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 William Dawkins, June 28, 1729

     Robert Carter and probably his son John write jointly to London merchant William Dawkins, June 28, 1729, re their handling of Dawkins's debts from the estate of Isaac Lee.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins, June 28, 1729

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
June 28th. 1729

Mr: Wm: Dawkins

     We receiv'd yrs. of the 25th: of Novr. by the Bailey
wth: the goods for the Maintainance of the Children
& their Estates amounting to £40:11:0 and the Acct:
Currt: to the 1st: of Augt. 1728. the Ballance at that time
28:14:8. the 8 hogsheads of Tobacco by the Carter still to be account
ed for, and Coll: Carters bill of 7:6:0 still to be charg'd
so that [illegible] out of the produce of the unsold Tobacco [illegible]
tobacco charged is to come £20:17:0 the Remainder to be plac'd
to yr: Cr: agt: Isaac Lees bond as pr: our order. We now
send you a bill of lading for 9 hogsheads Tobacco more in the
Bailey, and upon it draw a bill to Coll: Carter for 10:7:10
and also send for a parcel of goods as few as It's possible
to maintain the slaves with w:: we [illegible] reckon will not come to with charges above 16£
the remaining part of the Effects of this Tobacco we Desire
you will place to Isaac Lees Cr: against his bond

     Herein we send you 2 bills of Exchange one drawn
by Coll: Carter on yr:self for 5:9:0 the other by Philip
on Jno: Berry & Compa: for 8:1:0 these sums we
also pay on Discharge of Isaac Lees Debt.

     The 2 small bills we sent you last year you tell us
were plac'd to Isaac Lees Cr: but hope you are not to be
paid in this small way, That Isaac's Estate ought to
be sold; You are to know that this Estate under our
government belongs to the rest of the Children as well
as to Isaac, their part they are they are under no Obligation
to sell, we keep it all together until we raise the
mony for the Discharge of yr. debt & this they acquies in if there was a
Division perhaps 2 or 3 Negroes might fall to his
share, the rest would be Cattle & Hoggs wch: will not
fetch mony , by keeping the Estate together you will
be paid in time, & if you will be so Rigourous your
bond will give you Interest until you are paid; Therefore
we think it best for you as well for as for the Children, to
keep the Estate working together until you have yr: mon [ey]
we hope you will not be dissatisfied with this method
after these bills are come to hand & this Tobacco Sold we
would have a stated Acct: how much of yr: bond remains
unpaid. we are

              Yr. [illegible] most humble Servts:


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.

[1] 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]. )

[2] Isaac Lee (1701-1727) was a son of Hancock Lee and his second wife, Sarah Allerton, and a "mariner." He was a resident of Westmoreland County but went to England where he died in Stepney. ("Descendants of John Lee," on rootsweb; and "Lee Surname," on the Shirley Family Association website.)

[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] 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. )

[5] Philip Smith was sheriff of Northumberland County in 1723-1724. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 34,67. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised April 22, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.