Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to Edward Tucker, March 8, 1732

     Robert Carter writes to Weymouth merchant Edward Tucker, March 8, 1732, to notify him of tobacco that he is shipping tobacco on the merchant's ship, the Proncess Amelia, and that two tobacco inspection warehouses have been burned in his area.

Letter from Robert Carter to Edward Tucker, March 8, 1732

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Mar 8. 1731/2

Mr. Edward Tucker

     This is only a hasty line to acquaint you by a
>Liverpool Ship that through Gods mercy I am yet among the Land
of the living Your Captain Russell I saw yesterday and some of my
tobacco passed the Inspection eight hogsheads were put on board being the
first the ship had in 28 more were ready for passing I purpose
to make them up about 60 hogsheads of my own & Colonel Pages stripped tobacco

     Our tobacco law meets with strange opposition
Some villains have already burned down two of the Inspecting
houses one in Lancaster the other in Northumberland what may
be the issue of these Villainies I must not pretend to say Captain Russell
writes to you himself I shall add no more but that I remain

                  Your most humble Servant

via Liverpool


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] Samuel Russell commanded the Princess Amelia, a ship owned by Edward Tucker. A Board of Customs, Port of Weymouth, report of 1736-38, shows that the ship was built "in the Rappahannock River in Virginia and that it was registered in Williamsburg in June 1720." In 1725, Giles Lawrence commanded the ship and carried staves and pitch as well as tobacco from Virginia. ( Survey report 14500 ; and Survey Report 9723 summarizing Exchexquer King's Remembrancer port books for Weymouth, found in the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[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 itself. . . ." 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.)

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised April11 , 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.