A Collection Transcribed
by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
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Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins, June 7, 1732
Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dawkins, June 7, 1732, to report on the stories in the country that the tobacco crop is small and that ships are having a hard time finding complete cargoes which, he hopes, may affect prices for the tobacco already on its way to England. Mr. Bradley's ship has not arrived, and there are many rumors of Bradley's financial difficulties. The assembly is working on amending the tobacco inspection law.
Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins,
June 7, 1732
Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]
June 7, 1732
Mr William Dawkins,
I wrote to you at some length by Captain Malbon
& added a Line
I have little to say now only to mention the Reports that are
very hot among us. Captain Bradby of the Spotswood
tells me he does not
expect to get above four hundred hogsheads, & speaks of several more of the York
ships under his Circumstances & Reports from James River as much the
same. Captain Dove
gives you an account himself of his Circumstances. The
make heavy Complaints of the Want of Tobacco . I must not pre=
tend to guess how these Things will end; but We cannot forbear entertaining
ourselves with some Hopes that these Reports will have a Good Influence upon the
Markets even for that Tobacco that is already gone. We have no news yet of
Ship for our River. If she does not come it will be some ad=
vantage to your Bailey. I have already hinted to you the harsh stories that are
spread about all the Country of Mr. Bradley's Circumstances. I cheer myself
up with Hopes they are not true. If any such thing should happen I shall be a
great Sufferer; and I believe many Gentlemen in James River will have their
Share. I have already told you how fond our Country is of the Tobacco Law.
Burgesses are now upon mending of it. What they will make of it at last you
will know in time. I am
Your very 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.
 The Rebecca
was probably a London ship; she was of 300 tons, had a crew of 11, and was commanded by Samuel Malbon in 1731-32. ( Adm. 65/195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
 Christopher Brooks commanded the Cambridge,
a vessel of 100 tons and 11 men owned by London merchants Haswell and Brooks in 1729. ( Survey Report 06445 sumarizing "Adm. 68/196," "Greenwich Hospital: General Accounts. the Names of Ships and The Accounts Paid for Sixpences at the Port of London."
 The Spotswood
was a London ship commanded by James Bradby, 1727-1732, and was owned by Micajah Perry. ( Survey Report 06445x swummarizing 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.
 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].
 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.
 Out port means "a port outside a particular place; any port other than the main port of a country, etc.; spec[ically]. a British port other than London." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online
 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 1731 August 1.(Billings. et al.
Colonial Virginia: A History.
This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised May 20, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.