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 William Cage, Esqr., June 30, 1724

     Robert Carter writes to the trustee of the Fairfax estate,William Cage, of County Kent, England, June 30, 1724, concerning the possibility of obtaining a new lease of the agency of the Northern Neck proprietary. He observes that he makes no money at all from his lease because rents, when he can collect them, are paid in tobacco the value of which is very low, and which rents are further devalued by cheating tax collectors and planters who falsely mark tobacco casks which they fill with "trash."

Letter from Robert Carter to William Cage, Esqr., June 30, 1724

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Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]
June 30th. 1724


     I have already given you the trouble
of a long letter to day [sic ] this please to receive in answer to
some other parts of your letter you tell me you are ready
to treat with me for a further lease I have accordingly im=
powered Mr Perry to transact it with you for eight or ten
years longer if his Lordship and you think fit not in expec=
tation of living through that time but in hopes my son
may be able to serve you after my death. I flatter my self [sic ] you
will be so generous you will abate me the odd twenty pound
per Annum which was more than Colonel Jennings gave, you
know the fate he has met with in your business a consi=
derable part of his ruin is owing to it I can truly say I do
not get the money by your estate I give you for it and all the
trouble I have been at in the management of it which is abunda nce
has been thus far entirely given away, my greatest hopes
are of some time or another meeting with a hit for Tobacco that
may make me amends.

     I have said a great deal to you to convince you of
my hard bargain; Mr Perry pretty well knows the
circumstances of the affair the poor value of the Tobacco your
rents are paid in the great difficulty & charge of getting
it together the baseness & frauds of Collectors & officers the
cheats of the Planters in paying away their trash & false
tareing their Cask add to all this the great quantities of
land that are still unppaid for which I have yet been
able to get no rents from and am as far from doing
of it as I was the first hour I was concerned. If you
will please to consider all these things and discourse
them freely with Mr. Perry I think he will be

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able to satisfy you that I have but a sour bargain of
it and yet I have the vanity to think that no other
person in your territory can do so well with it as I
do. I Shall leave all these things to your deliberation
and conclude


Your most humble

and Most Obedient Servt:



Source copy consulted: Fairfax Papers, BR 227, Folder 20, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed: Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 113-14.

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 persons abroad. The county and colony have been added for clarity.

There are two recipient's copies of this letter. The conjoined address leaf of the text above reads: "To | Wm. Cage Esqr | At Milgate | In the parish of Bearshed | In the County of | Kent | per The Prins. Carolina | Capt. Holladay." It is endorsed in Cage's handwriting, "June the 30th 1724 | Coll Carter." The second is marked "Copy" at the foot and is dated July 9, 1724. Its address leaf reads "To be left with Mr. Micajh. Perry | LONDON Per the Spotswood | Capt. Bagwell." Both copies are signed by Carter (indicated by the use of bold italics) and sealed with his arms.

[1] The tare weight is the weight of the container "that is deducted from the gross weight to obtain the net weight" of the product held in the container. ( The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Updated in 2009. Quoted online by The Free Dictionary, 9/13/2011.)

This text, originally posted in 2002, was revised September 12, 2011, to strengthen the modern language version text.