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 Betty [Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell], February 5, 1724

     Robert Carter writes to his widowed daughter Betty [Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell], who lived in Gloucester County, February 5, 1724, approving of her proposed purchase of a slave from her brother-in-law, although he comments that the price is "extravigant." He sends her greetings from all her siblings.

Letter from Robert Carter to Betty [Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell], February 5, 1724

-1 -

Cor[o] t[oman, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Feb. 5: 12 of the Clock 1723/4

Dear Betty

     I rec'd. Yours this moment minute and as You desire
I shall give You my advice freely Mr Burwell makes a most extra==vigant
demand for his Slave but if he will not take less I would
have You pleas Your fancy & I think it will be very Justifiable in
You when tis Everydays Experience that more extravegant bar=
gains are made upon much mor less tempting Occasons and thank
God Your circumstances are so very good that it will be less culpable
in You to give Your Br. twenty pounds extravegantly than for him to take it.

     You say You want Yr. Sisters company and indeed everybody must
believe they want the guidance of Yours of or of some other descreet
Gentlewomans in lieu of this I thank god they have their perfect
[ ... ] [he] alths and look better and fatter than they have a great while
[ ... ] [Mrs. Am] y Cosby hath been sick ever since You was here hath kept her
[ ... ] [cham] ber almost all the time Mr Robert is Yr Humble servant and
[ ... ] [also th] e Girls & George I am


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. The word "Ian" at the head of the text probably refers to the clerk who was to write out the fair copy as this draft is not in Robert Carter's hand.

[1] Carter refers to his widowed daughter's brother-in-law

[2] Betty's younger sisters, Mary (1712-1736) and Lucy (1715-1763) were unmarried and living at home at this time. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 2)

[3] Amy Cosby seems to have been an important house servant, probablythe housekeeper for Carter, a widower since 1719; she is mentioned a number of times in his diary.

This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised February 14 2011, to strengthen the modern language version text.