Last Will and Testament of Robert Craig b. 1744, d. 1834 in Abingdon, Virginia

In the name of God, Amen! I Robert Craig of the county of Washington in the State of Virginia, being of sound mind and memory notwithstanding my advanced age, blessed be God for all his goodwill and mercies toward me, do make, ordain and declare this instrument which is written with my own hand and every page this of subscribed with my name to be my last will and testament revoking all others and I order and ordain all my just debts to be paid and the legacies hereafter bequeathed in the manner herein directed, those of my children whose names is not mentioned in this instrument has heretofore been provided for and has already got their share of my estate–having lent to my daughter Sarah Hamilton eleven hundred dollars for the purpose mentioned in an instrument of writing of which will be found amongst my papers wherein she obliged herself to educate and clothe her niece Sarah Hamilton until she arrived at the age of twenty-two years for which she had the loan of the money free of interest but preserved to myself the disposal of it afterwards as I thought proper, and as she is now arrived at the age stipulated for and have made other provisions for her brother Frederick it is my will that it be applied in the following manner therein I leave and bequeath to my grand daughter Sarah Hamilton six hundred dollars out of the money coming from my daughter Sarah Hamilton, but not to be paid until after my daughter Sarah Hamiltons death, and the remainder of it paid to my other heirs hereafter mentioned, and I leave to my grand daughter Sarah Hamilton the case of drawers that belonged to her mother, and is secure in the possession of my daughter Amanda (illegible word) it is my will that one hundred dollars out of the eleven hundred to be paid to my daughter Amanda in grain or hauling fire wood or such articles as she shall stand in need of — having advanced to my soninlaw William Berryhill one thousand dollars on his marriage with my daughter Mary and in one thousand eight hundred and fifteen (illegible word) him one thousand dollars payable in one year with interest from the date, he has however made but small advances towards paying the interest but is my will that his bond be given up with the balance of the interest as canceled. Here I leave and bequeathe to my grand daughters the children of my daughter Smith the five volumes of Doctor Scotts bible purchased for my own use, Here I leave and bequeathe to my daughter Amanda besides what I have already advanced to her, the house and lot on which she lives, and my upper place joining Capt Bradley & his brother Major Sloan

Note: Possible line cut off at end page.

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daughter with the advice of my executor to sell it is my will that a title from them shall be good notwithstanding her sons (two words illegible) their part being secure of the purchase money and one hundred dollars before mentioned also her woman Melissa and her daughter Rachel and (?) their offspring also my book case and household furniture as soon as (Mr. or Mrs.) Smith can spare them except my smallest looking glass (illegible word) to my daughter Fulkerson, my settee chairs & table and other household furniture I brought with me here except Amanda claims the bed, I leave to my daughter Hamilton. Here I leave to my grand sons (illegible word) & James sons of my daughter Amanda five hundred dollars (illegible word) of the money (illegible word) have at interest to remain at interest for their support & education and as at the death of my daughter Sarah Here with remain four hundred dollars it is my will that it be equally divided between and my silver buttons I leave to Robert, and (illegible word) gun and powder horn to him and his brother James Here it is my will that my daughter Sarah Hamilton shall not be liable to pay either principles or interest on any of the legacies I have left of the money in her hands during her life except at her own option Here I leave to my daughter Nancy my spectacles and to her son Robert my desk. Here I leave to my son James my watch, and should his son Robert survive him I leave to my son Robert it to him. Here to my son Robert my wearing apparel, and without some unforeseen event to his (illegible word) there will be a considerable amount not inclosed (?) in the foregoing legacies especially if the money is obtained from the heirs of the (illegible word) to which I am justly entitled It is therefore my will that the balance of my estate shall be disposed of in the following manner Here I bequeathe to the Seminary of Maryville twenty five dollars to assist in educating young men for the Ministry and twenty five dollars toward sending Missionaries to the heathens The balance to be disposed of in the following manner (illegible word) to be divided into our shares (several illegible words) to down one share, my grand son Robert son of my son John one share James Mitchell son of my daughter Bovell, one share my son Williams two daughters one share to be paid as my outstanding (two illegible words) due, at the discretion of my Executors. Here I have given to each of my children a set of Doctor Scott bibles in three volumes and my

