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 toAlderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 31, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 31, 1731, to cover a bill of lading for tobacco sent by the estate of Mann Page, and a bill of exchange to be credited to Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell. He directs that the merchants change their accounting for the Merchants Hundred estate which they have incorrectly been handling under the name of his grandson Carter Burwell. The affairs of this estate are to be credited to his own account.

Letter from Robert Carter to Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, July 31, 1731

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 31. 1731

Alderman Perry & Com

Gent -- --

     This is intended to enclose to you a bill of Lading
for ten hogsheads of Colonel Pages tobacco on board the Bailey and to send you
a bill of Exchange for £9 drawn by Peter Whiting on Mr. Cary & Company
This is to be Carryied to the Credit of Elizabeth Burwells Accot

     I believe I have formerly Advised you that the
Merchants Hundred Estate the lands the slaves and stocks was a purchase
of mine being designed by me the profits of it for Mr. Burwell and his
Wife my daughter during their lives and afterwards to go to the Benefit
of one of Mr. Burwells sons such him that I should think fit to --
order it to this Was a Voluntary Purchase of mine being under no --
manner of Obligation to any such thing upon my daughers Marriage
there is a balance due from you to this Estate but You have put it
Under a Wrong Name title Accounting for it in the name of
My grandson Carter Burwell who has no manner of equitable Right
to the Profits during the life of his mother I desire you
will set this matter to rights holding your accounts with no other
destinction only calling it the Merchants Hundred estate and acc --
ounting for it to me


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] 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. )

[2] The Bailey was a London ship owned by William Dawkins and commanded at various times by Adam Graves (1725-1730) and by Thomas Dove 1730-1732. She was a vessel of some 250 tons and carried 15-17 crew members. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, 156v, and other data in Adm. 68/194 and /196, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia; A letter of Carter's to Dawkins May 12, 1732, refers to "your ship Bailey." as does a letter of August 10, 1733, from Carter's executors to Dawkins. [ Lloyd T. Smith, Jr., ed. The Executors' Letters of Robert Carter of Corotoman, 1732-1738. (Irvington, VA: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 2010) p. 76]. )

[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] Carter Burwell (1716-1756) was Robert Carter's grandson by his daughter Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721). Carter Burwell would live at "Carter's Grove," and would marry Lucy Grymes in 1738. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 128. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised February 23, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.