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 Captain John Hyde & Company, June 27, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Captain John Hyde & Company, June 27, 1729, to notify the firm of tobacco shipped earlier and of a bill of exchange as well as of an order for wine. He sends an invoice, 2 bills of exchange, and a bill of lading for tobacco belonging to the estate of Nathaniel Burwell.

Letter from Robert Carter to Captain John Hyde & Company, June 27, 1729

-1 -

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

Capt. John Hyde & Company

Gent --

     I wrote to you by Captain . Woodward by whom sent you
40 hhds. of Tobacco then advised you of a bill of Exchange I had drawn on you
for£40 12:3 to him also desired your orders by him to Madeira next year for
2 Pipes of the best wine and mentioned some other things to which I desire
You to be referred .

      Now I send you an Invoice for some things for my 3
Younger Children in the buying and shipping them I desire the Directions
therein given may be followed,

     Herein I send you 2 small bills of Exchange one of Charles
Broadwaters for £3"1"1 the other of Charles Lee's for £5"6"-both upon your
selves which I desire Credit for.

     Herein comes to you a bill of Lading for 10 hhds.
belonging to the Nathaniel Burwell's Estate, you have the last years Crop of that Plantation
to Account for as also also all the Tobacco I sent you last year. Your Sales of the
York river Tobacco belonging to Mr. Burwells' Estate I believe will keep pace
with most of the rest of the sales of that Concern Some that are Concerned in it
think otherways and yet I must own it to be my fault you have more
of that Tobacco this Year It is chiefly all shipped in Mr. Perrys ships who
has been very obliging to us. however I intend to make you amends the next
Crop I am

                  Your most humble Servant --

Colonel Page and myself have drawn
on you for £100 on the Account of Mr.
Burwells Estate Payable to Mr. Emanuel Jones Clerk which you are to
Charge to the Account of that Estate,

Per Bailey


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] Thomas Woodward commanded the Providence, a ship owned by Captain John Hyde & Company, during a number of voyages to the colony, 1723-1729. ( 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, and Carter's letter to the firm, September 17, 1723. )

[2] 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. )

[3] A pipe is "a large container of definite capacity for storing solids or liquids, such as meat, fish, or oil. Now: spec. a large cask for storing wine or cider." Wikipedia, citing a book by Ronald E. Zupco, states that a pipe was half a tun which was "a large vat or vessel, most often holding 252 wine gallons," meaning a pipe was roughly 126 gallons of wine. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press and Ronald E. Zupko. A Dictionary of Weights and Measures for the British Isles: The Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century . [Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society , 1985, 168.] )

[4] Charles Lee (1684-1741) of Cobbs Hall, Northumberland County. He was sheriff of that county in 1725 and 1726. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 86, 100. )

[5] 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. )

[6] Emanual Jones lived in Gloucester County. ( Beverley Fleet. Virginia Colonial Abstracts . [Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., reprint, 2000, 2006. online at Google Books,] p. 14 abstracting Essex County Wills and Deeds, 1711-1714, includes "Emanuel Jones of the Parish of Petsworth in the County of Gloucester Colony of Virginia Clerk. . . . " as a party to a deed of patition in December 1712 ; and Polly Cary Mason. Records of Colonial Gloucester County Virginia: A Collection of Abstracts. . . . [Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., reprint, 2009, online at Google Books] p. 105 includes similar records for Jones.)

[6] 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 10, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.