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Smithfield Preston Foundation

Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002

January 10, 1784 -- letter from Eliza Preston Madison to her sister Sarah Preston [McDowell]

Stafford Jany. 10 1784

My ever dear Sister,

It would be useless to attempt an apology for my not writing to you since we passed, for I freely confess I have most shamfully violated my promise by the neglect, but as you are very much subject to the same error, I hope you�ll look over it, particularly when I declare it did not proceed from a forgetfullness of you, or the want of affection to stimulate me to it- but generally from other and more distressfull concerns; for ---- a month after my arrival at this place, untill sometime in Oct. I was allmost a continual attendant on the sick bed of my daughter, & they had scarcely got able to walk about when I was taken ill, with the belious fever which continued three weeks- These circumstances being so destressing to myself, I found no pleasure in communicating them to my relations, and therefore determined to be silent untill I could see them, or find more pleasant subjects to write on, then any I had met with here- & as soon as I should be able to travel to my and return home, but even in that determination I was baffled, a variety of circumstances having intervened to disappoint me; but the most forcible was my poor Susans health, which appeared daily to decline, and she seemed to be threatened with every symptom of her Family Complaint indeed her situation was so alarming that it quit forbid the idea of leaving her untill I could precieve a change for the better or prevail on ------ ---- to let her return with me in the spring- & although I have made many sacrifices by it yet I hope it will terminate for the best, as I should have been very wretched from her, & I now have the happiness to inform you that for more than a month past she has been entirely clear of the cough and violent pain in her breast, which so much afflicted her- and I am in great hopes now that with care and my attention she may get the better of it- should she mend as she has done lately, I will avail myself of the oppr. of returning by Richmond & going home with my brother when the asssembly rises- & If possible prevail on then returning by Rockbercoge- I am exceedingly uneasy about my dear Mother since I have been informed of ----- intention to remain in Kentucky this winter, her lonely situation is forever before me, & ---- her being attacked with one of her violent sick spells, which she so subject to, & I fear may be agrevated by the absence of all her Children- I sincerely wish you could visit her this winter, perhaps your Company will never be more necessary, for I do not recollect that ---- ever so dishilute before- though I h--- believe that Nancy Preston will do everything in her power to render her time comfortable- I was much surprised and delighted at Thomas�s unexspected visit here- he is highly pleased with Kentucky and now resolved to finnish his Studies before he returns to the back Country- My Agatha is now in fine health, and my Grandson is equal in size of beauty to any in my family, he is brother Wms. espress emblem in every feature- I do not know how I should part with him- Agatha joins with me in love to my dear Ms. Mde. & all our precious family- & particularly mention me to my beloved Susan who you must let go home with me if she is not at school. Adieu my best beloved Sister and believe to be Yours

Eliza Madison

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URL: http://spec .lib.vt.edu/mss/spf/letters/Jan10,1784.htm
Last Modified on: Thursday, 29-Oct-2009 09:25:32 EDT