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 William Dawkins, December 12, 1727

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dawkins, December 12, 1727, to complain of the tobacco prices that Dawkins has quoted because Carter has heard of higher ones paid for indifferent crops, and to enclose first bills of exchange. He notifies Dawkins that he has drawn on him for over £233 payable to Lord Orkney.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins, December 12, 1727

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Decemr. 12th 1727

Mr Wm Dawkins


     I have already answered yours of the 9th of Octobr [sic] by a
Bristol ship went out of this river the other day yo: talk very poorly of tobbo:
from 8 d to 8 3/4 d when I am certainly informed several gentlemen
have had 9 1/2 d for their Tobo: round & none of the most celebrated crops
either some few I hear of have had 10 d which is vast odds to your
prises from the circumstances of the trade yo: bode nothing but a
destructive market there are some others that give us hopes the latter
Market might prove the best & that they Expected the last Crop
would be sold off before the new came upon yo: who are rightest in the
ir conjectures we shall see when the time Comes. where I am to
Expect my goods you: have not yet told me Keeling says yo: inten-
ded most of yor Goods by Adam Graves who came out of the Dock
with him

     The cheif Occasion of this is in the first place to send yo: the follow=
ing first bills of Exchange (Vizt) Alexr Long

Alexander Long on Joseph Adams London                              £ 3: 2: 6
George Mason on John Hanbury Do                                     17: ": "
Timothy Jackson on Peter How London                                33: 3: 6
Robt Carter junr on your self London                                   383: 1: 5
Elias Waff on Tobe Wilks London                                        36:16: 6
Jno Heal on your self                                                            1: 5: 3
Wm Strother on Jno & cha Scandret Bristol                          7: 7: 5
Jno Fitzhugh on Jas: Bohannan London                                  6: ": "

     These bills I desire may be received for my Credit
or if any of them are not answered to be returned protested

     And in the next place to advise yo: that I have this
day drawn upon yo for £ 233:2:3 payable to the Ld. Orkney
to be answered at time & charged to my Accot I am

Yor: very humble servt:

I have no[w] drawn Upon you for £100 payable
to Mr. Jno. Pemberton and Compa. of Leverpool
per Christian


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. There is a 19th-century transcript of the letter in the Minor-Blackford Papers, James Monroe Law Office and Museum, Fredericksburg, 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] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800 summarizing Adm. 68/194, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2]"Vizt." is a Latin abbreviation of the word "videlicet ." "In reading aloud "Vizt." [is] usually rendered by 'namely.'" ( Oxford English Dictionary online. )

[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] Peter How was a merchant of Whitehaven (on the Irish sea in northwest England), who, with Richard Kelsick, traded with the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area from the early 18th century. "In 1745, Peter How and Richard Kelsick built a store on the corner of Caroline and Hanover streets (Lot 16). While Kelsick continued to be based on the Northern Neck, How ran the Fredericksburg store, returning to Whitehaven sometime before 1756. The store operation evidently continued, for his ships made the annual voyage into the 1760s. The property was acquired in 1767 by James Ritchie & Co. of Glasgow; but How was back in Spotsylvania in the 1770s pursuing debtors." ( Paula S. Felder. "Fredericksburg and Whitehaven Connection to English Port a Forgotten Chapter in Area's Colonial History Living-history Program," Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, 7/2/2005. ) "He had interests in coal and iron-ore mines and set up an iron-working forge at Low Mill in 1750. Debts incurred by the forge and the decline in the tobacco trade may have contributed to his bankruptcy in 1763." Notes on a portrait of "Mrs Peter How and her Two Children, Peter and Christian,", 2/22/2006. )

[5] James Christian was captain of the Rose, a vessel owned by merchant John Pemberton of Liverpool. (See Carter to Pemberton, April 15, 1730.)

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised June 17, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.