-pits, and leaving word with your 
servant that you had gone to see a patient. * This I did not 
believe: but the consequences of establishing a reputation as 
a sportsman, must be serious to a medical man. 

* It was false. 



Washington, Dec. 21, 1820. 

I WISH I had it in my power to make a more suitable re 
turn for your letters; but my nerves are shattered, and the 
climate is truly Cimmerian. We are more than dull here 
we are gloomy. Last night, we lost another of our members: 
Mr. Slocum, of North Carolina. I have been meditating a 
Christmas visit to Oakland, but the weather has interposed its 
veto. Mean while, our " mess " is dispersing itself to Phila 
delphia, &c., leaving me, as usual, in the minority. 

Remember me to all who care for me. I need not specify 
them. Tell Gilmer that I received his letter of the 18th, a 
few minutes since, and thank him sincerely for it. Mr. T. 
and Mr. S., of New York, have read his pamphlet, and ex 
pressed very great delight at it. He would not be displeased 
at the warmth with which they commend the style, the re 
search and argument of the author, in which they heartily 
concur. It is, at present, in the hands of Mr. K., of New 

If T. be in Richmond, ask him "if he has forgotten me?" 
God bless you. Let me hear from you as often as conve 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



December 26, 1820. 

MR. BURRILL, the most useful, if not the most able mem 
ber of the Senate, died last night, after a few days indisposi 
tion. I write from my bed. Mr. Macon advises me to 
leave this place as soon as practicable. There is certainly a 
state of atmosphere here fatal lo invalids. Be so good as to 
announce to the Enquirer the death of Mr. Burrill, of Rhode 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Washington, Dec. 30, 1821. 

YOTTR letter of the- 20th, has lain several days on my table. 
The difficulty of writing, produced by natural decay, is so in 
creased by the badness of the materials furnished by our con 
tractors, (who make the public pay the price of the best,) that 
I dread the beginning of a letter. At this time, it requires- 
my nicest management to make this pen do legible execu 

So true is your remark, that I have tried to strike roof 
into some of the people around me one family, in particu 
lar; but I found the soil too stony for me to penetrate, and r 
after some abortive efforts, I gave it up nor shall I ever re 
new the attempt, unless some change in the inhabitants should 
take place. 

The medical gentleman, whom you suppose to be actuated 


by no friendly spirit towards you, made the observation in 
question, to one whom he believed well disposed towards you; 
and he mentioned it to another, of the same description, who 
told it to me, I do not believe that the remark extended be 
yond us three. 

One of the best and wisest men I ever knew, has often said 
to me that a decayed family could never recover its loss of 
rank in the world, until the members of it left off talking and 
dwelling upon its former opulence. This remark, founded in 
a long and close observation of mankind, I have seen verified, 
in numerous instances, in my own connexions who, to use 
the words of my oracle, "will never thrive, until they can 
become poor folks: 7 " he added, " they may make some 
struggles, and with apparent success, to recover lost ground; 
they may, and sometimes do, get half way up again; but they 
are sure to fall back unless, reconciling themselves to cir 
cumstances, they become in form, as well as in fact, poor 

The blind pursuit of wealth, for the sake of hoarding, is a 
species of insanity. There are spirits, and not the least wor 
thy, who, content with an humble mediocrity, leave the field 
of wealth and ambition open to more active, perhaps more 
guilty, competitors. Nothing can be more respectable than 
the independence that grows out of self-denial. The man 
who, by abridging his wants, can find time to devote to the 
cultivation of his mind, or the aid of his fellow-creatures, is a 
being far above the plodding sons of industry and gain. His 
is a spirit of the noblest order. But what shall we say to the 
drone, whom society is eager to "shake from her encum 
bered lap ?" who lounges from place to place, and spends 
more time in " Adonizing" his person, even in a morning, 
than would serve to earn his breakfast? who is curious in 
his living, a connoisseur in wines, fastidious in his cookery; 
but who never knew the luxury of earning a single meal? 
Such a creature, "sponging" from house to house, and al 
ways oh the borrow, may yet be found in Virginia. One 
more generation will, I trust, put an end to them; and 


their posterity, if they have any, must work or steal, di 

Men are like nations. One founds a family, the other an 
empire both destined, sooner or later, to decay. This is the 
way in which ability manifests itself. They who belong to 
a higher order, like Newton, and Milton, and Shakspeare, 
leave an imperishable name. I have no quarrel with such 
as are content with their original obscurity, vegetate on from 
father to son; "whose ignoble blood has crept through clod- 
poles ever since the flood " but 1 cannot respect them. He 
who contentedly eats the bread of idleness and dependence is 
beneath contempt. I know not why I have run out at this 
rate. Perhaps it arises from a passage in your letter. I can 
not but think you are greatly deceived. I do not believe the 
world to be so little clear-sighted. 

What the < covert insinuations" against you, on your ar 
rival at Richmond, were, I am at a loss to divine. I never 
heard the slightest disparagement of your moral character; 
and I know nobody less obnoxious to such imputations. 

