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WILL OF JAMES A LEWIS
Charleston Kanawha C H V August 10, 1858
I James A Lewis of Charleston Kanawha County VA, being in sound mind and disposing body and mind, do make this my last Will and Testament, that is to Say,
I desire all my just debts be paid out of my Estate, as soon as convenient after my death, and to facilitate such payment, I desire my Executors herein after name, Shall cause my store in Charleston, and any other that I may have, to be invoiced at the cost prices, or at the appraised value of the goods, which valuation and invoice maybe made by two disinterested persons, who may be employed for that purpose and the goods when then invoiced may be sold out at private sale or by auction, in whole or in parcels as my Executors may think best, on a on a credit of twelve months, the Purchaser or Purchasers thereof giving bond with approved security for the payment thereof, or if it is deemed expedient or advisable, the store may be kept open for twelve months, and the goods retailed out, That all my other personal except exceptful slaves and household and kitchen furniture, be also sold on a credit of twelve months, that the bonds and debts due to my Store or Stores and Estate be listed and their true amounts ascertained. In the adjustment and payment of my debts, or if they deem it expedient, or at their discretion, my Executors my sell on credit of twelve months or long the following real estate, this is to Say, they are hereby authorized to sell the Frame House in Charleston, which joins the back house formerly occupied by me at the Post Officer, also to sell apart of the whole of my "Pocatalico Lands", My lands on Big Sandy of Elk, and the lands on the middle fork of Davis Creek the Same which I bought from John Lewis, Thomas L Davis ., and as I have sold to Saml A Miller one undivided half of my "Gallation Tract" of land, at the Falls of Kanawha, in the County of Fayette, I do hereby authorize my Executors to Sell the remaining half of said land if they deem it advisable, but suggest it as my opinion it should not be sold for Eight or ten thousand dollars, If the "Gallatin Tract" of land be sold, then they may also sell my land on New River in Fayette les VA. In selling my land at the Falls of Kanawha, I expected in my Sale to Saml A. Miller a portion of said Tract deed to Miller, Now I wish this part of said tract be not sold or not including in my future Sale of said Tract, but that it be rented out as heretofore, at some moderate rent too the said J W Dempsey for this .. of three years after my death, provided however the said Dempsey should live so long, and provided said lease shall not be transferable by said Dempsey to any one else, and at the death of said Dempsey or at the , at the end of the three years, then this property shall revert to and murged in my general Estate. My Executors are also authorized to sell five acres of land out of the tract of 16 acres, which forms my present homestead adjoining the town of Charleston, which 5 acres hereby authorized to be Sold. Shall be laid off into Lots running across my land from One Street to the other, a part thereof adjoining the Lot sold to David C Kline, and extending south for quantity, and a part north of the street which forms the northern boundary of said Kline lot.
After paying off all m just debts, any surplus money on hand I wish invested in stocks of the United States, or the State of Virginia, but the hire of my servants, the rents, interest, and dividends may be used for the support and maintenance of my family (I mean my wife and children who are not of age).
I wish my Estate to be kept together till the first day of Jan 1864, which is one year after John becomes of age, .. my wife should die before that time, in which event my remaining Executor may commence a partial distribution of my Estate paying out to such as are of age such amounts as may be ., but which shall be at least 25 percent share of his or her final distribution share.
I wish my Estate to be divided equally, or as nearly so as can be, between my wife and children, giving to my wife a childs part and giving to my daughter Susan M. Frazier and her children her part, or their part or portion separate and apart from her husband; and that my desire in this practice can be the more surely carried out. I hereby will and desire her said portion of my estate, to William A Lewis and William Frazier, in rust nevertheless for her and her childrens sole use and benefit, the said trustees (either one of whom may act) are hereby authorized to pay over to her, and her receipt shall be good and sufficient notwithstanding her coverture, in case of her death before the receipt of her portion, then the Trust shall continue for her children till each becomes of age, but should it become desirable for William A Lewis to give up or relinquish said Trust, he is authorized to turn it over to William Frazier, or in case of said Fraziers death to pay over such portion to the liquidation of the children.
I also wish and desire my present homestead or residence be reserved from distribution or division (escept so far as the foregoing named Five acres) during my wifes lifetime, intending it as a home and residence for here, the household and kitchen furniture must be valued and receipted for my wife, but .. .. in the payment of debts, shall not be sold, but shall be left subject to her disposal and if not disposed of by her, shall together with the Homestead at her death merge into my Estate and be subject to general division,
I desire my Servants, or Slaves shall not be sold, nevertheless, having noticed the growing insolent and insubordination of the Slaves of Kanawha I do hereby authorize my Executors at their discretion if any of my Servants become insolent or unmanageable or for any other cause or reason they may deem sufficient, to sell any one or all such negroes or slaves at their discretion.
If the property at the Falls of Kanawha, be not sold, the it may be rented out from time to time as my Executor may deem best, but if not so, then the said rents shall got to the support of my family till the distribution takes place,
I the final distribution of my Estate, my daughter Susan M, must stand charged with the sum of Eight hundred dollars, She having received about that sum in money and other property since her marriage, but the sum shall be without interest.
My Son William A. Shall stand charged with Seven hundred dollars without interest, on account of a tract of Land on New River in Fayette. One merely of which I have been before deeded to him and for the reasons that he had the use of the ills at the Falls for the first few years without rent,
My Son James F. Lewis shall stand charged with Six hundred dollars without interest for cash and other properly advanced to him when he was about starting to California.
