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, February 20, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchants John Pemberton and Company, February 20, 1728, to cover additional accounts of the slaves he has sold for them, and to notify the firm that he is sending tobacco received from the sale on board a vessel bound for Liverpool. He also sends some bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton and Company, February 20, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Febry: the 20th: 1727/8

Mr. Jno Pemberton & Company
Fr[eighte]rs: of the Ship Rose

Gent --

     By Captain Christian I Sent you a full Account
how far I had gone in the disposition of your Slaves and now I Send you
Copys of that Transaction. The three Slaves that were unsold lay
upon my hands until the middle of last month and at last was
forced to part with them to a mean man for Tobacco who I must trust for
a good part until next year In my last advised you I was in prospect
of freighting of a Vessel for your port and if I did Should be inclin
able to put Some of your Tobbo: into her She is now taking in her
Loading in my Creek I shall put between 20 and 30 hogsheads of your
Tobacco on board her which I hope will not be disagreeable to you

-2 -

She will be ready to leave us Sometime in March

     herein Send you three first bills of Exchange paid to me
by Mr. Eskridge in part of his Debt to wit Archibald Hamilton on Lawrence .
& Company of Glasgow for £18" -- " -- James Blair on James
Blair & Company of Irvine for £11" -- " -- John Leigh on Mr. Pemberton
for £8" -- " -- Money is so very Scarce amongst us we dare not refuse
it in any part of Europe Britain I am

                  Your most humble Servant

per the Leopard
This Letter by Accident
per Denton --
was mislaid and did not go by the
Leopard The Seconds of these bills went in
Price, and I hope are with you --


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] Robert Carter's home, "Corotoman," was located on the northeastern bank of the Rapphannock River in Lancaster County close to the present-day community of Weems. A stream called Corrotoman [sic ] River ran inland west of the house. Carter built a fine house there in the mid 1720s, but it burned in January 1729. See the "Corotoman" page of the web site of Historic Christ Church Foundation for more information about the house and excavation of its ruins. ( See the Maryland Gazette for February 4-11, 1728/29 for comment on Carter's loss. The Maryland Archives has placed its copies of the Maryland Gazette online. Unfortunately, page four of the issue of February 4-11, 1728/29 is missing, and that must be where the notice of the fire at Corotoman appeared; the text is quoted in secondary sources as reading: "The fine large house of Colonel Carter on the Rappahannock was also burnt lately. The particulars of his loss we can't give you, but we are inform'd it is very great." [Garden Club of Virginia Journal , May-June 1983, p.8.])

[3] 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 )

[4] "Lawrence Dinwiddie [1696-1764] of Germiston (Provost of Glasgow 1742/43) a merchant in Glasgow had wide commercial interests trading with Virginia, Canada and the West Indies and a Bank. He also founded the Delftfield Pottery, Glasgow in l748, of which his brother Robert Dinwiddie (Lieut Governor of Virginia) was a partner." ( "Janet Ariciu family Bush" in a RootsWeb online posting, examined 9/5/2014)

[5] 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. )

[6] The Leopard was a Liverpool ship commanded by Matthew Hayes in 1727-1728. (See Carter to Pemberton December 19, 1727 , and February 21, 1728 .)

[7] The Mary was a ship owned by King and Queen County resident Samuel Smith; she was commanded by Thomas Price. (See Carter to Samuel Smith , January 22, 1728.)

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised September 5, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.