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 Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, August 26, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, August 26, 1729, to thank them for their accounts of the passage through Parliament of the act repealing the prohibition against the importation of stemmed tobacco, and to report the damage to the colony's crops from heavy rains.

Letter from Robert Carter to Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, August 26, 1729

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Augst. 26.1729

Messrs. Haswell & Brooks


     I thank you for the frequent Accounts
you gave me of the Several Steps the Act of Parliament took For
releasing us from the bondage we were under in being prohibited
from putting our Staple Commodity into such Shapes as we ap
prehended would prove most advantageous to Our Support now it is
a law as We reckon ( although I donot [sic ] yet hear any person has the news of its
passing The Royal assent) We have great hopes that our Crops nicely
managed will never fail to return us prizes that we may live by

-2 -

     You will have from all hands the Account how the Violent and
incessant rains this Summer have damaged our present Crops wch
must of necessity be very much Short of what we made last and some
preceeding years all these things raise our Crests to Expect better
markets for the Tobo now gone home than we have met with for some
years past

     In my former letter I have already written the needful I shall
Conclude at present

                  Your most Humble Servt:


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] Haswell and Brooks was a London firm listed in 1740 directories of that city. Samuel Haswell was a London Assurance director in Suffolk Lane. John Brooks' obituary appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 8, 1740, where his partnership with Haswell was noted and that he had been "formerly Commander of the George, in the Virginia Trade." ( A Compleat Guide to All Persons who have any Trade or Concern with the City of London and Ports adjacent. . . . London: Printed for J. Osborn, at the Golden Ball in Pater-noster-row, MDXXXL ; and online abstract list of entries from Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740. p. 39. Brooks' obituary courtesy of Todd A. Farmerie, 1/21/2013.)

[2] Parliament had passed an act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. John Randolph was sent to England in 1728 as agent for Virginia to try to have the act overturned; his mission was successful, and he was home in the colony by June 2, 1729 , when Carter wrote to welcome him home. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. [Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953], 116. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised May 20, 2015, to strengthen the footnotes and the modern language version text.