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 Micajah Perry, October 12, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to London merchant Micajah Perry, October 12, 1728, to report the arrival of a letter while a box of letters sent via Maryland has not arrived. He sends a bill of exchange and comments on reports of war with Spain.

Letter from Robert Carter to Micajah Perry, October 12, 1728

-1 -

Rappahannock, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Octobr, 12th. 1728

Micajah Perry

Esqr. Sir --

     I received your Letter by Captain Whitehorn of the 27th. of June two days ago
the box of Letters you mention directed to me I have not yet either
Seen or heard of. Your Letters and Accounts by the Maryland Ships are
come to hand I have Said So much to you of the LLs Affair there is no
Occasion to add anything. Herein is a bill of Exchange drawn by Henry
Morryson on your Self for £8"2"10 which desire either Credit for or
to have protested,

      We have now the news of Wars being proclaimed
with Spain it comes from Pennsylvania that Spoke with a man of
Warr in the windward passage that acquainted them they had orders
to proclaim the War in Jamaica Your Letters being so late in June
& giving not the least hint of any Such thing and Whitehorn having
no Expectation of anything but Peace when he came away we can
hardly think it probable this news Should be true Although attended with
Several More Circumstances than I Shall give you the trouble of here I am

              Sir --
                  Your most humble Servt: --

per Naylor


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] The Watkinson was a 100-ton London ship commanded by William Whitehorn. ( Survey report 6801 summarizing Adm. 68/195 found in the microfilms of the Virginia Colonial Records Project, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. )

[2] 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 )

[2] Britain had been at war with Spain since February 1727; since Carter received newspapers regularly, these remarks are puzzling. H. R. McIlwaine wrote in 1910, "It is true that in 1727 . . . England was at war with Spain, but the war was one in which not much blood was shed and which was soon over." As Carter was writing in 1727, the Spanish were indeed beseiging Gibralter, but they were not successful and gave up in July. The conflict would end in 1729 with the treaty of Seville by which Britain obtained Gibraltar. ( H.R. McIlwaine, ed. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1727-1734, 1736-1740. [Richmond: Virginia. General Assembly. House of Burgesses, Virginia State Library, 1910], xiii; and J. H. Plumb. England in the Eighteenth Century (1714-1815). [Hammersmith, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1953] pp. 64-65. )

[3] "The Windward Passage is a strait in the Caribbean Sea, between the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola. The strait specifically lies between the easternmost region of Cuba and the northwest of Haiti. . . . It connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, and is in the direct path of shipping between the Panama Canal and the eastern seaboard of the United States." ("Windward Pasage" in Wikipedia, 1/14/2015)

[4] Carter sent letters by Captain Naylor of a Liverpool ship in the fall of 1728, but apparently the ship was lost because Carter noted to William Dawkins June 29, 1729 , the ship "hath never been heard of."

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised January 14 , 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.