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


Letters from Robert Carter to John Pemberton & Foster Cunliff, August 4, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton enclosing a letter to Foster Cunliff, also a merchant of that city, August 4, 1731, reminding Pemberton of two bills of exchange, and alerting him that he has sent tobacco consigned to him even though Pemberton has written he will no longer handle such sales. He notes that if Pemberton will not handle the sale, then he is to turn it over to Foster Cunliff, and he encloses a letter to Cunliff to that effect that Pemberton may use as he sees fit.

Letters from Robert Carter to John Pemberton & Foster Cunliff, August 4, 1731

-1 -

Rappa: [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Augst. 4. 1731

Mr. John Pemberton


     My last bore date the 9th of July and advis'd you of
two bills of Exchange I had drawn upon you one for fifty six
Pounds Seven Shillings & Six pence payable to John Randolph Esqr.
the other for thirty seven Pounds thirteen & Eleven Pence payable
to Colo George Braxton,

     I have now on board the Loyalty Capt James
Tarleton 30 hogsheads of tobo more As I have already trespass'd upon your
Orders in sending the rest of my tobo to you so I adventure to con=
tinue it to the End of this Years business in consigning it to you
but if you remain resolute and will not meddle with it I then con=
signe it to Mr: Foster Cunliff my bill of Lading is drawn Accordingly, and herein
is a letter to Mr Cunliff to be made use of by you as you shall pleas
to determine, I shall not give You further trouble only to renew my
Wishes for yr. Welfair and remain,

                  Your most Humble Servt.
-2 -

Mr. Foster Cunliff                                               Rappahannock, Augst. 4. 1731

     I have alredy told you of my attachement to Mr. Pem
berton and that upon the Accot of our long Acquaintance I had
adventur'd to break thro' his orders in Consigning my tobo to him in
the first Place & in case of his Absolute refusal to be Concern'd with it
Upon his recommendation to Commit it to yr. disposal

     I have now 30 hogsheads more in the Loyalty, Capt James
Tarleton, which I consign upon the Same terms if it Falls upon You

-3 -

to sell them I am in no doubt of Your Outmost Care and diligence
in making the most of them in such case my invoice for goods
will fall into Your hands and Desire you will follow the directions
I have given about them in sending them in to me And in hopes
of meeting with the same fair dealings from you as I have thro a
long Series of Years had the Experience of from my old friend Mr.
Pemberton so I shall be encourag'd propose to make you my Cores
pondent for my concerns in your Parts thro the rest of my days
which by the Course of Nature & under a crazy constituion cannot be many I am,

              Sir --
                  Your most Humble Servant.


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] Foster Cunliffe (d. 1767) was a merchant and prominent citizen of Liverpool who worked to expand manufacturing and the capacity of the harbor; he served a number of terms as mayor. He and Richard Gildart undertook "a major reorginization of business with Maryland and Virginia . . . beginning in the early 1720's [they] sent numerous factors to the region." They established stores in which retail goods were sold, purchased the produce of the region, had it ready for loading when ships arrived, and also moved into the sale of slaves. ( James A. Picton, ed. Liverpool Municipal Archives and Records. . . . [Liverpool, 1907.] pp. 27, 31, 79, 90, 96, etc. and Paul G. Clemens. "The Rise of Liverpool, 1665-1750." Economic History Review. 24[May 1976]:211-225.

[2] 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. )

[3] Several vessels named The Loyalty sailed to Virginia. One commanded by Francis Wallis cleared from Poole for Virginia in 1726. Captain Loxom commanded a vessel of this name in 1729-1730 as did James Tarleton in 1731. (Survey Report 9727, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. See Carter's letters to John Pemberton April 15,1730 and August 4, 1731 .)

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