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., July 28, 1725

     Robert Carter writes to the trustee of the Fairfax estate, William Cage, July 28, 1725, that he has received the statement of the case that he has brought on behalf of the proprietor before the council of the colony to claim "fines and forfeitures, and the Goods of Felo de ses." He says that deodands are not in contention, and that Cage and Lord Fairfax must now make the case to the Board of Trade to which this case statement will be sent.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Cage, Esqr., July 28, 1725

-1 -

Rappa [hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

July 28th: 1725

[Wm. Cage Esq]r


     I have Just received from my Lawyers the state of the Case
between the Crown and the Proprietors as it is agreed by the Council on --
both sides; some of the facts are not truly Recited, but I have no time to
offer at an alteration, As for the Deodands I was in possesion of them all
along in my first agency, I remember to have received a Deodand twenty Year
ago at least, There was no pretentions from the Crown all my time, Colonel
let the officers of the Revenue take what they pleas'd, and Colonel
his manager a great favourite, was as Complaisant; Herewith I Send --
you the order of Councel that brought this Case upon tryal, I also send you --
a Copy of part of a letter I received from Mr: Clayton our Attorney General, whereby it
appears the Goods of Felons were entirely given up to me both by the then
Governr: Colonel Spotswood, and by the Attorney, and accordingly I have possessed
my self of them ever Since without any control, So that I take the Matter
in difference to be only the fines and forfeitures, and the Goods of Felo de ses,
which Mr: Attorney is very sanguine in, although my Lawyers are as positive
against him, These things are not very considerable at present, but it [ma] y
happen in time to come they may be worth struggling for, I have done the Utmost
that lyes in my power, and Shall Submit it to his Lordship and t [o yoursel] f, to
[ta] ke care of the afair before the Board of trade, by whose repo [rt I ex] pect
[the Gove] rnr: will be Guided I am

yor: most Obedient Humble Servant



Source copy consulted: Fairfax Papers, BR 227, folder 33, Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Printed: Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 121-22.

Recipient's copy, signed by RC and sealed with his arms. The conjoined address leaf reads: To Willm Cage Esqr. of Milgate in the | County of Kent to be Left with | Mr: Micajh Perry | Mercht. of | London. There is no endorsement.

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.

[1] Thomas Lee (1690-1750) was the son of Richard Lee II, and nephew of Edmund Jenings; he would build "Stratford," and succeed Carter on the Council. ( Burton J. Hendrick. The Lees of Virginia: Biography of a Family. [Boston: Little Brown, 1935]. pp. 48, 51, etc. )

[2] Alexander Spotswood (1646-1740) had been the governor from 1710 to 1722.

[3] Carter uses the Latin legal term "felo de se" which means suicide.