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 Robert Jones, April 16, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to his manager Robert Jones, April 16, 1728, regretting the bad news he seems always to receive from Jones, and complaining about the harsh treatment that some of the overseers have giiven his "people" that he is sure led to unnecessary deaths. He notifies Jones of the experienced slaves and indentured servants that he is sending.

Letter from Robert Carter to Robert Jones, April 16, 1728

-1 -

[Corotoman, Lancaster County, Virginia]

Aprll: 16th. 1728

Mr Robt Jones

     I find my doom from you always must be to meet
with melancholy stories when all proper care has been taken with
my people and stocks if god is pleased to visit me with these calam
itys I must acquiese patiently under his providence but when proper
care is wanting I cannot be so easy under it as I believe it often

-2 -

is in my affairs above the falls I can never think. Cassety hath done
his duty in providing a sufficient quantity of fodder and in well
and carefully feeding the creatures if they had been kept in good
heart so many of them I think never would have died and the care
lessness and cruelty of the Overseers in turning the people out
in hard and bitter weather has been I fear no small Occasion of so
great a mortallity

     I now send you with Jack Ashley ten
or Eleven people all old hands which you must disperse in my Gangs and I hope
it will make them All full again I cannot direct you how it will be
best to disperse of them A couple of them are boys above twelve years
old that will go for half sharers Jack Ashley is to have the white man
and I think he may very well take a woman with him he says he has
ground enough you have made a very imprudent bargain with Mr.
the corn I am sure might have been sold for more and the
buyers would have been glad to have fetched it where it is but as it is
done you must go through it As well as you can and that must be
with your Cart (it will quite demolish your horses to Carry it upon their backs) and this you must do Leisurely as the Oxen will
endure it to be sure they will want good feeding as for Owen Greenans
debt to you I belie3ve his crop will hold out although he has had a good
many goods from me I hope the Sloop is with you before now I pray
God prevent any more Mortalities among you which is all at
present from your friend &ca:

It will be work enough for your horses to Carry corn to the new
Quarters Colonel Page intends to send you another boy that will be more


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 letter has been published in Berkeley. "Robert Carter as Agricultural Administrator: . . .", 283-285.

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

Carter has reviewed the clerk's draft and added a line in his hand as is indicated by the use of bold italics.

[1] Jack Ashley is mentioned a number of times in Carter's diary; he lived inSpotsylvania County and apparently was an overseer for Carter at one time although he does not appear in the 1733 Inventory. (McIlwaine, H. R., ed. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . . 4 [1721-1739]:254 ).

[2] This may be John England who directed "the Accakeek Iron Worksin 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. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised September12, 2014, to strengthen the modern language version text.