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To: Mrs. Thomas Eston Randolph
Norfolk, Virgina
[from Harriet to sister Lucy Beverly]

Leon County, Sep. 6, 1829

We had no letter from home last week; how
did that happen my dear Lucy? I know you are very, very busy but
you must spare time to write by every mail. I cannot feel any-
thing like tranquility of mind when two weeks have passed without
bringing news of my hearts treasures. By this time I suppose
you are in New London, and anticipating at no great distance,
your journey to Norfolk, -- I shall however continue to direct
to Lynchburg, until I hear something positive of your move-
ments, for the new London office is so unsafe I do not like
to risk anything in it. We are all quite well her again.
The "epidemic" (Frances cannot endure I call so) has pass-
ed away, I hope forever. Goliah has not gone out to work yet
but he is strong enough to ride & will soon get about now I think
& all the rest are "groset gras" as heart could wish. I believe
I mentioned formerly, that our women hired for only $4 a month
in consequence of having each a child. even that however is
something besides saving their support. Some weeks ago, Agnes
sent me word, that little Agnes had been very ill with an im-
posthume on her throat, but she had "car'd her strait to Mr.
Campbell" & he had carried the child to a Doctor who lanced
the place. I was considerably shocked as well as diverted that Mr.
C. should be thus forced in to the service of our distressed damsels
& when we were in Tallahassee, I gave a strict charge to both
not to bore Mr. Campbell again, but if anything serious was
the matter to go to Dr. Willis - last week Agnes sent me
word that Nanny was very sick but on enquiry, I heard she
had been to Dr. W. to draw a tooth, so I hope it is only one of
her customary spells of the tooth ache. I forget (for I
have grown dreadfully absent) whether I told Mama that
we had cut the wagon cover to give Agnes a bed case. We
have taken off of it since, a shirt for Jordan who was literally
naked, & when Francis went last to magnolia I was obligated
to send for providence cloth for a habit a piece for Agnes & Nanny.
They wore out each a suit completely on the journey, & have been
so indecent lately & indeed in such absolute want, that I
did not think it right to carry my economy any farther.
Of course we are obliged to exercise our own discretion in these
matters as Mama is too far to be consulted, & the servants have
none to look to but us.

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Did you read that page my dear Lucy? I doubt it much, but
it was intended expressly for Mama's edification. I know she likes
to be told of all such matters. the 2nd of this month, Mr.
Howard & all the people went over to Ethelmere, & the corner
stone (there is not a stone in the territory by the way) of our
cabin was laid. The place is in a charming bustle now. Francis
goes morning and evening, & one or other of us, mounted
on Brimstone Bess, always accompanies him. We thought it
best to put up the kitchen first for the sake of affording
the people a shelter, & last night (Saturday) I hear it was
all roofed in You see, building is a brief business here. At
my request, Francis has just but up the kitchen & a double house;
thought Mama would like the wash house adjoining -
only the kitchen side will be finished at present - that is,
will have a door and chimney. The other must wait for more
leisure. When you come, the dwelling house & kitchen will
be complete & an acre fenced in for a garden. All other buildings
or improvements must wait for more leisure. Francis says
he will help to put up our school room before the first of Janry.
& the other outhouses also if possible; meantime - that is until
Papa come - he will continue to work our hands with his, and
return labour in building. He thinks this is the most advantageous
arrangement for papa, as our two men would be apt to do nothing
at all, if they were working alone at Ethelmere. Francis will have
done a great deal more, when all's done, than return the work
of our hands' - more than I like any one should do for us. but
it can't be helped, & we ought not to indulge ungracious feel-
ings about it I hope we shall live to repay all and more.
Our situation is a beautiful one I think; remarkably high and
dry, & giving the promise, from its appearance of being very heal-
thy. like most other persons in this neighborhood, we shall
be obliged to go to the expense of digging a well, as there is no
spring near; but I think this disadvantage more than compen-
sated by the superior dryness of the place. the well water too
is generally much the coolest. You have no idea, how much
pleasure & interest I take in this place. If it pleases God,
I hope we shall spend many tranquil & useful days there, and that it
will prove a peaceful haven to us after all our buffetings against
evil fortune. Am I too sanguine? I hope I am willing to leave
all in the hands of providence, but my interests in life are too keen I fear
for me ever to attain the degree of submission, which I so earnestly
desire. This want of a resigned spirit is I think almost my
greatest stumbling block in the path I would fain tread. but I will
not write of these things - my feelings, with respect to them, and
even my thoughts, are so different at different times, that I feel

