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Wills of Slaveholders in Boone County

Compiled for the African Americans in Boone County Project sponsored by Preservation Kentucky. All accounts from Boone County Will Books A-G. 4. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library. Burlington, Kentucky.

Below is an excerpt of wills of slave owners who listed slaves, in addition to other property, in their wills. The dates range from 1801 to 1860.

Boone County Will Book A.

Boone County Records Office, Burlington, Kentucky.

Appraisal of estates:

Jonathan Markland- no slaves listed, 190 pounds, March 11, 1801

Robert Stewart- (no will) – no slaves listed, 37 pounds, 9 May 1801

Alexr Lowry- (no will) – no slaves, 53 pounds, 12 April 1802

John Conner- (no will) – no slaves, $380, 14 May 1802

Benj Finnell- (no will) – no slaves, 139 pounds, 29 Dec 1802

Richard Sanford- (no will) – man Joseph (90 lbs), William, boy (100 lbs), Mary (75 lbs), girl Judy (40 lbs), boy Daniel (35 lbs), boy David (35 lbs), girl Nan (80 lbs), woman Judy (50 lbs) boy Manuel (30 lbs), woman Rose (82 lbs), girl Juner (75 lbs), girl Peggy (80 lbs), girl Silvey (40 lbs), woman Suckey (75 lbs), boy Jack (40 lbs), woman Winney (50 lbs), boy Nelson (30 lbs), total estate 1011 pounds, slaves alone about 970 pounds (so very little else to the estate. (pp 13-14) Settlement of Sandford [changed spelling now] estate – slaves were hired out 1803, 1804 & 1805. One interesting charge to a/c – “To raiseing (sic) one Negro boy from 2 weeks old without his mother, commencing October 1805” $55 (pp. 86-87)

Richard Cave- 7 Oct 1818: boy George ($700), boy Walker ($600), girl Silvey ($400), girl Rachel ($300) none of these sold at estate sale (pp 345-350)

Benajah Rice 16 Dec 1819 appraisal – 3 slaves $900; 17 Dec 1819 sale – J. Barkshear (sic) 1 Negro girl (463.25); Ben Rice 1 Negro man & woman (580.50) – separation of what may have been a family (pp. 416-421)

Moses Cherry inventory, 19 April 1810 – lists 3 slaves – Wm “Special to Jack” ($500), his son, man Joe ($400), and man Peter ($400) (pp. 79-82). Sale, 20 April 1810 – Joseph sold to Henry Anderson for $350; Peter not sold (pp. 333-336)

Jeremiah Kirtley- will, 4 Feb 1806: (pp. 31-40), to wife, Mary, he leaves Ned, Nanny, Pippen, Milley, Tandy, Eve, Silvey, Ben, Pat, Lewis, & Rose “and their increase”. Children – Sarah Rogers, Eliz. Walker, Jeremiah Kirtley, Robt Kirtley, & Permilia Sanford, grandchildren – Milton Eve, Levenia Eve & Clarissa Eve (issue of dau. Clary Eve). To Robt – slave boy Newman; to Permelia – slave man Sam; “Item, my desire is that at the end of the year in which my death takes place, (if it shall happen after the first day of March) that my Executors shall sell my stage Waggon (sic) and gear, desk and Book Case and the following slaves, (To Wit) Dublin, Frederick Mariah Harry and Edmund and their increase if any for ready cash and the money arising from the sale after paying my Just debts to be equally divided into six shares” (p. 36). “Item my desire is that at any time, at or before the day of selling the property as is by this will directed to be sold, if my belove wife Mary Kirtley shall choose to give up for distribution Eve and Rose two of the Negroes which I have lent her during her life, that then in that case my desire is that my Executors shall value them as near their worth as they can and when so valued my Will is that my Grand Daughter Levenia Eve shall have Eve, and that my Grand Daughter Clarissa Eve shall have Rose” (p. 37). At death of wife, remaining slaves are to be sold & money split among heirs (p. 39). Inventory – 30 Dec 1806 – cotton gin & wheel, bophet & furniture it contains ($160), silver watch ($25), road wagon & gear ($100), stage wagon & gear ($125), 5 beds & bedsteads ($300), loom & gear ($16) (all p. 42-3), 625 lbs tobacco, slaves: man Dublin, man Ned, man Frederick, man Pippen, boy Ben, woman Nanny (must be rather old, worth little), woman Mariah with children Harry & Edmund, woman Milley with children Tandy & John, Pat & child Lewis, girl Silvey (p. 44).

