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 John Stark, July 9 and August 7, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to Glasgow merchant John Stark, July 9 and August 7, 1731, to inform him of a bill of exchange. In a longer postscript dated August 7, 1731, Carter complains bitterly about Stark's poor sales and management of his affairs, and informs the merchant that he has explained his complaints to Captain Bowman of the Lucia from whom Stark is to get the details. Nevertheless, Carter is shipping more tobacco on the Lucia and encloses a bill of lading (not present).

Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, July 9 and August 7, 1731

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 9. 1731 -- --

Mr. John Stark


     I have recveiv'd your Letters goods & Accots of sales
which I'll answer in a particular manner by Captain Bowman --

     The only business of this is to advise you that I
have this day drawn upon you three hundred Pounds payable to Colonel
George Braxton which bill I desire you Punctually to Answer at time
and place to Accot of

                   Your Humble Servant

Copy Per Bowman

-2 -

Added to Mr. Starks letter of the 9th. of July 1731.
August. 7, 1731 --

     I have abundance of complaints against your Management
of my Affairs I had once intended to have given you a particular
Accot of all my Objections against your Proceedings but they are so
many that they would have swelled my letter to a great Bulk therefore
I have thought it a more proper Way to discourse Captain Bowman
of my several particular grievances And to refer you to him for a
detail of them how far you will think fit to redress me I must
Submit to your Consideration You have rendered me the measnest sales &
the most dilatory of any person in your Port and I would not Ship a hogshead
of tobacco upon the Lucia until I brought Captain Bowman into a Promise
to allow me the liberty of Shipping what I shall put on board of
him to whom I pleased intending indeed Wholly to discontinue any far=
ther business with you however upon further thoughts not being
Willing to break all at once with You I have Consigned you 17 hogsheads
of tobacco for which you have here a bill of Lading and you have
another for 4 hogsheads more which comes to you upon my Son the Secretary's
-3 -

Account and you are to Accot to him for them which is all the troubles
I shall give you at Present from

Your humble Servt -- --

I am indebted to Captain Bowman twelve shillings sterling
which I desire you to debit my Accot with


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.

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[] John Stark was a prominent Glasgow merchant in the sugar trade. He served as as baillie and provost (mayor) from 1725-1727. ( John M'ure. The History of Glasgow. [Glasgow: D. Macvean and J. Wyllie & Co., 1830] pp. 227-228 as seen on Google books; and "Provosts of Glasgow" at "Welcome to Glasgow" . )

[2] Captain Samuel Bowman commanded the Lucia. Carter mentioned this vessel in his diary in June 1724, and again on March 4, 1726, when he wrote that she "came in had 20 Weeks Passage."

[3] 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. )

[4] 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. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised November 5, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.