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 the [Board of Trade and Plantations], January 14, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to the Board of Trade and Plantations, January 14, 1727, that he has carried out instructions directed by the Board to the late governor by giving instructions to the various officers to prepare accounts of the taxes collected under various acts; he expects to send the accounts soon. He sends the Council journals, and will send the journal of a recent meeting once it has been read and approved. Also sent are various reports of taxes, and the Naval Officers' records of imports and exports. The Assembly had been prorogued by the governor before his death, and that proroguation has been continued. Carter intends to propose at the next Council that the Assembly be further prorogued until a new govenor arrives. He closes by reporting the death of Council member Philip Ludwell.

Letter from Robert Carter to the [Board of Trade and Plantations ], January 14, 1727

-1 -


January the 14th 1726/7

My Lords


     I had lately the honour to receive Yor Lordships
Letter of the 30th of June directed to Governor Drysdale, and
have in obedience to Your commands, given directions to the
proper officers to prepare Accounts, as well of the money collected
for the duty on Negroes during the containuance of the Act
for laying a duty on Liquors and Slaves, as of the number of
Negroes imported since 1718 by the African company & Separate
Traders respectively; and hope by the next conveyance I shall be
able to transmit both in the manner Yor Lordships require.

-2 -

     The last letter I had the honour to write to Yor Lordships
enclosed the Duplicates of the public papers sent before by the late
Governor; and as I have advice that the Ships in which both the ones
and the other were forwarded, are safely arrived, I hope those papers
are got to Yor Lordships hands, and that I need not trouble you with fresh
transcripts; but shall pursue Yor Lordships directions in my future

     B     The Mansell Galley, Captain James Trevisa bound for London,
affording me a Conveyance for the public dispatches to Your Lordships
and Board, I would no longer dilay sending Your Lordships the Journals
of council, though they contain little of moment, or that require any
particular Remark. there remain to be transmitted the Minut [e] s
of a Council held the 14th & 15th of last month, wch are not yet read
and approved: but the next Council wch I intend to call the begining
of next month will give me an opportunity to perfect them, and
to forward the proceedings of both by a Ship I expect to sail Soon

-3 -

     Among other public papers which go herewith, is the
last half years account of the two shillings per hogshead, on wch
there is a considerable ballance remaining in Bank; and from the
large demand of Rights for taking up new lands, as well as the Crop
of Tobacco no ready to be shipped, and which it is believed will near
equal that of the preceding Year, there is reason to expect as
good addition to that Revenue.

     Herewith Yor Lordships will also receive the Naval Officers
accots of the Imports and Exports from Lady day to Christmas last
past, whereby Your Lordships will have a View of the Trade of this
Colony for that time.

     C     The General Assembly which was under prorogation at the
death of the late Governor, has been since further prorogued to the
fifteenth of February, and since the public affairs do not require
my convening it; I intend at next Council a further prorogation, that
whosoever His Majesty is pleased to appoint Governor here may find

-4 -

an Assembly subsisting at his arrival.

     D     I'm sorry to inform Your Lordships that Colonel Ludwell, who for many
years worthily served as a Member of his Majestys Council of this
Colony died on the 10th of this month. I am with the greatest Respect

My Lords
Your Lordships
Most dutiful & most obedient
humble Servant


The Mansel Galley being gone
I send this by the Exchange of
Biddiford, Thmas Whitfield M [aste] r.
being unwilling to delay till an opportunity
offers for London,


Source copy consulted: CO5/1320, ff.130-131, 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. Endorsed: "Virginia | Letter from | Colo Carter President of the | Council of Virginia | dated Octr 2d, 1726 | Janry: 14th. 1726/7 | Reced April 3: 1727 | Read April 28: 1727."

Someone, probably a clerk in the Boad of Trade office, has added letters in alphabetical order to the paragraphs that begin topics of Carter's letter; the letters of the alphabet are indicated here in bold type.

At a later time the large oval seal of "Her Majesty's State Paper Office" was applied to the obverse or reverse of the pages.

[1] Established in 1696 as successor to a similar body, the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations was "an advisory group, subordinate to king and Privy Council, and with no executive, financial, or penalizing powers, the Board of Trade was nevertheless able . . . to exert a far reaching and often determining influence in colonial matters. . . . It prepared the royal instructions for the governors overseas. . . ." ( Henry Hartwell, James Blair, and Edward Chilton. Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. The Present State of Virginia, and the College. [First published, 1940, by Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., and reprinted Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1964.] pp. xvi-xvii. )

[2] The Royal African Company, founded in 1672, grew out of earlier slave-trading companies that had been founded in the middle of the seventeenth century, and that held monopolies on the English trade in slaves. The trade proved so profitable that Parliament was lobbied successfully to rescind the monopoly and open the trade to anyone which happened in 1698. ( ; and Billings. et al. Colonial Virginia: A History. p. 232. )

[3] "A day on which a religious festival in honour of the Virgin Mary is celebrated. Now only March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation. . . . Lady Day . . . is the first of the traditional quarter days . . . and until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (1752 in Britain) marked the first day of the new year." (OED Online. Oxford University Press. 10/3/2011)

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised October 3, 2011, to add footnotes, and to strengthen the modern language version text.