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 Secretary [John] Carter, June 29, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to his son, Secretary [John] Carter, June 29, 1731, concerning payment to John Randolph for legal services for the estate of Mann Page, tobacco from the estate that is being shipped on the Burwell, and the poor collections of the Secretary's fees in Westmoreland County.

Letter from Robert Carter to Secretary [John] Carter, June 29, 1731

-1 -

Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

29 June 1731 --

Mr Secretary Carter

Dr Sr

     Mr. Randolph hath sent me in his Accot., there --
appears due to him from Colonel Page's Estate for Cash he hath ad-
vanced upon our Drafts for the Service of the Estate the Sum of one --
hundred fifty three pounds & Six pence Sterling for which sum
I have signed Bills of Excha upon Mr Perry. Mr Randolph promises
to send thm to you for your Hand also. He strongly pressed me to let
him have these Bills to send away with Cant. I did not know --
how to deny him, not knowing the Urgency of his Occasions altho'
I think we had the promises from every Body we drew to tht our Bills
should not go away till the latter Ships.

     Bills of Lading for Colonel Page's Tobo on Board the --
Burwell I almost think you will be [in] time enough down to take --
Camp advises me yesterday tht Cant reckons to sail in eight or ten dayes
I have my own Bills of Lading from him -- I write to Mrs Page to --
take Care of her Husbands if you are not early enough with her to
do it. I am

     My sloop made me an Extraordinary quick Trip from Stafford --
brot seventy hhds of Light Tobo home two dayes ago. I shall prize it as
fast as I can I shall be ready for mr Cheap's sloop in a fortnight or three
Week's time. You are basely served in Westmd about your fees there -- --
Cap Turbervile is very noisy in his Endeavours to serve but I believe
after all my sloop tht is now there gathering up my Tobo will hardly --
bring any of yours altho' they have positive Orders to take in all --
for you tht will be ready I shall tell you the particulars hereafter I am


     I hope Mr Cheap will allow me three shillings Sterling for the Conveniency

-2 -

of my Tobo It's what every London Master gives me on York River as well as
this. I'm sure it costs me a great deal more to bring it together My people
shall dispatch his Sloop in a few hours.

     I would have you write a Letter of Advice of these Bills to Mr Perry, --
I have already done it -- tell him you will do so too -- -- -- --


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] 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. )

[2] 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. )

[3] 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. )

[4] 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. )

[5] To prize is "to compress (cured tobacco) in a hogshead or box." There is a good description of the process on pages 100-101 in Middleton's Tobacco Coast. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press; and Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. [Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953]. )

[6] This may have been Patrick Cheap, a merchant from Urbanna in Middlesex County. (Rutman and Rutman, A Place in Time: Middlesex. . . . p. 247. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised October 13, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.