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 Stark, May 19, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to Glasgow merchant John Stark, May 19, 1727, reporting the arrival of Captain Bowman and his accounts with Stark. He reminds Stark that he wants these accounts regularly, and notes that he has paid John Pemberton the 2 1/2 per cent Pemberton was charged for a bill of exchange he had written on Stark. He has suffered great losses among his slaves, and will have to write bills on Stark to pay for the new ones. He complains that Stark has not reported to him that the Ann & Eliza, on which he had shipped tobacco to Stark, had been driven ashore in a storm, but the cargo saved. Thirty hogsheads of tobacco will be sent Stark by Captain Bowman.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Stark, May 19, 1727

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]   
May 19th: 1727

Mr. John Stark

Sir --

     Capt: Bowman after a tedious passage found
the way in at last. Your Several Letters and Accots: with my Accot:
Currt: I have now got and hope you will never let me be without
one so long again Mr. Pemberton complains bitterly to me for
Sending him a bill upon you tells me it cost him 2 1/2 perCent to
make his money good to him in London You know I have your
promise to pay my money in London without damge to me
This loss to make the old Gentleman Easie I have undertaken to pay bear,

     It is Something Strange you could not get of my 5 hhds:
of Tobbo: to Close that Accot: when your market as is agreed by all
was so Empty, I hope it will prove to the best,

     I have had a prodigious loss in my Slaves this winter
and have bin forced to recruit by Purchasing a large number of
new Negroes, which will bring me under the necessity of valueing
my Self upon you for at least Three hundred pounds, which I must

-2 -

pay in London not doubting but you will take care to do it with
out any loss to me,

     I Sent you in a James River Ship the Ann & Eliza.
Mc:Clean Master 13 hhds: of Tobbo: 10 of my own and 3 of Mr.
Estate. I hear the Ship was driven a Shoar in a Storm
The Cargoe all Saved and the Ship like to be got of . of this I have
yet no Accot: from you.

     Capt: Bowman writes his own Storey I have prom
ised him 30 hhds: whether I Shall be able to do more I cannot
yet tell he pretends to wants [sic ] freight mightily I shall say no
more at present but remain

Yor. very humble Servt:

per Kelsick


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

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

[1] John Stark was a prominent Glasgow merchant in the sugar trade. He served as as baillie and provost (mayor) from 1725-1727. ( John M'ure. The History of Glasgow. [Glasgow: D. Macvean and J. Wyllie & Co., 1830] pp. 227-228 as seen on Google books; and "Provosts of Glasgow" at "Welcome to Glasgow" . )

[2] Captain Samuel Bowman commanded the Lucia. Carter mentioned this vessel in his diary in June 1724, and again on 1726 March 4 when he wrote that she "came in had 20 Weeks Passage."

[3] Carter noted in his diary January 19, 1727, the arrival of the Mazareen at his house and a visit from her captain, Richard Kelsick, four days earlier. Kelsick, with Peter How, a merchant of Whitehaven (on the Irish sea in northwest England), traded with the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area from the early 18th century. ( Paula S. Felder. "Fredericksburg and Whitehaven Connection to English Port a Forgotten Chapter in Area's Colonial History Living-history Program," Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, 7/2/2005. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised July 9, 2012, to add a footnote and strengthen the modern language version text.