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 Mann Page, July 3 and 15, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to his son-in-law, Mann Page, July 3, 1727, to report that he has met with George Nicholas, husband of his daughter, Elizabeth, to settle accounts due Nicholas from the estate of Elizabeth's first husband, Nathaniel Burwell, for the years 1722 and 1723. (Carter and Page were the administrators of the Burwell estate.) With the assistance of Thomas Edwards, he has decided that Nicholas is due over £367, for which he has drawn bills of exchange which Page must sign. He has sent orders for goods for the estate and the Burwell children. He concludes with affectionate good wishes to Page and his family. In a post script dated July 15th he tells Page that Nicholas also claims part of the profits of the mill at Carter's Creek for which Carter has not given him an answer.

Letter from Robert Carter to Mann Page, July 3 and 15, 1727

-1 -

[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
July the. 3d: 1727

     Colonel Page
Hon:ble Sir --

     Finding how unlikely it was for both of us to meet
together with Dr. Nicholas about the Accot. of the profits of Mr. Burwells
Estate for the Years 1722 and 1723 I have Set about it with the Assistance
of Mr. Edwards and have brought it to a narro Compass Inn which I
hope we have Committed but few Errors Some of the particular Articles
remain unadjusted which you can most properly give light too, The
Doctr: hath the Accounts with him to give you Satisfaction in the
Method we have taken,

     The ballance we make due to him for these Years fo[r]
a third of the Profits after all proper deductions is three hundred Sixty
Seven pounds Eighteen Shill[ings] and two pence which I have given him

-2 -

Bills of Exchange for and he will address to you for your hand to them also
he will for Two hundred and Fifty pounds on Mr. Perry and for One
hundred and Seventeen pounds Eighteen Shillings on Mr. Dawkins

     The money Majr. Henry Willis owed to the Estate coming
through your hands I desire it might be lodgd with Mr. Dawkins, but
if I am right in Calculating Mr. Dawkins Accot. I think he will not
want it all and if it be not too late for you I could wish a hundred pou[nds]
of that money were Orderd to Mr. Falconer who I reckon will be the
[be] st of any of the Merchants unless wee may Conclude he will
be in Cash for the Ten hhds: Sent him by Trevisa, by the Time Buck
will arrive

     I have Sent to Mr. Perry for the large Invoice of goods
and to Mr. Dawkins for the Childrens things,

     I hope this will find your family in good health
and your Self growing better every day This Family Salutes yours
with our proper respects I am --

Added to Colonel Pages last Letter -- --       July the 15th: 1727 --

Sir --
     The above Letter Dr: Nicholas by Some Accident
happend to loose I have little now to add to it only that the Doctor
makes a Claim in light of his wife of the third of the profits of the
Mill at Carters Creek alledgeing that by the will of old Majr. Burwell his
Son had a fee Simple in the Mill and that his wife is Dowable I
give him no answer at Present. It is high time I had my Mares out
of your Pasture Sometime next week propose to Send for them pray
God send this find you all in good health,


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. Carter has added the name of the addressee and the salutation to the clerk's draft which is indicated by the use of italics.

The name of Carter's home, the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this draft letter to his son-in-law.

[1] "Thos. Edwards, a little petty Fogging Lawyer the Clark of our County that hath as much Mettle and more cunning for Contention then his predecessor had" Carter wrote to Landon Jones, July 22, 1723. His opinion of Edwards later changed for there are more appreciative mentions of him in Carter's diary. Edwards was clerk of the Lancaster County court from 1720-1746. ( Within the Court House at Lancaster. Lively, VA: Lively Printing Services, Lively, VA: Lively Printing Services, [1976]. p. 15. ; and "Thomas Edwards, Gentleman, Clerk of the Court" in Brown and Sorrells. People in Profile. pp. 94-103. )

[2] 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 )

[3] Henry Willis (1691-1740) of Fredericksburg. ("Willis Family Genealogy" ( as of 5/21/02; and "Willis Family." William and Mary Quarterly. 1st ser. 5(1896): 24-27, 171-176; 6(1897): 27-29, 206-214.) )

[4] John Falconar (d. ca. 1729) was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt. In 1728, Falconar and Henry Darnell formed an association of 29 London tobacco merchants to deal with the French tobacco purchasing agent as a group in order to keep the price as high as possible. The association lasted only lasted a year or two before dissolving because some of its members were dealing directly with the French agent and selling below the agreed-upon price. (See Carter's letter to Falconar of July 24 and August 22, 1727, for details about the payment of £200 to him. (See Carter to William Dawkins, for Falconar's death date. Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129 )

[5]Carter noted in his diary July 29, 1726, the arrival of the Mansell, Captain Trevisa, and in his letter of January 14, 1727, to the Board of Trade, gives the captain's full name as James Trevisa.

[6] The Marlborough was a vessel of 100 tons and 14 men, commanded by George Buckeridge (Buckbridge). In a letter to London merchant John Falconar July 24, 1727, Carter refers to this vessel as "yor. Marlborrough." ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text, originally posted in 2003, was revised April 12, 2013, to strengthen the footnotes and modern language version text.