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 Cary, May 25, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Robert Cary, May 25, 1728, concerning the difficulties that later-arriving ships are having in getting cargoes, noting that Captain Clack has a full ship, and sending a bill of exchange. He then informs Cary of John Randolph being sent to England to work for the repeal of the prohibition against the importation of stemmed tobacco with the hope that Cary will support this proposal.

Letter from Robert Carter to Robert Cary, May 25, 1728

-1 -

[Rappahannock, Lancaster County, Virginia]     
May the 25th 1728

Mr Robert Cary

Sr --

     The Masters of Ships that are coming
home will best relate to you the news from hence Capt:. Hopkins
makes heavy complaints that he shall not be able near to
Compass his Load and so do most of the Latter Ships how
they will come of at Last non neither they nor we can yet
tell I have promised Hopkins to do him all the Service I
can but that will not be abundance Capt Clack has done
his business She is a full Ship hath left as he says a

-2 -

great many hogsheads that hath was lately Offerrd to him
amongs the rest hath taken in none for me altho I pro
mised him some at his first coming in I do not blame
him I have been a long time from home & he hath mett
with Enough nearer his riding and I want no room for
my Tobbo: herein send you a Bill of Excha: of Mr. Randolphs
Draft on your self for £7" which desire may be carried
to my Credit.

     To prevent the carring of such an Egre --
gious Quantity of the Trash of our Tobbo: which we conclude
is owing mainly to the prohibition we are under of not Steming
the Meanest part of our Tobbo: Mr. Jno: Randolph is coming
home the Countreys the Agent with an Address to his Maty.
and a Representation to the parliamt : to get that clause in the
repealed if it be possible to be done I shall not run
into particulars in this Affair knowing Mr. Randolph who
is much in your Friendship will be better able to let you into
all the reasons that carry the Countrey in to this Design and
we flatter our Selves that we shall have all the Merchts. both the
Londo and the Outports and the North Brittains too both for
the Good of the Trade in General as well as for the releif of this
poor Countrey will be Strongly of our Side and give their
Uttmost Assistance in delivering us from this most Mischeivous
restraint we think it may be made out to a Demonstration
that the King will not be hurt in his Customes the Trade will
be very much betterd and the poor planter very much be
nefitted but this I shall leave to a better Tongue and a clearer
head only wishing that you may appear to be one of
those that may be the forward in Gent:m in Countenancing this affair I am

Sir --
              Your most 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. "Rappahannock," the county, and colony have been added for clarity to this unheaded draft.

[1] Captain James Hopkins commanded the Mary in 1727-1728. He was then working for London merchant Robert Cary. He is mentioned in Carter's diary. ( Adm. 68/194, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] No information has been located on Captain Clack who is mentioned in several of Carter's letters of this period.

[3] anchorage

[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] Parliament had passed the act forbidding the importation of stemmed tobacco in 1722. Randolph would not leave for England until 1729; his mission would be successful. ( Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. [Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953.] p. 116. )

[6] England

[7] Scots

[6] The 140 ton Welcome was owned by London merchant James Bradley to whom Carter would write about her on May 17, 1727 . John Trice (Frice) was her captain, 1723-1727. ( Adm 68/195, 154r, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised October 16, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.