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 Russell, April 13, 1724

     Robert Carter writes to John Russell, April 13, 1724, to request his assistance in surveys that Thomas Barber and John Savage are to make of lands that Carter wishes to patent on the frontier on Bull and Sugarland runs, and on Goose Creek, as Captain William Russell has informed him that Russell is well acquainted with these lands.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Russell, April 13, 1724

-1 -

[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]
Aprill the 13th: 1723:4
Mr. Jno Russell -- --

      Captain William Russell tells me you are a liver Some
where near the bull run upon Occaquan that you are
mighty well acquainted with the back woods that you [have] given
him a Accot: of great quantities of very good Land to be
taken up upon the branches of bull run and towards
the Sugar Land Run and that you ae very desirous
and will be ready at any time to Serve me to be a Guid [e]
and Assistant to the Surveyors in Showing them wher [e]
the best of these Lands lie and Accompanying th [em]
making their Surveys, Mr. Savage and Mr. Barb [er]
they are the Surveyors employed by me whom I ha [ve]

-2 -

Directed when they go out upon those Lands to take you
for your their Guide I suppose you are so well stocked with
provison [s] that you will be able to Supply them while
you are out for which I shall readily pay you as I shall
for your trouble and time hoping you will behave
yourself as a Diligent honest man and Give them all
the light and best information you are capable of, For
Chain carries and markers I propose to get some of the
Germans, but if they will not be prevailed with to go
so far from their homes I reckon you may be able to [illegible]
[illegible] to [sic ] get some persons among your neighbours that
will Serve for these works, what Surveys are made for me
I would have very plainly marked and bounded, Captain
Russell informs me that the Goose Creek Lands are very --
good and full of timber with all other encouraging
Qualities which shall be all at present from --

Your Friend --


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.

Carter edited the clerk's draft, and changed one word in his hand as is indicated by the use of italics.

[1] No information about John Russell has presently been located.

[2] William Russell (1680?-1741) was a well-known ranger and explorer who eventually settled in Prince William County (later Fauquier). Fairfax Harrison thinks he may have been one of the rangers who accompanied Spotswood's Knights of the Golden Horseshoe. (Harrison, Landmarks of Old Prince William. p. 204. )

[3] Bull Run is a major tributary of the Occoquan River, forming the foundary between today's Prince William and Fairfax counties, and then between Prince William and Loudoun counties. ( Alexandria Drafting Company. Regional Northern Virginia. [Alexandria, VA: Alexandria Drafting Company, 2002.] Coverage of Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties.)

[4] The Occaquan River is a major tributary of the Potomac River that lay in Stafford County in Carter's day. Much of the river today is known as the Bull Run, and forms the boundary between Fairfax and Prince William counties, and to the west, between Loudoun and Prince William counties. ( Alexandria Drafting Company. op. cit. )

[5] Sugarland Run flows into the Potomac River in Fairfax County along the Loudoun County line. ( Alexandria Drafting Company. op. cit. )

[6] John Savage was a surveyor, later (1734) to be employed by Lord Fairfax while attempting to establish the boundaries of the proprietary. (Harrison. Landmarks. . . . p. 619. )

[7] Thomas Barber of Richmond County was a surveyor, and would be appointed a justice of that county in 1730, tobacco inspector in1734, and sheriff in 1736. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 215, 342, and 369. )

[8] Governor Alexander Spotswood had encouraged immigration of Germans into Virginia in 1714, and they settled "in what was then Stafford Co. . . .. later Prince William and now Fauquier." The men worked in Spotswood's iron mines, but around 1718 took grants in the proprietary in what was then Stafford County. (See "Germantown" in Harrison. Landmarks. . . . pp. 207-221. and Elizabeth Chapman Denny Vann and Margaret Collins Denny Dixon. Virginia's First German Colony. Richmond: Privately printed, 1961. p. 33.)

[9] Goose Creek flows into the Potomac River just east of Leesburg in Loudoun County. ( Alexandria Drafting Company. op. cit. )

This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised August 30, 2011, to strengthen footnotes and the modern language version text.