When you see the C s., present my best wishes and re 
membrance to them all. I had hoped to hear from Rich 
ard. He is one of the young men about Richmond, with 
whom it is safe to associate. Noscitur e Sorio is older than 
the days of Partridge; and he who is the companion of the 
thriftless, is sure never to thrive: tavern haunters and loun 
gers are no friends to intellectual, moral, or literary improve 
ment, any more than to the accumulation of wealth. 

1 have seen nobody that you know but Frank K. and Gen. 
S. The last asked particularly after you. That you may 
prosper in this life, and reach eternal happiness in the life to 
come, is my earnest prayer. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Remember me to F. G. and Mr. R. Is he to marry 
Mrs. B.? 




Washington, Jan. 17, 1822. 

YOUR letter of the day before yesterday, was brought in 
a few minutes ago, and I have read it over my coffee. I am 
afraid that (not expecting two letters in succession from me) 
you may have omitted to apply for my last in time to send 
the truss for Jemboy, by the post-man, to-morrow. 

I sincerely hope you will avoid, as far as possible, all in 
tercourse with the person referred to by both of us. His 
character long equivocal has, at last, become openly infa 
mous. He has been reduced in his circumstances, not by 
mere negative qualities, or a false, but more pardonable hu 
manity to his slaves, for he was a notoriously hard master, 
and made great crops, but by want of moral principle; and 
he has exhibited, not merely an utter destitution of common 
honesty, but, in the most sacred relations of life, a profligacy 
and flagitiousness of character, that render his company dis 
creditable to any that keep it. I have carefully shunned all 
intercourse with him for years. I was long before shy, not 
withstanding his professions, &c. &c. Noscitur e sorio. 
**Tell me your company, and I will tell you what you are." 
But there is another description of persons, of far inferior 
turpitude, against all connexion with whom, of whatsoever 
degree, I would seriously warn you. This consists of men 
of broken fortunes, and all who are loose on the subject of 
pecuniary engagements. Time was, when I was fool enough 
to believe that a man might be negligent of such obligations, 
and yet a very good fellow, &c.: but long experience has 
convinced me that he who is lax in this respect is utterly un 
worthy of trust in any other. He might do an occasional act 
of kindness, (or what is falsely called generosity,) when it lay 
in his way, and so may a prostitute, or a highwayman; but 
he would plunge his nearest friends and dearest connexions, 


the wife of his bosom, and the children of his loins, into mi 
sery and want, rather than forego the momentary gratifica 
tion of appetite, vanity, or laziness. I have come to this con 
clusion slowly and painfully, but certainly. Of the Shylocks, 
and the smoolh-visaged men of the world, I think as I believe 
you do. Certainly, if I were to seek for the hardest of hearts, 
the most obdurate, unrelenting, and cruel, I should find them 
among the most selfish of mankind. And who are the most 
selfish? The usurer, the courtier, and, above all, the spend 

If I press this subject, it is because (you will pardon me) 
I have observed in you, upon it, a sort of perversion of the 
intellectual faculty; an apparent absence to what is passing 
in the world around you, and an ignorance of the events and 
characters of the day, that has caused in me I know not whe 
ther most of surprise or vexation. My terms are strong, 
and such as you are in no danger of hearing from the sort of 
people I speak of; unless, indeed, you should happen to owe 
them money which it is not convenient to pay. Try them 
once as creditors, and you will find that even the Shylocks, 
we wot of, are not harder. Indeed, their situation enables 
them to give the victim a sort of respite, which the others 
cannot grant. 

Ned R. writes that Mrs. R., of Obslo, cannot yet bear to 
see him, and he knows not what to do. Poor lady ! if she 
had had a religious education, it would not have been so. 
He also says, that Barksdale was soused in Skinny Creek, 
on his way from Petersburg, and had nearly perished from 

I am sorry for C s. and Harry T s. mishap and loss. Has 
Dr. B. left Richmond? Remember me to him, &c, I need 
not specify. 

God bless you ! 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I am always glad to hear from Amelia, because I have re- 


ceived kindness there: but those people dislike business, love 
amusement; and the issue need not be foretold. 


Monday Morning, Jan. 21, 1822, 

I HAVE just received your letter of Saturday, which I 
read with much pleasure; although I cannot think you are 
right in giving up exercise altogether. You know my opi 
nion of female society. Without it we should degenerate 
into brutes. This observation applies with tenfold force ta 
young men, and those who are in the prime of manhood. 
For, after a certain time of life, the literary man may make 
a shift (a poor one, I grant) to do without the society of la 
dies. To a young man nothing is so important as a spirit of 
devotion (next to his Creator) to some virtuous and amiable 
woman, whose image may occupy his heart, and guard it 
from the pollution which besets it on all sides. Neverthe 
less, I trust that your fondness for the company of ladies 
may not rob you of the time which ought to be devoted to 
reading and meditating on your profession; and, above all, 
that it may not acquire for you the reputation of Dangler 
in itself bordering on the contemptible, and seriously detri 
mental to your professional character. A cautious old 
Squaretoes, who might have no objection to employing such 
a one at the bar, would, perhaps, be shy of introducing him 
as a practitioner in his family, in case he should have a pret 
ty daughter, or niece, or sister; although all experience shows 
that, of all male animals, the Dangler is the most harmless 
to the ladies, who quickly learn, with the intuitive sagacity 
of the sex, to make a convenience of him, while he serves 
for a butt, also. 


