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 John Carter, September 27,1720

     Letter from Robert Carter writes to his son, John Carter, then inLondon studying law, September 27, 1720, "to acquaint You of thepresent Circumstances of Your relations," reporting that John'ssister, Elizabeth Burwell, has lost "her second Son Nathaniel." Headds that the rest of the family has been in good health although hehas "had frequent fitts of that pityless distemper the tooth=Ake."Commenting that the Virginia trade has suffered a great loss with thedeath of Richard Perry, and that "The Old Gentleman [Micajah Perry] holds on to a wonder," he does not believethat the grandsons will be as good businessmen. He reports the goodcrop of tobacco but notes that it will lower prices, and also reportsthe death of [John] Baylor, "the greatest Mercht: in our Country." Heconcludes with wishes that John and his brothers, also then inEngland at school, are enjoying good health, and that John will workhard during his remaining time in England.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Carter, September 27,1720

-1 -

Rappahannock, [LancasterCounty, Virginia]

Sepr. 27. 1720.

Dear Son John

     By the Carter (whose arrival
with you Ihope to hear of before this Day) I wrote
in full in answer to Your several Letters This is to acquaint
You of the present Circumstances of Your relations
Your Poor Sister Burwell isin Mourning for the
Death of her second Son Nathaniel a hopefull [sic] toward
=ly Child, which is an agravation [sic] to the loss God grant she
may bear It with a Christian courage. She has had
many trials of this Nature. The rest of Your friends
at York are inhealth for anything that I know
I thank God in this Family wehave had a large mea-
=sure of health this Summer. I have hadfrequent fits
of that pityless [sic] distemperthe tooth= ache The almost
InseparableCompanion of old age The [gou] t has
not attacked me since myfirst fits

     The death of Mr. Richard Perry we havehad an
Account of long ago, a great loss in the Virga. Trade, The
Old gentleman holds on to a wonder, whenever he goes It is
much to befeared. The Young men will never come up
to his Spirit inbusiness but these things must be left
to Providence,

     We have made a plentiful Crop thisYear
The Consequence of which it is [not] to be doubted will be
a depression toour Market, & that must of necessity
make us low'r our Topsails --

     Mr. Baylor the greatest Mercht: in our Country
how great an estate will now be known -- islately
dead, I pray God Send this may find you & Your
brothers in health, & that you may make the best use of the
time You have to stay in England


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. 54-55.

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.

[1] Elizabeth Carter (1692-1734) married in 1709Nathaniel Burwell (1680-1721) of "Carter's Creek," Gloucester County,and, in 1722, Dr. George Nicholas.

[2] Richard Perry, son of and partner with his fatherMichajah, in the great London firm of Perry & Lane, had died inApril 1720.

[3] John Baylor (d. 1720) lived first in Gloucester,and was burgess in 1692. He subsequently moved to King and QueenCounty (which he represented in the Assembly in 1718), and became aprominent merchant with stores in Gloucester, King and Queen, and NewKent counties. "His principal warehouses were at Baylor's on theMattaponai between Walkerton and King & Queen Court House."( "The Baylor Family." Virginia Magazine of Historyand Biography. 6[1898-1899]: 197-199. )

[4] John Carter's younger brothers, Robert (1704-1732), Charles (1707-1764), and Landon (1710-1778), were then inEngland for their education. (Greene. TheDiary of Colonel Landon Carter. . . . , 3. )

This text revised January 30,2009.