Benjamin Mosby – (Editor's Note: lots of nice articles sold), p. 260, but no slaves. Had 27 (p. 255-6) woman Quay, boy Roger, girl Frances, boy Wilson, boy Anthony, woman Hannah, boy Lewis, girl Eliza, boy Collin, boy Cornelius, woman Easter, boy George, boy Winston, boy William, girl Flora, Girl Mary, woman Susan, boy Peter, boy Griffin, girl Susan, man Claborn, man Jack, woman Alice, man Randal, man John. (Editor's Note: if in family groups, interesting that men are listed at end as though they are not really part of families – and there is a chance that they aren’t, but you would think there is at least one complete family here, yet there is not listed together one complete family)

Boone County Will Book B, 1821-1832.

Boone County Records Office. Burlington, KY.

Nathan Watts- appraisal 1 April 1822: (pp. 42-50) total $8872. 36.5 crop of hemp $10, 175 lbs clean hemp $10.50, 10,000 lbs tobacco $250, 270 barrels corn $270, shoemaker’s tools $175 (indicating probably that one of the slaves would have been trained to make shoes), 6 stacks wheat $71.25, 4 stacks oats $26, 3 stacks rye $16.25, 63 bu. Rye $15.75, clock $30, 19 chairs $18, 8 beds. Man William, man Robert, man Thomas , man David, women Frankey, Dinah, Mariah, Ann, boys William, Winston & Milton. Slaves allotted to wife Eliz. – Thomas, David, Frankey, and Maria (p. 53)

John Jack- sale April 1822: Brass clock $90, 2 bee stands $2.25, tomahawk $.25, cotton cards $.75, still & tubs $90, horse mill etc. $232, loom & mill stones. A black man was bought by Wm. Jack, a black woman was bought by John Brady, but two boys and a woman were listed in inventory – doesn’t say what happened to the male that was not sold. Jack had in cash $1500 – very unusual. (pp. 42-47)

Wm Riddell inventory: boy Stewart, old man James, girl Jinny, yellow boy Strawder, boy Squire, girl Fanny, girl Mary, boy Jeffery, child Dinah, child Patsy. 1000 lbs tobacco $420, hogs, sheep, oxen, cattle. Loom, grindstone, 100 lbs coarse hemp, 30 lbs flax, feathers $12.50, geese. Total: $3560. (pp. 222-224) Will 5 July 1825: Sons John, Valentine, Fountain, Neal, Madison, Lewis, James, grandson Wesley Mitchell & g-daughter Pauline Christy. Madison to get Jefferson & Mary & to be sent to school for 2 years & receive bed weighing 40 lbs & bed clothing. Wife may send him to school longer if she sees proper. Wife gets Strother. (pp. 216-218)

Zerah Tousey- will 11 June 1829: to grandson Zerah Craig – ½ Woolper farm with mills & stock. Also to get Rachel & all her children & one equal ½ of balance of slaves Tousey has at his death. Only surviving son is Erastus. Venvehter, deceased son, already rec’d share (his only child, Eliz, get $10). (pp. 452-4) Inventory, 10 Jan 1832: woman Lydia, woman, Rachel, girl Harriet, girl Rebeca, girl Martha, boy Moses, boy Jefferson, boy Spencer, boy Anderson, boy Allen, boy Tombolen, boy Albert, man Thomas “who is free (by the laws of the state of New York where he was born) in March 1833” (worth only $80). Also has copper still. (pp. 581-5) No slaves sold in estate sale. (pp. 585-7)

Richard Cave- special division of slaves 30 Dec 1831: to Olivia Rogers woman Rachel & child, & boy Joseph; to John Cave – 3 boys – Stephen, Moses & Burk; to Eliz Cave – man Geo., boy Charles – evens out to $600 for each. (pp. 561-2)

Benjamin Johnson- inventory, 15 Mar 1831: men Charles, Isaac, George; boys George, Tom, Henry, Sandy; women Dolly, Maria & Harriet; girls Jane & Sarah; boys Ben & John. Also had piano forte $100, 6 maps $20, 2000 lbs bacon $100, loom, lumber (from mill) $90. No will & no sale. (pp. 551-3)

