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 James Bradley, June 25, 1729
Robert Carter writes to London merchant James Bradley, June 25, 1729, to send a bill of lading (not present) and to report a shipment of tobacco on another ship. He hopes to learn soon that Parliament has repealed the act prohibiting the importation of stemmed tobacco into Britain. He encloses an invoice (not present) for goods.
Letter from Robert Carter to James Bradley,
June 25, 1729
Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]
June 25th. 1729
Mr. Jas: Bradley
This Accompanys your Ship the Welcome
and brings you a bill of Lading
for 32 hogsheads on board the said Ship they are all
of my own Crops and I hope will rise so Well as to promorate a good Sale. You
have 10 Hogsheads more in the Forward
Captain Loney .
has been long Expected and we hope will
bring us Some good news at last. And Accounts of our last Years Crops that may
Enable us to live by our Labours, The General report in the county now is that
the repealing the Clause in the Act. of Parliament
prohibiting the Stemming of Tobacco
Infallibly be Carried if this prove true I must be be of Opinion it will very
much help us. Wee must wait with Expectation what will be our fate in this
respect. I have many a time in my Day Seen Tobacco
at as low an Ebb as it is now
and still Providence has by one means or othey taken care to relieve us.
I have herein sent to you an Invoice for Some goods --
Desiring your utmost care in the well buying and Safe Packing of them If
[y] ou continue the Welcome a Ship for our river
I had as live
have them by Trice
as by any body, he Appears to be a Careful obliging person in his business it is too
large a great deal for our Income but we must be Supplied with necessaries
for our families and for the Carrying on our business.
Altho [. .. .] Necessity is an Armed man and the Calls of nature
[. . .] former [. . .]
will recur, in spite of our Teeths I shall wish your ship safe to you & Conclude
Your most humble Servant
Source copy consulted:
Letter book, 1728 August-1731 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
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.
 James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of May 17, 1727,
Bradley owned the Welcome,
but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of 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. Online, examined 8/12/2005 and 6/14/2012.
 The 140 ton Welcome
was owned by London merchant James Bradley to whom Carter would write about her on May 17, 1727
. John Trice (Frice) was her captain, 1723-1728. ( Adm 68/195, 154r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 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.
 The Forward
was a London ship of 150-200 tons commanded in 1728-29 by William Loney, and in 1731 by George Buckridge. ( Survey Report 6800 summarizing Adm. 68/194 and Survey Report 6801 summarizing Adm 68/195, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Isham Randolph was captain of the London ship Williamsburgh
in 1725-26, and Charles Rogers commanded her in 1727-28. ( Admiralty 68/194, ff. 39v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Parliament had passed an act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. John Randolph would be sent to England in 1728 as agent for Virginia to try to have the act overturned; his mission would be successful, and he was home in the colony by June 2, 1729
, when Carter wrote to welcome him home. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era.
[Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953], 116.
 the Rappahannock
 Carter uses "live" in the sense of "to give life to." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online
. Oxford University Press.
This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised March25, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.