A Collection Transcribed
by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
List of Letters
About This Collection
Electronic Text Center
, University of Virginia Library
Letter from Robert Carter to John Falconar, May 16, 1727
Robert Carter writes to John Falconar, May 16, 1727, concerning the merchant's ship, the Marlborough,
and his tobacco that will be shipped aboard her. He hopes an earlier shipment on the Trevisa
has been sold, and he send a bill of exchange on Micajah Perry for Falconar to use in paying duties. He then asks Falconar to consider taking his son Landon as an apprentice to become a "Virginia merchuant." He sends his respects to Mr. Pratt.
Letter from Robert Carter to John Falconar,
May 16, 1727
Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]
May 16, 1727
Mr. John Falconar
Beleive I have all your Letters the 10th of Decr:
is the last date by the Marleborrough
Yor: Captain I have seen
Several times a Person very well qualifyed to oblige Gentlemen
and I beleive you will find the Effects of it, You[r large]
and the hopes I have to meet with upright and J[ust]
your hands have prevaild with me to Exert my utmost
Strength towards the Loading your ship. twas a [grea]
tage to her to come in so late. However, beleive she will fair
better than any of her time. I have already orderd her seven
and twenty hhds to the Southward and I design 30
more from hence, which puts me much to my [ . . . ] mps Con
sidering the Distressd condition the Carter is now i[n]
This encloses a bill of Lading to y[ou]
20 hhds: of my own Crop Tobbo: on board the Mary
Hopkins thus you See I am running into your hands
head and Shoulders I'm in hopes before this arrive[s]
10 hhds: Sent you in the Mansell
Capt: Trevisa hath met wth:
so quick a market that the Effects of it will be now re
turning into your hands time Enough to answer the prompt
payment at the Custom house
however that you may
be in full Cash both for this business and what more I
Shall send to you, I now Send you a bill of Exche:
for three hundred pounds, Quick sales & returns
is the life of Trade. If you will but Exert your Self in bring
ing my Crops into a good reputation I shall be very willing
to let you into a large share in my business,
I am now to propose a matter to you which
perhaps will not be very agreeable, however I would desire
you to give me your Early and free thoughts about it, It is
no less Concern then the disposal of one of my Sons
future State of Life he came in in the Carter hath bin under
the care of Mr. Dawkins
for this seven years, he is past sixteen
Years of age is very well qualified to Enter upon any business
a Lad of good Morals & of an agreeable Obligeing behaviour
My Strong Inclinations are to breed him up a Virginia
Merchant, Now I want to know whether you will agree
to tak[e hi]
m an Apprentice and upon what Termes, I had
a great [d]
esire to See him before I determine wt
to do wth. him
If I w[ere]
sure you would Accept of the proposal upon m[oder]
ate termes he Should return by this fleet and whether
at all adventures I Shall not send him back I am at
t wavering I must be so free to tell you I have m[ade]
the proposal to Mr. Dawkins and Mr. Bradley
decline it The first becaus he is a Single man, and lives
nother mans house. The other because he hath lately
taken in Apprentices as many as he can Employ Other
wise tells me he Should Embrace the offer be it as it will
I Earnestly desire you will take all Opportunitys either
from London or the out ports to let me have your full and
free answer to this Subject Pray my kind service to
and let him know I shall not forget my good
Dadd I am
Thy Esteemd Friend and
Source copy consulted:
Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. There is a water stain down the right side of the sheet affecting words near the end of the lines on the obverse page and some near the left margin of the reverse page.
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.
 John Falconar was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt. In 1728, Falconar and Henry Darnell formed an association of 29 London tobacco merchants to deal with the French tobacco purchasing agent as a group in order to keep the price as high as possible. The association lasted only lasted a year or two before dissolving because some of its members were dealing directly with the French agent and selling below the agreed-upon price. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era.
Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129
 The Marlborough
was a vessel of 100 tons and 14 men, commanded by George Buckeridge (Buckbridge). ( Admiralty 68/195, abstracted in Survey Report 6801, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 The Mary
was a London ship of 130 tons commanded by James Hopkins, and owned by merchant Robert Cary. ( Admiralty 68/194,ff. 82r, abstracted in Survey Report 6801, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Carter noted in his diary July 29, 1726, the arrival of the Mansell,
Captain Trevisa, and in his letter of January 14, 1727,
to the Board of Trade, gives the captain's full name as James Trevisa.
 Carter refers to the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco, known logically as the impost, and to the cocket (for which a fee was charged), a document bearing a cocket or seal issued by the "King's Customs House" that the impost had been paid. (See the definition of each word in Oxford English Dictionary Online.
 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,"
 Landon Carter (1710-1778) was Carter's seventh child by his second wife, Elizabeth (Landon) Willis. Landon would live at "Sabine Hall," Richmond County, and marry three times, leaving many descendants, some of whom own "Sabine Hall" today. As an adult, he would keep a very interesting and useful diary. A reproduction of a portrait of him may be found on the website of the Found ation of Historic Christ Church.
( Jack P. Greene. "Landon Carter" in Sara B. Bearss, John G. Deal, et al., eds.
Dictionary of Virginia Biography.
[Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006], 3:76-78; and
Greene. The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter. . . .
 James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of May 17, 1727,
Bradley owned the Welcome,
but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of Kent's Directory
For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark.
[London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740]. p. 39. Online, examined 8/12/2005 and 6/14/2012.
 John Pratt was a London merchant and an old friend of Carter's who usually referred to him as "Daddy."
This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised June 14, 2012, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.