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 William Camp, June 28, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to William Camp, manager of his and the Burwell estate properties in Gloucester and nearby counties, June 28, 1731, concerning various management activites that Camp has undertaken, and asking him to be alert to find tar and pitch for Carter.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Camp, June 28, 1731

-1 -

Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

28. June 1731

Wm Camp

     I shall pass over at present Doctor Nicholas's Concern. In
the Bills of Lading you have taken you have rightly followed my Orders --
Herewith I send you some Letters to go by Captain Cant; his thirty shillings
I have. you have done well in sending Bills of Lading away for the Lion's
& Merchant's hundred Tobacco Bradby's Bills of Exchange you tell
me shall come with the Invoice& the other Bills you mention. Colonel
Jones's Bills I have. I suppose you will not omit getting an Invoice --
from Mrs Nicholas for her Children. Bradby of York sends me word he'll
be with me. The Milwright if I am sure of him when I want him,
I shall not care if I don't see this two months

     If you can met with a Good Bargain of Tar besides what
you buy for the use of Mr Burwell's Estate & Rippon I don't care if you
buy for me to be landed at my House twenty or thirty Barrels of Tar
&half a dozen or half a Score Barrels of Pitch . My Son Landon when
I was at York, had the Offer of a Parcel of Tar at Six & Sixpence Cash --
but for want of Orders let it pass. I am Yor Friend --

you must take particular Care of Mr. Randolph's Letter


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 this draft.

[1] William Camp (Kemp) was described by Carter as "the General Overseer of Mr Burwell's Affairs" and he wrote that Camp earned a salary "£50 . . . for the year 1731." Carter and his son-in-law, Mann Page, were the trustees of Nathaniel Burwell's children after Burwell's death in 1721. Camp was a resident of Gloucester County where most of the Burwell estates lay, and he must also have supervised "Rippon Hall" in nearby York County. ( Carter to George Braxton, November 20, 1729 , and Carter to William Dawkins, July 11, 1732, and Virginia Tax Records. [Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1983.] p. 539. )

[2] A bill of lading is "an official detailed receipt given by the master of a merchant vessel to the person consigning the goods, by which he makes himself responsible for their safe delivery to the consignee. This document, being the legal proof of ownership of the goods, is often deposited with a creditor as security for money advanced." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[3] Captain Constantine Cant commanded the Buwell which may have been owned by William Dawkins and Micajah Perry as Carter reported her December 1723 arrival to each of them. ( Adm. 68/194-195, ff. 76v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[4] This may have been property on Lyon's Creek, Surry County, across the James River from York County where Ripon Hall was located.

[5] Captain James Bradby commanded the Micajah and Philip. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, ff. 74v, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[6] 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. )

[7] Rippon Hall had been Edmund Jenings' estate in York County which he had acquired in 1687 from John and Unity West when it was named "Poplar Neck." Jenings's bad financial circumstances forced him to mortgage the property to Carter who eventually acquired title to it. Carter obviously felt its mill would be a good acquisition .( "Notes and Queries." William and Mary Quarterly. 2[Apr. 1894]: 270-278, now available through the Internet Archive. )

[8] Pitch is "a sticky, resinous, black or dark brown substance, hard when cold and semi-liquid when hot, that is obtained as a residue from the distillation of wood tar or turpentine and is used for caulking the seams of ships, protecting wood from moisture, etc." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[9] Landon Carter (1710-1778) was Carter's seventh child by his second wife, Elizabeth (Landon) Willis. Landon would live at "Sabine Hall," Richmond County, and marry three times, leaving many descendants, some of whom own "Sabine Hall" today. As an adult, he would keep a very interesting and useful diary. A reproduction of a portrait of him may be found on the website of the Foundation of Historic Christ Church. ( Jack P. Greene. "Landon Carter" in Sara B. Bearss, John G. Deal, et al., eds. Dictionary of Virginia Biography. [Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006], 3:76-78; and Greene. The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter. . . . )