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 John Pratt, August 8, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to his old and dear friend London merchant John Pratt, August 8, 1728, to complain mildly about the arragements mechant John Falconar has made in the purchase of silver plate for his daughter, Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell Nicholas. He asks Pratt to have him sent Bristol water as he understands it is good for a "cheerfull clear Temper." Affectionate greetings to another friend and to Pratt conclude the letter.

Letter from Robert Carter to John Pratt, August 8, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Augst: 8th. 1728

My Good Daddy Pratt

Sir --

     I have already answerd yors: of the 28 Novr.
and have told yo [u] altho you underwent all the trouble yor. Friend
Falcon [ar has c] harged me with commission for the Plate
[ . . . ] the favour you designd both to me & my Dar.

-2 -

and I do not find he hath allowd me the drawback at the custom house
as you tell me I ought to have,

     Our Barren Country Wilderness affords little news My Children
I thank God for what I know are all well Colonel Page's milk Diet
agrees so well with him that makes me hope he will prolong
his Life to gray hairs, I have the blessings of Seeing my Childrens
Children before me and as far as Matrimony is gon every one
has the comforts of descendents. My Daughter Nicholas is now wth
me and gives you her kind Service I have lived to Tast of the Infir
mitys of old age every day brings its uneasienesses along with it
I am advised nothing will contribute more to a Cheerfull clear
Temper then the use of the Bristol waters I beleive Colonel Page has his
from you and they may be had to a triffle as cheap at Lond
on and ,as good as at Bristol if it be so I would desire you to ac=
quaint Mr. Falconar to Se I would have him Send me in 2 doz:
Flasks, or if the differnce in price be any thing Considerable
I would have him Employ some friend of his to Send so much from
Bristol, I am glad to hear that worthy Gent Mr. Toace is Still
[a] live pray give my kind love and Service to him I wish him
a happy old age as I do to you Accept the Services and proper respects
of this family and at the Front of them his who as tis right
Expects a double portion in your benedictions and is

              Sir --
                  Yor. most humble servt: --

per Carter


Source copy consulted: Letter book, 1728 August-1731 July, Robert Carter Papers (acc. no. 3807), Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. The foot of the first leaf of this letter has lost a portion affecting three lines.

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.

See Carter's letter to Pratt August 22, 1727 for information about the purchase of the plate for his daughter Elizabeth (Carter) Burwell Nicholas.

[1] John Pratt was a London merchant and an old friend of Carter's who usually referred to him as "Daddy."

[2] John Falconar (d. ca. 1729) was a London merchant with whom Carter dealt. In 1728, Falconar and Henry Darnell formed an association of 29 London tobacco merchants to deal with the French tobacco purchasing agent as a group in order to keep the price as high as possible. The association lasted only lasted a year or two before dissolving because some of its members were dealing directly with the French agent and selling below the agreed-upon price. (See Carter's letter to Falconar of July 24 and August 22, 1727, for details about the payment of £200 to him. See Carter to William Dawkins, for Falconar's death date. Arthur Pierce Middleton. Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of the Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era. Newport News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 1953. p. 129 )

[3] A drawback is "to get back or recover (the whole or part of the duty on goods) upon exportation. . . . ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[4] Carter may mean the "mineral waters of Clifton, near Bristol, with a temperature not exceeding 74 [degrees]; formerly celebrated in cases of pulmonary consumption." ( "Bristol waters" on 12/5/2014 )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised December 5, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.