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 Colonel Thomas Lee, June 24, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to Colonel Thomas Lee of Westmoreland County, June 24, 1731, concerning a settlement of quit rents collections.

Letter from Robert Carter to Colonel Thomas Lee, June 24, 1731

-1 -

Coro [toman, Lancaster County, Virginia]

June 24, 1731

Col. Thomas Lee


     It is an old proverb & a very good one that often
reckoning makes long friends. The Account of Quitrents [sic ] for the Land you
hold being under no right settlement According to my thoughts as yet,
[illegible] I have thought fit herein to send you an Accot If I have Committed
any errors you will please to make your Observations. Mr. Earl has accounted
to me for your lands in Westmoreland only He demanded of you rents
for King George lands, but you denied payment of them to him
as he tells me.

-2 -

     In this Account I have given credit for the three black Hogsheads
of tobacco James Carters Receiver took from your Overseer last year
the most Abused and despicable stuff that ever I saw in my life
but I must believe you knew nothing of this and that it [was] wholly owing
to the Villany of the Overseer and the baseness of the Receiver that would
take such tobacco

     You will please take a proper time to let me know how
you reckon this matter stands between us, in which you will oblige

                   Your most 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.There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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

[1] Thomas Lee (1690-1750) of Westmoreland County was the son of Richard Lee II, and nephew of Edmund Jenings; he would build "Stratford," and succeed Carter on the Council. For a good article on Thomas Lee, see "Thomas Lee of Stratford 1690-1750" by Jeanne A. Calhoun on Stratford plantation's website. ( Burton J. Hendrick. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. [Boston: Little Brown, 1935]. pp. 48, 51, etc. )

[2] Quit rent was the term used for "a (usually small) rent paid by a freeholder . . . in lieu of services which might otherwise be required; a nominal rent paid (esp. in former British colonial territories to the Crown) as an acknowledgement of tenure," in this case, to the proprietors of the Northern Neck. Carter as the proprietor's agent, collected these payments. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[3] The recever was an officer appointed to serve under the authority of the Receiver-General of the colony to collect "the export duty of two shillings per hogshead on tobacco, the one penny per pound on tobacco exported from Virginia . . . ." (Percy Scott Flippin. The Financial Administration of the Colony of Virginia [Johns Hopkins Press, 1915.] 41-42. )

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