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 Thomas Lee, June 12, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to Colonel Thomas Lee, June 12, 1729, concerning the collection of rents due on lands Lee owns in the Northern Neck proprietary, and a debt due Carter from his term as president of the Council.

Letter from Robert Carter to Colonel Thomas Lee, June 12, 1729

-1 -

Corotom[an], [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
June 12 1729

Colo Thos Lee


     your favour of the 26th of may I shall now Answer
According to your own method. I proposed to take yr Cash at the same
rate the Recr Genl does the Kings his Rights and so I am ready to do he did me
the Favour to make me a visit not long since and then told me his way
is when he receives Cash to take 3/4 d upon the every pound to make it sterling
and this shall satisfye me either in Silver or gold According to the Curr [en] ce [sic]
or if it will suit as well with your Conveniency to give me a bill I shall
be Contented to take a Scotch one rather than fail and make you the
same Allowance the Recr genl does

     your After reasoning About the 11 Acres is soft and
Cool [damage] breakes the bone in strict right I cannot
be convinced but my son should have them and your Warrant will
be complyed with verbatim however if the prejudice will be so much
to you as you Conceive and so little to the Advantage of my son if you
don't like it Een let it be as you desire it and let my son be serv'd
as you would please him we will have no longer Controversy about

     In respect to your rents you must Certainly be in the
wrong [el] se minor hath deceiv'd me in the Stafford rent roles
Mr Carter Differs with yr Accot but 41 Acres you paid nothing
[damage] minors Accot of what he receiv'd for yr Staffd land he gives me Credit but
[damage] 62 Acres for one year so that According to your own Accot.
[damage] hat Accordingto yr own Accot here is 2844 Acres not Paid for
which is justly my due Either from you or Minor And I believe you
will not dispute there is more than 3 [damage] years due to me upon
youir last deeds

     You will Allow me to put you in remembrance

-2 -

In your last Naval Offrs. Accot you Settled with me as Pre=
there was a ballance in my favour of 19/ If I mist=
ake not if which I suppose your Accot will inform you of

     If you will be at the trouble it will be easy wth
Minor to settle this Accot of your Stafford lands as it Ought
to be I am

                  your Most Humble servt.


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. The letter book page has a number of holes in it.

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

[1] Thomas Lee (1690-1750) of Westmoreland County was the son of Richard Lee II, and nephew of Edmund Jenings; he would build "Stratford," and succeed Carter on the Council. For a good article on Thomas Lee, see "Thomas Lee of Stratford 1690-1750" by Jeanne A. Calhoun on Stratford plantation's website. ( Burton J. Hendrick. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. [Boston: Little Brown, 1935]. pp. 48, 51, etc. )

[2] "The receiver-generalship was a royal appointment" and the official was required to give bond both to the lord of the treasury and to the governor. "Those who filled the office of receiver-general were practially all councillors. . . . The duties of the receiver-general included the receiving of the quit-rents, the revenue arising from the export duty of two shillings per hogshead on tobacco, the one penny per pound on tobacco exported from Virginia . . . the port duty, which was the revenue arising from the fifteen pence per ton on all vessels arriving in the colony, and all funds of the colony not received by the treasurer. . . . He paid out of the revenue . . . the salaries of the officers of the colony, also those of the auditor-general of the colonies and the solicitor of Virginia affairs, both of whom lived in England. All the public expenses of the colony, except, of course, those paid out of the funds held by the treasurer, were paid out of the funds received in his office. . . . He of course reported to the lords of the treasury all payments made on the order of the governor. The accounts of the revenues and the reports of disbursements forwarded to the lords of the treasury were certified to by the auditor and the governor, and sent by the governor." (Percy Scott Flippin. The Financial Administration of the Colony of Virginia [Johns Hopkins Press, 1915.] 41-42.)

[3] 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. )

[2] As president of the Council, Carter had been acting governor after the death of Hugh Drysdale in 1726, and was entitled to certain fees from naval officers.

[4] What the clerk meant by "Een" is not clear. The context would be "then."

[5] 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.] )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised March 10, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.