Having the fullest confidence in the Judgment of and integrity of my wife Prudentia and my Son William A. Lewis, I do hereby appoint them Executors of my Will, and it is my wish and desire, they shall not be required to give security, in all other aspects settlements shall be made with the Court in accordance to Law, and the custom in the Settlement of Estates, In the case of my wifes death, the William A. Lewis shall remain Sole Executor.
Although I have herein above authorized the Sale, at the discretion of my Executors of a part or the whole of my "Pocatalico Tract" of Land, if they find it expedient or advisable to do so, yet I would suggest if my son Edward continues on the Farm and desire it, that the farm on Green Creek called "Gretto Dell" and the farm at Rock Creek be reserved from Sale, with some four or five hundred acres surveyed off and attached to each, the first named Farm for Edward , and the Rock Creek one for John. These farms shall be valued and charged to them, If John shall elect not to take the Rock Creek Farm, at such valuation, then it may be set apart to Edward, as an a..undage to "Gretto Dell" providing it should not exceed his proper share of the Estate,
If Edward continues on the Farm, My Executors may also value & deliver to him all the farming tools, the household and kitchen furniture now on said Farm, together with such portion of the stock as they deem necessary to carry on said Farm, I would also advise my Executors not to put too light a value on my Davis Creek Lands,
In Witness whereof I now hereunto set my made and affixed my seal, to this my last will and testament, written entirely in my own hand writing this 10th of August, 1858.
James A. Lewis
Kanawha C H Va Oct 7th 1860
Whereas I James A Lewis of Charleston Kan Co Va, have made and executed my Will and Testament, having date August 10th in the year 1856, now I do declare this present writing to be a codicil to my said Will and direct the same to be annexed thereto, and take as a part thereof, hereby altering, amending, and revoking any part of said will, which may come in conflict with the codicil: To Wit, Having reason to fear my son James F Lewis whilst in California became encumbered with debts, which he cannot and should not pay, I am unwilling any part of my estate should be applied in that way. Therefore, I don now hereby will and desire such part of portion of my Estate as would have fallen to my son James F. Lewis under the operations of the Will to William A. Lewis and William Frazier (either one of whom may act) my trustees, in trust nevertheless, for the sale used and benefit of the said James F. Lewis, or any children he may hereafter have, the said Trustees or Trustee shall invest the same in interest bearing stocks of the State of Virginia, or the United States, and the said interest shall be held for his sole use and benefit, and be paid out only to him or his children thus set apart and willed or desired to the said "Trustees or Trustee, shall revert to and be merged into my general Estate, Should however my said Trustees or Trustee discover of have any reason to suppose their judgments, he is not thus with debt, or that he may have divested himself thereof then they are authorized and directed at the request in writing of the said James A Lewis, to pay over to him his part or portion in accordance with the provision of said will, not withstanding the provisions of this codicil, the said trustee or trustees are not required to give security unless required in writing to do so, by the said James F. Lewis, I advance the Sum of Five hundred Dollars to and for James to get him home from California, but for and - consideration of services rendered in my store before his departure for California, and after his become of age, I will and desire he shall not stand charged with the said Five hundred dollars
Whereas my son John Lewis by the operation of my aforesaid will, will be entitled to one sixth of my estate, and in case of my wifes death to one fifth distribution part thereof, Now I do hereby will desire and direct that my executor shall pay over to him but two thirds of such distribution portion, and no more, that the remaining third part thereof be and is hereby willed and desired to my son William A. Lewis in trust nevertheless which third part he will invest in interest bearing Stocks for the sole use and benefit of the said John Lewis, the interest thereof to be paid over to him and after the lapse of ten years then he may pay over to him said Stocks & thus relinquish the trust fund, should John die without issue the expiration of said ten years, then such stocks shall revert back and be merged into my general estate. It is also directed that the said John Lewis shall be charged with all the expenses connected with or incidental to his medical education commencing with his outfit to the University of Virginia, the sum of tow hundred and twenty five dollars and also the sum of one hundred dollars expended by him in his trips to Alum Springs last Winter
In Witness hereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this day and year above stated.
October 7 1860 James A Lewis
At a Circuit Court held for Kanawha County the 15th day of November, 1860
This paper writing p to be the last will and testament of James A. Lewis deceased with a Codicil thereto annexed was this day presented in Court for probate and therefore .. witnesses, to wit, Guy P. Matthews, John Dryer, James H. Fry, and Alexander W. Quarrier being duly sworn here in open Court, severally depore and say, that on that on examination of said paper writing they believe, and satisfied, that the same and each part thereof including the signature thereof including the signature thereto, is in the proper hand writing of the said James A Lewis deceased, whereupon it is ordered that the said paper writing be admitted to record, as the last will and testament of the said decedent.
Teste A W Quarrier Clk
This section was extracted from the Appraisement of James A Lewis, it shows the slave names:
Charlotte 250.00 Ellen 850.00
Henry 700.00 Isabella 900.00
Mary 850.00 Moses 400.00
John 1,100.00 Charles 1,300.00
Daphne 450.00 Bill 1,100.00
Beverly 800.00 Betty 900.00
(.....) Please note when you see these dots this means the microfilm could not be read (.....)
Transcribed from Microfilm by Tammy and Steve Barber.
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