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 Thomas Evans, July 14, 1720

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Thomas Evans, July 14, 1720, concerning information Evans has sent him about the Manchester School which Carter had considered as one to which to transfer his sons, but he finds the fees much higher than he had understood. He reports that William Dawkins has written of the good progress that his sons are making at their present school and that he will leave them there for the present. He encloses a bill of lading (not present) for tobacco and expresses the hope that, with the Spanish and French markets now being open, his tobacco sales prices will be good. An invoice for goods is inclosed (not present), he writes, and gives orders for the shipping. Another bill of lading (not present) is enclosed for ten hogsheads on board the Mercury, and he reports bills of exchange he has drawn on Evans to Robert Tucker and Captain Christall of the Mercury.

Letter from Robert Carter to Thomas Evans, July 14, 1720

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 14th. 1720

Mr. Thomas Evans

Sir --

     I have lately received Your Letter of the 18th. of Feb
relateing to the Affair of the Manchester School. The Prices are consid=
=erably higher than I was informed I find but yett [sic] bear no man
=ner of proportion to those near London. however I cannot
Think of coming to any fix'd resolution Suddenly, Mr. Dawkins
hath [sic] plac'd my boys to a very good man and their Improvemts.
are as large as I could Expect in the time although they cost me
abundance of money. I will Struggle to keep them where
They are a little longer and yet I take It as a very particular
obligation, That You have been so diligent in giving me so Early
and full an answer to my Lettr. upon That Subject. how I Shall
Govern my self hereafter can not at present Determine,

     Herein comes a bill of Lading for [omission in text] hogsheads of
Tobacco all of of them straight laid & stem'd [sic] Except one, I am
in hopes the Spring coming on and the French & Spanish
Trades being both open, The Price of our commodity will
not flag, some people have news that Tobacco was raised in
Holland two Stivers in the pound and in Glasgow they Say it was
a penny a pound higher Than It had been these things flatter
me tht. remainder of my Tobacco last sales will not be worse
Than my first,

     Herein I also send an invoice for some goods
which I desire may be sent in some good Ship bound to o [ur]
river or Peankitank [sic] , The Carter If she comes will go
near to bring my goods from Mr. Dawkins I had
rather You'd find a berth in another Good Ship If You can
Richardson is a good man but I doubt his owners will
not lett him take any Goods in for me, There is no very
good understanding between us

      [tobacco mark] The 6 hogsheads of this Mark are Stemmed
but not Straight laid

     There was 6 hogsheads more for you aboard the Carter herein is a bill
of Lading for Ten hogsheads Tobo aboard the Mercury . I have
Drawn on You this Day for fifty pounds to Mr. Robt.
which Desire Your Paymt. of, also for £2"19 to
to [sic ] Captain Christall, I am

Your Humble Servant

July 27th1720


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1720 July-1721 July, BR 227, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed: Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 23-25.

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] RC undoubtedly knew of the Manchester Grammar School, in 1720 already over 200 years old.

[2] A stiver is "a small coin (originally silver) of the Low Countries; applied to the nickel piece of 5 cents of the Netherlands (one-twentieth of a florin or gulden, or about a penny English)." ( Oxford English Dictionary )

[3] The Mercury was a slave ship owned by Francis Chamberlayne and Francis Sitwell, merchants in Barbados. See RC's letters to Micajah and Richard Perry, July 27, 1720, and those to Chamberlayne & Sitwell of July 27 and September 27, 1720, for his reports of his involvement in the sale of her cargo of slaves. (Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . p. 40. )

[4] Robert Tucker, RC's partner in the sale of the cargo of slaves from the Mercury, may have been Robert Tucker (d. 1722), a merchant and justice of Norfolk County as one of the letters to Chamberlayne and Sitwell mentions that Tucker will report concerning the sales of slaves on James River. ( "Council Proceedings, 1716-1717," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 4(April 1897): 360- 61 )

[5] The significance of the date at the foot of the letter is unclear; perhaps it means the date on which the several copies for sending were prepared from the draft in the letter book.

This text revised December 1, 2008.