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 Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, July 8, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to London merchants Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, July 8, 1728, to alert them to a shipment of 10 hogsheads of tobacco on the Willis, and two bills of exchange.

Letter from Robert Carter to Messrs. Haswell & Brooks, July 8, 1728

-1 -

Micajh: Perry Esqr.                                                            Rappa July the 8th: 1728

              This Encloses to

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
July the 8th: 1728

Messrs:Haswell & Brooks

Gent -- --

     I have put on board the Willis Captain Cobb 10 hogsheads
of Tobacco a bill of Lading I Expect you will receive by the Ship. It is an
Entire Crop that I had the Sight of a good deal of and appeard to be very good
I am in hopes it will all prove so and will meet with an Encourag
ing market

     Herein Send you are two bills of Exchange drawn
on your Selves. Captain : Cobb: for £3. Wilson Cary for £7"5 which I
desire Credit for and am

                  Your most humble Servt:

per Cobb
Copy per Trice


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] Haswell and Brooks was a London firm listed in 1740 directories of that city. Samuel Haswell was a London Assurance director in Suffolk Lane. John Brooks' obituary appeared in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 8, 1740, where his partnership with Haswell was noted and that he had been "formerly Commander of the George, in the Virginia Trade." ( A Compleat Guide to All Persons who have any Trade or Concern with the City of London and Ports adjacent. . . . London: Printed for J. Osborn, at the Golden Ball in Pater-noster-row, MDXXXL ; and Kent's Directory For the Year 1740 Containing An Alphabetical List of the Names and Places of Abode of the Directors of Companies, Persons in Publick Business, Merchants, and other Eminent Traders in the Cities of London and Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. London: Printed and Sold by Henry Kent in Finch-Lane, near the Royal Exchange: and by the Booksellers and Pamphlets Shops of London and Westminster, 1740. 8/12/2005. p. 39. Brooks' obituary courtesy of Todd A. Farmerie, 1/21/2013.)

[2] A Captain John Cobb commanded the Willis , a ship of 300 tons with 20 men, in 1727-28. The ship was owned by merchants Haswell and Brooks which may have been a London firm. ( Survey Report 6801 on Adm. 68/194-5, ff. 4r, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[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] 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] 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, 1723-1728. ( 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 November 18, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.