The person you first refer to, always " appeared, indeed, 
very much my friend; 1 but it was appearance only. When 
you shall have observed as much upon the world as I have 
done, you will know that such characters are as incapable of 
friendship, or even of conceiving its idea, as poor St. George 
is of playing on the flute, or comprehending what is meant 
by the word music. I wonder his attempts on my purse 
never once succeeded. 

I have a letter from Ryland: he is much pleased with his 
new position, and is, I trust, doing well. Of the "forbid 
den fruit," I say, taste not, touch not, handle not the thing. 

God speed you. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


I receive letters from E., which I believe I must get you 
to answer for me. 


Tuesday, Jan. 22, 1822. 

WHO bought the within named stock of horses and 
asses, and at what prices? also, the wine, and at what price? 
If I had seen the advertisement in time, I would have pur 
chased a few dozen; but the sale was over before I saw it. 

What think you of my correction of the within? Show 
it to E., and ask her opinion; also, if she has read Don Quix- 
otte and Gil Bias, yet I presume, the latter, of course: but, 
of the first, she ought to procure Jarvis s translation. 

Have you suffered your French to slip through your me 
mory? I hope no, but I fear yes; and Latin, too. Rely 
upon it they are better than the " insipids " you talk of, or 


the " forbidden fruit/ which can only make your mouth 

Little R. was well on the 27th of December, and doing 
well. He writes from Washington, Mississippi, on that 

" After my return from Virginia, I settled in this place, 
where I am permanently fixed. My present situation 
pleases me much more than my former one. I have every 
reason to believe that, in a few years, I shall procure a com 
fortable independence, until which time I shall not think of 
returning to Virginia. Indeed, the society in this neighbour 
hood is so much better than in any other part of the south 
ern country, that I am almost reconciled to an absence from 

Good morning. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 



Friday, Jan. 25, 1822. 

YOUR letter of the 23d, is just now received, and I am gra 
tified at once more getting my horse; or, rather, at the pros 
pect of getting him. You say nothing of his condition 
shoes, &c. 1 am afraid you were too much in a hurry about 
him; because you know it will take Johnny two days, in the 
stage, to get to Frederickburg. Let me request you to men 
tion his plight, when you received him. 

Is it not, in a great measure, (if not altogether,) your own 
fault, that you are without valuable standard medical authors? 
Do you remember my asking you for a list of such books, 
that I might traRsmit it to London? It would but have di 
minished the balance due me by those swindlers, T. & M. 


I should suppose, however, that the Richmond library would 
afford you some good reading. What has become of your 
Latin and French? the last, especially. 

Last night, I had the pleasure to hear Mrs. F. (whose con 
cert I attended on Tuesday evening) sing, in a private party, 
at Mrs. O s. apartments, at Georgetown. I say Mrs. 0., al 
though my invitation to dinner was from the husband and, 
for the evening, from the daughter. She sang " There s nae 
Luck aboot the House," and some other simple airs, very plea 
singly; (although I have heard them, frequently, better sung;) 
but I found she could not accompany herself on the piano, be 
ing out of time, and playing, sometimes, false notes. Never 
theless, we had a very pleasant party; and, at half past ten, I 
mounted Wildfire, and alone, (Witch being lame for life, I 
fear,) came home like a flash of lightning. She is very scary, 
(the word is not English, and I have no time to seek, in my 
mind, for a better,) and, at the sight of a carriage, rattling over 
the frozen road, with two glaring lamps in front, meeting her, 
put all my horsemanship in requisition. The cold was, and 
is, intense. 

Tell Dr. B. I have got his letter of the 23d, but am deep 
with T., on the bankrupt bill, and cannot write by this 

Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

A very skilful physician, who has studied my constitution, 
going on three years, says there is no salvation for me but 
removal to another climate, and a particular course, which he 
has prescribed. 



Washington, Sunday Morning, 
January 27, 1822. 