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third volumes both of which are in my possession — If it can be done consistent with the laws of this state and the laws of the United States I wish to give my two slaves Lucy & Delilah their freedom one year after my demise Delilah to remain with Amanada that long Lucy to be hired out but should the laws be such that they cannot remain here and they would rather prefer staying here than go to a foreign country they shall have the choice of whom they will serve, and their price as (illegible word) to the four shares and Amandas 2 sons equally. Lastly I appoint Andrew Rupell and Henry Parrott Executors of this my last will and testament in witness of all and each of the things herein contained I have set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand and eight hundred and thirty two.

Robert Craig (seal)

The following lines is to direct my Executors how to dispose of some of my property not mentioned in my last will dated 13 January 1832 having purchased a carriage in partnership with my daughter Sarah Hamilton I leave her my share in it also my wind mill for cleaning grain and (illegible) and my book the title of which is (illegible) on death, and to my daughter Amanda I leave my share in the waggon and my log chain & every other article of husbandry on the premises my saddle and bridle to her two sons, it is my will, my sorrel mare, I leave to my daughter Amanda, it is my will that my grand son John Berryhille, son of my daughter Berryhille be included in sharing the dividend with my son Robert and my other heirs mentioned in my former will and should the money due from Wa…ers estate be obtained, it is my will that my daughters Fulkerson Shugart and Barryhille be paid out of it five dollars each, to purchase a ring or what other article they may thing proper to remember me by — as I had not my will by me to peruse when I wrote the above and finding that it had disposed of fifty dollars (illegible word) previous uses in my former will, it is my will that the distribution thus made shall stand which accounts for my (illegible final word and possible last sentence cut off at bottom of page)

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I have advanced for her it is my will that it be canceled and given up to her as (illegible last word)

* * * * * * * * * *

Thanks to Jim Mitchell who sent me the photocopy of the will, of which I made the above transcript. As Robert mentions in the final attachment to the will that he had not had a copy of his Last Will and Testament to refer to when making it, I am inclined to believe that the handwritten will which is all on four consecutive pages is a copy of the original. Especially as the photocopy shows no seal, instead the word “Seale” is written and a squiggly circle drawn around it.

In the will Robert Craig gives his slaves Lucy and Delilah their freedom one year after his death. The Digital Library on American Slavery shows their apparently successful petitioning for their freedom, one of the slaves being Lucy Crawford, and the other Delila Bowyer:

Petition 11683517 Details
State: Virginia
Location: Washington
Location Type: County
Salutation: To the Honorable the Legislature of Virginia
Filing Date: 1835-December-21
General Petition Information
Abstract: In his last will and testament, the late Captain Robert Craig directed that his slaves Lucy and Delila be freed one year after his death. Craig died in 1834 and now Lucy, calling herself Lucy Crawford, and Delila, calling herself Delila Bowyer, petition for permission to remain in Virginia after emancipation. Lucy is about sixty-five years old and a widow, her husband having died some years before, and her children are “dispersed by distribution and otherwise in different parts of the world.” Delila is about forty-five, and her husband remains in the area as a slave.
Result: reasonable
# of Petition Pages: 3
Related Documents: List of Subscribers, ca. 1835; Extract from the Will of Robert Craig, n.d.
Pages of Related Documents: 2
People Associated with Petition 11683517
Slaves: 2
Free Persons of Color: 0
Defendants: 0
Petitioners: 2
Other People: 2

Citation Information
Repository: Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia
Legislative Petitions

In the 1840 census I find a free African American woman by the name of Lucy Crawford living in Providence, Rhode Island. Is it the same Lucy Crawford? She is of the right age.

Name: Lucy Cranford
[Lucy Crawford]
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Providence Ward 6, Providence, Rhode Island
Free Colored Persons – Females – 55 thru 99: 1
Total Free Colored Persons: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 1

In 1850 in Montgomery, Orange, New York I find a Lucy Crawford aged 64. Is it possibly the same woman despite the age disparity (I’ve observed great age disparities elsewhere)? A Sarah N. age 30 is in the same household. In the 1840 census, Lucy Crawford was living beside a Sarah Nightingale, also a free African-American, who had two females in her household, one 35-55 years of age and one 55 to 100. Is that Sarah Nightingale the same as Sarah N. Bull below, given as age 30?