John Brown- will, 22 Jan 1824: “Let the remains of my dead body, be laid in the earth: in some proper place on my own residence (farm) in a plain coffin; about six feet deep in the earth decently, with sobriety and the greatest temperance; without any fashionable perade (sic), formality, or pomp, whatever. I desire but a few friends and neighbours to attend my remains, to the Grave. With regard to my Tomb Stone. It will be of little consequence to me, but may gratify my representatives; shall be left to them. Mosslums [mausoleums] are more generally raised to gratify the pride and Vanity of the living than for the use or benefit of the dead.” But does request that land around his grave only be used for cemetery with good fencing. Son John Brown (born last August) go get 642 acre farm, 500 acres on Big Bone Lick, & land in NJ. If he should die it goes to Clarissa Pike & then to her daughter, Clarissa Pike Harrison. Daughter Clarissa Harlow Pike gets land he own betw the 2 Miamis (200 acres), land in Brown County, OH & land in Casey County, KY (20,000 acres) & ½ stock in Miami Exporting Co’s Bank in Cincinnati, worth ($1600). Gives land to sister (not to be used by husband to pay debts). Best friend (& wife) Abigail Baxter, gets independent right to son’s farm, one room in house & 1 servant, “as long as she “pursue a moral, proper and regular life…but no longer.” Son shall have classical education – Latin, French, Greek, & Hebrew with history, geography, arithmetic, mathematics, geometry & algebra – may be educated to law “By my desire is, he should be a farmer (agriculturist), and labour with his own hands; at all times that he is not engaged in his Education and literary pursuits.” (pp. 156-161) Inventory, 11 Dec 1825: Old Sam, Jerry, Manuel, Anthony, Edwin, Henry, Nance, & child. Two trunks of book worth $60, peach brandy $37.50, old brandy $50, apple brandy $31, masonry equipment, 90 sheep, 62 hogs, still $77, 5 horses & 45+ cattle. (pp. 183-4)

Absalom Graves- will, 10 Aug 1826: children Willis, Polly Cave, Betsy Graves, Nancy Willis. But Nancy herself not to receive a share – only her children. Betsy apparently married another Absalom Graves. (233-4) Inventory: boys Ben, George, Jack & Harry, woman Jinny, boy & girl Esquire & Elila. 13,000 lbs tobacco $227.5, Big Cany Bible, 3 vols on New Testament, 3 sm Bibles, 3 Testaments, 6 Hymn books, Benedicts History of Baptists. (p. 305-7)

William Rogers- no will; inventory April 1826: woman Sharlott, man John, girls – Sally, Kitty, Lina, Jane, Louisa, boys – Adam, Gabriel, George, Jack (p. 252) Also had spinning wheels, bee stands, wool wheel, stone hammer, trowel & chisels (someone is a skilled stoneworker) (p. 253) Sale Sept 1826: split up the African Americans – Sally to Elijah Rogers, Kitty to Moses Hawkins, George to William Rogers, Linn to Spencer Runyan, Gabriel to Philemon Hawkins, Jack to Barnit Rogers. Also sold 50 lbs cotton.

Will Book C, 1831-1839

William Hamilton- will, 24 Nov 1830: splitting up slaves – to Andrew – John, Malinda & Squire; to Wm – Dick, Stephe [?] & Hiram; to Jas – Phillis; to Samuel – Lewis & Rhoda; to Mary Hughes – Jin & Reuben; to Abraham – Ead; to John – Christy & Henderson; to Ruth Chiles – Hilda & Nancy; to grandson Wm Hughes – Martin; to granddaughter Mary Chiles – John. Nancy, Molly & Daniel to be free at death of self & wife; Spencer to be free when at the same age Daniel is at death of Wm Hamilton. Hilda & Nancy & children to be for benefit of Ruth Chiles & children – NOT for her husand James. (p. 25)

Robert Chambers- will, 20 March 1834: no children or wife it looks like. Gives to his sister, Ann Riddell’s 3 children Charles, Lafayette & Mary $2300 total. African Americans: Solomon & Patsy to be free after first day Jan 1842. Boy Anderson free 1 Jan 1850 – until then they are under control of executors. Solomon & Patsy to receive $100 in manner seen fit to executors, but no more. Also to receive housekeeping articles. (pp. 23-24)