YOUR letter of the 25th has just now come in, with my cof 
fee, and I find it more exhilarating than even that refreshing be 
verage; although I am now taking a long (possibly, a final) 
farewell of it. My disease has gained upon me so rapidly, 
that I have just despatched a note to my good friend, Frank 
K., requesting a daily supply of new milk from Mrs. K s. 
dairy. To it and crackers (bis cuites) I shall confine myself 
strictly, for at least six weeks; unless I find, at the end of one- 
third of that term, that animal food, of a solid kind, is indis 
pensable to me. 1 have used no other bread besides crack 
ers, (Jamieson s,) heated over again, for some time. My 
breakfast is two of these, and as many cups of coffee; but not 
like old E s. At dinner, I take the lean of roast mutton, or 
the breast of a turkey or pheasant, (without gravy,) and rice; 
abstaining from salted and smoke-dried meats and vegetables. 
My drink is toast and water, made by boiling the latter, and 
pouring it on highly toasted bread so that it acquires the co 
lour of Cogniac brandy. I had, until the day before yester 
day, indulged in a few glasses of genuine Madeira; shunning 
all other liquors, whatsoever; but now I have given up 
that indulgence: for my experience in 1817, proved the hurt 
ful effects of stimuli, in any shape; and I now labour under 
the same form of disease. I have taken, once or twice, one 
grain of calomel, at night, and, frequently, magnesia and rhu 
barb. I have also used alkalies, in the form of salt of tartar 
and potashes: the latter having been recommended to me; 
although I cannot see in what it can differ from the other. 
Yesterday, I dined out with the speaker. I would not have 
gone for any other " dignitary " here. I made Johnny carry 
my clolh shoes, and a bottle of toast and water. The colour 
deceived the company, except one or two near me, whom I 


was obliged to let into the secret, to preserve my monopoly. 
Notwithstanding all this, I am persuaded that I was the live 
liest man in the whole company; and, like Falstaff, was not 
only merry myself, but the cause of mirth in others. Mr. Se 
cretary C., I think, will remember, for some time, some of 
my rejoinders to him, half joke and three parts earnest, (as 
Paddy says,) on the subject of the constitutional powers of 
Congress, and some other matters of minor note although 
he tried to turn them off with great good humour. To say 
the truth, I have a sneaking liking for C., for " by-gone s " 
sake; and if he had let alone being a great man, should have 
" liked him hugely," as Squire Western hath it. 

I had the pleasure to pass a very pleasant evening in George 
town, at B s., (plim C s.,) on Thursday last. I dined with 
Mr. and Mrs. 0., and Mr. K., of New York. After dinner, 
Miss 0. had a small party of about half a dozen, exclusively 
of Mrs. F., who sang for us some Scotch airs, in a very 
pleasing style. Among others, she sang " There s nae Luck 
aboot the House " very well, and " Auld Lang Syne. " When 
she came to the lines 

; We twa ha e paidlet in the burn, 
Frae morning sun till dine," 

I cast my mind s eye around for such a " trusty feese," and 
could light only on T., (who, God be praised! is here,) and 
you may judge how we meet. During the time that Dr. B. 
was at Walker M s. school, (from the spring of 1784, to the 
end of 1785,) I was in Bermuda; and (although he was well 
acquainted with both my brothers) our acquaintance did not be 
gin until nearly twenty years afterwards. Do you know that I 
am childish enough to regret this very sensibly? for, although 
I cannot detract from the esteem or regard in which I hold him, 
nor lessen the value I set upon his friendship, yet, had I known 
him then, I think I should enjoy " Auld Lang Syne" more, 
when I hear it sung, or hum it to myself, as I often do. 

You may remember how bitter cold it was on Thursday. 
The change took place about midnight of Tuesday. I slept 



the fore part of it with my window hoisted, and rose about 
two o clock on Wednesday morning, and shut it down. Well! 
I rode from Georgetown home, after ten o clock, without suf 
fering, in the least, from the cold, except a little in the fingers. 
This was neither owing to the warmth infused by Mr. O s. 
very fine old Madeira, nor by his daughters beauty and ac 
complishments; although either, I believe, would have kept 
up the excitement for a longer time than it took Wildfire " to 
glance" along "the Avenue." But, superadded to the in 
fluence of wine, and beauty, and music, and good company, I 
had a leathern "justicore," as old Edie would call it, (just a. 
au-corps,} under my waistcoat which I recommend to all 
who desire to guard against our piercing winds and cloth 
shoes over my boots. My horsemanship was, indeed, put 
into requisition, on meeting a rattling hackney coach, with 
lights, driving at a furious rate. It was where " the Avenue " 
is crossed by a gutter, and impeded by ice. Nevertheless, I 
did what Cambey * could not do with his wretched curb-bri 
dle and, as Simon t says, " I consequenced her with a S7iap- 
per." My disease, which had been very troublesome for 
some days, and particularly that morning, and which I had 
checked, " for the nonce," with absorbents, recurred, with ten 
fold violence, in the night. My apartment is tinwholesome- 
ly warm, in spite of all I can safely do to ventilate it. I rise 
before day, make up my fire, and, at clay light, raise my win 
dows, (unless the " weather " drives in,) however cold it may 
be. The stage-coach men return my salute every morning, 
and I find the air quite " caller " and refreshing. 

I have just got a letter from G., in Frederickburg, to whom 
I wrote, immediately on the receipt of your penultimate. It 
is dated yesterday, (the 26th.) He writes, " Your horse was, 
agreeably to your expectations, delivered here on yesterday," 
(which "on," prefixed to " yesterday," is a wretched barba 
rism, of modern date. In poetry, I have seen " on yester 
night; but the day was never put upon stilts, even in blank 

* His overseer. | His groom. 


verse.) " I had anticipated your wishes as to having him well 
shod; the shoes on him being very much worn, and one of 
them broken. He is in pretty good condition, and, I pro 
mise you, shall not be worsted by remaining in my stable," &c. 

