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 William Dawkins, August 10, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant William Dawkins, August 10, 1728, to cover a bill of lading, report the arrival of accounts Dawkins had sent on the Sarah, and comment on the sales. He complains about York River tobacco receiving higher prices than his. He sends a bill of exchange and comments on his efforts to collect debts due the merchant, and on charges Dawkins has made on the account of the Nathaniel Burwell estate.

Letter from Robert Carter to William Dawkins, August 10, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Augst: 10th: 1728

Mr: Wm: Dawkins

Sir --

     This concludes me for this time herein Send
you a bill of Lading for 45 hogsheads of my own Crop Tobacco I cannot praise
it from my own Eye Sight, but the persons your under whose Inspecting Care it was made
to whom I give large Salaries for that very purpose assure me it is very
good and well handled,

     Your packets by the Sarah Via Maryland came
to my hands two days ago bringing me the Sales of Mr. Burwells Tobacco
with an Accot: Currt: of that Estate, and an Accot: of Sales of 20 of mine
by Keeling you Say that you had about 25 left which you were daily get
ing off and would send the Account as Soon as finished I will rest in hopes
those unaccounted for will come out as well as the Bettys it will ever be
a mystery to me that our Tobacco made here falls so much Short in
Price to the York river Tobacco I believe I may appeal to your memory
to Say it was not so formerly Sure I am neither their Grounds nor
their care exceed ours, when you have closed the Sales I hope you will
take the first Opportunity to Send me an Account Current

     Now Send you Captain Doves Exchange on your Self
for £45"18. and mine and D, Lee's for £7"6"8 I have received a balance
that belongs to you from Tom Winter of One pound One Shilling
and Six pence to be charged to my Account I have hopes in the long run
to get your Outstanding Debt of Hutchins's Executors his widow promises
me fairly I will prevail with her if I can to get her bond Conollys
is a Special poor fellow but I believe he is honest and will pay what
he is able, and before you cannot Expect it,

      Captain : Dove brought me in Some odd things and
I thought I had given orders to you to let him have the money but
Dove tells me Mr Athawes could find no Such order I observe you have
charged half per cent upon the Sale of Mr. Burwells Tobacco for which you
have no Allowance from me I shall discourse Colonel Page who act [s]
with me in that affair and you will hear futher from us about
it, I am

              Sir, Your very humble Servant

per the Carter
Copy per the Captain Wilcoxs


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.

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.

[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] The Sarah was a 120-ton London vessel with a crew of 13 commanded by John Reynolds in 1728 and 1729. ( Adm 68/194 and 195, found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[3] Captain William Keiling commanded the Betty. ( Survey Report 6800 summarizing Adm. 68/194, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[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] This may be John Hutchins of Lancaster County who died in 1727. (Sorrells. title>Landholders & Landholdings. p.30, and Ida J. Lee. Abstracts Lancaster County,Virginia, Wills. 1653-1800. [Greenville, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 2004.] Reprint of the original 1959 edition. p.120. )

[6] Patrick Connelly appears on a 1716 list of titheables in Christ Church Parish, Lancaster County ( "Tithables in Lancaster Co., 1716." William and Mary Quarterly 1st. ser., 21[July 1912]: 107. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised December 12, 2014, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.