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 and Robert Tucker to Messrs.Francis Chamberlayne and [Francis] Sitwell, July 26, 1720

     Robert Carter and his partner, Robert Tucker, write to Messrs.Francis Chamberlayne and [Francis] Sitwell, July 26, 1720, concerningthe details of their sale to date of a cargo of slaves on the slavetraders ship Mercury, reporting bills ofexchange for over£5036 and expenses of £985, and estimating the totalsales will be about £10,000. They complain that the cargo had "boys & Girlls so very much exceeding all manner of Proportion tothe men & Women" which hurt the sales. In conclusion, they reporthow they have split responsibility for the bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter and RobertTucker to Messrs. FrancisChamberlayne and [Francis] Sitwell, July 26, 1720

-1 -

July 26th 1720
Messrs. Francis Chamberlayne
& Sitwell

Gentlemen -- --

     This accompanies Your Ship Mercury whose Dispatch
herehas been so Extraordinary beyond our Expects. & we have
bin in Such a hurry to gett [sic] her away with the Carter, That we
are able to do nothingmore, but to remit to You the bills of
Exche. we have received which amounts [to] £5036"6"10 & have paid
away in wages & otherCharges one hundred Pounds
Sterling and £885. in Cash& did our Endeavors to spend
as much of Your Cash as we could amongst the men but
a great many of Them have absolutely refus'd to take
anyThing but sterling although for their Encouragemt.
we allowed them that are paid 10 perCt. & offer'd the Same
to the rest, having Still in Our hands with what weExpect
to have upon the Sales of twenty Negroes we have yett [sic] to
Dispose of between twelve &Thirteen hundred Pounds the
Chiefest part in Gold which we can by no means make
Sterling of atpresent, but Shall take all opportunitys [sic]
to turn It into billsupon the best terms we can & Shall
be glad to receive Your Early Directions about It, The greatest
part of theSlaves still unpaid for, We have been forced to
Dispose of upon bond payable next June, otherwise
mustrun a great hazard in keeping them & at last
Sold them verylow, much under what we have now done
We shall take the firstopportunity to transmit You a
full& particular account ofthe whole Cargo, as soon
as we can compleat [sic] It, according to the bestCal=
=culation we can at present make, the whole account
ofthe Slaves will be about Ten Thousand Pounds
It will be hardly needful for us again to men
-tionthe great Disadvantage we havebin under,
by the number of boys & Girls so very muchexceeding
all manner of Proportion to the men & Women

-2 -

The Method we have taken for the bills of Exchange has been
Thus,we have made as Equal a division as wecould, Robt.
Carter Esquire undertakes to remitt [sic] to You off [sic] the bills £2487"13"7
& Mr. Robt. Tuck [er] £2548.13"3 Each of usto beanswerable
for the bills he sends & to make good allProtests after
the Expiration of Thirty Days from the Deliveryof such Protests
to our respective Correspondents, to whom Youare dir=
=ected by our seperate Letters to address Your self, this we
hope will be to Your intire [sic] Sattisfaction [sic] , we have not
time atpresent to be more particular in all things we
Shall Endeavourto Serve Your Interest being desirous
to approveourselves -- --

Yor Faithfull [sic] Servts.

Herein are receipts from Captain Christall
for one hundred pounds Sterling paid
to himself & forEight hundred Eighty five
Pounds current money on Account of wages
and the Ships disburstments. -- --


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. 41-43.

See also RC's letters to Chamberlayne and Sitwell concerningthis sale of slaves on July 27 and September 27, 1720, and on July 2,1723.

[1] Robert Tucker (d. 1722), a merchant and justice ofNorfolk County.( "Charges Against Spotswood." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography . 4(April1897): 360. )

[2] Francis Chamberlayne (abt. 1667-1728) was from a Warwickshire family. His father was also a London merchant, and "Chamberlayne engaged in commerce himself and may have been involved in the slave trade." He was quite wealthy, and represented New Shoreham in Parliament at two different times, first as a Whig, and later as a Tory. ( David Hayton, et al., The House of Commons, 1690-1715. [Cambridege University Press, 2002], 507-508.. Found online on Google books,. 9/14/2009 )

This text revised January 19 and September 16, 2009.