Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

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Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to John Randolph, November 24, 1729

     Robert Carter writes to attorney John Randolph, November 24, 1729, concerning the purchase of lands owned by Samuel Hallows of England for whom Carter understands Randolph is agent.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Randolph, November 24, 1729

-1 -

Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Novembr 24th. 1729

John Randolph Esqr.

Sir --

     I wrote to you from Colo. Pages with him to desire yo [ur]
paymt. of some money to Mrs Ravenscroft for nine thousand weight of Tob
we had bought of him in Gloucester and that our Bills should be ready for
you upon demand this affair I suppose may be accomodated by this time

     After my coming home my Son Robert acquainted
me you had made him an Offer of Hallowss Land and told him that you were
fully impowerd to Sell it when I went from home I had it in my thought [s]
to [illegible] have treated with you very particularly about this Business matter but what thro
your multyplicty of Business the difficulty of having any conversatio [n]
with you and to say truth my own forgetfulness it never came into my head
Till Robins [illegible] discourse Mr. Hallows in a letter of the 16th: of Decr:
last (for you must know we have been in treaty about this Land for man [y]
years) tells me that illegible among other things that upon your return from
the Bath he had seen you and intended to Invest you with the property of the
lands to Enable to [sic ] you to make good the title and therefore advised me to clo [se]
with you upon your return that he had rather the Estate should fall as to my
share with whom he has had some Correspondence rather than to a Stranger and
that my Friend Mr Pemberton Will be ready to Observe my orders &
would pay the [order] that he might have his money upon the first return answ [er]
ing me that he will ratifye and Confirm the Title upon the receipt of the
Purchase money these are some of his Words and I cant but think he may
have said something like this to you however it Came to pass that not a
Word should arise Between you & I Concerning this Letter I must own
the plaice is very covt. to some of my Sons Lands and he seems pritty fond of
having it and therefore If yo. think it Proper to give me the refusal of it and
Will contrive a place of meeting (but that I would Willingly have at my house
which you may take in your Way up as my Son tells me you are design'd)
if you are not too Stiff in your demands I shall be ready to Close the Barga [in]
According to Mr Hallows Phrase Yr Answer hereto is desired by Sir yr most


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.

The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on the draft.

[1] This may have been Elizabeth (Hamlin) Ravenscroft, wife of Thomas Ravenscroft who, originally trained as a carpenter, became a distinguished citizen and "held a number of public positions. He was sheriff of James City County in 1722, but in 1723 moved to Prince George County. . . . He was a burgess of Prince George in the assembly of 1727-34, and for a time in that of 1734-40, dying in 1736."( "Thomas Ravenscroft " on WikiTree, 7/14/2015 ; and "Ravenscroft Archaeological Site" of Colonial Williamsburg, 7/14/2015 .)

[2] A bill of exchange is a kind of check or promissory note without interest. It is used primarily in international trade, and is a written order by one person to pay another a specific sum on a specific date sometime in the future. If the bill of exchange is drawn on a bank, it is called a bank draft. If it is drawn on another party, it is called a trade draft. Sometimes a bill of exchange will simply be called a draft, but whereas a draft is always negotiable (transferable by endorsement), this is not necessarily true of a bill of exchange. (See "Bill of Exchange" in the online Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms: the Truth vs. the Scam. )

[3] Samuel Hallows (Hallowes) was a great-nephew of John Hallowes, an early landholder in Northumberland and later, Westmoreland County, who was usually identified as of "Nomini" in Westmoreland County. Samuel Hallows lived in Ashworth, County Lancaster, England. The tract in which Carter was interested may have been that of 2400 acres acquired from Hallows in 1733 by Thomas Lee. Carter had written Hallows May 30, 1728, that he would not buy the tract of land. ("Major John Hallowes, 1615-1657" in Norris. Westmoreland County, Virginia. pp. 99-102. )

[4] Randolph had recently returned from England where he was agent for Virginia. Apparently he had traveled to the resort town of Bath. ". . . it is not known exactly when the health giving qualities of Bath springs were first noticed. They were certainly known to the Romans who built a temple there around 50 AD. . . . They also built a public baths which was supplied by the hot springs. . . . In the 60s and 70s AD a town grew up on the site of Bath . . .In the late 17th century Bath continued to be a quiet market town. It largely depended on its springs. From 1661 Bath water was bottled and sold. . . . In the 18th century Bath became a much more genteel and fashionable place. It boomed in size. This was largely due to the efforts of Richard 'Beau' Nash 1674-1762 who was made Master of Ceremonies. Many fine buildings were erected in Bath. . . . A Pump Room was built in 1706. . . . During the Summer Georgian Bath was full of rich visitors. They played cards, went to balls and horse racing, went walking and horse riding. However the high life was only for a small minority." ("A Brief History of Bath. " 7/17/2015)

This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised July 17, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.