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 Randolph, June 21, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to John Randolph, June 21, 1727, attorney general of the colony, to obtain his legal advice concerning the demand of the governor of Maryland that a Virginia citizen, Richard Thacker, who had been robbed by Maryland men at a house in King William County, Virginia, appear before the Maryland governor. Carter notes that the governor has not written to Carter (then acting governor of Virginia) to have the accused persons arrested and brought before a Virginia court to determine the facts. He has decided to refer the matter to Randolph before taking any action.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Randolph, June 21, 1727

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[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]

June the. 21st: 1727

Mr. John Randolph

Sir --

     Here is a Case of an Extraordinary nature
& of the first Impression within my Experience come before me and attend
ed with so many difficulties that I do not care to take any measures
in it without your advice and Assistance. A Robbery Committed by some inhabitants of Maryld:
upon the Bearer Richard Thacker at the house of one George Yeates
in King William County. The Govr: of Maryland by his Letter,
A Deposition of the Facts taken before Colonel Phillip Lee One of the
Judges of that province a Letter from The Govr: requiring Thacker the Injured
person to attend him with this deposition and a Verbal Order to him (as
he informs me) without writeing to apply to me for Justice
against these Robbers I have had my thoughts upon Several
ways of proceeding first to write to the Govr: that if he thought
fit to have these Criminals apprehended and deliverd over to
one of our Sherifs upon Patowmack to take care of their Con
veyance to the Sherif s of King William and a Court by him to be
Called for Examination in to this Case in order to their Committmt.
to our publick Goal If they find the facts proved upon them
but upon further Consideration I have Concluded it most Ad
viseable to Send this Complainant unto you to give directs: for
the proper Prosess Process whether you will think it necessary
that the Examination Depositions of the Wittnesses to these facts be first taken
by Some of the Justices of that County who may Issue process after
these accused persons or whether a precept from me to One of our North
ern Sherrifs to receive these prisoners from the Maryl'd Governmt
In Order to their being Carried to our Goal or what other way
you Shall think more proper I Shall Leave to yor. Judgement

     Upon Examing Thacker and his Companion Brumfeild
who was with him when he was robbed you will be let into a full
light of the Circumstances of the matter If you are of Opinion a pre
cept immedately from me will do the business you must Send it ready
prepard for my Signing I Suppose Thacker must Enter into recog=
=nizance to prosecute and Brumfeild also to give Evidence upon at

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the Tryal but I will must not Envade [sic] your province who know much better I am

Sir --
Yor: most humble Servt:


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. There is a nineteenth-century copy of this letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia. The unknown copyist recorded this text probably from the letter book which is used here as the copy text.

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.

[1] Charles Calvert (1699-1751), fifth Lord Baltimore, was governor of Maryland,1720-1727. ( "Maryland State Archives Biographical Files. 6/4/2003; 10/26/2012.)

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised October 26, 2012, to strengthen the modern language version text.