Last Will and
Testament of John Young
the Sentinel Echo in 1962
by Jamie Grimes
“Last Will and Testament
In the name of God, Amen.
I, JOHN YOUNG, of Laurel County,
Kentucky being possessed of sound disposing mind but knowing from the course
of nature that ere long I must depart this life, although now in good
health, and as preparatory to that even in so far as my earthly matters are
concerned, I make a declare this my last Will and Testament.
First: I desire that my land be
sold on a credit of twelve months and the proceeds divided equally among my
children except my son, Pleasant, and my personal property in like manner be
sold and proceed dived as above after the payment of all debts against me or
which my be chargeable against my estate.
Second: As to my slaves, I make
the following disposition from a principle humanity: I therefore give and
bequeath to my daughter, POLLY PARKER, my boy slave, WILEY, until he
arrives at the age of twenty-five years at which time he is to be free and
not remain in involuntary servitude any longer.
I give and bequeath my boy slave,
GREEN, to my grandson, HIRAM, son of my son, HIRAM, upon the same
condition and limitation as the gift above.
To my daughter, THENY JOHNSON, I
give and bequeath my boy slave, ZEKE, upon the same condition and
limitation as above.
As to my little boy, ADAM,
I wish him to remain with his mother, JULIANN, until he is ten years of age,
then to be hired out until he is twenty-five years of age, and the hire to
be divided every year between my two daughters, SARAH and PHOEBE, and upon
marriage or death of either, the whole hire goes to the one that is living
and single, and upon the marriage or death of both, the hire to go to my
children, and when he arrives at the age of twenty-five years he shall go
free as above.
And to my daughter, SUSAN JOHNSON, I give and
bequeath my girl slave, POLLY, until she shall be twenty-one years of
age, when she is also to be free.
As to my slave SALLY, it
is my desire that she shall be free at my death, but as to Juliann,
from certain conditions, on of which is that she seems not to desire to be
free, I, therefore, will that she remain a slave and I give and bequeath her
to my son, Pleasant, and the child with whom she is now pregnant I give and
bequeath to my little granddaughter, Theny, the child of my son, PLEASANT,
and if she shall marry or die, the slave shall go to my son, Pleasant, and
it is my will and desire that all the children of the said Juliann in
the future after the one with which she is now pregnant shall be free at
As there may arise some
difficulty about the ages of said slaves, and I knowing all their ages,
regulate it as follows: Wiley will be 11, July 15, 1840. Green will be 9
August 1, 1840. Zeke will be 8 July 9, 1940. Polly will be 6 months old,
June 7, 1840. Adam will be 3 months old August 16, 1840.
It is, moreover, my will that
they shall remain in this County until they are free by the provisions of
this my will and for the purposes of endeavoring to process that object, I
will that if any of those to whom I have given either of the said slaves
with the limitations, shall remove them or attempt to remove them from this
County, they shall thereby forfeit their interest in and to the services of
the slaves: they shall then be held and owned by those of my children who
shall remain in this County until the said slaves are free.
I think the gift of Juliann
for life to my son, Pleasant, makes him equal with my other children,
perhaps more, I therefore desire that he have no more. I moreover appoint my
son, Pleasant and my grandson, WILLIAM JOHNSON, the executors of this, my
last Will and Testament, thereby revoking all former wills and testaments
made or attempted to be made by me.
Signed, sealed and delivered this
1st day of June, 1840.
In the presence of
S. A. MOORE.