Moses Tousey- inventory and sale, 18 Oct 1834: No will is found for Moses, the innventory names the following slaves and their value: “Negro man Bill $150 (probably older man, based on value given), negro woman Daphne $150 (notes in margin “for hire”, indicating she would be or had been hired out of the family), Negro woman Eliza and child $325, negro woman Vicey $300, negro woman Agness $325, negro woman Ellen $180, negro boy Mason $225, negro boy Joshua $150, negro girl Jane $110. No slaves are listed in Moses Tousey's sale. (pp. 226-231)

William N. McCoy- will, 21 Oct 1836: gives young daughter from second marriage $1500, anything that belonged to her mother & “three negroes which were the property of her mother namely Jane Jesse Alias Bill and Sarah”. “My slaves I wish to be as equally divided among my six children by my first wife as situation and the nature of the case will admit”. (pp. 550-1)

A. J. McNeal- inventory, 16 May 1836: was a storekeeper in Florence & gives excellent idea of what some storekeepers would have had on hand – also has notes from numerous customers. Huge sale! (pp. 370s & 380s)

Willis Graves- inventory, 4 Apr 1836: (Editor's Note: lots of notes, some of very high value; Was the County Clerk during the 1810's and 1820's. Not the same kind of inventory as McNeal, just a few things.) Nice carpets, books (mercantile law one of them); tea board; china & glass worth $40; women Linny & Harriet, man Kit, boy Washington, girls Meda [?], Jane, & Maria. (pp. 342-343)

Caroline Currie- will, 15 April 1833: has two daughters, Mary & Margaret. Margaret is married to William Burnett of Cinti, who is executor of the will. Mary is younger. Caroline used to live in Richwood & has property in Boone, but is apparently living elsewhere when she dies (Cinti probably). Jacob Burnet (“my friend”) is to hold the Richwood farm in trust for Mary (175 acres) & several slaves: Suckey & her child, William, Nancy, Castee [?], Phill, & Eliza. Margaret to receive Edmond, Sally, John, Watt, and Virginia. (p. 259)

Will Book D, 1839-1846

Rachel Porter- will, 18 August 1841: “It is my will and desire that all the slaves that belongs to me by set free at my death” (all her brothers & sisters to receive one dollar, except one sister, Rebecca Kelly to get balance of property that does not go to Betsy Neal & her father in law, Wm Porter). (p. 204) (Editor's Note: I don’t see an inventory for her but there is one for Thos. Porter (who had no will) & the slaves listed are: man Nimrod, women Fanny & Charlotte & Charlotte’s two children. Can’t tell from here that they were ever really set free. (p. 208))

John Utz- inventory, 12 Mar 1840: boy Willis, boy –urison, boy Granville Washington, girl Ann, boy Henry, woman Mandy (p. 251)

Eliz Utz- inventory, 11 Jan 1844: men Allen & Sam, women Ellen (child, Juliann) and Maria (child, Eliz), man Henry, boy Woodford, girl Frances, boy John, girl Margaret, girl Julia, boy Luther. (p. 402) Division of slaves, 15 Jan 1844: Allen, man, 40; Sam, 37; Ellen & child, she 33; Mariah & Eliz, she 30; Henry, 20; Woodford, 12; Frances, 10; John, 8; Margaret, 7; Julia, 5; and Luther, 5. These slaves are to be divided in ten parts among the heirs of Eliz Utz, based on the value of each slave. Woodford to go to heirs of Benj. Utz; Frances to go to heirs of John Utz & the rest to be split among eight remaining heirs. (p. 437)

John Tomblinson- inventory lists several slaves 6 Dec 1844: men George, Samuel, Moses, Thomas, Thornton, boy Alfred, women Ginney, Lucy, & Matilda, girls Fanny & Ellen. Very little else other than farming implements – in house old bureau, 2 old bedsteads mirror, old cupboard & table; outside old axe piece of log chain old saddle bags, old saddle ox ring & staple, 12 sheep, oxen & cart, 4 cows, 4 horses, one of them old, one grind stone, 3200 lbs tobacco, stack of blades, one harrow, old plough, lot of old gear, 2 hoes, pair stretchers, oats & corn. (p. 524-5)

Will, 9 Jan 1844: to son, William, 1/3 of farm, slave Moses & part of proceeds from hire of George & Saml; to g-daughter, Pamelia Jarrell another 1/3 of farm & Ginny, Lucy, Alfred & Thornton “with a request that said slaves be treated humanely and that my grand daughter Pamelia may emancipate and set free at some future and distant period said negro woman Ginny” I like the word “distant” here! The last 1/3 to go to Milley Jarrell, another g-daughter with Tom & Matilda. (p. 173)

