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 Micajah Perry, July 13 and 17, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, July 13, 1728, sending an invoice (not present) for goods for the Burwell "familys," requesting he be sent a new tailor, and reporting bills of exchange which are to be credited to the account of his granddaughter, Elizabeth Burwell. In a brief post script written July 19th, he sends bills of exchange on his account.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry , July 13 and 17, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
July the 13th: 1728

Micajh: Perry Esqr.

Sir --

     This brings to you an Invoice for Some goods
for the use of Mr. Burwells familys desiring you will follow the
directions therein given in the buying and Shipping them,

     The Tailor you Sent in for the use of that Estate
is now near free I desire you will please to Send in another upon
the Same wages It is but an Ordinary workman we want, that
can make Servants Clothes well and I beleive Such are to be had
in plenty and Cheap

      Colonel Page writes me he has Sent you bills of

-2 -

for £75 this is Interest money Todd bill for £30 and Lewis Bill
for £10 belongs to Elizaabeth Burwell and her Account must have Credit for it
I desire you will observe this destinction in your Accots: Accordingly
I am

              Your most humble Servant

Sent to York
Copy per Hopkins

P:S: July the 19th: 1728
Sir, --
herein Send you two first bills of my own to wit John
Eligland on William Chatwynd
£97:7:6 London and John Williams on Lionel Lyde and others
Bristol for £25 which desire your management of on my Account

Sent to York
Copy per Carter


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] Carter uses the word "familys" in the sense of "the servants of a particular household or establishment, considered collectively," as the Oxford English Dictionary Online states, but Carter specifically refers to the slave familys. By "near free," Carter means that the man has neared the end of his obligation of indenture, "the contract by which an apprentice is bound to the master . . . by which a person binds himself to service in the colonies, etc." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[3] 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 )

[4] Elizabeth Burwell (1718-?) was Carter's grandaughter by his daughter, Elizabeth, and her first husband, Nathaniel Burwell. She married in 1738 William Nelson of Yorktown. (Carleton. A Genealogy. . . of Robert Carter. . . . p. 143. )

[5] 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. )

[6] "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 .)

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised November 21, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.