Robert King Carter's Correspondence and Diary

   A Collection Transcribed
        and Digitized
   by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.

List of Letters | About This Collection

Electronic Text Center , University of Virginia Library


Letter from Robert Carter to John Sterling and John Zuil, June 3, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to John Sterling and John Zuil, June 3, 1727, a newly-formed partnership, to send them a bill of lading (not present) for tobacco that he is shipping to them on board Captain Stephenson's ship. He notes that 3 hogsheads are sweet scented tobacco, and promises more business to the firm if they sell his tobacco at a good price.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Sterling and John Zuil, June 3, 1727

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

June the. 3d1727

Messrs: John Sterling & John Zuil

Gent --

      Captain Stephenson acquainting me with
your partnership makes me address to you both my Freindship
is only with Mr. Zuil upon whose desire I now Send you 14 hogsheads
of tobacco I will Say nothing in Commendation of it leaving it to
Speak for it Self only that the three hogsheads numbered with Letters
are Sweet Sented tobacco and the whole Crop of a Small plantation
of mine a Bill of Lading for this tobacco you have here enclosed
I promised Captain Stephenson 30 hhds: if he Stayed long Enough
for my getting it home and making it Shipable As he will tell you
but he has been so Expeditious in his business that I could not
be ready with any more for him and it was not worth his while
to wait my Time for the rest, If you please me in the Dispose of this
you will Entitle to your Selves to further business from

Yor: humble Servt:

per Captain Stephenson


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 Zuil was a merchant and was probably the ship's captain that Carter mentioned in his diary August 1, 1722. "Zuil Saild Gave me a Bottle Snuff." Carter recorded a diary note about him the following year as well: December 30, 1723, "mr Zuil & man came back" [from church]. In what British city Zuil lived is not clear, but it may have been Liverpool because city directories of 1767-1773 list a John Zuil as a merchant, first inCable Street, and later, in King Street. This probably would have been a son of the man Carter knew, given the shorter lives at this period. ( "Yuil Family Newsletters," Issue #24 Fall. 1998http://www., 11/6/2009. )

[2] The Content was a Liverpool ship owned by John Pemberton and commanded by various masters including captains Stephenson (1721) , Fowler (1723), and Morton (1727). (Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . pp. 92, 93, 102 ; and Carter to Pemberton, February 14, 1721, and June 28, 1727. )

[3] There were two two major types of tobacco grown in Carter's day. Oronocco was "bulkier and coarser than sweetscented . . . had a sharper leaf 'like a fox's ear,'" and was stronger in flavor "than sweetscented." ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 97 )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised October 2, 2012, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.