A Collection Transcribed
by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
List of Letters
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Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, January 28, 1724
Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, January 28, 1724, reporting the activities of the captains of various vessels then in the colony, and of his plan to ship about 80 hogsheads of his own tobacco, and 30-40 more belonging to the Lloyd and Burwell estates on these ships. He thinks these ships will carry the last available stemmed tobacco to England before the law banning its importation goes into effect, and he reminds Perry of his promises that this tobacco would bring very good prices. He records a number of recent bills of exchange that the merchant should honor, and reminds him that the accounts he has sent do not include the £180 that has been awarded by the courts in Carter's suit against John Wise's executors. He requests that accounts current be sent regularly for his own and the Burwell estate's affaiirs.
Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry,
January 28, 1724
Mr. Micajh. Perry Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]
Janr 28th. 1723/4
Mr. Micajh. Perry -- --
This comes by the way of Liverpool If my Intelligence
is right, Posford is near Loaded, Keiling
is very forward in his business
next month I dare Say will conclude him, The Burwell
by the Start
he got in his Passage will finish in good time, Even Graves
Although they were three weeks after him talk of doing their business
by the 20th. of March, I reckon I shall get off fourscore hhds. in these
Ships for You, of my own Crops
there will be between 30 & 40 of the LL
& Mr. Burwells
Concern will be pretty large to You, these Ships I believe will take
off all the stemmed Tobacco
and now it will lie upon You to make good
Your promise in the large expectations You have given us, it is to be
doubted upon the coming home of these Ships, there will be a
t many Necessitas persons that will be forced to sell, but
You are able to Stand the Shock until they have spent their shot
& then certainly, this last Stock of stemmed Tobacco that we shall be
allowed to make, (an Inhumane Law it is. The most of the ( gentleme
of the Country
who have always been fair Traders & have constantly
paid to the King the full duties ) will turn to our considerable advan
=tage, fed with these hopes we have all done our Utmost to crowd
away all the stemmed Tobacco we possibly could, which have given these
ships so much dispatch, it is not our great Crops I do assure You
& so You will find in the Sequel
& myself have drawn upon you lately for fifty
pounds upon the Account of Mr. Burwell's
Estate, payable to Peter
Richeson being part of his Salary as he was the General Overseer.
Herein is a first bill of exchange
of Mr. Grymes's
on Your Self
for £28"5"-and Six Seconds, to Witt William Magdougal on William
Anderson £41"0"0 Colonel Spotswood
on Mr. John Cary £77"14"0
James Mackine on H. McCaul £3"6"0 Henry Fitzhigh
on Arthur Lee
£24"18"6. John Sharpe Junior on John Sharp of White Haven £4"0"0
& Robert Carter on Your Self £15"0"0. Amounting to One
hundred & Sixty five pound Eighteen shillings & Six pence -- --
tells me there was awarded to me upon the
Arbitration with Wise's
executors One hundred & Eighty pounds, Your
last Account Current gives me no Credit for this Money, I desire You
will always continue that Laudable Custom of sending Your
Account Currts. Yearly. I love to be kept in View of the Measure of my
Circumstances, An Account Current
of Mr. Burwell's affairs is likewise
desired by -- --
Sir, Your most humble Servant
Source copy consulted:
Robert Carter Letter Book, 1723 July 4-1724 June 11, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.
Robert Carter generally used a return address of "Rappahannock" for the river on which he lived rather than "Corotoman," the name of his home, on his correspondence, especially to merchants abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on the draft.
At the head of the draft letter, where the clerk has written the names of the ships on which copies of the letter were to be sent, "Keiling" was substituted for "Woodward" which was struck. The software will not allow a strike-through code at this point.
 Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty.
( Survey Report 6800, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
 This vessel was commanded by Captain Constantine Cant and may have been owned by William Dawkins and Micajah Perry as Carter reported her December 1723 arrival to each of them. ( Adm. 68/194-195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Adam Graves was a son of Captain Thomas Graves [d. ante
1720], long a captain of vessels trading to Virginia, and a special friend of Robert Carter's. Adam Graves commanded the Bailey
in 1725-1727, a ship that belonged to London merchant William Dawkins. ( Survey Report 6800, and Adm. 68/194-196 found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
 Captain Peter Wills commanded the Booth
in 1723 and the Amity
in 1727. ( Survey Report 6800, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Parliament had passed an act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. John Randolph would be sent to England in 1729 as agent for Virginia to try to have the act overturned; his mission would be successful. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era.
[Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953], 116.
 A bill of exchange is a kind of check or promissory note without interest. It is used primarily in international trade, and is a written order by one person to pay another a specific sum on a specific date sometime in the future. If the bill of exchange is drawn on a bank, it is called a bank draft. If it is drawn on another party, it is called a trade draft. Sometimes a bill of exchange will simply be called a draft, but whereas a draft is always negotiable (transferable by endorsement), this is not necessarily true of a bill of exchange. ( "Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms" at
 Alexander Spotswood (1646-1740) had been the lieutenant governor from 1710 to 1722, and had remained in the colony after his term.
 Henry Fitzhugh (1706-1742) of "Eagle's Nest," Stafford County, was educated at Oxford, and married Lucy Carter (1715-1763), Robert Carter's fourteenth child, in 1730. They had four children; after Fitzhugh's death, she married Nathaniel Harrison (1713-1791). He was a burgess and militia officer. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . .
; RobertA. Rutland, The Papers of George Mason, 1725-1792.
[Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970]. I:lii
; and extensive generalogical notes, "Fitzhugh Family," in volumes 7 and 8 of Virginia Magazine of History and Biography.
 This Arthur Lee may be a son of Francis Lee (1648-1724), third son of Richard Lee the emigrant; Francis had returned to England to become a merchant in London.
 Carter and Thomas Wise had "traded with each other in tobacco and bills of exchange between 1707 and 1717," but Wise "neglected his duty in returning those bills that were protested." Carter sued Wise in England to recover his money, and he won £180. ( Survey Report 10147 describing C24/1398 part 1, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia;
and letter of August 19, 1723,
Carter to Micajah Perry)
This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised January 24, 2011, to add footnotes, and to strengthen the modern language version text.