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 John Pemberton, August 29, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, August 29, 1729, to report that he is sending 25 hogsheads of tobacco on Captain Ireland's Liverpool ship, and enclosing (not present) a bill of lading. He comments on the damage to crops done by the heavy rains of the summer.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, August 29, 1729

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Augst. 29th 1729

Mr John Pemberton

      Captain Ireland of your Port from James riv
er Came here seeking freight I made a Positive agreement with
him for Forty hogsheads he pretends he could not meet with a Sloop big eno:
ugh so I have got but 25 in him the rest of my Tobacco is left
Herein comes a bill of Lading for 20 hogsheads of my own Concern You
will have the accot from all parts of the Abundance of rains
that we have had this Summer all along many of the lowlands
quite drowned all great Sufferers the high lands Tobacco will be
very thin and light we reckon in General the Crops this year
will be very much Short of the last Which gives us hope Even the tobacco
already gone will meet with a Much better market than the last did
the Liberty of Stemming for which we have now an Act of parliament

-2 -

we are in Expectation will Contribute a great deal to lessening the
Quantity as well as mending the Quality

     If you Can meet with an Early ship to let my goods
Come by it will be very Acceptable for the Supply of my families
before this Winter sets in too hard I am

              Sir your most 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.

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] 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. )

[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 June 9, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.