1850 Montgomery, Orange, New York
Amos Bull 28 black laborer b. NY
Sarah N. 30 black b. NY
Lucy Crawford 64 black b. NY
William E. Lindaman (Lindeman) 3 black b. NY

By 1860 Amos Bull is married to another woman and I am unable to locate Sarah N. or Lucy Crawford or William E. Lindaman.

A Sarah Nightingale, free colored, appears in the Providence Rhode Island census in 1830, with only one individual in the household in the 55-100 age range. There is no free colored Lucy Crawford in the census in 1830. Sarah Nightingale is also in the Providence Rhode Island census in 1820. Before that she disappears and we have two “free colored” families in 1810 headed by Bristol Nightingale and Nimble Nightingale. Nimble, in the West District, has 3 people in his household and Bristol, in the South District has 2.

Nimble was one of seventeen free blacks, four from Providence, who were listed as subscribers who financially enabled the publication of Samuel Hopkins’ System of Doctrines in 1793. Two others listed as subscribers were Mrs. Duchess Quamine and a Bristol Yamma, Yamma being also from Providence. Hopkins had hoped to establish African-American missionaries in Africa, and towards that purpose had sent Bristol Yamma and John Quamine (perhaps Duchess is his wife), both free black men, to be educated at Princeton. However, the Revolutionary War intervened. John Quamine, hoping to earn money to purchase his wife’s freedom, enlisted in the Revolutionary War and died. Bristol Yamma was killed in North Carolina in 1794.

Wikipedia notes:

Originally a slaveholder, Hopkins was one of the first of the Congregationalist ministers to denounce slavery. His efforts coincided with the 1774 law that forbade the importation of slaves into Rhode Island, and the 1784 law that granted freedom to all slaves born in Rhode Island after March 1785. During America’s war of independence, Hopkins’ school for negro missionaries to Africa was broken up due to the confusion. Harriet Beecher Stowe even admired Hopkins enough to portray him as one of the protagonists of her third novel The Minister’s Wooing.

Hopkins published a number of abolitionist phamphlets.

Did Lucy Crawford make her way up to Rhode Island or is it another individual? There are no black or white Crawfords in Rhode Island in 1830 or 1820.

As for Delilah Bowyer, she is in the Washington County, VA census in 1840, free. The census is listed alphabetically so we can’t check who she was living beside.

1840 Washington Co. Virginia census, Delilah Boyer 1 female in her household aged 36-55.

I don’t find a Delilah Bowyer (any spelling) in 1850. There is, however, in District 67, Washington, Virginia (which is Abingdon, where Robert Craig lived) a woman simply called Delila. She’s in a household of two free blacks living beside the family of the silversmith Valentine Baugh.

1940 Baugh m black 56 $150 in real estate
Delila f black 58

In 1834 Delila is given as having a husband in the area, for which reason she would have been interested in remaining until he also was emancipated, and I find the following on a Botteout Boyer who went to Liberia in 1854, his emancipation procured by his unnamed wife:

Bottetout Boyer
Gender Male
Age Emigrated 58
Place of Origin Washington
Status Purchased
Emancipator wife
Ship Name Banshee
Date of Emigration 11/1/1853
Liberian Destination Unknown
Level of Education Unknown
Occupation Unknown
Year/Cause of Death Unknown
Census Information None

The receipt for his passage on the Banshee and six months in Liberia was $60.

This Bottetout Boyer is not the Boyer of “Trade Town” that is sometimes mentioned in the above book, that Boyer being “Avith” as reported in the Massachusetts Colonization Society Report.

Is this Botteout Boyer of Washington Co. Virginia the possible husband of Delilah Boyer of Washington Co. Virgina? Are they the couple in the 1850 census listed as Baugh (age 56) and Delila? Bottetout Boyer certainly is of age to be Baugh.

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