To Ann Cary, Thomas Jefferson, and Ellen Wayles Randolph Paris, March 2, 1802
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
-- I am very happy to find that two of you can write. I shall now expect that whenever it is inconvenient for your papa and mama to write, one of you will write on a piece of paper these words `all is well' and send it for me to the post office. I am happy too that Miss Ellen can now read so readily. If she will make haste and read through all the books I have given her, and will let me know when she is through them, I will go and carry her some more. I shall now see whether she wishes to see me as much as she says. I wish to see you all: and the more I perceive that you are all advancing in your learning and improving in good dispositions the more I shall love you, and the more every body will love you. It is a charming thing to be loved by every body: and the way to obtain it is, never to quarrel or be angry with any body and to tell a story. Do all the kind things you can to your companions, give them every thing rather than to yourself. Pity and help any thing you see in distress and learn your books and improve your minds. This will make every body fond of you, and desirous of doing it to you. Go on then my dear children, and, when we meet at Monticello, let me see who has improved most. I kiss this paper for each of you: it will therefore deliver the kisses to yourselves, and two over, which one of you must deliver to your Mama for me; and present my affectionate attachment to your papa. Yourselves love and Adieux.