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 Micajah Perry, July 4, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, July 4, 1723, concerning his shipments of tobacco on several vessels, and the care that has been taken in the production of the tobacco. He then writes at length about £1,500 that will be returned to him from an annuity with the Bank of England which he urges Perry to hold at 5% interest. Carter notes that he can obtain 6% in Virginia but would prefer Perry to have it. He asks Perry to find out why his Bank of England stock has paid only 6% interest when he had been promised 8% at the time that he bought it. He closes by informing Perry that 7 hogshead of the tobacco that is being shipped he has collected from Essex and Middlesex and prized it at his home; it belongs to his son John and the profit should be transferred to John's account but accounted for to Carter.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, July 4, 1723

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]
July the 4th 1723
Mr Perry -- --
                             to be writ

     By Keeling I sent you 41 hogsheads of my own Crops
by Jos [sic ] Bradby Ten and now herein you have a bill of Lading
for 30 hogsheads more on Board the [sic ] Carter all the same tobacco of my Crops , I hope they are with [out]
all manner of faults I am sure it has been my utmost Endea
vour they should be so they have been viewed and reviewed a [nd]
every Overseer that made them passed them upon
Oaths, You gave me a hint in one of your late L [etters]

-2 -

that the Parliament were about paying off the Redeemable
Annuities, that mine was one, you beleived they would
do it in September, and advised me to consider how
I would order the laying out of that money, in answer
I told you I was desirous you should take it of me [illegible]
if you will Afford to give me 5 percent, which is the
common Interest passing between man & man & which
I am very apt to believe you often pay yourself, and
which I am very well Informed Esquire Heath pays for
near three Thousand pound [sic ] of Mrs. Churchills Money,
The constant Interest here is 6 per Cent, and where we
are in any doubt we can have land and Negroes for
Security, In this manner Mr. Burwells money is put
out, so is Mrs. Churchills youngest Daughters, and so
I have a pretty deal of money out my self, and so I can
let out this if I please, however I had rather have
it lie in your hands at 5 per Cent and look upon it as
an Obligation from you, but if no reasons will prevail
with you, and that the money be paid into your hands,
at the time you Expect it, I desire you will take the first
opportunity to let me know it that I may loose no
time in disposing of it either here or in England,
but believe I shall choose rather to let it out here,
If I take the matter right for my Fifteen hundred pound [sic ]
you will receive for me of the Bank Fifteen hundred pounds
for me, without any Diminution.

      Now I am upon this topic I shall desire
you to let me into the Reason why the bank for some
years past pays but 6 perCent Interest for their Stock
you may know if you please to look back to the time
I purchased that my Stock cost me very dear I bought
it under the Expectation that I should always have
had 8 perCent for my Money,

     In the bill of lading above mentio [ne] d there is 37
hhds 7 of them are sweet scented tobaxcco came out of Essex &
[M] iddlesex. I gathered it together and prized it at home

-3 -

That is the Essex Tobbo. the Middlesex I did not see these 7 hogsheads
are properly my sons Tobbo. but are of my Shipping and I Expect
to have the discounts and a distinct Account of Sales returned to me
the neat proceeds if you please you may Transfer to my Sons --
Accot: I am Sir

Your most humble Servant


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1723 July 4-1724 June 11, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

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. His usual return address, the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia )

[2] Captain James Bradby commanded the Micajah and Philip. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, ff. 74v, found in the microfilmsof the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University ofVirginia. )

[3] This may be Edmund Heath, husband of Katherine (Bailey) Heath, grandaughter and daughter of the Carter family's old English friends, Arthur Bailey and his son, Arthur Bailey, as Alan Simpson has speculated. (Simpson. "Robert Carter's Schooldays." p. 173, fn. 29.) )

[4] Sweetscented tobacco was one of two major types grown in Carter's day. It was mild compared to the stronger oronocco. Sweetscented required "a typer of soil of limited distribution" and "was largely confined to the banks of the great rivers, the James, York, Rappahannock, and Potomac." ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 97 )

This text revised August 25, 2009.