If you can, conveniently, send me the prices of the live 
stock, (a list of which I enclose you,) purchased by " Mr. 
L.," I will thank you. Return the list, or get a copy of it. 

If the carriage be actually described by J. H. [" as good as 
new, having been used only two or three times,"] and is not 
too heavy fora pair of horses, I will buy it, if it can be had on 
a reasonable profit to the coach maker who bought it. Dr. B. 
will, I am sure, be good enough to look at it with you, and 
give me his opinion about it. I want one, sur le champ, 
sooner than 1 can have it made, and I am on the purchase of 
a pair of boys, to replace poor old Sterling and his mate 
Steady. Spot, I fear, is irreparably ruined, by a disease, which, 
when of the worst type, is as incurable as the glanders, or farey. 
I succeeded, you may remember, with poor old Rosetta, but 
she always carried a stiff neck; but that case was treated " se- 
cundum artem," and not in the stupid, sottish style of our 
soi-distant farriers. 

Show this long tirade of egotism to the doctor, and tell him 
that I suspect every hack attorney in the house is to " let off" 
a speech on the bankrupt bill; although, from the tenor of the 
conversation, yesterday, at the speaker s table, I thank Hea 
ven, my hopes of its defeat are greatly strengthened. 

I pray you, take to Latin and French. If I were you, I 
would learn Italian and Spanish. As I am not you, but my 
self, I have begun the latter tongue at a more advanced age, 
than that at which the elder Cato acquired Greek. 

My love to E. You may give her yours too, if you can 
prevail upon her to accept it. She is not "forbidden fruit." 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 

I am proud of Mrs. L s. remembrance and notice. Tell 
her so, if you please, and mention me to the C s., &c. &c., as 
you know how I wish to be named to them. 


I trust Mrs. B. is not on the road this dreadful day. My 
best devoirs to her. I sincerely congratulate the doctor on 
the termination of his widowhood, and you and all her friends 
on her restoration to the society, of which she constitutes the 
" cynosure. " 


Friday Morning, Feb. 1, 1822. 

OUR old acquaintance Roanoke made his appearance 
yesterday evening low in flesh, and otherwise much out of 
condition. The change in him, since I left Richmond, is 
considerably for the worse so that my charge to the young 
man seems to have been (as I surmised it would be) com 
pletely thrown away. He (Roanoke) left Frederickburg on 
Monday, being rode by a Mr. L. (a very decent sort of a 
man) on that day, as far as Dumfries, where he (L.) had left 
his own horse. He led him from thence here, (as he told 
me, and from his age and appearance I have no doubt of it;) 
but, in consequence of the rain the day before yesterday, he 
remained all that day in Alexandria. Gray, at Frederick- 
burg, was good enough to have him well shod for me. 

Tell E. that I was so near losing the mail the last time I 
wrote to her, that, among other words, I forgot to note ex 
traordinary, (which Walker pronounces extrordinary , and 
well bred and well educated old-fashioned gentlemen, extra- 
er n ry, but) which our people that want tp show their spell 
ing, call extray ordinary. We do so emphasise, and syllabise, 
and vociferate, that I am persuaded no well-bred man of the 
last generation could hardly understand one of our modern 
great men. If he did, it would be a punishment to him to 


listen. But my eyes ask a holiday. I do not hear from 
you. Bon jour. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke? 

Southern mail due at 3 o clock, A. M. Yesterday got in 
at 7 o clock, P. M. Difference 16 hours in 120 miles! 


Saturday Morning, Feb. 22, 1822. 

I SYMPATHIZE in your distress. It is one of the painful 
circumstances incident to your profession but what avoca 
tion is free from them ? Instead of yielding to a morbid sen 
sibility, we must nerve ourselves up to do and to suffer all 
that duty calls for in other words, to do our duty in that 
station in life, " to which it has pleased God to call us." 
What, then, are we to expect from a generation that has been 
taught to cherish this not " fair defect " of our perverted na 
ture; to nourish and cultivate, as " amiable and attractive," 
what, at the bottom, is neither more nor less than the grossest 
selfishness, a little disguised under the romantic epithet of 
" sensibility!" This cant (worse than that of "criticism ") 
has been fashionable since the days of Sterne, a hard-hearted, 
unprincipled man; a cassocked libertine and "free thinker;" 
who introduced it. Heaven be praised! it is now on the de 
cline; and, in a little time, we may consider it, I hope, as en 
tirely passee. Sheridan, himself, a bad principled man, gave 
it a home blow, in the form of " sentiment!" in his very wit 
ty, but immoral comedy. 

