A Collection Transcribed
by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
List of Letters
About This Collection
Electronic Text Center
, University of Virginia Library
Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, August 8 and 15, 1723
Robert Carter writes to Glasgow merchant John Stark, August 8, 1723, referring to an earlier letter concerning a draft on Stark. He then alerts Stark that he will ship 50 hogsheads on board Captain Bowman's ship, and that James Read's solicitations for more on board Stark's ship, the Charles,
he probably will agree to, but he hopes Stark will obtain a better price for the tobacco than last year's. He complains strongly about the difference in weight of his tobacco when he weighs it just before shipping it, and when it is weighed by Stark. Carter wants Stark to send good claret to his daughter, Elizabeth Burwell on York River, but complains about the price charged those men who received claret from him this year. In a lengthy post script dated August 15, 1723, Carter encloses a bill of lading (not present) for 51 hogsheads of tobacco, complains that Stark did not allow him the farthing per pound more that he gave others, orders brandy for his daughter, and tells Stark that his masters will tell him more of the damage to crops from the recent bad weather.
Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark,
August 8 and 15, 1723
Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]
Augst. 8, 1723.
Mr. John Stark --
I have already Advisd You Via Londo. of my draft
Upon You for one hundred pounds to Mr. Perry
which I Expect You will
Comply with, without any Allowance for the Exche. which I take to be
the Meaning of Your Letter of the 11th of Octor. last.
I Shall Ship on Board Capt Bowman
fifty hhds & put
It on board with my Own Sloops For which I
expect I Shall be allowd.
Mr. James Read
hath [sic] bin with me this Week, & Solicites
me Strongly For 20 or thirty hhds. freight which believe I Shall go
near to help him to, Upon Your Accot. but All this is in hopes, You will
think It proper to Allow me more for my Tobo. than You did last Year
I loose considerably by that Tobo, I may say that reckon Shrink=
=edge, Sallary Sloop hire, & other charges, the Tobo. I Send You
Stands me in Above twelve Shillings per hundred weight here
, Whatever is the reason I
can't tell, there is a Prodigious difference between the Wts. here &
the Wts. at Your Scales,
and I illegible
which is very Strange considering
I weigh All my Tobo. in Scales too, just before I ship it,
I have promissd my Daughter Burwell
who lives In
York river to write to You for a hhd of clarret, & accordingly
I now desire You to Send her in one upon my Accot., The Wine
that You Sent in this Year to Sevl. Gentlemen has the character of
being very good, but Is the Dearest that Ever I heard of, I have had
Many a hhd of good clarret, from Mr. Arbuckle of Belfast for Eight
per hhd and as good Pontac
as Ever I drank in my Life
he chargd me
£12 per hhd For, I would have this Wine of the best Sort but
pe You will be able to Send It at a much Cheaper rate than the
last Years came at, I am
Your humble. Servt.
Per the Mazereen Capt. Kelsick
Rappahannock Augst. 15th. 1723 --
is a Copy of mine by the Mazereen this Accompas. Capt.
Bowman & Covers a bill of Lading for 51 hhds. of Tobo. on board his Ship pray God
Send It Safe to You, & to a better Markett thn. the last met with, Im this day told
by one of Your Townsmen that You gave Some other men a Farthing a pound
more thn. I had, Im Sorry the largeness of my Quantity Should depretiate me in price
I must desire You with the hhd of clarret, I have writ to You for, for my Daughr.
Burwell that You will Send her in a Qr. Cask of the Best french [brandy ?]
I'm prepareing Some more Tobo. for Mr. Reid by whom I Sen[d letters]
to Entertain You more at length, Every hhd of this Tobo. in Bo[wman]
I have carried to his Side In my own Craft, I hope You'l take c[are to?]
Allowed for my Charge, Your Masters will Acquaint You, with the gre[at]
Damage we have Sustaind In Our Crops by the Rains & hard Winds [ac]
=cording to the present report from most parts of the Country, Our Crops wil[l]
be but Short, I am
Sir -- Yor. very humble Servant
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.
 John Stark was a merchant, probably the one to whom Carter referred when he wrote to Micajah Perry on 1723 July 4 that he had drawn an order on "Mr. Stark of Glasgow." On that same day, he wrote to a John Stark, referring to Captain Bowman.
 Captain Samuel Bowman commanded the Lucia.
Carter mentioned this vessel in his diary in June 1724, and again on March 4, 1726, when he wrote that she "came in had 20 Weeks Passage."
 James Read (Reid) is not referred to as "captain" which means he was an official of John Stark's firm on a trading vessel who was empowered to do its business in Virginia. He was aboard the Charles,
a Glasgow ship that was owned by Stark. Carter specifically refers to "Your Ship" and "the Charles of Glasgow" in a letter to Stark of September 4, 1723.
 Carter knew of the long conection of the Pontac family with the Haut-Brion vineyards, and the wines produced in that region that came to be known as clarets. ( "Chateau Haut-Brion"
at http://www.haut-brion.com/home/en/fiches/chb.php, found 4/16/02
 Peter How was a merchant of Whitehaven (on the Irish sea in northwest England), who, with Richard Kelsick, traded with the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area from the early 18th century, establishing a store there in 1745. "He had interests in coal and iron-ore mines and set up an iron-working forge at Low Mill [England] in 1750. Debts incurred by the forge and the decline in the tobacco trade may have contributed to his bankruptcy in 1763." ( Paula S. Felder. "Fredericksburg and Whitehaven Connection to English Port a Forgotten Chapter in Area's Colonial History Living-history Program," Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star
and Notes on a portrait
of "Mrs Peter How and her Two Children, Peter and Christian," http://www.artfund.org/artwork/2188/mrs-peter-how-and-her-two-children-peter, 11/19/2009.
 This long postscript to the letter of August 8, 1723, was squeezed into the letter book below it.
This text revised November 23, 2009.