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 Major George Eskridge, June 30, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to his friend and agent in Westmoreland County, Major George Eskridge, June 30, 1729, about his need for cash and urges Eskridge to press the collection of quit rents.

Letter from Robert Carter to Major George Eskridge, June 30, 1729

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Corotom [an, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
June 30. 1729

Majr. George Eskridge

Sir --

     when you were here I know you intended to
be at our July Court & I hope you will but lest you should fail
I can't for bear to put you in mind how poor I am how few bills of
I have received this year and how low my stock of Cash is so tht.
I am hardly Able to Pay my debts which I Expect Every day will be
Called for and how little money I received for my Quit rents this year
not a third of what has been paid me for several years Past

     Upon Consideration of these my Uncommon ne:
cessities I press you strongly to get me all the money you Can I hope
you have begun prosecutions for my fines against those you have
any reason to suspect will not pay without

     Mr Downman you told me owns to have
twenty pounds of the money in his hands pray take a right method

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to get it of him that I may have it to Answer my Present
Calls And sure of my Other debts will be got this year for me

     Mr James Carter tells me he was promised by the
gentlemen of Stafford to pay their rents to the Value of £100
who now shuffle with him and tell him they must Pay Tobacco at
last I order him to sue for the money Upon their Assumpsits
thinking my self not Obliged to take Tobacco so late in the year
for their last years rents and I dare say you will be of the same
of [sic ] Opinion

      Colonel Robinson for All his fine promises to you has
never yet paid his rents to Mr Carter I am

              Your Affectionate 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.There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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

[1] 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. )

[1] Quit rent was the term used for "a (usually small) rent paid by a freeholder . . . in lieu of services which might otherwise be required; a nominal rent paid (esp. in former British colonial territories to the Crown) as an acknowledgement of tenure," in this case, to the proprietors of the Northern Neck. Carter as the proprietor's agent, collected these payments. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[2] William Downman was a justice of Richmond County from 1718, sheriff in 1722 and 1723, and a tobacco inspector in 1731 and 1732. (Ryland. Richmond County Virginia. . . . p. 504. and McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 12, 34, 238, 286. )

[3] An assumpsit is "a promise or contract, oral or in writing not sealed, founded upon a consideration" or "a action to recover damages for breach or non-performance of such contract." ( ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. ) )

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