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 John Falconar, June 27, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant John Falconar, June 27, 1729, to alert him that an invoice and bills of lading for tobacco have been sent and to order German spa water. He notes a bill of exchange on the merchant, and that he may have Mr. Pratt buy some goods for which Falconar can reimburse Pratt.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Falconar, June 27, 1729

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
June the 27th. 1729

Mr. John Falconar

Sir --

     Yesterday I sent away my Invoice by Captain Wills
the bills of Ladin g for my Tobacco and Mr. Burwells comes in the Several Ships
I omitted Sending for some German Spa water I now desire you to
Send me in the sSame Quantity you did the last year. I have desired Mr.
to put you in mind of it.

     Herein is a bill of Exchange for £5 drawn by Ben
on your self which desire Credit for or to be protested

     I believe hereafter I shall desire my good friend Mr. Pratt
to lay out a little money for me if I do believe I Shall direct him to call up-
on you for it I am

                  Your Esteemed Friend & humble Servant
per Baily


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] John Falconar (d. ca. 1729) was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt. In 1728, Falconar and Henry Darnell formed an association of 29 London tobacco merchants to deal with the French tobacco purchasing agent as a group in order to keep the price as high as possible. The association lasted only lasted a year or two before dissolving because some of its members were dealing directly with the French agent and selling below the agreed-upon price. (See Carter's letter to Falconar of July 24 and August 22, 1727, for details about the payment of £200 to him. See Carter to William Dawkins, for Falconar's death date. Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129 )

[2] Captain Peter Wills commanded the Booth in 1723-1724, a ship belonging to merchant Thomas Colmore of London (see Carter's letter to Colmore of January 20 and February 15, 1724), and the Amity, a vessel of 500 tons and 21 men, in 1727-1729. He is mentioned in Carter's diary in 1723. ( 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. )

[]3 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. )

[4] John Pratt was a London merchant and an old friend of Carter's who usually referred to him as "Daddy."

[5] 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. )

[6] Benjamin Berryman (ca. 1680-1729) was the son of John and Jane Berryman and lived in Westmoreland County where he was justice and sheriff. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 3[1705-1721]:398, 425; and "The Berrymans And Related Baldridge, Newton, And Allerton Lines." 4/9/2015)

[7] The Bailey was a London ship owned by William Dawkins and commanded at various times by Adam Graves (1725-1730) and by Thomas Dove (1731-1732). She was a vessel of some 250 tons and carried 15-17 crew members. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, 156v, and other data in Adm. 68/194 and /196, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia; A letter of Carter's to Dawkins May 12, 1732, refers to "your ship Bailey." as does a letter of August 10, 1733, from Carter's executors to Dawkins. [ Lloyd T. Smith, Jr., ed. The Executors' Letters of Robert Carter of Corotoman, 1732-1738. (Irvington, VA: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 2010) p. 76]. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised April 9, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.