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 Savage, April 13, 1724

     Robert Carter writes to John Savage, April 13, 1724, to repeat and emphasize the instructions for surveys Savage is to make for Carter on the colony's frontier. He reminds Savage that Thomas Barber is to assist with the work, and that Carter is sending to Savage by Barber some deeds for lands in the area of Bull Run. Some surveys were made in the area ten years earlier, but Savage is to ignore them.

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

-1 -

[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]
Aprill the 13th. 17234
Mr: Jno. Savage -- --

     I have already written you word I Should Employ
Mr. Barber to assist you in my Surveys, this comes with him
I have given him an Accot: of the places acording to Captain Russells
Information, that is the two places upon the broad run the Lands
upon the Bull run and its branches up towards the Sugar Land
and the Lands upon the Goose Creek from the fork there
of and outwards, Resolve if possible to have my Surveys
made this Spring and next fall, I Expect he will make two
three or may be [sic ] four Surveys before he comes Down, I think
it will be the best way to Send him upon the broad [sic ] run and
I Should be very Glad if you will go upon the branches of
the bull run and likewise upon the head of Goose Creek
this Creek it seems forks into two branches Captain Turberville
would have had a warrant to Survey the fork of that
Creek but I resolve to give no warrant there about until I am
Served, My Last Letter to you was by Captain Eskridge
who undertook to Send it to Major Smiths from whom he
said you would be Sure of it, I now write to both Russells
who you know have promised me to be your Guides I also
write to the Germans to be your Chain carriers upon whom
I hope I may Depend, If you think proper to make use
of Mr. Barber in any of the Surveys upon the warrants --
Directed to you he will be Contented to take half the pay
and I am Sure there will be work Enough for you both
during my time, people wait until my warrants &Ca. According to my Directions are laid
off and then there are Abundance that Offer to take up
Lands so that I think in respect to your own Interest a [s]
well as mine You ought to be Glad of the Assistanc [e of]
Mr. Barber and to give him all the Encourage [ment]
that possibly you can --

-2 -

     The Division of the Great Tract into two plats and Surveys
I hope you will finish and Send me in a Short time, There is
my warrant for enlarging my Tract called the Red Oak Land
you may do at your leisure Sometime in the Summer I
hope you may find a time for it

     Mr. James Carter tells me that Mr. Scott the
Minister wants his Patent for the waste Land about
200 Acres joining to a Thousand Acres he bought of John
Waugh upon Run that it was Surveyed by Hooper
and Appears in the plat, , now I know nothing of all this
Mr. Carter tells me of several other persons want their
patents, Crosbys Deed is gone and I have never a Survey now
before me that a Deed has not Issued upon So that I must Send
all these people to you for Satisfaction, As for your Direct
ions about my own Surveys I was so full and perticular
to you when you was here that I dont know how to say more
only to desire you to redouble your diligence and to Treat
Mr. Barber with all kindness and Civility

     Mr. Barber has copies of several Deeds that lie
upon the bull run which will be proper to be had by him
that goes there, Mr. Jns: Shelton of Westmoreland made some
Surveys about Ten years ago, Mr. Heath Mr. Morriss Jones
also made Surveys and some others upon the bull run
and the branches of it but took out no Deeds, these Surveys
I would have you take no notice of and if Sam Russ Lands
or Captain Eskridges lies in your may you may surround them
if you find it proper it is but making an Exception in the
Deed, Here I have aprehension there may be taken up a
large quantity of very good Land


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.

[1] 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. )

[2] Thomas Barber of Richmond County was a surveyor, and would be appointed a justice of that county in 1730, tobacco inspector in 1734, and sheriff in 1736. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]: 215, 342, and 369. )

[3] 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. )

[4] Broad Run extends southwest from Lake Manassas in Prince William County and joins Kettle Run just west of present-day Lake Jackson of the Occoquan River, south of the town of Manassas. ( ADC. Regional Northern Virginia. [Alexandria, VA: Alexandria Drafting Company, 2002.] pp. 77, 84, 85, 89. )

[5] Bull Run is a major tributary of the Occoquan River, forming the boundary between today's Prince William and Fairfax counties, and then between Prince William and Loudoun counties. ADC. Regional Northern Virginia. op. cit. )

[6] Sugarland Run flows north into the Potomac River in modern Loudoun County north of the town of Herndon. ( ADC. Regional Northern Virginia. op. cit. )

[7] Goose Creek flows into the Potomac River just east of Leesburg in modern Loudoun County. ( ADC. Regional Northern Virginia. op. cit. )

[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] Red Oak Quarter was in Prince William County; in the 1733 inventory, John Wilcox was overseer, and there were fourteen slaves, fifty-one hogs, forty-one cattle, and one horse. (Carter Papers: An Inventory. . . ." .)

[10] Alexander Scott (d. 1738), had received an M. A. degree from the University of Glasgow before coming to Virginia. He was the minister of Overwharton Parish, Stafford County, and a considerable land speculator. There are numerous references to him in Fairfax Harrison's Landmarks of Old Prince William. (Copeland and MacMaster. The Five George Masons. . . . p. 78; 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. 172-3, 318, 375, 428; and Harrison. Landmarks. . . . pp. 146, 158, 200, 257, 284-85, 337, 665. )

[11] Wolf Run lies in present-day Fairfax County where it empties into the Occoquan Reservoir. in Fountainhead Regional Park. It does not appear: on the Fry-Jefferson map. ( Alexandria Drafting Company. Regional Northern Virginia. [Alexandria, VA: Alexandria Drafting Company, 2002.] pp. 32, 37-38. )

[12] The reference to "Jns. Shelton" may be to John Chilton (Chelton) (d. 1744), who was a "son of Mark and Sarah (Keys) Chilton, who described himself as a planter of Prince William County when on 1733 July 17-18 he sold to Richard Blackburn 764 acres. . . ." He apparently lived in Westmoreland County earlier because his name is on the lists of justices of that county from 1712 to 1721. ( Jeff Carter. "John Chilton. " ; and Norris. Westmoreland County, Virginia. pp. 675-76. )

This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised August 22, 2011, to add footnotes, and to strengthen the modern language version text.