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 John Pemberton, January 28, 1724

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, January 28, 1724, concerning his tobacco shipments, complaining about Captain Fowler of the Content who promised to take more hogsheads than he eventually did. He encloses a bill of lading (not present) for the tobacco Fowler has on board, reports a bill of exchange, and reminds the merchant of the goods he has ordered.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, January 28, 1724

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

Janr. 28. 1723/4

Mr. Jno. Pemberton

Sir --

     I flattered my self once this Year to have got off to
you seventy hhds. of my stemmed Tobacco but now I must be contented
with less than half the Number, Joe Eaton gave me his repeated
promises to take me in between twenty & thirty hhds. the Tobacco was
got ready betimes but he went away without touching one of
them, Fowler in the Content has served me very Scurvily, at his
first coming in, I took forty hhds. positively upon him afterwards
he urged me for ten more which I also promised him & yet after
All he has taken in but three & thirty hhds, Eleven tht. he had
notes for up the River, he has left after they were rolled for him
& the rest that were ready at my house, he has no room for, these
thirty three hhds. You have herein a bill of Lading for, the last
which You will have from me while that Inhumane [ ... ] [Act]

-2 -

of Parliament Stands in force, We feed ourselves with large
hopes from the stemmed Tobacco going home in this Fleet, what the Events
will be We must leave to time.

     I drew upon You last October for £18 " to George Walker
which You are requested to answer, I think You have advice of all
my other drafts, We have had no News from Your parts a great
While, Fowler talks of Ballandine's being Expected daily in
a large Ship, I hope You will meet with some opportunity
to let me have the Goods I wrote to you for. I am,

Sir Your very humble Servant

per Fowler
Copy per Woodward -- Keiling


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] Betimes can mean in Carter's context, "in a short time, soon, speedily, anon, forthwith." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

[2] Scurvily means "shabbily, meanly; sorrily, unsatisfactorily." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

[4] 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. )

[4] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800 summarizing Adm. 68/194, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised January 11, 2011, to add footnotes, and to strengthen the modern language version text.