Landon Carter

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Landon Carter Portrait

Col. Landon Carter, I (August 18, 1710 – December 22, 1778) was an American planter from Lancaster County, Virginia, best known for his account of colonial life leading up the American War of Independence, The Diary of Colonel Landon Carter. For his work he was elected in 1769 to membership of the American Philosophical Society.[1]

Early life and schooling[edit]

Landon Carter was the son of Robert "King" Carter, a Virginia-born merchant planter and uncle of Robert Carter III. In 1719, at the age of nine, Carter was sent to England to be schooled under the early linguist, Solomon Lowe. He returned to Virginia in 1727.

Family connections[edit]

Maria Byrd Carter

"King" Carter died in 1732, and Landon inherited a portion of his father's estate. Shortly thereafter, Carter married Elizabeth Wormeley, daughter of John Wormeley. She died in 1740. In 1742, Landon married Maria Byrd, daughter of William Byrd II, who died two years later. Carter married his third wife, Elizabeth Beale, in 1746.[2]

Shortly after his first marriage, Carter settled on lands he had inherited in Richmond County. His mansion house, Sabine Hall, which he built about 1734,[3] stood at the heart of his plantation there.

Carter's daughter, Maria, married Robert Beverley, son of Colonel William Beverley and Elizabeth Bland. He was named after his paternal grandfather. The Beverleys were indirectly descended from Pocahontas through their marriage to the Randolphs.[4]

Carter's grave is in the Lower Lunenburg Parish Church cemetery in Warsaw, Virginia. He left his heirs 50,000 acres (200 km²) of land and as many as 500 slaves.[5] The Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary holds papers relating to Landon Carter and many other descendants of King Carter.[6]


  1. ^ Bell, Whitfield J., and Charles Greifenstein, Jr. Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society. 3 vols. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1997, 3:616–619.
  2. ^ Isaac, Rhys (2004) Landon Carter's Uneasy Kingdom: Revolution and Rebellion on a Virginia Plantation, pp. xvii-xviii. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-518908-6.
  3. ^ Kornwolf, James D. (2002). Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America, p. 1566. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-5986-7.
  4. ^ Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families, p. 161
  5. ^ Bontemps, Alex (2001). The Punished Self: Surviving Slavery in the Colonial South, p. 30. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-3521-8.
  6. ^ "Carter Family Papers". Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Retrieved 22 January 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Landon Carter, The diary of Colonel Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752-1778. Edited, with an introd., by Jack P. Greene (Charlottesville, Published for the Virginia Historical Society [by] the University Press of Virginia, 1965).

External links[edit]

Archival Records