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 William Dawkins, July 15,1720

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dawkins, July 15,1720, concerning Dawkins' business affairs with Richard Lee, notingthat Lee's father "was my Intimate friend" who had charged Carterwith looking after his children which "makes me the unfittest personin the world to go into harsh measures agst. him." He assures Dawkinsthat Lee is honest but "too unsteady & too careless & easie"to do business for others. Lee will pledge his estate against thedebts if Dawkins insists, but Carter points out that, afterdeductions for items due Lee, there will not be much balance dueDawkins. Carter notes that he will do whatever Dawkins wishes, buthopes that harsh measures will not be necessary.

Letter from Robert Carter to WilliamDawkins, July 15, 1720

-1 -

Rappahannock, [LancasterCounty, Virginia]

July 15th. 1720

Mr. William Dawkins

Sir -- --

     In Your Affair with Mr. Richard LeeI have taken
as much painAs If the Concern were my own herein You
have the Draft of anAccount of his own Stateing for the
Several Cargos of Goods he has had from You, whereby
It appears,The ball [an] ce between You is not much Idare
Say inhis prices of the Tobos. he hath [sic] wronged himself &
not You, Since he has been concern'd for You [it] has been
The mostDifficult time to Deal with our Plan [te] rsthat ever
I knew, The outstanding Debts are indeed very large
& will be much to Your loss If Tobacco falls but this is veryoften
The Consequence when we trust for next years pay and there
is too many among us when a good Market offers for their Tobo
will lay It out in Stores & leave their old Debts unpaid
which In a Great measure I take to be Your case I
Shall nottake upon me to Justify Mr. Lee'sConduct he
is too unsteady& too careless & easy, to dobusiness for other men
butfor his honesty I think If I know him I dare Answer
he offersYou any Security You can desire by making
over his Estate, IfYou insist upon It, but when his Salary
That is behind is takenout and Storage paid Your claim
uponhim will be so small Therewill be hardly any
occasion for It, upon the whole I reallybelieve
he'll be a Considerable looser byYour business which
is a hard case & Deserves Your Consideration I shall
be ready to Do You any Service with him You Shall Desire
believing You'l [sic] not be unreasonable in Your Demands
but You must remember his father was my Intimate
friend heleft the care of his Children to me and the
Son has been myfamiliar acquaintenance since he
came to be a man -- which makes me the unfittest
person in the world to go into harshmeasures agaist
him, but I hopehis promises are so fair to giveYou
all the satisfaction in hispower. no Grounds will
remain for such an unkind Step of which Ishould be
very glad to hear

who am Sir
Your very humble Servant


Source copy consulted: Robert CarterLetter Book, 1720 July-1721 July, BR 227, Huntington Library, ArtCollections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed:Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . .. pp. 28-29.

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, especiallyto merchants abroad. The county and colony have been added forclarity.

This text revised December 15,2008.