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Last Will and Testament of John Steele

At a Court held for Kanawha County at the Court House thereof on Monday the 9th day of October 1826.

This copy of the Last Will and Testament of John Steele decd late of the City of Natchez in the State of Mississipi was this day presented in Court for probate and the said copy being seen and inspected and the proofs thereof of being duly considered it is ordered that the same be admitted to record according to the acts in such case made and provided.

In the name of God and the Government of My Country

I John Steele of the City of Natchez and a native born citizen of Virginia do make and constitute ordaining and publish this writing as my last Will and testament in manner and form following

First, I direct my Executors to pay all and singular my debts at as early a period as they possibly can out of my Estate.

Secondly, I give and bequeath to my nephew Robert Alexander the sum of Six thousand dollars in money or property a the …….. Appraisement of my personal Estate.

Thirdly, I give and bequeath to my brother James and his four daughters the sum of four hundred dollars each to be held in reserve and paid by my Executors in four equal annual payments and not transferable by them directly or indirectly under pain of forfeiture

Fourthly, I give and bequeath to Charles Brownlee of the State of Kentucky the sum of Six thousand dollars

Fifthly, All the rest and residue of my Estate wheresoever situate after payment of just debts and the aforesaid legacies as before bequeathed I direct shall be divided into two equal parts, one … or half part I give and devise to my brother William Steele his heirs executors and administrators, and should I survive him then to his children to be equally divided between them. The other ….. or half part I direct to be divided into two equal parts one of which I give and devise to my brother Robert Steele his heirs executors and administrators, and Should I survive him then to his children equally to be divided between the, the other part I give and devise to my sister Janet Alexander during her natural life and then to her children and their heirs and administrators in such portions as she may direct by Will otherwise, but on failure of such direction then to be equally divided amongst them.

Sixthly, I do hereby authorize and empower and direct my executors hereinafter named to endeavor under the laws and constitution of Mississippi to process the emancipation and freedom of my Negro slaves.

To wit Terry between forty eight and Fifty years, and his wife Aggy aged about thirty eight years and their children Virginia thirteen, George, Tom, John seven and Milly three or four years of age. Peter upwards of forty five years of age and Delphy his wife aged about thirty and their five children, William twelve, Charity ten or eleven, Julian eight, Violet six, Nancy about two years of Age. Milly about thirty four years of age and his give children Polly fifteen or sixteen, Betsey about fourteen, Mariah, between six and seven, Alexander between three and four and Walter about eight months of age, Marcus about thirty years of age and Betty his wife between twenty six or seven and their four children, Reuben about nine, Nancy about eight, Ben about four and Ann about one month old, Also Sun West about forth, Jim Chathane about thirty and Jack about fifty years of age.

Seventhly, I do nominate and appoint Robert Alexander Edward Turner, Samuel …., John Taylor and James C. Wilkens, Executors of that part of my Estate which lies in the State of Mississippi and Louisiana and William Steele, Robert Steele, William Steele, and Peter Alexander executors of that part of my estate which lies in the state of Kentucky and Virginia and I do authorize and empower the said Robert Alexander, Edward Turner, Samuel Postlewaite, John Taylor, and James C Wilkins, Executors aforesaid on such of them as shall take upon themselves the probate of this my last will and testament and the execution thereof and the survivors or survivor of the to sale all or any part of my estate both real and personal in the said states of Mississippi and Louisiana and make a good and sufficient title thereof to the purchaser or purchasers thereof in fee simple as otherwise, And I do in like manner authorize and empower the said William Steele, Robert Steele, William Steele, Turner, Peter Alexander Executors aforesaid or such as shall take upon themselves the probate and execution of this my Will according to the provisions thereof and the survivor or survivors of them to sell all or any part of my estate real and personal lying and being in the State of Kentucky or Virginia and make good and sufficient title, to the purchaser or purchasers thereof in fee simple or otherwise. And lastly I do revoke and annul all other and former Wills by me made declaring, this instrument contained on six pages to be my last and only Will.

In Witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this first day of December in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eighteen.

Sealed published and declared in the presence of James McCalfe Parhau T Bynum, Henry …, John Taylor.

Proven at January Term 1819.


(.....) 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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