Will Book E, 1846-1852

Reuben L. Clarkson- will, 3 Oct 1848: emancipates slaves “if they continue to behave well” – Old man Charles, Wiatt & Judy his wife, house woman Winna & Samuel her brother “for they waited on me when ill like children” – the rest of the slaves to be emancipated as follows – when they are 35 & their children in like manner – Washington & Lucinda his wife (22), their child Thos. Dudley (3) & Benjamin (8 mos), Mahala (20), Aaron (18), James (12), Elijah (10), Dick (8), Joshua (6), Wm Humes (4), Willis (2), Hulday (1), T. Jefferson (6 weeks), Lewis (10), Reason (8), Mary Elisa (6), Nancy (2), and John (1). Harry, that Clarkson bought two years previous to be free after serving ten years. (p. 223-4)

Elijah Hogan- will, 1 Oct 1848: sells land & divides money among heirs, “And further at my death I set my old negro man Jeffrey free and give unto him twenty acres of my land where he now lives for and during his natural life and then the said land to go to David and John Hogans children. And further I give unto Richard Parker and Sally Parker his wife my negro man Walker and two negro Girls Sally and Mary and to my son John Hogans children two negroes Jack and Lucy and I give unto David Hogans children my negro Girl Eliza and further I wish Walker and Eliza hired out until they earn money enough to pay what I owe Mr. Richard Parker. And I further give unto my negro man Jeffrey my little Roan mare”. (p. 178)

Will Book G, 1856-62

Madison Young- will, 31 October 1855: Woman Aga to be set free at the death of James & Nancy Ross, his wife. Margaret to belong to the Ross couple & then to Mariah Jane Bobbit, dau of John Bobbit. Caroline to belong to Nancy Ross forever. Slaves Elias, his wife Aga, & their children Ephraim Harrison [no comma used], Joseph Margaret & George & other slave Dudly to serve Ross couple & then all (& any more children) to be sold to highest bidder & money collected divided between children of Fountain Young & Barnet Young (p. 42)

Benjamin Mitchell will, no date but certified in Boone County, 6 July 1857. He was living in Saline County Missouri. Wills that his slaves – Mary & her family of children & George – be sold & money loaned out at interest for benefit of daughters. Could this be Roseberry? (p. 119-20)

Joel Garnett- will, 24 February 1857: Saline County, MO. Daughter Martha Ann Graves (Edwd D) to get man Sandy ($950), girl Jane ($300), and girl Queen ($375). Daughter Virginia Garnett (Edwd G) to get man Belfred ($700). Daughter Eliza G. Lyne (Thos) to get Mary ($300), two men, Aaron & Ryle ($900 apiece) & girl Martha ($400). Daughter Emily Latimer (John) to get man Jim & his wife Clarissa & their children ($2000). Daughter Caroline Graves (Oscar K.) to get man Lewis & wife Frances with child Lum [?] ($2025)

Benjamin Watts- slaves divided, 11 December 1858: To Ann Cave (John): boy Cyreus[?] & Annis; to Elizabeth McCoy (A. G.) woman Mary, Sarah, Emily, & Mariah; to Louisa Bronaugh (John) boy Layton & girl Kate; to John Bronaugh boy Dallas & girl Mede; to Sally Montague (Henry) girl Fanny & boy Howard (pp. 267-8).

R. J. Snyder- slaves divided, 27 December 1858: To H. T. Snyder old woman Angeline ($500), James Addison (valued at $150 so he is either very young or very old), Mary ($650) & Marthy ($475). Heirs of Robt J. Snyder to get Elizabeth ($825), Pasha Jane ($400), Esline ($275), and Angeline ($275) (P. 269).

W. B. Murphy- inventory, 18 Sept 1860: Following slaves: Men Lids ($1000)[?name?], Carter, James Blair, Lewis, & Chapman; boys Watt, Robert & William (all three Carter’s sons), Jo & Jim (both Little Liza’s sons), women Aunt Ama (only worth $100), Jemima, Big Liza, Little Liza, and Malinda (p. 464-5).

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wills_of_slave_owners.txt · Last modified: 2020/11/03 18:42 (external edit)