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] Mercer, August 28, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to [John] Mercer, August 28, 1727, concerning a land purchase Mercer has offered him of land lying between Mercer and his brother-in-law, George Mason.

Letter from Robert Carter to [John] Mercer, August 28, 1727

-1 -

Mr. Mercer --      [Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Augst. the 28th: 1727

     By yours of the 24th Instant I perceive I must be in
a great deal of hast if I intend to be the purchaser of your Land I am Sorry
your Occasions Should be so urgent upon you, which requires a great
deal more Expedition than I can Comply with in parting from my
money neither if I had a Tolderable Accot. of the Land would I give so
much by a great deal as Mr. England Offers and therefore it must
be your best way under your present Exigency to close up yor. bar=
gain with him Colonel Mason is so kind to you to promise you the
first Choice after a Division between you and also that he will
Enter into bond for his sisters makeing over the Land in due form
of Law after she comes to her undoubted age of 21 which you undertook he would do and upon these proposals
I now write to Mr. Jones to take a view of Land and to give me In
formation how it appears to him if you will take the trouble to Show
him where it lyes as for what you Say about Capt: Strother he had
no directions from me to treat with you about this land if he did it
in Service to me I must thank him for it You must Excuse me from
laying down money untill I am Secure of the Purchase I have bin
bitt too often in my life upon Such Scores I dare Say if Colonel Smith
were Assured of my buying your Land that I was to be his
Paymaster he would not be so very hasty with his Execution If I was
in his Case I should think my Self well of to be Secure of having my
money any time before the going of your the next Fleet,

     Yours and Colonel Masons Letter which you men

-2 -

tion in the fore part of your Letter never came to my hands I am

              Yor. humble Sevt.


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.

The name of Carter's home, "Corotoman," the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] John Mercer (1704-1768) emigrated from Ireland where he had been trained as an attorney. "He settled at Marlboroughtown [in then Stafford County] in 1726 as a practicing attorney and at once allowed a facile pen to get him into trouble with the government." He eventually lost his license to practice law, and turned to the land speculation that he had begun as soon as he reached Virginia. "He married first on June 10, 1725 Catherine Mason (June 21, 1707-June 15, 1750) only child of Colonel George Mason (16??-1716) and his second wife Elizabeth Waugh, daughter of the Reverend Mr. John Waugh. " (Harrison. Landmarks of Old Prince William p. 315; Copeland and MacMaster. The Five George Masons. ; and "John Mercer." )

[2] This may be John England who directed "the Accakeek Iron Works in Stafford County for Augustine Washington and others beginning about 1726." ( George Harrison Sanford King. The Register of Overwharton Parish Stafford County Virginia 1723-1758 And Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes. [Fredericksburg, VA: privately printed, 1961], p.132. )

[3] George Mason III (c. 1690-1735), justice, sheriff, burgess, and county lieutenant of Stafford County, father of the constitutional theorist. (Copeland and MacMaster, The Five George Masons. pp. 50-86 ; and George Harrison Sanford King, The Register of Overwharton Parish Stafford County Virginia 1723-1758 And Sundry Historical and Genealogical Notes . [Fredericksburg, VA: privately printed, 1961.] )

[4] Robert Jones was the son of William Jones of Northumberland County but he moved to Prince William County where he was a justice and sheriff, 1731-32. He was a head overseer for Carter in the upper country between 1727 and 1729. (Harrison. Landmarks. . . . p. 339; and Berkeley. "Robert Carter as Agricultural Administrator: . . .", 273-295. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised May 13, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.