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 Foster Cunliffe, June 24, 1731

     Robert Carter writes a postscript to an earlier letter to Liverpool merchant Foster Cunliffe, June 24, 1731, to alert him to a shipment of tobacco and to request that he purchase and ship goods if Mr. Pemberton cannot do so.

Letter from Robert Carter to Foster Cunliffe, June 24, 1731

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

June 24. 1731

To be added to Mr. Cunliffs Letter by Loxum* -- --


     The above Copy will inform you of the reasons I cons
igned my tobacco by the Rappahannock to you I have now 20 hogsheads more
the Mayflower. Captain Fowler 16 of them stemmed my own Crops
the remaining 4 leaf tobacco from abroad These 4 hogsheads I hope will
rise good & stout you may dispose of them as you please either at
the mast
or by an Inland sale. By this ship I send an invoice
for some goods to Mr. Pemberton if he will not be at the trouble
of sending me: them I have desired him to deliver the invoice to you
requesting you will take the Opportunity of the first ship bound into

-2 -

our River to let me have them by I shall desire you to be refered
to the Above and conclude here

                  yr. very humble Servant.


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.

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. "Rappahannock," the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

The letter to Cunliffe for which this is a postscript is not extant.

[1] Foster Cunliffe (d. 1767) was a merchant and prominent citizen of Liverpool who worked to expand manufacturing and the capacity of the harbor; he served a number of terms as mayour He and Richard Gildart undertook "a major reorginization of business with Maryland and Virginia . . . beginning in the early 1720's [they] sent numerous factors to the region." They established stores in which retail goods were sold, purchased the produce of the region, had it ready for loading when ships arrived, and also moved into the sale of slaves. ( James A. Picton, ed. Liverpool Municipal Archives and Records. . . . [Liverpool, 1907.] pp. 27, 31, 79, 90, 96, etc. and Paul G. Clemens. "The Rise of Liverpool, 1665-1750." Economic History Review. 24[May 1976]:211-225.

* Captain Loxom commanded a vessel named the Loyalty in 1729-1730. James Tarleton commanded a vessel of that name in 1731. (The software will not permit the use of a footnote in this area of the text, and an asterisk has been resorted to by the editor. Survey Report 9727, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. See Carter's letters to John Pemberton April 15, 1730 , and August 4, 1731 .)

[2] There were several vessels with the name Rappahannock . One was based in Liverpool and was commanded by a Captain Francis Etheridge in 1725; she was a 90 ton ship with 13 men. Another of which Charles Whate was captain was of 60 tons with 11 men in 1726 and 1727. Carter's letters mention a Captain Hugh Brackhill in 1728-1729, and Captain Loxum in 1732. ( Adm. 68/194, ff.30, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[3] Carter first mentions this vessel in this letter. Other mentions in letters to Cunliff and John Pemberton, both Liverpool merchants, indicate that city probably was the vessel's home port.

[4] Parliament had passed an act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. John Randolph was sent to England in 1728 as agent for Virginia to try to have the act overturned; his mission was successful, and he was home in the colony by June 2, 1729 , when Carter wrote to welcome him home. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. [Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953], 116. )

[6] To sell at the mast means a sale on board a ship where the "ship's mainmast [w]as the usual place of assembly for a court hearing, public sale, etc., on board ship. . . . " ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. ).

[6] the Rappahannock

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