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 John Pemberton, June 1, and July 9 and 19, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to Liverpool merchant John Pemberton, June 1, and July 9 and 19, 1728, to cover a bill of lading of his own tobacco, report a bill of exchange, and give orders for payments. In a lengthy post script dated July 1st, Carter discusses some protested bills of exchange, methods of payment for his services in selling slaves, some goods he had attempted to sell for Pemberton, and tobacco he is shipping. In a second post script dated July 19th Carter sends some bills of exchange and deals with further matters relating to the sale of the slaves on the ship Rose.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pemberton, June 1, and July 9 and 19, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]

June the 1st: 1728

Mr. John Pemberton

Sir --

     This Shall relate to my own affairs. herein
Send you a bill of Lading for 18 hogsheads of Sweet Scented Tobbo:
made at my own Plantations on board the Jno & Betty Capt. Denton
I promise my Self it is good but you must be the Judge when it
comes to your view,

     I have already advised you of a bill of Exchange
I drew upon you for £10 to Mrs. Young I now desire you to
pay unto the Ownrs: of the John and Betty £16"10"9 the
ballance of their money Accot. Also to the Freighters of the Ship rose £18-
Doctr. Edgars Debt these Sums to be Carried to my Accot.

     It is a little to Early to Send an Invoice
for Some Goods Shall refer that work to another --
Opportunity I am

              Sir --
                  Yor. very humble Servt.

herein I Send you Capt: Dentons
Exchange on your Self for £22"18
which I desire Credit for --

per Denton
Copy per Brackhill
per Price

-2 -

                             To be Added to Mr. Pembertons Letter June 1st:

Sir --                                                             Rappahannock July the 9th: 1728

          to be Copyd --

     Since the Above I Rec'd your Packet by Capt: Tarleton
the protested bills Killbys, Coopers, and Cockburns, are come to hand
when I Shall get the money will be a Question, The whole amount of
theirs with their protests amounts to £112:4:10 which I desire you
to accot: for to the Freighters of the John and Betty and the rose and
Charge my Accot. with it. You tell me the Gent. Concernd think it
hard to Stay so long for their Considering I have 10 perCt: and others

-3 -

have but 8 In all the business of this nature that I have transacted
this hath bin my method and gave no uneasieness if I had thought
it would now I shall have orderd the Payment of the money upon
your receipt of the protested bills and As to your own Part you will
allow me to think under the Circumstances of Affairs that are be=
tween us it amounts to the Same thing

     I have made Enquiry into the methods of or. Bristol
Factors and am informd their Contracts are to return half the
produce of the Cargo by the Ship the rest they are allowd a Twelve
month to pay it in and what bills are protested they have three
months after the protest to pay them in now whether theirs or mine is the most
Satisfactory way to you Gent. Concernd I must Submit to yor.
Judgemt. indeed I charge 2 perCt: : more then they do and less I will
never do Such business for but I flatter my Self that this 2 perCt: hath
bin no loss to the Owners. You can best tell from yor. own Experi-
ence whether I am right in this Conjecture or no,

     When I took from Christian your return goods
I Expected to put them of in a Lump fee at the prices they were charged
at and in doing so I thought I Should do you Service but it hath
happend otherwise they are all unsold Except a little of the Tallow
and I am afraid I must Sell them for Tobbo: at last,

     I have now Shipt of the [tobacco mark] 32 hogsheads on board the
Carter for London which I Shall Consign to you there will be 7
or 8 prized hogsheads more got in this year if I can get them into
Tarleton I Shall have rather beleive I shall please you better then
to Send them to any other Port, I Shall Conclude at Present


                Yor. humble Servt: --

here is a Small Bill Danl.
Hornbys for 6£ on yor. Self
Copy per Hopkins

-4 -

PS:    July the 19th: 1728

     Now Send you three bills of Exchange two of them
on the Accot. of the Ship rose to wit Tom Osborne on Lyonel Lyde for £13
Ch: Grimes on your Self for £15"5 the other bill is on my own Accot.
Tom Osborn on your Self for £12"-"-Majr. Eskridges debt Still unpad
for £19 which I desire you to Accot. for to the Frs. of the rose & place to my Accot.

--                                                             Turn Over
-5 -

Part of Mr. Pembertons Letter. and thus reckon the money Accot. of that Concern
will be pretty near ballanced , when the recr. is paid for the Tobbo: that are yet
due to that Concern and Some other Small
Copy per Carter


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. The first post script (of 1727 July 9) is from Robert Carter letter book, 1727 May-1728 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.

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] 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. )

[2] 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 )

[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] Mrs. Elizabeth Young was Carter's housekeeper. He had agreed with her for one year's service in 1724 but found her satisfactory for a longer term. She went to England in May 1728. (DiaryJune 2, 1727, and Carter to William Dawkins, June 28, July 26, and August 22, 1727, for her first name. Carter to Pemberton May 8, 1728, for her sailing to England.)

[6] Dr. Alexander Edgar's inventory was recorded in Lancaster County February 10, 1730. ( Ida J. Lee. Abstracts Lancaster County,Virginia, Wills. 1653-1800. [Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 2004. Reprint of the original 1959 edition.]) p. 76. )

[7] There were several vessels with the name Rappahannock . One was based in Liverpool and was commanded by a Captain Francis Etheridge in 1725; she was a 90 ton ship with 13 men. Another of which Charles Whate was captain was of 60 tons with 11 men in 1726 and 1727. Carter's letters mention a Captain Hugh Brackhill in 1728-1729, and Captain Loxum in 1732. ( 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. )

[8] 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. )

[9] This may have been James Tarleton who in 1731 cammanded the The Loyalty . Several vessels with this name sailed to Virginia. One commanded by Francis Wallis cleared from Poole for Virginia in 1726. Captain Loxom commanded a vessel of this name in 1729-1730.. (Survey Report 9727, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. See Carter's letters to John Pemberton April 15,1730 and 1731 August 4 .)

10[] A factor is "an agent who buys and sells, or transacts other business, on behalf of another person or company, usually one based in a different place, on commission; a mercantile agent; a commission agent." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

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

[12] Tallow is "a substance consisting of a somewhat hard animal fat (esp. that obtained from the parts about the kidneys of ruminating animals, now chiefly the sheep and ox), separated by melting and clarifying from the membranes, etc., naturally mixed with it; used for making candles and soap, dressing leather, and other purposes." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[13] 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. )

[14] "The Lionel Lyde mentioned above as a partner in an ironworks was very active. He was from Bristol and traded with Virginia in both slaves and tobacco. He was also involved in the transport of felons to Maryland and Virginia. Some of the time he was a partner with Isaac Hobhouse in ship voyages. Hehad an interest in a glasshouse. He served as Sheriff, Mayor, and Alderman of the City of Bristol." ( John Blankenbaker. "Germanna Colonies L Archives." Online at rootsweb. See also: Marie B. Rowlands. Masters and Men: In the West Midland Metalware Trades Before the Industrial Revolution. [Manchester University Press, 1975 ], p.76; Walter E. Minchinton, ed. The Trade of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century, [Bristol Record Society, 1957.] 20:101; and John Latimer The Annals of Bristol in the Eighteenth Century. [the author, 1893. Transcript online .)

[15] Charles Grymes (c. 1692-1743) was the son of John Grymes of Middlesex County, but lived at "Morratico," Richmond County where he was sheriff in 1724 and 1725, burgess, etc. He was a member of the Council ( "The Grymes Family." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography . 28[1920]: 90-96, 187-94, 283-85, 374-75; McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:66, 85; and Ryland. Richmond County Virginia. . . . pp. 500, 504, 514. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised November 10, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.