A Collection Transcribed
by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
List of Letters
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, University of Virginia Library
Letter from Robert Carter to Edward Athawes, April 16, 1730
Robert Carter writes to London merchant Edward Athawes, April 16, 1730, to thank him for the report of sales, the prices of goods sent, and his efforts in obtaining information about the quality of the copper ore Carter sent for evaluation. He requests Athawes find a good head miner to pursue the work.
Letter from Robert Carter to Edward Athawes,
April 16, 1730
Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]
April 16, 1730
Mr Edwd Athaws
Your remembrance of the 26th of December
came by Graves
who Arrived about three Weeks ago the best answer I
can give it is to tell you that the states of my tobacco and the and the [sic
of my goods give me a moderate Satisfaction. the markets were so low
That my expences and Losses did pretty largely Exceed my income
and how to retrench my outgoing I do not know unless I should
my family of the necessary calls of humanity and
decency which I thank god I have hitherto been enabled to A:
void however in respect to my Sales of the tobacco I sent to Mr. Daw
I had reason to be better pleased than with most others
that had a share of my Crops that year I do not well know the terms
agreed upon between Mr Dawkins and yourself or how far
you are in Partnership with him therefore can't make you
any direct reply upon that Subject if he thinks it proper to join
you with himself I have so good an Esteem for you that I should
be willing to treat with you under that denomination
I now Come to Your Letter to the Frying pan Company
which was delivered me with the box of Ores the pains you were
at in giving us so particular and full a Satisfaction in your
Trials was very pleasing to us all and we shall write a Joint
letter to you on that Affair and believe shall gratify your
desire in making you our chief Agent in transacting
We meet with abundance of Difficulties in the
design our hopes and our doubts change almost as often
as the tides so many demonstrable signs as We have met wth
we think Cannot deceive us but that there must be a great
load of valuable ore someWhere if we could fall upon the
right way of Finding it but that we doubt we shall never
do unless we can be provided with men of more skill than any
we have yet met with All the ore that We have yet raised which
we dare ship does not amount to above 50 Cask [sic
that we reckon
will contain about 400 weight each they are about the size of tar
Barrels I have talked with some masters of ships about
the Freight of them we Expect enough would be glad to
take them in this Scarce year but the lowest terms any has off
erd as yet is 15 shillings per Cask thus this matter stands At present I
think we Can never afford to give that price
according to your direction has been
at the mine and will be able to Answer all your Questions he design [s]
home in Malbon
who I reckon may get his business Accomplished
by the last of next month
The greatest kindess you Can do us in this affair
will be to procure a proper person skilled in Working these
mines with a set of proper labourers Whose business has been
to live undergound and whose trade has been to raise these Ores
without such assistance I am affeard the game will not
for the Candles
Captain Graves offers to take in our Barrels
and to leave the settlement of the Freight to Mr Dawkins &
you but that we Cannot come into what resolutions we may take
up at our meeting I shall not
Conclude at Present
your very humble Servt
Copy by C. Malbon
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. 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.
 Benjamin Graves was the son of Captain Thomas Graves (d. ante
1720), long a captain of vessels trading to Virginia, and a special friend of Carter. Benjamin also commanded vessels in the trade, especially the Carter.
( Adm. 68/194-196, ff. 33r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Carter uses the word "bereave" in an older sense of "to deprive, rob, strip, dispossess (a person, etc., of a possession . . .)." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online
. Oxford University Press.
 In 1728, Carter, his sons Robert and Charles, and his son-in-law Mann Page, organized a company called the Frying Pan 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.
and Harrison. Landmarks. . . .
 The Bailey
was a London ship owned by William Dawkins and commanded at various times by Adam Graves (1725-1730) and by Thomas Dove (1730-1732). She was a vessel of some 250 tons and carried 15-17 crew members. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, 156v, and other data in Adm. 68/194 and /196, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia;
A letter of Carter's to Dawkins May 12, 1732,
refers to "your ship Bailey." as does a letter of August 10, 1733, from Carter's executors to Dawkins. [ Lloyd T. Smith, Jr., ed.
The Executors' Letters of Robert Carter of Corotoman, 1732-1738.
(Irvington, VA: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 2010) p. 76].
 The Rebecca
was probably a London Ship; she was of 300 tons, had a crew of 11, and was commanded by Samuel Malbon in 1730-1731. ( Adm. 65/195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
This text, originally posted in 2005, was revised August 6, 2015, to strengthen the footnotes and the modern language version text.