Yesterday, (or "on yesterday," as "it is said" here,) I 
dined out; and, although I carried (or, rather, Johnny did) 
my bottles of toast and water, and milk, I was tortured with 


indigestion. My night has been a most wretched one, and 
all my former symptoms seem aggravated. I will, however, 
persevere throughout this month, at least. Indeed, I feel no 
great difficulty in abstaining none at all, from wine, and all 
fermented and distilled liquors. The odour of a fine fat can 
vass-back sometimes tries my self-denial. Every other strong 
drink but wine, is now absolutely distasteful to me, and 1 
have no great propensity to that. Nature s indications ought, 
I am persuaded, to be oftener attended to. Dr. B s. opinion 
of my case was verified yesterday. Mr. Speaker B. , with the 
best intentions in the world, set off wrong foot foremost, and, 
unlike some other hags, could not change his feet in a long 
and very slow heat for he made, as his brother Jemmy would 
say, three " consecutive " decisions, each surpassing the other 
in error, and forming a perfect climax of absurdity. As the 
" southern speaker," I would not appeal from the first (T s. 
of New York, motion to amend R s., by striking out 42 and 
inserting 47.) This, finally, was disposed of by R., who 
withdrew his motion. Then came another, " That after the 
question was propounded by the chair, and before the clerk 
had called, or the member at the head of the column had an 
swered, debate was precluded!" in the teeth of common 
sense, of his own interrogatory, always made, (" if the house 
be ready for the question ? the clerk will proceed to call,") 
and of the invariable practice of the body, from the time of 
Its organization. Out of this, however, he was extricated by 
the representation of some of his friends, in deference to 
whose longer experience, he waived his own judgment but 
that S. of W., after the debate had gone on, made the point 
anew; because it answered his purpose, and he was entirely 
reckless of the speaker s feelings and situation. Insinuations 
were thrown out, too, by some, " of his too great pliability to 
what they termed side-bar counsel;" (the Dowlings cannot 
sink the pettifogger:) perhaps, too, S. of W., seeing our reluc 
tance to appeal, thought we should submit in silence. Be that 
as it may, the speaker reaffirmed his former opinion, and an 
appeal was taken, by M., of Vermont, and E., of North Ca- 


rolina, and the decision reversed by more than two to one. 
It was to bolster up this opinion, that e, extra-judicially, 
made another decision, the counterpart to Vs. famous inter 
pretation of the sense of the previous question, where now 
meant any indefinite future time, and on which I not only 
obtained the laugh upon him, but he could find but eight or 
ten to support him, in a very full house.* I likeB., because 
he is a friend to the strict construction of the constitution; 
and I wanted to adjourn, for his sake which, at last, we car 
ried, about dark, (re infecta,} and he was released from his 
embarrassments. This long sitting in the air operated on my 
stomach as nauseating doses of antimonials would have done, 
and I felt as if I were about to be " abolished, quite." At the 
close of the day, your letter arrived. The southern mails are 
now very irregular. Even the northern is not always punc 
tual. There is a fine road now from this place to Baltimore, 
but they have let the bridge, over the Patuxent, get out of 
repair, as it is seldom past fording, and the ice has, on one 
occasion, stopped the coach. 

Tell E. that among some Yankee names, in a late Boston 
paper, I came across "Miss Sybil Dow, married to Mr. Cy 
rus Bump." Pray keep this name "for use," as Mrs. G. 
hath it. 

Show this letter to Dr. B., and to no one else. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


If Wm. L. comes to Richmond, let me know immediately 
on his arrival. 

" My Lord Chancellor Bacon is lately dead, of a long and 
languishing weakness. He died so poor that he scarce left 
money to bury him, which, though he had a great wit, did 
argue no great wisdom it being one of the properties of a 

* The same members, however, provoked by G s. folly, and want of de- 
cency, reversed their own decision, before the end of the session. 


great man to provide for the main chance. I had read that 
it had been the fortune of all poets, commonly, to die beg 
gars; but for an orator, a lawyer, and philosopher, as he was, 
to die so, it is rare." Epist. Ho-Eliance Familiar letters, 
by James Howell. 

If Bacon s wonderful endowments could not cover his pro 
digality and carelessness of money, (and the corruption which 
grew out of that culpable negligence,) what shall we say to 
them that possess nothing of his genius or acquirements ? 


Monday Morning, Feb. 4, 1822. 
Five o clock. 

I HAVE been up since half past one. Yesterday I dined 
by accident with Mr. K. at the Union in Georgetown, and 
though I had toast and water, I missed my milk. I drank, 
too, at the earnest recommendation of some of the party, 
some old Port wine,* which has done me no good. My 
dinner was the lean of a very fine haunch of venison, with 
out any gravy, and a little rice. Since it began to rain 
(about an hour ago) I have felt as restless as a leech in a 
weather glass, and so I sit down to write to you. On Satur 
day I had a narrow escape from a most painful death. Wild 
fire dashed off with me on the avenue, alarmed at a tattered 
wagon-cover, shivering in the wind, and would have dashed 
us both to pieces against an Italian poplar; but when she was 
running full butt against it, and not a length off, by a violent 
exertion of the left heel and right hand I bore her off. There 
was not the thickness of the half quire of paper on which I 

