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 William Dakins, July 2, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dakins, July 2, 1729, concerning a shipment of tobacco in the Lee consigned to him, two bills of exchange, and an unnecessary charge against the Burwell estate's account.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Dakins, July 2, 1729

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
July 2d. 1729

Mr: Wm: Dawkins


     I have told you in my letter of thirteen
hogsheads of Tobacco I had shipped to you in the Lee Captain
Buckeridge Expecting a bill of lading would have gone
in the Ship but my Overseer missed him Burkeridge sends
me two bills of lading in blank and Persuades me mighti
ly to consign them to one of his Owners I have filled up his

-2 -

Blanks to you and herewith send you one of his bills therefore
pray entitle yourself to the consignment of them he says all the
rest of his load goes to his owners but that is nothing to me
I told him from the beginning I would be under no confinement
as to the Person I should Ship my goods to and he was very well
pleased to have my freight upon those terms and all along I
designed them to you

     Adam Graves went out of our sight yesterday
morning and since these bills of lading of Buckeridges have
come to my hands I am

               your Humble Servt:

Here are two Small bills one
of George Balls for 15/6 the other of William Eustaces for 16/. Drawn upon
yourself I have not mentioned to you the 1/2 per Cent Extraordinary you had charged
in Mr. Burwells sales Expecting you will Credit rectify that Error without any further
notice of it to you


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] The Lee Galley was a vessel commanded by George Buckeridge in 1729. She was a vessel of 100 or 200 tons and 13 men. ( Adm. 68/195, ff. 155v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] 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. )

[3] 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]. )

[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] George Ball (1683-1746) was a son of William Ball (1676-1744) of Lancaster County, part of the prominent Ball faily of that county, but a resident of Northumberland County where he was a justice and sheriff. ("Ball Family Documents "; and Ball, Cuppage and Dameron of Northumberland County Virginia." William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine : 11[1903]: 138 online at Google Books.)

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised April 23, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.