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 Pemberton and Company, December 19, 1727, and February 21, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchants John Pemberton and Company, December 19, 1727, concerning their ship Rose, and her loading in the colony with details of the tobacco shipped on her, some of which was tobacco received for slaves sold by Carter on their behalf from their ship the John and Betty. He sends bills of exhange and details other financial arrangements he has made. In a brief post script dated February 21, 1728, he notes that a second copy of the letter accompanies second bills of exchange sent in the Leopard of Liverpool.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton and Company, December 19, 1727, and February 21, 1728

-1 -

Mr. John Pemberton & Company
Freighters of the Ship Rose --
Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Decr. the 19th: 1727

Gent --

     We have with much ado got the Ship Rose loaded
So near within your ninety days as not to [illegible] ad mit of any Demand upon you
of Dead Freight, She Anchored in this river the 10th: of September and had all her
Tobacco aboard the 12th: of December this would never have been done without
taking freight and the Assistance of the John and Bettys Concern, within [a]
few days after the Ship was full I had brought to my house 25 hogsheads more
of your Tobacco but then it was too late, The Circumstances of the Affair
has been so uncertain and so much depending upon Accidents that
I hope you will think I have taken the best method I could for your Interest
Captain Christian will inform you I have taken all the Care I could for
your Advantage in every respect and I must needs own he has behav
ed himself and his men too with a great deal of Suitable kindness to the
Slaves while they were upon Sale,

     I cannot Send you the weights of the Tobacco on board
now nor can I tell you the number of hogsheads rec'd but I believe in all
it amounts to near a hundred belonging to this Concern. The receivers
I have Employd will Spare no diligence to get your Debts in which are
payable this year and am in hopes few of them will most of them
will be complied with,

     herewith I Send you 16 first bills of Exchange amounts
to Seven hundred Sixty four pounds One Shilling and Sixpence I have paid
Captain Christian here One hundred pounds Sterling and have drawn bills of
Exchange upon you for four hundred and fifty five pounds Fifteen Shillings
the amount of his freight for 117 Slaves according to your Charter Party two whereof Died after my
receipt of them and three the refuse Still remains unsold A General
Account of the Sales you now have and an Account Current as far as the
money Sales go. The receiver of your Tobacco is yet unpaid and a Small charge
for Clothing these unsold Slaves and for provision for the Sick ones that
were put on Shore, I Send you Christians receipt for the money and also
a Copy of the receipt I have this day given him for Some goods remaining of
of [sic ] your Guinea Cargo which both he and I thought most Adviseable
to leave behind him what I Shall be able to with them I dont

-2 -

know, If I can Carry them off to one person at the prices you have Set them
at to be paid for by bills of Exchange in a reasonable time I Shall go near to do
it. In [sic ]

     In my Letter to the Owners of the John and Betty there
is a Clause about a Vessel which I am Offerd to me upon freight from James river
which being [illegible] applicable to your Concern I shall omit repeating of it
here, A Bill of Lading for 33 hogsheads of your Tobacco all that are on board the
rose you have now Sent and I have drawn upon you the Impost of this
Tobacco £3"7" -- For further particulars of your Concern I shall refer my
Self to Captain Christian I remain

                  Your most humble Servt: --

per the Rose

February the 21st: 1727/8
     This Accompa [n] ys the Second being in Number
Sixteen by Captain Matthew Heyes in the Leopard of Liverpool from
              Your humble Servt:


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

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

[2] the Rappahannock

[3] The John & Betty was a Liverpool ship owned by merchant John Pemberton; she often carried slaves into the colony. In 1726 the captain was John Gale, and in the next year, she was commanded by a Captain William Denton. The ship would be lost in 1729. (Wright. Letters of Robert Carter. . . . p. 18, n. 23 ; Carter to P3mberton , December 18, 1727; Carter to Pemberton, April 15, 1730; and Carter to William Dawkins, June 28, July 26, and August 22, 1727, for Denton's first name. )

[4] 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 )

[5] A charter-party is "the charter or deed made between owners and merchants for hire of a ship, and safe delivery of the cargo. It contains the name and burden of the vessel, the names of the master and freighters, the price or rate of the freight, the place and time of lading and unlading, and stipulations as to demurrage." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[3] The impost was the duty imposed by Britain on imported tobacco, and the cocket (for which a fee was charged) was the certified document issued that the impost had been paid. (See the definitions of each word in Oxford English Dictionary Online. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised August 11, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.