Robert Carter letter books and day books, 1771-1804 and undated

Source Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Robert Carter letter books and day books 1771-1804 and undated

Collection #RL.00196 | 9.5 Linear Feet

Robert Carter III (1728-1804) was a plantation owner, enslaver, and iron manufacturer at Nomini Hall plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The collection contains correspondence, letter books, day books, and other papers that document colonial Virginia including: the Revolutionary War; plantation and family life; 18th century slavery and emancipation; the iron and textile industries; Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Swedenborgian, and Baptist religious beliefs and practices, and their relevance to slavery and race; tobacco cultivation in Virginia; and life in Baltimore, Maryland after the Revolutionary War. Documents related to Carter's unusual act in 1791 to gradually manumit hundreds of enslaved persons are also in this collection. The letter books house over 3,000 pieces of correspondence written by Carter to well-known individuals of the time, such as Charles Carroll, Benjamin Day, William Ebzer, Thomas Fairfax, William Grayson, Patrick Henry, Ludwell Lee, Richard Lee, Peyton Randolph, George Turberville, John Turberville, and George Wythe, and letters to Carter written by Alexander Campbell, Christopher Collins, Thomas Jones, Richard Lee, George Newman, John Overall, and Simon Triplett. In his letters, Carter refers many times to the education and welfare of his many children and writes to them while they are away from home. Transcripts are available for the majority of the materials.

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