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 James Bradley, September 9, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant James Bradley, September 9, 1729, to request his assistance in obtaining a proper estimate of the value of copper ore that he sends.

Letter from Robert Carter to James Bradley, September 9, 1729

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Sepr: 9th. 1729

Mr. Jas. Bradley


     Colo Page my self and two of my Sons have
lately taken up a Mountanous piece of Land on which there
is some Shew of a Copper Ore what quantity there may be we
have not yet discovered by the Shew we have makes us resolve to be
at some Charge in a futher Tryal some of the Ore that we
first found we sent of both to London and Bristol from
whence we have but short Accots of the Value of it and indeed
the Quantity we sent was but small We have this year sent some
more for a larger Tryal and beleiving you may be acquain
ted in things of this Nature makes us give you this trouble of
a Small Barrel of it Containing Gross 106 pounds tares 10 pound ship'd
in the Sarah requesting you will oblige us so far as to make
the Nicest Tryal of what Value this ore may be and w [het] her
it may be worth or. While to prosecute the design a small p [ar] t of
it in a bagg hath been beatin and Washt here whether that or the
Lumps may afford the most Mettal we cant tell you will hear fur
ther from us upon this Affair when we meet the Earlyest inte
lligence you can give us will be Accptable to

yor: most Humble [Servant]


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, 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 to the heading on the draft.

[1] 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 1727 May 17, 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. 8/12/2005. )

[2] In 1728, Carter, his sons Robert and Charles, and his son-in-law Mann Page, organized a company 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." Horsepen Run joins Broad Run on the northern border of Dulles airport. The company was not successful. (Morton. Robert Robert Carter of Nomini Hall. pp. 18-19; and Harrison. Landmarks. . . . p. 342. )

[3] The tares are the weights of the containers.

[4] 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. )