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 King, [September 6, 1729]

     Robert Carter writes to Bristol merchant John King, [September 6, 1729], to notify him that Carter has received goods, and to order more.

Letter from Robert Carter to John King, [September 6, 1729]

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

John King Esqr


     your market is so miserable Low there is no man:
ner of Encouragemt to give you the trouble of any Tobo

     I receiv'd your goods by Capn: Sweet in good order
and I now desire you by the first opportunity to send me in the same
following over again goods Vizt 20,000 8d Nails 20,000 10d nails. five
hundred wt of Iron for Weeding hoes. 2 dozo mens Fall Shoes
one dozo Womens Do: with three dozo Bottles of yr Bristol watr
I must add no more that I may keep within my ballance I am Sir
your most Humble Servt:

                  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. This letter was written on a letterbook page bearing a letter of April 15, 1730, but that letter is in the hand of a different clerk. This letter seems to be in the hand of the clerk who wrote the two previous letters dated September 5th and 6th, 1729. Because it follows the one of the later date, and because it orders supplies normally written for in the late summer or earcly fall, it has been assigned that date.

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] Vizt. is the abbreviation for the Latin word "videlicet"; it means "that is to say; namely; to wit: used to introduce an amplification, or more precise or explicit explanation, of a previous statement or word." ( Oxford English Dictionary online. )

[2] Carter may be referring to a style of shoe or boot known as French falls. According to a variety of sources on the web including the Encyclopedia Britannica Online, French falls were a type of high buff leather boots with a wide top that was turned over forming a cuff around the leg. P.A. Bruce wrote in his Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century on page 482 of Vol. II, "The Assembly had, in 1660, adopted rules . . . Each county was instructed to erect a tan-house and to employ tanners, carriers, and shoemakers. There was appointed for each house an overseer . . . To the persons presenting hides he was required to sell plain shoes at the rate of thirty pounds [of tobacco] a pair. French falls of the largest size were to be sold to such persons at the rate of thirty-five pounds [of tobacco] a pair, whilst those of the smallest were to be sold at twenty pounds." A knowledgeable staff member at Colonial Williamsburg has emailed the editor "The main puzzlement is, that French Falls were made for men, women, and children, and for well over 100 years. No one can fathom any known style or type of footwear that fits that description with certainty, at that price range, that's not slippers. The leading UK footwear historian, June Swann, has never found a definitive answer as to what they were either. Maybe one day we'll figure it out." ("Classics of American Colonial History," ttp://; 5/1/2007; p. 482; and email, Dominic Saguto to the editor, 5/22/2007)

[3] "Mineral waters of Clifton, near Bristol, with a temperature not exceeding 74 [degrees]; formerly celebrated in cases of pulmonary consumption." ( "Bristol waters" on 12/5/2014 )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised July 6, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.