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 the Freighters of the Ship Rose, April 11 and June 20, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to the "freighters of the Ship Rose," April 11, 1729, to report on his concluding the financial affairs that grew out of his management of the sale of the Rose's cargo of slaves, and that he is sending tobacco to them on board the Rappahannock . In a post script on June 20, he sends a bill of lading (not present) on the William and James for more tobacco, 22 hogsheads of which are on the account of the sales of the slaves and which will nearly conclude the balancing of accounts.

Letter from Robert Carter to the Freighters of the Ship Rose, April 11 and June 20, 1729

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Apl. 11th. 1729

To the Freighters of the Ship Rose

Gentlemen --

     I now send you in the Rappahannock 34 more hogsheads of
Tobacco under the [tobacco mark] the 21 first hogsheads were brought out of Poto
mac in my own Sloop sight and Prized at my house Soon after
and then weighed of at my Scales, I beleive then lying all the winter
you must allow for shrinkage, the 2 hogsheads [tobacco mark] are upon the Acount
of your Goods left with me. We have had a very difficult Year for
getting Tobacco managed. Seasons have been so Scarce few People had
their Tobacco ready until lately. there are Some more hogsheads of yrs. received
but they lie out of the the river and Captain Breakhill had no Occasion to Send
that way, I have no reason to doubt but that all your Debts will be
gotten in where to ship them will be a Question unless Captain Denton as
it is reported he is bound here from Guinea can take them in
I dont hear of any ship that is coming to your Port, and there to be sure
I would send them if an Opportunity offers, I wish this Tobbo. safe to
You and to a better market than the last came,

     The 3 Protested bills amount [to . . . ] with the Charge
to forty nine Pounds Thirteen Shillings and [ . . . ] I have
sent an Order to Mr. Pemberton to Discharge & an [swer . . . ]

-2 -

              Added to the letter to the freighters of the Rose Dated
              11th April 1729

                                                             Rappahannock June 20th. 1729


     The above is a copy of mine by the Rapphannock . this comes
by the William and James Captain Leatherland and brings you a
bill of Lading for 24 hogsheads of Tobacco twenty two of them on the neg=
roes Account weighing as per the EnClosed [sic ] List 19683 19852 which
I reckon Completes that Account to 2081 that remains Unpaid in
Outstanding Debts which I shall ship you hereafter. One of the
debtors is run away but that loss I shall bear myself you cannot
but Apprehend this selling for Tobacco has been so very troublesome
work there remains to be paid to the receivers the collecting of some of this Tobacco
The two hogsheads Numbered C.D are Upon the Accot of your goods
[illegible] I have 2 hogsheads more upon the same
accot now at my house ready to be shipped when I have An Oppor:
tunity Captain Leatherland could not take them in as he will
Inform you I am

Copy per Leatherwood
                              your most Humble Servant


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. The clerk began addressig this letter to "Mr John" thinking that it was to be sent to John Pemberton, but he was corrected and struck these words through which the software will not allow to be shown as deleted in situ . The letter seems to break off at the end of the first page, but it is damaged at that point and the editor cannot be certain.

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] James Christian was captain of the Rose, a vessel owned by merchant John Pemberton of Liverpool. (See Carter to Pemberton, April 15, 1730.) See Carter's letters to Pemberton in 1728 for details of the sale of the slave brought into the colony by the Rose .

[2] 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. )

[3] The John & Betty was a Liverpool ship owned by merchant John Pemberton; she often carried slaves into the colony. In 1726 the captain was John Gale, and in the next year, she was commanded by a Captain William Denton. The ship would be lost in 1729. (Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . p. 18, n. 23 ; Carter to P3mberton , December 18, 1727; Carter to Pemberton, April 15, 1730; and Carter to William Dawkins, June 28, July 26, and August 22, 1727, for Denton's first name. )

[4] Liverpool

[5] Captain Nathaniel Leatherland commanded the William & James in June 20, 1729, and the Samuel & Jane in 1732. In 1727 he commanded the Penelope , owned by John Pemberton, when it was captured by a Spanish ship and Pemberton filed a claim for £2488. ( Carter to the freighters of the ship Rose, April 11 and June 29, 1729, ; Carter to Pemberton July 13, 1732 ; and Survey Report 02046 summarizing "House of Lords Record Office Class Main Papers 1735 May 13. Account of British ships taken at sea.1732." Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia )

[6] 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. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised February 16, 2015, and again May 30, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.