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 Pemberton, April 11 and June 20, 1729
Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, April 11, 1729, reporting the arrival of several "Packetts" from the merchant, commenting on the poor market for tobacco, alerting Pemberton about a mistake that he has made in marking some hogheads that belong to another account, directing him to charge protested bills of exchange from the Rose
slave sale to his personal account, and enclosing (not present) a bill of lading for 25 hogsheads of his own tobacco. On June 20th he drafts a post script to add a bill of lading (not present) for 3 hogsheads more.
Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton,
April 11 and June 20, 1729
Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]
Apl: 11th. 1729
Mr. John Pemberton
I received your Several Packets by the Rappahannock
hill am Sorry the Sales both my own and your Cargoes Tobacco turns out
so poorly indeed we have not much better Encouragement . from any other
Port, Your Markets in former Years have rather Exceeded than fallen
short of others, I had not less at London than £7 per hogshead round how the
last Crop will rise I have not one Account as yet Except for a little fine
Tobacco out of York river which sold at 9 3/4 pence but that is no standard, I
shall think myself fairly off if my general Sales comes out at a Penny
less, Miserable is our Condition if we cant live by our Labour,
I have Sent you one hogshead [tobacco mark: 1:9421:86:856:30:886
] I must own to you I have
Committed a mistake in marking 3 or 4 more to
the [tobacco mark] than I Should
it happened that I reckoned Purcells Debt belonged to the Rose Concern
and did not See my Error until I came to Overhaul the Papers, which
was after the Tobacco was marked and gone, This I must rectify out
of the [tobacco mark] Tobacco which I hope will make little difference,
I tell the Freighters of the rose I have ordered you to pay to
them the 8 Protested bills you sent me Amounting to £49:13:0 3/4
to be charged to my private Account
I send you a bills of Lading
for 25 hogsheads of my own
Tobacco which I will believe to be very good they came from Plantations
that have always made Such. it has been a disappointment to
me not to have my Goods in the Rappahannock You will yet I hope meet with
Some Opportunity or other to send them by but if you do not I desire
you will Send me double the Quantity of every Sort as Early in the next
fall as ever you can and if these goods should be come away then I would
desire you to Send me the Same quantity over again in one of the Earliest
of your Ships,
I Send you Copies of Some Accounts you had before to
Explain to you how I make £16:10:9 to be
the right balance of those Accounts
The hogshead of [tobacco mark] is the bill of Lading of the [tobacco mark] and in the bill of
[. . .] , You will please to Set this to rights, I am
Your humble Servant
To be Added
to the freighters of the Ship Rose
I send you Copys of some Accounts on hand before to Explain
to You how I make £ 16:19:19 which is to be paid to you by Mr. Pemberton
Added to my letter to Mr Pemberton of the 11. Apl. 1729
Mr. John Pemberton
Sir Rappahannock June 20th. 1729
I have now Shipped 3 hogsheads of Tobacco more of the
[tobacco marks] you have herein a bill of Lading for
lies ready wch I could not get taken in
there remains to ballance these marks as I reckon 2876
In checking this hogshead that is received the rest still outstanding wch
I shall be Answerable to you for hereafter
I have little to say to you at Present only to desire
you will Comply with the Contents of above letter remaining
Sir your most Humble: Servt
Copy per Letherland
Source copy consulted:
Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.
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.
 There were several vessels with the name Rappahannock
. One was based in Liverpool and was commanded by a Captain Francis Etheridge in 1725; she was a 90 ton ship with 13 men. Another of which Charles Whate was captain was of 60 tons with 11 men in 1726 and 1727. Carter's letters mention a Captain Hugh Brackhill in 1728-1729, and Captain Loxum in 1733. ( Adm. 68/194, ff.30, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Carter refers to the sales of slaves from Pemberton's ship, the Rose,
for which he had been the agent in the colony. See his letters to Pemberton in 1728 for more information.
 A bill of lading is "an official detailed receipt given by the master of a merchant vessel to the person consigning the goods, by which he makes himself responsible for their safe delivery to the consignee. This document, being the legal proof of ownership of the goods, is often deposited with a creditor as security for money advanced." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online
. Oxford University Press.
 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. (See "Bill of Exchange"
in the online Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms: the Truth vs. the Scam.
 A Captain Leatherland commanded the William & James
in June 20, 1729, and the Samuel & Jane
in 1732. (( Carter
to the freighters
of the ship Rose,
April 11 and June 29, 1729,
and Carter to Pemberton
July 13, 1732.
This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised February 16, 2015, to strengthen the footnotes and the modern language version text.