Letter, 10 August 1837, from Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis, Alexandria County, to Mary Randolph Custis Lee, Old Point Comfort, discussing family and personal news. Contains a postscript by George Washington Parke Custis.
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Arlington August 10th 1837 You judged rightly my dear Child in thinking I should wish to write to you before I could receive your promised letter. I have dictated I cannot tell how many letters in the silent hours of night, as well as in the leisure which the comparative solitude of our house now gives. I will not attempt to tell you how I felt at your departure. I hastened to turn from my own loss to a contemplation of your happiness - United to the man of your choice you could I am sure with him find enjoyment in far less favorable circumstances than those in which you are now placed. A note from Frances received on Sunday morning gave me a most gratifying account of every thing at the Point. Her own health and Sonny's much improved. The society agreeable. Mrs Hale anxious to extend to you all the kindness she already feels for Robert. Perhaps I have only to fear that you will be too little affected by your absence from us. But I shall forgive you for that provided you return to us as much improved in health as we hope to see you, and on my part I promise to try to be as happy without you as I can. Mr & Mrs Gurley came over to see us bringing little William on Saturday. He is very [illegible] in consequence of Anns being very sick and consequently likely to loose her milk I am unable to take him to Ravensworth with me. The risk of weaning him at this season is so great and my own health so delicate that I was afraid to undertake the charge of him. I think Mrs Gurley will hardly be able to visit her mother although she is very anxious, and indeed it is time, but to take the child without a nurse, and to leave him unprovided with one will be alike dangerous. I was very sorry to be deprived of his company but I should have been so uneasy if he had been sick in her absence and so little able to undergo the fatigue attending weaning him that there was no alternative. On Sunday I was too much indisposed to attend church but I hope to hear [illegible] account of your Pastor tomorrow. Your Aunt Eleanor came home on the evening of your departure. She has been very well all this time but this air soon affected her and Mr Custis being quite sick we were for two days a complaining trio. but yesterday we all began to mend and I should probably have gone to Ravensworth this morning but Daniel was taken sick. Yesterday evening I rode to Mr Balls to execute yr commission. There was no one at home but Martha and Elisabeth so I did not get out, indeed the wet grass which must have been passed over to reach the house presented an obstacle. Mr Ball has purchased the tavern and Blacksmith's shop which the Burches formerly occupied, and placed one of his sons there, and there lives our pretty Mary. At such a place I could not call to see her, several red faced looking gentlemen [underlined] were in the porch as I passed. What a dwelling for an innocent