Robert Carter writes to London merchant, William Dawkins, May 27, 1721, reporting that freight rates on ships in the York River have been lowered to £8 and those in the James River to £7. The Carter must look for freight at £8 if she is to be loaded, but she is doing well thanks to his assistance. He wishes her captain, Bailey Kent, were more aggressive in seeking cargo. He complains about the pirates and the Crown's apparent lack of interest in protecting the colonial trade.
My Last went from Williamsburg this comes via Liverpool
and lets You know That the York river Freight the other Day was Struck to
£8. The James River to Seven, The Carter must come to the York terms
If She is to be loaded. she is as forward at this day considering the time She
came in I believe as any of them, but Kent must own it is owing in
a great Measure to my Assistance, I hope by the last of this month or
Some few days in June, She will have above 300 hogsheads on board.
We have a Swarm of ships in all our Rivers, It is Impossible I think they
Should all find Tobacco I have loaded 30 hogsheads on board Chandler and have
bin passive as to my freight , wish I do not Suffer for my laziness
we Shall Struggle hard to fill the Carter I wish Bailey Kent had
a little more Mercury in the head of him and could undergo fatigue
with a greater briskness,
Wharton by Standing for £10 per Tun I'm afraid will fool himself.
The story of the pirates threatening of our Harbours You will have
at Large, It's a miserable case the Crown takes no more care of so
vast a fleet of ships as uses this Bay, for the rest refer You to my other
Two Liverpool ships in our river take a freight for London
I Shall Conclude at Present. --