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, April 13, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, April 13, 1728, to report the arrival of letters and goods which have not been unpacked. He sends bills of lading for some of his own tobacco and for some belonging to George Eskridge.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, April 13, 1728

-1 -

Rappa[hannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Aprill 13th. 1728

Mr. Jno. Pemberton


     I have your severall letters Accots: &ca: as also my
goods in the Rappa: they are not yet Unpackt if there be that Mistake
you mention in a piece of Linnen I shall note it to you hereafter

-2 -

     Herewith comes a bill of Lading for 25 hogsheads of sweet sen
tobbo of my own crops which I promise myself will rise
well and merit the top of your Market herein is also a bill
of Lading for 12 hogsheads belonging to Majr George Eskeridge
which you are to Accot to him for altho the bill of Lading expre
sses but £7. per Tonn he is to pay £8: and the £3 -- is to be
plac'd to my Credit I agreed with him to pay £8: per Tonn
I have Already writ to the freirs: of the Ship Rose to which
pleas to be refered I am to be Copyd

                  Your very humble Servt:

per the Mary
per Denton --


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] There were several vessels with this name. One was based in Liverpool and was commanded by a Captain Francis Etheridge in 1725; she was a ninety-ton ship with 13 men. Another of which Charles Whate was captain was of 60 tons with 11 men in 1726/27. Carter's letters mention a Captain Brackhill in 1728, and Captain Loxum in 1733. ( Adm. 68/194, ff.30, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

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

[3] A bill of lading is "an official detailed receipt given by the master of a merchant vessel to the person consigning the goods, by which he makes himself responsible for their safe delivery to the consignee. This document, being the legal proof of ownership of the goods, is often deposited with a creditor as security for money advanced." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[4] Oronocco is a type of tobacco "bulkier and coarser than sweetscented . . . had a sharper leaf 'like a fox's ear,'" and was stronger in flavor" than sweetscented." ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 97 )

[5] The words "to be Copyd" were added in the hand of a different clerk than the one who wrote the body of the letter; italics added to distinguish the change.

[6] The Mary was a London ship of 130 tons commanded by James Hopkins, and owned by merchant Robert Cary. ( Admiralty 68/194,ff. 82r, abstracted in Survey Report 6801, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[7] 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. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised September 9, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.