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 Captain John Hyde and Company, September 17, 17[23]

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Captain John Hyde and Company, September 17, 17[23], to remind the merchants of a bill of exchange reported in an earlier letter, and relating his decision to order some "selling Goods." He reports the poor crop across the colony and in Maryland, and expresses his hope that the tobacco already sent to England will fetch good prices. In a post script, he reports the arrival of the firm's ship the Providence, Capt. Woodward, with a load of salt which Carter notes he will assist the master in selling.

Letter from Robert Carter to Captain John Hyde and Company, September 17, 17[23]

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Sepr. 17[23]

Capt. John Hyde & Compa[ny].


     My last was Via Scotland to advise Y [ou of]
a bill of exchange Colonel Page & myself had drawn upon You for [£50]
payable to John Bagge to be answered out of Mrs. Burwells money [in]
Your hands,

     I have been in suspence until this day whether I Shoul [d]
Send for any selling Goods or no but Im now come to a resolution to
have a small parcel I wish it be not too late, you pleased me so
Well in the last You sent me that I now send the Enclosed invoice to
You desiring Your care in the buying them & to send them in by the
first good conveniency that Offers If they are not so Early with
me as I could wish, I must blame my own Irresolution, I have computed them
as well as I can & reckon the cost of them will not amount to
Two hundred pound near,

     It is now agreed on all hands from all parts of the coun=-try
Our crop is very mean both in Quantity & Quality I believe you'll
have the Same Account from Maryland, This with the Act of Parlia
ment Prohibiting stemmed Tobacco raises in us Expectations that
the Tobacco gone home will Advance Especially the stemmed I am

Gentlemen Your Most humble Servt

Per the [omission in text]              This very Instant Your
                                                    Ship the Providence Captain
Copy per [omission in text]          Woodward is arrived before my door
with a Load of salt, and I believe we may help him to a Quick
Dispatch, he asks 8£ per Tun and I Shall not offer him less I Shall
help what I can in the dispose of his salt


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. There is a nineteenth-century transcript of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, 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] A bill of exchange is a kind of check or promissory note without interest. It is used primarily in international trade, and is a written order by one person to pay another a specific sum on a specific date sometime in the future. If the bill of exchange is drawn on a bank, it is called a bank draft. If it is drawn on another party, it is called a trade draft. Sometimes a bill of exchange will simply be called a draft, but whereas a draft is always negotiable (transferable by endorsement), this is not necessarily true of a bill of exchange. ( "Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms" at 8/22/2005 )

[2] The amount of the bill was given in Carter's letter to Hyde August 8, 1723 .

[3] This probably was John Bagge (1682?-1726), rector of St. Anne's Parish, Essex County, 1709-1711 and 1718-1726. He had served Sittenburne Parish in Richmond County, 1711-1716. ( John K. Nelson. A Blessed Company: Parishes, Parsons, and Parishoners in Anglican Virginia, 1690-1776. [Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 2001]. p. 304. )

[4] Thomas Woodward commanded the Providence during a number of voyages to the colony, 1723-1727. (Adm. 68/194 and 195, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.)