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 Colonel [Mann] Page, August 27, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to his son-in-law, Colonel [Mann] Page, August 27, 1729, in Gloucester County concerning the need to get a letter on board a ship shortly to sail for London, and matters concering their copper mining work.

Letter from Robert Carter to Colonel [Mann] Page, August 27, 1729

-1 -

Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Augt. 27. 1729

Coll. Page --

Honble. Sir

     my Son Charles telling me the Williamsburg will be
upon Sailing the latter end of this Week I thought it Necessary [to g] ive you
the Trouble by a Messenger of Some Letters I intend away by her [I know?]
you will Not want opportun [it] y to forward them

     I have Sent this sketch of a letter to go Mr Bradley a [bout ?]
Sending us Some labouring Miners I have Signed it. wil [l you if ?]
[. . .] it to sign it also, I am not fond of my own [. . .]
[. . .] alt to Say too Much rather than too li [ttle]
[. . .] every one must mo [. . .]
[. . .]

-2 -

Bradley, who moves in a more elevated Sphere, & [. . .]
-tentive mind; & Seems fond of doing those Extra [. . .]
perhaps would think himself slighted if he be not mad [e ...]
upon this occasion there is another [ob] jection to Brad [ley ...]
Athawes professes an Extraordinary friendship for My Son [Charles &]
[he] was the person the Ore was sent to, and had the Trial made o [f it He]
[pro] mises his utmost Assistance in carrying on the design [. . .]
Ch [arles] now writes to him, he's a person endavouring to Ing [ratiate him]
-self into business, perhaps it may be proper [. . .] to [. . .]
him only, the reason of my writing this Letter was out of [. . .]
Might be too late for any of the London Ships, Some Suc [h letter is ?]
high [ly] Necessary to be forthwith Sent away, if it ma[ [. . . Should]
we have the Honor . of your company here it will be ver [y welcome]

     We have now here near 400 weight of Ore if we [arrange ?]
to get it to your House time enough to go by the Sarah it wi[ll . . . ]
w [. . .] railes intend to barrel it in a day or two, perhaps it w [ill]
[be ready] to go in the Coach you Come up in Otherwise I believe will [. . .]
[. . .] we might get it to Setons, but Indeed I dont know [. . .]
[. . .] we have Bristol Ships enough to Send it by, but we [. . .]
[. . .] o there, we intend a Small box of it by [Captain] Sweet , who offers [. . .]
to Carry it, [but] of all mankind I think tht. port affords the most [. . .]
Insincere men

     I have not thought it Necessary to put into the power of a [mer]
-chant to make a bargin for us with the a head Miner, although Such a one we
must have if Shaw Comes down he Seems to be a person tht. [. . .]
[. . .] I believe [sic ] we may make a [. . .] bargain for our [selves . . .]
[. . .] will do for us, the rest I shall leave to our [meeting ?]

      [For want] of better entertainmt I [. . .]
[. . .] F [ry] ing pan by a Copy of my [. . .]
[. . .] things have been sent thither [. . .]
[. . . ha] ve not been backward thus far in pa [. . .]
[. . .] ed my Daughter Mary [. . .] Consider [. . .]
[. . .] to her Sister at Rosew [ell . . .]

We are all your humble S [ervants]


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. Both pages of this letter have suffered considerable damage including large sections missing along their margins.

The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on the draft. Carter has added the close in his own hand as is indicated by the use of bold italics.

[1] The London ship Williamsburgh was a large vessel of 550 tons and carried a crew of 26 men. Charles Rogers commanded her in 1727-29. ( Adm 68/195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of May 17, 1727, Bradley owned the Welcome, but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of 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. Online, examined 8/12/2005 and 6/14/2012. )

[3] The Sarah was a 120-ton London vessel with a crew of 13 commanded by John Reynolds in 1728 and 1729. ( Adm 68/194 and 195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[4] There was a ferry over the Piankatank River near Berkeley Island operated by Bailey Seaton that Carter often refers to when describing trips to Williamsburg. The Seaton property is noted on the Fry-Jefferson map as on the Piankatank in Gloucester County.

[5] Henry Sweet was captain of the Chester , a ship thst traded to Barbados and Virginia. ( Survey Report 04590 summarizing Public Record Office Class: T 38/264."Treasury, Departmental Accounts-Barbadoes, Journal of 4 1/2% Duties, 1730." "The following ships and cargoes were bound for Virginia." Henry Sweet is shown as master of the Chester , and the cargo was 1980 gallons of molasses; ; and Survey Report 07233 summarizing Hampshire Record Office Class Wyndham 1725-1753. "Invoices and Sundry Accounts of Henry Wyndham, June 1725-September 1753." Included are records of several voyages of the Chester to Viginia, 1728-1730. Hampshire County, England, includes the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth. )

[6] In 1728, Carter, his sons Robert and Charles, and his son-in-law Mann Page, organized a company they named Frying Pan to mine for copper on a tract of some 27,000 acres that Louis Morton describes as lying "near the present boundary of Fairfax and Loudoun counties." Fairfax Harrison wrote that the tract was "on the Horsepen of Broad." Today, there is a Frying Pan Park just east of the border of the Dulles Airport reservation, and there are other things with the name in the area. The company was not successful. (Morton. Robert Robert Carter of Nomini Hall. pp. 18-19; and Harrison. Landmarks. . . . p. 342. )

[7] "The building of Rosewell was begun in 1725 by Mann Page I (1691-1730), who married in 1718 Judith Carter, the daughter of Robert "King" Carter. . . . It was Page's intention to build a home that would rival or exceed the newly completed Governor's Palace in Williamsburg in size and luxury. . . . The primary construction materials were brick, marble and mahogany, some of which was imported from England. Architectural historians believe that the 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) house, double the size of the Governor's Palace, may have been designed by Mann Page himself. Larger than any home built in colonial Virginia, Rosewell probably owed its design to the London townhouses built to the stricter codes following the Great Fire of London. . . . The Rosewell Mansion was destroyed by fire in 1916. Today, a largely undisturbed historic ruin, the site has been the subject of archaeological work. . . ." ( "Rosewell (plantation)" in well-documented article on Wikipedia, 6/4/2015.)

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised June 4, 2015, qnd again May 30, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.