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 Micajah Perry, June 28, July 26, and August 22, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, June 28, 1727, to order some goods for the late Nathaniel Burwell's family and to enclose several bills of exchange. He comments that many merchant ships have sailed from the colony without waiting for the convoys, and the colony's government has accordingly established an embargo to force the ships into convoys. He mentions the needs of the Lloyd estate and that he had hoped to be able to send an invoice for goods but circumstances have prevented him. In a lengthy post script dated July 26, 1727, Carter repeats his notice of bills of exchange of which he had notified Perry in an earlier letter, and sends a statement of Edmund Jenings's account with the Proprietors of the Northern Neck which shows a balance due Carter which he hopes will be credited against his next rent payment. He also reports Jenings's death on July 5, 1727. In a second post script dated August 22, 1727, Carter reports a bill of exchange for his daughter, Elizabeth Burwell Nicholas, and sends a bill of lading for tobacco belonging to the Lloyd estates. He notifies Perry that his grandson, Lewis Burwell, has been given permission to remain at school one more year before going to university, and that he has drawn bills on Perry payable to John Falconar and John Pemberton. None of the enclosures mentioneed in the letter are present.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, June 28, July 26, and August 22, 1727

-1 -

Mr. Micajh: Perry     Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
June the. 28th: 1727

Sir --

     I have Said so much to you already little
remains now to be added herein comes an Invoice for Some goods
to be Sent for the Supply of Mr. Burwells familys.

     Here are also Enclosed two bills of Exchange drawn
upon your Self of my own [to] James Bradby for Twenty four pounds &
my own to Docr: Belfeild for Fifteen pounds with Some Seconds to witt
Wm: Keeling for £33:7: -- my own to Richard Meeks for £35:-:-
Austin Smith for £19:11: -- most All of the Merchants writ in to their
Masters to come away in Fleets you particularly desire me to Exert
my Self in Affecting this and proposed that Capt: Pearse would Accompany
them off from this Coast Wee found that our Ships went away as
fast as they got [illegible] ready Capt: Pearse the last time he went out had
but Six Ships to accompany him the Government therefore came
to a resolution to lay a restraint the first Fleet to Sail the 30th: Instant
and the next the 25th: of July how many this Fleet will Consist of

-2 -

[I don] t yet know am apt to beleive there will be between 20 and 30
Sail I hope in this wee have acted prudently and for the Service of the
Trade In this Capt: Pearse Expresses to the [illegible] utmost to See of in Safety now makes up his fleet at Kiquoton
and promises to be ready if possible to accompany the next,

     The LLs Estate if it continues in the Circumstances it
now is will want a Supply for the next year Intend you an Invoice
by the Carter I have not got in the Sherrifs accots: and Cant tell at present
what the Levys and other Charges amount to therefore must refer the
Accot: of the Contingencies till another time I am

Yor: most humble Servt:

per Watkinson
Copy per Trice --

-3 -

                             Added to Mr. Perry Letter of the 28th. of June
                                                            Rappahannock, July 26th: 1727
Sir --

     In mine of the 3d: June I told you of Sevl. drafts I had
made on you to Colonel Braxston upon my own and Mr. Burwells Child
Accounts for negroes I bought to make up our mortalitys and gave you
advice thereof By the Bristol Ship that imported the Slaves, to witt on my
own Acct: for three hundred Pounds upon yr. Accot: of Majr. Burwells
Estate for four negroes four Score pounds upon the Accot: of Merchts.
Estate for four negroes to be paid out of the money due upon
your Accot. Currant in Carter Burwells name four Score pounds

     I have Since drawn on you on the Estates Accot: for
Two hundred and Fifty pounds to Dr. Nicholas, Colonel Page has
Signd the bills also

     You have already advice of two bills I Sent you Jas
on your Self for £24"-"-my own to Dr: Belfeild for £15"-
on Accot: of the LL Estate The Seconds are under this Cover. Also a first
for £3"10"-on your Self Colonel Tayloes draft,

     That you may not be at the trouble of looking of it
I Send you now a fresh Accot: of the State of Colonel Jennings's accot. with the
Proprs: and desire you will be referr'd to my Letter of the 9th: of July 1725 and to Some other Letters Since
and that Colonel Cage will please to turn to two Letters of mine the 1st:
of the 19th: of July 1725 The other of the 21st of July 1726 and that you both
will think it proper to discount this Thirty nine pounds Fourteen
Shillings out of the next payment of My rent I am

