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 Major William Thornton, November 30 and December 4, 1728

     Robert Carter writes to Major William Thornton of King George County, November 30 and December 4, 1728, concerning the need to record the deeds to their properties in the new town of Falmouth, his attempt to pay Willaim Todd for land he is purchasing from Todd, and the recording of the deed for land he is purchasing from Enoch Innis.

Letter from Robert Carter to Major William Thornton, November 30 and December 4, 1728

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Corotomn:, [Lancaster County, Virginia]     
Novr 30th. 1728

Majr Wm. Thornton


     I am inform'd by our best Lawyers there is an ab [so]
lute necessity our deeds for our Town Lots Should be recorded I have th [ere]
fore now sent Up Colo Page's mine and My Sons deeds that they ma [y]
have that Sanction at your Court and I beleive both you and your f [rie]
nds will think it proper to take the same method the evidences may
easily be got to the Court and three of them appearing to give their
testimony to the execution of the Deeds will make every thing secure
I could not think of a properer person to Lodge the deeds with than yr:
self knowing you will be carefull in getting the evidence to the Court &c

     I write to Majr. Eskeridge and Mr Jones of this matter
Altho Jones does not live so far from you but twill lye in your way
to give him notice

     A Neighbour of mine Robert Biscoe proposes to buy
three lots of Us that will go t at the lowest rates I tell him I do not yet
hear of any more Gold since my Coming down I am

                  yr very humble Servt

Tis not Amiss to Acquaint you I carried money with me to Town to pay
Majr: Todd for his land and for his Houses he not Coming thither I wrote
to him to let him know his money was ready for him this matter I intrusted
with Colo Braxton who tells me Todd would take the money for the land but
would not meddle with that for his houses As he thought inclining to keep
them Himself and remove them Todd was ill in the Gout and pretendd
he could not write to me I have writ to ColoBraxton Again desiring
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him to lay down the money for me which I beleive he will but rather thn
Todd shall have any Advantage of us I will send the money on purpose
and make him the tender thus that matter Stands altho I forsee I shall
be some time before I get the money by the sale of the lots

     I have bought a piece of Land that joyns to my Falls plan [tation]
of Enoch Innis the Deeds are executed I now send them to Robert
Jones Innis is to Acknowldege them at your next Court

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                             A Clause added to Majr: Thorntons Letter. Decr: 4th. 1728.

     Innis expecting to be up this Court and to Acknowledge his deeds
now I have thought it properer to send them in your packet and to write
to Mr Turner to be my Attorney to receive the Acknowledgemts: I hope you will
Excuse this freedom And Command me as farr up on the like Occasions
wh [o] am Sir

                                                            your very humble Servt -- --

My son Charles is not at home
I don't know where his deed is
which is the Occasion of its not Coming with the rest --


Source copy consulted: Robert Carter Letter Book, 1727 April 13-1728 July 23, Carter Family Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond.

The county and colony have been added for clarity to the heading on this draft.

[1] Major William Thornton (d. 1742/43) of King George County. ( King George County Virginia Will Book A-1 1721-1752 And Miscellaneous Notes. [Fredericksburg, VA: Privately Printed, 1978], p. 277. )

[2] The new town of Falmouth was created by the Assembly in February 1727. Carter, Mann Page, Nicholas Smith, William Thornton, John Fitzhugh, Charles Carter, and Henry Fitzhugh the younger were the "directors and trustees." The land chosen for the site of the new town lay in King George County, and deeds would have been recorded in its court records. ( William Waller Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of the Laws of Virginia . . . . [Richmond, 1820. reprint, 1969]. IV, 234-39. )

[3] Robert Biscoe (1699-1748) was born in London and educated at Chrst's Hospital school. He became one one of Carter's clerks about 1716, writing letters and keeping accounts for the busines. He completed his indenture in 1724, prospered modestly as a merchant and farmer, married Elizabeth Lawson, and in 1743, wrote a book, The Mechant's Magazine; or Factor's Guide. (See the lengthy sketch of Biscoe in Brown and Sorrells. People in Profile. pp. 45-56.

[4] Williamsburg

[5] This may be William Todd of King and Queen County whose name appears a number of times in the Executive Journals of the Council. . . . in matters concerning land. (McIlwaine. Executive Journals of the Council. . . . , 4[1721-1739]:19, 98, 105, 187, 195, 201, 221. )

[6] "Thither means "to or towards that place (with verb of motion expressed or implied)." ( Oxford English Dictionary Online . Oxford University Press. )

[7] Gout is "a specific constitutional disease occurring in paroxysms, usually hereditary and in male subjects; characterized by painful inflammation of the smaller joints, esp. that of the great toe, and the deposition of sodium urate in the form of chalk-stones; it often spreads to the larger joints and the internal organs. ( Oxford English Dictionary Online )

[8] Carter acquired this Richmond County property toward the end of 1728. Enoch Innis inherited it from his father, James, who died in 1709. ( Lucy Jane Brent Palmer, "Charles Brent of Stafford County and Some of His Descendants," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography , 34(1926): 280-85 and 378-84 ; and "Abstracts From Records of Richmond County, Virginia," William and Mary Quarterly , (1)17[1908-09]:176-177, which cites records of Richmond County concerning this will, probated 25 December 1709, as from Will Book 3. )

This text, originally posted in 2004, was revised January 22, 2015, to add footnotes and strengthen the modern language version text.