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John Carter was the son of Robert “King” Carter and Judith Armistead Carter. He married Elizabeth Hill in 1726. He inherited Corotoman from his father as well as Shirley Plantation from his wife’s father. John and Elizabeth Carter lived at both plantations. They built a new home at Shirley around 1726. Robert “King” Carter left his sons their own pictures, indicating that this portrait may originally have been commissioned by John Carter’s father and hung at Corotoman.
Possible Reference: “my pictures each Child to have his own picture my son [John] to have my first picture and his mothers also my gold watch and diamond ring my Son Robert to have my other picture & his mothers picture,” Will of Robert “King” Carter, 1726
Dimensions: 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm.)
The subject wears a brown jacket and matching waistcoat with silver buttons and buttonholes. He wears a long white wig. He stands indoors next to a window, beyond which is a landscape. His right hand points down over a gold-trimmed hat. His left hand is in his waistcoat. To his right in a table covered with a red cloth. The gold-trimmed hat rests on top of it. A dress sword is on his left hip. He is turned slight to his left.
See: Edmund Berkeley, Jr., ed., The Diary, Correspondence, and Papers of Robert “King” Carter of Virginia, 1701-1732 (2009), 25; Encyclopedia Virginia