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 Colonel [Mann] Page, February 11, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to his son-in-law Colonel [Mann] Page, February 11, 1729, to turn over to him the management of the replacement as naval officer of the Rappahannock of Carter's son Robert with his son Charles.

Letter from Robert Carter to Colonel [Mann] Page , February 11, 1729

-1 -

Corotomn, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
February 11th: 1728/9

Colonel Page

Honorable Sir

     This accompanys my Son Charles who waits on you
in order to the Accomplishment of his great design he brings a letter
to you from his Brother and Also his Commission to be entirely un-
der your direction in what as to the method you shall think it Advisable
to make use of them in I have also written to the Governor in an Open
letter for your perusal & either to be delivered or not as you shall
think most expedient you know what Vigilant and pressing ene
mies you we have to deal with their letters have flown about not only
through Virginia but Maryland Also I cannot think any great difficul
ties lie in the way If the governor will not come in to the immediate con:
ferring the place on my son Charles I shall think he waits for some
direction out of England and rather than lose the place altogether
my Son Robert had better hold it under the difficulties he now has ]with]
it than not at All By the heaviness of my Politics I have let
these dextrous gentlemen get the start of me having not written a
line to My Lord Orkney or any body Else since I came from Town
nor indeed have I had any Opportunity certain enough in my Opinion
to Make use of I shall entirely submit the management of this
affair to your prudcence & vigor. & Conduct & Am


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

The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on the draft.

[1] Charles wanted to take over his brother's position as naval officer of the Rappahannock. The naval officer was an official in the colony that reported to the Commissioners of Customs, a body that had first been established in 1663; the group was reorganized several times, especially after 1688. The board was "intrusted with collection of customs both in England and the colonies." The board helped write many of the instructions for colonial governors in collaboration with the Privy Council. "Their direct connection with the colonies was through the governors, who were instructed to correspond with the commissioners, and to send them, every three months, lists of clearances, and also reports of illegal trading. The governor's agent in matters of trade was the naval officer whom he was empowered to appoint, but who was required by the 7th and 8th William III to give security to the commissioners of customs." ( Louise Phillips Kellogg. The American Colonial Charter. A Study of English Administration in Relation Thereto, Especialy after 1688. [Annual Report, American Historical Association. Vol. 1, Govt. Print. Off., 1904], p. 226. For a recent study, see Alvin Rabushka. Taxation in Colonial America [Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.] )

The minutes of a meeting of the Council held November 1, 1729, show that Charles did replace his brother as naval officer of the Rappahannock. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:210. )

[2] Williamsburg

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised February 6, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.