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 Pemberton, May 26, 1721

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant, John Pemberton, May 26, 1721, that he is sending him 40 hogsheads of tobacco on board the Content . He reports that two of Pemberton's ships are loading freight for London. He was pleased with Pemberton's report of sales of tobacco sent last year by Captain Hancock. The 20 hogsheads he sent by Enoch Robinson were purchased by Carter and Pemberton is to get as much as he can for it. He concludes with the hope that Parliament will find some way to settle the "South Sea Company" scandals in a way that will restore trade and the nation's credit.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, May 26, 1721

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

May 26th. 1721

Mr. Jno. Pemberton

Sir --

     My last w [en] t. by Hancock who I hope is with You before this
Day, Then I told You I was in Treaty with Captain Stephenson in the ..
Content for some more freight to You, This accompanies a bill of
Lading for forty hogsheads of my own Crop Tobacco in that Ship
There are two of Your ships To wit Mackmullion and Picker
to who take freight for London which makes me believe You
will not be over burdened this year and that your market
may be as good at least for stripped Tobacco as any in England

      I have drawn on You for four po [u] nd one shilling the Impost of
this This Tobacco -- Your Account of Sales of my forty hogsheads per
Hancock the last Year I have received with a great deal of satisfaction
My 20 hogsheads in Robertson was purchased, The most You can get
for It must content me, I hope the Parliament will find ways
to Settle That plague the South Sea Company upon such

-2 -

a foot That the Credit of the nation may be retrievd & that
Trade may flourish again among You with great respects
I remain --

Your very 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. . . . p. 93.

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] A Captain Pickering was master in 1718 of the Caesar , a Liverpool ship.

[2] The impost was the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco.

[3] Carter meant Enoch Robinson; see the letter to Pemberton 30 September 1720 .

[4] Carter refers to the scandal of the value of the stock of the South Sea and other companies which wild speculation had driven enormously high in June 1720, and which was nearly worthless several months later. Many fortunes were made and lost. Perhaps the most succesful speculator was Sir Robert Walpole who made a fortune, retired, and then was called to save the nation as prime minister, a post he held from 1721 until 1742. ( Goldwin Smith. A History of England. Chicago, etc.: Scribner's, 1949. pp. 422-424. )

This text revised March 30, 2009.