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afraid to speak of what is justly the most interesting of all
I think Mary has improved &
unfolded, in mine and character, very remarkably in
the last six months. She will make a very rational, useful woman.
Arthur is doing well with Mr. Kane. He is at home today as usual
& desires his loves. He has never had a day's or an hour's sickness
since we left home. I believe I told you that I had promised
to take Mr. Same Parkhills little boys, as well as his daughter when
we open school. I think it will be an advantage to Eston, and
you must not object I will promise to make them obedient chil-
dren (notwithstanding their evil gender) both to you & myself.
I cannot tell you what a favorite Mr. Parkhill has become with
me. You must not think it is because I have heard of his say-
ing some pretty little compliments to my sweet self, that I have
discovered the gentleman's good qualities; setting aside all that
he is vey charming fellow, & I am delighted that we shall
have him so near a neighbor. The great pleasure he has ex-
pressed at this very circumstance is one of my reasons for liking
him. Perhaps you will think a better is his having offered, and
even pressed his services to assist - in putting up our house. this
in such a pushing man as he is, was real kindness. of course
we did not accept however ----- I shall be able
at last to have a school room after my own
plan, a thing I have always wished very
much, for there is a great deal in the shape
of a room, more than inexperienced persons dream
of. It will be an oblong & attached to the house
by a little covered way. I think I will have a
pulpit at one end for the purpose of delivering my lectures
with more convenience Professor Harriet!
but you will be here to give your vote in all these arrangements before
the room is built. I brought a very fine hydrangea and an
orange tree from Ramblers Rest, & (as soon as we get an enclo-
sure at Ethelmere) I mean to send up for a variety of slips
Mary Hackley promised me. Dr. Willis too, promised Elizabeth
and myself a choice collection of flowers and shrubs this fall.
I mean, in a year or two to have the most celebrated gar-
den in the country, talking of flowers reminded me that
there are no bees in this country, and I must therefore request you
to bring me out a cake of several pounds of yellow wax. I can bleach
it you know as I want it. Do not forget this pray - I have been
a good deal crippled with the rheumatism frequently this sum-
mer. Not much in my face, but a great deal in the back of the
neck and across the shoulders. Yesterday I could scarcely use my right
arm, & one knee (oh how vulgar) is habitually stiff & frequently
very painful. If we had remained in Virginia I really think
I should have been quite disabled this winter. Since the
rainy season left us the finest of the weather has realized
all we ever heard of the Florida climate. It is a pleasure simply
to breathe such an atmosphere.

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I long to hear whether James is at the Springs, and how
my dearest Mother is in this fine autumn weather. I am
also extremely anxious to know something more of Brother
Mann's movement. We confidently expect letters the day after to-
morrow. Shall we be disappointed? I have not received
one line from Emma Gilmer since we left home! Is this friend-
ship? However, I say nothing - it is not the first time in my
life I have given the gold, for a gilded toy…
Harriet H and Mary Ann Selden write kind affectionate letters, that
are a cordial to my heart. Be sure & get acquainted with Mary Ann
in Norfolk, & say for me to all my dear friends there, everything
that is tender and affectionate. Embrace my beloved mother for me
& give my best to Papa, & a kiss to Eston. Remember us to
all our friends in Lynchburg, for in spite of your malice, I think
we have some there. God bless you my dear girl. Ever with faith-
ful affection your own sister H.
If I say nothing more about it, bring out 6 copies of Woodbridges (little)
Geography, & six of Colburns first book.