John Carter to Foster Cunliffe & Samuel Powel, August 3, 1738

John Carter to Mess. Foster Cunliffe & Samuel Powel Merchts of Liverpool

                                                                  Shirley Aug. 3, 1738.
 I have receiv'd your Letter by the Liverpool Mercht. and I look upon it as an Instance of your particular Regard for me. But I can't help thinking that the Master Captain Halsal, has not acted with much Discretion, which I suppose to have proceeded from nothing, but his being unacquainted with the Situation of this part of the Country. I received a Letter from him two days ago, by some accidental conveyance from Hampton, to Inform me, that he had arrived there the 15th of last Month and had brought Sixteen Slaves Belonging to the Stannage cargo from Gambia, four of which had dyed on the passage, and that he should have been glad of orders what to have done with them, and had drawn a note on me to pay Col. Mackenzie £54.12.6 Current money. Instead of sending them into this place by some pilot Boat as he might have done for a very small matter, some of them coming up almost once in three or four days to carry down the ships, or sending an express by which I might have sent down my own Boat to have brought them up without any Expence at all, he carried them round to Potomack, and the first notice I had of it was from my wife, who returned last Tuesday S'ennight from A Visit to Col. Lee's lady, and had been told by the Col. that ten slaves had been consigned to me in the Liverpool Mercht and that he desired I would order some person to receive them at the Ship. upon which I immediately dispatched two of my Servants to bring them to this place well knowing that they could not otherwise be sold to my advantage, Col. Lee having one ship in potomack, Captain Denham another in Rappahnnock, & Col. Taylor in daily Expectation of two more. If I could have known that any of them had been dead, I should perhaps have order'd them down to my house on Rappahannock, but without that I acted as I Judged for the best, my servants not being returned to me, I am not able to give you any acct. of them. If you think proper to send me a Consignment from Gambia, or the Gold Coast, I would do all I could to serve you, though really I cannot promise any great matters, as the prices of Negroes now are. If they are choice, fine slaves, some of the best of them might perhaps go off at Twenty pounds Sterling a head, allowing sime Credit, but those who pay so as to have the Money, or Bills remitted by the Ship will not care to give above Eighteen. Men-boys, and Women-girls, as the cant name is, are most in demand, but it is best to have a Mix'd cargo to hit all humours. I can't see why the Masters of Ships will bring old men, & old women which must be the same Expence in the passage, & must be sold in a Manner as the Buyers please. I shall make no Difficulty to pay the Captain's Note, the the [sic] number of slaves should be less than when he writ to me, I shall write to you by the first opportunity after I have done something in this affair, and in the mean time am
Your most humble Servant.

[John, Charles, Landon Carter Letterbook, 1732-1782, Special Collections, Alderman Library, University of Virginia]

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