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 Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, August 4, 1731

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, August 4, 1731, reporting the arrival of the London ship Thistle and writing of the confusion that the new tobacco inspection law is causing. He also notes that the executors of merchant Joh Falconar are pressing for payment of money due the estate from that of Mann Page, and hoping that Perry will make the payment, charging it to the Page estate account.

Letter from Robert Carter to Alderman [Micajah] Perry & Company, August 4, 1731

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Augst. 4. 1731

Alderman Perry

Sir --

     two days agoe came in the Thistle what course
he will take now our tobacco law is in force upon us I can't tell it is
talk't of her loading with grain or going Away to Maryland but
that is none of my business

     Your box of letters I have taken care to disperse
by her I receiv'd a letter from David Barclay Executor to Mr. Falconar
directed to Colo Page which is dated April 16. he makes a peremptory
demand of his ballance £473"16"9 to be remitted this shipping
that he may be able to pay off the Credits due on Falconars Estate
he says they were in Expectation that the present John Falconar would
have paid them that Ballance but that then he seem'd to demurr on paying
the said Sum The Secretary and mySelf have already writ to you as his

-2 -

Executors about this debt and express'd our hopes and desires that You will
take it Up and stop the mouths of these Craving gentlemen charging it
to the Accot of Colo Pages Estate. You hear enough from others what a hurry
our tobacco [law] hath Put the Ships into. it is reported to me that the Spotswood
left York River on Fryday last As did the Bailey ours on Monday I am

Yr. most humble Servt


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] The Thistle was a London ship commanded by a Captain Reid and owned by merchant James Buchanan. (See Carter to Edward Athawes , September 10, 1731, and Carter to James Buchanan , November 19. 1731. )

[2] The tobacco inspection act of 1730 was introduced and steered through the legislature by Lieutenant Governor Sir William Gooch. " The "bill called for the inspection and bonding at public warehouses of all tobacco shipped abroad; for the destruction of all unacceptable tobacco; for standardization of the size of hogsheads . . . ; for maintenance of detailed records to prevent smuggling; and for the circulation of warehouse receipts as legal tender in lieu of tobacco iteself. . . ." Gooch also managed to obtain approval of the act in England. It went into effect August 1, 1731.(Billings. et al. Colonial Virginia: A History. pp. 236-39.)

[3]John Falconar (1677-1729) was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt. He apparently was in New Jersey and Maryland, 1699-1705. In 1728, Falconar and Henry Darnell formed an association of 29 London tobacco merchants to deal with the French tobacco purchasing agent as a group in order to keep the price as high as possible. The association lasted only lasted a year or two before dissolving because some of its members were dealing directly with the French agent and selling below the agreed-upon price. (See Carter's letter to Falconar of July 24 and August 22, 1727, for details about the payment of £200 to him. See Carter to William Dawkins, for Falconar's death date. "GEN-MEDIEVAL -L Archives" on Rootsweb, 8/10/2015 ; and Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129 )

[4] 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. )

[5] 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]. )

[6] the Rppahannock

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