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 Stark, September 4, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to Glasgow merchant John Stark, September 4, 1723, reminding the merchant that he shipped 51 hogsheads on board Capt. Bowman's ship and that he hopes for a better price for it than last year's. He orders cloth, sugar, and boots, and will add claret, burgundy, and champagne provided his tobacco sells at a price that he specifies.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, September 4, 1723

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Sepr, 4th. 1723 --

Mr. Jno. Stark

Sir -- --

     My last went by Captain Bowman accompanied
a Bill of Lading for Fifty one hogsheads of Tobacco This by Captain
Ben with Mr. Read Covers A Bill of Lading for 23 hogsheads
More, I carried It to the Ship Side & chose rather to send In Your
Ship than any other purely to Oblige You, I hope you'll be able
to Advance It to a much higher price than You did last Year
that We may be encouraged to Continue our business Your way
I have now 40 hogsheads more that I design to Your port, here are
several Ships that Yet want Freight, but I'm Almost come to
A resolution that I will Ship no more this Year, being Morally
assured Tobacco must Advance here the next, Mr. Read has a
very good knowledge of the Country & will give You the best
Account of the Poor Crops we are like to make

     I have Already written to You for a hogshead of claret & a
quarter Cask of French Brandy For Mrs. Burwell, I now desire You
to Send me in Two hundred yards of Your coarse Gallow shields
yard Wide Cloth which You say costs from 14 to 15 pence per Yd. one hundred
weight of Your best double refined sugar & two pair of Boots for my
Own Wear to be between 12s. & 13s. Size one pair to be half
for Winter. the Other pair to be summer Boots I have
spoke to Mr Read to Assist in buying these Boots Who I
believe will best know how to please me --

     And now I will be so prodigal upon Condition You can
make of myTobacco round £5/20 shillings per hogshead [illegible] to Order You to
Send me in a hogshead of the best claret upon for My own Account use &
Six dozen quarts of Burgundy & as much champagne but upon
no less terms will I spend any money upon these easy wanted liquors
I drank both of Colonel Page's champagne & Burgundy which
proved Extraordinary good, I am

                                  Your very humble Servant

per the Charles of Glasgow.


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] John Stark was a merchant, probably the one to whom Carter referred when he wrote to Micajah Perry on July 4, 1723, 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.

[2] 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."

[3] 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, by which this letter was sent.

[4] Carter may have been referring to a fabric made in the Scots town of Galashiels . "This bustling manufacturing town is pleasantly situated with the Gala Water flowing through its heart. There have been mills here since the early 17th century. . . . " ( See, 2/5/2010 )

[5] A half-jack was a boot ending below the knee with turned down top of a softer and lighter colored leather, pulled on by leather or string loops on each side. (William W. Burke, "Dictionary of 18th Century Clothing Terms." NWTA Patternmaster Document 111 . (, found on line 5/9/02 )

This text revised February 5, 2010.