The Diary, Correspondence and Papers of Robert "King" Carter of Virginia, 1701 to 1732

Transcribed, Edited, and Annotated by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

This site includes transcriptions of the diary, correspondence, will, inventory and other papers of Robert "King" Carter. Edmund Berkeley, Jr., (1937-2020), who served as (the first) Director of Special Collections and University Archivist at the University of Virginia, transcribed, annotated and digitized the collection following his retirement from UVA in 1999. Ned's work built on earlier efforts by his uncle Francis L. Berkeley, Jr. to transcribe Carter's diaries and letterbooks.

Carter, who commissioned Christ Church in 1730, was the richest, most powerful planter in early eighteenth-century Virginia. At his death in August of 1732, Carter owned 300,000 acres and 48 plantations that produced tobacco and other crops for market, more than 700 enslaved people who lived and worked on those plantations, several mills and storehouses, and large sums of money invested in Virginia and in England. Carter held virtually every important political position in Virginia and served as acting governor of the colony in 1726-1727. He received a classical education in England and corresponded widely both within the colony and with merchants in England.

In 2018, Historic Christ Church & Museum graciously accepted the invitation to host this collection from Edmund Berkeley, Jr., whose vision created a remarkable site that allows scholars to explore Carter and the world of early eighteenth-century Virginia across a range of topics: tobacco, the transatlantic economy, slavery, indentured servitude, politics, law, family, women, health and medicine, travel, foodways, fashion, architecture, crime and punishment and more.

Click here to view the papers of Robert “King” Carter.