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 Micajah Perry, September 17, 1723

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, September 17, 1723, requesting that he find tradesmen for Carter including a carpenter, bricklayer, and barber surgeon. He reminds Perry that his grandfather had often found such men for him, discusses the wages he is willing to pay, and hopes they will sign five-year indentures. He sends copies (not present) of some letters received by Scots merchants that describe changes in the customs officers in Scotland which have depressed the merchants. Carter hopes that these reports are true and that the merchants will have to become "honest Men in spiite of their Teeths." He closes with a report of the poor crop in the colony, and in a post script, urges Perry to find a barber surgeon who will not require wages.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, September 17, 1723

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Sepr. 17th 1723

[M] icajh. Perry


     I write to You by Every opportunity this comes
by a Glasgow Man & is Earnestly to desire Your favour in pro=
= curing me Some Tradesmen, I want a good Carpenter that is
Capable of framings a large building, I also want a Bricklayer
& a Barber Surgeon a Young fellow just out of his time tht.
Can Bleed & Shave & Dress Sores a sober towardly Young fellow
Will be very useful in my family, Your Grandfather always
helped me with Tradesmen when I wanted, he sent me a very
good Workman of a carpenter his Name was Norris at £20
a Year Salary he sent me several good joiners at £18 per annum
As for the Barber Surgeon I can't give above 8 or 10 £ a year
to him, I am desirous If It can be so done that they Engage for
five Years,

     here is some Letters lately arrived to Our Scotch merchants
tht. give thm. An Account of a thorough change in their customs house
Oficers which makes them a little down in the Mouth & they seem
Afraid their rogueries will be looked stricter to than they
have been I heartily wish such ways may be found Out to
Make thm. honest Men in spite of their Teeths, Else we that are the
Fair Traders shall never be able to live.

     I think You may depend upon it we have a very poor
Crop both for Quantity & Quality the Prohibition upon stemming
Tobacco carries the face of the harshest usage that Ever a poor
people Met with, but I will give You no further Trouble
at present

Sir      Your most humble Servant .

I am in hopes You may be able
to procure me a Young Barber
Surgeon without any Wages but If not
£5 a year I think full enough for Such a fellow


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] 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 April 1, 2010.