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 Peter Leheup, January 5, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to Peter Leheup, Virginia's agent in England, January 5, 1727, to thank him for his offer of assistance concerning his salary while administering the colony, and expressing his support for the liquor law recently passed by the Assembly. He closes by noting that he believes the merchants are attempting to harrass the colonists "out of our Estates by loading us with Interest upon Interest," which he believes can best be avoided by not getting in their debt.

Letter from Robert Carter to Peter Leheup, January 5, 1727

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]   
Jany: the 5th: 1726/7

Peter Leheup Esqr.

Sr --

     I have already acquainted you of the honour of being
in possession of his Majestys Sign Manual of the 12th: of July. And Sent
you my bills on Mr. Perry for the charge. I am now to own your Second
favour of the 28th: of Sepr: And with it the honour of a Letter from his
Grace the Duke of New Castle, Signifying his Majestys Satisfaction
of my present Acting in the Administration --

     I have bin under a Sickly wasting Indisposition
all this year, which hath disabled me from giving my Attendance
so long or so often at the Seat of the Governmt: as I Should otherwise have
done, however I hope nothing hath bin Omitted within the Duty of
my place I bless God since the winter months came in, am in some
measure recruited --

     The Secretary hath acquainted me with yor: kind
readiness to do all good Offices in relation to the Salary but I see no
Occasion for application to obtain a Warrt: upon that Accot: his
Majestys Instruction being plain in Intitleing the President to a
Mojety of the Salary and the perquisites according to which I have
proceeded, A Copy of this Instruction herewith I Send you --

     It will be very greatfull to the Country to have

Peter Leheup Esqr .                                                            Turn Over

-2 -

the Liquor Law obtain the royal Assent. It is the only Expedient
we have left to answer the Charges of the Governmt: by --

     I was always doubtfull the representation about the
Case between Randolph and Perry would hardly meet with a
favourable reception; I shall not enter into the Circumstances of the
Case however in Confidence it may be observ'd. If the Merchants
can wurry us out of our Estates by loading us with Interest upon
Interest we Shall be in a bad Condition The best remedy will be
not to get into their Debts,

     Whatsoever favrs: I shall receive from Yor: influence
Shall be greatfully Acknowledged by

Sir --
Yor: most Obed: humble Servt:


Source copy consulted: CO5/1320, ff. 118, Public Record Office, London, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. This is the recipient's copy, signed by Carter with his usual large and prominent signature, indicated here by the use of bold italics. Leheup turned the letter over to the Board of Trade among whose records it was found. Much later a rubber stamp reading "Her Majesty's State Paper Office" was applied. It is endorsed: "Recd March 4: | Read Do: 10: | }1726/7."

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

[1] Peter Leheup, an English Treasury clerk, was Virginia's and other colonies' agent in England for some years. He was related by marriage to the Prime Minister's brother who was secretary of the Treasury. His influence would be greater near the end of Carter's life. (Price. Perry of London. . . . pp. 75-77, 80, 83. )

[2] Thomas Pelham-Holles, the 1st Duke of Newcastle, was Secretary of State in the Walpole government; Richard L. Morton notes that the duke carried on a policy of "`saluatory neglect' of the colonies which lasted until the Seven Years' War." (Morton. Colonial Virginia. p. 506. )

[3] Williamsburg

[4] A moiety is "a half, one of two equal parts." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

[5] This entire paragraph has been underlined, presumably by Leheup, to draw attention to Carter's comment on the liquor law. See Hening for the text of the act entitled "An Act for Laying a duty on Liquor" which would have sent £200 per year of the proceeds of this duty to the College of William and Mary. ( William Waller Hening. The Statutes at Large; being A Collection of All the Laws of Virginia. . . . [Richmond: privately printed, 1820. Facsimile reprint, 1969.] 4:143-150. )

[6] See the discussion on pages 69-71 in Price. Perry of London. . . . over the debts to Micajah Perry accrued by William Randolph (d. 1711) and the later efforts of Perry's executrix and grandsons to collect the money due after the senior Perry's death in 1721. The case had been appealed from Virginia where the Perrys had lost to the Privy Council which found in the Perrys' favor in 1725 As Price writes, the last sentence in this letter, "The best remedy will be not to get into their Debts," was "not sanctimonious cant," by Carter "for . . . he had a healthy credit balance with the Perrys even if few others did."

[7] Carter probably uses an older meaning of the word "worry" which was "to kill (a person or animal) by compressing the throat; to strangle." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised September 27, 2011, to add and strengthen footnotes and the modern language version text.