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 [Lieutenant Governor AlexanderSpotswood], October 5, 1720

     Robert Carter writes to the colony's governor, AlexanderSpotswood, October 5, 1720, to send "my returns of the Militia Inthis County & Northumberld." of which he is the commander. Hegives some details, and notes some difficulties with the assignmentsin Northumberland, suggesting some changes for Spotswood'sconsideration, and that they might discuss the situation when Cartercomes to the General Court meeting.

Letter from Robert Carter to [Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood], October 5, 1720

-1 -

Lancr. [County,Virginia]
Octr. 5.1720
[Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood]

May It please Yor. Honr.

     This accompas. my returns ofthe Militia
In this County& Northumberld. in wch. I have endea=
= vourd as nearas I could to follow YourHonrs. order
this County falls Naturally enough into twoCantons
each affording a suitable number for a Troop & Foote [sic] Company
Northumberland doth not happenso well,Wico=
=comoco Canton is large enough to make two Comps
of Foote & but one Troop.Fairfields the Same
toDivide these into more Cantons their would
not be persons of ability to make a Troop in any
of them,If Yor. Honr. would think It proper to
order two Compas. of foot in each of these Can=
= ton they might be well enough distinguished by
[ . . .] upper & Lower any Method that
Yor. Honr. Shall [choose] to direct Shall be sattisfactory [sic]
to me whoam
Honble. Sir.

Yor. Honrs: most obedt.
& most humbleServt.

I have two Lieuts. Commissions
left one for the horse the other
for the foote.

I am not very well acquainted wth. the Gent. of the
upper parts of Northumberland County. Have the
return of their names from Collo. Hack.
If Yor. Honr. bepleased to think It c todelay the
filling up the Commissions till I wait upon You
at the General Court I shall endeavour to Informmy
self who may be the properest persons to have them.


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. . .. p. 51.

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 colony and state have been added forclarity.

[1] Alexander Spotswood (1646-1740) was the residentlieutenant governor from 1710 to 1722.

[2] Peter Hack (ca. 1690-1717)was sheriff of Northumberland County in 1716 and 1717. (Dates from "Person Page 504," from M. K. Miles, compiler, "The Miles Files, Version 7.0, Sep2007," [online at,2/17/2009] and McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 3[1705-1721]: 425, 448. Other information about Hack may befound in "Tithables of Lancaster County, 1654," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 5(1897)249-260 an online Google book.)

Carter must have received the information about theNorthumberland militia from Peter Hack after he (Carter) was appointed militia commander of Lancaster andNorthumberland counties in 1715 since Hack had died several years before this letter was written. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 3[1705-1721]: 419. )

This text revised February 17,2009.