Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Will and Codicil of Baxter Smith Dallas County, Alabama

While browsing through the web on a late Tuesday night, I was able to locate a transcription of the document which freed my paternal great-great-great-great grandmother Charity Smith and three of her 'mulatto' children: Harriet, Theodrick and Malinda. I located the transcribed document on the message boards at www.genealogy.com as posted by Andy Anderson in April 2006.

Dallas County, Alabama
Will Book A, page 13
Will of Baxter Smith, codicil dated 5 Nov 1825

The State of Alabama}
Dallas County} ss.

In the name of God, Amen.

I, BAXTER SMITH, of the State of Alabama and County of Dallas aforesaid, do make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

First, I resign my soul into the hands of Almighty God, hoping and believing in a remission of my sins by the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, and my body I commit to the earth, to be buried at the direction of my executor, hereinafter named.

1st Item, I give and bequeath to my adopted son BATTY SMITH, illegitimate child of CINTHIA SMITH, thirty-two Negroes, viz: Big Ted, Rebecca, Cato, Jack, Perlina, Mima, Nelson, Little Bob, Betty, Mary, Cupid, Henry, Susan, Lucinda, Silvy, Little Ted, Arter, Jim, Harrison, Eliza, Daniel, Solomon, Charles, Frank, Adison, Willis, Little Jim, Major, Amey, and Pat, Big Jim, and Esther and all their future increase. Under the same item, I give and bequeath to my said adopted son, BATTY SMITH, all my lands lying on the west side of the Alabama River, with the exception of two quarter-sections in Section One in Township Sixteen of Range Eleven, to have and to hold to my said adopted son, BATTY SMITH, his heirs and assigns forever.

2nd Item, my will and desire is that Charity, John and Shadrack shall be sold, and the money arising from the sale of them I give and bequeath to my nephew BATTY SMITH, son of my brother NED SMITH. I also give and bequeath to my said nephew BATTY SMITH all my lands lying on the east side of the Alabama River, to have and to hold to my said nephew, his heirs and assigns forever.

3rd Item, I give and bequeath to my brother NED SMITH five hundred dollars.

4th Item, I give and bequeath to my brother DAVIS SMITH, a note of hand which I hold on him for two hundred and thirty-seven dollars and seventy cents dated the 15th Dec'r (1806? 1811?), which note has a credit on it for seventy-nine dollars twenty... [A complete line of text is apparently missing, cut off at bottom of page in original will book. Next page begins:] ...him from the whole or any part thereof.

5th Item, I give and bequeath to CINTHIA FORD, formerly CINTHIA SMITH, the mother of my said adopted son BATTY SMITH, the sum of one thousand dollars.

6th Item, it is my will and desire that Tim, Harriett, Theoderick, William, Malindan, Sarah and Big Bob shall be set free, and I give and bequeath to the said Tim, Harriet, Theoderick, Malindan and Big Bob the sum of two thousand dollars, also my wagon and four work mules, also two quarter-sections of land in Section One, Township Sixteen of Range Eleven, out of which the small ones are to be provided for until they are raised, and then to have an equal distributive share with the rest, the above described lands I wish them to settle upon, provided that it is not contrary to the laws of the State. If it is, my desire is and I do hereby authorize, empower and direct my executor to sell the above described land and apply the money to their use or uses, and to have them conveyed to the State of Ohio or some other free state where they may have their liberty freedom.

And [I] do hereby constitute and appoint my friend LEWIS [?TYENS, TYREE, TYSON, TIGNER?] executor of this, my last will and testament, also for the better education of my adopted son, BALTY SMITH, illegitimate child of CINTHIA SMITH, I do give and dispose of the tuition and custody of him to my said executor LEWIS [TYENS?, etc.], until he shall attain the age of one and twenty years, also I do hereby authorize, empower and direct my said executor from and after my decease until my aforesaid adopted son shall attain the age of twenty-one years to manage and improve the estate and fortune of my said adopted son by me hereby given him for his use and benefit, and to lease all or any part of his freehold or household estate, and to lend, place out upon security or securities at interest or otherwise improve according to his discretion, all or any part of the monies belonging to [or] arising out from the said estate and fortune of my said adopted son, and to pay unto and account with him, my said adopted son, for all such rents, interest, produce and improvement as shall arise from or be made of and produced by the estate, money and fortune hereby given and divided to him when he shall attain the age of twenty-one years.

But should my said adopted son die before he attains the age of twenty-one years, it is my will and desire that all the Negroes before mentioned by me hereby given him shall be free, and I do hereby authorize, empower and direct my said executor to have them removed to the State of Ohio or some other free State where they may be able to obtain their freedom, in case they should not be able to obtain their freedom in this State, and to reimburse himself out of the residue of said estate for all such costs, expenses and trouble as he shall sustain, expend or be put out for or by reason of the performance of the same, and my will is and I do hereby expressly declare that my executor shall not be charged or chargeable with or accountable for more of the aforesaid money or estate than he shall actually receive or shall come to his respective hands by virtue of this, my last will and testament, or with or for any loss which shall happen of the said money or estate hereby by me given to my adopted son, or of any part of my personal estate so as such loss happen without his wilful default and neglect, and also that it shall and may be lawful for my said executor in the first place out of the said premises respectively, and out of the residue of my personal estate to deduct and reimburse himself respectively all such loss, cost, charges and expense [A complete line of text may be missing at this point] of this my will, or the management or execution thereof respectively, or any other thing in anywise relating thereto.

And finally, all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate and effects, both real and personal, whatsoever and wheresoever, not hereinbefore effectually disposed of after payment of my debts, legacies, funeral expenses and other charges and deductions as aforesaid I do give, devise and bequeath to my said adopted son, BATTY SMITH, illegitimate child of CINTHIA SMITH.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this fifth day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five.

/s/BAXTER SMITH {seal}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by
the said testator as and for his last will
and testament in presence of us, who at his
request and in his presence have subscribed
our names as witnesses thereto.
R. Tarver
Malcolm McRae
Benj. Tarver
-------------
State of Alabama}
Dallas County} ss. Codicil to the foregoing will

November 29th, 1825. It is my will that my Negro woman Charity be freed with my other emancipated servants and that this be added to my last will.

In witness whereof I have caused my hand [sic] name to be set in presence of
Thomas Woodward
Davis Smith
Edward Gants*
.................................../s/BAXTER SMITH

The foregoing will was this day produced, proven and recorded, viz., 9th Jany.
========================
*Appears as Gants, but may be Gantt
.

1 comments:

Moe DeNiro Urban Mogul Magazine said...

This is absolutely an amazing piece of history and knowledge to have access to. Thank you for sharing that eye-opening document with not only us, but the world.

Monique DeNiro
Descendant of Charity Smith
Grand-daughter of Loretta Smith