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 Captain John Hyde and Company, August 1, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to the London firm known as Captain John Hyde and Company, August 1, 1723, reporting the arrival of a letter the firm had sent by Captain Hopkins, complains mildly about the low prices his tobacco has brought, and more strongly about the firm's warehousing and "watching" charges. He has copies of the new act of Parliament concerning the importation of tobacco, and notes that it will mean good prices for the tobacco that is now heading for market even though there are long-term disadvantages for the colonial planters.

Letter from Robert Carter to Captain John Hyde and Company, August 1, 1723

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Augst. 1st.. 1723 --

Capt. Jno. Hyde & Compa.

Gent. --

     Yesterday Your Lettr. by Hopkins came to me
After I had Seald up mine by Richardson The Lowness of the Sales
are very Surprizeing however I shall feed myself with hopes
of better times, We can never bring Buckle and Thong together
At these rates, The charge of Your Warehouse Room is beyond
anything that Ever I saw since I knew what a hhd of Tobo. was
two Shillings per hhd is the Price I have bin Acquainted with
All England over, Indeed One Gentleman this Year chargs.
me 6d more for Tobo. that went in 1720, You have a Charge an Article
of 3d per hhd for Watching, which is Entirely new to me, I just
hint these things and leave them to Your Consideration --

     I have Several Copys of the New Tobo. Law Prohibitting
the Importation of Stemd Tobo. which In Appearance seems to
Portend many Disadvantages to Us, but in reason one
Would think It would help all that sort of Tobo. that is now
going home, The smoakers knowing they are to have no more
of It will be fond of laying in large Stocks I remain

Yor. most humble. Servt.


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter letter book, 1723 June 16-1724 April 23, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

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] Captain James Hopkins would be in command of the Mary in 1727-1728. He was then working for London merchant Robert Cary. He is mentioned in Carter's diary. ( Adm. 68/194, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] Captain [James?] Richardson commanded the Sarah and was based in Weymouth.

[3] Parliament had passed an act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. John Randolph would be sent to England in 1729 as agent for Virginia to try to have the act overturned; his mission would be successful. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. [Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953], 116. )

This text revised November 6, 2009.