Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to John Carter, July 6, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to his son John Carter, Secretary of State of the colony, July 6, 1723, concerning the collection of interest on debts owed both to Carter and to the Proprietors. He asks John to take a letter that will be conveyed to him by a neighbor of his father's to Jenings, and demand payment. He informs John that tobacco he has collected on John's behalf in Essex and Middlesex counties amounted only to 7 hogsheads that he has shipped to Micajah Perry with orders to credit the sales to John's account.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Carter, July 6, 1723

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Corotoman, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 6th 1723

To Mr Sec'J [sic ] John Carter

     I hope this will find you in
good health a blessing thank [God] [sic ] I have enjoyed ever
since I saw you.

     There is due to me from Colonel Jenings
the sum of seventy five pounds now payable for
the interest of some money he owes me upon
bonds. Captain [Philip] Smith, my neighbour coming
to Town, I have taken the opportunity by
him in a letter to make a demand of this
money; and if you are in town while
Captain Smith is there, I have directed him to
deliver this letter to you that you may wait
upon Colonel Jenings with it and receive my
bills. If he gives any of other mens' drawing
you must take care he endorses them. The
bills you receive I would have enclosed to me
by Captain Smith.

      Colonel Jenings upon settling an
Accot with the /#Northern Neck owns to be in their
debt beyond exception under his hand above
Two Hundred Pounds Sterling. I give him to

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the 1st of September next to make payment
of this money. I will wait no longer: nor
shall I be just to the Proprietors to admit
of any longer delay: but if he does not
comply by that time I must & will
enter into a lawsuit with him, that
I may put them upon the best security
I can for their money which I am afraid
all I can do will be in some hazard.
If he should make any pretensions about
the sixty pounds that you received you
must let him know that I have already
argued that matter with him and con=
=vinced him, his son being by, that he
had no manner of right to that money,
but that it was justly due to the Pro=
-prietors; and that I should account
to them for it.

     Perhaps he may pretend I have received
some of his arrears which I ought to dis-
=count with him. You may assure him
from me that all that my Coll [ecto] rs have
received, that I know of, does not amount
to twenty pounds, and that not yet paid

-3 -

into my hands; so that this will be no
excuse at all.

     All the Tobo I have got for you out
of Essex & Middlesex makes but 7 Hhds
after prizing, and they not very heavy.

     They are under your mark but I have
put them into my bill of lading and
ordered Perry to Account to me for them,
allowing me the full discounts; and
after the sales are finished to carry the
proceeds to your credit --

     I heartily wish the continuance
of your health and commit you to
God's holy keeping, begging his blessing
may accompany you and that you may
always live in his fear.

     I am your affectionate Father.

P.S. I would be mighty glad to have the
assistance of my daughter in writing my
invoice for my girls. But I must do the
best I can in all these little difficulties.


Source copy consulted: Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia. These texts are all nineteenth-century copies. Apparently there was in existence a letter book of Robert Carter's -- now lost -- from which the unknown copyist recorded these texts. As they are the only texts, the punctuation and "corrections" obviously supplied by the copyist have been retained.

The county and colony have been added to the return address for clarity.

The 19th-century copyist composed the address. He added a footnote at the bottom of the page: "This letter has no address but there can be no doubt that it is to his son John Carter. See the next letter" which is Carter's letter to Edmund Jenings, July 6, 1723. The copyist abbreviated the word "secretary" as "Sec'J" probably intending to write "ty" after the apostrophe but what he wrote appears rather like a capital "J" and it has been so transcribed.

[1] Carter omitted a word here and the 19th-century copyist added this one in brackets.

[2] Philip Smith was sheriff of Northumberland County in 1723-1724. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 34,67. )

[3] Williamsburg.

This text revised September 17, 2009.