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 Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, May 30, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, May 30, 1729, to enclose a bill of lading (not present) for 30 hogsheads on board the mechants' ship the Willis, and hoping they will give him a discount on the customs duties because of this and an earlier shipment of tobacco.

Letter from Robert Carter to Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, May 30, 1729

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
May the 30th. 1729

Messrs. Haswell & Brooks,

Gent --

     My last Carried a bill of Lading for 20 hogsheads of my
Crop Tobacco on board the Cambridge Captain Christopher Brooks. This is only to bring
You another bill of Lading for 30 hogsheads on board the Willis Captain Cobb
They are also of my own Crops I am in hopes you may so manage the
Sales of these two parcels by the Distance of time they go away in that
you may think it proper to allow me the full discounts although my Cash
Should not Entirely Answer for the Customs of both these parcels I should
Intend to write for Some Goods when our Fleet Sails I Shall Conclude at present

                  3Your most humble Servt:


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.

[1] Haswell and Brooks was a London firm listed in 1740 directories of that city. Samuel Haswell was a London Assurance director in Suffolk Lane. John Brooks' obituary appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 8, 1740, where his partnership with Haswell was noted and that he had been "formerly Commander of the George, in the Virginia Trade." ( A Compleat Guide to All Persons who have any Trade or Concern with the City of London and Ports adjacent. . . . London: Printed for J. Osborn, at the Golden Ball in Pater-noster-row, MDXXXL ; and online abstract list of entries from Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740. p. 39. Brooks' obituary courtesy of Todd A. Farmerie, 1/21/2013.)

[2] 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. )

[3] Christopher Brooks commanded the Cambridge, a vessel of 100 tons and 11 men owned by London merchants Haswell and Brooks in 1729. ( Survey Report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[4] A Captain John Cobb commanded the Willis , a ship of 300 tons with 20 men, in 1727-28. The ship was owned by merchants Haswell and Brooks, a London firm. ( Survey Report 6801 on Adm. 68/194-5, ff. 4r, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised February 26, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.