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 "Your faithfull servant " 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 with 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. Micajah & Richd.

Gent -- --

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

     My Joiner 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 lies in Your way to send
me anotherThat is a workman You'll dome a favour --

     You Charge me five pound paid to Cottens wife my
Painter heis very well satisfied with It &intends to send for
hiswife and Child in to him next Year, he's really 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 has 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 father was a very good man &
Your faithful servant I should bevery glad You would assist
The Sons in helping them to employsuitable to their
qualificats. which I know lies very Easily in Your powr. [sic]
in some of Your concerns

     An Addition To this Letter two Leaves Further

-2 -

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

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

     Sometime since I wrote to You about Mr. Cary's Land That I had a mind
to be a purchaser of It If hisDemands were reasonable & desired Your
Assistance in It, If there was any Intimacy betwein [sic] You, I also wrote
to my Son upon The Same Subject he hath [sic] treated with Mr. Cary
about It who seems inclin'd to let 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 lies
Contiguousto mine makes me desireous to buy It. & was my Brors.
Daughter's Inheritance Descended to her from her Mother. If You'll
give Your Influencing hand in this Affair It will be a particular

     This accompanies an invoice 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 although I gett [sic] nothing by It. I give you my Thanks for
Your present of a box of Tobacco , something of the same favour Yearly
will be highly acceptable to me being grown a great Smoker

      Politics I hope I have done with for the rest of my Days, The essay
we have made to redress ourselves from some oppressions we thought we had
reason to complain under have mett [sic] with great discouragemts. from home
however hope some good may come of It to the Country in the End
Although there are too many among us That are ready to sacrifice
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 with It & shall give You no further trouble at
present but that I am --

Your most humble Servant


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.