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 John Pemberton, July 13, 1732

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, July 13, 1732, to send detailed information about tobacco shipments and bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, July 13, 1732

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 13.. 1732

Mr. John Pemberton


     Since mine by Fowler my Son Landon sent you
a bill of lading for 15 hogsheads of tobacco stemmed on board the Samuel & Jane
Captain Leatherland and now in Captain Loxum I send you 26 hogsheads of tobacco
the 16 of these marks [tobacco marks] 1 to 15 & [tobacco marks] No 16. are of my own crop striped
leaf, the 5 hogsheads of this mark [tobacco mark] ] brought home and stemmed & the 7
of this mark Rc leaf I shall leave it to Mr Loxum to tell you the Circum=
stances of the Shipping he leaves behind him he reported not one of them
will get full

     I here enclose to you two Second bills of Exchange
firsts sent you by Fowler Mr. Charles Burgess on Mr. Cunliff for £15"1"8
John Fowlers on Wm. Everard for £5"4"4

-2 -

     Also the following first bills of Exchange. vizt
Captain James Ball on William Evered for      30" 7"8
Joseph Ball on Bryan Blundell                  16" -- "-
Captain Ball on Mr. Cunliff for                  18"12"-
Captain . Edward Loxum on [illegible]
          Thomas Harrison & Company                 4"13"4

     I have nothing more at Present to add but my best Wishes for your health
& prosperity Concluding

                   Your most Humble Servant

via Liverpool Loxum


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] Carter first mentions this vessel in a letter to Foster Cunliff of 1731June 24, noting that a Captain Fowler commanded her. Other mentions in letters to Cunliff and John Pemberton, both Liverpool merchants, indicate that probably was the vessel's home port.

[2] Landon Carter (1710-1778) was Carter's seventh child by his second wife, Elizabeth (Landon) Willis. Landon would live at "Sabine Hall," Richmond County, and marry three times, leaving many descendants, some of whom own "Sabine Hall" today. As an adult, he would keep a very interesting and useful diary. A reproduction of a portrait of him may be found on the website of the Foundation of Historic Christ Church. ( Jack P. Greene. "Landon Carter" in Sara B. Bearss, John G. Deal, et al., eds. Dictionary of Virginia Biography. [Richmond: Library of Virginia, 2006], 3:76-78; and Greene. The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter. . . . )

[3] 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. )

[4] Captain Nathaniel Leatherland commanded the William & James in June 20, 1729, and the Samuel & Jane in 1732. In 1727 he commanded the Penelope , owned by John Pemberton, when it was captured by a Spanish ship and Pemberton filed a claim for £2488. ( Carterto the freighters of the ship Rose, April 11 and June 29, 1729, ; Carter to Pemberton July 13, 1732 ; and Survey Report 02046 summarizing "House of Lords Record Office Class Main Papers 1735 May 13. Account of British ships taken at sea.1732." Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia )

[5] Several vessels named The Loyalty sailed to Virginia. One commanded by Francis Wallis cleared from Poole for Virginia in 1726. Captain Edward Loxam commanded a vessel of this name in 1729-1732 as did James Tarleton in 1732. (Survey Report 09727 extracting "Public Record Office Class E 190/915/9. Exchequor King's Remembrancer Port Books. Poole. Collector 1726/7," 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 .)

[6] 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. )

[7] 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 mayour 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. )

[8] Vizt. is the abbreviation for the Latin word "videlicet"; it means "that is to say; namely; to wit: used to introduce an amplification, or more precise or explicit explanation, of a previous statement or word." ( Oxford English Dictionary online. )

[9] James Ball (d. 1754) was sheriff of Lancaster County in 1727. He was a member of a distinguished Lancaster County family. ( Ida J. Lee. Abstracts Lancaster County,Virginia, Wills. 1653-1800. (Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 2004. Reprint of the original 1959 edition.) p. 8; and McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:129. )

10[] Bryan Blundell (c. 1674-1756) was a prominent Liverpool merchant, mayor in 1721-1722. He was later to become involved in the slave trade, and is remembered as the founder of theBlue Coat School for the Poor, having given up the sea to oversee its affairs. ( Elizabeth Donnan, ed. Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America. [New York: Octagon Books, 1969.] Vol. II: The Eighteenth Century. pp. 468, 492 )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised June 24, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.