* For my complaint. 


am writing between my body and the tree. Had I worn a 
great-coat, or cloth boots, I must have touched perhaps 
been dragged off by them: and had I been without spurs, I 
must have lost my life; for the centre of her forehead and 
that of the body of the tree, nearly, or quite two feet in di 
ameter, were approaching to contact. You know my great 
liking for this exotic, which our tasteless people have stuck 
every where about them. I shall, hereafter, dislike it more 
than ever. In the course of my life I have encountered 
some risks, but nothing like this. My heart was in my 
mouth for a moment, and I felt the strongest convictions of 
my utter demerit in the sight of God, and my heart gushed 
out in thankfulness for his signal and providential preserva 
tion. What, thought I, would have been my condition had 
I then died. " As the tree falls, so it must lie." And I had 
been but a short time before saying to a man, who tried to 
cheat me, some very hard and bitter things. It was a poor 
auctioneer, who had books on private sale. He attempted to 
impose upon me in respect to some classical books of which 
he was entirely ignorant, and I exposed his ignorance to the 
people in the shop, many of whom were members of Con 
gress, and no better informed than him. The danger that I 
escaped was no injury to the speech which I made out of 
breath, on finding, when I reached the house, that there was 
a call for the previous question. So true is it, that of all 
motives, religious feeling is the most powerful. 

I am reading, for the second time, an admirable novel 
called " Marriage." It is commended by the great unknown 
in his "Legend of Montrose." I wish you would read it. 
Perhaps it might serve to palliate some of your romantic 
notions (for I despair of a cure) on the subject of love and 
marriage. A man who marries a woman that he does not 
esteem and treat kindly, is a villain: but marriage was made 
for man; and if the woman be good-tempered, healthy, (a 
qualification scarcely thought of now-a-days, all-important 
as it is,) chaste, cleanly, economical, and not an absolute fool, 
she will make him a better wife than nine out of ten deserve 



to have. To be sure, if to these beauty and understanding 
be added, all the better. Neither would I quarrel with a 
good fortune, if it has produced no ill effect on the. possessor 
a rare case. 

I was in hopes you would not let Gr. carry off E. from 
you. That you may soon possess her, or some other fair 
lady, is my earnest wish. The cock crows for day, I sup 
pose; but it is yet dark, and I wish you good morning. " It 
vanished at the crowing of the cock." Show this to Dr. B. 
Yours, truly, 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 


Your letter of the 2d is just received. I will not, never- 
theless, cancel this, which I must close to save the post. 


Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 1822. 

I HAVE seldom, if ever, received a letter from you that 
gratified me more than that of yesterday, which I had bare 
ly time to acknowledge in two lines of postscript. Your 
medical advice is very thankfully received, and will be fol 
lowed, (I shall first give the milk a fair trial,) so far as my 
own experience does not run counter to it. Your reluctance 
, hitherto towards giving it, has more than once been noted 
by me, and ascribed to its real cause. I have found, howe 
ver, a valuable counsellor in our kinsman, Dr. Hall, for such 
he is; his great grandfather, on the mother s side, being Ro 
bert Boiling, brother to Drury Boiling, my maternal great 
grandfather, from whom you are removed one generation far- 


ther; which Drury and Robert were sons of Robert B., (of 
the West Riding of York, Boiling Hall, near Bradford,) by 
his second wife, Miss Slith; (his first being the grand-daugh 
ter of Pocahontas, by whom he had one son, John, from 
whom, by his wife, Mary Kennon, my paternal grandmother 
sprang.) From this first marriage, descend the Boilings of 
Chesterfield and Buckingham, in the male line; and the 
Curies Randolphs, Flemings, Gays, Eldridges, and Murrays, 
in the female. 

As I have recommended " Marriage" to you, (the book, 
I mean,) this digression on genealogy, and, perhaps, some 
other coincidences, may remind you of the " very sensible 
Miss Jacky," and her agreeable sisters. You entirely mis 
take my mode of life: I am very rarely out of bed at nine, 
and when I exceed that hour, it is not at " evening parties." 
I have been at several, but rarely failed to be at home before 
nine. Last night I was seduced, by a book, to go beyond 
that hour, a little. Do you suppose (requiring so much rest 
as I do) that I could rise every morning before the dawn, if 
I sat (or, as the V. P. says, "so/," most "unhappily,") up 
late at night? The other day I dined at the French minis 
ter s. It was Saturday; "Mrs. De N s. night." At half 
past seven we joined the evening visiters, and at half past 
eight I was snug in bed. To be sure, I was politely re 
proached, as I was going away, by the Count de Menou, (se 
cretary of the legation,) whom I met on the staircase, and 
since by his principal, for going away so early; but my plea 
of weak health satisfied their jealousy. This is felt, and 
shown, too, by all here, in the highest ranks of fashion. The 
De N s., however, are good people. Madame is charity it 
self. The poor will miss her when she goes away. One of 
her sayings deserves to be written in letters of gold: " When 
the rich are sick, they ought to be starved; but when the 
poor are sick, they should be well fed." This is no bad me 
dical precept. 

