Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to James Carter, January 5, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to his agent James Carter, a resident of Stafford County, January 5, 1728, concerning certain persons' applications for land grants, the fees to be collected, and the procedure to be followed. He gives particular instructions concerning the lands of Robert Alexander.

Letter from Robert Carter to James Carter, January 5, 1728

-1 -

[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
January the 5th 1727 [1728]

Mr. James Carter --

     I have Settled an Account with John Wright about Waugh
Deed in Stafford County he has paid me all to 49 pounds . of Tobacco when
he pays you this balance you may let him have the Deed he Says that
besides the composition for the other deed of Waugh Darnells he paid the Quit
to John Allen your receiver and he has his receipt for it now
the Quit rents of the Land I have no Credit for or is the Land put into any
rent roll either yours or King George's he also tells me that Tom Stone
his neighbour has got his Deed in his whole Account is 1101 pounds of Tobacco
you have given me Credit but for 600, these mistakes I hint to
you that you may set them to rights, You must always reckon
the Quit rents are due from the Date of the Deed and not from the time
of the Delivery for the delay in keeping the Deeds is Occasioned for
want of the payment of the Composition which is properly due from
the Date of the Deeds upon the Letters and noats it has been the
practice upon the Letters and notes of the upper Inhabitants for me
to Send them out warrants for the taking up Lands many of which
have never been Executed nor returned to me which has been a great
abuse to the Proprietors and I think for the future to Issue no no more warrants
until the fees are paid which you know is 15/ for a warrant & Entry
and if you Send down to me for any warrants to take care to let me
know that these fees are paid to you or if you know of any perons
coming for warrants you may Acquaint them unless they bring
their money they will loose their labour --

      Major Robert Alexander you returnd a Deliquent
as well as Several others of good Circumstances I am informed by
Several ways that Mr. Alexander holds a great deal more Land
than he ever paid Quit rents for pray let him know this & Desire
him in my name that he would Survey his lands that it may
be known in what Quantity he holds that the Proprietors may be no longer
abused or if he will not put himself to the Charge I hope he will
not be Offended if I order the Survey of it for him that I may grant
the Surplus to Some other person that will pay the Quit rents more
Punctually than he has done I will have you take care to

-2 -

tell this Story to him in the presence of some Wittnesses and it is
my further order to you that you do not receive his Arrears of
Quit rents in Tobacco but if he refuses to pay money let him
know that I will not take it other ways and let me hear
from you as Soon as you can I am

              Your Friend


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

The name of Carter's home, "Corotoman," the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] James Carter (1684-1743), of Stafford County, was the younger brother of Carter's dear friend and associate, Captain Thomas Carter of Lancaster County, and was one of Carter's chief managers. ( Joseph Lyon Miller, "Captain Thomas Carter and His Descendants," William and Mary Quarterly. 1st ser., 17(1908-09): 275-285. )

[2] Fairfax Harrison speculated that Waugh Darnell may have been a son of David Darnell, involved in a "Stafford cause celebre in May 1690" for attempting to send "trash tobacco" on board a trading ship, and that his first name may have come from his father's relationship with the noted and controversial preacher John Waugh. (Harrison. Landmarks. . . , pp. 1341-33, 141-2.)

[3] 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 . Oxford University Press. )

[4] John Allen is referred to a number of times in the minutes of the Council concerning patents, and as "John Allen Gentleman . . . Surveyour " He was to have beewn one of the surveyors to accompany the commission to establish the Virginia-North Carolina border in 1727, but declined because of the ill health of his wife. He would be appointed a justice in Prince William in 1731, and would serve the county as sheriff in 1736-1738. (Harrison. Landmarks. . . . pp. 331, 339; and McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 149, 167, 345, 369, and 393. )

[5] See the discussion of the Northern Neck proprietary on this project's home page.

[6] Robert Alexander (d. 1735) was a resident of Prince William County who would become a justice in 1734. Carter used the title of "major" which probably meant that Alexander was a militia officer. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:239. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised August 25, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.