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 John [and Charles] Carter to William Dawkins, August 30, 1732

     John [and Charles] Carter, as executors of their father, Robert, write to London merchant William Dawkins concerning the need to return money to Alderman Micajah Perry because Robert had drawn so much from him. They are sending an order to pay Perry 1,000 pounds sterling.

Letter from John [and Charles] Carter to William Dawkins, August 30, 1732

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Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

30th August 1732

Mr. William Dawk.ins


     We find by Several of Our Father's letters a year or two ago that He inten
ded to make use of yYour Assi [s] tance in payng part of the Purchase
Money for Mr. Lloyd's Estate, that his cash in Mr. Alderman Per-
Hands might not be too much drained. How He might alter his
Design afterwards, We cannot say, but We find the Purchase was com
pleted without any drafts on You. By this Means great dis
putes have arisen between Our Father and the Alderman upon
Account of the Discounts not being allowed on his Tobaccoes , and He the Alderman
has before now seen how unkindly it was its taken that by our Father
that He could not have the usual Advantages after so large a sum of his Money
had lain idle three or four Years, subject indeed to a payment in
the Court in Chancery, but without any Benefit in the mean time.
In Some of His Letters He tells the Alderman, He hoped to make him
such Remittances as would retreive his Credit in his Books and in
some measure make up the Prodigious Breach, which this large
Purchase had made. How this could have been effected, We cannot
at present tell pretend to guess, unless by Bills drawn on You or
Mr. John Pemberton of Liverpool . But we find such a large
Quantity of Tobacco now sent to this Gentleman, a very great part of
which is Stemmed and consequently for home Consumption, that
We can't imagine He could design to draw anything considerable
on this Gent him, when there would not sufficient remain to clear
the Duties. The Conclusion must then be that He intended to have or-
dered some of the Money in Your Possession to be paid to the Alderman
who will not otherwise have Money of Our Father's Estate to clear all
the Duties of Tobaccoes consigned to him this present Year for we do not think proper to touch the Bank Stock not to
mention any thing of a large Sum He is to pay to Lord Fairfax.

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Every Person has a Right to use his Own in the Manner He
thinks most for his Advantage, but we have been thus part-
tcular, that We might take off all Imputation of Unkindness
or Jealousy , which with truth We assure You is very far from
Our thoughts. The We have now sent an Order on you to pay to
pay [sic ] to Micajah Perry Esquire and Company the Sum of One
Thousand Pounds Sterling, which We verily believe Our Father
would have done, if He had lived until this time, and We per
suade Ourselves You will not blame Us in Your own Thoughts
for desiring to make the Most of Our Tobacco.

              We are, Sir,
Your Most humble Servants
                  J[ohn Carter] C[harles Carter]


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.

The county and colony have been added to the heading for clarity.

There is another draft of this letter in the Carter-Plummer letter book, acquired by the Tracy W. McGregor Library of the University of Virginia Library in 1955, and now held in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. This letter book was edited by Lloyd T. Smith, Jr., as The Executors' Letters of Robert Carter of Corotoman, 1732-1738 . [Irvington, VA: Foundation for Historic Christ Church, 2010]. The second draft appears on pages 74-75.

[1] 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. )

[2] The impost was the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco, and the cocket, for which a fee was charged, was the document bearing a cocket or seal issued by the "King's Customs House" that the impost had been paid. (See the definitions of each word in Oxford English Dictionary Online. )

This text, originally posted in 2006, was revised June 25, 2016, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.