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Patrick Henry to Elizabeth Aylett, January 1, 1798
It is very long since we have heard from you but from the uncomon Healthiness of the late Season I trust you have escaped the too comon Attacks of Sickness to which your parts are subject. We have been blessed with an uncomon Share of Health the last Sum stil continue well—Your Sister Fontaine was here with West Dandridge & his Wife about Xmas. She returned home & the young people went to Hanover—Patrick & Johnny Christian went to Richmond 10 Days ago; & if Mr. [Payne] with whom they went, can find it convenient, perhaps they'll call on you—Dolly Winston is with us [&] has a fine Son—Sally & Kitty are just returned from Lynchburgh where there was a Ball on St. Johns D This is all the News of the Family I can thin[k] Aylett perhaps [may] think of other Matter[s] yr. Connexions, & to I refer you—
no Doubt of my Dear Bet[sey] to the D in the afflictive Stroke she [h]as felt since last Year. The same Good sense & piet[y] which have placed you so [high] in my Esteem, & that of your Acquaintance will I trust bear you up thro' Life—I do assure you, the comfort I feel fro[m] yr Character & Disposition, is very great. With Love [to] the Children—I am my Dear Child yr. ever Affte. Father
Patrick Henry National Memorial at Red Hill.
Elizabeth (Betsey) Aylett was Patrick Henry's fifth child and third daughter with his first wife Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth was born in Hanover County, Virginia on April 23, 1769, and she died on September 4, 1842 in King William County, Virginia, at the home of her daughter Sarah Shelton. Elizabeth married Philip Aylett on October 12, 1786, and together they had thirteen children, eleven of which Betsey would outlive. Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill (http://www.redhill.org/about/patrickhenry/patrick-henrys-family [accessed: 2016-05-30])