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 James Bradley, July 26, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant James Bradley, July 26, 1731, to report a shipment of tobacco on Bradley's ship the Welcome, and to send an invoice for goods including some for his own use. He also reports a shipment of tobacco for the Mann Page estate on board the Hannah, and bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter to James Bradley, July 26, 1731

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 26. 1731

Mr. James Bradley


     To be added to his Lettr. May 22d. 1731

     This accompanies Captain Barnes in the Welcome
and covers a bill of Lading for 30 hogsheads of my own Crop strip leaf tobacco
Promiscuous lugs I have made none the utmost care and caution I have
Used in the clean handling and well doing of my tobacco and am in hopes it
will rise so Acceptably to you to give you pleasure in the sale of it -- --

      -- -- -- The Welcome now being a pretty early ship it will
be in your power to make an Early sale which generally proves the
best -- -- -- -- -- --

     Herein I send you an Invoice for some goods
among the rest a supply for my own Wants which I request you will
be particularly careful in buying Some years ago you send me a fine
gay cloak it lies by me still and has never seen the light but to air it
it is fitter for an Alderman of London than a Planter of Virginia
I love plainness and value my clothes more for their use than their
finery -- -- --

     By Your Letter to Colonel Page I find his Estate is larg=
ely in your debt some tobacco belonging to it is shipped to you on board
the Hannah from the Secretary & my self who are his Acting Executors
You will receive a joint letter before [sic ] long, about that Affair

     Herewith I send you A bill of Echange drawn
on you by Henry Fitzhugh for £66" And Also a bill upon you
from Lunsford Lomax for £9" which sum I desire may be carryied
To the Credit of my Accot I am

              Sir --
                  Your most Humble Servt

Per Barnes Welcome


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] James Bradley was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt from at least 1723 until his death. As noted in his letter to Bradley of May 17, 1727, Bradley owned the Welcome, but little information about Bradley has been located. (There is a listing of the firm of Bradly & Griffin, Merchants, Fenchurch-street, opposite the Mitre Tavern, on page 13 of Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. [London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740]. p. 39. Online, examined 8/12/2005 and 6/14/2012. )

[2] The letter to which Carter refers is not extant.

[3] The 140 ton Welcome was owned by London merchant James Bradley to whom Carter would write about her on May 17, 1727 . John Trice (Frice) was her captain, 1723-1728. ( Adm 68/195, 154r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[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. )

[5] By the use of the word "promiscuous" Carter appears to mean that the lugs could have been "grouped or massed together without order; mixed and disorderly in composition or character; (with plural noun) of various kinds mixed together." He followed by noting that this was not the case. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[6] "The lowest grade [of tobacco] was known as lugs as early as 1686. . . ." ( Philip A. Bruce. Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century: An Inquiry into the Material Condition of the People, Based on Original and Contemporaneous Records. [New York: MacMillan and Co., 1896], I:442. )

[7] 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. )

[8] Lunsford Lomax (1705-1772) had been a resident and a justice in Caroline County. At the time of Carter's writing, he was a justice of King George County. In 1746 he would be one of the commissioners to survey the bounds of the Nortrhern Neck proprietary. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:172, 236; "Notes for Lunsford Lomax "; and Harrison. Landmarks. . . . 624. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised February 12, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.