Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, June 27 and July 22, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to Glasgow merchant John Stark, June 27, 1727, concerning tobacco that he had shipped to Stark on the Ann & Elizabeth, a ship that went aground but whose cargo was saved. He reports a bill of exchange drawn on Stark, encloses a bill of lading (not present) for 34 hogsheads shipped on the Lucia, and reminds Stark that he expects his tobacco to be sold promptly because he dislikes "Dribling lagg Sales." In a post script, he requests Stark find him several tradesmen. In a post script dated July 22, 1727, he reports others' bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, June 27 and July 22, 1727

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]
June the 27th: 1727
Mr. John Stark

Sir --

     Since the above I have yours of the 27th of March
in which your tell opinion is that I ought not to Salkvage for my
tobacco in the Ann and Elizabeth and Certainly you are in the right
doubt not you will See Justice done me I hope tobacco being so Scarce
my 2 hogsheads met with no bad market when I See the Sale of 23 hogsheads
I Shall be able to say whether I am pleased or no

     Besides the above bills of exchange to Braxton I have drawn on you
to Joseph Belfield for Thirty one pounds Thirteen Shillings which
request your payment of also.

     This Covers a bill of Lading for 34 hogsheads of tobacco
on board the Lucia Captain Bowman which I wish to a good market
You have abundance of Ships here this year I reckon not many
of them will go out with this Fleet and therefore for your taking
the forward market which generally proves the best and those
Dribbling lag Sales I desire may always be avoided in my Concern
Hope my tobacco will rise well I am Sure I had most of it from good
Planters and not a hogshead fit is of my Quit rent tobacco Mr. Read
was here two days ago and tells me he doubts he Shall not be able
to get Nickalson loaded by a hundred hogsheads whether I can help him
any thing I cant yet foretell Promise until I have got all my
tobacco home

      I intend to have Some particular goods from you
but have not Time now to write an Invoice Wishing you health
and prospertity I am

Sir --
Yor: very humble Servt:

It may fall in your way to procure
for me the following Tradesmen.
A Gardener, a good Taylor, a Bricklayer
and a Barber Surgeon which if cannot meet with these Servants
at Glasgow I will have hope you may at Edinburgh or at least at
Dublin Although I have the worst Opinion of the Irish of any Country

per Bowman
Copy per Dunlap

Added to Mr. Starks last Letter by Bowman

Mr. John Stark
                                                            Rappahannock, July 22d: 1727
Sir --
     The above Entertains you with a repetition of
mine by Captain Bowman I have little now to Say advise you of another
Bill Since drawn on you payable to Charles Burgess for £6/ -- / --
which desire your Acceptance of

     Herein Send you three Small bills of exchange to wit
Thomas Berry on John Zuil for £9:19:5. Henry Lee on Neil
Buchannan for £5"6" -- Alexander Chrystils on Charles Miller & Company
for £5" -- " -- desire your receipt of this money for my Account or
returns of protest I have not lately heard how Nicholson goes for=
ward Shall give you no further at present I remain

                                  Yor: very humble Servt:

My Bill to Colonel Braxton was
for £300
per Dunlop


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.

This text revised to add the post script 8/4/03.

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. Rappahannock, the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] John Stark was a prominent Glasgow merchant in the sugar trade. He served as as baillie and provost (mayor) from 1725-1727. ( John M'ure. The History of Glasgow. [Glasgow: D. Macvean and J. Wyllie & Co., 1830] pp. 227-228 as seen on Google books; and "Provosts of Glasgow" at "Welcome to Glasgow" . )

[2] Carter had written Stark May 19, 1727 , "I Sent you in a James River Ship the Ann & Eliza. Mc:Clean Master 13 hhds: of Tobbo: 10 of my own and 3 of Mr. Burwells Estate. I hear the Ship was driven a Shoar in a Storm The Cargoe all Saved and the Ship like to be got of. of this I have yet no Accot: from you."

[3] Captain Samuel Bowman commanded the Lucia. Carter mentioned this vessel in his diary in June 1724, and again on March 4, 1726, when he wrote that she "came in had 20 Weeks Passage."

[4] Quit rent was the term used for "a (usually small) rent paid by a freeholder . . . in lieu of services which might otherwise be required; a nominal rent paid (esp. in former British colonial territories to the Crown) as an acknowledgement of tenure," in this case, to the proprietors of the Northern Neck. Carter as the proprietor's agent, collected these payments. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

[5] James Read (Reid) is not referred to as "captain" which means he was an official of John Stark's firm on a trading vessel who was empowered to do its business in Virginia. He was aboard the Charles, a Glasgow ship that was owned by Stark. Carter specifically refers to "Your Ship"and "the Charles of Glasgow" in a letter to Stark of September 4, 1723.

[6] The Martha was commanded by a Captain Dunlop and owned by Richard Oswald & Company; see Carter to Richard Oswald & Company August 11, 1729, and Carter to Oswald, July 27,1731 .

[7] 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," 8/22/2005 )

[8] John Zuil was a merchant and was probably the ship's captain that Carter mentioned in his diary August 1, 1722, "Zuil Saild Gave me a Bottle Snuff." Carter recorded a diary note about him the following year as well: December 30, 1723, "mr Zuil & man came back" [from church]. In what British city Zuil lived is not clear, but it may have been Liverpool because city directories of 1767-1773 list a John Zuil as a merchant, first inCable Street, and later, in King Street. This probably would have been a son of the man Carter knew, given the shorter lives at this period. ( "Yuil Family Newsletters," Issue #24 Fall. 1998http://www., 11/6/2009. )

[9] Henry Lee (1691-1747) was a son of Carter's old friend, Hancock Lee (1653-1709). He lived in Westmoreland County at "Lee Hall" and married Mary Bland. ( Burton J. Hendrick. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. [Boston: Little Brown, 1935]. pp. 329-30. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised December 11, 2012, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.