I cannot "go" the "Cogniac." I had rather die, than 
drink, habitually, brandy and water. Look around you, and 


see its ravages. Thank God, it does not possess any allure 
ment for me. I have sometimes been the better for a little 
brandy toddy, but I have not tasted spirits for six weeks,* or 
more; and never shall again, but as medicine. Genuine Ma 
deira is the only thing, except good water, that I can drink 
with pleasure, or impunity: not always with the last; some 
times with neither. It was the pearl ashes that I was advised 
to use by Mr. Golden. It is, I believe, a refined potash. I 
knew its caustic quality, which the salt of tartar also pos 
sesses in a less degree. I substitute a weak solution of it 
(salt of tartar) for the charcoal powder, in cleaning my teeth. 
The pearl ashes I gave up at first trial. 

Rely upon it, that to love a woman as "a mistress," al 
though a delicious delirium, an intoxication far surpassing 
that of Champagne, is altogether unessential, nay, perni 
cious, in the choice of a wife; which a man ought to set 
about in his sober senses choosing her, as Mrs. Primrose 
did her wedding-gown, for qualities that " wear well." I 
am well persuaded, that few love-matches are happy ones. 
One thing, at least, is true, that if matrimony has its cares, 
celibacy has no pleasures. A Newton, or a mere scholar, 
may find employment in study: a man of literary taste can 
receive in books a powerful auxiliary; but a man must have 
a bosom friend, and children around him, to cherish and sup 
port the dreariness of old age. Do you remember A. V.? 
He could neither read nor think; any wife, even a scolding 
one, would have been a blessing to that poor man. After all, 
"suitability" is the true foundation for marriage. If the 
parties be suited to one another, in age, situation in life, (a 
man, indeed, may descend, where all else is fitting,) temper, 
and constitution, these are the ingredients of a happy mar 
riage or, at least, a convenient one which is all that peo 
ple of experience expect. I will not quote Rochefoucault, 
or S. Johnson, in support of this; and yet I cannot refrain 

* I have not used half a pint, since I cannot tell when six months, at 


from referring you to five lines of the latter, which the au 
thor has placed in the title page of "Marriage." 

If my life were to go over again, I should make a very 
different sort of thing of it, from what it is. Community of 
tastes and pursuits, very often vicious ones, are the founda 
tion of most youthful friendships. I was most fortunate in 
two Rutledge and Bryan. As for Banister, he was as a 
brother, from infancy; I could not go amiss in him. One 
great mistake that young people commit, is associating with 
persons of their own age, &c., but greatly above them in 
point of fortune. One young man can, perhaps, afford to 
spend a thousand dollars, where one hundred would embar 
rass the finances of his companion. This last must sink into 
a led captain, a boon companion, or sot; or, perhaps, com 
mit forgery, or breach of trust, to keep way with the rest. 
Archer said to me last night, "When a young man conducts 
himself so as to be forced to borrow from his companions, 
his independence and self-respect are gone." It is true. 

At last, a letter from Barksdale. It came with John 
son s, about five minutes ago. He writes "There is a 
general movement in the neighbourhood: Everard Meade 
goes to the Falls of the Black Warrior; Banister, after wa 
vering some time, between Norfolk and Winchester, has, 
at length, decided in favour of Petersburg; and the Eg- 
glestons and Archers, some to Kentucky and others to 
Florida." He, too, is about to sell out, and remove. He 
dates, the 1st of February. Mrs. R., of Obslo, is not now 
despaired of. By this time, if not before, you must be heart 
ily tired. Roanoke begins to look alive. In a month, or 
two, he may be fit to ride. When I " lent " him, he was 
seal fat, and in the highest condition. The little mare, (in 
like order,) had just been used up by the same person. 

JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




Monday, Feb. 11, 1822. 

THE southern mail is late to-day: it is half past two, and 
your letter, enclosed herein, is just "received. I must re 
quest that my last to you be not put out of your possession. 
So much of it as is extracted from that to Mrs. Crocket, 
which I declined to send, you can extract and send her, but 
no more. It is marked, I think, with inverted commas. Or, 
if you enclose it to me, I will make the proper extract, and 
send it to you, together with the letter itself I mean mine 
to you. 

That to which I referred, as having been written on the 
same morning, I have recovered, and retain. 

I am very sorry to learn that E. is so seriously indisposed. 
I fear she will go the way of her poor sister. My love to 
her, when you see her. I am myself worn down, and have 
suffered unutterably during the last twenty hours. Adieu! 
JOHN RANDOLPH, of Roanoke. 




57, fine 3, for "shortening," read shooting. 
73, rt 7, for "flash," read flask. 
79, " 23, for " Staunton," read Stenton. 
81, " 11, from bottom, for" tente," read knit. 
109, " 6, for "cases," read cares. 
190, " 11, for "Torbisond," read Trebisond. 


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