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 Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 9, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 9, 1731, concerning tobacco that will be shipped on board the firm's vessel the Spotswood , some of which belongs to George Nicholas and some to Mann Page's estate.

Letter from Robert Carter to Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 9, 1731

-1 -

Rappaha[nnock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 9. 1731

Alderman Perry & Compa

Sir Gent

     Your Master Bradby of the Spotswood is now at my
house giving me Bills of Lading , one for twenty hogsheads of my own
Tobo. This is to inclose [them] , they are of my own Crops all stemmed & --
streight laid. I am in hopes they will rise well & clean I think I
may say our last Crop was generally good; there are nineteen
hogsheads more made up in Mr Burwell's plantations; Part of them
will come upon Accot of that Estate & Part under my own Risque
being the Allotment which fell to Doctor Nicholas. I am not
under so much Certainty with Respect to the numbers of them to --
take the Bills of Lading now. William Camp our General
Overseer of that Concern, hath Orders to take them & to inclose one
of each parcel to you. I reckon there should be nineteen hogsheads,
ten of them my own Doctor Nicholas's Part. The Captain sayes
there is but eighteen yet aboard the other he promises to fetch
I have seen a pretty many hhds of Mr. Burwel's Tobo ths year & I
hope they will deserve their former good Character & in respect
to the price will keep pace with the finest Crops in York River
as they have hitherto done

     Colonel Page's Tobacco in this ship I am also under
no Certainty about. Care will be taken tht a bill of lading shall
be sent to you for them I shall give you no further trouble at
present I expect the Secretary here every hour we will endeavoar
[damage to text] ship will bring to you our joint proceedings I am

              Your most humble sevt

[damage to text] your new [. . .]
[damage to text] [. . .] pay for


Source copy consulted: Letter book, 1731 July 9-1732 July 13 , Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. There has been water damage to the lower half of the sheet affecting the end of the first paragraph and much of the second.

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.

[1] The Spotswood was a London ship commanded by James Bradby, 1727-1732, and was owned by Micajah Perry. ( Adm 68/195, 70r ff., found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. See Carter to Micajah Perry April 16. 1730. )

[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] 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. )

[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. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised October 23 , 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.