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 Micajah Perry, June 2, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, June 2, 1727, noting that captains Hopkins and Woodward sailed without waiting for the convoy, and that they had carried letters telling Perry that Carter would not deal with him further unless he rectified Carter's complaints. Perry had written Carter in March that they should once again pursue the purchase of John Lloyd's Virginia estates (which Carter is managing), and Carter agrees but states that the value has fallen because of the great loss of slaves. Perry should first be aware that Carter is calling on his accounts with him for nearly £500 to pay for slaves he has purchased, but Perry may offer £3000 for the estate with the former conditions. If Perry is to pay the last year's rent for the Northern Neck proprietary, he should deduct Edmund Jenings's debt, and see that it is paid to Carter to whom it is due. Carter informs Perry that merchant Robert Cary will attempt to recover failed merchant Thomas Evans's debts to Carter.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, June 2, 1727

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]   
June 2st: 1727

Mr. Micajh: Perry

Sir --                 to be Copyd

     My last went by Hopkins and Woodward
who it seems took their fate and would not Stay to Join the
next Fleet I then let you know the reasons that brought me to
a resolution of Sending you no tobacco neither of my own nor Mr.
Concern this year it lies in your power to bring your Self
into a Share of mine and Mr. Burwell's business again if you think
fit to do no Justice in what we complain of

     I have now Yours of 8th and 15th. of March I find you
are Stirring again in the towards the purchase of the LLs Estate
upon the Encouragement of a Letter of mine dated in November which
gave you an Accot: of the great losses I had Suffered in my Slaves
to recruit which I have lately bought near four Score Slaves
(and must Suddenly value my Self upon you for near five
hundred pounds believing our differences runs so high you will
not Concern your Self any further with the LLs Estate upon
my Accot:) and from this late Purchase you may Conclude

-2 -

I am become more Indifferent who has the LLs Estate and Considering
the losses that have fallen upon the Slaves I cannot think it now
worth above Three Thousand pounds, which if you think proper
to be further Concerned with my Correspondence taking my
former Instructions along with it you may give provided
you have two years time of Payment at least that is not
above one moiety per year next fleet and another per the Fleet

     how you manage in the Proprietors Affair I
dont know but if you pay the last years rent I Expect you'll
deduct Colonel Jennings's debt is Thirty nine pounds fourteen
Shillings which is Justly due from them to him and from him
to me as by a former Accot: you already know,

     Mr. Thomas Evans upon a Just ballance
owes me near four hundred pounds besides the 10 hhds. of tobacco
I Consigned him by Trevisa which Mr. Cary hath taken up
for me and promises me to be Accountable for this has
bin a fatal year upon me for losses Additional to the Several
poor years that you know I have lately met with pray God
grant me a Christian resolution to bear with Submission
with his heavy hand and allow me life and health to retreive
these Severe losses I Shall Conclude this Melancholy Story
at present and am

Sir, Yor: most humble Servt:

herein I Send you two bills of exchange
drawn upon your Self. Richard Meeks
for £35 and Captain Keelings for £33:7
which are to be placed to my Credit
per Keeling --


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

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 to the heading on the draft.

Carter has added a few words to the text himself which is indicated by the use of italics.

[1] Captain James Hopkins commanded the Mary in 1727-1728. He was then working for London merchant Robert Cary. He is mentioned in Carter's diary. ( Adm. 68/194, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] Thomas Woodward commanded the Providence, a ship owned by Captain John Hyde & Company, during a number of voyages to the colony, 1723-1727. ( Adm. 68/194 and 195, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia, and Carter's letter to the firm, 1723 September 17.)

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

[4] Carter had noted in his diary July 29, 1727, the arrival of the Mansell, Captain Trevisa.

[5] A bill of exchange is a kind of check or promissory note without interest. It is used primarily in international trade, and is a written order by one person to pay another a specific sum on a specific date sometime in the future. If the bill of exchange is drawn on a bank, it is called a bank draft. If it is drawn on another party, it is called a trade draft. Sometimes a bill of exchange will simply be called a draft, but whereas a draft is always negotiable (transferable by endorsement), this is not necessarily true of a bill of exchange. ( "Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms," 8/22/2005 )

[6] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised August 6, 2012, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.