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 William Dawkins, August 26, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dawkins, August 26, 1723, reporting the serious damage that recent bad weather has done to crops up and down the Rappahannock, on the York, and in Maryland. He adds that a short crop may benefit planters who ship only stripped tobacco before the act of Parliament banning its importantion into England goes into effect. If Dawkins plans to send the Carter, she should sail early. He closes by writing that he hopes to see one or both of his sons before Christmas.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins, August 26, 1723

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Augst. 26. 1723 --

Mr. Wm. Dawkins

     I have already hinted to You the great damage our Crops
has sustaind by the Rains & winds. I have had Intelligence
from the head to the foot of our River I may say from the Northern
Side of York too & the Cry is as bad in Maryland, people tht. I
Converse with Genly. reckon there will hardly be half a Crop
but I dare not give any Ordrs. about keeping my Tobo. having so
severely smarted for it these late Years, One would reason that these
Storeys & the neer taking place of the Act of Parliament against stem
=ing Tobo. would be of considerable service to us that ship nothing
but stript Tobo.

     Neither dare I say any thing About the Carter, If You
Adventure to send her, It will be highly proper to make her an
Early Ship, I am

      I am big with hopes of seeing one if not both my Sons
On this Side of Christmas which shall conclude me at
present. --

Yor. humble Servt.

Since the above I have drawn on You
for £32"8" to Capt. Thomas Kennedy.
wch. desire Yor. paymt. of at time. --


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. The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on the draft.

[1] The Rappahannock River.

[2] 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. )

[3] Two of Carter's sons had been in England at school and he had directed Dawkins to send them home.

This text revised January 14, 2010.