Sir --
Yor: most humble Servt:

Colonel Jennings departed this Life
the 5th: Instant --
herein is a bill of Exchange on your Self of Richd:
for £2 -- which I desire Credit for
per Capt: Trice
Copy per Carter

-4 -

                             Added to Mr. Perrys of the 27 July
Sir                                                            Rappahannock, Augst: the 22d: 1727

     herein I Send you Scond bills for two of the Small Sums
menton'd above also a first bill for £12 drawn by Edmund Bagg
on Mr. Cary money belonging to Eliz: Burwell and to be put into
her Accot: You have now a bill of Lading for 12 hogsheads for the LLs Tobacco
and I have drawn on you for 25/ to Capt: Dove for the Impost &
have herein Sent an Invoice for some goods for the Supply of them
familys if you think fit to Send them. My own Accot: of Disbur
sements for that Estate for the Year 1726 I have not yet got ready Shall prepare it to
come in some later Ship

     I have writ to my Grandson Lewis Burwell leting
him know that his friends here complyd with his desire in Continu
ing him a year longer at School to Qualifye him the better for the University
upon his promises that he would make a diligent use of his Time
there, it will be a very great Comfort to all his relations to have
a better Accot. of him in our next then we have hitherto had,

     I am now to advise you that I have Sent a noat to
Mr. John Falconar Merchant to demand of you the Sum of £200
upon my Accot. which I desire you to make payment of & Charge
me with And I have now drawn upon you for Three hundred
Pounds more Payable to Mr. John Pemberton of Leverpool wch.
I desire you to answer here is a Small bill for 25/ Endd. by Capt.
Dove the Impost of these 12 hogsheads of Tobbo: I have no further trouble
to give you at present but am Sir

                                                            Yor: most humble Servt:

[Per] the Carter


Source copies consulted: Original letter and first post script (1727 July 26): Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. the same. Second post script (1727 August 22): Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

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.

[1] 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 )

[2] Captain James Bradby commanded the Micajah and Philip ( P.R.O., Adm. 68/195, ff. 74v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[3] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[4] Captain Vincent Pearse was the commander of the Tartar, the British warship on station in the colony. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:136. )

[5] Kecoughtan was the old name for the area later known as Elizabeth City; it is where the city of Hampton lies today.

[6] Watkinson was captain of the Vine, a ship that may have been owned by Micajah Perry. (Carter to Pemberton , March 25, 1724.)

[7] The 140 ton Welcome was owned by London merchant James Bradley to whom Carter would write about her on May 17, 1727 . John Trice (Frice) was her captain, 1723-1727. ( Adm 68/195, 154r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[8] Carter Burwell (1716-1756) was Robert Carter's grandson by his daughter Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721). Carter Burwell would live at "Carter's Grove," and would marry Lucy Grymes in 1738. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 128. )

[9] Captain James Bradby commanded the Micajah and Philip. ( P.R.O., Adm. 68/195, ff. 74v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

10[] Richard Chichester (1657-1734) came to Virginia in 1702. He married Anne Fox Chinn, and settled in Lancaster County. "Virginia Gleanings in England," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography , 21 (1913):249-253.

[11] Carter's previous extant letter to Perry was dated July 28, 1727, not July 27th, but this post script has been added to it on the presumption that he made a mistake while dictating.

[12] The impost was the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco, and the cocket, for which a fee was charged, was the document bearing a cocket or seal issued by the "King's Customs House" that the impost had been paid. (See the definitions of each word in Oxford English Dictionary Online. )

[13] Lewis Burwell (1711 or 1712-1756), Carter's grandson by Elizabeth Carter Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721). He was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and inherited considerable property, living at "Fairfield," Gloucester County. He would be president of the Council in 1750-1751. (Kneebone et al. , Dictionary of Virginia Biography. 2:434-5. and Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 114. )

[14] 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. (See Carter's letter to Falconar of July 24 and August 22, 1727, for details about the payment of £200 to him. (See Carter to William Dawkins, for Falconar's death date. Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129 )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised January 30, 2013, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.