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 Micajah Perry, November 13, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, November 13, 1729, to notify Perry that he is unable to locate the most recent accounts that Perry had sent for his own and the Burwell estate, and requesting new copies. He adds that his clerk, John Harvey, has recently completed his indenture, and Carter, who does not think much of his honesty, suspects he may have taken the missing accounts. He orders some goods.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, November 13, 1729

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Novr: 13th. 1729

Alderman Perry


     I have already advis'd you of the receipt of yr last
accot Currt. and also of the Accot Currt of Mr Burwells Estate by wht
accident I know not these two accots are so Mislaid that I cannot Af:
ter the strictest search find them by any means I Earnestly desire
you will send me Copys of them

     My servt John Harvey whom you sent me from
the Hospital is lately free he is a fellow of no good principles
I am not without Suspicion That these Accots may be fallen into
some bad hands that may Endeavour to make an ill use of them
have therefore thought it necesary to signifye this much to yo.
that you may be upon yr Guard you may be sure I neither have nor
shall draw any money out of yr hands in haste I am

              Sir &ca

-2 -

I disire you will send 2 pounds of the best India Rhubarb and 6 pounds of Je
suits Bark
and if you make a present to me of a box of Tobo
for my own Smoking it will be Accptable


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

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] Carter had a clerk named John Harvey, and there are notes on some of his letters, "Harvey to copy." A John Harvey witnessed his will, and some of its codicils, which is logical if Harvey had written it out for Carter.

[2] Carter means that Harvey had served out the time of his indenture, and was free of its obligations.

[3] Rhubarb is "any of several plants belonging to the genus Rheum, of the buckwheat family, as R. officinale, having a medicinal rhizome . . . the rhizome of any medicinal species of this plant, forming a combined cathartic and astringent." "In England rhubarb became known, at first in a purely medicinal context, in the sixteenth century. . . ." "When taken internally in small doses, rhubarb acts as an astringent tonic to the digestive system, when taken larger doses rhubarb acts as a very mild laxative. The root can be taken internally for the treatment of chronic constipation, diarrhea, liver and gall bladder complaints, hemorrhoids, menstrual problems and skin eruptions due to an accumulation of toxins. . . . Used externally, rhubarb root can be used in the treatment of burns." ( "" 7/11/2015 ; Sir Ghillean Prance, Mark Nesbitt., eds . The Cultural History of Plants. [Routledge, 2012] p. 126 ; and "The Rhubarb Compendium." 7/10/2015. )

[4] Jesuit's bark is "the bark of various species of the Cinchona tree, from which quinine is procured, formerly ground into powder and taken as a febrifuge [fever reducing agent]"; and "is the most celebrated specific remedy for all forms of malaria. It is obtained from several species of the genus cinchona . . . that have been discovered at different times and are indigenous in the Western Andes of South America. Formerly the bark itself, prepared in different forms, was used as a drug. . . " ( Oxford English Dictionary ; and "Jesuit's Bark ," in "New Advent," an online site incorporating data from the The Catholic Encyclopedia and other sources. )

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised July 11, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.