Letter, 1745, to Charles Carter (King George County, Va.) concerning an African-American slave, Beck, and her family.
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February ye 3, 1745 Sir The Bearer waits on you in his way to Bobby Carters Plantations with an order from Col. Carter Burwell for the Negroe Woman Beck and her Children, as it is proved beyond all Dispute, She is the very individual person given to my Wife by her Grand-father: By the Advice of Col. Burwell, who acquaints me he has delivered up the Estate of Bobby Carters Father to you, I thought it necessary to write this, and if agreeable to you, as I shall make a Proposal which I cannot but persuade myself you will freely comply with, as I am very sensible you being a Humane compassionate Gentleman will readily agree to let me have the Husband of this Woman, as they have had several children together, my allowing you your own Price annually for the Hire of the Fellow to which shall be paid punctually every year. I don't in the heart make any Doubt after you have thoroughly considered the Case to yourself, you will be very unwilling the Husband should be parted from his Wife and children, and will willingly come into my Measures 'till Bobby Carters comes of Age, at which time I may either buy the fellow of him, or He the Negroe Woman of me, and then they may never be parted, for I am very unwilling I should be the instrument of the concern, or rather Inhumanity, that will naturally arise at their being separated, and I dare say you think it is very unreasonable to expect. I should forgo such an advantage, as the Woman and her children and the above :[stray mark?]" is the only scheme I can fall into, to make all Parties easy, and if I have our approbation it will be a singular favor conferred on me, should the above now be agreeable to your sentiments, please to give an order for the Husband, Wife, and children together, to the Bearer "[Illegible]" [and?] "[Illegible]" by Col. Burwell's order. turn over. When I saw you last, you then told me that it would be the best way to send on purpose to acquaint you, when Capt. Teage was come in, and then you would give me an Order for forty or fifty Hog h'ds of tobacco at least, if you possible can give me fifty this year it will be a singular favour done to me because I had an Opportunity the other day of purchasing a Choice Piece [of land ad?]joyning to me, [which?] makes me so pressing as my Bills will "[illegible]" larger, than I expected and those "[illegible]" will be "[illegible]" "[illegible]" "[illegible]" as I have given a particular reason, why it will be of such peculiar service to me at this time, even those ten Hog h'ds which you did not seem quite determined whether I should have [forty or fifty?] "[illegible]" which gives me some encouragement. [I?] hope for a [com?] with any request in having fifty. Though as [you?] "[illegible]" Teage is not arrived but we now daily expect him, and [some?] say it is equally the same to you to give me an order for the Tobacco [now?] as I am obliged to send up on the above [count?] [illegible] when "[tear]" is come in, for some of the Ships that sailed with him is now arrived. Or if I send it in any other Ship that is a very good one and at the same Freights [or?] as others, I, am Sir, with due Respect, your most obedient Ser. Francis Willis Jr.