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 Micajah and Richard Perry, July14, 1720

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Micajah and RichardPerry, July 14, 1720, asking them to find a schoolmistress for hisyounger children, and a replacement for his "Joyner" whose indenturewill expire in the spring. He adds that he approves of their charginghis account for money paid to the wife of his painter, Cotten, "an honest carefull Sober fellow" who plans to bring his wife and childto the colony. He asks the merchants to try to find employment forAdam and Benjamin Graves because their father had been "Yor.faithfull servt." In an addition to this letter written later,Carter notes that his account current does not reflect a payment toMadeira mechants that he had directed in an earlier letter, and asksthem to continue to press Mr. Cary to sell land to Carter; he wantsit because it is "Contiguous to mine . . . & was my Brors.Daugrs. Inheritance . . . ." He writes that he is enclosing aninvoice for some "selling Goods," thanks them for a gift of a box ofsmoking tobacco, and requests the same gift regularly as he has"grown a great Smoaker." He concludes that he hopes that politics "Ihave done wth. for the rest of my Days" but adds that the repressionsthat the colonists had attempted to redress had met with littlesuccess at home, commenting that there were some in the colony who"are ready to sacraficeAll That's Dear to us provided They may have a small Share in the honour and the profit & swim Glib in the Tide of Favour."

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah and
Richard Perry, July 14, 1720

-1 -

Rappahannock, [LancasterCounty, Virginia]

July 14th. 1720

Messrs. Micajh. & Richd.

Gent -- --

     In my present condition I greatly want a Suitable
Woman forthe care and Education of my Younger Children a grave
person ofabt. 40 Years of Age. That hath bin well bredand
is of Goodreputation and hath bin usd [sic] to breed upChildren
I would willingly Entertain, If It lyes in Yor. Powerto send me
in such a one upon reasonable wages It will be agreat
obligation to me,

     My Joyner Cole who you sent me someYears ago
his time willbe expired Sometime the next spring such a tradesman
I shall never want Employ for If It lyes in Yor. way to send
me anotherThat is a workman You'l dome a favour --

     You Charge me five pound paid to Cottens wife my
Painter heis very well sattisfyed wth. It &intends to send for
hiswife and Child in to him next Year, he's realy an
honest carefull [sic] Sober fellow and may be able to gett [sic]
A Comfortable livelyhood [sic] when he comes to be his

     I understand both the Graves's Ben aswell as Adam
continueout of Employ The Elder hath had anunfortunate
blow but I hadso much Experience of his ability & Integ
=rity That I cannotthink a fitter man can stand between
the two ends of a Ship,Their fathr. was a very good man &
Yor. faithfull servt. I should bevery glad You would assist
The Sons in helping them to employsuitable to their
qualificats. wch. I know lyes very Easily in Yor. powr. [sic]
in some of Yor.concerns

     An Addition To this Lettr. two Leaves Further

-2 -

     The rest of this Lettr. to Mr.Perry two leaves back

     In my Accot. Currt. I do not find my self Charg'd wth the Money I
order'd to the Madera Gent [lemen] Messrs.Lovegrove, Miles &c by my
Lettr. of the 8th of Augst. last please to have recourse to that Letter
and to answr. my desire Therein

     Sometime since I writ to You about Mr. Cary's Land That I had a mind
to be a purchaser of It If hisDemands were reasonable & desir'd Yor.
Assistance in It, If there was any Intimacy betwein [sic] You, I also writ
to my Son upon The Same Subject he hath [sic] treated wth. Mr. Cary
abt. It who seems inclin'd to lett me have It but he must fall prodi=
=giously in his demand If I have any thing to say to It. I have now
again order'd my Son to know Cary's lowest price, The land lyes
Contiguousto mine makes me desireous to buy It. & was my Brors.
Daugrs. Inheritance Descended to her from her Mother. If You'l
give Your Influencing hand in this Affair It will be a particular

     This accompas. an Invoyce for some selling Goods I'm rather
Inclined to have them in Wharton Than in any body else, Mr. Dawkin ['s]
Goods will come in The Carter I reckon they may cost between three
and four hundred pound, a little Trade I must manage to pay off
Contingency's, &c altho I gett [sic] nothing by It. I give you my Thanks for
Yor. present of a box of Tobo., something of the same favour Yearly
will be highly acceptable to me being grown a great Smoaker

      Polliticks I hope I have done wth. for the rest of my Days, The essay
we have made to redress ourselves from some oppressions we Thot. we had
reason to complain under have mett [sic] wth. great discouragemts. from home
however hope some good may come of It to the Country in the End
Altho there are too many among us That are ready to sacrafice
All That's Dear to us provided They may have a small Share in the
honour and the profit & swim Glib in the Tide of Favour
but I have done wth. It & shall give You no further trouble at
present but that I am --

Yor. most hum. Servt.


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. 22-23.

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] Although the clerk has carefully placed a crossing line on the vertical strokes of this name, it is likely that the name was "Collen" as Carter in his diary for March 10, 1723, wote the name as "Collen."

[1] Benjamin Graves was the son of Captain Thomas Graves (d. ante 1720), long a captain of vessels trading to Virginia, and a special friend of Carter. Benjamin also commanded vessels in the trade, especially the Carter. ( Adm. 68/194-196, ff. 33r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text revised December 12, 2008, and again February 25, 2010.